Amanda Monrad

She´s come a long way since playing a fawn in a grade-school pageant, and actor/director Amanda Monrad has learned plenty along the way. Like the joys of getting loaded online. And that auditions suck, but the Louvre doesn´t. And that dirt-flavored jellybeans can sometimes rock.

I knew I wanted to be in show business when I landed the lead role of "Little Deer" in second grade. From that point on, I was hooked on acting —although living a small Indiana town and saying that you want to be a Shakespearean actress will only get you laughed at.

The worst thing about being a theater director is acid reflux.

My worst audition ever was at ASU. I gave my first read, and when I finished, I looked at the director and said, "So what's this whole play about? Where am I? What should I be feeling here?" Needless to say, I wasn't called back. Truthfully, I hate all auditions. I'm too nervous for them.

The happiest day in my life was in Paris with my husband at the Louvre. I spent the entire day traipsing through rooms filled with beautiful art and history with someone I love.

If I could be anyone other than myself it would be Chuck Woolery. He has the best job ever and he's had phenomenal career longevity. Pat Sajak and Alex Trebek are only known for one game show. Chuck's had a bunch. I'll bet he's a great guy.

It’s not entirely true, but I sometimes tell people that I've read or listened to whatever it is they're talking about. I don't want people to think I'm an idiot because I haven't listened to the new Arcade Fire album or read The DaVinci Code. Plus, it's easier than saying I have no idea what they're talking about, then having them explain to me the entire premise of the book or how great the album is. Seriously.

The fictional character I am most like is Winona Ryder's character from the film Reality Bites: too smart for my own good, pretentious without reason, full of aspiration and totally, completely gullible and vulnerable.

I am utterly terrified of death.

I laugh uncontrollably at babies sneezing. Or coughing! I knew I could never be trusted with a small child when I realized that a sneeze or cough from a baby human being would make me laugh hard enough to pee my own pants.

The one thing I absolutely refuse to do on stage is Arthur Miller. In any way, shape or form.

Something I have never admitted to anyone before is I actually like the way the dirt-flavored Harry Potter jellybeans taste. I don't come home and think, "Man I could go for a dirt jellybean!" But I like them better than eating at Hooters.

Currently, I am reading Microserfs by Douglas Coupland. It's a novel about finding love in a high-tech cubicle farm in the Pacific Northwest. I've been currently reading it for a while.

The first time I got drunk, I had a tequila shot contest while AOL instant-messaging with a friend. That's definitely one of the nerdiest things I have ever done.

Like my mother used to say, "We'll see . . ."

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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela