Manifesting My Magical Powers (Tristen Winger)

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There are an unbelievable amount of things actor Tristen Winger and I have in common – our love for music, our interest in engineering, our early graduation from high school, and losing our cool in front of our biggest idols. But something that really stuck out to me when I talked to the “Insecure” and “So Help Me Todd” actor was his ability to make his dreams come true through manifestation.

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Elyse Myers & Tristen Winger

Elyse Myers  00:00

What was my first experience with manifestation? Great question, I would love to tell you. When I was growing up, I always believed that in some way, I had magical powers. Now, I know that most kids think this at some point in their life growing up, but I really, really believed it. I walked around thinking I could control time I just like chose not to control time, because I didn’t want to mess with like the space time continuum […] situation. I mean, I was just figuring out my multiplication and division times tables, I didn’t really have time to kind of conquer anything beyond that, so I was just gonna leave it be but the powers were there. I could feel them. So one day after school, I was waiting for one of my brothers to pick me up and take me home. This was a special day because usually I was picked up by the YMCA bus and take into after school programming. But the days that I just got to go straight home and get picked up by one of my brothers, jackpot. That is a good day. So I waited patiently on the grass in front of the school entrance. And there was the same teacher monitoring student pickup that was there every day. She’s the one that had like the abnormally large walkie talkie just buckled to the side of her belt, which I never saw her use one time, but she very much enjoyed owning it. She kept making eye contact with me as my friends would get picked up by their parents one by one in the amount of children waiting on this grass with me quickly reduced, thus increasing the probability that I would have to make that very long and very embarrassing walk from the grass that was making my legs itch to the landline phone in my principal’s office. See, I was already the YMCA kid. I could not also be the call home from the principal’s office to make sure no one forgot to pick me up kid. I’ve been that kid. I’ve done that walk. I’ve made that phone call. I’m not doing that today. Also, can someone please tell me why the moment school is out somehow everything just gets darker. The lights are like flickering. And you see your teachers talking to each other. Like I didn’t know you guys knew each other. You’re just not meant to see it. You’re not meant to see school outside of school hours. So I do it anybody would do and I walk as far away from the pickup monitor as I possibly could without leaving the school grounds. Chicken for sure still see me and I can feel my time running out. So I think to myself, Okay, at least, if there’s ever a time to use your powers, this is it. This is the moment you have been waiting for. So I tell myself, I am going to count to five. And by the time I’m done counting, my brother will be here. And if not, I will just run home anyways, because I will not be making that phone call today. So I close my eyes and I start counting, and before I get to five, I can hear my brother speeding towards me on his broken bicycle that he swears he can fix by himself. And he’s yelling at the top of his lungs. I’m here. I’m sorry, I’m late. I’m here. I made it. I opened my eyes. I see my brother. And in that moment, everything I believed about my ability to control time was confirmed. Did I ever use that skill again in my life? Absolutely not. I didn’t want to run the risk of finding out that it actually was just a coincidence. So thank you. 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.

Elyse Myers  03:39

Hello, I’m Elyse Myers. Thanks for joining me for another episode of Funny Cuz It’s True. This is a show where we talk about the not so funny moments that become funny over time. Today I’m joined by the amazing Tristen Winger. Tristen played baby voice Darius at Issa Rae’s web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, he made his TV debut as thug, Yoda and insecure also by the incredible Issa Rae. And this fall, he plays a veteran detective in the new CBS series, so helped me Todd, we sat down and talked about meeting our idols, how boring math is, and Tristen’s superpower. Okay, let’s get into it. Two things that are funny because they’re true. Number one, I quickly learned in this interview that Tristen and I are basically the same person, almost to the point where like, mid interview, I was like, did you just Google a bunch about me? Are you making fun of me? No, it turns out, we’re just very similar. Number two, after I got off this call, I made like a long list of things that I wanted to do before I was 35. That’ll make more sense to you later. And part of me just wants to like, mail a copy of this list to Tristen because he was very inspiring, but I don’t want to be creepy. So I think I’m just gonna do it anyways. Okay. Oh my gosh, Tristen Winger, how are you? Hi.

Tristen Winger  04:52

What’s up, Elyse? I’m excellent. I’m so good.

