Finding My Superpower (with Atsuko Okatsuka)

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Atsuko Okatsuka once did stand-up during an earthquake – but that’s not even the craziest thing that’s happened in her life. Atsuko talks to me about turning the things that made her feel different as a kid into superpowers. Plus, she explains why she thinks comedy is a service, getting kicked out of church choir, and her upcoming HBO special “The Intruder.”

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Elyse Myers, Atsuko Okatsuka

Elyse Myers  00:00

When did I learn that ADHD was my superpower? Great question, I would love to tell you, when I was a student in grade school, I was not the student that you wanted in your class, I can assure you, there were many audible sighs of pre emptive frustration that came out of my soon to be teachers mouths. It’s not that I didn’t want to pay attention to the content, or that I didn’t respect the teachers who are teaching the content. It’s just that I couldn’t will myself to sit still long enough to learn what was being taught. It was incredibly frustrating. I was the kid that was looking around the room instead of straight ahead, because I was just trying to learn how to learn. And it was like the students around me just seem to sit there effortlessly like statues. And then there’s me leaving trails of ripped paper at my feet under the desk and sweating from all of the micro movements I’m performing to try and avoid distracting those around me and getting sent out of the room again. It’s like, if I could just move, I could listen. But no one listened long enough to let me move. So I failed tests and I was marked well below my reading comprehension level. I was given extra work over the summers to try and catch up between school years, so I wasn’t held back. On paper, it wasn’t looking so good. And then Junior High rolls around, I moved cities, which means I moved school districts, and the district that my new zip code belongs to happened to put me among some of the most academically gifted students I had ever met. Looking back, it probably wasn’t an accident and more of like an intentional decision that my mom made to try and help. And what should have felt like a huge gift to many people felt like a sick joke to me. Honestly, I dreaded showing up to my new school and the people that I would inevitably annoy with my fidgeting and paper ripping and constant questions, though. I did come in handy when it came time for teachers to grade on a bell curve. So there’s that I had no clue how much my life would change at this new school. One of the very first teachers I ever met; we’re going to call him Mr. M. He didn’t seem to be annoyed by my hyperactivity. He wasn’t confused why I was confused. He didn’t make me feel like I was a problem that needed to be solved. He even allowed me to rip up paper underneath my desk just so long as I cleaned it up before I left. And for the first time, I wasn’t embarrassed at the way that I learned. I found that the more space I was allowed to take up in a classroom, the easier I absorbed the information that was being taught to me, even if it looked to him like I wasn’t paying attention, he chose to trust me that I was a few weeks into the semester while I was trying to pay attention in class. I accidentally ripped up my reading log which you only get one of by the way, and you have to turn it in at the end of the semester for a grade and whatever you don’t fill out sorry, you don’t get credit. But the following day, I will never forget I walked into Mr. M’s class and I found a ream of printer paper on my desk. Brand new still in the packaging. I looked up at Mr. M And he said under his breath so that I wasn’t embarrassed. Let’s try to avoid ripping up any more homework. From that moment onward, I have never apologized for learning new information differently than other people. I might not rip up as much paper as I used to. Though I definitely have like a deck of playing cards that I destroy in case of emergency in my desk as we speak. I’ve learned to make everything that I used to be embarrassed about work for me now like my unintentional multitasking and my ability to hyper fixate almost to the detriment of everything else that I’m working on. Those are all things that I now use to my advantage. And though this isn’t as funny as it is true. I just couldn’t leave this story about Mr. M untold during this specific episode, because he deserves to hear how his kindness and his understanding changed the way that I saw myself for the rest of my life. He made me feel like ADHD was my superpower. Thank you.

