Rebecca Metz has a recurring role as Tressa, Sam’s (Pamela Adlon) close friend and talent manager on the critically acclaimed, award-winning FX series BETTER THINGS now in its third season. This busy actress also stars on the popular Disney Channel show COOP & CAMI ASK THE WORLD. The bubbly redhead plays Jenna Wrather, the widowed mom of Coop and Cami and the only adult in the regular cast.
A graduate of the prestigious Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, Metz has made her mark on television in memorable guest roles. She has guest starred on NIP TUCK, WEEDS, MARON, THIS IS US, GREY’S ANATOMY, FOR THE PEOPLE, BONES, MAJOR CRIMES, THE MENTALIST, BOSTON LEGAL, JUSTIFIED, SOUTHLAND, CALIFORNICATION, THE MINDY PROJECT, THE THUNDERMAN’S and in recurring roles on LOPEZ and SHAMELESS. Earlier in her career Metz garnered small roles on THE KING OF QUEENS, GILMORE GIRLS, ER and SCRUBS.
John Shegerian: This edition of the Impact! Podcast is brought to you by ERI. ERI has a mission to protect people, the planet, and your privacy and is the largest fully integrated IT and Electronics Asset Disposition Provider and Cybersecurity-focused Hardware Destruction Company in the United States and maybe even the world. For more information on how ERI can help your business properly dispose of outdated electronic hardware devices, please visit eridirect.com.
John: Welcome to another edition of the Impact! Podcast. We’re so honored to have with us today Rebecca Metz. She’s an actress on the show, Better Things, and also on Disney Channel’s Coop & Cami. Welcome to the Impact! Show, Rebecca.
Rebecca Metz: Thank you so much for having me.
John: Rebecca, first of all, before we get going here before we talk about all the great things you’re doing to make the world a better place, I just first have to welcome a true-to-life Jersey girl. Being that I’m a Jersey boy, it’s so exciting to have a kindred spirit with me here on the air today.
Rebecca: Yep. We tend to gravitate towards each other, I find.
John: We do. How’s that happened? I mean, and it’s also so neat.
Rebecca: Yeah. You can just see it in the eyes.
John: Especially when we all end up in California. And when we all end up in California, we sort of need that kind of bonding to go on all the time. We sort of take it for granted when we are all in Jersey, but when we’re out of Jersey, it’s always nice to reconnect.
John: All kidding aside, I am a huge huge fan of both your work and the work that you’ve done with your cast and ensemble on Better Things. So, I just wanted to say thank you for the great art you’ve put out there. For our listeners out there, if you haven’t seen Better Things, please take a look. It is just one of the best shows I’ve ever seen in my whole fifty-seven years on this planet, so I want to say thank you for that great work.
Rebecca: It is truly, truly my pleasure. I love that show. It’s like I manifested the perfect show for me. It’s like a little kiss from the universe telling me I’ve been on the right track this whole time because it’s just a joy and like totally consistent with everything that I love doing.
John: Rebecca, I just have to say this. People in Hollywood are lucky because if I was a person in Hollywood, I’d want you to be my manager. And actually I thought about it even more before we did this show, I’m like, how come, entrepreneurs who have found some level of success, how come we don’t just get managers like Tressa. I mean, that’s what we need. I need a Tressa in my life just managing my career.
Rebecca: Yeah. I mean, I’ve had good ones and bad ones. So it’s a little bit of a dice roll. But if you get a good one, it can be sort of a lifelong, wonderful, relationship and like we see in the show one that served transcends business and becomes also personal.
John: Rebecca, share a little bit before we get into talking about making the world a better place, sustainability, and all those kind of very current and important issues, share a little bit about a young girl growing up in Freehold, New Jersey, home of Bruce Springsteen, and how you made it actually all the way from Freehold to Hollywood.