Elyse Myers  04:56

I have been looking forward to this conversation all week. I have been doing thing where when you are trying to learn everything possible about somebody, you just watch everything someone’s ever been in and try and read all the things and like it’s learning so much about you like this has just been an honor. And so I would love to know, like, just besides everything else, what are you doing right now? What are you excited about? What’s going on in your life right now?

Tristen Winger  05:19

Well, I’m in Vancouver. I’m shooting a new show for CBS. It’s called So help me Todd. And this is my, this is my first network show. I’ve always wanted to be on like network TV. I even wrote in my journal on New Year’s Eve, I was like, these are the things I want to accomplish. I want to be a series writer on a network, and then it happened and it’s just you know, the power of manifestation, man.

Elyse Myers  05:39

How long after you wrote that in your journal? Did you get the call that this was happening for you? 

Tristen Winger  05:45

Three months. March in March.

Elyse Myers  05:50

That is so wild to me. You’ve always wanted this. You’re literally living your dream right now. What were you doing before acting?

Tristen Winger  06:01

Well, I mean, so performing is something I’ve always done, but it’s never all it hasn’t always been my profession. When I went to college, I went to college for mechanical engineering. I was and still am a nerd. Like, I love science. I thought I loved math until I got to college. And I was like, I got to do equations every day.

Tristen Winger  06:16

And so many of them. Absolutely not. So you went in for engineering in college?

Tristen Winger  06:29

Yeah. Mechanical Engineer.

Elyse Myers  06:31

You went early right to college. Am I correct in that? 

Tristen Winger  06:34

I had just turned 17. 

Elyse Myers  06:36

So okay, first of all, we both went to college when we were 17. Second of all, we both started with engineering and quit because of math. I’m just sitting here like, are you? Are you pranking me right now? Like, is this a joke? Like, that’s so crazy. And when you quit engineering, like Did you know what you were gonna go into after that? Like, what did you change to?

Tristen Winger  07:00

So I was a huge I was a huge Well, no, not even was I still am. I’m a huge music fan. And I love music production in high school. Like, I discovered through one of my teachers, like, you know, there were producers who make the beats to music. And my biggest influence is Pharrell Williams like he. He Pharrell, he’s so dope him and his producing partner, Chad Hugo, they made the music that was the soundtrack to my childhood and I didn’t even know it. Like, for example, the first album that I ever bought was by artists, […] and there was a song on there that I love called looking at me. And I love that song. And I didn’t know why it came out 97′.

Elyse Myers  07:41

Just give us a couple bars.

Tristen Winger  07:44

Why are you over there looking at me, while my girls standing here? Why are you over there looking at me, while my girl standing here.

Elyse Myers  07:54

Can we just give it up for these vocals. This is beautiful. This is art. This is great. This is a great

Tristen Winger  08:04

That’s the hook and it’s for rail singing on the hook. And I never knew that until like 2002 when I was in high school, and that came out in 97. And so once I got to college, I met one of my good friends, David […], he introduced me to this music software called Fruity Loops, where you can produce music on your computer. And I was like, wait, I haven’t I can have a studio on my computer. Yes, I would love to do this, please. And my first beats were awful. Of course. But eventually I got to a better place. And so when I got to a place in college where I you know, I’m not gonna lie, I stopped going to class because I was bored. I was so bored. I was so bored. And it was like, it’s not like I don’t understand the materials, just that I’m ready to move on. 

Elyse Myers  08:46

It wasn’t interesting to you. I feel like that’s the creative people in general. We cannot be convinced to love something. We either love it wholeheartedly with literally every molecule in our body and it will become our identity or we don’t and it’s dead to us. Yes. And like that’s just like, it’s an all or nothing thing. And I feel like for me music as well. I write music. And I that was like always been something that I’ve loved. And like I found a lot of math in it. Which is funny because I hated the actual mathematics part of it. But I love the equation type of like making things work. And that’s what music was for me. And so I know that like I wanted to chat a little bit to you today about like idols and who you looked up to. And it sounds like Pharrell Williams is like somebody that you really, really looked up to. So you know how Tristen said that he found Fruity Loops. And that was kind of how he realized he has like a whole music studio on his computer. So that was me with GarageBand it opened up my entire creative world to where I could make beautiful music that was original to me that helped me process my life. It was just this pure creative outlet that didn’t involve anybody else and I thought that no one would hear it. And it just sounds like Tristan and I connect so much on that level of like being a creative person, constantly finding new external outlets to, like pour our creativity into. And then the moment that we master it, or the moment that we lose interest, even for a moment, we abandon it and just go to the next thing. But for us, it does sound like music is something that we’ve kind of held on to tightly like more tightly in some seasons than others. And I just love that, I love that we connected on that level. And so I just wanted to chat a little bit about that. It sounds like Pharrell Williams is like, somebody that you really, really looked up to. How did like is there anybody else that it was like, this is a person that I like, want to base my understanding of life around?

