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Meet April Walterscheid

Today we’d like to introduce you to April Walterscheid.

April, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Disclaimer: I’m not a fan of interviews, so here goes nothing!

Welp. I started doing voice impressions to trick my best friend Morgan when I was in 1st grade (1991). By 5th grade, I was imitating ENTIRE sketches on Saturday Night Live by myself because I wasn’t allowed to have friends over. When they did come over and witness me imitating the Spartan Cheerleaders or Mary Kathryn Gallagher, they would say “you’re weird” and leave.

My teen years were spent getting sh*t on by various female bullies and being in my lonely little world a lot. Also, talking to myself while walking home from junior high to go watch Arthur on PBS at home. I was not a popular kid by any means. By age 13, I had to make friends in an online message board with people in Australia and New Zealand via our shared interest in a popular rock band you may not have heard of—Matchbox 20. That’s how badly I wanted to pretend I had friends—by living in an online world where people accepted me. It was like the Facebook of 1998.

In high school, I tried to fit in using self-tanner, wearing platform sandals from Journey’s, and by dying my hair with so many blonde highlights I might as well have dyed it blonde. But I always felt different. Eccentric without being visibly eccentric at all, and stuck on the outskirts of the cool kids 24/7. By 19, I was doing improv and failing miserably at it in college. You’re supposed to fail at improv and I was overdoing it by failing so badly, I wasn’t accepted into improv troupes. I finally got better at improv by age 26 when I took classes on it that walked you through how to do improv properly. Improv became a relaxing escape after that.

By 2015 (when I was 30 years old), I had moved to my very own one-bedroom duplex away from my parents! YAY! Finally adulting! I’m vegan so my best friend Jose Ramirez and I filmed a YouTube comedy news series called Vegan News at my house. I was working on movie and TV sets in Phoenix and Los Angeles at that point too thanks to a cool program called Friends in Film. And I started filming my own YouTube comedy sketches in all the 1920s-era stores of my hometown of Downtown Mesa, Arizona, I dressed up as various characters in those sketches and my friend Kristin LaVanway helped me film all of those sketches. Soon I got noticed and invited to have lunch with the Mayor of Mesa, so that was fun.

That same year, I started doing stand-up comedy when a friend (Chris Zuiker) suggested my Facebook statuses were 100% opinionated and angsty enough to be put out there on the live stage. Nervously, excitedly, yet dreadfully, I accepted the invite to do my first 10 minute stand-up set at a random banquet hall in Chandler, Arizona. I didn’t want to do stand-up comedy as myself at first so I did it under the guise of male and female characters I made up to feel safe up there. I do not think I as a white person am that interesting. All my life, I wanted to be other people because they seemed way more interesting.

The year 2015 feels so hard to live up to in my eyes. I was nominated for an award that year in the Phoenix Film Community after a stressful but very fulfilling 10 months of working on various movie and TV sets. I had a panic attack that same night of the awards and decided I didn’t really like awards all that much because it feels like a lot of pressure all at once. And who likes being judged? I don’t. The extremely kind and beautiful person who actually won the local award that night is no longer with us physically and that still haunts me and the Phoenix community; even though her reason for not being here is probably completely unrelated to winning awards. I once read in Amy Poehler’s book “Yes Please!” that she turns award nominations into fun improv games with the other nominees and that sounds like an amazing solution to the pressure of being in the spotlight. Improv is the greatest gift ever and helps you get through life.

In 2017, I was given another gift— I lost my corporate job and got access to my 401k! I had worked there for six years, and tried moving to Los Angeles as I had a savings (see 401k!) and I had been wanting to move there since 2014. I almost moved but decided to travel and do stand-up comedy instead. Moving out of my duplex took such long time because I started out selling my furniture over the span of 8 months then just gave it away and soon ran out of my savings. I started putting rent on my credit card, which sounds like a wonderfully bad idea and it was.

Doing this to myself put me in another bout of depression that took over my mental health for several months. My mom saved me by calling social workers to come to my house and take my kitchen knives away from me (they asked if I was going to take my life what would I use? I said all I have are knives). I am still thankful to my mom for saving me and taking me to the psychiatrist.

I probably got depressed because it felt like my comedy and TV dreams were slipping away from me. I had slept on many-a friend’s floors and couches while visiting Los Angeles over the past five years, even going as far as putting out Craigslist ads and staying with complete strangers in Koreatown who turned out to be very nice. But after this revisit with depression in 2018, I never thought I’d be able to move to Los Angeles again.

Then in 2020, I finally moved to Los Angeles by complete accident! I was taking a class at Second City and working there. I found a day job in Long Beach. I found a place to live in Burbank. Everything was suddenly working out! HOLY MOLY!

