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Amanda Says Goodbye

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

If only our members knew how funny Amanda really is. I have to cut brilliant jokes from at least half the lessons she’s in they’re just not suitable for English lessons. But they’re more than enough to make me and the rest of the Ebaby! cast laugh really hard every time we meet.

A couple of months ago, Amanda told us she was going to leave English, baby!. We tried to talk her out of it, but it was no use. When the time to tape Amanda’s last set of lessons was coming up, we had to find a way to have Jason and Devan be healed and for Amanda’s character to leave the soap opera. So we decided Amanda would miraculously heal her friends with prayer and then become a nun.

It’s tragic, really, since the whole idea of having a soap opera on English, baby! was inspired by comments from our users that they wanted to see Amanda and Mason get together. We spent months dragging out the tension between them, and when their characters finally got together, it really was kind of magical. So it’s not only a shame that the Ebaby! staff and members won’t get to see Amanda as much, but also that her character’s relationship had to end.

We haven’t posted all the movie and music lessons that we taped with Amanda yet, but since her final soap opera episode goes on the homepage on Tuesday, I asked her if she would answer a few questions over email so her fans could get some closure. Be sure to visit this look back on her character on the soap as well.

Jason: You’re moving on and we’re so sad to see you go. You were on the Ebaby! cast long before I was. How did you get involved with it? What are you going to do now?

Amanda: Over two years ago, I came across an interesting posting on Craigslist. I was a stay at home mom, just easing her way back into the workforce. In addition to working part time teaching baby/toddler song and dance classes as a glorified clown, I wanted to do something else on the side. Something that had nothing to do with being around little kids. No offense to my only and favorite son.

I loved the fact that Ebaby! was an online resource for those learning English. We’ve come a long way w/ESL programs. Plus, my old buddies from college (shout out to Phi Kappa Psi!) had created a group companies that Ebaby! is a part of, so that totally sold me.

Right now I am going to try and spend more quality time w/my kid. It’s funny, the grass is always greener. When I was a stay at home mom, I wanted nothing more than to get back to work. Now that I’m working my freaking flat ass off 24/7, all I wanna do is be with my kid. I will continue working my other 100 jobs: 1) Tradeshow/NanoPort Operation MGR at FEI 2) Property Manager 3) Actor/Model. I was burning the candle at both ends for a while and no one wins in that scenario. When your kid looks you in the face and says, “Why don’t you wanna spend time with me anymore? You come home from work and then you go back out to work,” it’s time to re-evaluate and take a breather. My bad.

Jason: What’s your all time favorite lesson that you’ve been in? Does one stick out as your least favorite?

Amanda: That’s easy. The phone call between Amanda and Jason. I could watch that one a hundred times, oh wait, I already have. There’s just something about the cadence between the two of us that is freaking hilarious. And there’s that special and perfect douse of awkwardness. Voila!

My least favorite (but not because it isn’t a good lesson) is between Amanda and Devan, when Devan announces that she has cancer. Yes, I think that it’s important to increase awareness of something that has taken loved ones from all of us, but at the same time, I felt uncomfortable acting as though she was sick when she really wasn’t. It seemed almost taboo to me. I felt uncomfortable the entire 60 seconds.

Jason: You’re really funny, and the members didn’t get to see a lot of your jokes because they can be a little too adult for the site. Where did you get your sense of humor?

Amanda: I actually don’t find myself funny at all. Usually, I figure people are just laughing at me. My father is a self-proclaimed pervert, a dirtbag, if you will. I guess I am my father’s daughter. When you grow up with Playboys laid out on the kitchen table like they were Good Housekeeping and a VHS collection of porn by the living room TV, you tend to become very candid about sex.

My biggest fear of all time is stand up comedy. I really admire those guys. I would pee my pants if someone put me on a stage with a mic and said, “Make us laugh!” Oh and by the way, Tina Fey is my idol. Unbelievable how funny she is. Delicious stuff right there.

Jason: You do a lot of acting outside of English, baby! What are some of the most interesting rolls you’ve played? Where can we see your work?

Amanda: About the same time that I started with Ebaby!, I dove into the ever challenging and humbling world of acting. I have no formal training so I’m pretty much fumbling my way through, simply giving it my best. It’s for fun more than anything, at least right now. Because I am always on Craigslist, I went to my first casting through a posting, landed the principle role, got an agent and the rest is history. Now I can’t imagine not having it in my life. Better late than never. I’ve always wanted to play a hooker but have yet to have the opportunity. Some of the more interesting roles have included: reporter, attorney, college sports fanatic and Asian Woman. That last one took months to prep for.

Some really exiting news: A feature film that I shot last summer is an Official Selection of the Phoenix Film Festival! We could not be more ecstatic about the recognition. I just booked my flight and can’t wait for a weeks worth of screening and parties. You can follow our journey on www.frontave.com, as we’ll blog about our experience at the festival.

Jason: You mentioned once that it’s hard for Asian women to be cast in comedic roles. Can you talk about that?

Amanda: With the exception of Margaret Cho, there aren’t a lot of comedic Asian female actors, nor roles for those actors. We are mostly depicted in a more serious, dramatic, dark, aggressive, competitive, cold and sometimes oversexed/vixon-esque light. Not that that’s a bad thing. But when was the last time you saw a slapstick style sitcom or film with an Asian as the lead? Jackie Chan, not included. It’ll come around some day, but for now, the audience isn’t gonna gravitate to the Asian chick for a chuckle right now.

Jason: Finally, in the last episodes of your character, you become a nun and leave town. If you were going to make a sudden, dramatic change in your real life, what would it be?

Amanda
: This is a tough question as I am a total and complete creature of habit. I have to do what I normally do and if not, there has to be a plan. There are few things I’d drop everything for to chase. And I actually would never even do that. I’d have to convince my husband and kid to come with, otherwise it would be a no-go. The only sudden, dramatic changes I could think of would be:

1) Have a 2nd child
2) Quit my day job to be back home
3) Move to Bend or Palm Springs
4) Get my real estate broker’s license
5) Change my current cell phone plan

And there’s no chance I’d do any of these anyway. That’s what she said.

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