This week Friend’s Actress Maggie Wheeler is on the podcast discussing how she broke in, her career, and advice for aspiring actors.

Show Notes

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Autogenerated Transcript

Maggie Wheeler (00:00):
Yeah. But you know, I’m so blessed because working on friends was just the most incredible creative understanding and agreement that that existed between, you know, from all angles. Yeah. And so the actors had a lot of free reign to, to, to work things out, to suggest things, to offer things. I had come from a show before that where I used to joke that they should cl in the credits. They should call me Clay Pigeon because, you know, a clay pigeon that you throw up and shoot at. Right. Uhhuh <affirmative>. Because every time I would say the slightest thing, I would say, would it be okay if overhear instead of if I said and No, no.

Michael Jamin (00:37):
You’re listening to Screenwriters Need to Hear This with Michael Jamin.

Hey everyone, this is Michael Jamin. You’re listening to Screenwriters. Need to hear this. I got an excellent guest today. Now hang on you. I know her as the mom from the parking lot at the school that our, both our daughters go to <laugh> because that’s who we, we, that’s when I first met her. And we used to hang out and talk and smoke cigarettes while the kids were getting ready to come outta class. But you know her probably so many things, but probably maybe most famously as Janice from friends. We’re gonna talk all about her amazing career. Maggie Wheeler. Maggie, thank you so much for doing the show. Thank you. A round of applause, Mike. We’ll put that in post <laugh> <laugh>.

Maggie Wheeler (01:24):
Thank you so much for inviting me to do your show.

Michael Jamin (01:27):
Oh, I’m so happy because you, you, I, I wanna hear about screenwriting basically from your end, from the, cuz you’re a, a very successful working actor. Let me talk about some of the things you’ve done. I’m gonna roll through your credits to refresh you. Okay. Because you’ve been doing it so long. You’ve forgotten all these things. Remind me, I guess, right? Remind you of Archer, the Adams family. I didn’t know you did the Adams family. Shameless Marin. I remember that because we worked together on that. You were Mark’s ex-wife, Kung fu Panda. I’m just skipping around. There’s so much I can’t mention all Hot and Cleveland. Californian. I didn’t know that. We’ll talk about that. Curb your enthusiasm. Glenn Martin. I remember that one. Cause we worked so much. How much fun? That was fun. Cuz you can do, you’re amazing with voices. Don’t I’ll let you talk Mary Maggie. I’m talking now. Okay. Sorry. I’m going through your credit.

Maggie Wheeler (02:14):
<Laugh>. I’ll be quiet. Forgive me. Speak for speaking. I turn Please continue discussing Stop

Michael Jamin (02:20):
Talk. I’m done talking about your credits here. How I met your mother. What a er. Dr. Doolittle. Three. I didn’t know that. And obviously friends. You did a ton of those. Fat actress. Everyone loves Raymond. Listen to this. Credits. Csi, will and Grace. This is crazy guys. The parent Trap where you were the mom on that one. You Ellen? X-Files Dookie Hauser Seinfeld. Dreman. Which I love Dream on. I didn’t know you did that. I mean, you have the to Okay, now you can say something.

Maggie Wheeler (02:49):
<Laugh>. Okay. I did not play the mother in the parent trap.

Michael Jamin (02:51):
Who were, were you Lindsay Lohan?

Maggie Wheeler (02:53):
I was Lindsay Lohan. Correct. <laugh>. I I’m very versatile. No, I played the camp counselor Marvin Junior. Oh. Who gets covered into chocolate and feathers. And

Michael Jamin (03:03):
Tell me about what everyone wants to talk about for probably first your, like the most of the famous the Janice. Tell me like when you auditioned for that. Yeah. Did, did you know that was gonna be a recurring go recurring role?

Maggie Wheeler (03:14):
No, it was a one shot deal. It was one episode, single episode. And and this, yeah, it said Fast talking New Yorker and I just thought I know her. She’s she’s in me all the way. So I just went and I did what I thought I should do.

Michael Jamin (03:28):
<Laugh>. See, that’s the, that’s the thing. Cause I’m gonna tell you this from a perspective of the writer. Even though I didn’t write, have friends, this is what I imagine what happened, you, the audition, if if they had known it was gonna be a recurring part, they would’ve gone out to a big a-list celebrity, right? Correct. And so you came in, you auditioned for it, you were at the table read, which is the first day of rehearsal. And it’s not uncommon for the regular guests, for the regular stars to not phoning in, but to save it a little at the rehears at the first day of the table. Cuz they don’t want to bring it. But I’m certain you brought it 110% and this is what happened. And I wasn’t there, but I’ve worked on another show. So this is what happened. The writers after the table read, they go back to the room and they talk about the, the story, but they also talk about the guest cast because I wanna make sure the, do we need to fire this person? Do we need to replace this person? And I’m sure they came back. Oh, she killed it. She killed it. And then I’m certain after the tape, after the show night, they’d like, okay, we’re bringing her back.

Maggie Wheeler (04:26):
Because amazing. I mean, you know, I wasn’t behind the scenes, so I can’t say how the magic happened, but I, I’d love to think that that’s what happened.

Michael Jamin (04:33):
I’m certain that’s how what, because, and, and this is another thing, it’s very rare to find from my, from where I sit an actor who really can do comedy that well. And so, and you killed it so much that they brought you back. I’m sure, like I said, I’m sure they didn’t think it was a reg a recurring. They, they wrote No, they go get her back. Let’s think of how we can bring her back.

Maggie Wheeler (04:55):
19. No, I think I, yeah. Nine, however many times all throughout the rest of the show. But, you know, I remember one of the writers telling me somewhere along the line, maybe after the fact, he said, you know, we used to sit there on those late nights when we couldn’t break a script and something just wasn’t working. And by two in the morning we’d be sitting there kind of, you know, tearing our hair out. And somebody would just say, what about Jan? Bring me back Janice <laugh>. And that’s how I kept coming back and coming back. You know it, which was amazing.

Michael Jamin (05:20):
What about Janice? That’s perfect. That’s per, yeah. And so when you, so when you audition for it, like how do you approach a script? I guess I wanna know also from the comedy point of view, how do you, like what do you, what’s the first thing you do when you read the part?

Maggie Wheeler (05:33):
I think I hear life in a and in through my acting work and, and in my life as well. I think I hear a little bit through a musical lens. Like the music of language, the rhythm of the character. That’s what I, you know what I find? That’s how I find the person that I’m playing.

Michael Jamin (05:47):
The musicality. Cuz you’re also a sa I know you’re big on music. We’ll

Maggie Wheeler (05:50):
Talk about that. Yeah, I mean, I love music and I love, I love singing. But I, you know, but, but I just feel like also because when, in my earlier days of studying acting, I was very fortunate to work with Anna DRA Smith. And Anna works in this incredible way. If, you know, she, she’s, she’s a genius and she, I think she won the MacArthur Genius Grant. But she’s really so extraordinary and, and her process in all of her one woman shows, which are based on real interviews she kind of gave a little bit of that to me as a student of hers in a show that we did early on before she started doing her own big pieces. And so she said, she sent a bunch of us out. She said, go, I want you to go interview somebody that you know, and then tape it.

