An Interview w/ Am I An Asshole

A Podcast by Rosie Guarino & Jackie Viscusi

@amianaholepodcast | Podcast on Itunes

IG @amianaholepodcast & iTunes at Am I An Asshole | photo credit: Meraki Narrative

Gut Checking Your Asshole Tendencies

As much as I binge over true crime podcasts, sometimes I just need something fresh thrown in the mix to balance it all out. Something with variety that can add humor to your daily cycle of blah routines. While feeling a bit disconnected from my community lately, it’s nice to have some form of media telling me that we are all equally feeling fucked up in the head and connected by threads of self-doubt and just a basic need for human discussion. How about a nice round-table type of discussion with two ambitious and perfectly wacky ladies living in Los Angeles asking the serious questions we all want to know!? With their spicy honesty and personal experiences, they are about to blow your mind with awareness. Am I An Asshole for My Sexual Fantasies? Am I An Asshole for Being a People Pleaser? Am I An Asshole for Cheating? Being Jealous? Disliking Republicans?! No jabbing attitudes here, just an interesting take on all sides of one topic per show. Okay, and maybe a few OH SHIT moments.

These topics may seem as if you know the obvious, but there is something to learn from each episode. While no one is talking to each other any more, you can join Rosie Guarino and Jackie Viscusi while they get to the inner-workings of what they stand for. Besides their usual programming structure they also sprinkle in live recordings and rapid fire question episodes with friends or family members to choose a topic from a bowl and answer questions on the spot.

With a new hot topic each episode, Rosie and Jackie invite a guest (or sometimes multiple) for a well-rounded conversation on modern and controversial topics. For additional depth they bring in a Resident Therapist to touch on the human side of why we may or may not feel like an asshole for feeling how we do about the topic and what our actions can say can about us.

Every episode in their Itunes library is relatable. I recommend listening from the first episodes so you can really get a sense of the hosts’ personalities. If you have a stick up your butt however, you may not like this show, okay? But if you have an open mind whatsoever you will get addicted. If you prefer to jump around based on the topics relevant to you at the time, that’s cool too! Just know that Rosie and Jackie are going to make you laugh, question your life and soothe you with their perfect-for-podcasting voices.

If you often get songs or commercial jingles stuck in your head - here is a new one! They begin each episode by singing “Am I An Asshoooooooooole”. Sometimes in tune with each other, but mostly not. LOL. After listening to one episode of this podcast you are going to be in the kitchen singing this while cooking. You will sing it in the car. You will sing it to your dog. You will be singing it EVERYWHERE because there is never a shortage of assholes floating around in the world around us. This podcast will have you forming your own opinions like never before, and liking it.

Rosie and Jackie aren’t recruiting assholes - let me just be clear. This is about taking a deep look inward and finding out how to NOT be an asshole. With opinions from at least 3 people each show plus the therapist’s view, you might just gain a little insight on the matter. I’ve found happiness in these episodes and it makes me feel like I’m not a total piece of shit and I think you might too!

Please be sure to find their podcast on Itunes, rate, review, subscribe and be sure to share your own Asshole stories with them.

Now, let’s meet the 2 podcasters who do it all..

IG @amianaholepodcast & iTunes at Am I An Asshole | photo credit: Meraki Narrative

Tell us about how you both met and when you decided to create Am I an Asshole.

We met about 5 years ago in New York City when we performed in the same show at The PIT theatre in Manhattan. We gave each other props for the other’s performance, found out we had the same birthday and became friends almost immediately (classic Geminis). We both moved to LA around the same time and were super jazzed about working on a project together. Trump was becoming president and we both have an interest in Psychology (Rosie went to school for it and Jackie’s sister, who is on the show, is a therapist) so we created a show allowing us to talk about looking inward to examine how we are with each other to really ask ourselves, am I being an asshole? We don’t know - maybe if we start that trend it’ll catch on - you know, all the way to the White House. We have that much influence.

Is there anyone who helps with the podcast “behind-the-scenes”?

For a while we had an amazing producer to help us get going. His name is Jon and he was a dream. Sadly, he had to leave to work on a boat in the middle of the ocean for a while so now we produce the whole dang thing on our own with the help our amazing social media manager, Megan.

Where are you currently recording? Have there been any changes in location since starting the show? We record in Jackie’s apartment! Just right there on the kitchen table!

What is your creative/structural process to each episode, or are they pretty improvised? We have an outline of what we want to talk about but we wanted to allow for real time discovery and analysis as well. Jen, our therapist, prepares with research on the topic but is also able to dive in and work with us and our guests like a real therapy session (she’s so good).

When you aren’t in the role as a Podcaster, what are each of you doing on a normal day? Rosie works in grants at a foundation and Jackie is a digital producer at a marketing agency.

Which podcasts do you listen to?

Rosie: I mostly go for the serial ones with stories or How Did This Get Made, WTF, Armchair Expert, Invisibilia

Jackie: Up and Vanished, Guys We Fucked, Everything is Alive, Doctor Death, Dirty John, Pod Save America, Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

Name a few of your favorites in the Comedy scene.

