Amanda Seales did not play when the height of the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
The actress and comedian told CNN she was taking the quarantine seriously and didn’t even consider touring her standup show to protect herself and her audience.
During that time, she said, she just didn’t feel funny.
“I sat for two years,” she said. “I was always a conscientious person, but I became a more politicized person in these last two years. And there just came this chemical reaction about five months ago where it was like the politicization and then the comic in me crashed, and it was like, I have to get back on stage so I can talk about all this nonsense that I’m seeing.”
The result is his “Black Outside Again” tour, where he brings his passion for comedy and social justice to the stage. Seales said he waited until safety measures were taken and advances made that reduced his chances of contracting Covid and facing “a life-threatening situation” before returning to tour.
“I took the opportunity to say, ‘Okay, let’s go back outside and be black outside,'” Seales said. “Because having a community is its own therapy that we need to have.”
Best known for her role as Tiffany DuBois on HBO’s “Insecure,” Seales’ debut stand-up comedy special “I Be Knowin” premiered in 2019. (HBO and CNN are part of Warner Bros. Discovery.)
The world has changed a lot since then.
“Oh, we’re in hell,” Seales replies when asked where he thinks we are politically.
“We are seeing so many politicians who want to be rock stars or Jesus,” he said. “It really makes us as citizens to have to open our eyes and say, ‘What am I going to do to take back control of my life’s destiny?’ And I don’t think people really understand that.”
In response to what she has seen as widespread apathy, she has arranged for voters to register for her shows and community activists from each city to take the stage.
“That’s something that I’m really trying to impart to people on stage through comedy and humor,” he said. “Like, you have more power than you’re giving yourself because we’ve been tricked into thinking we’re powerless.”
But his show isn’t all politics, he said.
“I’m talking about dating, I’m talking about relationships, I’m talking about my mom, I’m talking about my childhood,” Seales said. “Then of course there are other elements at play.”
Seals have several North American tour dates set through December.