We are what we are, and what we are needs no excuses! Being an artist with ADHD is one thing; having ADHD as your personal hyperfocus adds a whole new dimension to the experience. Hersh sits down with improv and sketch comedian Liz Bennett, whose filterless, in-the-moment life process is diverse and productive, including original music, professional book editing, and ongoing advancement in The Groundlings (“the one step-by-step feasible goal in my mind”). A play-by-ear pianist, Liz creates rap-style songs delivering rapid-fire lyrics courtesy of a racing mind. They range from the witty to the heavily dramatic, and are a beautiful testament to her neurodivergencies.
The show’s “All Pets Welcome” policy leads to the introduction of a cat, a dog, and Orlando the Ferret. So, if you’re an animal lover, you don’t wanna miss this episode!
Where to find Liz:
Liz Bennett on Truth Tastes Funny with Hersh Rephun
[00:00:00] Hersh: The funny thing about focus is that if you keep your eyes on it and follow it long enough, it ends up right behind you where you left it. I'm sorry, what was the question? This is my conversation with Liz Bennett.
[00:00:49] My guest today is Liz Bennett. She is an improv and a sketch comedian. She prefers to be called an ADHD improv and sketch comedian. She is a play-by-ear pianist, a book editor and, a ferret lover. And I think we know that the ferret lover part and the book editor part are thrown in just for their shock value.
[00:01:18] Liz Bennett: Oh no, my ferret's right there.
[00:01:20] Hersh: Oh, it is. Can we see the ferret?
[00:01:22] Liz Bennett: It's not legal in California, but yes, I'm not in California, maybe one second.
[00:01:27] Hersh: Okay.
[00:01:28] Liz Bennett: The people want to see you.
[00:01:35] Hersh: We have a an all pets are welcome open door policy on the truth tastes funny podcast, but this is a, what is your Ferrett's name?
[00:01:45] Liz Bennett: His name is Orlando after the Shakespeare Orlando. Oh, and every time you go like this to a ferret they yawn. Wait for it, unless he's going to prove me wrong? He's tired. Are you tired, too tired? I woke him up.
[00:01:59] Hersh: He's really legit tired. It's like, dude, I'm too fucking tired to yawn. I'm not yawning.
[00:02:04] Liz Bennett: They sleep 18 hours a day and they only poop in corners.
[00:02:10] Hersh: Okay. You can only have so many corners in your house then too, cause you're going to be planning. Well this is this is, there's a couple of firsts here.
[00:02:19] We'll wait for Liz to return. She's placing the ferret and it's, and it's a abode. So there, this, this there's two firsts here. One is, this is the first ferret and I believe indeed, the first pet we've had on this show, but you are also the first comedian when you appear on the show, which considering that I, well, I'm a comedian, but I'm not a guest.
[00:02:45] Really considering how many comedians we know that that's pretty, that's pretty special. So I appreciate your,
[00:02:50] Liz Bennett: Oh that's awesome..
[00:02:52] Hersh: And I, and I'm glad it's you. So for those of you who don't know, Liz, she's very funny, very witty and clever and combines music and comedy in her performance, which is something that I really love.
[00:03:07] And I aspire to music. Like I love music and I, I try to incorporate it and I have incorporated it, but I'm not a musician in any, in any real sense. Tell us, tell us a little bit about your relationship with comedy and music.
[00:03:26] Liz Bennett: It's really interesting. Music was actually the only thing that I took seriously or like showed, cause all comedians are like the most depressed people. Right. And so the music is where that could come out. And so I never really used to share it, but that's how I learned to play the piano. So well, cause I started. You know, my anxiety in college. So I would just go to the piano and practice for like seven hours a night. And then I realized I could make parodies and like use it in shows and it amplifies like humor,
[00:03:56] Hersh: but you taught yourself to play, right. You played by ear. And when did you start that?
[00:04:02] Liz Bennett: I really started it freshman year of college. So I was like 18, 19. However many years ago, 18 years I've had a piano and I've been messing around with it since I was like eight, but I really started most.
[00:04:19] Hersh: Do you have siblings?
[00:04:21] Liz Bennett: I do. I have a younger brother, three younger sisters and an older brother. I just found him, which was cool.
[00:04:27] Hersh: Oh, wow. Oh, that's cool. How did that, how did that come about?
[00:04:31] Liz Bennett: I typed his name on Facebook and I saw this DKI looking kit and I knew it was my brother.
[00:04:35] Hersh: You, why did you type his name?
[00:04:38] Liz Bennett: I just thought was like, wonder what he looks like.
[00:04:41] Hersh: I mean, but you say you just found him, if you knew he was,
[00:04:45] Liz Bennett: I found out he existed and then I typed in his name and it's all kinds of things.
[00:04:51] Hersh: Okay. But you, but you found out, you found out that he existed and you, you checked him out and as soon as you saw him, you were like, okay, that's, that's him. That's the one.
[00:05:01] And this picture. So that's a, that's a pretty big family. That's a lot of siblings. You know, I have two older siblings, they both took piano lessons and I was so turned off by piano lessons, but I would always do.
[00:05:13] You know, by, by ear and like, you know, fart around on the piano. And I didn't want to take lessons. And eventually I said to my mom, oh, I will take lessons. And she said, no, it's going to ruin your level. Instrument. Like if you'd start taking lessons now you're just going to lose your enthusiasm.
[00:05:31] Cause my sisters never play. They, they, you know, they took it for years. They got all the little Bach and Beethoven statues and things that you, that you put on from there. Where do you go from there? And but, but they could technically play better than I can. So I kind of regret not, not learning the formal stuff.