Rosie: Honestly? Jackie. I’m too jealous to like anyone else. For reals though - Aparna Nancherla, Naomi Ekperigin, Mark Normand, Rory Scovel, Beth Stelling, Patton Oswalt, John Mulaney, Jordan Peele, Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, AND MORE

Jackie: Dead or alive? Mark Normand, Amy Schumer, George Carlin, Issa Rae, Dan Soder, Pete Holmes

IG @amianaholepodcast & iTunes at Am I An Asshole | photo credit: Meraki Narrative

If someone else could interview you on their podcast, which podcast would you want to be on? Rosie: Armchair Expert or to just be a guest on How Did This Get Made

Jackie: Guys We Fucked

Your first episode was titled Am I an Asshole For thinking Everyone’s DTF Me? You both cover a broad range of topics and this is definitely a good jumping-off point to set the tone. Which topics were your favorite to cover and are there any that you wish you wouldn’t have touched? Favorites: Ones that are personal to us- Am I An Asshole For Fucking With People, For Being Depressed/Anxious, For Being Late, For Slut Shaming, For Hating Technology, For Not Wanting Kids, For Misunderstanding the Trans Community , For Leaving New York, For Being Obsessed With My Dog, and all of the Rapid Fire episodes are super fun to do.

Ones we wouldn’t have touched: None. We’re honestly glad we’ve done all of them. :)

Have you had to overcome any hurdles or sexism from being women in the Podcast world? We’ve been called cunts by a random dude on Instagram!

Each episode you bring in a Resident Therapist who creates a balance to the show by explaining the mental background on why someone may or may not feel like an Asshole for the topic being covered. In my opinion, this element adds some extra depth to the episode. Where did the idea of bringing on a therapist come from, and what do you hope it brings to the show? We wanted to have some actual expertise. Something credible. We wanted the show to be more than two white girls speculating. Jen is whip smart, super funny and also Jackie’s sister so going with her was a no-brainer. We’re lucky enough to get to work with a few other therapists, Tayeba and Truman, who are also fantastic at what they do.

Do you ever have guests who are hesitant to be on the show?

Oh, definitely. A lot of people are shy about being on. Our friend from “For Not Voting” was nervous because he said we chewed the Republican guy out in the Am I An Asshole For Being Republican episode. (Which, we really didn’t.)

Is there ever any “pre-gaming” before recording?

Honestly, a lot of the Rapid Fire episodes are done buzzed.

On average, how much work does it take during the planning process to prepare for each episode? Oof. It depends. Between booking guests, therapists, scheduling, coming up with topics, working on social media and promotion, we’d say it takes a whiiiile.

Do you have any significant others, kiddos or fur babies?

Rosie is open for business for all of those things.

Jackie- MY SON, DONNY THE DOG!!!!! Oh, and my husband or whatever.

Have you ever had a life-changing realization from the show after hearing someone else’s point of view? Do you think you have ever changed someone’s mind on a topic after you explained your perspective to them?

Rosie: GOOD QUESTION. Yes definitely. I realized through working with Jen, who is an OCD specialist, that I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I’m now seeing a therapist to help with my anxiety. I kept bringing up topics that were about anxiety and it occurred to me that I was trying to use it as free therapy, so I took the steps to work on it less publicly haha. The Racism and Trans Community episodes were very impactful for me. I think the Jealousy episodes and the Being Too Honest episodes were particularly eye opening for the guests.

Who do you wish to interview in the future if you could sit down with anyone?

Rosie: Melania Trump.

Jackie: Chris Hemsworth - Am I An Asshole For Being Too Hot? Howard Stern- Am I An Asshole For Exploiting Women While Also Being in Jackie’s Random Sexual Fantasy?

What are your most memorable moments about the podcast so far? Favorite and least favorite. Rosie: Favorite: For sure all of the live shows. Least favorite: I was pretty nervous about the Republican episode. Jackie: Favorite: All of our live shows, the Depression/Anxious show, and the Pop Culture one (‘cause our guest made me laugh really hard.)

Wearing the huge asshole costumes we made at our Halloween Show. Oh, Least Favorite: We lost an episode with the very funny LA based comedians (and twins) Babbs & Maria Lopez which was devastating!!

What is your advice for anyone wanting to start their own podcast?

Spend money on good recording equipment. It has to sound good to have any chance of competing with what’s already out there. Also, talk about something you are truly passionate about and it will come through.

What can we all expect to see/hear from the podcast over the next year?

More live shows, tour dates, and juicier topics!

Any special announcements or final notes for your fans?

Listen to our podcast! If you like what you hear, tell your friends. And also, go easy on yourself. We can all be assholes sometimes.

Social media handles & Websites?

IG: @amianaholepodcast, iTunes at Am I An Asshole. Website coming soon!


Podcast on Itunes

IG @amianaholepodcast & iTunes at Am I An Asshole | photo credit: Meraki Narrative