Amy Poehler has numerous titles and accolades next to her name - she received a Golden Globe award and five consecutive Emmy nominations for her role as Leslie Knope on the hit show Parks and Recreation, is the host and producer of her award-winning, inspiring online series "Smart Girls at the Party" and will appear in a number of upcoming film projects, including The Nest, alongside her longtime-partner and close friend Tina Fey, as well as directing and producing various projects. She can now add author to the list, having just penned her first book, Yes Please, a thought provoking and entertaining collection of personal stories and advice. Having just been through the process of writing the book, she says she is now fully "on to herself."
I had the electric experience of sitting down with Amy as part of AOL BUILD, in which she shared her quick-witted blend of humor and wisdom on a wide range of topics including her career advice ("Commit just as much time doing the thing as you have been talking about it."), how to "surf your life" ("Find your center of balance...Face the waves, try to catch one, ride it and know it will end. But another one will come!"), what it was like to play "the id" of Hillary Clinton on Saturday Night Live, and how privileged she feels to have worked on a show like Parks and Recreation in which the writers let the characters "evolve and grow" and to be able to now "end the show on your own terms."
She also got passionately heated up when she reflected on all the recent infighting over celebrities coming out as feminist saying, "The media discussion of who is and isn't a feminist -- is yet another example of the media attempting to divide us, to take us and split us apart and get us to talk shit about each other...it's just bullshit," and how fulfilling she finds her work as ambassador for the Worldwide Orphans Foundation and what a relief it is to "be outside of yourself". Amy told me that she thinks "vulnerability is power" and that she is interested in the "open-faced sandwiches of the world." In the video clip of our interview below, she opens her own self up to us.
Marianne Schnall is a widely published writer and interviewer whose writings and interviews have appeared in a variety of media outlets including O, The Oprah Magazine, CNN.com, EW.com, the Women's Media Center and many others. Marianne is a featured blogger at The Huffington Post and a contributor to the nationally syndicated NPR radio show, 51 percent The Women's Perspective. She is also the co-founder and executive director of the women's website and non-profit organization Feminist.com, as well as the co-founder of the environmental site EcoMall.com. She is the author of Daring to Be Ourselves: Influential Women Share Insights on Courage, Happiness and Finding Your Own Voice based on her interviews with a variety of well-known women. Marianne's new book is What Will it Take to Make a Woman President? Conversations About Women, Leadership, and Power. You can visit her website at www.marianneschnall.com.