Tristen Winger  10:46

So there are at least two, one was for a Williams for music and the other. Steve Urkel, Jaleel White, Steve Urkel’s character. All family matters. Like I love Steve Urkel. Like even when I was a kid. So you know, TGIF was a big thing.

Elyse Myers  11:06

Okay, really quick. If you’re not familiar with the whole TGIF block of programming that Tristan and I are talking about here. No worries, I had to do a little mini deep dive to kind of make sure I had my facts straight as well. So if you have never heard of this, around 1989, ABC decided to create this whole like block of programming type situation on Friday nights. TGIF stands for Thank God it’s Friday, but ABC being a family friendly network was like none of them know. It stands for Thank Goodness, It’s Funny. So none of that Thank God it’s Friday business. And some of the most popular shows on their network at the time that would play in this block. Were family matters. Sabrina, the Teenage Witch clueless. We had Full house, Boy Meets World personally, Boy Meets World is my absolute favorite. Simply because I wanted Eric Matthews to be my first boyfriend. Of course, was he No, absolutely not. Shout out to Eric Matthews. Love you. Not really love just love and like a admire. Admire love.

Tristen Winger  12:08

So I could watch all of TGIF starting with family matters. Yeah, you know, Steve Urkel was the first time that I can remember that I saw myself represented on television, I saw this nerdy kid who was a Black kid, he wore suspenders who wear glasses. He likes cheese. So I like cheese. And my mom, let me wear suspenders to school every day. I have a picture of it. Several pictures of me wearing suspenders as a kid. And so you know, Steve Urkle walk in, got me cheese and I’d be like, yes, I got cheese, whatever he says and he does. That’s what I’m saying. And even though everyone else thought he was just a nerd, I was just like, but this is me. And I didn’t I never saw that as a bad thing. I never saw Steve Urkel liking science and math and being in love as a bad thing. And that was me like I remember all my courses names. I can tell you the name of my crush from elementary school. There’s two, there was Joanna Watanabe and there is Tashima Jones, who I’m still friends with to this day.

Elyse Myers  13:16

Oh, they’re gonna hear themselves on this podcast. They’re gonna be like, I didn’t realize I was gonna be talked about today. But that’s cool. Fine.

Tristen Winger  13:24

But like, that was me. I was just like, you know, he is a hopeless romantic. And yes, me too. Me too. Steve.

Elyse Myers  13:31

I heard that maybe you tried to get on to family matters.

Tristen Winger  13:36

I remember. Oh, my God, I was so excited. So family matters. They had announced at the end of one of their episodes that they were doing a competition a contest for a walk on role to be in family matters. And here are the rules. Do you have to be within a certain age range check. You had to take your favorite Steve Urkel scene and recreate it and then send in your tape. Oh, those are rules. Very simple. My mom, also was a teacher. So she’s an overachiever. She’s the best teacher in the world. She was like, okay, cool. Let’s do this dress. You know, you want to do this. You love you got it. You got your impression down. But let’s take it a step further. We’re going to create our own scene. First of all, Mom, this is not the rules. The rules don’t say that. The rules say to recreate a scene. But I’m seven, I think at the time, so it’s like, I can’t tell you what to do, mom. So I’m like, yeah, let’s do it. She’s like, we’re going to incorporate your ability, your talents. So you’re going to sing and you’re going to act

Tristen Winger  14:33

Okay, cool. 

Tristen Winger  14:34

Mom believes in you. My mom believes in me so hard to this day. It’s so powerful. So Aladdin had just come out maybe a few months before, and it’s the first Aladdin and it’s fire. Nothing but heat in that movie, a whole new world of fire. And so my mom was like, here’s what you’re going to do. She set the scene for me. She said, okay, you walk into the room, and you’ve decided that you’re going to tell Laura Winslow, the person who Steve Urkel was in love with, you’re gonna profess your love to her, okay, cool. And so she’s like, okay, you cool you walk in, and then you’re gonna break into song after you tell her you love her, you’re gonna break into a whole new world. I was like, okay, this makes sense. So here I go. I’ll walk in, Laura. I love you and then I can show you the world. Shining shimmering splendid. Makes no sense. Why am I singing this song?

