Swapping Snow Globes (with Mae Martin)
“Well, I think we made our point” are words that our guest’s mother spoke after throwing ice cubes at a rat-infested cypress tree. It’s Mae Martin! Mae is a standup comedian, writer and star/creator of the show Feel Good. We discussed their new Netflix standup special called SAP, which has a mind-blowing bit about how humans communicate. I can’t wait for you to listen to our conversation about dressing how you want, British dads, and trying not to hurt people’s feelings when you make a TV show based on your life.
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Elyse Myers, Mae Martin, Claire
Elyse Myers 00:11
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 and on today’s episode I welcome fellow control freak and remarkable human Mae Martin may wrote created and starred in The Amazing TV show feel good and their newest hour long special called SAP is out now on Netflix. I love this special so much because the jokes and the visuals are hilarious. And they describe with spot on accuracy what it’s like being a human just trying to connect with other human beings. We discussed being a first time actor ally ship on set and why mother’s always ended up being right. So two things that are funny because they’re true. Number one, we both have stories about rats and moms that school. And number two may has a bit about how people talk in conversation with each other, which of course made me like painfully aware of how I was talking in our conversation. See if you can pick up on it. All right, let’s get into it. Mae Hello, how are you?
Mae Martin 02:45
Hi, I’m good. I’m good. Yeah, let me now I’m going in the red. I hate technology. Why aren’t we just in the same room?
Elyse Myers 02:55
I know if only I did not live in Nebraska. This would be a lot easier.
Mae Martin 02:59
If only I lived in Nebraska.
Elyse Myers 03:01
You’re free to move here. It would be great. We would welcome you and it’s a lot of corn. All right, maybe I need to learn more facts about Nebraska that aren’t to do with corn because I’m realizing this is the only thing I bring up every time I say I’m from Nebraska is like, yeah, lots of corn here. So fun. Fact number one, Nebraska is the birthplace of Kool Aid. We have lighthouses but no ocean, which that doesn’t make sense. Oh, and we’re home to Warren Buffett, if that means anything to you. So there you go. This might sound like a weird question. Do you like do you think you’re good at what you do? Because you’ve been doing what you do for so long like you started? I think you’re very good at what you do. So I don’t want that to sound like, like you’re not good. But you’ve you started comedy like 11 Right? 1313 13 Yeah. Okay, wild. So like, there has to be some confidence in you where you’re like, I was meant to do this kind of thing. Do you have that deep down feeling at all?
Mae Martin 03:59
I definitely not meant to do this, but because I feel like I felt sort of called to do it at that age. But then I wonder if that was just like a weird coping mechanism. But But now at this point that I’ve been doing it so long. I definitely feel confident. Yeah, I definitely know. I feel like I could sort of go onstage anywhere and not not bomb.
Elyse Myers 04:22
That’s a good feeling. Did you especially feel that and your newest special SAP?
Mae Martin 04:26
Yeah, I think so. I mean, I definitely do bomb still or have bad shows. But maybe it’s yeah, no, I guess I do feel confident good. But then every time you tackle something new you’re starting from scratch and there’s always a gap when you are working in a new medium like that was my first hour long special although I’ve done hour long shows for years in England, but with like, feel good or like I’m making I’m doing a music album right now and yeah, it’s It’s so insane. But there’s always like a huge gap between your taste and your ability when you start an to medium and you’re like, why am I not amazing at this?
Elyse Myers 05:03
So I might not perfect right away. This is so frustrating.
Mae Martin 05:06
Yeah. I see a guitar in your background yes to music?
Elyse Myers 05:12
Yes, yes, I do. It was just so funny because when I read that you were doing like an album. I feel like I see so much of myself in you where I just, I like to tackle creative projects that are random to other people, but not random. If you like know me in real life, like I just like a lot of really different things. And I like to be creative in those mediums. And I never want to do the same thing twice. So when I tackle one thing, I’m like, awesome. I perfected it. I’m moving on. And I want to be terrible at something to start over. So writing music is something I’ve always done. And so I wanted to know if it was something you’ve always done, and now you’re just bringing it into your comedy and trying to mesh the two.