Elyse Myers  04:05

Okay, actually, can you just pretend that you’re listening to a fully complete theme song here? I got really in my head. And I tried to make it perfect. And I couldn’t. So this is going to be the theme song right here. Hello, and welcome to another episode of Funny Cuz It’s True. I’m Elyse Myers. This week I’m talking to the brilliant comedian and actress Atsuko Okatsuka. She’s one of Variety’s top 10 comics to watch this year. She has been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live The Late Late Night Show with James Corden, and she’s about to release her first comedy special on HBO Max in December titled The intruder. So two things that are funny because they’re true. Number one, one of Atsuko’s best friends is her grandmother, and I just like firmly believe in the bottom of my heart that her grandmother is a complete badass. And speaking of our grandmother number two, so Atsuko is best known for her comedy like you know, but she actually went viral for creating a tic toc trend called the drop challenge, which involves her and her grandmother. Dropping it like it’s hot out of nowhere to be on […] partition. Do you understand why I think her grandmother is a badass? First of all, hi, thank you for being here.

Atsuko Okatsuka  05:18

Thank you for having me.

Elyse Myers  05:21

Just to kind of get into it a little bit. I just wanted to know a little icebreaker, what is like the funniest thing that you’ve been watching or have watched recently.

Atsuko Okatsuka  05:30

The funniest thing that I’ve watched recently, gosh, off the top of my head, oh, you know what? Yesterday I was with my mom and grandma. And my grandma has been doing this thing where she’s been cutting out people from old photographs that I’m in. So, you know, growing up, I didn’t have the best luck finding friends, let alone dating, you know, and so she’s been going into photos of me and like, somebody I dated or somebody I went to prom with or homecoming with, and she’s been cutting them out of pictures. And so that was pretty funny. When I discovered she was still doing that. Yesterday.

Elyse Myers  06:12

I think you’re gonna say like a Netflix special. And you’re like, I’ve been watching my grandmother

Atsuko Okatsuka  06:20

She feels like a TV show.

Elyse Myers  06:22

Most grandmas do. Okay, pause. In no way did I expect her to say anything about her personal life? I thought she was gonna say like a Hulu show, not my grandma cutting up old photos. That was like, perfect. Has she done that ever since like, you parted with somebody? And then they weren’t a part of your life anymore? And then she cut them out immediately? Or does she like batch cut these out?

Atsuko Okatsuka  06:47

It’s been since I’ve been with my husband, where anytime she finds a photo, and she’s like, oh, who’s that? Oh, no, not around this person’s shoulder. Your arm shouldn’t be around anybody shoulder, but I don’t like some weird purity. I don’t know what she is. You know what I mean?

Elyse Myers  07:05

So sweet, though. It’s like protecting you and your relationship. It’s just honestly so sweet.

Atsuko Okatsuka  07:12

She’s ruining pictures. Okay, that’s true. And memories.

Elyse Myers  07:16

It’s a good intention. Actually, the first way that I found you, ironically, was the drop challenge. And like, I know that it’s so funny that you went viral for that, you know, to with your grandma. What was that, like going viral for something that is just so not what you would normally want to go viral for because you’re a comedian? What did that feel like?

Atsuko Okatsuka  07:41

I feel like you know, at first you’re like, oh, it’s so silly. You know, but that’s usually, for me. The viral things for me are the things that are so simple. And just me having fun, or some kind of unfortunate event like an earthquake hitting while I’m on stage.

Elyse Myers  08:00

Okay, just for reference in 2019. So hopped up on stage in Pasadena started dancing, and then a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit all at the same time.

Atsuko Okatsuka  08:10

Oh, whoa, whoa, what’s going on? Hey, Pasadena. Hi. Can she dance? Okay, all right. What’s happening? Oh, shit. I thought I was making that happen. I went to art school that was filmed you know, and that went viral? And it’s like, Oh, I almost had to die. And you know, I’ve been doing it for a while I’m pretty good. You know, I’d stand up but apparently during an earthquake my standup is out of this world you know?

Elyse Myers  08:44

I think it’s because the way that you like handled it, you just like maintained it. And that’s like that’s skill, honestly.

