We had the good fortune of connecting with Troy Hencely and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Troy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve had quite a few different jobs since I was 12. I started out as a dishwasher at the diner that my mother worked at. As a kid I cut grass, raked yards and washed dishes to make money to watch movies and read the horror books. I needed money to get my fix, and my fix was reading these fantastic stories like Stephen King’s IT or buying whatever Leslie Neilsen parody was out. I’m dating myself I know, and I’m getting to a point I promise. I’ve watched horror movies and stupid comedy my whole life and I was the happiest when they were mixed together like the Evil Dead Trilogy, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, or my all time favorite The Monster Squad.
I was always the funny one growing up, ever since I was a kid I would do whatever it took to make those around me laugh. No matter my archetype I live in life, I will always be the fool first. Laughter makes the worst of times bearable. I worked throughout my high school years as a cook and a waiter. I found my comedy not only brought in good tips, but it also made people seem genuinely happy. From high school years into my college years I had been a baker, become a chef, been a security guard, a maid, a nursery caretaker, a clown traveling with the circus, and a pagan priest. With each job it was hard to keep up with my entertainment world, my acting.
For college I started to go to become a nurse, it was good money and admirable work. It proved to be way too much for me. Then I decided to practice law. I have always and will always be passionate about the law and the constitution, politics, and our legal system in general. This also proved to be too much. I was turned off about the fact that lawyers have to take cases where or not they believe in the people they are defending. I wanted to be a defense attorney, not a prosecutor because eff the man and the horse he rode in on.
I couldn’t really make enough money with jobs to keep up with everything and I was in a miserable place. I thought about my time as a clown, I lived out of a tiny RV and it was a horrible life, but I truly enjoyed performing for others and it made it a little better. That’s when I decided to risk everything and start my own production company and to go to college for a degree in theatre. I’m a performer and a storyteller. I wanted to know the business side of everything. My mom was a career waitress, I’ve seen the way she suffered through things. I told her and she backed me 100%. If I was going to be miserable anyway I wanted to be miserable working to build up my own life and those around me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a comedian first and foremost. The world is ridiculous and the universe even more so and I am just a speck of dust in the grand scheme of things. If we look at life on that scale we may never really matter so why even try. And my answer, is to live. My goal is to produce my stories and the stories around me. For the primate known as homo sapiens all that really matters are the stories. We have sure facts of science all about, and if it doesn’t come with a cool story to boot we lose interest. That is also a southern qualities I carry with me.
I got to where I’m at today by making a helluva lot of mistakes and learning from them, and of course by persevering when I felt I couldn’t go on. I am a non-binary Pansexual effeminate Pagan Southerner who loves to practice witchcraft and wizardry but who wants to show that I am sane…sometimes. Being in the South I learned to accept myself without having words to describe me. I would like to say I always knew I was as all of those specific words above from the very beginning but I didn’t. I just knew I was different, not better, but different. I have endured oppressors my whole life in one form or another. But the most important word in that sentence is that I endured. I survived those chapters of my life to write another and another.
Living with those that ridiculed me led me into many different jobs because I had a problem with authority that I felt didn’t have their employees’ best interest in their goals. I have walked out of a restaurant job in the busiest time. I have stood up to a supervisor that I thought was my best friend, but who only used me to “keep employees in line.” I was fired from the circus because I punched the elephant trainer because of his abuse to the elephants. That one I’m still proud of because the he lost his job, too.
From all of that I’ve learned that endurance and pointing out the ridiculousness of life. You are going to have some losses and you are going to have some victories. In some years there will be many more losses than victories, but that’s okay, that’s another lesson learned and another chapter in the book.
The greatest lesson is that life is ridiculous and at the end of the day we just want something to laugh about. I’ve learned is that I’m funny. I’m odd. I’m all the things people said about me, from their point of view, and it really is funny. If you’ve ever heard any negative thing about me it’s true, tell me about it so I can write another comedy. I am not alone with this either. I’m not the only oddball out there. My art, my creations will reflect that. I get to tell stories. As a comedian I find the humor in them. As a producer I get to tell not only my story, but the stories of all of the proud oddballs out there. It’s why I created Meadow Wolf Studios.
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.
This one is easy. I’m fat and I love food. We would have a helluva week in LA.
Right from LAX we would go to Griffin Park. You’re in Hollywood dammit and you have to go to the sign. Period, no other choice. We would walk the walk of fame,
Catch a flick at TCL Chinese theater. That is a bucket list material there. I am so proud to get to mark that off as done. And I’ll keep supporting them. In these covid times they are open and it is clean. And we must support our theaters. The Chinese Theater is an important symbol of our film institution and is very much like my local theater that I would wash dishes and cut grass to support as a child.
First dinner would be Trejos Tacos. No other choice. His street tacos are phenomenal and breakfast would be down the road with Trejos Donuts.
The Potholder Cafe is one of my favorite places to each. It is a phenomenal diner, which is my favorite style of food.
Sugarfish is another place we’d visit. There’s no sushi like sushi in LA. I come from the south, and New York was one of my favorite get aways as a college student. Sushi matters and with sushi location is everything.
Ramen at Orochon is a must. Yes, I’m mapping out food first. Comfort is everything. Once I knew what part of town I was going to be in on specific days.
If it were not covid times and when we open up, I would take them to see Warner Bros Studios, Go on a celebrity grave tour, because if it’s my friends we’re morbid as hell. We would hike through Griffith park as much as possible, the Furndell, maybe seek out some other places like Tuna Canyon if they were down for it. We’d visit Ventura Beach and go to Santa Monica Pier because you have to when showing people around. We’d also have a shopping day in Santee Alley.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I honestly owe my success to everyone around me, negative or not. My molding was shaped by everyone that has been a part of my journey.
Kate Hencely my wife has backed me and is always there for me. My mother has always pushed me to go for what made me happy. What makes me feel fulfilled. Ken Garland, who helped me see that living is more important than just surviving. And three of my greatest mentors, Amy Zipperer, Karen Berman and Eric Griffis. Karen for giving me the rules and showing me when it was important to break them. Eric for making sure to always be genuine, because if I don’t represent myself, who will? And Amy for giving me reins and allowing me the environment to practice Directing, writing, and acting at a very young age. Like Stella Adler taught, you have to walk in the characters shoes and not just read about it. That is the way I life my life. I can’t just think about something, I have to push myself to walk my truth and to practice in real time.
Other: Personal Website: www.troyhencely.com IMDb https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3494344/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
Photographers Zack Pursley Tommy Scoggins Mary Cims Troy Hencely