Amanda Seales did not play when it came to the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The actress and comedian told CNN she was serious about quarantining and didn’t even consider touring with her standup show to protect herself and her audiences.
During that time, she said, she just wasn’t feeling comedy.
“I kind of was sitting down for two years,” she said. “I was always a conscious person, but I became a more politicized person in these last two years. And there just came this chemical reaction around five months ago where it was like the politicization and then the comic in me both collided, and it was like, I got to get back on stage so I can talk about all this bulls*** that I’m seeing.”
The result is her “Black Outside Again” tour, where she brings her passion for both comedy and social justice to the stage. Seales said she waited until there safety measures and advancements made that lessened the chances of contracting Covid and facing “a life-threatening situation” before she returned to touring.
“I jumped at the opportunity to say, ‘All right, let’s get back outside and let’s be Black outside,’” Seales said. “Because us having community is its own therapy that we need to have.”
Best known for her role as Tiffany DuBois on HBO’s “Insecure,” Seales’s debut standup comedy special, “I Be Knowin,” was released in 2019. (HBO and CNN are both part of Warner Bros. Discovery.)
The world has changed a great deal since then.
“Oh, we’re in hell,” Seales deadpans when asked where she thinks we are politically.
“We are looking at so many politicians who wanna either be rock stars or Jesus,” she said. “It really makes us as citizens have to open our eyes and say, ‘What am I going to do to take back control of the destiny of my life?’ And I don’t think people really grasp that.”
In response to what she’s seen as wide-spread apathy, she’s arranged to have voter registration at her shows and community activists from each cities come on stage.
“That’s something that I’m really trying to impart to people on stage through comedy and through humor,” she said. “Like, you have more power than you are giving yourself because they have tricked us in the thinking we are powerless.”
But her show is not all politics, she said.
“I’m talking about dating, I’m talking about relationships, I’m talking about my mother, I’m talking about my childhood, ” Seales said. “So there’s, of course, other elements going on.”
Seales has several North American tour dates set through December.