Mae Martin 05:48
Yeah, it’s not a comedy album. It’s like a serious. Which is even more embarrassing and weird.
Elyse Myers 05:55
Not embarrassing. I know. I just write normal regular music, which is so funny, because I’m technically a comedian. And it’s like, the songs I’m writing are like, like sadder than Taylor Swift. Like Yes. Like, it’s really hard for people to listen to. You just expect a laugh.
Mae Martin 06:08
Yeah, that’s what this is gonna be like. Yeah, I don’t know. I’ve always written. Yeah, I have I’ve written songs. I’ve always played the guitar and loved music. And yeah, and wanted to do an album and and then, when I moved to LA, I just wrote, I don’t know, are like six or seven songs. And there’s a real energy here of like, Yeah, let’s make stuff. And I helped hold a lot of friends who were musicians. And we started we’d like, jam.
Elyse Myers 06:35
I’ve always said that. writing music for me is for things I’ve not yet processed. And writing comedy is for things that are already processed. And I’ve made funny. And when the 200% They’re like, totally, and like end of the spectrum that could be about the same thing. Like some dude breaking my heart. And I’m like, This is me totally crushed. And then this is me laughing about how stupid he was. Yeah, I was really liking him. And it’s, it is very shocking for people to listen to you. Do you find that? Well, no one’s listened to it yet. But ever showed like your music to other people?
Mae Martin 07:07
Not really No. Wow, just the guys that helped me make it. But yeah, there’s definitely stuff that you, you can’t, that works better when it’s said and sort of symbolism or poetry? Or, you know, and totally the stuff that sort of unnameable or like, just sort of doesn’t? Yeah, we’re strictly pointing out, it directly seems like inadequate and you expressing it, like you have to sort of talk around it. But so yeah, I hope that that’s what it is. But also, I tried to, like it’s not, it’s not like foci there. It’s like a full band, like, I think, I don’t know, I hope people like it.
Elyse Myers 07:44
I cannot wait to hear it. First of all, but it’s like, this makes so much sense. A lot of people don’t understand that a lot of processing has to happen in comedy, like there’s so much work internally, you have to do as a person, before you give a joke to an audience to laugh at. Right? For me, a lot of the music I have written is literally that it’s it’s the processing, and it’s the journaling. And it’s the therapy. It’s the crying and it’s the thinking and then and then as soon as it’s digestible to me to where I can like explain it away in a story, then that’s kind of when it becomes very funny to people. So I’m really proud of you for doing something that’s showing people almost the process to the funny for you.
Mae Martin 08:26
Thanks. Thanks. Yeah, I often like if I’m trying to write something that I haven’t fully processed yet, like comedy on stage, then. Yeah, I’ll do it a bunch with no punch line and sit in that discomfort and, and then, and then find the punch line, and then you feel like you’ve processed it in real time.
Elyse Myers 08:47
Yeah. Do you? Do you do a lot of like working it out with your comedy on stage? Like do you do working it out? Kind of shows in front of live audiences?
Mae Martin 08:56
Yes, totally. Yeah, that’s, yeah, yeah, I do ton these days. I do tons of like, improvised stand up based on audience questions that are in a bucket or I or I’ll, I’ll go up with very little and try and just hope that the adrenaline forces me to find like, yeah, some kind of punch line. I love that. I love improv a lot. It brings me a lot of joy in and doing improv with friends. I’ve just got back into like, because in my teens, I did that a lot. I took improv classes. And you know, I remembered it being like total bliss. And it really is it’s like reconnected me to like a very silly part of myself.
Elyse Myers 09:33
Have you ever been performing where you just know pretty much like right away that you’re gonna bomb? Yeah, absolutely. Do you just bail? What do you do?
