Amy Phillips & Kash Hovey

amykash.png

Amy’s response to Kash’s questions:

What has been your favorite activity during the quarantine?

Much like a lot of people, I’ve been cooking more and love it! And baking with my 3 year old daughter has been a highlightl. I’ve perfected my pasta sauce so now I can officially say “Mama’s sauce” in an Italian accent and feel confident.

Who were your comedic influences growing up and was there a performance or film you saw that had an impact on where you wanted to take your career?

I’ll never forget when I saw Whoopi Goldberg’s one woman show on TV and I was blown away at her playing all of these different characters, that was truly the earliest inspiration. SNL was a big influence as well as so many sit-coms that made me want to be in the comedy world, from Three’s Company to Friends.

You are known for your brilliant and hilarious impersonations of celebrities which you write and self-produce. What draws you to a particular celebrity and what is your process for developing your impersonation?

Well first of all, thanks for calling me brilliant! (Big hug for that!) I love over-the-top, larger than life characters which ultimately led me to doing parodies of reality TV personalities. There is so much inspiration and material to draw from in the world of the Real Housewives and my trick is to find a word, phrase or facial expression that captures that person and then exaggerate that and build off it. It can be as simple as me saying “isn’t it weird”, as Ellen Degeneres, or making my eyes really big and wide as Ramona Singer. It’s always a fun challenge to “find” the voice by rehearsing dialogue they would say. It’s like learning a song or writing a song and finding the notes. Some are harder than others and I try not to give up too soon if it’s not coming to me.

In addition to studying Comedy and Improv at The Second City Detroit, iO Chicago, and The Annoyance Theater, you have also attended American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Was comedy always the direction you saw yourself going and when was the moment you realized that?

Comedy was the thing I was most passionate about and at acting school you learn a little about everything so it was certainly made clear to me by my teachers, and myself, that comedy is where I best fit. I used to do impersonations of my acting teachers, so I guess you could say, that was pretty much the moment we all knew I wasn’t going to pursue the Shakespeare route.

I’ve been watching your Real Housewives Impersonations for years on your YouTube channel. What was your reaction when it caught the attention of Bravo and Andy Cohen who now feature you on Bravo’s late night talk show, ‘Watch What Happens Live’? 

I was so surprised and elated! I thought my video was going to be a “one hit wonder” but here we are now, about 10 years later and I still continue to do parody videos for them and I have my own show on Andy Cohen’s channel on SiriusXM where I get to recap reality shows every day. It’s a literal dream come true.

What are you looking forward to doing the most when the quarantine is over?

Hugging my family and friends and taking my daughter to Disneyland!

Amy’s Social Media: Instagram: @meetamyphillips & Twitter: @AmyPhillips_

Kash’s response to Amy’s questions:

What are some roles that you’ve played that have really helped to grow as both an actor and performer? 

When I played Jack in “Jack and Cocaine” there were some very intense and emotional scenes that definitely challenged me and made me grow as an actor. In “Before I Got Famous” I played Braft who is the antagonist. He is a ruthless character but the tone of the series was comedic which required me to explore this kind of a role and make it comedic at the same time.

You seem to be gravitating more towards comedy, what has your journey been like thus far and where do you see it going in the future?

I started off in theatre and more dramatic roles. There were times when I wasn’t trying to make the audience laugh but I’d do something with my characters that would get a comedic reaction. A few years ago ago I played Van in “As in Kevin” a comedy about tinder dating on Funny Or Die. Van is a wild man who is addicted to tinder dating so for this role I didn’t  hold back and played him very over the top which worked for the film. Recently I’ve enjoyed collaborating with a team and been developing some great project with really creative artists.

Did you have a favorite comedian growing up?

Eddie Murphy and Robin Williams. I always remember Beverly Hills Cop being on TV when I was a kid and I’d Watch Mork and Mindy re-runs on Nick at Nite after Nick Toons. I watched their films non-stop growing up and was always laughing. When I was a teenager I saw Chris Rock do a Stand-up Special on HBO and that was when I really started to pay attention to comedy specials.

What kind of training have you had in comedy and live comedy performance?

I trained with Ivanna Chubbuck when I started to pursue acting. I took Fresh Faces Comedy Workshop with Lesley Wolff earlier this year and performed my first stand-up via Zoom over the Summer.

If you could work with any actor who would it be?

I’d have to go with Leonardo DiCaprio. I grew up watching his earlier work which inspired me to want to pursue drama and I have so much respect for where he has gone with his career and the roles and filmmakers he has chosen to work with.

What comedian or comedic actor would you pick to be quarantined with so you could pick their brain and also laugh through this pandemic?

I’d have to say Dave Chappelle. I’ve been watching his stand-up specials during the quarantine and have been laughing non-stop. I’ve been a fan throughout his career and I’d love to sit down with him and observe in person his process, how his mind works and how comes up with his material.