Monica Hamburg & Kelly Zemnickis


Monica’s responses to Kelly’s questions:

Who was your first crush?

He was a guy in my CEGEP (college-ish) program. I was about 16 and he was 26. I've always been great at selecting what's wrong for me!

Who would play you in the movie about your life?

I'd hope it'd be Julia Louis-Dreyfus but I'm scared it'd be Gabbie Hanna.

What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?

In my 20s, one of my close friends said he couldn't handle me because I was always running around like a chicken with its head cut off. He was spot on - I was trying to make it work as an actor and I had a lot to prove - but it was making me a terrible person to be around.

If you were going to start a charity, what would it be for?

Animals. Always animals.

What is your best quality?

That's a tough one, Kelly! Because I'm so awesome! ;) Seriously, I'm not sure - I think a lot of personality traits are interesting in tandem. But I'll go with: Curiosity. If I don't know something I tend to want to solve the mystery & I like learning.

What word do you overuse?

I never use a word twice! Truthfully... I say "actually" too much for someone who wants to have friends.

Instagram: @Monica.Hamburg

Kelly’s responses to Monica’s questions:

What was the most rewarding experience you've had so far?

Woah, that's a big question Monica! Way to start this off!! Well. Seeing my documentary debut, No Responders Left Behind, come to life has been a most magical and rewarding experience. And VERY VERY hard. It took almost 6 years for people to see it- but starting September 9th 2021 you can stream it on Discovery +. I've never made a documentary before, but the story of 9/11 Responders getting sicker and sicker and needing to fight too damn hard for care and coverage (health & financial) broke my heart and my storyteller lightbulb went off. I wanted to do something, and I figured out how to do something. This is a passion project if there ever was one! I'm a storyteller, be it through my comedy or something like this. If I can be a conduit for a story to be told that NEEDS to be told... sign me up!

What was your worst comedy show bomb?

I think it was my 5th or 6th time on stage and it was going terribly, and I sighed and that got the biggest laugh. And I ran off the stage after and cried in the bathroom of the bar. In this past year and a half of doing comedy online, I did one show where all I could hear was someone typing during my set. I never went back to that room again! It's a terrible terrible feeling, and makes you question everything. And then you eat your feelings or drink if that's your thing, and try it again at another mic or go back the next night. ;)

What is your favorite thing to do to cheer you up after a bad day?

I'd have to say going for a walk, meditating, writing... I gotta do something to acknowledge the wheels are falling off but not letting it consume me. SOMETIMES it's food, I'll eat something to mop up my sadness. But mostly I need to move & change my scenery. And also... I have NO PROBLEM with crying my eyes out!!! Let it out! You're a human! You have feelings that gotta go somewhere!

How cool was it for your film to be featured in Rolling Stone Magazine?

I have a copy of Rolling Stone Magazine beside my bed, from September 2008 that has Chris Rock, Tina Fey and David Letterman on the cover. I hope their talent will float over to me while I sleep. I also have other issues of the magazine tucked away. So needless to say, that is THE magazine you dream of being in... or at least I do. And I NEVER could have seen No Responders Left Behind making its pages, but there it is! It's okay that my name isn't actually mentioned in the article, but that's MY film! I feel like a mom who's watching her kid graduate!!

What word sets your teeth on edge?

This is not a nice question, Monica. You know what it is and I thought we were friends. But for those who need to know, I will say it starts with an M and ends with a T and also contains the letters O, I and S.

What was your worst cooking disaster?

I once melted the microwave door by putting a bowl in it that shouldn't have been in it and it was too big and this hole just started forming on the door of the microwave... in hindsight, I should have left the room when this was happening. But oh well! I'm a kid of the 80s, I have had a lot of raw cookie dough and red food dye. I turned out just fine.

IG: @thelatvianfoodie

Twitter: @AijaGreen