For this week’s Fast Forward Friday, we interviewed Los Angles based, actress-comedian-fitness enthusiast Amy Hagan. She fell in love with acting at a young age while doing Missoula Children’s Theatre. She has performed improv at various places around LA and stand up at The Comedy Store. She recently qualified for the Boston Marathon, did her first Strongman competition and is now training for her first triathlon. She is currently working on YouTube videos, and fitness shoots and commercials. Check out her fitness work on Instagram @amyhaganfitnessmodel.
Q: What are you currently working on? Tell us about it.
I am currently doing a lot of YouTube stuff. I have two channels with friends and one on my own. Coffee Meets Chicks is one I do with my friend Ashley and we talk about different coffee shops in the LA area. The other one I have with my friend Hannah is called Tammy & Candy, we are sisters who are complete opposites who are forced by our mom to make a YouTube channel together. I play a cat obsessed, crossfit lover. The channel I do on my own is just random videos I put together, either about my own life or a random spoof commercial.
Q: What was the inspiration and impetus for doing this project?
The inspiration behind Coffee Meets Chicks is we always loved going to coffee shops to work on acting stuff so we thought we should make a channel about the pluses and minuses of all the different ones in the area. Wanted to turn something we love (coffee shops and acting) into something that might go somewhere. The inspiration behind Tammy & Candy was Hannah and I love acting and wanted to try and gain a following doing something fun and we both enjoy. My own channel came out of just wanting to have fun and be in front of the camera, I love making people laugh. I get lots of good feedback from my Instagram videos so I figured YouTube videos would be a longer form of those.
Q: Who are your artistic heroes – who have had an impact on you and your work?
As someone who loves comedy, Amy Poehler is a big inspiration to me. She can always make me laugh in any role she plays. Recently another actor who has inspired me is Timothee Chalamet, I love his dedication to the characters he plays and how he can really transform himself and put himself into the role. Same goes with Eddie Redmayne.
Q: What keeps you motivated and inspired as an artist?
When I see a great comedy show or a movie that makes me feel something inside, or even just an actor who really got it right in my acting class. That inspires me. When I see those things it reminds me why I am doing this and why I love it so much.
Q: What other projects would you like to tell us about?
I am very into fitness as well. I think acting and fitness can go hand in hand. I was in a fitness commercial where I played a crossfit athlete. I recently just put together my fitness reel, which showcases me doing strongman, crossfit, gymnastics, and running. I am currently training for a triathlon and the Boston Marathon in 2020.
Q: What is one instance of knowing you are living in your vision?
When I am not wanting to do anything else in that current moment, I am present and focused.
Q: If there were no barriers to entry, what is one thing you would be doing?
I would be acting in a comedy TV show as one of the starring roles. That or doing sketch comedy and making a living out of it.
Q: What has been your biggest obstacle in achieving your vision?
Just getting in the door. I can’t book the big roles without being seen.
Q: What do you do to stay connected to your creative self?
Doing YouTube stuff helps, also listening to audio books from actors I like, that motivates me. Being in acting class helps a lot and going to comedy shows. My favorite are Groundlings and UCB.
Q: If you could let go of something that has held you back, what would it be?
Overthinking, I just need to be bold and go for it. No choice in acting is wrong necessarily but not making a choice won’t get you anywhere.
Q: What is your favorite piece of art?
My favorite thing I have done is a short film called Butterflies & Guppies, I had so much fun and it is the type of role that really showcased me.
But the art I love is something that takes control of my mind and gets me focused and not thinking about other things. Watching dance, a great movie or a comedy show can do that for me.
Q: What person do you most admire, living or dead?
There are so many wonderful people who have influenced this world. But if I am going based on acting the first time I felt affected by an actor passing away was Heath Ledger. He was so different in every role he played, I never saw him as the same character. He really knew how to transform himself and be real. He was an inspiration to many.
Q: If you could be known and celebrated for one thing, what would it be?
That’s a very tough question. Based on acting I would love to be known for the person who always made people laugh and someone everyone enjoyed being around because I was always honest and genuine. In the fitness world I would love to be celebrated for being the underdog who comes out of nowhere and wins races/competitions. Showing people that anything is possible with the right mindset and dedication.
Q: If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?
Authentic or Independent, I know it was supposed to be just one …
Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
I don’t feel guilty but I love the CW shows, most people would think it’s a guilty pleasure though. One Tree Hill is my all time favorite and now Riverdale.
Q: If you could sit down with yourself 15 years ago, what would you say?
Stick with learning Spanish, you will want to know how to speak two languages later in life. It will help you communicate with so many people and help book you more jobs. Also, focus on giving everything you got to athletics and acting, get a head start for later in life. Don’t place your focus on all these small activities that don’t really matter and are taking your time.
Q: Where would you most like to live?
I am from Oregon originally so if I could make a living with acting in Oregon I would choose to live in Portland, OR. Best state ever I believe and super nice people.
Q: What is your idea of success?
I define success as when you fall you don’t take that as a failure but a growth opportunity, you learn how you can do better next time. Being successful is learning from your mistakes. Having a positive, go-getter attitude and staying motivated and determined when the going gets tough is the key to success as an artist or athlete, or really in life … Because in the acting world you will definitely lose a lot more than you will win so keeping your head up is huge!
Q: What is your idea of happiness?
Doing something you love and being around people who support you each day.
Making a bold choice by getting out of your comfort zone to make a living out of something you love is very life changing. I have learned a lot by living away from my home state. I learn so much each day mainly because I allow myself to feel uncomfortable by trying something new and meeting new people. LA has opened my mind to new ways of thinking. I am excited to see what happens next in my acting career and in the fitness world. So much more to see and accomplish, I can’t wait!