Sunday, December 28, 2014

Pheaturing Amy Paffrath From "Dating Naked"

Hi there, and welcome to the Phile, kids. How are you? How was your Christmas?  This might be old news but in an attempt to prove to the world how reasonable it is, North Korea has kindly offered to help the U.S. get to the bottom of this whole Sony hacker mess. If, however, Barack Obama's evil capitalist empire doesn't want the assistance, it will face Kim Jong-un's righteous and terrible wrath. "If the U.S. refuses to accept our proposal for a joint investigation and continues to talk about some kind of response by dragging us into the case, it must remember there will be grave consequences," a North Korean spokesperson declared. That's actually moderately reasonable by North Korean standards. It's a good thing this North Korea thing didn't happen while George W. Bush was in charge 'cause we'd be invading Japan right now.  An Argentinian court stopped just short of calling a captive orangutan a human, declaring the 29 year old primate a "non-human person" while accorded her certain basic rights, such as the right to not spend the remainder of her life locked up in a zoo like some filthy animal. It will henceforth be transferred to a sanctuary, where she will live out the rest of her days in a more comfortable form of imprisonment. I feel like I know a surprising amount of "non-human" persons. Haha.  Conservationist efforts to bolster the world's beaver population after they were close to extinction a century ago may have had an indirect link to global warming, according to some recently published scientific research. Apparently, the ponds that form around their dams result in large quantities of methane gas being released into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change. Expect a spokesperson from a beaver think tank to show up on Fox News any day now to explain why global warming is a hoax. Beavers are the delinquent teenagers of the forest. They just throw stuff into a stream. Forever. Until there's a lake.  So, apparently, all that jazz about carrots improving our eyesight was all just one big, disgusting hoax, concocted by the British government during World War II to hide the fact that their airmen were using radar to locate their targets. I wish my mum was alive so I could call her and tell her how full of shit she was all those years!  Did you guy's see the Hobbit movie? Well, despite lackluster reviews and easily recalled memories of the disappointments that were the previous two Hobbit films, moviegoers turned out in droves to watch a bunch of computer-generated orcs fight unconvincingly with a bunch of digitally-reouched dwarves and elves for more hours than you can possibly image. Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies easily won last weekend's box office and took in $90.6 million since its opening last Wednesday.  If you're some stupid kid in Italy, you might not notice that this is not a panda.

But the cops noticed. Even though these crafty Italians did an excellent fur-dye-job on these Chow dogs, I'm pretty sure you can't just run around with endangered species all the time. Especially not the cute ones. Pandas are only to either miraculously exist in the wild, or be paid for by zoos and then forced to procreate for our entertainment. And that's it! No circuses. According to The Local, the proprietors of the faux panda circus are being brought up on charges of cheating its customers, and also for falsifying the dog's passports. I didn't know dogs got passports. The Italian papers got hold of this story and Tweeted this great picture of the dogs walking around groomed as the rare bears.

The dogs have been confiscated and found to have "watery eyes" from having so many pictures taken.  You know that annoying song "Turn Down For What"? Well, I think I know where Lil John got that title of the song from. One of my favorite children's books when I was a kid...

I have a question... what's a molly?  A Phile reader sent me a picture of this sign...

I do not understand it, do you? Y'know, for awhile I thought crossfit was something to do with sewing.  You know that droid BB-8 from the Star Wars trailer? Well, I was trying to figure out where I saw it before and then I remembered...

Haha. Speaking of the Star Wars trailer, some new Star Wars character names were just revealed on vintage-style trading cards. I have been showing them here on the Phile in case you haven't seen them, and I have the last one to show you here...

Oh! That's what that ship is called! I've been wondering that for years! Okay, and now from the home office in Port Jefferson, here is this week's...

Top Phive Least Popular Google Searches Of 2014
5. How to potty train a squirrel.
4. Philadelphia 76ers tickets.
3. Afghani feng shui.
2. Cosby dating advice.
And the number one least popular Google search of 2014 was...
1. Peverett Phile.

This is an easy one I think. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, I have to mention a few things before I continue. I don't know if you recall but last year on the Phile I had a pheature called The Peverett Phile Hall of Phame where friend of the Phile Joe Ramsey wrote for. Anyway, I'm asking you to please keep Joe in your thoughts and prayers... he is in the hospital in your thoughts. He is in critical care at the hospital following a recent stroke. The other thing I want to say as in the last entry when I interviewed Tommy Henriksen and we talked about Orianthi and how I want to interview her. Well, I had some emails asking me who she was so I have to show you a picture of her.