Mae Martin 09:40
Just like within seconds where you’re like, This is not a good fit for this audience. No, I think you can just, I don’t know. Yeah, I’ll just bail. Not leave the stage, but I’ll just be like, Wow, I just I acknowledged it right away, which is sometimes I acknowledged it too early, and then it’s awkward for everyone and maybe I could have rescued it. I’m just thinking back to like, When I first moved to England, and there was definitely some culture shock, and I, if it wasn’t going well, for the first 30 seconds, I’d be like, Wow, this is a disaster. And I should have probably stuck, stuck. Yeah, but then I would just talk to the audience.
Elyse Myers 10:14
I’ve always wondered, because I don’t do stand up, I do more of like a curated kind of comedy online. I’ve always wondered if people that do stand up, have like a road map that has like alternate exits, like, do you have outs, if something’s really bad, where you can like, take an exit and be like, Well, that was horrible. I’m gonna take this and then go back somewhere else? Or do you kind of just drive through it?
Mae Martin 10:36
You mean, like different orders and things that you could do? Or? Not really? No, I think, yeah. Well, I don’t know what other people do. But I mean, these days, I do so much improvising and stuff that I can’t really, I mean, if you’re like polishing a club set, and yeah, I guess it would be hard to deviate. Unless you Yeah, I mean, ideally, you have like a backlog of material in your head that you’re not using. And so then you can, you can swap stuff in and yeah, and work on your feet. But when you first start out and that’s your one set that you’re polishing and you’re like kind of screwed out of your pocket. Yeah.
Elyse Myers 11:08
The first set I ever saw you I think was what was your special before SAP? What was it called? Dope to okay, yes. And that was your joke of your like addiction. But then you were like, it’s like bringing some your ex to the party. And like, is it okay, if we do do them in front of you?
Mae Martin 11:23
Like, they come up to you at a party, and they’re like, oh, just to let you know, there’s some coke on the way it’s like 20 minutes away. We just ordered some coke, guys. It is like someone saying to you just to let you know, we just invited your ex to the party, the love of your life. But you haven’t seen in like a decade. She’s like, 20 minutes away. That’s cool, right? And you’re like, Oh, my God. Yeah. Like, yeah, it’s her right to come to the party. I’m not going to prevent her from coming to the party. And they’re like, cool, we’re just gonna do her in front of you.
Elyse Myers 11:51
I laughed so fucking hard. Like, I was like, This person is so good. Like, oh my god, I fell in love with your comedy. And then when I saw sap the clips that you were posting before it came out the snowglobe.
Mae Martin 12:07
And I always visualize every experience that we collect is like a little novelty snowglobe you know, and we’re just going around doing like one time I saw Antonio Banderas at the airport, yes, I did. Myself and no one else is me i and then all human interaction is really is I’ve really noticed this coming out of the pandemic is all human interaction is just basically taking turns showing each other our snow globes and being like I’m and it’s so just pathetically taking turns. And like someone will be showing you their snow globe, you know, and you’re trying to be a good listener. It’s like a story about a party they went to five years ago, and you’re like, yes, and you’re like, and you are you as well. But the whole time, your eyes are just darting to your own shelf. 100% the whole time you’re like.
Elyse Myers 12:58
That was like, I’m such a visual person. In the way I share my stories. A lot of the times I don’t really know how they fit in with other people and how they relate. But I just know I really want to share this thing that is like, really important to me. And so yeah, snow globe analogy. I was like this I like showed my husband is like may just summed up my entire life and a joke.
Mae Martin 13:19
Like constantly trying to hand people snow gloves and be like, do you like this?
Elyse Myers 13:23
Yeah. and like, and a lot of the time it does feel like you’re that kind of like a kid just showing off things like I remember I’d invite friends over to my room when I was like, fourth grade. And you would show them your like, favorite things. And I had this bubble necklace was like bubbles but a train necklace that had a whistle.
Mae Martin 13:42
Okay, even as you’re describing it, like my 11 year old self is coveting this object. Oh my god.
