Exclusive Interview: Felicia Day Discusses ‘Embrace Your Weird’
In a time where the world is at your fingertips (literally), and you could have any variety of hobbies, what, you ask, should you do with your “weird”?
Well, Felicia Day wants you to embrace it.
That’s right. The talented writer, actress, creator, mom, probable stardust taking corporeal form, and all around fantastic human wants you to take all of that weird and let it shine. And she’s written a book to help you figure out how.
In Embrace Your Weird: A Guided Journal for Facing Your Fears and Unleashing Creativity, Felicia takes us on a journey of self exploration of the fun and free spirited variety. She tackles everything that stops us from letting creative expression run rampant; including procrastination, mental blocks, and all of those lies we tell ourselves about our own potential. In short — Felicia wants to help legions of creators make their mark on the world.
You feeling inspired yet? Read on for our interview with Felicia, where she discusses her new book, the latest season of her space comedy podcast Voyage to the Stars, and how much love she feels for fandom families.
(Interview has been edited for length.)
Nerds and Beyond: Where did the inspiration spark for this book come from?
Felicia: After I wrote my memoir, I had a lot of people coming up to me telling me that my journey from homeschool girl, to frustrated actress, to web video maven was inspiring to them, and it caused them to start creating things, but also more importantly, even get help with anxiety and depression. When I heard that, I was so touched and so motivated, and I really wanted to do that more and give the keys to the reader a little bit more than just talk about my own personal journey.
That’s where this book kind of came from. I wanted to do sort of an interactive dialogue with people and try to just help them figure out who they are as creators. To get their voice out there in the world and overcome all the things that kind of keeps people back from expressing themselves. There are so many of them, but they’re all surmountable. And I wanted to give people the tools to do that in a fun, funny, geeky way.
Nerds and Beyond: We read in your memoir (You’re Never Weird on the Internet) you talked about meeting a gentleman that did some artwork of your character Codex (from The Guild) and was very dismissive in calling himself “creative.” So those sorts of folks spurned this book?
Felicia: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I think that there’s a lot of language in the way that we’re all raised that sort of dissuade us from trying to be creative in a way we might dream about and also suppresses the things can make us different. There’s a lot of conformity, especially in childhood, that only blocks us in being creative.
The thing about it is that our weirdnesses, the things that make us different, the impulses that we want to express ourselves in a unique way — those are really our super powers. Those are what get us to a point where we’re feeling fulfilled as creators and impact other people with the things that we make.
That’s why the title of this book is Embrace Your Weird, because the things that make you different are the things that will make you stand out. Whether it is standing out confident in your self worth, or the things that you share with the world.
Nerds and Beyond: We loved the activities in this book. How did you come up with them?
Felicia: I have been reading self help books all my life. I would not be here unless in periods of my life where I felt low, I read a book and it gave me a boost to get over. I don’t see a lot of them out there that are funny and interactive. I want people to really step through on a journey and interact around the ideas that I put out in a way that is fun and whimsical. It also might impact the reader a little bit more — that was kind of my rationale. Also, I like to do weird, funny doodles.
Nerds and Beyond: Switching gears a bit, what can you tell us about the next season of your space comedy podcast, Voyage to the Stars? (Season two is out now!)
Felicia: Everybody’s going to be trying to make their way back to Earth to save it from The Nothing, which was kind of the big bad from the last season and continues to be a factor this one. We even have having new crew member coming on board, Kirsten Vangsness. She was on Criminal Minds, and she’s so funny. She plays the lesbian alien cat character Nico. So that’s all I need to describe her, but it’s super, super funny.
We have so many good guest stars, like Angela Kinsey and Oscar Nunez from The Office, Jesse Cox (Good Game) and Harvey Guillen (What We Do in the Shadows). They all made me laugh so hard, and we had so much fun recording.
Nerds and Beyond: Switching gears again! Recently, CW released a deleted scene from last season of Supernatural where AU Charlie talks about her road trip with Rowena. Now that the series is coming to an end, will we see either AU or Original Recipe Charlie before it’s over?
Felicia: Supernatural has been a super huge part of my life– it’s been eight years! So I can only hope that I’ll be a part of the last season in some small capacity. I will jump at any opportunity, even if it’s sitting in the background of a shot.
I feel like I’m part of the Supernatural family. It’s 100% family and that won’t go away after the show is over. It’s kind of like the Buffyverse — it will always exist and people will love it. I love doing my own creative projects, but when I get to be a part of a fan family like that, it really enriches my life as an artist and as a person. So yeah, we’ll see. I’m crossing fingers for Charlie to come back, but either way I know they’re going to end it really beautifully.
Nerds and Beyond: One last question. We listened to the latest episode of your podcast, Felicitations!, and it sounds like you have other projects in the works! What can you tease about anything else you’ve got going on?
Felicia: Well right now I can talk about the book and the podcast. There are all sorts of other things in the works that I can’t talk about quite yet. I am really happy — I’m working on things I really love. I released myself from the expectations of Hollywood, and I’m doing my own thing which makes me feel much happier. I hope that it really is infused in the book and encourages other people to walk the path that you’re meant to walk, not the path that you think you should be walking.
You can pre-order Felicia’s new book, Embrace Your Weird, on her website now. Felicia also just announced a book tour, where she’ll be visiting Arizona, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Massachusetts, and more. You can see the dates here.