If Amanda Seales had a business card, it would need to be the size of a sandwich board because there’s so much to fit on it. Seales, who is my guest this week on “Renaissance Man” has done it all. She is a poet, a stand-up comedian, a television personality, a singer, a DJ, an MTV2 VJ, and most recently had a starring role on the HBO hit “Insecure.”
Formerly known as Amanda Diva, she is simply off-the-charts talented and crazy smart. And as the author of the book “Small Doses: Potent Truths for Everyday Use,” which is a collection of humorous insights on life, racism, womanhood, relationships and her career, she’s had quite an impact on plenty of people. But one in particular stands out.
Someone left an Amazon review for the book, saying:
“This book was really great. It must be because my wife left me after reading it,” she told me. He gave it one star.
But it turns out that person’s wife wasn’t the only one inspired by the book to say adios to her relationship. Seales said that recording the audiobook was therapeutic and made her realize some things were wrong in her own world.
“I was hearing myself read the advice and insight that I was giving … I read it out loud, and I was like ‘Oh s–t, I gotta break up with my man’ … I literally broke up with him later that day.”
Seales has been around show business since a very young age, when she starred on Nickelodeon sitcom “My Brother and Me.” Because she’s multitalented and had her hands in so many genres and projects, she said the challenge in her career was getting people to understand her. But most recently, she said dealing with fame has become her biggest stumbling block.
“When I made it, I realized I did not like it … Fame is some other s–t. When you get fame just by way of simply doing what you have set your to do and it’s a byproduct, versus like the Kardashians and people who do things for the purpose of fame. Like, I never became an actress or performer for the purpose of fame. I was an actress and performer for the artistry of it, for the creativity of it.”
Seales said that recording the audiobook was therapeutic and made her realize some things were wrong in her own world.WireImage
She said it brought her some dark times, emotionally, where she allowed some of the worst aspects of fame to seep into her psyche. And while she said she didn’t attempt suicide, she did lose herself in depression and had to fight through to find her love of her work again.
That’s one of the things I admire about Seales. She has always been unedited and extremely open about her struggles whether it was her mental health or even her difficulties with launching her podcast network, “Smart, Funny & Black.”
She revealed that her business partner dropped out of the project suddenly, and it threw a whole wrench into the process, so it hasn’t been as smooth as she’d like. She’ll show herself on social media without her hair and makeup done.
“I think all we ever see are people’s highlight reels,” she said of her willingness to talk about failures and bumps in the road.
And isn’t that the truth.
If you see a gambler showing a winning ticket, know that there are 99 losing tickets they aren’t showing you.
Speaking of showing, her “Insecure” character, Tiffany, plays a mom on the show, and even though Seales doesn’t have kids in real life, she had a trippy experience portraying pregnancy and postpartum depression.
“I was pregnant for damn near two years on this show … I have maternity pictures … I got to experience this very intimate part of being a woman through the eyes of this character in a way that I haven’t in my own life.” In other words, she got to do the mommy thing without the stretch marks.
We have one very big thing in common. She is a DJ, and I also liked to spin records as a hobby, working in LA restaurants and clubs from 2008 through 2016. However, I’m an old-school, two-turntables-and-a-mixer kinda old man. Once the technology started getting so fancy, I stopped doing it. But I am going to be teaching myself again, and that will include me hitting up Seales for some tips.
But did I mention that she’s also hilarious? Seales is a native of Los Angeles, and she later moved to Orlando, Florida, so I had to ask which was her favorite version of Shaquille O’Neal: the Lakers Shaq or Orlando Magic Shaq.
Without missing a beat, she quipped, “The Shaq who slid into my DMs one time and then erased the messages.”
Detroit native Jalen Rose is a member of the University of Michigan’s iconoclastic Fab Five, who shook up the college hoops world in the early ’90s. He played 13 seasons in the NBA, before transitioning into a media personality. Rose is currently an analyst for “NBA Countdown” and “Get Up,” and co-host of “Jalen & Jacoby.” He executive produced “The Fab Five” for ESPN’s “30 for 30” series, is the author of the best-selling book, “Got To Give the People What They Want,” a fashion tastemaker, and co-founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a public charter school in his hometown.
Originally published at https://nypost.com/2021/03/04/amanda-seales-chats-with-jalen-rose-about-fame-insecure-role/ on .