[00:05:51] Liz Bennett: Yeah. But anytime I meet a like, play by like site pianist, they're jealous of my skills and I'm jealous that their skills, like, they think that it's because I can just hear a song and play it and they can't do that. Right. Which I almost think of sometimes more useful, but then, you know, I'm not backing up like musical theater, auditions or shows or anything like that,
[00:06:12] Hersh: but what kind of music do you like to play?
[00:06:15] Liz Bennett: I like rapping. I like to like figure out raps really, really fast raps. Cause my brain with my ADHD is always just going like this, like 10,000 manic voices going like this. I might as well put it to fast raps
[00:06:27] Hersh: then you're very good with that, the flow is great. And yeah, it's funny cause I, you know, we don't know each other that, well, we know each other over the, over the years we've stayed in touch, but
[00:06:38] Liz Bennett: over the bar in the bar at Sal's right.
[00:06:43] Hersh: But basically the ADHD part, I really didn't know, you know, existed per se, until I started watching more of the videos. And you mentioned it, but it makes total sense. What, what does it, so you become kind of, kind of a, an expert in attention deficit, right?
[00:07:04] Liz Bennett: ADHD people have hyper focuses, like little hyper fixations that they cycle through and mine has been ADHD.
[00:07:11] Hersh: Yeah. Oh, so it's your hyper-focus is the ADHD itself
[00:07:16] Liz Bennett: until someone assigns it to me or tells me to do it, then I'll get bored of it and have another hyper-focus until I'm reminded of it again.
[00:07:25] Hersh: And, and what role, so that's one role that it kind of plays in your life,
[00:07:31] Liz Bennett: in every single thing in my life.
[00:07:33] Hersh: It's, it's re it's connected to everything and, and so.
[00:07:39] How do you feel about that? Like what, what's your relationship like? You know?
[00:07:46] Liz Bennett: Yeah. I mean, I love, I love my brain. It's like, I know that it's different from everyone else's but like, as I'm, you know, seeing this ADHD specialist and finding out little things that I thought was just like me that were actually my ADHD the whole time, like sleep problems, or like not eating or drinking water or like forgetting to call my family for four months.
[00:08:07] Yeah. You know, or even like being really sensitive to rejection and lashing out and just like learning these things, it makes it so that you have more of a handle on it. And it's sad that like, most people, a lot of therapists will like, I'll hear my friends be like, I'm talking about my ADHD and the therapist is just like, well, why don't you focus?
[00:08:25] You know what I mean? Like they just, and it's like, what? Because there's 30 voices repeating Diddly dah diddly Dodo in my head. Like what, what did you just say, even? Like, it's very, yeah.
[00:08:35] Hersh: And what. You know, are there, do, do you do any kind of medication
[00:08:43] Liz Bennett: I take Adderall, I do take like stimulants for it and because of the looting a couple of years ago, when they looted all the Adderall out of the pharmacies, it is so hard to get it sometimes because they are very controlling with it.
[00:08:57] Hersh: It's hard to get Adderall.
[00:08:58] Liz Bennett: Yeah
[00:08:59] Hersh: why don't you focus on getting it and then you that's.
[00:09:04] Liz Bennett: I did. I found a guy on the streets in case I run out and
[00:09:09] Hersh: You can't do that now with all the fentanyl, with the fentanyl a crisis. Now I don't know that. I don't know that they're cutting fentanyl with that, but I hope not.
[00:09:25] Liz Bennett: Oh, oh no. I was just thinking I took one before the interview, so hopefully I'm okay.
[00:09:30] Hersh: How long does it take to, to to work
[00:09:33] Liz Bennett: It's starting to work like right now. Cause you can tell I'm calming down a little bit.
[00:09:37] Yeah. Settling down a little bit. That's good. Well, it's not as good. I think, you know, my oldest son has Asperger's which, and all that means, which is, which is what all, any of it means is that his mind works a certain way, which is not too.
[00:09:55] Yeah. Cause the, they, I know that the Asperger's community is very upset right now because they cut that out of the autism dictionary. So Asperger's technically doesn't exist anymore, which is making people very mad. Cause they always identified with this community.
[00:10:10] Hersh: Yeah. Similar had the opposite effect with him in that he.
[00:10:16] He preferred, like I said to him, oh, you know, like when he's now he's 30, he just turned 30. So he's a writer works for a nonprofit. But when he was interviewing for jobs, I would say, you know, you can, because sometimes there are certain. Behaviors, you don't read completely clearly. And you know, you're, you're, you, you may appear to be less enthusiastic about something.
[00:10:39] It's not a terrible thing to slip in. You know, that you have Asperger's or that, you know, you should know, you should, you should let them know. And he said, oh, it's not even a thing anymore. Like Asperger's doesn't even exist anymore.
[00:10:50] Liz Bennett: It just means that he's on the low end of the autism spectrum, which is a super power.
[00:10:55] Hersh: Yeah. So, but, but it's, it's something that I think he's got, gotten more comfortable with as he's gotten a little older, but at the beginning of the journey where he was seven and diagnosed with Asperger's, it was so important because people didn't know that how to deal with it. And, and teachers were either.
[00:11:18] Unprepared or assholes or both. And it was, it was like, why put this poor kid through like the ringer of of behavior modification?
[00:11:30] Liz Bennett: Yeah. I mean, like, so I've been dating, like dating. This is about remind me in case I forget that this is about Asperger's or autism, but, oh, sorry. No, I met this girl recently who has autism?
[00:11:43] Like pretty like in the middle of it. And we were like dating for awhile and it was so fun because ADHD and autism are very similar in a lot of ways. And it's almost on like the same spectrum and a lot of people with autism also have ADHD or vice versa. And so it was the only thing that, that didn't work out.
[00:12:03] Is she, so like we have, what is it called? Object permanence issues. So if I don't talk to someone for a little bit, I still love them. Oh, shit. I haven't talked to you in two weeks. I don't know that. I don't know that it's been an hour or two weeks. And she was like, I know you're slow ghosting me because you don't like my autism.