We all had our little cassette recorders. And then she said, and listen to it. And you’ll see that. You ask them to tell a story. Some something that happened to them in their life. I asked my sister at the time, and they, and she said, you’ll notice that there’ll be a moment in the story where the pedal hits the metal. You know, just the, the, all of a sudden the gas is on and their, their cadence will change and their rhythm will change and it will accelerate. And that’s the moment I want you to pick. And that’s the moment I want you to do. And then from there, we did this process of, you know, writing it down word for word, finding a way for our ourselves to notate those rhythm changes, et cetera. And then really to recreate that character’s kind of awakened moment. And I feel like that affected the way that I work a little bit too.

Michael Jamin (07:16):
But, so you, you even did that, like when you got the sides to audition for, like, let’s say Janice, you do that for every role you like? Well,

Maggie Wheeler (07:23):
I don’t know that I do it in such a laborious way. But I just think it’s an instinctive way. Like, okay, so here are the lines and here is the thing. And she’s saying, you know, the audition scene was, oh, I got you these socks and I don’t remember the exact lines, but I got you these socks, you know, they’re Winkle socks, you know, you have them, whatever she says, you can wear them however you wanna wear them. Mix and match moose and squirrel, squirrel and moose. And that just, that is just in me that moment. And I think it was that, it was just the, the hook for her. And then the, oh my God, stuff came later and the laugh came once I was on set. That was an organic thing that just developed it

Michael Jamin (07:59):
<Laugh>. I, you know,

Maggie Wheeler (08:00):
This moment with Matthew,

Michael Jamin (08:02):
You really made her an iconic character. You really did. You really Thank you. You know, and it’s so, I, you, you know, when, when an actor does that, it’s such a relief. A lot of people don’t realize. It’s like when we’re auditioning, it’s different now, obviously cuz everything’s on tape. But Yeah. When an actor comes into the room and you’ve done this plenty of times, you audition for producers and the producers are like this. Right? Yeah. <Laugh>. And, and it’s not because we’re one trying to intimidate you. It’s because please save us. I know that. Please just hit it outta the park so we can stop this fucking process and go home.

Maggie Wheeler (08:35):
I know that. I tell that to young actors. Like when I go to talk to acting students and stuff, I tell them mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, they just wanna know You’ve got it. Yeah. Yeah. Now the problem is, as an actor, it’s like there are moments, there are days where you just, you wish you had it bottled and you wish you could just kind of toss it back and walk in the room and like, I’ve got it. But so many factors can interrupt that, that flow. You know, if you want it to badly, that can be an issue. <Laugh>, you know mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, somehow you have to kind of wrangle that desire and desperation, like wrap it up and leave it outside the door because people smell that and feel that mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and that feels, doesn’t feel safe to the people on the other side of the desk. You know, there just has to be that kind of perfect alchemical embodiment of the character plus like your own ease that allows the mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, the, the folks on the other side of the table to go to do that thing that you just illustrated. Which is like, oh, thank you.

Michael Jamin (09:30):
Yeah, thank you. But how did you get into, like, even before that, cuz you have a lot of ma many credits before friends. Like, how did you get into, how did you get into act? Like how did you start? You went

Maggie Wheeler (09:42):
I was a teenager in New York City and I really wanted to act badly. And

Michael Jamin (09:48):
<Laugh> and your mother couldn’t talk you out of it. <Laugh> my mother,

Maggie Wheeler (09:50):
She tried <laugh>, please let me go to professional children’s school. No, <laugh>, please let me go to an acting camp. No. so, you know, I tried everything I could. I, in, in high school, I joined an afterschool musical theater troupe called the Mary Mini Players that did musical theater for kids, original musical theater by children, four children. Oh wow. And we performed in the basement of the Broadway theater or Broadway hotel. I can’t remember where the hell we were. And he was crazy. And so that was sort of my first sort of feeling like I was getting somewhere. And then I used to buy the trades Uhhuh, really. And in high school I would cut school and go stand in line behind a bunch of 20 somethings and audition for something. I had no business auditioning for a, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I mean, they were industrials and, you know, silly things like that. Dance auditions things. I was, I mean, I was, I did not belong there, but I was just trying and trying and I was brave and bold and a little stupid. So, you know, that, that was good for me. And then I found a manager when I was in high school and

Michael Jamin (10:52):
Really in New York?

Maggie Wheeler (10:53):
In New York, Muriel Carl Talent Management. And and I went in there and I had to audition. I had to read copies, sing a song, do a thing. And you know, it was like, if Chris guest made a movie about, you know, children in, in, you know, performing children, this management company would be, you know, the illustration of what he would, he would create. So anyway, Muriel Carl, I had to audition for her, but I was the only person there without a parent because my mother said, no, f and a, no, I’m not going, I’m not taking you. I don’t give it shit <laugh>. Whatever, whatever you, you’re on your own. And so all these mothers were in there with like multiple children and matching outfits, you know, sing from your reel, read from your reel, still louder. Do it louder. So anyway, I started auditioning professionally and got rejected for every single possible thing. Yeah. And then my first professional job was in radio doing voiceover for CBS Records. And I got pulled out of a little, I got, I got booked in a crowd of kids and people just saying, Ooh, the Rubens for some musical group in the, in the seventies. Ooh, the Rubens. Ooh, the Rubens. And they said, the guy, you know, the engineer said, who’s the kid with the low? With the low voice? And I was like

Michael Jamin (12:05):

Maggie Wheeler (12:05):
<Laugh>, I’m out.

Michael Jamin (12:07):

Maggie Wheeler (12:08):
They gave me the spot and then they kept hiring me back. So I started in radio and doing extra jobs. You know, I was in, I was an extra in commercials and a couple of movies and just

Michael Jamin (12:18):
Seeing. But then how did you make the jump to come to California?

Maggie Wheeler (12:21):
So I I, when I was 20 something doing, you know, off, off off Broadway, whatever, everything I could do in New York, anything to be busy. Yeah. some including summer stock and a whole bunch of other things in between just to keep myself acting. My sister’s ex-boyfriend’s current girlfriend was working for Lauren Michaels when the year that he left SNL and decided to do a primetime sketch comedy show called The New Show. And he was auditioning for the new show and she reached out to me and asked if I wanted to audition. And I said, absolutely. The answer is yes. Yeah. And then she said, okay, you need to do six minutes of original standup. And I locked myself in my bedroom and cried because I just thought, I don’t even know how to do that. I don’t even know what that is.