Atsuko Okatsuka  08:52

I mean, I was like, oh, an earthquake. What is it 7.1 magnitude? You have no idea bitch, I lived in a garage in hiding for seven years and my mom has schizophrenia. Okay, this is nothing. Are you trying to make people laugh through an earthquake? I’ve been trying to make my family has a whole group of people who don’t laugh. Okay. I grew up within non-lifers. All right. Okay, live in a garage had no friends, eating disorders, the whole shebang. Okay, bring up bring up the magnitude no big deal. So drop challenge. Yes. Things like that. You know, it’s just videos that have me and grandma just trying to run away from our traumas really is what these funny videos are all about.

Elyse Myers  09:41

Oh, My face hurts. I like you explaining that you’re trying to make people laugh and like, oh my gosh, yeah, that’s my whole life right there.

Atsuko Okatsuka  09:53

Yeah. 100%

Elyse Myers  09:55

I’m super curious. Like, how did you actually get into comedy and acting, was at the same time, or were they separate?

Atsuko Okatsuka  10:03

Yeah, well, so stand up. I started, like 12 years ago, right after I dropped out of undergrad and went through my first ever breakup. And so it’s kind of like when you feel like, ah, I have nothing left to lose. I want to try the thing I’ve always wanted to try. So yeah, I was feeling like a failure. You know, like, I couldn’t even finish UC Riverside and no offense to UC Riverside. But it is where you go, it is where all the other UC rejects go.

Elyse Myers  10:33

What are you studying when you dropped out?

Atsuko Okatsuka  10:36

Psychology. I like people and, you know, stand-up comedy. Comedy is, you know, a service industry. I see it as a service industry. And it’s still I think psychology still applies. It’s about I think you have to like people for comedy. That’s just my school of thought, not that I’ve started such a thing. But, you know, some people do stand-up, not for people, it’s about serving themselves. And that’s fine, too. But I have always performed and loved performing. So I took a class, I found one online on Craigslist. Because at the time, I didn’t know, you know, 12 years ago, you know, going to open mics alone. As a woman, that is how you went missing. So you know, I didn’t know if that’s the way I wanted to start. Oh, it’s good to know, yeah, yeah, totally, you know, back then I was extra, you know, my head in the clouds. So I would like leave my purse and accidentally, like, stay too long and be like, oh, how am I the only person left in this open mic with this scary man. That would be me. So I took a stand up class where it’s all women. And it was more of a controlled environment where we could, you know, work on our craft, without these other outside factors.

Elyse Myers  12:00

When you said that you have to like people to be good at stand up. What do you mean by that?

Atsuko Okatsuka  12:05

I think it’s, you know, again, it’s a service industry and humanities industry. For me, I come out of it, wanting to spread joy and sharing my experiences, that the things that make me giggle, that I want to share with you, and then in turn, you giggling about it too. And seeing your own self in it, that, you know, that’s my goal. And so, to have a good time, so that you can have a good time and, and we can all have a good time together. That’s how I approach it.

Elyse Myers  12:34

I love that Atsuko said, in order to be funny in comedy, you kind of have to like people. To me, it’s kind of the idea that, like, you’re not going to put one person down to make another person laugh, because at the end of the day, that’s just not funny. And so you make it something that everybody can laugh at. At least that’s my approach. So what’s your approach with acting? Because I know that you’ve been in a couple films.

Atsuko Okatsuka  12:57

Yeah, acting is tough. It’s an interesting past for me, because I got into it with like, you know, I was dating this guy who’s way older than me. And he was an independent film director. And it was sort of a toxic relationship where I got into acting because he was sort of using me as his muse. You know, for example, one of the roles that he had me play was like, I literally didn’t really talk at all, it was a lot of close ups on my face, you know, I was like, hooking up with men, so they were like sex scenes. And that’s sort of my entrance to acting. So it didn’t help nourish my acting talents, because it was a lot of like, okay, look this way. Now you’re going to show skin and you know, it was like that.

Elyse Myers  13:44

So now you’ve kind of like gotten to have control over your own acting career. It sounds like before you really didn’t and now you’re kind of reclaiming that with the projects that you want to be doing right?