Elyse Myers 13:48
Yeah, it was my favorite thing. And I would bring people that would like drop me off from like playdates or friend dates. And if they can, do you want to come see my room? Yes. And they would come into my room. And I would show them this whistle necklace that was trained bubbles. And it was like, so when you shared that story of the snowglobe. Immediately my brain went to this this train necklace. Oh, that’s it. And I was wondering, as you wrote the joke, did you have anything in particular that you thought of when you were kind of creating that image in your head?
Mae Martin 14:18
I think it was just coming out of a pandemic and noticing how everybody was just waiting for their turn to chime in with their anecdote. And just like at parties. Yeah, somebody’s telling you a story. And all you’re thinking is like, I also have a story.
Elyse Myers 14:32
This right here is when I become very aware of how I’m going to continue having this conversation without coming across. Like, here’s my snowglobe.
Mae Martin 14:39
I have one also related to this that I’m going to tell and you’re like trying to listen but just that there’s very little kind of actual listening going on and we’re all just like really desperate to kind of explain ourselves to other people and be seen and recognized and have our identities, you know, confirmed by other people.
Elyse Myers 15:00
Do you have any snowglobes right now that are like on the top of the list that you’re like, I want to I want to share this with you right now.
Mae Martin 15:06
Yeah, I mean, well, one thing that I keep telling people is how my my parents came to visit me in LA. And my mom thought that there were rats in the tree next to my Airbnb. And her solution. It was so strange. She was like, get me some ice real. I was like, What do you mean? She’s like, get me a bag of ice. And then she started throwing ice cubes into the tree to I guess, startled the rats. And in her mind, they were all going to come pouring out first of all it a palm tree. No, it was like a cypress tree. Okay, yeah. So I didn’t know. I had not heard the rats. I still don’t know if there were any rats. But seeing my mum like laser focus, just whipping ice cubes into this tree and not a smile on her on any of our faces just taking it so seriously. And, of course, there were no no rats came like pouring out of the tree. And then I was like, we ran out of ice. I was like, Well, I guess that didn’t work. And then she just goes well, I think we made our point. It’s like, okay, do you want to?
Elyse Myers 16:03
Yeah, show those rats so hard.
Mae Martin 16:06
That’s like, the thing that I keep sharing with people in an attempt maybe to explain why I am the way I am.
Elyse Myers 16:11
I think that it’s like a mom thing because I swear my mom, here’s another snowglobe Mae, Rose told me from like childhood, there are certain trees. Especially That’s why I asked if it was a if it was a palm tree columns. Like, everyone thinks LA is so cool because of the palm trees. Really. It’s palm trees she’s like, but no one knows. Is there full of rats? Where is everyone getting this information?
Mae Martin 16:37
And also, where does she think the rats are hiding? Like palm trees don’t have a lot of space to hide. Like right at the top. There’s like a bushel of 12 rats?
Elyse Myers 16:49
This has been my understanding of palm trees since like birth. So for you to tell me that your mom is like there are rats in that tree. I’m like, yeah, 100% there are you should.
Mae Martin 17:01
But why did she go to ice? Do you think I don’t? Yeah, maybe it’s just so there would be no like evidence of the assaults, the murder weapons gone? Yeah, it happens.
Elyse Myers 17:14
Honestly, that’s a perfect picture of just moms in general. I feel like yeah. Is your family dry in their humor? Like, or is one parent more outgoing and the other? They are both funny.
Mae Martin 17:27
But my dad’s sort of whimsical and eccentric, and does a lot of voices. He used to be an actor. And actually, I met a friend of his at a party in England once who was like, oh, yeah, your dad wanted to do comedy. I didn’t know that. He never said that to me. So that was that was nice to hear. But he’s, he’s very, he’s really strange. And he’s, he makes puppets and he does. Like he talks to himself in the kitchen and he’s doing all kinds of voices and and then my mom is dryer for sure. But we played poker together. That’s like our big family bonding thing is that yeah, my brother and my mom, my dad will sit down for like seven hours and play poker marathons and drink wine and get like progressively tips here and the trash talk much vicious trash talk they’ll take my parents will just take all our money like unabashedly, they’ll let us keep buying in keep buying in. They’re really good at poker. And yeah, we’re vicious with each other. But it’s very funny.