I can’t do, how do I do it? So I ended up writing six minutes of standup that had a lot of character driven stuff in it. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> stories from my life, you know just characters from my life. And then I also wrote into it a sketch, a conversation between Julia Child and Jacque Gusto talking about Sea Bass <laugh> and and him about, you know, the beautiful you know, undiscovered deep waters and her about cooking it. But anyway, I don’t know. I did whatever the hell I did. And then I auditioned for that show and then they threw me up there to, to improv with with Brian Doyle Murray and, and Wow. And and all these people from S sctv. It was crazy. And I got the job. So that was my first real significant professional job. Right. And when it got canceled, I moved to Los Angeles because I thought, this is my moment and I have to take it.

Michael Jamin (14:00):
But was the shelf shot in LA or it

Maggie Wheeler (14:02):
Was in New York? No, New York. It was in New York. Oh, okay. And so when that was over, I got my license, my little hot license. I also didn’t really know what to do with that. And I came out here and and I went to, I, you know, I went about my working life and I lived here for a year and I got one job. I worked on the paper chase.

Michael Jamin (14:18):

Maggie Wheeler (14:19):
And and then I got a call from New York from Ranken Bass, the creator of all the fabulous and a magic Christmas specials we all grew up on. And and they were casting a superhero cartoon. And they had, they found out about me from Lauren. And and I flew myself back to New York to audition for that. And I got it. So that brought me back to the city. And I did animation for several years in the city before. And in the midst of all that, I ended up making an independent film called New Year’s Day. And when that was opening, I moved back here.

Michael Jamin (14:50):
That’s another thing you’re so good at, and this probably is cuz cuz you’re a wonderful singer, but it, it’s probably, cause I imagine the two are related cuz you can do all these voices and you, cuz you can hear them. And obviously I think it’s comes right, that, that has to tie into your singing, don’t you think?

Maggie Wheeler (15:04):
I guess it’s all kind of a, of a piece. You know, I’m not like the a singer’s singer. I can’t, I don’t have some extraordinary range or, or like golden vocal chords. I’m not a Broadway singer. I’m not a, you know, I’m, I I, there I have limitations to my singing voice mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. but I do sing and I do direct a large choir here in Los Angeles that I’ve directed for 17 years called the Golden Bridge Community Choir. And I invite other people to sing. So, you know, it’s, it’s actually, it’s like, it’s like my little, my little secret plan, since I’m not a soprano, I just get a lot of other people in the room. I go, okay, you guys sing this part, you do this, you do that. But anyway, I I, I do love music, but I’ve also always loved mimicry from the time that I was little. And so I love voices. I love character voices. I love

Michael Jamin (15:50):
Music. Do you practice that then? Like what do you do?

Maggie Wheeler (15:53):
I don’t know. Do I practice it or do I just go on instinct? I feel like I just go,

Michael Jamin (15:57):
Because what I because we hired you on Glen Martin to do, I don’t remember what voices, but you were like, oh, she could do all those

Maggie Wheeler (16:03):
<Laugh>. You hired me. You asked me, you called me and you said, can you do an Irish accent? Yeah. Because you wanted me to play flame Bang.

Michael Jamin (16:10):
That’s what it was. It was sort

Maggie Wheeler (16:11):
Of, we also made O’Connor.

Michael Jamin (16:12):
But that’s another thing when you come in for animation, and people should know this, that we, most of the time you get paid to do three voices. Yeah. Because so you have to be able to do more than one voice.

Maggie Wheeler (16:22):
Correct. And I did. And then when I got there, you said to me I don’t remember why this happened, but you needed a song and you didn’t have it. So I wrote the song for you, put that on the couch, <laugh>. And I was like, you need what? You, you said, these are the lyrics, you know, you will, you write a melody. So I did that. And then eventually you hired Chrissy Hein and she came and sang it.

Michael Jamin (16:45):
Yeah, yeah.

Maggie Wheeler (16:47):
Yeah. That was very

Michael Jamin (16:48):
Cool. Yeah. Was Isn’t that funny? And she came to the <laugh>, she came in like a rockstar. So she came in with a cigarette. And I remember my partner saying, yeah, you’re not really supposed to smoke in here. And she’s like, yeah, well, <laugh>, it’s

Maggie Wheeler (16:59):
Too bad. Nice for you, <laugh>.

Michael Jamin (17:03):
But yeah, but that’s, we threw so much on your plate and you cause like, whatever, we knew you could do it. So you, you do

Maggie Wheeler (17:08):
It. That’s the most fun. And I actually, I love that character. I

Michael Jamin (17:12):
Really do. Yeah.

Maggie Wheeler (17:13):
I, I love voice. I love voiceover work because I can do anything. I can be a baby. I can be Aron, I can be a tree, I can be an owl, I can be, you know, a bald Irish rocker.

Michael Jamin (17:24):
We got a couple of animated things on the burner. So maybe, hopefully if they go <laugh>, we’ll bring you back in for those. Yeah, I’ll tell you more about those later. Okay, good. I’m so excited. You’re already excited. I’m excited. Don’t get your hopes up. You know how these things fall apart all the time. I do. I do. But but, but, so, but okay, so how else do you, I don’t know, what is it like then to be like a working actor or someone like you because you know, people know who, who you are. What’s it like on a daily basis?

Maggie Wheeler (17:51):
Well, I mean, look, what it looks like on paper is not the same as what it, what it is, you know? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, there’s so many in, as you know, there are just these long, kind of, these valleys, there are huge valleys with no work. So if you kind of create a little map of my career and you put all the, you know, red pins on the, on the dots of my jobs, boy, I, it looks like I’ve worked a lot, but there have been obviously incredibly long fallow periods in between.

Michael Jamin (18:16):
And what do you do during those? What, like what, what’s your plan? Well,

Maggie Wheeler (18:19):
I mean, I’m, I’ve done so many crazy weird things to sort of, you know, tied myself over in the, in the interim. But I have to say, you know, starting the choir and being a facilitator of, of vocal workshops, which I also do at retreat centers and different places like that has been a tremendous gift because I have this work that’s like really soul driven. Yeah. And I’m in the company of other people making something happen in the moment, you know, unlike showbiz where you, you know, you’re doing it and you’re making it with the family, you’re with, you’re all in, in it together. And then it’s done. And then there’s, you know, and then there’s this period of time before it airs. And then once it airs you, you’re gonna hear about, you might hear about how it, how people respond to it, but it’s not as, it’s not direct.

So, so I do something where I’m creative in the moment. I’m giving people something in the moment and there, and it’s, and the feedback is coming to me immediately and directly. Right. So I’m really fortunate. I have two, basically two careers. And then of course, I’m a mother. I’m a parent and I’ve been raising my, my family throughout all those years. I mean, my kids are older now. They’re 22 and 27, so they’re not home. But I will say, you know, these pandemic years have been some of my busiest years because I, I took the choir online and that mm-hmm. <Affirmative> eventually became a more global experience because lots of people joined me from all over the world. And then I also created an event called Together in Song that I ran every Saturday for the first two years where I hired three other, so leader singer songwriter musicians to come on with me.

