Lisa Linke Says Her Period Piece
After interviewing Lisa Linke, I knew I needed to have a new best friend. She is talented, passionate, hilarious, and tells it how it is. There were more than five times I found myself wanting to shout “hells yeah!” to her comments about women’s rights, equality, voting, and getting to know one’s period. Please read Jejune’s exclusive interview below. I know you will love her as much as I do!
Where are you based?
Hi there! I live in Los Angeles, and have been here for over six years. I can drive to and from the airport without GPS, so I’m officially an Angeleno now.
How did you get into acting?
I’ve always been dramatic with telling stories, writing, and wanting to act out what I saw characters do on screen. I still do! I did all the school plays and so forth, but it took a while for me to go away and then get back into performing through improv in Chicago.
Can you tell us a little bit about being on Teachers?
I loved that show! The Katydids, a badass group of women from Chicago, sold their web series into a pilot and then it got picked up by TVLand. You get to see a lot of Chicago people on those episodes. I play Terry, a truly mean mom who likes to make life terrible for a few teachers. It’s always fun working, and even more fun working with friends!
What was it like working on AJ & The Queen and with RuPaul?
Woweee it was truly the most amazing. Being able to chat with RuPaul in between scenes was a gift! He’s the nicest and so kind. We laughed a lot and I had a banner week on that set! That show is going to be so wonderful and I can’t wait for it to premiere!
Can you tell us a little bit about Dog Moms?
I wrote that show because I was angry at myself for liking Dance Moms where there was so much emotional turmoil around those young girls. So, I wrote a parody where I played Waggy Lee, the pre-eminent dog dance trainer. I got to wear huge nails and a huge wig and dress dogs in costumes and yell at them. We shot it over one weekend and had six dogs on set and it was an amazing experience with my friends. I love watching us try to improvise around the dogs. It was all improvised around a loose structure.
What made you decide to start Go Help Yourself Podcast?
My friend Misty Stinnett (she and I co-host the podcast) called me and asked if I liked self-help books, to which I replied “I hate them.” She was looking to start a podcast and I told her that having two different opinions on the show would be good. We started recording within six weeks and now we’ve produced over 50 episodes! We love reading the good and the bad. And woah, is there a lot of bad self-help out there. You can listen to us anywhere you get your podcasts.
You have been very active with the Women’s Marches. Why are these so important?
I didn’t go this past year here in LA because I was so sick, but I watched online and I was so sad to miss! Two years ago I went with my best friend and it was very inspiring. I felt like I had been so depleted up until that point. Last year I went with my friend Katy. It’s always a blast to see the signs and all the people and chant and yell and cheer. I had the opportunity to speak in Sacramento at the Women’s March Power To The Polls event before the primaries in 2018 at the California State Capitol and that was a highlight for me. I spoke about how voting is a compassionate act, and can be used for the greater good.
Do you feel you are a feminist? If so, please elaborate.
I mean, who isn’t a feminist?
Who is truly willing to say out loud that they don’t want to work toward women and men having equality? That’s the definition of being a feminist. If you are someone who can openly and proudly say that you don’t believe that men and women deserve equality, then I don’t want to engage with you in my personal life. I’ll work incredibly hard to make sure that laws and regulations prevent you from enacting your bigoted beliefs on 51% of the population in the United States. As an intersectional feminist, I recognize that the issues affecting me (a white, cis-gendered, able-bodied, heterosexual woman) are different than those affecting other women, and I have to make sure that I include all who identify as women in my feminism, and hold others accountable to do the same. I’m still learning – I think we all are! – but I’m doing my best to be educated and stay abreast of the different challenges so that I can be inclusive. I invite you to do so, as well.
What are your thoughts on the laws that have recently been happening across the US that are limiting and even criminalizing women’s reproductive rights?
Under his eye.
No, seriously – it is utter nonsense. I invite you to stop separating reproductive rights from healthcare. Women’s reproductive rights are healthcare. When a predominantly male legislative body begins chipping away at women’s healthcare and not the healthcare of men, it makes me angry because it is a clear example of not valuing women as much as men. I’ve always said that fatherhood is a choice in this country. Men could literally cause thousands of unwanted pregnancies a year and women can generate just one unwanted pregnancy a year, but it is our freedoms that get taken away.
What was it like speaking at Power to the Polls?
It was inspiring and moving to meet people who have dedicated their lives to social justice, whether it be through tragedy, outrage or a calling. There are many challenges, but seeing people working for the greater good made me feel uplifted and less alone.
Can you tell us about Period Piece?
CAN I!? I co-wrote a time traveling musical comedy about menstruation with my friend Jenni Lamb, who is such a brilliant playwright. It debuted in January 2013 in Chicago and was truly a fun piece. It still feels relevant, as it explored how women were treated unfairly throughout history. You can’t go wrong with a giant singing maxi pad. People loved it! It was really fun to have a good time with something that the patriarchy wants to be taboo.
Do you plan to do more shows with it? I know I, personally, would love to see it!
Every now and then Jenni and I talk about giving it a facelift and putting it up. We did a reading in Chicago in the spring of 2017 as a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood of Illinois. That was super fun. I’d love to do another reading out here in Los Angeles with a fundraiser!
Why is it so important that we vote?
It’s important to vote because democracy only works if we participate in it. This means doing more than just showing up to vote — it means having an informed opinion about what you’re voting on. Read your local paper ahead of election day so that you know how you want to vote on each ballot issue. Know how each candidate stands on your concerns for your local, state and national levels. And know that candidates who have often been marginalized throughout their life will have a greater understanding for more of the community than someone who has experienced privilege throughout their life. A candidate who does not walk with every kind of privilege will inherently know the issues facing different groups of your community and will work to enact legislation that supports all members of your community, not just some. And that is for the greater good.
What are your thoughts on the upcoming primaries? Do you have a favorite?
If I could see a Warren/Harris ticket, I would be over the moon. :)
How would you like to see more Americans get involved?
Voting. We have such low voter turnout. We need a national holiday on election day and easier vote-by-mail for people who are working two or three jobs. If your Representative is working to restrict voting rights, I don’t know why you would support that. I don’t know why you would think that your rights would always be protected when they engage in behavior like that.
What is your motto in life?
Oh, lord. Maybe “what clothes are clean that I can wear?”
No, probably, “Just do the best you can.” We’ve always said that in my family, and it works for me.
And please join her Instagram LIVE every Sunday at 12:30 pacific for a free improv comedy show! #SuggestionSundayShow