Elyse Myers  15:30

Oh my god. It’s amazing. This is amazing. This is amazing. Just a mash up just a medley of all the genres.

Tristen Winger  15:41

Yes, we recorded it boom, sent it. And needless to say, I did not book that walk on roll on family matters.

Elyse Myers  15:49

But hey, you explored your creativity. And that’s what matters. Do you think that like because you idolized like, Urkel so much that that affected your desire to go into engineering? Yeah, absolutely.

Tristen Winger  16:01

Because Urkel was an inventor. He was a sight. He was a teenage scientist and inventor. And it’s just like, I have never seen that before. And like he just he just put all the things that you love together scientists, inventor, and I’m sure he was an engineer. By the time that the show got canceled.

Elyse Myers  16:20

We got to take a quick break, but we will be right back. And so when you went into that you started doing more music is that when you kind of latched on to Pharrell as your like, inspiration and kind of like a musical hero. Like how did that happen?

Tristen Winger  16:43

Yes. So with that Fruity Loops software that I had on my computer. I started just doing you know what, okay, let me see if I could recreate music. And that basically was the practice which kind of tied into with my acting like mimicking and doing impressions. I was like, okay, cool. So I can just recreate this drum pattern, cool. Maybe find the sounds, sample some sounds and put them into fruity loops so I can recreate them. It was just, he’s just so dope. And now like, he’s more than just music.. He transcends genres. 

Elyse Myers  17:18

Hold on. I didn’t realize that other people learn this way. Which sounds so dumb as I say this out loud, because how else do you learn, if not like recreating things that you’re seeing? But hearing him explain this just validates that feeling in me because there’s so much fear that sometimes I’m not actually creative. I’ve never heard anyone really expressed that before. So I think that’s really, really cool. And it makes me feel a lot better about the way that I learned.

Tristen Winger  17:48

He transcends genres. He’s just so dope. Like he even produces like TV and film and stuff. So did

Elyse Myers  17:56

Did you see voices of fire? Oh my gosh. For those that don’t know, voices of fire was a show where they were trying to find like the Best Gospel Choir and vocalist in across the states, right. And then it all led up to this like performance and Pharrell showed up to like, one day of auditions and that and like, he started like crying. When one person auditioned and it made me cry, because it’s like, with music, it hits you at a level that you just like, so that can’t explain and for to watch him cry at a stranger who can’t even believe probably just in the room with them. Like, I just feel like that would be I don’t even know how they got through the audition. I just don’t did you have you met Pharrell in person?

Tristen Winger  18:39

I was about to say I share that feeling because so I was working on the show Awkward Black Girl Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl with Issa Rae.

Elyse Myers  18:47

How did you know Issa Rae.

Tristen Winger  18:48

We went to high school together, same class, greatest of all time. That was our classmate.

Elyse Myers  18:55

Okay. I was like, okay, just throwing that out there. Mine was a class of 11 […], you know, the Roman numeral is XI. And go we go XI so fly. Can’t see me. I like literally just get a flying motion. So it’s yeah, no, it’s good. When we made that up, we thought that it was so badass. And we just looked so tough. And now sharing this with somebody else for the first time outside of high school. It’s actually super lame.

Tristen Winger  19:33

And we were doing our photoshoot. One night, we were stealing shots in Beverly Hills to get to get these perfect backgrounds. And I was ear hustling. I was I was eavesdropping on a conversation Issa was having.

Elyse Myers  19:51

I will be using that term for the rest of my life. You’re hustling. Okay, got it.

Tristen Winger  19:57

I was ear hustling to a conversation, and she was talking about a video shoot she was doing with furrow. And when I heard that I was just like, hey, Issa, you know how I feel about Pharrell? Can I please? I promise I promise I won’t say anything. I will be quiet. I would just turn the corner. Can I just come and be there? And maybe meet Pharrell. She was like, Yeah, of course. I’ll send you the information. And so fast forward to this moment. The day comes. It’s in downtown LA. I find a parking spot. I am sweating and market cool. Hopefully. Hopefully for my outfit. I walk into the door, man. Yes, I’m here to go to this. Go to this. This penthouse the security guards. Oh, yes. Your name is on the list. Okay, great. Cool. Pass the checkpoint. Get on the elevator. Got an elevator went all the way up. You’re going to the penthouse. Oh, okay. Of course. I’m going to a penthouse. Boom. Get up the elevator doors open. I am in the penthouse. I didn’t know. You know, this is 2011-2012. I didn’t know that. You know, you can have an elevator open up in your home.