Atsuko Okatsuka  13:54

Yeah, but it’s definitely like a healing process where I’m doing stand up way more you know, yeah. Because standup is so like you’re in control you do the writing you do the performing you do the directing of your performance. The projects that I am sort of bringing to Limelight like my HBO stand up special and stuff, it’s stuff that I had control doing, you know, yeah, acting is hard to for me to take control of myself still be asked probably because of the past I never even thought of it that way until I just talked to you about it actually. If you’re listening out there Elyse, that does have a very minimal background with like one plant and like a nice light source coming out from it peaks out of your shoulders. So it kind of makes you look angelic white t-shirt. So you do like, look like a therapist or I just woke up and happen.

Elyse Myers  14:54

Honestly, either way, it’s great. We’re going to take a break, but stick around and hear why Atsuko believes not being competitive is actually a superpower.

Elyse Myers  15:12

You did mention your HBO special and I wanted to hear a little bit about it. First of all, is this scary for you? Second of all, is that exciting? Like, I just kind of want to know everything about it.

Atsuko Okatsuka  15:23

Yeah, I’m very excited. You know, the line between something you’re scared of, and what you’re excited about is very, very, very fine. You know, it’s a very thin line. But yeah, I’m very excited about the special. And of course, there’s fear in it too. Like, you know, what will people think, but, you know, I know my intentions with it. And I’ve worked really hard at it. And a good track record, you know, it makes people laugh. So, yeah, I’m very excited to share it with a bigger audience.

Elyse Myers  15:58

I know that you’re special, I’ve heard a little bit it’s like about how, you know, things that made you different as a kid, you kind of realize they were like your superpower, I when I read that I really connected with it. And I just kind of wanted to hear a little bit of like, what were some of the things that made you different? And how have you kind of used those now in your adult life as your like superpower?

Atsuko Okatsuka  16:16

Yeah, I think something is like, I think maybe the way I talk is one, you know, and whether that be a mix of you know, me being an immigrant, and also Southern California. I don’t use correct English, like sentence structures, I will make up words, sometimes. I think someone was making fun of a Herschel Walker for saying, I am work in police force or something like that. And they were laughing about it. And I was like, wait, that’s how I talk. And I didn’t talk like that. But now, you know, I literally make a living, you know, out of using these words. Yeah, out of talking just with my mouth. So it’s like, you know, it’s like owning that, you know, and hopefully for other people who are like, I don’t speak correctly, whether it’s for various reasons, you know, there’s learning disabilities, and there’s, this isn’t your first language, there’s, maybe there was a means to go take SAP classes, you know, whatever. Who the hell cares how you spell things, or how you say things. It adds your own personality and style? As long as people know what you’re saying. It adds flair. That’s like one example of like, owning something that, you know, as a kid, I was more quiet because I was like, Oh, I’m gonna say some English words wrong. Or, you know, like, for example, right now, I just said English words wrong. There’s a part of me, there’s like a, some, you know, a part of me from my past? Who goes, no, it’s incorrectly.

Elyse Myers  17:44

Even though it’s funny, because like, a lot of people probably don’t use correct grammar. Like I’ve not used grammar correctly in this entire conversation. But it’s interesting that you are self-conscious of it. Because maybe English wasn’t like the first language that you spoke.

Atsuko Okatsuka  17:59

Because you want to fit in because there will, there will be kids that laugh at you or teacher who’s like, stay after class. You got to work on this, you know, yeah. And just make you feel like, oh, I’m really messing up. It’s

Elyse Myers  18:13

funny. I was going to ask if you’ve ever read the book, Outliers, or I think there’s another book called David and Goliath.

Atsuko Okatsuka  18:19

Malcolm Gladwell.