And we basically led the world in song every Saturday for an hour. And I had 4,000 people come over the, that period of time. Wow. So I, I think that, you know, wow. Being a creative human being, I, in a way I, you know, I know so many people suffered you know, in terms of their work lives or their feeling of purpose during this past couple of years mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and for a lot of creative people, it was just this kind of moment to dive in more deeply and figure out how mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, if you’re a writer, how you, you know, you can write, if you’re a musician, you can make music if you’re, you know, what can you do online to make sure you’re connecting with other people? So it, you know, necessity was the mother of invention for me, and I was very busy.

Michael Jamin (20:32):
Well, first of all, if people wanna learn more about that, they can definitely follow you on Instagram, golden Bridge Choir.

Maggie Wheeler (20:37):
That’s, that’s a private Instagram, but they can go to Golden bridge Okay. and and all the information is there and they can get on my mailing list there. And then anything, any, anytime I’m doing anything that’s open to the public, I will, I send out a huge mailing and people can join me online or they can join me in person, which Right. We’re not doing so much of yet, but we will be.

Michael Jamin (20:57):
So here’s, here’s the thing that, here’s the thing about you. You are truly an ar Like of all the people I know, you are an artist and probably your mother’s, like your whole family’s artists. It’s like you really are, like, your husband’s very, you know, he’s a very successful, very talented Daniel Wheeler. Well, how, how is it installation art? How do you describe? He does a lot of stuff.

Maggie Wheeler (21:18):
He’s a, he’s a sculptor and a maker of all things from, you know, from small sculptures to installation work, to funerary objects. He does collaborative urn making for people who are either losing a loved one who are, are, are in the process of dying. Wow. He, he he does so many things. He also does kind of I forget the, I’m not, the word is is lost on me now, but, you know, like he people, people hire him to make objects and, and you know, whether it’s furniture or sculpture, all kinds of things, he’s very eclectic. Anyway. wheeler for Daniel, if people are interested in going to check that out. But

Michael Jamin (21:56):
The reason why I kind of bring it up though, is cuz so many people are intimidated, like, am I really gonna go into the arts? Like, what the hell am I thinking? But yeah, you do. Everyone in your family does. We

Maggie Wheeler (22:07):
Do. I mean, it was, this is your life art. It’s an Artie family. No one, I mean, you know, I have a daughter who’s, who’s just now starting as an actress mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And of course, you don’t wish that kind of creative life necessarily on your offspring, just as my mother did not wish it for me, <laugh> and threw herself in front of my body frequently to try to slow me down. And she often, you know, and then when I would cry and be so distraught over the, whatever, the rejections or the lack of opportunity or whatever, she would say, I never told you to do this. Nobody ever told you you had to do this. Who told you you had to do this. But if you have to do it, you do it. And if you don’t have to do it, don’t. Which is of course, what everyone tells you when you’re young. If, if you don’t have to do this, don’t do it. Because basically you’re living the life of a professional gambler, and you don’t get to, you don’t get the security. Right. But you do get this, I think, sort of incredible accelerated sort of spiritual path of trying to trying to identify what your value is and what your worth is on the planet. Because it exists only in the outside where people are gonna say yes and no to you. You’re done for Right. Because there’s too many nos.

Michael Jamin (23:18):

Maggie Wheeler (23:19):
I mean, my career looks like a lot of yeses, but there are, it’s nothing in comparison to the nos.

Michael Jamin (23:23):
You’re a lot of No.

Maggie Wheeler (23:24):
Yeah. you know, you have to, it, it just constantly brings you back to that sort of place when you get knocked down and you feel like crap. And no, no, oh, you know, I’m not good enough. They don’t love me, it’s never gonna happen, blah, blah. All the stuff, all the negativity. And in order to get up and survive, you have got to dig deep and figure out, you know, what your value is in a more immediate way.

Michael Jamin (23:48):
Does it feel like, though I don’t, I think I know the answer to it, but does it feel like a competition to you? Or like what, you know, versus other actors?

Maggie Wheeler (23:58):
Yeah, I think I certainly felt that way for a very long time, and I still feel that way. Really. You know, it, I mean, I think so. Yeah. I mean, you know, I’d auditioned for something recently. I think, you know, my auditioned life is very, very scarce at the, at the moment. But every once in a while there’s a little flurry and there, there was a flurry some months back mm-hmm. <Affirmative> where there were like four auditions in a row, and they were all good. I was interested in all of them. They were all very different. It gave me an opportunity to stretch myself a little bit. And I was, I was inspired. And there was one audition that I did, and, and I, I knew it was good, you know? Right. I, I, I knew that I, I knocked it out of the park, but I also knew they weren’t gonna give it to me because I knew that there was an alister that they, that would get the job. And I said at the time, to my loved, my loved ones, I said to Daniel, you know, I’m not gonna get this. They’re gonna give it to so-and-so. And they did.

Michael Jamin (24:51):
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Yeah. And that’s heartbreaking. And it’s, it’s outta your control. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s outta your control. And that’s sometimes that comes from the network or the, you know, whoever, because it’s so strange. They really think they really think that having a bigger star attached, even for a guest role, they think it’s gonna bring in eyeballs. It never does. I’m not sure it

Maggie Wheeler (25:36):
Ever does. And sometimes those, yeah. And I don’t wanna say that sometimes those performances aren’t as good. I, that’s not fair to say, but sometimes they aren’t. And also, you know, but, but I’m trying to think of, you said something before about, about how I, how Janice expanded into a, into a, a sea, you know, a a series long role. Yeah. And I, I often kind of refer to myself as a side door actress. You know, I usually get in the side door. I don’t usually come through the front door. Right. I don’t usually come, you know, for the, for the series lead. But frequently I have managed to slip in that side door in an interesting way. And out of it has come a really wonderful opportunity. So, for instance the parent trap

Michael Jamin (26:17):

Maggie Wheeler (26:18):
<Affirmative>, when I got that script, I wanted that movie. And I thought, and here’s this camp counselor. And I thought, oh no, they’re never gonna give this to me. I’m in no way butch enough for this role, really. I can see the person they’re gonna pick in my mind, but I thought, I’ve got to give them something. I just have to go. I have to go. Because I wanted it. And I thought, I’m just gonna, just gonna do something nobody else will do, because that’s what I’m gonna do. So I <laugh>, I put my hair in these pokey little weird braids, and I put on like, I think I had on overalls and a, and a coach whistle. Like, I dressed up like a, like a dorky sort of you know, camper. And I played, and I auditioned for this role with like a serious side sort of synt s situation where I was like a slightly odd, perhaps I never grew up. And I had this very serious speech impediment sort of thing, and it was a crazy idea. And the, the casting director looked at me, like tilted her head out from behind the camera and said, I think I need to take you to the director,

Michael Jamin (27:29):
<Laugh>. They didn’t know what to do with it. And that’s so funny. They

Maggie Wheeler (27:32):
Didn’t know. So I came, I went in to meet Nancy Myers and Charles Shire, and I, and I, I was still in my crazy outfit. I was still ready to go. And he leaned over to his wife at the time and he said, does she really talk like that <laugh>? And she said, no, it’s, she’s Janice

Michael Jamin (27:49):
<Laugh>. She <laugh> she, did she talk like Janice

Maggie Wheeler (27:54):
<Laugh>? So anyway, I got that role, but they didn’t let me play her that way because Right. It was Disney and they didn’t want you know, any kids who might have a sibling has to feel upset about it. So I had to lose that. Right. But that’s how I got that movie

Michael Jamin (28:08):
By going on the limb.