Elyse Myers  21:06

I didn’t know that till right now. I’m learning this right now.

Tristen Winger  21:11

So I walk in, and then I see Issa, hey, she’s like you made it. I’m like, you damn right. I did give her a hug. She’s like, hey, okay, well, you know, just hang out. You know, there’s some fruit, you know, whatever you want. Just chill. So I go in, I sit by the window. There’s like a little ledge or whatever. And I’m just kind of sitting and I’m keeping myself busy on Twitter’s scrolling. And so like the elevator will open up and every time I’ll just kind of peek up and kind of look over to see who it was because I was trying to be cool. I’m just like, okay, Sephora. Somebody else would come up. He says publicists would come up and somebody from production will come up. Or maybe you know, a barber will come up and just say, Okay, great. And like the six time elevator doors open. I don’t look up. But I hear all these female and I hear hey, then I look up. And then I see like a stylist walk out, I see Pharrell’s bodyguard walk out. He’s huge. And then I see for a walk out. And this is that time period when Pharrell was like wearing like these Timberland boots that he would paint on and he would draw stuff on. He was dressed when he had blond hair that was like maybe the length of my hair. And he’s wearing a hat and I remember the very first thing I thought when for a walk in the room is damn Pharrell got a big ass head.

Elyse Myers  22:20

You say that?

Tristen Winger  22:21

No, I didn’t. I said to myself, I don’t feel so bad about my head.

Elyse Myers  22:30

More restraint than I did when I met my idol. But I can talk about that later. So you are already lightyears ahead of me. This is amazing.

Tristen Winger  22:38

He walks in. He’s very, very kind. He walks up to everybody. Hey, how’s it going? My friend Chris, how’s it going? So he meets everybody. Issa and Pharrell talked, and then they go into the room to film their thing. And I’m sitting out there and I’m there with my friend. One of my friends Rafael, and he’s just like, dude, you gotta get picture. I’m like, yeah, I know. I gotta get a picture. They finished filming in there and maybe 10 minutes, Pharrell comes out. And he walks straight over to me and he’s like, yo, man, you my favorite character on Awkward Black girl and I go..

Elyse Myers  23:11


Tristen Winger  23:12

Thank you. It’s like yeah, man. We should record a video. And I said, yeah, yeah, yes. We should record a video.

Elyse Myers  23:23

He knew who you were. Did you pass out because I would have passed out?

Tristen Winger  23:29

No, I just started to sweat more.

Elyse Myers  23:30

Okay, wait, so he wanted you to do your character.

Tristen Winger  23:33

He said alright, let’s do you got to do the thing. You got to do the thing. So my friend Rafael was already got you bro. Already had his phone out. So we stand for our faces me and I just thought, hey, man, I just want to I’m just so […], and Pharrell starts cracking up, he starts dying.

Elyse Myers  23:54

Okay, so knowing the backstory of this video makes the video a million times more like nerve wracking and exciting and funny. The fact that Tristen just kind of casually was like waiting for Pharrell to notice him and to be in this room with him. And then once he was in the room with him, it was like this presence and then all of a sudden Pharrell is like next to him. And he’s like, asking Tristen to do his character that he’s famous for the way I would have absolutely just like passed out.. It’s so beautiful. And then you, you watch Pharrell, you know, here trust and do his impersonation of like his character that he plays on television, and for elders doubles over in laughter. Could you imagine somebody that you have looked up to your entire life? Think you’re so funny that they literally can’t stand up straight? Can you just imagine I can and I also can’t like, in this season of my life, I have been able to meet people I never even imagined I would share 100 mile radius with and the fact that like I am watching this happen in front of my screen for Tristen with Pharrell is like so beautiful. Yeah, it’s exactly the way that he explains it and a million times better beyond that.

Tristen Winger  25:15

And he talks to the cameras like yeah, we still recording. Okay, cool. Yo, Awkward Black Girl, check it out. And I’m just..