Elyse Myers  18:20

Oh my gosh, okay, so I was given those books, actually, by my husband now. But when we were dating, he gave me those books. Because I have really bad dyslexia, and like, very bad ADHD. And both of those in combination made me a terrible student in school, to the point where, like, I failed a lot of classes going throughout my life. And it always made me feel really dumb. And I knew that I just wasn’t able to learn the way that everybody else was learning. But it didn’t mean that I couldn’t retain the information, if I could just have the opportunity to learn it, the way that it would work for me. And he gave me these books, and it just like, for the first time made me realize, like, the things that we struggle with, you know, can sometimes we have to work so hard at them, that we can become better at them than the average person because we have to focus so much on it, that we almost excel in it in a way that we didn’t mean to, you know, so for you with like, your job is speaking, like something that you are self-conscious of, you are literally paying your bills with this, like, that is so crazy, you know that it’s something that you could be afraid of overcoming, but actually, it’s making you who you are, and it’s making you a very successful person. It’s really cool.

Atsuko Okatsuka  19:38

Yeah, I think you know, but it’s that self-awareness is good, and that support is really necessary, you know, or else you could continue living in that shame. You need somebody, a teacher or a supportive husband or somebody to be like, Hey, here’s the resource or, hey, there’s other people like you, you know, And yeah, and so it’s really important. My husband is the same he has dyslexia and ADHD. But he didn’t know until his late 20s. So a long time to go not knowing, we’re that whole time you feel like, oh my god, I’m a freak. And I’m like, in my late 20s now, and I guess I’m just dumb, you know, and not even having back in the day like Twitter communities and stuff like that online communities, TikTok, people talking about it. He didn’t have that.

Elyse Myers  20:29

Was your husband, the person that was like your support person? Or who was that person for you when you were growing up?

Atsuko Okatsuka  20:34

I think I found a community in comedy for sure. It took a long time still, though, because it’s still scary to be like, hey, it’s me. This is how I talk. And this is how I find funny things funny. Every new situation, every new community and group you approach, it’s like high school all over again, you know?

Elyse Myers  20:55

Especially like with the comedy space, too, I feel like you would want to make friends with people. Did you ever feel like they were your competition? I mean, you’re like going and learning all the same things. But then you’re going to go into the same jobs?

Atsuko Okatsuka  21:06

Yeah, again, it’s that high school mentality, except in high school was like colleges or something, right? Like, they only accept so many students do this school, you know, so I’m gonna be the one that gets in, you know, I’m the one of this particular race blah, blah, blah, because it’s kind of the same for comedy, too, in the industry, right? Or it’s like, no, there can only be one that looks like me, you know what I mean? And, yeah, so it is exactly like that. And I’m like, oh, god dammit, I didn’t do well, in high school positioning myself, why would I do well, now, you know?

Elyse Myers  21:39

I’m the same, I’m not competitive. If like, you want the job, it’s yours. I don’t even want it. I actually, I don’t even know why I’m here. I didn’t want it, it’s yours.

Atsuko Okatsuka  21:46

That’s why were our own makers, I think, you know, people who really excel in like, sort of, you know, creating a platform for yourself, and people coming to you. And we had to create our own paths, you know, especially for more passive or not competitive, or the front door didn’t always, you know, wasn’t open to people like us, and still isn’t necessarily, you know, because I mean, you know, Chris Pratt got to work. So, you know, and, or whatever. It’s like, we’re not competitive people, which means maybe we might get stepped on, or stepped over easily stepped on. We’re sometimes I’m like, gosh, I said that, and then it just sounds more like a king. Yes, we get stepped over easily. That’s why we went to social media. That’s why we talked directly to our audience, you know, and we were able to thrive that way still, you know?

Elyse Myers  22:44

Oh, yeah. What are some other areas in your life that you’ve kind of seen, you know, things that you might have been self-conscious of as a kid that you’re like this. This is actually why I do that.