Rebecca: Well, this sounds ridiculous but it’s true that my sort of love of acting and discovery that that’s the world I wanted to be in, comes in part because my parents are classically trained singers and so the idea of performance and the arts was a big part of my life. But also I grew up watching, The Muppet Show in the 70s and I remember, I would sit down on my parents’ green plush carpet every Sunday at 7:30 and pretty early on, I was like, “That’s where I want to be. That’s where I belong.” The craziness backstage and that world of a theater and the chaos that turns into a beautiful performance or sometimes in not so beautiful performance. Like it just woke something up and me that I was like, “That’s where I’m supposed to be with those crazy muppets.”
John: That’s truly an epiphany because it doesn’t matter what age people have epiphanies at all different ages but how does that then translate to putting one foot in front of the other and making the journey literally from Freehold to Los Angeles?
Rebecca: Well, again, I think it’s helpful that I had parents who valued and understood the arts and never tried to talk me out of it. Although I don’t like it would have worked if they had. I took music classes and one of my parents’ chorus needed kids for something that they were doing, I would do it and I took piano lessons and so, my sort of creative side was always working and always a focus. I went to a high school that had a bunch of really wonderful magnet programs including a Performing Arts Magnet program that I got involved in. So I started and I always did, you know High School theater and drama camps and stuff in the summer. So, you know, a lot of that has to do with having supportive parents. It’s hugely important and so I was learning and sort of moving in that direction. In eighth grade, I made several trips to our local library and I embarked on this research project to find the best drama schools in the country that I could go to after high school and my parents actually took me to Carnegie Mellon where I ultimately went because I decided that in eighth grade, that’s where I wanted to go and we met with the Associate Dean and I think my parents were just thrilled that I was excited about college.
John: Wow. At a very young age.
Rebecca: Yeah. My dad is, professionally, a music and math guy. He was a music teacher. He is also a computer scientist and an engineer and so, Carnegie is very much an Arts and Science school so he loved it for that. And that’s ultimately where I went. Once I get an idea in my head, it’s pretty difficult to talk me out of it. So I think I was just hell-bent on pursuing it and pursuing it as serious away as I could. And then after college, we do showcases in New York and LA and being from New York and feeling comfortable there, and knowing that I wasn’t super inspired by what was happening on Broadway at that time, we came to LA and I’d never spent much time here before and after four Pittsburgh winters, the weather was very appealing. And I figured now is the time to make a big leap if I’m ever going to do it, I may as well do it now. I could always go back home and I haven’t ever wanted to.
John: So you’re out in Hollywood, first of all, let me just ask this – when you were growing up and knew that you wanted to go in the Arts, what was your favorite Broadway show you’ve ever seen as a young lady and favorite movie?
Rebecca: Oh, okay. My favorite Broadway show, I mean, one of the great things is, you know about growing up in New Jersey is we’re so close to New York. It kind of ruins you for other cities, I think, in some ways. So I got to see the original run of Angels in America on Broadway in High School, which is like life-changing. And also there was a production of Guys and Dolls with Faith Prince and Nathan Lane and Peter Gallagher like it was just– I am very snobby about my musicals and I love old classic American musicals. I’m not up for these newfangled jukebox musicals and movie adaptations. I don’t want it. But that production of Guys and Dolls is my favorite musical I’ve ever seen. My favorite movie? The Muppet Movie? I don’t know. I wasn’t a huge movie kid.
John: All right. Favorite actress?
Rebecca: I think, you know, I watched a lot of TVs so that’s why I ended up working in TV.
John: Talk about your favorite actress. Like who do you see and say, “I’m going to be her.” But it’s one thing to say, I’m going to be part of that industry when you’re watching The Muppets, but now you see who is up on the screen or on TV that you said, “I’m going to be her.”
Rebecca: I think the first person I saw, again, probably on The Muppet Show, who I was like, “I understand that,” was Madeline Kahn.
John: I love Madeline Kahn. That’s such a great person too.
Rebecca: Yeah, cause she was funny and theatrical. She was funny but she wasn’t a comedian. She was an actor and she sang a little bit and she’s the first person I really sort of latched onto as like, “Yeah, I could do that.”