Elyse Myers 18:26
I love that so much. How long have you guys been doing that playing poker together?
Mae Martin 18:30
This is we’ve definitely got more into it in the past sort of six or seven years, but we’ve always played like me since I was a kid. We’ve played.
Elyse Myers 18:39
That’s really beautiful. Honestly, that’s like a goal right there. It’s just like have drunk family poker nights where we steal all of our children’s money. That sounds like an amazing time to me. Yeah, totally. Was your dad, like, proud when you kind of got into comedy and started acting? Because like, what was that? Like when you started taking your first few roles?
Mae Martin 18:58
Yeah, they were both were super supportive. I mean, sometimes I’m like Did Did my mom just sort of decide that that’s what I should do and then kind of molded me in that way. Like, yeah, I remember very young my mom being like, you’re gonna be the creative funny one and you’ll cheer us up.
Elyse Myers 19:16
Oh, great. Yes. A lot of responsibility. Yeah. We need to take a quick break. But when we come back Mae talks about their Netflix show feel good. Kind of going into like the acting and all of that I wanted to talk about feel good. And like just your collaboration on that. And what that was like for you like did you enjoy? Because you you wrote? Feel good? And you were in it? Right?
Mae Martin 22:00
Yeah, I’d already written like a treatment for it and, and a lot of the sort of characters and then Joe is my best friend and an amazing writer. And he came on board. And yeah, we wrote it.
Elyse Myers 22:11
And what was it like to work with Joe on that project?
Mae Martin 22:15
Working with Joe, it’s like, truly my dream for feel good. We were just in the same room for months and months and months. And it was a lot of like, a lot of breaks a lot of watching survivor. It’s important. Yeah, we watched multiple seasons of survivor. And just like bashed our heads against the wall, Plato invented a lot of weird games with like, throwing hacky sacks and catching them, I don’t know, just anything to sort of get the juices flowing. But now he’s the best. And he has skills that complement mine. And so it was a really good. Like, he’s amazing with structure. And he’s good at not letting me go sort of route one with things.
Elyse Myers 22:54
Interesting. Well, because a lot of that a lot of the show is really kind of autobiographical for you and your life. Right?
Mae Martin 23:03
Yeah, sort of, it’s like, well, I mean, yeah. But I guess the things that that my character is struggling with are all are all authentically what I’m struggling with and the sort of major plot points. But then, obviously, the kind of episodic scenarios are all fictional. And a lot of the characters are composites of multiple people that I’ve encountered and, but filming it, it felt very autobiographical, because it was like, sort of facing real things.
Elyse Myers 23:35
Yeah, I was curious because a lot cuz with especially writing characters that resemble people in your life, so I share stories about my life online, and I change people’s names. And I try not give any identifying information that would like point to somebody so you couldn’t tell who it was about, but I know who it’s about. And they know it’s about them. Yeah, and I like I’m so curious to know how you kind of handled writing stuff with people than your real life knowing it was about like, how do you not hurt people’s feelings? But still be honest.
Mae Martin 24:05
I don’t know if I did it correctly all the time. It’s tricky. You have to when you’re writing you don’t want to edit yourself or worry too much. You want to just write and then you can always add it after the fact but um, yeah, there was nobody in in feel good. That was just a direct one for one. So yeah, yeah, no, like one for one George’s definitely a combination of a couple of people who have dated who, you know, had previously been heterosexual and had to go through that process or who and then also ended up having a lot of Charlotte Ritchie, the actress as you know, and you know, who you’re writing for, you end up writing with their quirks and things like that. And George had a lot of men in her as well. And then my parents were probably the closest I think, but dialed up. So I think I did okay with not being like, Yeah, I think that’s where you run into trouble is when you’re doing one for one comparisons.
Elyse Myers 25:03
Is there a part of the show that you’re most proud of?
Mae Martin 25:06
That’s a great question. There are scenes I’m super proud of. Yeah, I really like the episode where my parents come to visit and we go to Brighton in season one. I liked the structure of that episode. And I and I love the ghost train. I loved filming out with Lisa. And then I loved I love doing the music anytime, like a song is really well placed. I’m really proud of that.