Then COVID-19 hit…

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I feel like I answered some of that in the previous question. Hmm, I think mostly my on-going never-ending depression and anxiety has gotten in the way of a lot of things ever since I was really young. To be honest, I didn’t even fathom I might have depression until I turned 29 and a psychologist diagnosed me. I thought crying alone in my car a lot and crying almost every night before I went to sleep was completely normal. I thought living 80% of my days like an unmotivated emo music cloud in human form was normal. At least, it’s normal for me. It’s my normal. I don’t want that to be my normal but it is. It’s getting easier as I get older though. What scares me most is that every major depressive event tops the previous one I experienced seven years earlier. ADULTING (and taking care of your mental health) IS NO JOKE!

Impostor syndrome is another big one for me. I’m constantly and consistently never sure of who I am— yet I am completely 100% sure of who I am! Relatable? Anyone? It feels like living in identity limbo. And I’m never sure if I’m on the right path because I’m a perfectionist through and through. One month I’m sure, the next three months (or three years) I may not feel sure at all. And I have to live in that LIMBO of pretending I’m sure about everything when I am definitely not. Oh, is that just called life? Maybe it is.

It’s tough to live inside of that limbo feeling, and not know how life is going to turn out and comparing yourself to others who seem so much better. It seems like everything everyone does is so perfect, and I’m in awe of everyone all the time (give or take a few who actually do terrible, a**hole things). I find life hard to enjoy most of the time because I want to know how it ends! Will I win that comedy roast I wrote 300 jokes for? Will I be on Saturday Night Live one day? Will I ever BE ANYTHING AT ALL?

Even this interview feels 1000% in limbo and unfinished. Is what I’m saying GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU? Does this interview even matter? I wish my perfectionist side would just chill the f*ck out.

Please tell us about your work.
Accomplishments are NOT something I’m known for. Honor Roll student? Barely. I have performed at the big comedy clubs in Phoenix and Los Angeles. Some of them a few times. I’m proud of that. I have performed on the radio a total of ONCE. Everyone says I seem busy all the time when they look at my social media, but little do they know that I go three to seven days without doing ANYTHING. I’ve been an insomniac since I was young so most of the time, I’m just desperately trying to find new ways to fall asleep and sleeping in until 6 pm to catch up on the sleep I missed the days previous whenever I can.

On reality TV sets when I was a Production Assistant, I got to work with John Cena’s fiance at the time Nikki Bella and Richard Karn from Home Improvement. COOL RIGHT? Oh, the classic name drop. Who cares? Oh, I also got to work with Grumpy Cat (RIP Tartar Sauce) and meet the cat’s family and cat handler. Celebrity life must be so stressful because that poor cat looked SUPER STRESSED. Furthermore, I’ve been able to work with three 1980’s TV show stars and that is something that I think is pretty sweet.

What sets me apart (I have heard) is my witty silly brain and energy when I just go with the flow of my thoughts. But, psh, I could be totally wrong as I don’t know how I appear to people on the outside. I usually ask my friends to roast me to find out that kind of information. I consider myself boring as f*ck and I’m working on putting more of my feelings out there knowing full well I’ll get questions about whatever I say from others. So I’m learning to accept that I’m a powerful, regal lookin’ queen who is full of anxiety and faking confidence all the time. Someone saying that I’m “talented” is a nice compliment, but it also makes me BARF IN MY MOUTH. TAKE THAT COMPLIMENT BACK! Part of me doesn’t want to get noticed for anything, and part of me wants to be noticed for some of those things.

I seem to stand-out while trying to hide behind myself (how does THAT make any sense?), so accepting that people value my thoughts, experiences, and what I put out there is so HARD for me to accept. ACCEPT IT APRIL, ACCEPT IT! It’s possible I will always struggle with feeling like anything I do matters and trying to find ways to contribute to the world.

I would like to thank my overthinking brain for all the answers to these questions.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Becoming an aunt to my little brother’s two kids. I have one of each—a nephew and a niece! Everyday, they like to fight and argue over a Gumby figurine I gave one of them for Christmas. They love watching Gumby with me whenever I visit, and that’s all the happiness I really need. I do not want to become a mom myself, but I might adopt one day when I’m 60 years old. I’m just happy my mom and dad have grandkids so they can’t quit asking when I’m going to have kids. Thank you lil’ bro! xoxo

Pricing:

  • $1,000 for me to perform stand-up comedy for 1-hour

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Brandon Walterscheid, Ross Dinsdale, Steve Homol, George Tenney

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