When comedian Maria Bamford moved to LA in her early 20s, she struggled to cover her food and rent as she was breaking into the comedy world. "Although I had a college degree, I just did not know how to get and keep a full time job, much less a part time job," she told me. When an unexpected medical bill landed her in debt, she almost moved home to Minnesota—but found the support she needed from a money-oriented 12-step program. She eventually held down a job working as a secretary at an animation studio, which led to her getting voiceover work—and, importantly, health insurance through the Screen Actors Guild.
Since then, Maria has developed a signature brand of comedy that leans into her mental health struggles, the quirky characters in her family and the anxieties of everyday life. I talk with her about the unconventional way she learned to manage money, her memories of psychiatric hospitalization, and how she's working on having better arguments with her husband.
Maria's new comedy special is called Weakness Is The Brand. Listen to this This American Life episode to hear more about the Gottmans, the husband and wife psychologists Maria has turned to for marriage advice.
If you or someone you love is at risk of suicide, please go to https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ to find resources and someone to talk to.