Elyse Myers 25:36
Music is so much emotion. It’s crazy.
Mae Martin 25:40
Yeah. And I am really proud of some of the sex scenes, which sounds weird, but just because they I hadn’t seen those types of sex scenes before. And I was super nervous. So I’m proud of how they turned out. And I think they move the plot for it in a in a nice way. There’s the Susan Sarandon sex scene, I think, I fought really hard not to cut that scene down. Everybody was like, this could be like a page long scene of like, 30 seconds. And I was like, No, I think it’s important. Like, I think the comedy of it comes from the pacing.
Elyse Myers 26:12
What is it like? Like choreographing a sex scene? Because I’ve never worked on a show that required any kind of blocking kind of thing. Yeah, that like, it’s so like, detailed, like, by detail, right? Like that. Nothing is left to interpretation in a scene like that, right? Or no, I asked this question. So awkwardly, that I have to say something about it. So this is me saying something about it.
Mae Martin 26:42
I mean, we I don’t I think it’s different on every on everything you just said, You talk and you figure out what you’re comfortable with. And yeah, we I know in season one. It was our it was my first time acting at all, and it was our director. It was her first time doing a series. Charlotte was an old, an old pro. So yeah, that was definitely we rehearsed a lot and choreographed it but then within that there’s like room to be in the moment, I guess.
Elyse Myers 27:13
Is it nerve wracking to perform a scene like that in front of people, man?
Mae Martin 27:17
Yeah, but I was I was more nervous for them to be topless and put a dress on and that in that scene and feel good. And episode five, I was way more nervous about wearing the dress than I was about the actual sexing. But yeah, once you’ve done it once or twice, then then it’s fine. But definitely that morning at the breakfast truck just be sweating. Awkward. Yeah, we’re like morning. Yeah, that’s so crazy.
Elyse Myers 27:41
Just everyone knows if the day and you’re like, This is fine. It’s a normal day. Everybody be cool.
Mae Martin 27:49
But also it was just so helpful being friends of Charlotte. And we both cared about the characters so much. And that we knew that was such an important scene for the characters that we felt like a responsibility to. Yeah, but by season two, we were way more chill. And that meant that we could act sort of, I don’t know push ourselves out of our comfort zone a little more and be more be braver in season two.
Elyse Myers 28:12
Did that project make you kind of fall more in love with acting and writing than you previously? Were before you started? Do you want to do this kind of keep writing shows?
Mae Martin 28:22
Definitely. Yeah, I did the flight attendant, which was a totally different experience doing someone else’s show and acting and.
Elyse Myers 28:29
How was that different from from what you did to versus being on someone else’s show?
Mae Martin 28:34
Well, I’m, I’m a control freak. I like to be in the Edit I liked. It was really strange not being able to be like, can I say, can I say this line instead? But I love the show. And Kaley Cuoco is so great. So it was just a totally different kind of joy. I had I had a really good time, but it was Yeah, I think I’m a control freak.
Hi. This is one of Elyse’s producers. And I can confirm this is a this is a hard yes.
Elyse Myers 29:00
And it’s really weird when when I get booked on something where I’m supposed to be myself, too, because I’m like, I am me. But you also booked a version of me. That’s not me. I’m a character of myself. So it was like a really fine line too. Especially when he I don’t have creative control over I’m doing someone else’s thing. But I mean, I’m like, they’d asked, like, do you feel is this comfortable? Like, would you say this? And I’m like, No, but I also wouldn’t be teaching somebody about a credit card at a bar. So like, how much do you want to have me right here? You know what I mean? And so yeah, not having creative control over it is like it’s very vulnerable. Yeah. We have to take a quick break, but more with Mae Martin when we come back. Do you find that it matters kind of who you’re playing versus how much control you feel like you need?