Elyse Myers  25:24

So Pharrell knew who you were, asked for an impression of you. What did that feel like? Because like, that was probably a big moment for you to realize somebody that I’ve looked up to for so long that has shaped the way I see what I do, knows who you are, like, what did that mean, for you?

Tristen Winger  25:43

That was one of the best days of my life. It was extremely validating. Because one of the things I think about with like, you know, manifestation and going after what it is that you want in your life is, and I pay attention. So it’s like, so for me, for example, with the engineering thing, I kept hitting roadblock after roadblock. I tried to do mechanical engineering, because, you know, my uncle is a physicist, he works for aerospace. And so I was like, Well, I’m going to be an engineer. So I can also do that thing. But it wasn’t something that I was in love with. But I tried. And I failed. I worked for target as a guest service team leader, tried failed work, for Apple at the Genius Bar, tried […], but every time I went after the thing that I loved, which is being a performer and arts, like I succeeded at and then that moment, I’m like, this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. This is exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Elyse Myers  26:43

Yeah, it was like everything in your life probably just got to that moment. And you’re like, okay, big marker in my life from here on out. Yeah, I, I like made a video about how my childhood crush was Lance Bass. And like, I literally forget that people see my videos like I make them because they’re funny. I literally forget people watch them, and especially people that they’re about, and he responded to it and said, like, hey, Elyse, like, I know who you are, basically. And I was like, that’s a lie. And then I responded to it. And he’s like, Hey, let’s meet. And I’m like, That’s not happening. And then we ended up working together. And so you restrained yourself. When you met Pharrell, I did not when I met Lance. So I walked up to him. And all I could say was, you are so beautiful. You’re so you’re like, even more beautiful in person. And I did not stop saying that. I just like, I could not stop saying You are so beautiful. And he was like, okay, and like, continued to move on. And I was like, your rings, beautiful. And I was like, your hair. Beautiful. And we worked on a shoot together. And I was like, did you just dye your hair? It’s beautiful. I did. It was just this crazy moment. Like for you where it’s like everything I’ve ever wanted and everything I didn’t even think to want because I didn’t even think I could like it’s happening right now. Taking a break, and we’ll be right back. For you like you talked a little bit about manifestation writing in your journal having jobs before acting really was your thing, right? Like, how did that happen for you? Like, what did you like intentionally put out there? What does that manifestation journey look like?

Tristen Winger  28:49

Well, so I definitely have manifestation journal, one that I used for New Year’s Eve. But specifically, when I was working at target as a guest service team leader, I remember there was one day in particular, one of my duties as a guest service team leader was to create the schedule for all the cashiers. And so I was in the back on the computer. And one of the ladies who worked in the beauty section, she comes back and we’re talking and she’s like, what do you want to do? Cuz you don’t seem like you’re gonna be here permanently. And I was like, well..

Elyse Myers  29:25

Am I getting fired?

Tristen Winger  29:29

Did somebody to talk to buy something? She was just like, she was like, Yeah, what do you want to do? And I was just like, well, I I’ve always wanted to act professionally. And this is before Aqua Black girl. And I was like, well, I’ve always wanted to act like I’ve always loved this thing. And she’s like, well do it. I was like, okay, yeah, I’m gonna go at now. It seems like so here’s what you’re going to do. And I know it sounds silly, but you just say it out loud what you want. She said, what do you want to do? And when do you want to do by, when do you want to act by? I was like, okay, by 30. Okay, now say that’s a sentence. I want to be acting on television by 30. She’s like, ah, okay, there you go. And this is 2009-2010. So I was about 25-26 years old, and so Awkward Black Girl happened. And that was like a step. And that was 2011.

Elyse Myers  30:27

And that was TV or not Tv?