[00:12:21] And I was like, no, I dude, I totally forgot. And then it just got it. Got it. Got weird. So we don't really talk to her, but it was really cool because we would take the time to talk about each other's neurodivergency is and adapt the way we were behaving around each other.
[00:12:38] I find that. You know, it, it works both ways.
[00:12:45] Hersh: The different personalities that we have can create barriers and they can also create avenues that absolutely that, because for example, with Asperger's. People are much more honest. They can't really be deceptive and they're perfectly,
[00:13:03] Liz Bennett: they have no guile
[00:13:04] Hersh: perfect perfectly well, well said there have no guile, so you can relate much more easily than you can to someone who's trying so hard to put on all these masks.
[00:13:15] Exactly and, and no one knows. And what passes for normal is someone who just is really good at recognizing masks and really good at bullshitting and really good at deception and manipulation. That's what a normal person would be. Well, that's what it seems like to me. Cause, cause that's when I, when I feel the most normative in society.
[00:13:40] Liz Bennett: Neuro-typical?
[00:13:41] Hersh: Right. When, the way when I feel the most neuro-typical in society is when I'm on top of the, the, the social, you know shit that I have to do. Like, I feel like I'm on top of it. I'm focused. I, I know how to behave in a certain situation, huh?
[00:14:00] Liz Bennett: Yeah, I guess so for me, I have no filtration system, so I, whatever I think, or feel just comes right out of my face. And it's like, so I guess I don't even know what it's like to feel like neuro normal in a social situation, but I like that.
[00:14:15] Hersh: Yeah. Yeah. But that's, but that level is all is all, nothing but trouble is my point. But the fact that you can, that you can actually see, for example, as a performer, sometimes when I'm on stage, I feel really free.
[00:14:34] And sometimes I feel nervous, anxious. And then I freeze let's say like anybody does, or I miss the opportunity to really go for some bit that I could. Yeah. Like the bit is starting in my head and then I kind of bypass it and I'm like, ah, you know, that. It works. It helps in social situations. You know, you don't get thrown out of class.
[00:14:58] Liz Bennett: I got thrown out of class until college. I was sorry.
[00:15:02] I interrupted. What did you
[00:15:04] Hersh: no, no, no. That's what did you say? What, what did you do in school? Got you in trouble.
[00:15:08] Liz Bennett: I used to have, when I was like, I didn't get diagnosed till I was 22 women. Aren't usually diagnosed like girls. They used to not think that girls have ADHD. So a little boys were diagnosed and girls weren't plus my parents were kind of like absent in that avenue. And so they weren't really paying attention. It's like when I was 22, I was in London and one of my roommates in London was on Adderall and she didn't want to take it. She's like, I don't feel like taking it today. Do you want to try it? And I was like, okay. And we went to study at the globe and I remember she's like, you're going to feel really spastic and all this stuff. And I felt like I had been on my tiptoes my entire life and I sank down onto the ground. And I looked over at my teacher and I looked over at everyone and I was listening and I was like, what is happening?
[00:15:50] It was, it was very cool. I don't remember the question though.
[00:15:55] Hersh: I don't either. I don't either. And I, and I, and I also wonder, you know, I wonder about my, myself, and I always say, I would say this to my son and I say it to all my kids. Like, I don't know what I I've never been diagnosed. Like, I don't know what, I don't know what my, like what's the line between something that's diagnosable and something that just is some trait that I have.
[00:16:20] Liz Bennett: I mean, so if I say I have ADHD and someone says, oh yeah, me too. I can't focus. It's like this. Okay. So sometimes you can't focus, but I can never focus like every single second. So it's about like the permanence of a quality versus something that occasionally happens, I would think.
[00:16:38] Hersh: Okay. Yeah. So, so jumping to art music, comedy book editing. As you mentioned in your cell professionally, what's been the trajectory for you.
[00:16:53] Liz Bennett: I mean, honestly, with how intense my ADHD is and how late I got diagnosed. I, my therapist, I, we always talk about how grateful I should just be, that I have money to pay rent and I'm happy. And I have like all these jobs that I'm doing well, like that's a huge victory it's insane. It is inside of me, not saying no divergent inside of my brain. But I'm trying to like surround myself with jobs that, that are my talents. For instance, I'm like obsessed with the English language, like punctuation and grammar and all it's like some of my, I wrote a sketch called the English teacher sketch that we performed, where I had all these boys in my class. And I made example sentences. That's slowly let the boys know that I was having sex with all their mothers. You know what I mean? Like that kind of thing. So I can even put like grammar into my sketches.
[00:17:43] Hersh: Do you have an ambition for more people to see the, your sketches and hear your comedy?
[00:17:50] Liz Bennett: Well, I have a group. We were doing things at Sal's right before the pandemic. We booked the place like every other week and then the pandemic happened. And now I I'm trying to write a show about more. So I'm having a lot of my favorite, like comedians of color, write sketches to point out the stupid things that white people do without realizing it. And then we're going to perform those as little staples in between the sketch show. Cause I kind of want to like make an impact with it.
[00:18:16] Hersh: That's fantastic. No, that's okay. That's fantastic. And twisted comedy was the troop, right? Yeah. I was looking to see if you guys had done any more stuff.
[00:18:28] Liz Bennett: No. I realized that I was in a group of like eight white boys and I was like, Nope, I was, I had to like change the groups. I like, you know, that all these different,
[00:18:36] Hersh: well, there's something, there's something there. The through line of, you know, here's a lesbian with a dudes and then wanting to have black guys , break it down for white people who are clueless. Yeah. Cause one thing that seems to be a through line with you is that, you know, so much about, you know, so much about personality.
