We had the good fortune of connecting with Amie Enriquez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I never considered myself much of a risk taker, but when I look back on every thing in my life that got me to where I am today, it was all thanks to taking massive risks! Risk is terrifying for someone who has difficulty letting go of control. To say “yes”, to jump into something without knowing the outcome or at least very heavily weighing out all of the possible outcomes is a risk in itself. One of the biggest risks that I took in life was going to a rehab center to get treatment for eating disorders. I had to trust the process of getting worse before you get better, to “let go and let God”, to share the deepest parts of my soul to rooms full of strangers in group therapy and 12 step meetings. That risk paid off. I am here today, healthy and thriving. The most recent risk I took was last year when I wrote my solo show, “Lightweight”. It is based on my experience in treatment centers, dealing with family during recovery, and overcoming addiction. And it’s a comedy. So I was going to reveal a part of myself that most people in my personal life didn’t even know about to a 60 seat audience every night and hope that they LAUGHED at it! Including the very family members that lived through this period of life with me. Well, the risk paid off. I wrote the show for me and I didn’t hold back. I thought “if everyone hates this, that’s okay because I still love it. And if anyone gets offended by the humor, that’s not mine to hold onto. This is my story and there is no right or wrong way to tell it. I lived it. It is mine”. Again, the risk paid off. The show went over incredibly well. Every night I brought audiences to their feet, laughing and crying. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the show was even invited into an off-broadway festival. Now it’s been written as a pilot and I’ve been able to expand on this world even further.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m very proud of myself for where I am in my creative career. I certainly took the bumpier, darker, more lonesome road to get here but on that path I grew stronger, wiser, and more confident. It wasn’t easy, but that’s what makes it more rewarding. I graduated a performing arts college and instead of going out on auditions, I went to rehab. I was barely alive by the age of 21. I spent an entire decade struggling with food, self worth, body image, and depression. Do I look back and wonder how much further along I’d be in my career had I not “wasted” all those years? OF COURSE! But I also took all that regret, grief, and pain and used it as creative fuel. And out of it “Lightweight” was born, and out of “Lightweight” I felt as though I was re-born.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well first, imagine that COVID does not exist. You have to hit up Zuma beach in Malibu followed by fish tacos and beer at Duke’s (I lived in Hawaii and Duke’s was always a happy place for me). For a Downtown day, a walk around Olvera Street, a visit to the Broad, a tour of the Biltmore Hotel, dinner at Otium and then dancing to big band music at the Cicada Lounge (gotta have a wardrobe change into vintage dresses for that part)! Also, a day dedicated to hiking Griffith Park. See the Observatory, get lunch in Frogtown at Salazar and then a vegan dessert at Just What I Kneaded. For a shopping day, I’d hit Magnolia Park in Burbank for all the best vintage finds, followed by a coffee at The Palm! Then treat yourself to some beautiful self care goodies at Wildflora in Studio City. Damn I love Los Angeles. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give a shoutout to the director of my show, Lauren Weedman. Lauren supported me, challenged me, and encouraged me to stretch past my comfort zones to get the best script and performance out of me. I cannot imagine anyone better directing me. She’s an absolute genius and the funniest woman I’ve ever met!