April Watershield: “Don’t beat yourself up”

I wish someone had told me my ego ruins every creative streak I have going for me — every time! I was on a role years ago then started getting recognized and it ruined a lot of my motivation and creativity by becoming aware of it. Yikes. As part of our series about Inspirational Women In Hollywood, I […]

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I wish someone had told me my ego ruins every creative streak I have going for me — every time! I was on a role years ago then started getting recognized and it ruined a lot of my motivation and creativity by becoming aware of it. Yikes.

As part of our series about Inspirational Women In Hollywood, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing April Watershield. She is a vegan comedian and actor. She was born in Phoenix, Arizona at Stevie Nicks Hospital and raised in Mesa, Arizona. Her style of comedy is vegan, Karen, pop-culture, and celebrity impressions. She has performed stand-up comedy at the following venues: The Comedy Store, Hollywood Improv, Flapper’s Burbank, Tempe Improv, Stand-Up Live, House of Comedy, Stir Crazy Comedy Club, and Voodoo Comedy Theatre. She has also performed on Kill Tony Podcast, KUPD Radio, and wrote for Vegan News. She is in various films and TV shows some of which are still in production.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better.Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

After being born at Stevie Nicks Hospital (Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix where Stevie Nicks was also born I randomly read on Wikipedia), my parents moved us to Mesa which is also located in Arizona. The rental house where we lived in Phoenix was unsafe because they were building a new freeway right above our heads (the Loop 202) and our rental house would not exist in a few more years so we had to get the heck out of there quick. I grew up with four cats whom I was not allergic to at the time, but developed a cat allergy shortly after they all had passed away of liver failure some seven years later. I grew up with very ambiguous parents who changed their minds a lot on different things but were still very firm in their conviction to remain consistent in raising very independent kids who would make them proud. My parents set their sights on leaving the corporate tech world one day and owning a business and educating themselves as much as possible until then. So much so, that the night I was born, my dad was taking his final college exam to become an engineer at Intel. He is so good at calculus that he calculated very accurately how long it would take to drive to Gateway College, take the test, then drive to Good Samaritan Hospital and arrive just in time to see my birth (I am told he was there eventually but I don’t remember because I was too busy being BORN). Just four years later, my parents’ business-mindedness and ethics of resourcefully-ness would influence me to try and sell my brother to a fellow kindergartener. Her mom was having a girl and I wanted a sister, and she wanted a brother and my mom was having a boy. But my mom discovered my sloppy kindergarten blue crayon plans and our plan was foiled. To this day, I have never given up on my career aspirations for any man, but I am careful about leaving my plans out in the open on social media where my mom is present because we are friends on Facebook.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’m an actor and comedian so there are a few different reasons I happened upon wherever it is that I am right now in life.​​For acting, I just enjoyed being with other people because I felt so boring as myself and wanted to be anyone other than myself. So I was forced to do ensemble in a Christopher Columbus play in 3rd grade and I was immediately hooked on acting forever. For comedy, a cool up-and-coming comedy booker guy just thought my Facebook posts were angsty enough to be on stage. So I started performing comedy dressed up as other made-up characters at banquet halls because I was definitely still afraid to be myself. Only in my mid-30s have I began to even remotely like who I am. Where will I be when I’m 80? I might be Oprah by then and completely accept and embrace myself fully.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Getting fired from a comedy club for wanting to perform comedy after 5 days of working at the comedy club. I wanted to open for a comedian I have admired for 10 years. Luckily, she became my friendquaintance (somewhere between friend and acquaintance) after I was fired. I also got to work with Grumpy Cat before she passed away, eat lunch with Richard Karn on set, and keep $8,000 in cash in my wallet at an AirBnb then take it the next day to buy a permit in Hollywood — all without getting robbed.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Driving to Los Angeles to be an extra for no pay and getting clear diarrhea from a Subway sandwich on set. It was a 36 hour trip from Phoenix to Los Angeles with a friend, and I remember barely sleeping then going to work at a call center right after we got back into Phoenix.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There are several people since 2014 that have helped me with things related to acting, not to mention college theatre teachers and improv teachers who taught me starting in 2004. Thank you to everyone. Tim and Sandy I have to thank the most right now for helping me move to Los Angeles. I owe them BIG.

You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

You know those John Robert Powers or Talent Inc style casting calls where you pay thousands for them to teach you the craft and market you correctly so that you can get an agent and/or manager? Yeah, if you have the money, do that. I took the longer and more expensive route (20 years-ish?) and am nowhere near the stardom of those starlets. It’s like a Korean Pop Band casting call for actors — there are still no guarantees but it helps you find a mentor who can guide you and help you breeze past time-consuming mistakes. But if you want to write an autobiography about your life then take the longer route for possibly more material even if that material is just you feeling confused all the time and being alone jobless at home a lot crying. All that jazz about ‘learn to focus on the process’ is completely true or else you will drive yourself crazy by focusing on the end goal itself, and become joyless and easily uninspired/apathetic.