[00:19:02] Liz Bennett: So I know this goes with ADHD too, but I'm a huge impact, I guess, almost like, like I'm not going to go spiritually, almost like psychically. So sometimes where I can have a customer sitting at a table and I'm like, are you okay? And she'll just be like, and start sobbing. Like, how did you know it was, I can feel that. And I learned that that's because with ADHD, Growing up, we'd get into so much trouble or like we would be told we were wrong or something. And so we learned to people please, and to really, really, really read people.
[00:19:35] Hersh: So are you, do you cry?
[00:19:38] Liz Bennett: Well, ADHD people compartmentalize their emotions. So like if something sad happens, I might be be really inappropriately reacting. And then two years later, just sitting on a couch and start sobbing, someone will be like, what's happening. Like, I'm thinking about a breakup that happened six years ago. And then two minutes later, I'll stop sobbing and be like, Ooh, how do I want sushi?
[00:19:58] Hersh: Yeah. See, those are things I can totally relate to. I totally relate to in the moment processing things. Well, I don't know that I would say I'm detached, but in the moment I might process emotional things like truly emotional, significant things, very intellectually, but completely superficial things. I'll process, very viscerally. Like, if I close the door on my finger or something, oh, I have, I have an outsized reaction.
[00:20:32] My reaction to a paper cut. My sisters used to always joke that like, whatever happened to me, the joke was, oh, we're going to have to amputate. Yeah. Cause, cause I would say, oh my God, oh my God. We're going to have to amputate. Exactly.
[00:20:51] Liz Bennett: Or it will be seven in the morning and I'll see my cat throw up or something and I'll be like, fuck it. I'll take a big bucket. Just throw it at the cat. And I'm like, why did I do that? Not at the cat. You know what I mean? I love them.
[00:21:02] Hersh: Well, of course I have a dog. I'm a dog person. I, I, I respect cats, I have a Yorkiepoo.
[00:21:08] Liz Bennett: Okay. My dad would call that a little rat dog, but I would still love it. Yeah.
[00:21:12] Hersh: Yeah, he's adorable. But last night, last night, my 14 year old daughter had four friends stay over.
[00:21:20] So, you know, five, 14 year olds in your house can, can get, can like get on your nerves a little bit and you know, okay. And Toby that my dog was just sitting on my bed and, you know, he starts to bark about something and I said, ah, shut up Toby. And it was like, that was the first time that I've told you. He we've had him for two years.
[00:21:44] That's the first time I told him to shut up. I felt very calm. Yeah. Yeah. It wasn't that it was the idea that. Shut up Toby. I mean, I'll say shut up to like podcasts that I listened to. They can't hear me, but the people that I like, like that's, can't hear me. I'll say, oh, shut the fuck up. Shut up. Like you would say to your friends or anybody shut up.
[00:22:08] But with Toby, I was really a little angry and I was like, just shut up Toby
[00:22:12] Liz Bennett: Damn Toby. And then when you said that my brain went, did he name it after? So this is what my brain just did. As you were talking, I did hear everything you're saying it went. Did he name the dog after Toby Maguire, after that character Toby and Sweeney Todd Toby or not Toby, I was just like, yeah,
[00:22:28] Hersh: there's also a line in in reservoir dogs in the beginning of Quentin Tarantino's reservoir dogs where they're sitting in the restaurant and Harvey Keitel is looking through this phone book and he's making fun of his boss and he goes He goes, this is you.
[00:22:44] You're like the Toby one, Toby Chan, Toby you've ever seen. It's now, like something like that, like it's just a bit, but like I have these arcane bits in my head and so I make associations, but Toby, Toby was just a name that, that one of my daughters liked for him
[00:23:03] Liz Bennett: Cause all my animals, I have five animals. They're all Shakespearian. Except one of them. I was like, Nope. Tucker. I look right at him and I'm "That's Tucker." And I tried to justify it. I tried to, I researched, I scoured through every Shakespeare thing I could find. There is not a Tucker and I still named, I'm talking about there's no Tucker in shakes. No Tucker, nothing you can do about it. I mean, the guy, we could say that when they cross dress, they were like Dick Tokers,
[00:23:29] Hersh: so how often now with with the pandemic and everything, we're still juggling. We don't know whether we're, we, we don't know at what stage of of the pandemic we're in at what is the performance landscape looking like for you right now?
[00:23:45] Liz Bennett: Are you talking about goals? Because I don't have any of those!
[00:23:49] Hersh: Yeah, you don't have to have, do you never have goals?
[00:23:52] Liz Bennett: The Groundlings is my one fun goal.
[00:23:54] Hersh: Yeah. And what are you doing to that end?
[00:23:57] Liz Bennett: I just passed advanced. So I'm going to go to writing lab. Yeah.
[00:24:01] Hersh: Oh, good. Okay. Not a surprise. Not a surprise. No. Well, that's the thing. I think what it is is when I, when I watch your videos, I'm like, oh wow. More people should see that that are even than. Like it's. Yeah, I just, but, but some people are driven by that idea themselves. Like, I just want as many, like, sometimes their stuff isn't even that good. They just have tremendous ambition to have it be seen and see
[00:24:31] Liz Bennett: I've never had that, but a lot of people have it for me, or I'm starting to surround myself with people, mostly music right now is the big focus. People who support me and have the brain. To do that part of it. Do you know what I mean? Or like get it out there, but yeah, the Groundlings has been the one step-by-step feasible goal in my mind.
[00:24:52] Hersh: How does that feel to have that kind of order?
[00:24:55] Liz Bennett: It's like the one thing that makes sense. You cannot fail. It's like a scientific method for improv with the Groundlings. And so I already had, I would always have teachers say, get out of wacky town. You're going. Cause I'd be, like I say the most crazy thing on stage. Cause I thought that's what you had to do, but this is so character-based that it all comes through the lens of a character in the relationship and you just cannot fail with this method right now.