Mae Martin 31:47
Yeah, maybe? I mean, I haven’t done. I haven’t done much. I definitely with with the flight attendant. I just was like God, I hope I don’t stick out as not fitting into the world and tone of that show. So I just watched tons of it to make sure I was serving the show itself. And yeah, but it was that was a tricky tongue. So I record our film done half of it pre having top surgery and then the the rest after having top surgery. And so there was a whole other kind of element of anxiety around what I was wearing. And that is really boring and annoying to contend with. Because everyone’s like, well, you’re an actor just wear you know, it’s a character wear the clothes. And you’re like, I know that does make sense when you say like that, but I can’t explain.
Elyse Myers 32:35
Do you understand what my brain what you’re saying? But I don’t feel it?
Mae Martin 32:38
Yeah, like I just can’t wear like, a Hillary Clinton pantsuit. Because I Yeah, and so that was they were there. They were pretty understanding but it was yeah, it’s always tricky. That’s another reason I I think I like to be in control. Because I’m like, I don’t want to wear things I don’t want to wear which sounds so kind of diva. But it really doesn’t.
Elyse Myers 32:58
I don’t deal with the same thing. But I really struggle with putting something on my body that I wouldn’t wear as certain terms of being a character. It’s the vort the fittings, oh my god, I like it. I just I just was in New York. And I was playing to people like I was in a commercial where it was like me and then under me. And so we had to do fittings are hard anyways, but then it was too looks. And I’m also pregnant, which adds another layer of I’m an alien in my body. Thank you. It’s great. But it’s also like, my body looks different every five seconds, and I’m just like, I can look in the mirror anymore. And like I don’t recognize myself. It’s all good. working it out. It’s fine. But um, yeah, so then if the fitting just makes me spiral. Like, I won’t lie to you. It’s like we had to block it out the day before knowing like I kind of spiral wearing clothes in my mind. And so I couldn’t even imagine you like going through such a huge transformation in your own body as one character, like, how did you return and still do that job.
Mae Martin 34:00
I mean, it takes a lot of confidence anyway to be on camera and then to you know, when you put something on that you and it just immediately saps your confidence and you get that like lump in your throat that you’re like.
Mae Martin 34:02
Everyone’s staring at you like going Do you love me like, right? You’re like, why are you lying to me?
Mae Martin 34:14
I know. Or you’re like, Well, you don’t see me the way I want to be seen. So yeah, I don’t know.
Elyse Myers 34:21
But it also feels like it’s like a direct reflection of how what they think of you and you’re giving you an opinion of like who they see you as and you’re like, Oh, you don’t understand me at all. Like and then you just want to run away and cry. At least that’s how I feel.
Mae Martin 34:34
Yeah, that’s exactly it. Yeah. Yeah, it was tough. Like, but I think when I sort of signed on to the project, I knew I was playing a flight attendant. So I was like, even before I signed the contract, I was like, I’m gonna have to wear a men’s flight attendant uniform. And they were like, Yeah, well, we’ll figure something out. And then when I got there on the day to the fitting and I saw these dresses hanging up alongside Like, some, some pants, suits and stuff, just seeing the dresses was like, Oh my God, are they gonna make me put these, you know, like, I’m not gonna put them on and then they were, they were super understanding but it was just, it was fraught for sure in my mind and then I was already wearing like a chest binder and stuff. So, you know, you can’t I look the same across the series and they were they were very supportive and Kaylee in particular was like, keen to go to bat for me if I felt awkward.
Elyse Myers 35:29
So yeah, and that is a huge deal to have people that like will protect you, that is not the norm. Like it’s just like, do what you need to do make, you know the day happen and leave and then we’ll take care of the rest. So to have somebody that’s like, I got you and like I will, I will speak up for you is so powerful.
Mae Martin 35:48
That’s the best like a kind of ally ship you can have as well. And I mean, and I tried to do that for other kind of minority groups or whatever, if you notice something, be the one to say it because it can be very vulnerable and kind of emotionally fraught. If you feel like you have to constantly be the one to fight for yourself. And yeah, it was really during field that I had Charlotte, who was, I think learning a lot as we went, but she was very supportive. And like, by season two, I mean, yeah, there was like, if a crew member was calling us ladies or something, and I’d be like, it would just throw my confidence off before a scene or it would sort of get in my head. And she would just without even telling me she’d secretly go and talk to them, you know, really sweetly and be like, just, and it’s just, it’s just nice when people do that without you asking. They don’t even tell you they’ve done it. You know? Yeah, it’s super nice.