Maggie Wheeler (28:10):
Crazy. Walked out there like a nutball.

Michael Jamin (28:12):
But tell me about, like, from your, from where, tell me about, from where you sound like, what’s the, what’s etiquette on set for an ac for an actor or even, or a guest actor? Like, what does it, what does it look like to you?

Maggie Wheeler (28:24):
What is etiquette on set?

Michael Jamin (28:26):
Like, what are you supposed to do? How are you supposed to behave?

Maggie Wheeler (28:30):
Well, that’s interesting. I think when I immediately, like, I, I feel like I go through this rolodex of images in my mind from the sets where nobody talked to me, to the sets where I didn’t have a proper dressing room to the sets where I was nervous because it was such a well-oiled machine, and I was slipping in to mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, and then I thought, and then it, it takes me right to kind of my first series job where I felt really sensitive about the guest ca at cast. And I always invited them into my dressing room and gave them a place to be. Right. so as a result of some, as a result, being so experienced along the

Michael Jamin (29:06):
Way, because it’s hard. It is hard. You’re stepping into a job that’s already there and it’s hard. I mean, it’s like you’re already insecure and now on, on top of that.

Maggie Wheeler (29:16):
Yeah. Some people say they really don’t like that role of being a guest on a, on a series. I do really like it. I’m, I, I, I’ve, I don’t feel, so maybe it’s because I’ve done it so much that I don’t feel so threatened by it. Uhhuh <affirmative>. I mean, the first time I did it was on Seinfeld and and I, and I, there was no, like, when it was lunch, they all scattered, like the lights got turned on in the kitchen and the cockroaches around, like, they were, they were all gone. It turned out they were up in the writer’s room having like a catered lunch. But I, I didn’t, no one told me anything. And I didn’t know anything. It was my first, you know, guest role on a, on a big series like that. And I was really lost. Right. And then I had to ask somebody and they said, oh, you just go down to the commissary. Right. You know, but somebody, and I didn’t have a dressing room on that show, so

Michael Jamin (30:00):
Well, you had, you had some kind of changing room.

Maggie Wheeler (30:02):
I must have, but I did. It wasn’t quite, quite, you know, what I, what what I had later on. So anyway, but it was just one of those odd moments where I, like, there was no one telling me what to do and where to go. And so there’s that. And then I don’t really know how, what is the etiquette? Like, you just have to be ready to take care of yourself. That’s it. Right. You gotta be ready to feed yourself, hydrate yourself, show up when they need you, go back to your room and pull it together in the in between and like Right. Manage your fear or your insecurities or whatever. So when you get back down. But, you know, I, I, it’s funny, like, yeah, I don’t know. I have found myself in all kinds of circumstances where I have felt

Michael Jamin (30:41):
Did you prefer more multi-camera, which is shot? People don’t know. Shot, shot, live in front of a studio audience or, or single camera?

Maggie Wheeler (30:48):
I, I like ’em both.

Michael Jamin (30:49):
But it’s a different way of performing, don’t you think? Or No. I mean, how does it, how do you approach it, whether it’s single or multi?

Maggie Wheeler (30:56):
Well, yeah. Single camera is something, I mean, multi, multi camera. I’ve done a lot more of, I would say. And, and and I’ve, you know, I really enjoy it because it’s like live theater and you’ve got the response of the audience, and it’s just that adrenaline rush of everything happening in the moment and changing things in the moment and fixing things in the moment. And it can be, you know, and that’s really exciting. And that’s how I started. I mean, you know, the new show was my first big show, and it was sketch comedy in front of a live audience. Right. And it was, it was, you know, I earned my stripes in doing that. And then, you know, but then when I did Californian Cation, I, I absolutely loved every moment. It’s a lot long, you know, your schedule’s a lot more unpredictable. You’re there four in the morning, or you’re leaving at four in the morning, or whatever it is. Yeah. And you basically have to hang your life up on a hook and say, I’ll, it’s hard. See you when it’s done.

Michael Jamin (31:44):
Yeah. And how do, how, what about working with directors who are aren’t, who really can’t know, don’t know how to talk to actors, <laugh>, what’s that like for you? <Laugh>?

Maggie Wheeler (31:53):
Usually I get fired when that happens. <Laugh>, that has happened. I’ve gotten mean fired a few times. Well, I’ve been fired from a few jobs in my life.

Michael Jamin (32:02):
Because they couldn’t, they didn’t know how to talk to you. And what do you mean they couldn’t get the performance outta you or what?

Maggie Wheeler (32:07):
I mean, each one, each circumstance is different. But in the, the most recent one was a situation where I was hired. I was hired without auditioning. And I was told before I was hired that they were concerned. They wanted to offer me the job, that they were concerned about hiring me. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, because they, the character was similar to Janice. Right. And I said, oh, well, I mean, you know, I can play any number of women from any number of burrows and I can give them all that flavor, but of course I’m not gonna play Janice. That’s not gonna happen. I mean Right. You wouldn’t want me to do that. Right, right. So I arrived, I had been on the East coast on vacation with my family, and I arrived back and it was end of August. I went straight to the job. Oh no. I got the script <laugh>. And the first, the first line for my character was oh, dot, dot dot, my dot,

Michael Jamin (32:58):
That’s not good.

Maggie Wheeler (32:59):
And I thought they do that. They can’t really want that. So Yeah. I,

Michael Jamin (33:03):
They can’t, they can’t

Maggie Wheeler (33:04):
Do that. I don’t know if you, you had the distinct pleasure of watching the television show, mob Wives, but I was a bit of a fan of Mob Wives. Fantastic reality show. And and there’s a, a woman on that show, her name is Tria Zo, and she is like, you know, mob adjacent, and I love her. So I decided I’ll play Dita Zo. That’s what I’ll do. That’s what they’ll get. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So I went in and I, we had the table read and all the people were there, and there was a strange vibe on the set. And then we went into rehearsal. Then it came to network run through day, which is Wednesday. And we did the run through. And this director who I don’t wanna say too much about him, but I will say he’s very, he was very tall and and yeah, he, he was a comp complicated character. And he came over and he looked down at me from his, like perch of six four. And he said, they’re not happy.