John: That’s awesome. So now you’re in Hollywood, talk about the first job that you called home about like, “Mom, Dad–” the first job that was enough of a job that you said, “I’m going to call and tell Mom and Dad that I just got this.”
Rebecca: I think it was, do you remember the show, Politically Incorrect?
John: Yeah, of course.
Rebecca: So I had met a casting director through a workshop or something and I got a call that was like you have an audition to be part of a sketch on Politically Incorrect and you’re going to book it. It was pitched to me as, “You already have this role.” So I called my parents and the way that show work because it was so topical is you shot it that day and it aired that night like there was no turnaround. So as soon as I got that phone call, I called my parents and I was like, “I’m gonna be on TV tonight. Tell everybody. Politically Incorrect at whatever time it is.” And then I get there and it was an audition. I was like, “Oh, no. I have to get this part.” And it was a very strange audition because of the way the show, how quickly it goes through the whole process. They sort of said, “Okay, you’re going to go in one by one don’t leave when you’re done. Everybody stay here. We’re going to come out and tell you right away who got it and that person is going to go right into hair and makeup.” Which is not a thing that happens in any other project.
John: Right. Real-time audition, real-time job.
Rebecca: Yeah. So, we went in one by one. The casting director was there and then they came out and said, “Thank you so much for coming, everybody. Rebecca, would you please stay?” And I was like, “Whew! I didn’t lie to my parents.”
John: Oh, my God, and they even named who wins right in front of everyone.
Rebecca: Yeah, brutal.
John: That’s brutal, wow.
Rebecca: And I was playing Linda Tripp in a sketch about the Clinton Scandal and it was like we were all in High School, so Ken Starr was the hall monitor and I showed up at the end and I was recording everyone in my locker. It was silly, it took probably five minutes, but it was my first real TV job.
John: And actually, let’s be frank, Politically Incorrect was big-time TV.
Rebecca: Oh, yeah.
John: Big time.
Rebecca: And they didn’t usually do sketches. So like I have this credit on my IMDb that people will sometimes say like, were you a panelist? Why were you on that show? And I have to explain, “They decided to do this– it wasn’t a sketch show but you know this one time or once in a while they did a thing and then that was my first job,” but it’s very much like theater, it’s live audience. You don’t have much– it’s just kind of, “Here’s what you’re going to do, go up there and do it.”
John: And who did you watch it with that night?
Rebecca: I’m sure I watched it by myself because I was living by myself in Sherman Oaks.
John: Okay. And how did you feel like after you watch it? Like was it just electric? Could you sleep? Was it just beyond or even more?
Rebecca: I think what I thought was, “We’re going to do something more interesting next time.”
John: Okay, but that’s great.
Rebecca: You know, I was in a goofy wig. It wasn’t acting, exactly. So it was like, “Okay, this is one baby step on the ladder.” The first step on the ladder, let’s keep going.
John: That’s awesome. Then, okay, so that’s your break, then talk about as Hollywood calls it whatever, why ever they call a big break. What was then the big break? When did it go from small roles, recurring roles, honing your craft to like, “Ah, this might be it.”
Rebecca: I don’t think I ever really had that. It’s been a bunch of little baby breaks that you only realized were breaks in hindsight. I’ve never had a moment where I was like, “Here it is. It’s all happening.” I did a role on Nip/Tuck that was a big deal for the show and very memorable and very dark and a big challenge for me as an actor and the casting director at the time said, “This is going to really change things for you,” and it did but it’s not like I could quit my day job. I started going out for roles and the big thing that changed was that people started expecting something of me.
John: Got it, got it.
Rebecca: And I could deliver and people would be like, “Oh, she really knows what she’s doing.” And after Nip/Tuck, I would walk into an audition where people would go, “This is Rebecca. She’s amazing.” And I would be like, “Well, I’m not about to be amazing because this material is not amazing,” and it took me a while to adjust to having expectations because I was very comfortable being kind of an underdog. So that change things but again, it took a while for me to get a sense of how it changed things. Shameless Change Things, that was my first significantly recurring role.
