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Conversations with the Inspiring Amanda McCants

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda McCants.

Amanda, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Los Angeles, California has been home to my family for six generations. Ironically enough, nobody in my family ever had the acting bug. That was until I started directing my parents in homemade plays at two years old. All throughout my life, I had been terrible at school. Soccer was even worse. Why would I run up and down a field for a snow cone? It just didn’t make sense. I finally found my place when I took my first improv class at 10 years old. I felt like I belong.

I auditioned for a couple of years as a child, but my parents wanted me to finish school. Right when it started getting to the end of my senior year of high school, I fell back in love with improv and broke the news I wasn’t going to college. I needed to follow the path I loved, acting. I’ve been waking up every day for it ever since… oh and the smell of vegan bacon.

Recently, I have found myself not only as an actor but a filmmaker. I never thought I would have it in me, but when you get cast as the hot girlfriend who is basically a glorified extra, too many times, you do what you have to do. Making my own films and various projects have made me find a creative strength I never thought I had. I will always introduce myself as an actress, but I know I’m Amanda the Creator. (Hoping Tyler the Creator doesn’t sue me for that. ^)

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road is smooth for those who are sleeping. A.K.A. buckle up.
Being an actor takes every part of your mental and physical strength. You learn to juggle classes, auditions, mental health, and a side job to hold you over. I can honestly say, it’s worth it all.
The biggest struggle for me has been downtime. It’s all peachy when you have job’s lined up, one after another, but what will you do with the two months when you aren’t booking?
Ironically those have been the times where I find the most success. Necessity is the mother of invention – A proverb, but also something my mother says.

Women: Write the character you want to play. Film her, grow her, perfect her. We’ve been given similar roles for so long and we’re finally seeing something different on our screens. There’s something really special about that.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I would say I specialize in comedic characters. I love finding the unique quirks and turning it into something relatable.

I am most proud of staying true to the art I want to make. I’ve had various people tell me I couldn’t do comedy because of the way I look. If I ever hear that again, I’ll drop kick them into a pile of my character wigs.

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
When I first started in this industry, I thought I knew nothing. That made me trust everybody. While it’s nice to be humble and wide-eyed, it can get you into some sticky situations. Trust your gut.

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Image Credit:
Emily Helen Photography

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