The improv comedian and stage actor Amber Nash stars as the voice of Pam on FX's hit animated comedy Archer
She's currently bigger than The Dark Knight Rises. She's more talked about than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2. She's Amber Nash! And she is trending! But seriously, who the hell is she? Those in the know will immediately recognize this redhead's voice from FX's Archer, where she plays ISIS human resources director Pam Poovey who, much like Mel Gibson in The Beaver, talks to her staff with a dolphin puppet. Amber has also provided voices for Frisky Dingo, and holds down the title of Associate Artistic Director of Dad's Garage Theatre Company in Atlanta, Georgia, where she currently lives.
We recently caught up with Amber Nash to find out more about her, her career, and why she is trending. Here is our conversation.
Amber! You are currently the biggest thing going on our site right now. Did you know this?
Amber Nash: Wow! I had heard a little bit about it. My friend told me I was trending at Movieweb, and I don't even know what that means. (Laughs) I looked on the site, and I saw some things, but I had no idea I was the biggest thing going.
Why are you trending? Did you figure it out yet?
Amber Nash: No! I haven't.
We, of course, know that you provide the voice of Pam Poovey on Archer. And you've done voice work for the Adult Swim series Frisky Dingo. What else have you done besides this? Or are you primarily a voice actress?
Amber Nash: That is pretty much all I have done that anyone outside of Atlanta knows. I am a stage actor. I do mostly improv comedy. The only national television stuff is Archer and Frisky Dingo.
The animation scene is pretty big in Atlanta. Is it easier for an actress in Atlanta to go the voice route?
Amber Nash: Yeah, yeah...The guys who make Frisky Dingo for the Cartoon Network were familiar with the comedy scene there. They had seen some of the shows I'd done at Dad's Garage. They had me come in and audition for a part that I was totally wrong for. It was a teenager. I was like, "That's that. I am never going to get that job." But the show changed before they made the pilot. So, I got the role of Valerie. When that show ended, they brought me on for Archer.
This is voice work. Why would you have been wrong for a teenager?
Amber Nash: Because I sound too old.
Amber Nash: (Laughs) Okay, I'll take it!
I'm quite familiar with Archer, as we cover all of the FX series here. But what is Frisky Dingo? That's one Adult Swim series that passed me by.
Amber Nash: Its kind of bonkers. I'll do my best to tell you what I remember about the show. Basically, there was an evil overlord named Killface. My character, if I remember correctly, was his PR lady. She got kidnapped by him. Kind of. She was forced to dress like a geisha. (Laughs). She made a turn, and decided that her mission in life was to kill Killface.
Does that happened a lot in your industry? Someone decides they're going to kidnap their PR person?
Amber Nash: (Laughs) Not that I know of. Most of the time, the PR person is pretty nice.
Now, Archer is growing quite a rabid following, as is your character Pam. Can you tell us a little bit about your character and how you got involved with the show?
Amber Nash: Yeah. Pam is the HR lady. In one of the first episodes of the first season, you see her with her dolphin puppet. It helps people figure out their issues. Pam is very bad at her job. The way I got the job? Frisky Dingo had ended, and I was going into their offices to do something else. They said, "Hey, we want you to look at this thing." So, they bring me over to a computer, and its Pam's head. This is the first time I ever saw Pam's head, and one of Valerie's lines from Frisky Dingo was coming out of her mouth. They wanted to see what my voice would look like with Pam. They said, "What do you think about doing this character for this FX pilot?" And I was like, "This is so totally awesome." That's how it started. The great thing about Pam, and the reason people like Pam, is that she is so unassuming, yet she will say the most horrific things. I think a lot of the great comedy lines are ones that I get to say on the show, luckily.
Most of the characters on Archer were created to look like the actors voicing them. And one of the reasons that's true is because there was always talk about taking this into the realm of live action. Maybe in terms of a big screen movie. But you, out of the entire cast, look the least like your character...
Amber Nash: Right. That always comes up in every interview, where the entire cast is brought together. I was actually talking with George Coe, who plays Woodhouse, while we were at an event. He was talking about it. He said, "Everyone was talking about how we all look like our characters. I went away, and then when I saw you again, I thought, 'You don't look like that ugly fat lady'." I was like, "Thanks, George. I appreciate it." So, yeah, everyone does look like their character. Especially Aisha Tyler. H. Jon Benjamin doesn't look like Archer.
How is that going to work if this becomes live action?
Amber Nash: I don't know. This is the first I have heard about the live action thing, which would be awesome. But I guess, maybe, they will have another actress come in and play Pam.
You could climb into some prosthetics. Dye your hair.
Amber Nash: Yeah. Or I could have a three month long pizza party and dye my hair. (Laughs)
What's interesting to me is, when you talk to a lot of voice actors, you find out that they didn't set out to do this. Its one of those things that just slowly builds off getting that first job. Are you hoping to turn this into a second career?