[00:25:20] Hersh: Do they still do essentially scripted show?
[00:25:26] Liz Bennett: So the Friday, Saturday shows are the main company and it's usually like mostly sketch with a few improv scenes in there. Like Wednesday night is just, it's all long form improv. The whole thing is improvised. And Monday nights called the black version. What they do is they get a suggestion. I have a movie and then they so like finding Nemo and they changed it to like finding Shaquita and improvise the entire black version of finding Nemo.
[00:25:50] So they, some of their shows are entirely improv, but the main one is sketch based. Now, how does it, how does it work when you have improvisers that are diverse you and. When it comes to cultural appropriation and you know, like, like I do a lot of dialects, I do voices, but there's always a little bit of hesitation about certain.
[00:26:14] Hersh: Yeah.
[00:26:15] Liz Bennett: Like I would never do, like I was in the main company of that improv place on Burbank -
[00:26:19] Hersh: oh, I was there too.
[00:26:22] Liz Bennett: Yeah. Yeah. And then I did leave, but, but It was, they would do this one exercise where it would be like hillbillies and fine, you know, English. Okay, cool. Like dumb. Okay.
[00:26:31] And then you'd be like Indian and I would just go until the scene was over and then I would come back and I would not do that because it just felt so like, why? Like I was like, I don't know. Yeah.
[00:26:46] Hersh: Well, you know what it was, you couldn't find the intent that would make. Yeah, a reasonable or justifiable,
[00:26:57] Liz Bennett: like why did we need to do that? And the other person always go right into like being a clerk or something and I'm like, come on.
[00:27:03] Hersh: I know. Yeah. They could have called the exercise stereotype. Like let's just do a stair. Okay. Let's do a, a stereotype. I, what usually happens with me is I admire something and therefore want to mimic it. Cause I'm like a natural mimic.
[00:27:19] Liz Bennett: And what you can do is take the. And pick a quality and amplify a quality instead of an, you know what I mean?
[00:27:26] So like pick a quality that you like in the timber of the voice and make that the character, not the fact that it's like someone with an Indian accent. Do you know what I mean? Right.
[00:27:34] Hersh: Yeah. I think I, I think I do that subconsciously or, or I just, I like during, during lockdown, I created a channel on Instagram called three times daily comedy.
[00:27:47] Cause I thought we needed like three doses. Oh comedy every day to keep ourselves from going nuts.
[00:27:54] Liz Bennett: I wish I would have known about that.
[00:27:55] Hersh: And, and and I, and I would just walk around my house or the outside or wherever I could go. And I would, and I would do these characters, but the, the, the fact that they were from a certain country or from a certain background was incidental.
[00:28:09] What drove them was the situation. And that would sometimes dictate the voice.
[00:28:15] Liz Bennett: Absolutely. Yeah, we actually, they discouraged. Accents in the Groundlings. You don't like, you don't need that, you know? You just have to change your face, your body, your point of view, your vocality, right? Yeah. It's challenging from friends. I have like six very solid characters based off my friends right now.
[00:28:37] Hersh: What are the characters?
[00:28:39] Liz Bennett: Like my one friend Jax, she, she knows she loves it. I do this. She has ADHD too, and she's a stoner and she loves her niece a lot and I just loved how she spoke. And so I brought her into class one day and the teacher was like, yes, I like this. Let's make her. Just really want everyone to be paying attention to her or interested, even if she's not saying good things, she's kinda like this girl, like she really wants her niece to be on a hallmark card. You listening. That's so good because that kind of thing. And then it's all about relationships. So then if I ever feel weird about it, Squinted, you must really not like right now. So it's just about like calling the other person out, making that. So, yeah, that's, that's the Jack's character.
[00:29:23] Hersh: Does that stuff come out in conversation? Like in normal conversation with somebody. Will you fall into a character in response to something or
[00:29:32] Liz Bennett: more like, i don't wanna existentialize it but you know, I was watching a show the other day and the guy went on a date with a girl and the guy was like, this is such a lovely place. Thank you so much. He would like monologue and the road just go. Yes. Beautiful. And the guy wouldn't even act like that was weird. He would just keep leading. And I just, like, I was like, oh my gosh. And I was just like, beautiful. And I started to like come up with this weird thing because of it.
[00:30:02] Hersh: That's beautiful. That's beautiful. It's the Yes, beautiful school of improv. Yes. And it's. Yes. Beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful. But like
[00:30:19] Liz Bennett: so genuine, she really does think it's beautiful. And that's, what's funny.
[00:30:23] Hersh: Okay, so I'm going to throw this at you. I have a secret project. It's really, I just want your feedback because I respect what you do so much.
[00:30:36] My pleasure. I was gonna say my pleasure, but it's not like I'm doing you a favor. No, I really do. So I have a project truth tastes funny. The podcast is part of, kind of a larger scheme that I have, and it's. And only you and you and me and you know, the listeners and whoever's working on the podcast and then whoever ultimately finds it will know, but otherwise it's otherwise it's secret. It's been secret till now, but part of it is going to be this a stage show, like a cabaret show. And I've been working with a musical director, friend of mine, a producer friend of mine in New York. And it involves it's. It's not like the cabaret shows that we often see are the style of their own, right. Cabaret, a variety show, like variety and all this stuff. Really. It's a combination of intimate standup, like the kind of standup where you're on a stool and you're talking to the audience and that kind of thing. They call them one man shows or one woman shows really that's real. It's really often intimate stand up, but it's like intimate stand up at, in a piano bar setting. And I sing some songs that are original and I sing some songs that are that are parodies play music. I don't really write music. That's the thing. That's the thing. So do you write music? Yeah. Like, do you, you write music, you just
[00:32:09] Liz Bennett: very heartfelt like, like emotional songs. I have like 60 recorded.