Now I say Google her, kid's. Alright, guess what time it is? He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man and here is here with a special message for the end of the year...

Good morning, humans. Don't wait to say what needs to be said. Making peace with someone important to you shouldn't wait until after they have passed on. There's nothing that makes the death of a loved one worse than regret over what should have been communicated while they were still alive. The last words I spoke to my real mother were nearly 30 years ago and they weren't pleasant. She's still alive and down in God's waiting room (Florida) with the rest of the relics. Fact is, she was a completely reprehensible human being and I owe her nine months rent for her womb... and nothing else. I have made peace with this and have forgiven her. Not so much for her... but for myself. The scars I carry on my heart, mind and soul are a constant reminder to love all, protect the weak and never give up. All that I am, I owe to the lessons that pain had taught me. I don't hate her... I forgive her. I have to. Trying to make your way through life carrying around all that anger and rage is like trying to swim with an anchor around your neck. I understand a great many things since arriving in your world. My father was an Arc Angel, my mother was a Demon. It made me who and what I am... what I needed to be. To sum up... pick up the phone. Make peace with a loved one before it's too late. Words unspoken have the loudest and most lasting echoes...

The final chapter of the nearly 8-hour Hobbit event arrives at the finish line, huffing and puffing, a digital pile-up of fighting, wreckage and noise. Does that sound like a bad thing? It's not. Well, not exactly.  The dwarves have Smaug’s (the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch) gold now, killed the beast, and returned to Erebor, their ancestral rights attained. Of course, it was never really Smaug’s gold; the destructive dragon was just hoarding it. And here, as we’ve learned already from that greedy monster and from Gollum in the Lord of The Rings trilogy, is the point of all that: wealth is toxic; it destroys your soul. And now that it’s in the hands of the good guys, they’re about to find out how ruinous it gets.  Specifically, the hypnotic death-pull of immense wealth tortures the mind of the otherwise mostly reasonable Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), whose will to resist the evil power of the pretty coins dissipates into thin air. The rest of the dwarves know that some of the gold must be distributed to the displaced, Smaug-wrecked people of Lake-town, but Thorin grows increasingly dark-minded and paranoid, inviting war from all sides. Bilbo (Martin Freeman, here relegated to the status of key supporting player) sees this and works against plan, until eventually all armies from from all sides of this fantasy universe show up to battle for their share. And by “their share” I mean all of it.  Fighting begins. Fighting continues. And keeps on going. And going. And going. Nearly the entire second half of this two and half hour send-off (a welcome shaving down from the nearly 3-hour running times of the first two films) is consumed by chaotic battle scenes. This is a fine state of Hobbit affairs for a couple of reasons: it streamlines what had been a fairly digressive narrative, one that knit together plotlines and characters with competing agendas, sometimes to patience-straining effect; and it's fighting, which is inherently valuable.  This mega-brawl, in true Peter Jackson fashion, is also a mega-sprawl, as the director scales up and expands scope for an atmosphere of enormous, staggering violence. Fighters come from all sides and every angle. And there are orcs, meaner than ever, howling for the slaughter of children and the releasing of monstrous “war beasts.” It’s okay if you find yourself rooting for them, if only because they seem to be the most committed to mayhem... and be honest, that’s really what any adrenaline addict truly desires from movie war. Stabbing swords and brutal beheadings were always the implied payoff.  If it all feels like something of an anti-climax, then, it may be because we've already witnessed a lot of this in the previous two films and the (better, more emotionally resonant and meaningful) three before those, not to mention all the other fantasy-based, action adventures in their wake, the ones that attempted to steal and re-hash every move, to lesser effect and deadening sameness. Jackson is the current reigning master of this sort of thing, though. He's proven that over and over. And he's wrapped up this one neatly, in a big shiny pixel-bow. Maybe now he'll direct that intimate, two-person drama nobody asked him for. It'd be a nice change of pace, if nothing else. From 1 to 10 I give The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies an 8.

Joe Cocker 
May 20th, 1944 — December 22nd, 2014
Up where he belongs.

Okay, today's pheatured guest is a director, actress, comedienne and host of "Dating Naked" on VH1. Please welcome to the Phile... Amy Paffrath.

Me: Hello, Amy, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Amy: I'm wonderful thanks!

Me: Amy, I have interviewed some god looking musicians, artists and actresses on the Phile but you I have to say, are one of the most good looking. Were you a good looking kid?

Amy: Ha! Well thanks for the complement! That's very kind of you to say. I mean, I look at pictures from when I was young and yeah, I'm a pretty cute kid!

Me: Where are you from originally, Amy?