Atsuko Okatsuka  22:54

My mother, you know, because growing up, and still today, my mom has paranoid schizophrenia, and she has epilepsy, as well. So she has seizures, and it makes her feel like a freak. And in turn, I think, you know, I felt that way too. Because it’s like, well, this is our family. This is our Avengers, you know, me, my mom and my grandma, living in a garage, all those things, sort of, because we were undocumented, and we just didn’t have the means we were living with my uncle, and sort of laying low in the garage. So all those things sort of made me feel like, okay, I’m an outlier. Our family is an outlier. But you know, something I talked about in the special and I won’t like super give it away. But, you know, my mom’s schizophrenia and all the things that people fear about her because of the stigma of mental health. Those are actually her superpowers to my husband’s mom also has schizophrenia. It’s just like a freak. coincidence, it’s not like we went to a website and found each other that way. Your

Elyse Myers  24:04

Just as like a support group that you’re meeting and you’re like, oh my gosh, we fell in love. Time for a break. When we return, Atsuko tells the story of getting kicked out of church choir. So I want to pivot a little bit the job challenge was so funny, because first of all, your knees must be just like incredibly strong.

Atsuko Okatsuka  24:34

Thank you so much.

Elyse Myers  24:36

I read that you love to dance. And obviously it’s like all over your social with your grandma. Does that play a part in your stand up at all?

Atsuko Okatsuka  24:42

I do love to dance. But when I’m doing stand-up, I think there’s aspects of the dance training that I use, you know, like the way I stand putting energy from my toes up. The end of those are weird. Just things you know, because I also have like for circulation, so it’s just like the way stand to make sure I can do my whole hour of stand up every time. You know, I do vocal warm ups before stage and people are like, but you’re not a singer. I’m like, I know Uncle Paul. I know. I know. I’m not a singer. Okay. People love reminding me. I’m not a singer. And I know I’m not sorry. That’s a different thing I’m going through. I was in the choir with my uncle. He’s the choir director. And I was never asked to back notoriously.

Elyse Myers  25:26

Okay. So is this your uncle’s choir? Like at church? And you don’t sing in it anymore.

Atsuko Okatsuka  25:32

I don’t go to church anymore. Okay. But in the seventh grade, when this happened, it was you know, I was an alto is what I was told, ya know, it’s just, you know, that’s the uncle that let us stay in his garage. And so we were going to church with him. And, you know, I was like, I like songs. I want to sing I want to community he’s like, okay, during the adult choir, you you’ll be the youngest one. And then we like practice for a long time because it’s a cantata, you know?

Elyse Myers  26:01

Okay, so FYI, a cantata is like a medium length piece of music. And it’s usually for like, voices with instrumental accompaniment, typically, like solos, a chorus, and then an orchestra run. So,

Atsuko Okatsuka  26:13

you know, and learning it as an alto like not really having any singing experience in the past. It’s like, I don’t get to sing the melody. So I did a lot of studying. And in my head, I was like, crushed it, like I really got this, you know, and then, but apparently, like, during the practices, even in the performance, you could really hear me off key because I was loud. I was loud, I was a loud alto, you’re gonna be a loud alto. But I was always off in the harmony. And people talked, church talks, people talk. And I was like, I didn’t even know that was a thing you could do, like, church choir is a volunteer service. You know what I mean? I didn’t know you could get like, fired for doing free work. I mean, are we not singing for the church? You know what I mean? Like, for God, or?

Elyse Myers  27:08

We’re like, you know what, some, some sounds are just not holy. And you can just take that voice and go, please don’t bring that here.

Atsuko Okatsuka  27:19

This is a volunteer gig, y’all. There’s no, it’s just better for the community, I think, you know, and I was like, fine, that’s fine.

Elyse Myers  27:29

With the Alto thing, I am an alto singer. I’m like an either a tenor two or an alto. So I’m very low voice, but then I played the viola. So I play alto clef and I literally never have the ability. And what’s funny about that is you have to learn the melody and learn the counter. So you’re out there just like lifting everyone else around you. And nobody even ever hears you if you do your job, right. It’s just very, very funny because I feel like genuinely and tell me if you feel this too. Like, when you are in this like comedy space, I feel like I was conditioned to be the support like to be the supportive role because of how long I did that and music, that it’s almost bizarre now to be like, the melody on stage or like in these videos is like the leading person. And I’m wondering for you, even with like your family, the support of your family, the support in music, like that person, that was the support role. You are the star now, like, do you feel like that’s hard for you to kind of get in the front and not be the person people step over? How has that been accepting these things now that are big deal?