Michael Jamin (34:03):

Maggie Wheeler (34:04):
And I said, what? And he goes, they’re not happy. And I said, why? And he said, because, you know, you’re not giving them what they want.

Michael Jamin (34:12):

Maggie Wheeler (34:12):
Janice. And I said, what, what do they want? And he said, you know, and I said, I, I’m sorry, I don’t. And he said, well, they want Janice.

Michael Jamin (34:22):
Oh God.

Maggie Wheeler (34:22):
And I said, well, they can’t have her.

Michael Jamin (34:24):

Maggie Wheeler (34:24):
You know, I mean, and then I, and then I had to get, like, I had to get a little brave and like crane my neck to look up at him and say, look, I didn’t just get off the bus. This character is, you know, created from another show. This is, we’re on the Warner Brun lot. Go ask them. Yeah. If James Chan’s character’s name to Janice and pay me a little bit more. And then you can have what you want, but you can

Michael Jamin (34:43):
Yeah. Get the right to her.

Maggie Wheeler (34:44):
Play her, call her this and play me the, anyway, then I went into wardrobe and I said, listen, don’t work hard.

Michael Jamin (34:50):
<Laugh> <laugh>,

Maggie Wheeler (34:52):
I’m gonna be fired today. And they said, no, you can’t be fired. They can’t do that. They can’t ask you to do that. That’s not possible. I’m like, can’t watch you watch me. And then I, I had to go do a a, a radio, a podcast about voiceover, drove across town, went into these to see these folks to do their podcast. And I said, Hey, you know, I’m probably gonna get a call cuz I’m probably gonna get fired. And anyway, sure enough, they fired me by the end of that day because I wouldn’t play that character. And

Michael Jamin (35:18):
That’s surprising because you’re supposed to be as writers, you’re not supposed to, you’re supposed to know that you don’t do that. Like it was, you have to have some shame. <Laugh>.

Maggie Wheeler (35:26):
It was cuckoo. So, yeah. So things have happened to me. I don’t want, I don’t wanna badmouth directors cuz I’m still trying to be an actor.

Michael Jamin (35:33):
<Laugh>. Well that’s not that. I’m just saying not all. Like, because directors have two jobs. They have to work the cameras and they also have to get the performance out of the actors. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And sometimes I see some, it’s, it’s rare to find a director who really could do both Perfect. As amazingly. Well it’s hard. Yeah. Because it’s two so different skills and sometimes I see a director talking to, it’s like, oh no, that’s not, that’s not gonna work. You’re not, that’s not gonna get the performance outta of them.

Maggie Wheeler (35:57):
I think I’ve been lucky that I’ve worked on so many great sitcoms and those, most of those directors are just, you know, like they know that genre so well. Yeah. I think I, I have also worked on shows where somebody is a little bit newer and they feel like there’s a lot they should be doing in the way of the, of directing. And so they’re kind of going overboard, like tweaking a lot of things that might not necessarily need tweaking. And that can be a little frustrating. Yeah. But you know, I’m so blessed because working on friends was just the most incredible creative understanding and agreement that that existed between, you know, from all angles. Yeah. And so the actors had a lot of free reign to, to, to work things out, to suggest things, to offer things. I had come from a show before that where I used to joke that they should cl in the credits, they should call me Clay Pigeon because you know, a clay pigeon that you throw up and shoot at.

Right. Uhhuh. Because every time I would say the slightest thing, I would say, would it be okay if over here instead of if I said and No. No. Okay. And that’s the way it was. There was just actress, shush, do your job, read every word on the page, don’t change anything. Right. And sometimes it’s like that. Right. But I have to say, I walked onto that friend set and I could breathe and so much great comedy came out of that Yeah. Environment. That slightly freer, more respectful kind of exchange of an environment. I mean Yeah. But I know

Michael Jamin (37:21):
There’s a reason why it was a great show. I mean that show, it was amazing how they kept on reinventing. I was like, you know. Yeah. It was obviously an amazing show. It’s amazing. Wow. But so what, and so what advice then, I guess, I guess I have to ask you, what do you give to, you know, so you have two beauti, we talked about this yesterday. You have two beautiful daughters like I do. And this is, this is a problem because they’re <laugh> because you have beautiful daughters. That’s a problem. And it’s in and of itself <laugh>. And then, but, and one is once again into acting and, and it’s like, yeah, like we talked to us. You can’t, you can’t discourage that cuz you know what the word is cuz you got to live that life. Uhhuh <affirmative>. Like, how it’s not, that’s not fair. <Laugh> <laugh>. So what do you, what do you tell her? What do you, you know

Maggie Wheeler (38:08):
I think, you know, when, when what has saved me over so many years of staying in the business and obviously longevity is often, you know, half the BA or more than half the battle because mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, there are these so many long stretches where nothing is happening. So yes. Staying in the game, obviously I, you know, I didn’t, I didn’t get friends until I, I mean, I’d already been acting for a long time Yeah. When I got that job. So you have to have staying power. And in order to have staying power, from my perspective, you have to have other things in your life that make you, that let you know that you have, you’re living a life of purpose. Because if acting and performing is the only thing that defines your purpose, in my opinion, you’re in trouble.

Michael Jamin (38:59):

Maggie Wheeler (39:00):
You have to. And whether that is this, and I used to tell, you know, again, I’ve spoken to actors of every sort of age from little to not so little over the years. And I used to say to the little ones, do, if you know how to sew a button on, teach someone else how a sew a button. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> or if you know how to make a pie, make a pie and give it to somebody. I don’t care what it is. Just whatever else you have, whatever other abilities you have in your kit bag that involve being purposeful that don’t involve the mother. May I game of, can I take two steps forward? Yes. No. Yeah. You didn’t raise your hand. Go back seven steps, you know,

Michael Jamin (39:38):
Uhuh, it’s constantly asking for permission. When I was on, just shoot me, for some reason we did the, the the acting, the auditioning in the same bungalow as the writers. So I’d come to, you know, work, I’d go to my office and then there’d be a long row of actors auditioning. And it was, I, it was always heartbreaking to me. Yeah. It was like, because you’d have whatever, 10 actors for this part and probably three, three could probably do it and only one would get it and the other two would go home thinking, what did I do wrong? Or why can’t I get the break? Well, because only one person can get it. That’s the problem.