Amy: I grew up in Ferguson, Missouri. Which, I'm sure you've heard a lot about lately. It's a suburb outside of St. Louis.

Me: You live in Los Angeles now, right? Did you move out there to be an actress?

Amy: I do! I did!

Me: I have seen your work in so many places, you are everywhere, but I mostly know you as he host of "Dating Naked" on VH1, which we'll talk about in a minute. But, you're the Amy in the Kindle Mayday Button commercial's. I knew I recognized you.I have to show a screenshot of one the commercial's...

Me: How many of those commercials did you do?

Amy: Those were a lot of fun! I ended up shooting 7 total. There were 3 original spots then we did some crossover ads with the NFL and NBA which was really cool.

Me: Was it a coincidence they used your name or was that already in the script?

Amy: We filmed it two ways. It was written as Maya, but they asked me to say Amy too. I was as surprised as everyone when I saw it for the first time and they used my real name. That's rare!

Me: Also, I imagine that was an easy shoot for you. You just sat and talked? Did you even have to learn your lines?

Amy: Quite the opposite actually! They were long nearly 12 hour days. I shot with the other actor, Jay Hayden so that the chemistry would be real. It was 3 long days of me on green screen while Jay was in the next room pretending to see me on the screen! We had a great time but yes it was harder than it looked. I also ended up reshooting all of my parts because the producers wanted more purple streaks in my hair. It's a fun subtle thing that some people don't even notice. But it was very important to the character of Mayday Amy.

Me: You have been in so many projects, Amy. What was your first and what was your favorite?

Amy: My first EVER was a training video for Wherenburg employees in St. Louis. I thought that would make me locally famous. It didn't. My first real project in L.A. was a film called Dinner at 8. It was shot on 35mm and it turned out so beautiful. I'm very proud of it. I had no idea what I was doing. I learned as I went and came from a very honest place. I'd say that's my favorite, but shooting my episode of "Hot in Cleveland" was pretty special. I got to act with Betty White, Heather Locklear, Regis Philbin, Wendy Malick, Valerie Burtinelli and Jane Leeves. They're all comedic icons. I was the only non name on set that day.

Me: Did you always wanna be an actress growing up?

Amy: I did. But I was also very interested in journalism.

Me: Did you go to school to study acting?

Amy: I did not. I studied broadcast journalism at the Universtiy of Missouri which has served me well in acting and hosting.

Me: You not only act, but you also are a host working for VH1, "Entertainment Tonight" and other shows. Which came first, acting or hosting?

Amy: Professionally hosting took off before acting but it wasn't long until it evened out. I like to do both and right now I'm getting to do a lot of each. I'm happy.

Me: And you did stand up comedy? How was that? How many times have you done stand up? I did stand up back in the 90s.

Amy: That's awesome! Stand up is amazing. I love it and am dying to get back into it. It's such a grind and I really admire the commitment that comics have. I have done about 15 shows. I'm due for another.

Me: Okay, let's talk about "Dating Naked." Man, if that show was in Europe they wouldn't blur out anything. It's on cable and they blur everything out. Anyway, did you audition for the show or did they approach you?

Amy: I had met with the production company prior for a general meeting. Then when the show was green lit they had me come back in and read. Then I met with everyone at VH1 and we were off to make a show!

Me: When you first heard the concept what did you think?

Amy: I was surprised that a network was ballsy enough (pun intended) to put a show like this on the air. "Naked and Afraid" works! So why not "Dating Naked"? I think its genius.

Me: Okay, for the readers that don't know what the show is about, wanna tell them?

Amy: It's pretty much what the title suggests. Singles looking for love bare all on naked dates. They are not only baring their bodies, but also their souls. It's a vulnerable experience meant to strip away barriers.

Me: How long does it take you to film a season, Amy? 

Amy: We shot the first season over about 7 weeks.

Me: On the show you are around a lot of naked people. Did that make you feel uncomfortable at first?

Amy: No. I grew up in a house with 7 kids and one bathroom. I'm used to bodies being in various states of undress. If you don't sexualize it, its really not weird at all.

Me: I saw one picture of you laying on a bed with an open shirt, but you're not naked.I have to show it here...

Me: Have you ever been offered a part where you would have to be naked? Would you do it?

Amy: I have not. I am not opposed to it. It definitely has to serve the story though.

Me: I watched your acting reels and your part on "Sullivan and Son", the sitcom on TBS made me laugh. You do comedy very well, is that your favorite genre of acting, or do you like to do series roles better?

Amy: I do love comedy. I think its where I do my best work so thank you for the complement. I've been through some tough situations in my life and laughter really is the best medicine. I love to provide that escape for an audience. Those same tough experiences give me a lot to work with emotionally so I do like to sink my teeth into a juicy drama every once in a while.

