Rick Yaeger: Hey, everyone. It’s Rick Yaeger, here, with “One Question Interviews,” the show where I ask famous people curious questions.
You’ve seen today’s guest in “Felicity” and “Flashpoint.” She also released her third album last year, and this summer, will be a member of the cast of “Covert Affairs.” Please welcome Amy Jo Johnson.
Amy Jo Johnson: Hello.
Rick: Hello. Thank you so much. Thanks for being a guest on my show.
Amy Jo: Thanks for having me.
Rick: I did tell the folks what you’ve been up to, but you’re very busy. You’re a very busy person.
Very Busy Person
Amy Jo: I’ve been going around in circles for the last two days, trying to get things done. I haven’t gotten anything done. I’m going a little nutty right now. For Covert Affairs, I’m really excited. I’m doing a recurring role, so maybe seven episodes. I’m not sure how many yet. That’s really fun. That’ll be airing this summer.
I finished a screenplay called “The Space Between,” which we’re going to shoot in spring of 2015. It’ll be my first feature that I’ll direct. I have a year to get it all in order and place. It’ll be very low-budget, but I’m going to do my first feature.
Rick: You’ve done some short films in the recent past.
Award Winning Short Films
Amy Jo: I did two short films. One was called “Bent.” That was my first one. That just finished the festival route. I just finished my second one, called “Lines,” which Enrico Colantoni’s in. He’s very funny in it. That, hopefully, will start the festival route in the summer.
Rick: Bent. You’d mentioned it went the festival route. You won an award for that.
Amy Jo: I won a couple.
Rick: You won a couple? I saw you won the Long Island Film Festival Award for Women Directors. That’s pretty cool.
Amy Jo: That was cool.
Amy Jo: At Toronto Independent Film Festival, I won the Jury Award.
Rick: Very nice.
Amy Jo: Then, the WIFT, Women in Film and Television in Toronto, it won the Audience Choice Award, which was very cool.
Rick: This is your first thing.
Amy Jo: Yeah. My first short film is actually going to be available online to watch at the National Screen Institute’s online film festival. NS…
Rick: I’ll look it up, and it’ll already be below your face.
Amy Jo: That starts, actually, on Tuesday. It’ll be on there for a while.
Amy Jo: They both were.
Rick: Both were.
Amy Jo: On Indiegogo.
Rick: How does that work? This is a new thing for film, independent film, is to pitch the idea of it to the general public, and say, “Depending on how you donate, you get different perks.” It’s almost like subscribing to PBS.
At the five-dollar level, you get the tote bag.
Amy Jo: Totally. I did do a tote bag.
Rick: It was higher than five dollars, I’m sure.
Amy Jo: Yeah. I only sold three, too. [laughs] I have a whole bunch of tote bags.
My Indiegogo experience, so far, has been really amazing. It’s only because of the supporters that I have on Twitter and Facebook. These people, most of them, have watched my entire career and have been on the journey with me, and been a part of it.
It’s been really exciting and fun, and also really cool to get to know these people, and as I’m transitioning from acting into directing, to have this support. These people watch me go and help me go through the transition, which will take a few years.
A Song Sung for You
The Indiegogo campaigns were very successful, only because of them. One of my perks on Lines was “I’ll sing a song for you.”
Rick: I’ve seen those on YouTube.
Amy Jo: They’re a little silly.[music]
Rick: They’re great, though. They’re very personal. They’re very, very you.
Amy Jo: I have seventy more to do.
Rick: Did they all have to be different songs, or can they be the same song?
Amy Jo: I never set the rules. I’m about to just clump 10 people into one song.[laughter]
Rick: I don’t know. You might get complaints.
Amy Jo: I was thinking about karaoking. I’ve been looking online for different karaoke music. I thought that could be fun.
Rick: A little “Don’t Stop Believing” in there.
Amy Jo: Change it up a little bit. I might do a few karaoke songs. [laughs] I didn’t say what song.
Rick: No, you didn’t. Just a song. Could be “Happy Birthday,” although, you’d probably get hit with some kind of copyright problem with those.
Amy Jo: They’re very raw.
Rick: They’re very raw and real, very cool. I really like them. I would be pleased if I’d donated and that was what I got.
Amy Jo: That’s what you got. You get a little email, and you have it, and you can download it, and it’s yours.
Rick: Your name is mentioned. It’s definitely yours.
Amy Jo: I talk right to you.
Rick: The songs, thus far, are off your albums. Your last album came out last year.
Amy Jo: In November. It’s called “Never Broken.”
Rick: Never Broken. Very cool.
Rick: Or SoundCloud. There’s all kinds of places.