Atsuko Okatsuka  28:37

Yeah. it is, like, up and down. And you do need a support system or supportive person. For me it is my husband, who has to constantly remind me No, you deserve to be here. Like you need someone to let you know that it’s okay to take up the space like because other people take up space all the time. And I think it’s interesting that you say that, you know that you also you know, as sound like the supportive alto, to that being in the limelight, the main melody, you’re still doing that supportive thing for other people. I think by hosting a podcast because on a podcast, you’re giving other people the platform, you’re supporting other people and so I still see that in you. I think that’s really cool. You know that because it’s not you can just have a podcast where you just talk I would listen to that.

Elyse Myers  29:36

It brings it back to what you said like to be good at comedy. You have to like people you have to love people you want to have to add value to people and I personally find that that’s like when I when I do comedy. My three goals are to make people feel seen loved and like they belong. And that might not always feel deep or heavy. It might not be like this like encouraging word I give someone it could just be a really simple laugh, you know, and they feel like they’re lighter, that they feel like they belong to a community that also finds that funny. And so it I very much resonate with that what you said earlier, and yeah, also thank you for your encouragement on my podcasts.

Atsuko Okatsuka  30:12

No, of course, oh, girl, you’re still being an alto in some ways.

Elyse Myers  30:18

I think we have to be I think that’s what makes us good at our job is we want to bring other people along with us. Sure. Thank you seriously, so much for talking to me today. This was really, really cool conversation. And I’m so glad I got to meet you.

Atsuko Okatsuka  30:29

Me too. I feel the same way. Thank you so much for having me Elyse.

Elyse Myers  30:36

That was such a cool conversation. I felt like Atsuko and I connected really well really quickly. Which is incredible, because we’re so similar. But we’ve had very different upbringings up until this point in our life. When Atsuko talked about her support system, mainly being in her husband, I got to thinking about how it’s kind of been confusing in this new job that I’m in, I never really know what kind of community to build around myself, because I am not a conventional stand-up comedian and performer. And so I never know like, should I be drawing from comedic support? Should I be drawing from writers? Should I have people that just know me around me? Should I mainly just use my husband as support system? Like, it’s sometimes just very confusing to know what the right answer is when I’m thinking about making sure that I have the right people around me to support me and all of this. And I think that above any title that somebody can have, I think that the value system kind of has to be the same like sitting across from ASCO and talking to her about how she thinks that the most important thing to be a good comedian is to like people like that’s a huge fundamental like core belief that she carries around with her in her field. And I think that the more you can connect with people in that way, the easier it will be to find support in them. Anyways, I loved my conversation with Atsuko, I found it very therapeutic for myself. And I cannot wait to connect with her offline because I think that she is just a phenomenal human being and I want to know way more about her. Okay, that’s it for my conversation with Atsuko, make sure to check out her HBO Max special, the intruder coming out December 10. If you liked this episode, send it to a friend. Or maybe just give it a rating and review. I don’t know. It just helps people find it. Also, it’s kind of nice. We also have premium content on Apple podcasts so you can listen to more funny because it’s true there. Thanks. See you next week. Bye.


Hey, if you want more Funny Because It’s True, just subscribe to Lemonada Premium on Apple podcasts. Funny Cuz It’s True is a Lemonada Media and Powderkeg production. The show is produced by Claire Jones, Zoe Dennis and […], our associate producer is Tiffany Buoy. Rachel Neil is our senior director of new content and our VP of weekly production is Steve Nelson. Executive Producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer, Paul Feig, Laura Fisher, […] and me Elyse Myers. The show is mixed by Brian Castillo and Johnny Evans. Our theme song music was written by me and scored by Xander Singh.

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