Me: Is there any show you have not been a part of that you would love to be on, Amy?

Amy: I LOVE "The Comeback" on HBO. I was a huge fan when it first aired 10 years ago and its so good now too. I worked with Michael Patrick King on "2 Broke Girls" so it's not too wild of a dream! I also love "Modern Family" and "Nashville". Would love to play Haley's boss or a crossover popstar on "Nashville".

Me: "Nashville" is one of my favorite shows! What is your favorite TV show you were on?

Amy: It's hard to pick a favorite. I was a huge "2 Broke Girls"/Whitney Cummings/Michael Patrick King fan before I was cast so that was pretty cool.

Me: You also were in movies... how is acting on movies different than being on a TV show?

Amy: It takes more time and you really get to dive into a character. TV shoots quickly so you have to figure out who you are and what you're doing fast. Movies you get a lot more time to develop that.

Me: I saw one video of you and you have a tattoo on your arm, Amy. What does it say?

Amy: It says "I don't shine if you don't shine." Its a lyric from the Killers song "Read My Mind". It's in Brandon Flowers' handwriting.

Me: That's cool. Do you have to cover it up all the time?

Amy: I wear long sleeves if an audition is more conservative. They did cover it for "Sullivan & Son".

Me: Amy, your hair changes color all the time. What color do you prefer your hair to be? You're a natural blonde, right?

Amy: I was blonde as a kid and started highlighting it in high school. Then my best friend went to cosmetology school so I became her guinea pig. I started hair modeling too and the stylists always wanted to dye my hair red. I really liked having the ability to change my attitude and demeanor just by changing my hair. Its fun to switch it up. I don't have a favorite. I love red but blonde is so fun. I may go dark next just to keep everyone guessing!

Me: So, are you married? If so, is your husband in the acting business as well?

Amy: I am! He's an actor and a musician. He's very talented. He is currently on tour with "Jersey Boys" and he's phenomenal in the show. Go see it if it comes to you city!

Me: So, what projects are you working on now, Amy? Any new movies you'll be in?

Amy: I have 2 movies coming out next year. Freshwater starting Joe Lando and Zoe Bell is debuting at Tribeca and Do Over co-starring my hubby will be out spring or summer. I'm very excited about both films. They are so different and I got to play two drastically different women.

Me: Oh, I have to ask about Tell Me Something Good. That's your new podcast, right? What do you do on the 'cast, Amy? What do you talk about?

Amy: I'm so glad you know about that! It's an idea I've had floating around for a while. I wanted to do a full half hour news show dedicated to positive news. That was too big of an undertaking so I started small with a podcast. Each week has a guest host and we talk about inspiring positive news stories. I also interview someone I find interesting or who is making a huge impact on the world. Its a passion project that feels good to put energy into it. You can't help but be happy when you're talking about good news all day!

Me: Maybe I can be a guest on it one day. Haha.

Amy: I'd love to have you a guest. We'll make that happen.

Me: Something else I have to ask you about, you are very fit, and work out a lot, doing yoga, right?

Amy: I do work out a lot. I try to do something active every day. I work out with a personal trainer 2-3 times a week. The other days I'm either hiking, boxing, doing yoga, running... I like to mix it up!

Me: And you're training to do a triathlon? Why? Haha. I would never do that? It's running, biking and swimming, right? Are you good at all three? I could do the swimming part but that's about it.

Amy: I want to do a triathlon some day. I was actually training for a relay team in a triathlon so I only did the running part. I did run a half marathon in November! That was something I never thought I'd do but I'm glad to have overcome that challenge. I'm really not a runner. But I learned to enjoy it. It's mind over matter!

Me: What made you wanna do this, Amy?

Amy: I am just happy to have my health and an able body. I watched my dad deteriorate from ALS and lose his ability to move. He would've given anything to be able to walk again let alone run. So I feel that while I have a healthy body, its a gift and I should use it.

Me: That makes sense, Amy. So, on the Phile I ask questions thanks to Tabletopics. Are you ready? If possible would you live year round in your favorite season?

Amy: Yes! I'm all about summer! Thankfully L.A. Is pretty much an endless summer.

Me: Amy, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Mention your websites and everything and please come back on the Phile again soon. All the best, and good luck with everything.

Amy: Thanks so much! It was a pleasure!, @amyPaffrath Instagram and Twitter.

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and Amy Paffrath. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Painted On Water and that will be the last entry of the year, people. And then on Thursday it's singer songwriter Steven James Wylie. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

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