We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Amanda Bryant and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rachel Amanda, why did you pursue a creative career?
So I’m kind of a shy/reserved person, and I think that’s in part due to me not having a lot of friends when I was kid. I was a bit of a weirdo. I remember once, when I was obsessing over The Power Rangers, I was sitting in the back of class one day zoning out. I started imagining that I was the Pink Ranger, (you know, the coolest one) and I kept lifting my hands up as if I was about to transform. Well of course, the teacher saw me and told me to stop playing around and all the kids turned and looked at me and I was MORTIFIED. I was teased and belittled in school by classmates and by people I thought were my friends. I started to hide away some of my oddities in an attempt to fit in. When I started doing theater in high school, I found a whole group of outliers and I suddenly felt as though I fit in. It was refreshing and I started to let my weird self out again. Storytelling led me to a supportive community, and helped me not feel alone. It helped me embrace who I really am. Although I am still journeying through the process of letting go of my childhood insecurities, I use my art to share my self with others. And I want to continue to make art that reminds people that they aren’t alone and that people will embrace their beautifully messy, odd, incredibly human and authentic selves.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

I am an actor, producer, writer and bad-joke-teller. I guess what sets me apart is that there is no other me out there, ya know? I truly try to find the joy in every situation, to find that silver lining that offers hope. And I love to make myself laugh. If I can make others laugh too, that’s amazing, but if I am at least having a good time, then it’s a good day.

During quarantine, I was looking for a creative outlet, so I started taping myself telling dad jokes. I started a little show called “20 Seconds of Bad Jokes” and I’d just upload it onto my social media. So many people over the last year have reached out to me about these little vids, and it’s cool that it has resonated with so many. Plus, I get to tell terrible punny dad jokes, so it’s a win-win!

Over the last few years, I started producing projects for myself so that I can play the types of roles I’d like to play. I honestly believe that I am here to tell stories about amazingly capable and flawed women. I’m excited to see what awesome stories I am able to tell moving forward. I have a few projects written that are ready to go now that quarantine is almost over. One is a vampire film. It’s funny, horror was not a genre that I watched growing up, but I fell into it as an actress. And boy, is it amazing! I love being able to play in the fake blood and with all the cool special effects. I also find the horror community to be one of the most open and inclusive communities out there.

Producing has been a wonderful challenge that allowed me to grow and put myself out there, even when it seemed scary. The biggest lesson that I’ve learned (and will continue to learn again and again) is that true growth comes from me not letting fear rule my life. Growth comes from uncomfortable circumstances.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

Oh what a fun question!

Well, we’d have to get breakfast at Harvest Moon where they seriously have THE BEST BACON in all of Los Angeles. Then we’d head to hike up to the Griffith Observatory or to see the incredible art at the LACMA. Or perhaps head to Huntington beach and stroll the beautiful coast line. Next, we’d get lunch at the Kogi Truck, a delicious Mexican/Korean fusion food truck that travels around the city. Finally, we’d enjoy dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Casa Vega, then head to either the Magic Castle or the Hollywood Bowl for fun shows! Last up, we’d grab a night cap at the super fun, Star Wars inspired bar Scum and Villainy!

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?

Oh my goodness, there are so many people throughout my life that have shaped me and made me the woman I am today!

Perhaps it’s cheesy to say this as an actor, but I am so inspired by Shakespeare and I know that’s one of the main reasons I decided to pursue acting. His plays and sonnets created visuals in my heart that allowed me to learn about myself. Being able to explore his words on stage in “Twelfth Night” as Viola or in “Hamlet” as Ophelia are some of the most joyful and uninhibited experiences of my life.

I want to also shoutout Jona Xiao for creating a group of like minded actors that support and celebrate one another. Her company, Career Activate, changed my life, as it created a space for me to embrace possibility in an acting career and to take control. I met career coach Ryan Basham through that organization, and his guidance changed my life in ways I don’t think anyone will truly understand. He pushed me to make a huge decision in my life, that ended up changing the course of my future. For that, I am eternally grateful.

I want to recognize Jenna Doolittle, my accountability partner, who challenges me to become the best version of myself, and allows me to challenge her as well. We hold space for one another, and it’s a blessing.

My family and best friends are always so supportive of me, whether its a small one line role in a play or leading role in a feature, they celebrate me and are a reminder for me to celebrate even the smallest of wins.

And finally, I’ll say that there have been a lot of people in my life that have hurt me, and who I’ve also hurt. While I don’t necessarily celebrate those experiences, I do recognize that I am only the woman I am today not just because of the joyful and beautiful experiences of my past, but also because of the muck and mire that I needed to wade through. These darker moments sometimes haunt me, but I am learning how to reframe the conversation with those memories. And that is joyful in and of itself.

Website: imdb.me/rachelamandabryant

Instagram: @RachelAmandaBryant

Twitter: @RachelABryant

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ActressRachie

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCobk1T3cL0dOrqV0u-WmQKQ

Image Credits
Headshot Proof by Bella Saville Photography, Headshot Proof by Bella Saville Photography

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