[00:32:15] I just wrote one like two nights ago, putting together some music shows.
[00:32:19] Hersh: I listened to some of the, some of that. Cause I remember, remember I had reached out to you about. Well, this was in the Sal's days. I did, I did a standup show that I kind of, it
[00:32:33] Liz Bennett: I'm not gonna remember. I love you but I won't remember.
[00:32:34] Hersh: It doesn't matter,
[00:32:35] Liz Bennett: probably not going to remember it.
[00:32:36] Hersh: It doesn't matter. I, I headline this is show that I did at Sal's. I remember the flyer. Yeah, the flyer. What was it, what was the thing called? I hosted it with with the glasses on. Yeah. I, most of it. Okay. No. Okay. If, see, it was so long ago that I even, I don't remember specifically, but I was doing a lot of these like shows at the time and I love Sal. And we at, I did the thing at, at, at the comedy room, comedy hall sales, comedy hole there, and I had reached out to you about playing keyboard for something and for some, and for some reason you were. You were unavailable, but you said, oh, I, I don't know if I can play the thing that you want me to play. I can play.
[00:33:27] Liz Bennett: I, this must've been a while ago. Like I am not the same per, like, I don't even know that person anymore. I was so overwhelmed with everything. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I was like depressed. I didn't really want to be performing like all this stuff. So like, I don't know why I would've said that because I can play anything you want me to play.
[00:33:42] Hersh: Okay. Yeah. It makes so much sense.
[00:33:45] Liz Bennett: Yeah. I think I was probably just in a bad place or a little bit of a bad place. I just started this ADHD therapy like this year.
[00:33:53] Hersh: Okay. All right. Well that, that, that just that's really good. Okay. Well then, well then that changes everything. What, what I would like to do we can talk about this offline, of course, but I would love to share some of this show and stuff that I'm doing with you because at the very least you would have ideas and insights and input and and in another possible world. You might want to be involved as a, as a musical director.
[00:34:24] Liz Bennett: I'm already like moving my fingers, thinking about like paying for your show.
[00:34:28] Hersh: Yeah. But, but I, but, but it's, it's, you know, have you found this like where you, you want so badly to collaborate with people, but it's so hard to find.
[00:34:39] Yeah. I mean like people, you can collaborate.
[00:34:44] Liz Bennett: It is, or what I notice is like, I'll start, like, I'll have someone notice my stuff and then we'll meet up and talk about, yeah, let's make a band, let's write music together. Let's do covers. And then this person will start playing my music and being like, oh, we're going to be so famous.
[00:34:59] And I'm like, wait, that's that's mine. You know what I mean? Like, we're not doing her, but that's not going to with comedy stuff. Or it's just like with the ADHD is hard to get motivated. But I think we do really well with that.
[00:35:13] Hersh: Yeah, well, it's, it's about, it's about collaborating. Like I watch you know, comedians who are in that in certain circles together. You know, W ill Ferrell and John C. Riley or Kristin Wiig. Maya Rudolph and. It could be anybody or even Annie Mummalo is Kristin Wiig' s, you know, like collaborating partner and, and I'm like, you know, did I miss that?
[00:35:47] Did I miss the boat on some of those people?
[00:35:50] Liz Bennett: We found it today, hersh,
[00:35:51] Hersh: we found it today. Liz.
[00:35:53] Liz Bennett: Cause remember I was telling you the thing about how I need someone with the brain to actually put it on. I can do like, I can do all like creative. I can get 500 people in a theater space. I just, if you want me to schedule it, I'm like, no, I'm not doing it.
[00:36:06] I'm like, it's been fine. It's not happening
[00:36:08] Hersh: well. Yeah. But yeah, but I also, I also need that, not the scheduling person, but I need. The business person, you know, I'm not really the business person. I don't, I'm not looking for that in you, but I mean, it's not what, it's not my I've tried it like I'm borderline competent when it comes to organization.
[00:36:33] I'm really good. I'm good with organization, although. You know, you could organize yourself and then you can organize other people. I'm not really a manager of people, but, but I, but I am, but I am like diligent and organized in that sense. I'm a list maker and I love that stuff. It's like a security blanket.
[00:36:56] Liz Bennett: Yeah. I like to write lists of things I've already done, so I can just put checks.
[00:37:01] Hersh: Oh, yeah. Oh exactly. Yeah. I don't have my ear, but I have, I have like a little list of things about you, questions and things, but they're all they're, they're, they're like not things that I needed to write down, but I felt good writing them down
[00:37:17] Liz Bennett: after this interview, I'll probably make a list.
[00:37:19] It says interview with Hersh and then put a check mark next to it because it will make me feel like I'm like, oh, like, I dunno, we write things that we've already done on our to-do list for the accomplishment
[00:37:31] Hersh: well, that's good. I think that's a good thing to do you that way you've, you've done so much. You're starting at an advantage.
[00:37:38] You know, David Letterman used to do that. He had the cards and he would, he would have the, see, I don't even know where my, where my pen is. Even letter B would sit there and he would do that while he was talking to people. He would make the little check, but I totally get that. It feels good. I have let's let's talk about pride.
[00:37:58] Liz Bennett: Okay, this is actually the first time I ever went to any pride events. Cause I always like, I don't know why I always thought, like, I don't want to be a militant, lesbian. I don't know how to explain that and I didn't understand it. And now I do like, it is lovely. It is interesting that lesbians are grouped in the same group as gay guys, because we are polar opposites. I don't always get along with them and don't always get along with me, but like a love everyone. And I actually went to the like west Hollywood was a girl that I'm dating on Friday night and then went to something called gay astrology. And it was a dance with like 200 lesbians. And I just looked around and I was like, girl, you're bisexual. I was like, how did you find this? Like, what is this? I've never seen this many lesbians. Yeah, pride is cool. Like what do we wanna say?