Elyse Myers 36:34
Man, that would just make you want to work with those people, no matter what I was doing. Yeah. I’m wondering like, with, you know, you having like top surgery and like, just like all of that, like, do you feel now in this season of your life, you’re like, the most confident in who you are. And you feel like you’re able to be more funny, because you’re more comfortable? Like, what was that? Like kind of stepping into that?
Mae Martin 36:56
Yeah, like infinitely? I don’t know about funnier, I hope funnier. I haven’t we’ll see when I get on set. But I yeah, in general, just I feel so much less fragile, and so much more like I can even play with those things and be Yeah, like, everything just felt so fraught before in a way that I sort of thought it felt for everyone. And it definitely doesn’t. Yeah, I just feel I feel a million times better. And I can only I only know my own experience. But yeah, yeah, I feel great. It’s great.
Elyse Myers 37:33
So when you kind of realize this was like, This is who I am. Whereas was it just like, Oh, I didn’t, I didn’t realize I had to feel so sad about this all the time. Like, was that kind of the understanding of like, I thought everyone felt this way all the time about who they were?
Mae Martin 37:47
Yeah, yeah, I really thought everyone had that same level of discomfort. And as soon as I made the decision to have that surgery, and started kind of using they them pronouns and stuff, it was like, then it couldn’t happen fast enough. And I definitely have some grief about like, how long it took me to get there. But it was just not in the public discourse. Like, I don’t know, it just didn’t occur to me until I mean, I thought every day about it my whole life, but I didn’t think it was an option. And I thought it was just that I was like a masculine presenting woman who was struggling with like, society’s problem. Yeah. Because that because that is a thing as well. So that’s confusing, I think is in its own way. So I thought it was that but then it was more than that.
Elyse Myers 38:32
I’m just proud. I just I’m like, nothing. I’m a stranger to you. But it’s just I’m proud. I’m just really happy to see you happy.
Mae Martin 38:38
And it’s like, it’s I was just somebody tagged me in a video of me doing stand up, like, maybe in 2017 or something and it’s wild seen that version of myself and, and it is, it is me like and so the fact that it’s been so public that transformation cuz I just, you know, it’s so incremental every day that you don’t notice it. But then when you look at a video from like, six years ago, and you’re like, whoa, it was 100% still me but it felt like me and this like wound up so tight. And just in this kind of cage, so it’s it just feels great.
Elyse Myers 39:11
Yeah, I’m just saying I’m just like, proud. I don’t know. I just like I’m trying not to crack. So I’m, like, so proud that like we all just get to experience. You like this isn’t a different version of you. It’s like this is actually you. And so we get to like watch you become you in front of all of us. And then like, be talented with it. I don’t know what’s really cool.
Mae Martin 39:29
Thank you so much. Thanks.
Elyse Myers 39:31
Well, I don’t want to take up more of your time but may honestly so good to meet you. So good to talk. And I’m just so grateful you were on the show today.
Mae Martin 39:38
Thank you so much.
Elyse Myers 39:41
All right. Thank you so much for listening to my episode with Mae Martin. Make sure to check out their comedy special SAP in their show feel good both on Netflix. If you like this show, give us a rating and a review. It helps other people find us. Okay, I’ll be back next week. There’s more Funny Cuz It’s True with Lemonda Premium. Get access to all of Lemonda’s Premium content including my five questions with Mae Martin coming out this Friday. Subscribe now in 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 Johnny Evans, additional help from Noah Smith and Ivan Kuraev. Our theme song music was written by me and scored by Xander Singh. Follow Funny Cuz It’s True wherever you get your podcast or listed ad free on Amazon music with your prime membership.