What drives you to get up everyday and work in TV and Film? What change do you want to see in the industry going forward?

At this point, I do not know. I’m vegan, so it used to be so that I could eventually turn all slaughterhouses into safe animal sanctuaries. Then when my niece and nephew were born, it was to impress them. I have learned trying to impress a 3-year-old and 5-year-old is not sustainable until they are 13-years-old so I’m shelving that one for now in this long-game called entertainment. Now it’s just so that my life doesn’t feel completely meaningless. No matter what you read in this paragraph from me — find your own why. Why are YOU in this business? Is it to help others? Ok, good answer. Personally, I’m constantly re-evaluating my ‘why’ to make sure I’m not a douchebag and it’s hard because with ego it’s pretty easy to teeter into douchebaggery.

The changes I want to see are more scripts and comedy from and about the majority, which are women, people of color, and LGBTQ+.

You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?

There is a mockumentary coming out soon that was edited by Adam Sandler’s film editor. It has taken almost 6 years to produce. I have had to keep my mouth shut for that long and that has been kind of hard because in the film, my mom is played by a Broadway Actor’s Equity drag queen and I got to act with real muppets. My resume is the least impressive of the bunch so it was cool that I got to be in their presence when I got upgraded from puppeteer to one of the lead actors. Sidenote: Puppeteering in films, TV shows, or theatre is a reward and delight itself, don’t get me wrong. If you ever have the chance to work with puppets — DO IT. It will be one of the best times of your life.

We are very interested in looking at diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture and our youth growing up today?

It’s pretty simple — everyone wants to see people like them represented on television. Children want to see someone who looks like them in movies and on TV. Relatability is important in entertainment and comedy. We’re all important — especially those who have had to wait a lot longer to feel important and represented consistently (yeah, the keyword here is ​consistently). We all want to feel accepted too.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

I wish someone had told me that getting tons of likes and comments on social media would not be all sunshine and daisies. I read horror stories about rude YouTube-style comments but wow, it is an experience that I was not prepared for when it happened the first time.

I wish someone had told me my ego ruins every creative streak I have going for me — every time! I was on a role years ago then started getting recognized and it ruined a lot of my motivation and creativity by becoming aware of it. Yikes.

I wish someone had told me that although I take years to make one decision, overthink everything, and I’m very extra careful with my words that I would still burn a few bridges with my completely unintentional bluntness (yo, this happens to everyone at least once, so don’t beat yourself up).

I wish I had signed up for John Robert Powers or something like it and skipped college (see above).

I wish someone told me I could just hop in a time machine with the knowledge I have now and start over on this career at a much younger age. No one told me this, but fingers-crossed for scientists to invent this one!

Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Please share a story for each one if you can.

I started meditating in 2014 using Headspace app,, and Calm app. Now I just type in stuff on YouTube like ‘meditation to become a funnier person’. But most of my YouTube meditation searches are for anxiety and insomnia. Although it’s hard to sleep when someone is talking to you and telling you to calm down repeatedly. So then I switched to ‘sleep binaural beats’ and ‘sleep ocean [or rain]’ and that helped me sleep a little bit better. It’s pretty loud so keep it at a low volume. I also used to listen to Baby Mozart and Lullaby versions of rock songs. But it’s hard to fall asleep to that because I usually know the song and then I end up staying awake because I know which note is next. Ugh! THE WORST! Also, don’t listen to Lullaby versions of sad classical music like Gymnopedie №1 because it’s hard to sleep when you’re feeling sad. Is it just me? Also, cut down on sugar, matcha green tea, and coffee at night if you can’t sleep and/or you’re sad all the time! What are ya doin!? (Is that just me ​too?​)

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

There’s a quote out there that says something like, and I’m paraphrasing here, “you can’t make everyone like you… [but you can try!]” I added that last part to the quote. I think you can try to make people up to a point then after that it’s just too much effort and stress. But now, I don’t even believe that silliness anymore. So my new favorite quote is “you can’t make everyone like you… [but you can be mostly cordial and diplomatic unless they do something absolutely terrible and worth calling them out on].” I honestly don’t have any favorite quotes at the moment but I really hope this section was helpful to one person who skimmed through this whole interview but landed on this paragraph with their visual index finger (eyeball[s]) and read it 100%.

You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

The Mister Rogers Movement where everyone helps each other in their careers without cliques and ego. And we all get a free puppet, goldfish, and high-quality cuddly cardigan.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

Sarah Silverman as far as famous people who are alive today January 10th 2021 when I am doing this interview.

Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?

I’m @apriloneil on Instagram.

This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

Thank you for making me search my brain for answers and type them out. I wish you more success too!

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