[00:38:51] Hersh: I don't know. I had talk about pride on my list. I think, I think that number one, because I just think it's good. I assume this is going to come out. This, this will probably come. You know, this month still I have some other projects that I'm doing that are that are connected to, to pride through a brand that I, that I work with, that I, that, you know, works with a lot of artists. Our thing is to release something at the end of June, so that it's, it's like pride doesn't end, you know, pride doesn't end in, in June at the end of the,
[00:39:26] Liz Bennett: If you could think of more specific. Cause if I get a broad question, my brain. Goes into a big cloud, but if you can specify a pride question that might help.
[00:39:34] Hersh: Yeah. That's on me. I should've been more specific, but
[00:39:39] Liz Bennett: oh no, I just made it so we could still do that. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:39:41] Hersh: I know. I just don't have a more specific, but it's still on my list, but it's, but I, I did talk about, we did talk about bride.
[00:39:48] Liz Bennett: They did like, what do I want to say about. Like I saw in Texas, what's really upsetting that I hyper-focused on. I was out until seven 30 in the morning watching things actually yesterday
[00:39:59] Hersh: I noticed because, because not only did you text me at the end of the day or that night, you, you then posted something in the morning.
[00:40:09] Yeah. Then you said, oh, I've been doing this for three hours. I've been in an ADHD, hyper focus for three hours and I'm like, oh, so is she going to be exhausted for this?
[00:40:21] Liz Bennett: No, this is my home. This is my normal, this is just sometimes I don't sleep at all. And then I just go to work. I'm like, Hey guys, like it's just normal.
[00:40:27] So going into those eight I guess the thing that really upset me yesterday. So like in Texas, they're trying to illegalize drag shows. And there are all these people harassing drag Queens who like perform for, children's saying like, you want to do things like this. The thing is, if you think about it, like instead of illegalizing things that actually just killed children, they're now focusing on the, like, they're really talking about this.
[00:40:57] Like illegalizing the drag shows and it's just like, And it's already the abortion, like all this stuff with like pride and stuff, or like feminine rights or whatever. But the fact that they're focusing on that and then the trans things and the things that these people are saying, it's like really good to learn.
[00:41:14] What's going on there just to like, you know, it's really
[00:41:17] Hersh: well, what, what we should do is configure a drag show so that it's, it's about, it's really a gun. And it's, you know, drag your ass to the gun show and it's like, and now you say to them, well, what are you going to do? You're you're taking away our right to do a gun show here.
[00:41:37] Liz Bennett: Right? Niche.
[00:41:39] Hersh: I think that guns should, we should ask the NRA. Hey, you know, what can you give free guns to everybody in the United States? Let's stop selling them. It's so silly. Why do you need to sell them? Just give them away. Don't you want everything? To have a gun and then you're like, wait a minute.
[00:41:57] So what are you saying? I'm saying there's no money in guns anymore, since that's not what it's about. Why don't you just give them away?
[00:42:04] Liz Bennett: Just give, I think they should be in gumball machines that don't even need a quarter.
[00:42:08] Hersh: There'll be GUNball machines.
[00:42:11] That's really good.
[00:42:15] that could end up in one of your songs
[00:42:19] The way you play on the way you play on play on words.
[00:42:23] Liz Bennett: Yeah. That and my Groundlings teacher actually like invented a game for the advanced show for me to like shine. He called it ups. He just had someone, it was supposed to be two girls in any restaurant. That was our suggestion. As you couldn't plan it, I was going to get a restaurant and then.
[00:42:40] We were supposed to just go off on puns on wherever the restaurant was, you know, and I just, he like made it up for me and I just, it was the olive garden. So I had like a million.
[00:42:52] So, so what's, so what's next on the Groundlings trajectory,
[00:42:57] since this is my only goal,
[00:43:00] that's why I bring it up again.
[00:43:03] And since I pass advanced on the first time I think I'm going to retake advanced actually, because once you get into the writing program, it's like single elimination. If you don't pass you're out of the whole program.
[00:43:14] So I might just. Retake advanced just to get more reps in and get, you know, but I know the writing from is totally different, but either way I want to do everything I possibly can to like be successful in this. I've taken all the levels three times, no matter what.
[00:43:27] Hersh: Wow. Yeah. But where does it? Where, what is the pinnacle?
[00:43:30] Wha what is the, is there, there's a, like a, like a thing where like you've gotten every belt you can possibly get, well, then you're.
[00:43:41] Liz Bennett: So you can perform on that street or actually, so if you get into the Sunday company, you can teach there too. And so I love teaching. I actually teach acting to people with like special needs and stuff like that.
[00:43:50] And I'm taught like inner city kids. And once you get to the Sunday company, you're allowed to then teach. So that would be a really cool thing. I would get to combine like teaching and comedy. And then you can also, I think I need to check in as perform in the shows that aren't the main company shows.
[00:44:09] Yeah. So I could do like all the nights except Friday, Saturday, and then every six months that you're in the Sunday company you're evaluated and it's like, you can stay in the program and the sun, a company, or they'll bring you up or they'll cut you out. But either way you can keep teaching.
[00:44:23] Hersh: Okay. So how far are you from the Sunday company?
[00:44:26] So I passed, I have completed the acting track, which was like four steps. And then the writing, it would just be writing lab and then advanced writing. It's it's there only ever, I think what 30 Groundlings at a time, and think of all the people that go to classes there, you know what I mean? A lot. So also like some of the Groundlings are like, sometimes there's not a slot available forever, you know?