Maggie Wheeler (40:12):
Yeah. Only I, you know, I, we used to refer to it a lot of us when I, we were back like in my early twenties, and we would go all through all the processes and all the hoops and all the rings of fire. And then you get down to the network and they bring three actors to the network and you know, they’ve already chosen one. So basically it’s just a gladiator sport because people have to die <laugh>,

Michael Jamin (40:32):
There has

Maggie Wheeler (40:33):
To be blood on the floor. Yeah. Or, or it didn’t happen. So, you know, we always knew that we were there as a human sacrifice, some of us mm-hmm.

Michael Jamin (40:40):
<Affirmative>. Yeah. It’s hard. So Yeah. So you had to just find ways have other worth and to feel. Yeah. Yeah. And make your own opportunities,

Maggie Wheeler (40:49):
I guess make your own opportunities. I mean that’s the, I guess the beauty for this new young, younger generation is that there are so many ways of creating now and creating content now mm-hmm. <Affirmative> that we didn’t have, you know? Right. I mean, we had like, you know, we had, we had movie, we had like home movie cameras back when I was 19, 20, you know mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, but that was about, we couldn’t edit them. Right. so, so, you know, now there’s just so much opportunity to make content or even at the very simplest level, if you’re an actor, you know, to get people together and sit around and read something the way we used to do, it’s like, let’s read and play or, you know, like, let’s just do anything so that we feel like we’re making, we’re making something, you know, even if it’s gonna be gone by the time we were done. True. So, I don’t know. It is, it is not an easy road, but it’s, you know, you know it, you know it, Michael.

Michael Jamin (41:37):
I I I know it. I still think actors have it a little harder than writers, but, but

Maggie Wheeler (41:43):
Maybe it’s, well we can’t do it alone.

Michael Jamin (41:45):
Yeah. Well that’s true. But I, yeah, it’s, it’s just, it’s a hard, difficult, but I have a lot of respect and especially, oh God, <laugh>, you know so I’ve, I’ve worked with actors, I’ve directed actors and then as you saw when I, cuz you came to my show and I was like, oh, this is so much harder than, than it looks <laugh>. This is so much harder. I have such new respect after doing it myself, it’s very hard.

Maggie Wheeler (42:11):
Yeah. I think they make, you know, like certainly in some of the directing programs now, they’ve make the directors take acting classes just the way they make, you know, I don’t know, football players, I think you should in ballet. I don’t know what it is, but, but yeah, so, so I think it’s a good, it’s a good move. I mean that my, my daughter Gemma, who just came out of a four year screen acting major mm-hmm. <Affirmative> at college, had a chance to do everything from, you know, acting to writing, to directing, to editing to all of it. I, and I think that’s what an incredible opportunity mm-hmm. <Affirmative> to start out your, your career, having this kind of, you know, fully dimensional experience of what it is to make, to make something.

Michael Jamin (42:50):
I think, yeah, I say that I think actors need to study writing. I think writers need to study acting and I think directors have to study both, you know? Yeah. You have to know how to converse with both those people. Yeah.

Maggie Wheeler (43:01):
I think that that sounds like a be a better world. Let’s, let’s live that than that one.

Michael Jamin (43:05):
Yeah. <laugh>. Yeah. That make believe world <laugh>. Wow. It’s just so interesting to hear your side. I don’t know, it’s just hear your side of the process of what it’s like, you know, I don’t know. Do, do you feel, I guess we talked about a little bit, but yeah, I mean, how much, when you’re on set do, cuz you have to talk to, on, I’m, I’m babbling here, but you have to talk to, you have to please the director. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> you also have to know, especially if you’re guests are, you’re really there to serve the main actor, the main character. Yeah. You’re really there to serve them. It’s their story and not make it about yourself. And and then also if there’s a showrunner you, you may, you may begin conflicting notes from the director versus the showrunner and that and the show. You know, how do you, how do you navigate all that?

Maggie Wheeler (43:55):
I think like, it, it, you know, it’s a great improvisation and part of the acting job is the material that you’re given and, and the job you’re given to do. And the other part of the acting job is the rest of what you just described. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So, you know, it’s just, you know you have to, you have to improvise your way through those conversations, through those moments where someone’s talking to you and telling you something, you’re not sure, you know, what it is that they want to mm-hmm. <Affirmative> they’re asking you to do mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, but you don’t wanna seem like somebody who doesn’t know what they’re asking you to do. It’s all acting. I kind of think from the minute you get there till the minute you go, and obviously I, I mean I’m I’m saying that slightly sarcastically because not, it’s not true in the best of circumstances.

You can relax into your sort of auth authentic self or your authentic experience. There might be somebody there who is generous or kind or, or you can laugh with or you can roll your eyes at if you’re, if everything’s, you know a jumble or confused because there’s a director who feels like you’re not getting it or anything, anything is possible. You know, I mean, I, I just saw Meryl Streep like a clip of an interview with her and she’s saying, oh, well, you know, sometimes they tell me to, to where my mark is and that I should move to the left. And then inevitably I’ll go. Right. And sometimes I do that three times, even after the director has told me not to go to the right because Yeah, I’m like that I forget things, you know, so she, I’m not perfect. And so she was really funny, just kind of bu busting the myth of, you know,

Michael Jamin (45:33):
So she wasn’t being willful. She was like, I forgot.

Maggie Wheeler (45:35):
No, she just forgets. She just does what she, she’s in the moment she’s acting. She does. And I, and I can do that too. You know, I when you said you were a fan of Dream On and I was too. Of course. Yeah. And working with Brian, Ben, Ben, I mean, that guy never missed a mark. He, he knew I, we made a movie together in New York years and years ago. That’s how we first met. And it was called, I, well I think it’s called Divine Obsession. I think it was called God’s Payroll. And maybe at the end it’s called Divine Obsession. I can’t remember. But anyway, I think it was, it was my first movie and and Brian was such a technician and he knew his mark and he never missed it. And he, it was incredible. I would watch him and I inevitably, I would step too far or not step far enough or lean over to the right or walk in the wrong direction or what. I mean, all kinds of things. And that guy was like a machine. He knew exactly where he needed to be and he got there every time. And and so working with him on Dream On was also wonderful because he was just, he’s so, so

Michael Jamin (46:34):
Great at what he, it’s so hard cuz you have to be in the moment, but you also have to be thinking of the note you just got. Yeah. And you’re blocking. And also, but also forget all that cuz you need to be in the moment. Yeah. Oh, oh. And also, what am I supposed to

Maggie Wheeler (46:46):
Say? And when you’re doing a, a sitcom, you know, they, you, you, you run through the thing, you run through the scene, you rehearse the scene, then they send you away, then they bring down the, the stand-ins, then they block the scene and they put all the marks down. Then you come back and the stand-in has like 27 seconds to say to you when you walk in your mark’s over there. And when you step across the stage, it’s over there. And when you make it to the couch, you’re gonna see there’s a mark that’s right underneath the last, the back left leg of the couch. That’s where your left foot go. It all happens so quickly. And I, yeah. When people start talking to me like that, I’m like, Uhhuh, <affirmative>, uhhuh, <affirmative>, uhhuh, <affirmative>. And I just think, I hope I remember what she said.