Amber Nash: I hope so. I really enjoy doing voice work. Before this, I was just an improviser in Atlanta. It's been really cool, because I've gotten to meet all of the cast members. I get to do events in Los Angeles and New York. I would love to continue doing voice work. I'd like to do more TV stuff that is live action, but I am so totally happy doing as much voice work as I possibly can. Because it really is the best work. It's so amazing. You just show up. You don't have to look good. You don't even have to brush your hair. You work for a couple of hours, and you go home.
Have you guys talked about going live with a tour? Maybe doing a table read in front of an audience. I know that is pretty popular with a lot of animated shows nowadays.
Amber Nash: I've never done a live table read. And I haven't heard that we are going to do anything like that. But every time the cast is together, everyone is so awesomely nice and funny, I think we would have a really good time doing something like that. But I don't know. I haven't heard any plans to do that.
I see that you do have a live-action Amber Nash show on Youtube. What is that, exactly?
Amber Nash: Oh, that is so funny. There is a theater in Atlanta called the Center for Puppetry Arts. It's a big puppet theater, and they do a lot of children's programming. They also do adult programming during certain times of the year. They do this thing called XPT. Which is experimental puppet theater. Anyone can submit a five to ten minutes piece. So the evening is a few five to ten minute pieces put together. A friend of mine had written the Amber Nash show. He wanted it to be like a Sex and the City spoof, with me and a bunch of puppets. That was many years ago. We did the trailer, which is online, and that played at the beginning of the piece.
The video I saw didn't have puppets in it.
Amber Nash: That was just the introduction. The stage show had the puppets. The intro is by itself online.
You also run an improve theater...
Amber Nash: Yes! I am the Associate Artistic Director of Dad's Garage, which is an improv theater in Atlanta. We also do scripted works all year round. We do scripted and improv. We are also about to launch a Youtube channel. So there are going to be a lot of Youtube videos of us doing sketches online. We just launched a sketch called The Moon. A lot of our stuff is being driven from live shows that we have done. The Moon comes from a show called Supervillain Monologues. It's an animated piece, because we have a lot of people who are in animation. Because we are in Atlanta, and because its part of our theater. It's an animated piece called The Moon. That is the first one we did. The next one is called 'Sorry, Bro', that I am in. It's basically me trying to get into one of those posh clubs, with the velvet rope, and the dude not letting people in. He gets me confused with a man, and he won't let me into the club, because he says its ladies night. That one is still getting edited. It is really funny, and I think that will be our next one. I think, starting in September, we will be releasing on every week.
What's the deal as far as in-body, live acting? Are you going to be doing more of that?
Amber Nash: I really want to. Honestly, I am trying to find a good agent. I have a hard time, because I live in Atlanta. The Agents say, "Well, you live in Atlanta. What are we going to do with you?" I'd really love to do more acting. Before these two shows, that's all I did was stage work. That is where my passion is. I would definitely love to do more film and television if I get the chance.
What's the behind-the-scenes like there in Atlanta, which has so much animation, and all of the voice workers, and Adult Swim...
Amber Nash: It's pretty great. And I was told early on that voice work was hard to break into. But once you do break-in, you work all the time. And I have found this to be true. I got to do a spot on Aqua Teen Hunger Force, because I had been doing Pam. That was really exciting, because Aqua Teen Hunger Force has been on for so long. But there are a lot of comedians in Atlanta. There is a pretty strong improv scene. And there are so many roles going on with Cartoon Network. Now with Floyd County doing stuff, like Archer, they are always looking for people to do work. It's pretty cool. The acting scene is not huge, but everyone knows each other, we are all collaborative, and everyone is very cool to work with.
What are we going to hear you doing on Aqua Teen?
Amber Nash: It was for their 100th episode. I don't remember her name. It was like a Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode. So I just said, "Jinkies!" The whole time. It was pretty funny, and it was a small part. I don't think I said anything but "Jinkies." But, I was in the whole episode, I was frightened.
That is amazing that they are still making new episodes of that.
Amber Nash: Yeah. They are. Mm-hmm.
Where are we in Archer's run, and do you know what is planned for Season 3?
Amber Nash: The last episode of Season 2 just aired on Thursday. I don't know anything about Season 3 yet. I know that we are going to do a third season. And we should start production, hopefully, pretty soon. But I haven't heard anything. There is no date that we are starting. But I am really excited to see what Adam Reed has cooked up for it. I think he has a rough idea about the whole arc of the season. But we get that as we go. There is a lot of sending it to FX, having it approved. We usually get the scripts two or three days before we go into record.
You don't know about a live action Archer movie. What about an animated movie? Is there talk or movement on that front?
Amber Nash: I haven't heard anything about that. I really hope that happens. I have been thinking a lot about it. Adam Reed writes the whole show by himself. He is just so brilliant. I think a movie would work really well. I don't think it would be a stretch to get Adam Reed to write a whole movie.
Well, I certainly appreciate you coming on to talk with us!
Amber Nash: It's been really fun. We'll see you later!
Amber Nash can be heard as the voice of Pam Poovey on Archer, which recently ended its second season run on FX.