[00:44:49] Liz Bennett: I forget now. Oh, so writing, writing, writing, and writing, and I haven't done any like real formal sketch writing my sketches. My actors will send me these sketches that are like interior, daylight. And mine's just like Liz colon this. Yeah. And then it works out because I've never done it. So before we go
[00:45:14] Hersh: Now, I, I, I don't want to take up too much of your time, but we probably don't know how much time we've taken
[00:45:20] Liz Bennett: Time's flying, this is a fun time.
[00:45:22] Hersh: It is really fun. It is really fun. And we're going to talk more about my truth tastes funny show.
[00:45:27] Liz Bennett: I literally, I use my piano as a desk. Like you're on my piano right now.
[00:45:31] Hersh: There we go. Can you make, can you play the P.
[00:45:35] Liz Bennett: I don't know if it would, it's not, I don't think it would have to, it would take a lot of adjustment.
[00:45:41] Hersh: We already had Orlando, the ferret. We don't really need -.
[00:45:45] Liz Bennett: We don't need the cat. Sorry. He's so, so large. And would show you a picture of Toby. I don't know if here you find Toby, I'll get the fattest cat
[00:45:55] Hersh: I'm going to find a picture. Okay. One moment. That's the picture. We're going to get a picture of Toby.
[00:46:04] Liz Bennett: Oh, Tucker!, look at this Hersh.
[00:46:08] Hersh: Oh my god. That's that's a gigantic. Is that a lion?
[00:46:12] Liz Bennett: Oh, I don't get it. His sisters are small and he just turned into this.
[00:46:17] Hersh: Oh, this is a good. There's a good to meet here's Toby.
[00:46:23] Liz Bennett: Oh, he's actually very, very, very cute.
[00:46:25] Hersh: That's Toby. He's very handsome. He's very handsome. He's very distinguished. And yesterday, last night I told him to shut up and I'm never going to do that again. No matter how much noise my, my teenage daughter makes with her friends.
[00:46:39] So that's my,
[00:46:40] I was seriously like you last night, they were like trying to knock something over. I was asleep. I was like, you're the worst cats I've ever met.
[00:46:47] Liz Bennett: So it could be worse. Okay. Well we're none of us are perfect.
[00:46:53] He is doing this weird thing. Whenever you touch a cat and then they like clean themselves afterwards.
[00:47:00] Hersh: It's always a little bit hurtful. They're clean freaks. Yeah. You feel a little bit.
[00:47:03] Yeah. That's why I was never, I was never a cat person because I felt that dogs were more forgiving.
[00:47:09] Liz Bennett: I'm a dog person. I used to ask. I just one day, my ADHD told me to go online and type free pets and get these three kittens. And now they're calling.
[00:47:18] And I'm going to have them tell him like 50. Yeah.
[00:47:22] Hersh: Well, whatever you're doing, it's whatever you're doing, it's working. I think it's working. And I'm so glad I ran into you at the village idiot. The other week we rent. That's what, that's how this whole thing. Yes. That's how. Okay. You were sitting, you were sitting at the bar and I was with my friends.
[00:47:40] We were kind of looking at each other and it's hard to see you and not know that it's you. I mean, it was you. And I was like, that's Liz,
[00:47:49] Liz Bennett: I knew your name. And I remembered you. Right.
[00:47:51] Hersh: And you said, oh, Hersh. And and yeah, that, that triggered this thing because 'cause we had, we had an exchange, like not long ago, but it triggered the whole, the timing everything's meant to be.
[00:48:03] Liz Bennett: And my lobe is finally developing
[00:48:06] Hersh: your lobe yeah, your lobe is developing and that affects the color of your hair, but it works. It works for you. That color, that color really works.
[00:48:19] Do you, how often do you change it?
[00:48:21] Liz Bennett: I mean, I like had a three-day insomnia and then I remember looking in the mirror and then shaving this and then cutting it and then like dying it. And I woke up, I was like, all right.
[00:48:33] Hersh: You know? Well, when you woke up, did you not remember that you had done it?
[00:48:38] Liz Bennett: I remembered I did it, but it was like, it was as if it were a dream.
[00:48:43] Hersh: Yeah, I, I have very, very vivid dreams. I only wish that I could replicate them on paper like that. I would remember now. I'm sure they weren't as perfect. As my immediate recollection of them is
[00:48:58] Liz Bennett: you're supposed to keep a, if you want to remember them, if you keep it the second you wake up and you write it down, as you continue to write them down, you will start remembering more and more like that is true.
[00:49:08] Hersh: I'm going to start doing that.
[00:49:09] Liz Bennett: I'm obsessed with the brain.
[00:49:12] I feel like I'm constantly apologizing for my brain. And sometimes. You know, like, like I, I think the, the channel that connects the, the emotions and the, and the intellect are a challenge for me.
[00:49:30] What is it? The Corpus callosum could, could be item.
[00:49:36] Hersh: Does it come with cheese?
[00:49:38] Liz Bennett: I just know that it fills in your brain and things out, like.
[00:49:41] Thanks out there. It's just saying show your brain. How's your Corpus callosum though, as you go as you go.
[00:49:52] Hersh: Oh right. Oh, I get it now. Okay. All right, Liz. Well, I'm going to, I'm going to stop recording now.
[00:50:00] Okay. But thank you for coming on and we'll talk really soon. Don't hang up. Okay. I'm just going to stop the recorder. Usually I say that before the interview, I go, oh, by the way, at the end, I'm going to say goodbye and stop the recording, but I'll talk to you after, but you figured anyway, but I just did well, we'll say goodbye to the light.
[00:50:22] Say goodbye to the audience
[00:50:24] Liz Bennett: Goodbye to you, audience!