Tristen Winger  30:29

That was on TV. It was it was YouTube, but it was the first of its kind. It was the first you know, big web series that show like, okay, this is people were tuning in and it was generating hundreds of 1000s of views week over week, a couple of years after that. Insecure was becoming a thing and she emailed us all she’s like, hey guys, not sure if you heard but I got this pilot for HBO coming out called insecure let me know if you want to read the script. And if you read the script, let me know if there’s any roles you want to audition for. It’s not that many roles but check it out. I was like yeah, of course. I want to check it out. Check it out. I saw some roles that I like auditioned for it got very far didn’t work out but she was like I’m still looking out for you just know so looking out for you. January 2016 rolls around, she emails me out the blue text me out the blue she’s like, Hey Tristen, I found a perfect role for you for Insecure I’m gonna email you the same tomorrow as I okay cool. The next day comes around she emails me in the email it says hey, Tristen, so this is a role this character  […]. He is a blood but he’s more of a father than like a gangbanger. And let me know what you think. If you don’t like it, we can find something else for you. No one does that first of all, no one is like, I have this new HBO show. Here’s a role that you can do. But if you don’t like it, I’ll find something else that is so kind. 

Elyse Myers  31:47

That’s someone dedicated to your success and just your overall thriving life right there. That is like a friend, a friend your destiny.

Tristen Winger  31:54

She’s rooting for me. And so audition for the role. Got it. And then so fast forward to May 11 2016. I’m shooting my first two scenes as […] on Isecure. And I’m that day is special because my birthday is May 12. The next day. So I shot my first scenes of TV. […] birthday. So I’m supposed to be here. I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.

Elyse Myers  32:34

I am far too soft for this job. The moment he said that he like got this job the day before his 30th birthday. I was crying. I don’t know if you can hear it my voice. But I’m for sure crying. I’m too soft for this job. I’m not going for this live. You literally, it happened. You said you want to be on network TV before your 30th birthday. And you did it. The day before.

Tristen Winger  32:59

The day before, slid in at the deadline.

Elyse Myers  33:02

You’ve had so many like checkpoints in your career even already, where it’s just been such a confirmation to you that like, this is what I meant to do. This is why I’m here. Like I was born for this kind of a thing. Like did you have? Did you have any actual belief when you said it out loud? Like was it desire? Or was it like belief when you said I want to be on TV before 30? 

Tristen Winger  33:27

Well, there was you know after she had me be like okay, no, say it. But besides, after we did that that many times I was just like, you know what? Yeah, I want to be on TV by the time I’m 30, and by the time I actually said that sentence, I was no longer thinking about how am I going to do it? Well, what steps we are going to we don’t have to have an agent did it? And by the way, when I booked insecure, I didn’t have an agent or manager. So like none of that mattered. none of it mattered. It happened because I wanted it to and I believed in it. Here I am in Vancouver shooting a brand new show for CBS on Thursday night like it’s during their comedy block their most important night.

Elyse Myers  34:14

Is this your role as Lyle, are you Lyle on the show? 

Tristen Winger  34:17

I am. 

Elyse Myers  34:19

And like what so with this new role like what are you most excited for?

Tristen Winger  34:26

I’m excited to be somebody different that’s I’m so grateful that all the roles that I played have always been someone different like with a Yoda would have been very easy for my career to get stuck into this, okay? He’s a gangbanger. He’s a thug or whatever type role but everything has been very different. And Lyle, a private investigator who’s also extremely type A and wound up and so I get to play a part of myself who likes things the way that he likes them. Everything has its place. Every team needs to be crossed; every eye needs to be dotted. And every file needs to be filed in that order.

Elyse Myers  35:01

I feel like you’re gonna have so much fun with that. So you set your intentions basically before 30. You mentioned earlier that you were 36. So what is your? What is your new sentence before 40?

Tristen Winger  35:16

Man, I need to come up with a new sentence. Just because on New Year’s Eve when I wrote all that out, I was like, yeah, so I want to do. And I’m like, okay, very quick. So the other things that were on that list for New Year, and this is why, like, I need a new sentence. The other thing I wrote is like, I’m gonna be in the movie. And so I can’t say what movie it is, but on my birthday this year. I swear I promise you on my birthday this year, I shot I shot my first scene for a movie ever. And when I got home, this show that I’m on right now got picked up to series.