As you know, the show is called One Question Interviews. This is the scary part. I have almost 1,000 different questions. I’m going to take a smaller stack, because this is really hard to get through.
I have almost 1,000 different questions, ranging from the profane to the profound. I will choose one at random. You will answer it seriously or in a funny voice, if you like, or you can get out your guitar and sing an answer, if you want.
Amy Jo: It’s out of tune.
Rick: So am I.[laughter]
Rick: I’m just going to riffle down this side. You tell me to stop any old where.
Amy Jo: Riffle.
Rick: Right there? Do you want this one or this one? The top or the bottom?
Amy Jo: It’s like tarot card reading. I’ll take the top one.
Rick: I’ve never done tarot card reading.[laughter]
Rick: This should be good. Breathe in, breathe out. Amy Jo Johnson, your question is:
“How do you personally know that you are more optimistic or pessimistic?”
Amy Jo: How do I personally know?
Rick: Yeah, for you.
Amy Jo: I’m truly more optimistic, absolutely.
Rick: How do you know that?
Amy Jo: You know how I know that? Because for 20 years, I’ve been an actress. And the amount of rejection I have received in those 20 years, I should be incredibly depressed. [laughs]
I’m not, because I think to be in this profession, you have to just be an eternal optimist, and have to just constantly see hope.
I’m waiting to hear about this thing, this school that I want to go to this summer. I don’t think I got it, guys. It’s been over a week. I don’t think I got it. A little devastated. Had a little cry last night. I woke up today, and I’m just going to persevere, and I’m going to DO THIS THING!!![music]
Amy Jo: I’m still going to direct. I’m still going to make my movies. Just maybe not as good. [laughs]
Rick: That’s excellent. It’s very true, especially in this industry, that you do get a lot of rejection. You have to realize that it’s not personal. It’s just that they weren’t looking for…
Amy Jo: Most of the time.
Rick: Most of the time, it’s not personal. People burn bridges, and then it is. [laughs]
Amy Jo: Mix, matching chemistry to…You can’t even dwell on it. You can’t even think about it. You just got to move on.
Rick: I looked into you. I researched you, before this interview, and you haven’t been without work. [laughs]
Amy Jo: It’s true. I’m very blessed and have consistently worked my entire career, which has been great. I have to look at the positive.
Rick: You might have been rejected for one role, but obviously, a couple weeks later, you got something else. You’re doing just great.
Amy Jo: It’s all good.
Rick: It’s all good.
Amy Jo: [sobs]
Rick: We’ll get through this.[laughter]
Rick: That was a good answer. That was a good question. It was very simple.
Amy Jo: I like that question.
Rick: That was a good one. That was like tailor-made for you.
Amy Jo: It was. It was perfect. It was tarot cards.
Rick: Tarot cards.[laughter]
Rick: We’ll do one question-tarot cards some other season.
Thank you so much for being on the show. That seemed like it went by fast.
Amy Jo: It did.
Rick: It did. Everybody, just check out Amy Jo Johnson in Covert Affairs, which returns to the USA network with new episodes June 24th, which is a Tuesday.
It’s 10:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 Central. You can figure it out. Just check your listings. You’ll find it. Set your DVR. You can also watch Amy Jo in all the episodes of “Flashpoint” and a movie called “Tiger Tears,” which are all on Netflix.
Amy Jo: “Tiger Eyes.”
Rick: I’ll believe you were…
Amy Jo: It was Judy Blume book.
Rick: You’re absolutely correct. It just hit Netflix today, as of our recording.
Her Twitter. Follow her on Twitter, @_amyjojohnson. She is verified. We had a little trouble with an interview last year, and at that time, you weren’t verified. In the time between…
Amy Jo: Yeah.
Rick: Big, blue checkmark.[laughter]
Rick: You can also go to amyjojohnson.com, where she has all kinds of links. A lot of them are A-to-the-double-J.
Amy Jo: They are.
Rick: Facebook, Instagram, all that stuff. You know what else is easy? If you go to onequestioninterviews.com, I’ll post a transcript of this interview, along with all the links to all the cool stuff we’ve talked about. I’ll figure out whether it’s Tiger Tears or Tiger Eyes. I’ll get it right.
Amy Jo: It’s definitely Tiger Eyes.
Rick: It’s definitely Tiger Eyes. [laughs] It might take a while, but the transcript will be there. Just give me a minute. That’s it. This is Rick Yaeger from One Question Interviews.
Thank you so much for watching, and subscribe to the show in the iTunes podcast directory so you don’t miss out on the next episode. Makes sense, doesn’t it? I thought so. Bye, bye.