Michael Jamin (47:19):
Wow. And then especially on a multi-camera show, if a joke tanks, the writers will run into the set, say this in line instead. And you, but I, and just remember to just memorize. That’s right.

Maggie Wheeler (47:29):
The other one, now there’s a new one. Get ready. Go. And some people freak out. You know, I mean, you know this also in the, in the, in the land of animation because you know, we, I, I saw it happen when we were working together on one of those shows where somebody came in not really understanding what Yeah. What that world looks like and how quickly things get thrown at you and how, how fast-paced it is and like, do it again, but 10 pounds heavier, do it again. But now her hair, her face is blue, you know, whatever. She stuff happens quickly.

Michael Jamin (47:57):

Maggie Wheeler (47:58):
You know, and, and some people freak out and, and, and seize up.

Michael Jamin (48:03):
There’s not a lot of time. Yeah. That’s another thing. Not a lot of rehearsal, least on the shows that I do. It’s not a lot of rehearsal <laugh>. Do you, is it different for you? It’s like you’re hired Go <laugh>.

Maggie Wheeler (48:14):
Go and go. Yeah. But it’s, you know, when it’s fun, it is the most fun. Absolutely the most fun.

Michael Jamin (48:21):
Yeah. That’s the, that’s the thing. When I was doing directing for the other voiceover, if I knew a actor wasn’t gonna get it like the did you couldn’t do it, I’d say, okay, let’s do it three different ways. Three different ways. And then thank you so much. Cuz you just don you know, you don’t wanna embarrass them, you don’t wanna hurt them and you just know you’re gonna recast it later, you know? Yeah. That’s hard. That’s hard. That doesn’t happen a lot, but sometimes it does. Cuz you don’t audition. You just bring, bring people in. You bring people,

Maggie Wheeler (48:48):
They come in and hopefully they can do it. And, and yeah. I don’t know. I don’t know that, I mean, I find that to be the most fun. I love that world Uhhuh. And when I started out in animation working for Ranken Bass, we would do these table reads because it was a fixed cast, right. There were like six of us, or five of us. I was the only woman. And and we’d have these table reads for each script and they’d give us all a chance to audition live for the new characters. So I was able to audition for male characters. Interesting. And the men were able to audition for female characters and Wow. We could all audition, audition for the cyborgs and the, and the, you know, whatever the little Martian, you know, creatures or whatever, the genderless creatures. I, I don’t know. It was, it was a, it was a great opportunity and really one of those things where you’re like, okay you know, just, just go. Don’t be afraid. Give it a try. You’re gonna get it or you’re not gonna get it.

Michael Jamin (49:40):
Yeah. Yeah. How interesting that you’re Yeah. So much fun. Yeah. Wow, Maggie, thank you. This is a lovely talk. Well, I wanna make sure, I wanna plug everything you’re doing. I, we talked about it, but we can, let’s remind everybody, let’s

Maggie Wheeler (49:52):
See. See I, what’s going on? I’m heading to New York in January to do a live event for, at the friends experience at the end of January. And I’m not gonna say too much about that, but I am doing that for for a day on the, I think the 24th of January. But

Michael Jamin (50:07):
How could they find excited about that? How do they find it if they want to go see it? How do they find it?

Maggie Wheeler (50:10):
Oh, I think it’s Apri. I think it’s press. Oh, I think you can, I think it’s press kind of thing. Friends. Friends. But I’m excited to, it’s a Friends of Friends event, right. <Laugh>. I, I don’t know, maybe it, it, I don’t, I’m not sure. I can’t say much about it cause I don’t know everything yet, but I’m going to do that. I have two sort of indie projects that are, that are, are in the possible works in the next year, which is nice. So if those things come, do

Michael Jamin (50:32):
You wanna talk about that or No,

Maggie Wheeler (50:33):
I don’t think I can talk about them yet. If, if those, if they come true. Okay, then, then, then we’ll see. One of them I will say is working with a really wonderful young director from from France. Her name is Charlotte Gabriel. And she did an incredible short, which I highly recommend friends, fans go and find. It’s called the One Who Never Saw Friends. It’s, oh wow. I think you can find it now online. It’s in French. And it’s a brilliant and hilarious short about these people on the day of their wedding when the groom discovers that the bride has never seen the show and, and, and everything falls apart in this crazy and epic way. So I, I hope to be working with her this year and great. So that those things are kind of hovering. And I’m, I have a children’s book that’s gonna get finished this year that I’ll be self-publishing. So yeah, if you guys follow me at I’ll send out big mailings through my mailing list when those things happen. What else is going on? I don’t know. Yeah, I don’t know. It’s all, it’s all up in the air, Michael. That’s the beauty of the creative life. That’s, who’s the hell knows what’s

Michael Jamin (51:36):
Next. That’s what it’s like being an artist. Yeah, that’s right. Thank you so much. This is this is, I dunno, this is, I I, this is an honor having you here and I thank you so much for coming.

Maggie Wheeler (51:45):
I am so honored to hang out with you and talk to you. You know, I love you so much and Yeah. I’ve, you know, I, Michael is one of the people. I mean now I’m talking to the audiences if you’re not here, <laugh>. So you’re one of the people who has given me work more than one time in this industry. Yeah. And I am tremendously grateful for those opportunities. Both of them were so much fun and they were such great opportunities for me. And I look back at them with incredible fondness and and I absolutely love the work that you’re doing now and just seeing you on stage, reading your stories is so powerful and so emotional and so funny and brave. And I’ve said it all to you in private, but I’m saying it publicly. Yeah. thanks for having me.

Michael Jamin (52:26):
Thank you so much. Don’t go anywhere cuz we wanna talk to you when we’re doing this. All right, everyone, thank you so much for listening. Yeah. Again, you can follow me on social media @MichaelJaminWriter and what else? Oh yeah, free. Our, my free newsletter is at All right, everyone till the next episode. Thank you so much. And yeah, keep writing. Okay.

Phil Hudson (52:48):
This has been an episode of Screenwriters Need to Hear This with Michael Jamin. If you’d like to support this podcast, please consider subscribing, leaving your review and sharing this podcast with someone who needs to hear today’s subject. For free daily screenwriting tips, follow Michael on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok @MichaelJamin,Writer. You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok @PhillAHudson. This episode was produced by Phil Hudson and edited by Dallas Crane. Until next time, keep riding.

Michael Jamin, Showrunner, TV Writer, Author

Michael Jamin

For the past 26 years, Michael Jamin has been a professional television writer/showrunner. His credits include King of the Hill, Beavis & Butthead, Wilfred, Maron, Just Shoot Me, Rules of Engagement, Brickleberry, Tacoma FD and many more.

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