Elyse Myers  35:58

This is crazy. This is crazy. This dude has magic birthdays, I’m sure of it. I want to spend whatever next birthday he has with him. Because I just want like the magic. By association from his birthday, something magical happens in space on his birthday to make all of his dreams come true. This is magical. I can’t believe this. I’m like having heart palpitations for you. Like this is so good. And so much. And it’s so wild. I’m so happy for you, I’m proud of you. Like, I just hope that you are journaling and keeping track of everything that’s happening because you’re like meant to just like, you’re meant to talk about this, you’re meant to pass it on, you’re meant to like inspire people to just like not stop because the role of a creative the role of an actor, like it’s all consuming, and have really high highs and really low lows as a full time creative person. And like, more people need to hear about the highs because we hear a lot about the lows, and we feel the lows very deeply. And it’s very rare, you get to hear so many high highs back to back for a person and in their career so early. And like, I just hope you’re taking such good note of all this because it’s like, it’s powerful. And it’s really inspiring. It’s inspiring for me, like I want to go off on this call now. And like, I need to journal like I need to make some like, I need to write some sentences out for myself that I can just like, say out loud, because I just think that manifestation like just focusing on your goals, things like that, like it’s so good for your brain to just have something to focus on and to work towards and to remind yourself when things are difficult. And that’s so crazy. I just feel like I want to ask you a million more questions. And I’m kind of running out of time. So we definitely need to do this again. But like, okay, there’s I just want ask one thing, like for the rest of the year, what is something else you’re like, I want to add to my list? And if you have nothing that’s okay, because you have accomplished plenty you could nap the rest of the year and it would still be great.

Tristen Winger  38:06

Oh my god, shoot. Well, there’s also an animated series that I’m voicing as well. And doing a bunch of voices.

Elyse Myers  38:16

We don’t need to add to the list. Let’s take things off the list. Actually. I’ll take some of your stuff on your list and put it on my list and then we’ll make it happen that way.

Tristen Winger  38:24

You know what, I got something. I really would like to have defined abs again.

Elyse Myers  38:33

Okay, it’s not what I expected you to go with that. But I really do appreciate it.

Tristen Winger  38:38

I missed having defined abs so I’m drinking my water. I’m drinking my smoothies. I’m drinking chlorophyll every day. Chlorophyll, you put chlorophyll drops the chlorophyll in your water.

Elyse Myers  38:49

That makes more sense. Amazing. Interesting. It’s just I am so inspired. I’m gonna go and manifest a bunch of shit now. But it’s been so cool to meet you. And thank you so much for being a part of this with me.

Tristen Winger  39:01

Absolutely. Thank you for having me. This has been so much fun. I enjoy your story so much.

Elyse Myers  39:08

I don’t know why I feel so bizarre about the idea of manifestation not because I think that it doesn’t work, but because I feel so silly doing it. And I think for a long time, I had a misunderstanding of what manifesting even meant. And now, I think there’s so much power in verbalizing what you want, what your dreams are. Because your brain has to hear it. You can think it you can feel it. But there is a lot of power in like the brain, your mouth connection, that we just don’t take advantage of enough as human beings. And there is a spiritual I think aspect of it where you’re just like speaking it out and waiting for the universe to kind of bring it to you. But I think for the most part, from what I understand, it’s mostly just being very aware of what you’re wanting, and then looking for those opportunities as they come and being open to them. Maybe I also don’t understand manifestation at all I have so much to learn. But Tristen is just so encouraging with this. And it’s very inspiring. I’m very inspired to like, make a list of things that I want for my life. And I think I’m actually going to pause here and do that and come back and make a list for you.

Elyse Myers  40:45

Okay, number one, I will be in production for an original scripted TV comedy series. Number two, I will be starring in a TV show whether on network TV or streaming services. Number three, I will have my own Ben and Jerry’s flavor. This is something I’ve always wanted. And I would love to kind of do a chance to rep a style where we like donate the some of the proceeds to some type of foundation. I just think that that would be so cool. I already have the flavor listed out. So Ben and Jerry’s, I’m ready for you. Number four, I will create the just do it scared campaign with Nike. I don’t know if anyone saw that video. But I made basically the entire campaign outlined in a video for Nike where I wanted to make, just do it but for just do it scared for normal people that just struggle with anxiety and just facing their normal life. And so I just thought that’d be amazing. And so I wanted to make that happen, that whole campaign. And number five, I will move into my dream house that has my creative studio on the same lot as my house so that I don’t have to be so far away from my family during work every day. And so that I can have space for people to come to me instead of me going to them for creative projects. So that would be like ultimate dream. And all of this before I’m 35 So I’m putting it out there, Tristen. I’m following your lead. That’s all for today. Thank you so much for listening. If you want I’d love if you could rate and review the podcast. This just helps other people find the show and hear all about Tristen’s amazing manifestation abilities. Okay, see you guys next week. Bye. 

CREDITS  42:27

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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