John: Great show.
Rebecca: Yeah, amazing show. The showrunner, John Wells is a legend in the business and I think it’s the kind of show where people go, “Okay. If she can hack it there over three seasons maybe she might know what she’s doing.” It’s a process of constantly reinforcing and reassuring people that you know what you’re doing and that you can be trusted and that you’re someone they want to spend long stretches of time with. So, Shameless was another one.
John: Talk about auditioning and then getting the job for Better Things.
Rebecca: That was a project that I was watching because I love Pamela Adlon. I loved her work before that. And so when I saw that show get announced in the trades, I emailed my agent, my manager and was like, “We’re watching this one. I want in on this one,” which does not always work by a long shot. But the casting director who’s now a producer is someone that I had been going in for, for years and is now a friend and so I did get called in for it. And she had cast me in Californication.
John: Which I was just going to bring up. So was Pamela a friend before you join the show?
Rebecca: Not of mine.
John: Oh, okay.
Rebecca: But the same casting director. They had worked together on Californication.
John: Got it.
Rebecca: Part of I think what happens in a career as you start to find the people who share your sensibility – casting directors, who like what you do, producers, and directors who like how you work. And so, it’s this narrowing of like figuring out where you fit and finding the people who love to do what you love to do and so through Californication and some other things, Felicia Fasano is her name and I had kind of found each other and so by the time better things came around she was like, I think Pam would really like Rebecca. She’s bringing in people that she thinks Pam will like in that same way. And so I went in for that audition. They had everyone read the same material and you didn’t get it ahead of time. It was just like, “Show up fifteen minutes early. Look at the sides. You’re all going to read the same stuff,” which is unusual. And then a few days to a week later, we got a call and they said, “She’s going to be in the show, we don’t know who she’s going to be but she’s going to be in the show,” which is also unusual. Usually, you’re reading for a specific role and then they booked me for one episode which was the fourth episode in Season 1 where we meet Tressa as Sam’s manager and Sam’s up for a pilot and Tressa doesn’t give her all the information because she knows it’s not going to happen that she’s trying to spare her the disappointment.
John: I remember that episode.
Rebecca: I just have to tell the story because it was so–
John: I want you to tell it because I love this because I’m so geeking out because I’ve seen all of your episodes at least twice. I’m so excited as a fan just to hear it. Go ahead.
Rebecca: So that episode, all my stuff was phone calls with the character Sam on the other line. So, I’m by myself. Usually, you have a scene with another actor or something. There was a kid named Caleb who plays my son, Murray, in the show. He was there but you know, we didn’t have extensive discussions, Caleb and I, he was probably four at that time so I was by myself. And Pam, she wasn’t officially the director at that time but she was essentially the director. And she was on the other line doing the phone calls. And so we would do a take and I’m there by myself and she’s in the other room and they’d yell, “Cut.” And I would hear for the other room Pam’s voice going, “Rebecca Metz is the greatest actress in the world.”
John: Oh, my god.
Rebecca: I was like, “Oh, my god, what is going on?” And we would do another one and she would say, “Rebecca Metz is playing all of the parts in my show.” Like, to say positive feedback–
John: Were you levitating at this point? Did you start to just rise off your chair?
Rebecca: Honestly, it kind of freaked me out. I was like, “This isn’t normal. Is she making fun of me?” It was just heaps of praise and appreciation which is how Pam is, but like I didn’t know that and so the whole day was totally surreal. It was just the strangest, most wonderful day. And that was the only episode and the only day that I was booked for so I went home and I was like, “Well, I guess it’s back to the drawing board, I’m not going to have one like that again for a while.” And then a week or two later, I got a text from Felicia on a Sunday saying, “What are you doing tomorrow?” And I said, “Nothing.” She said, “Do you want to come, do a scene?” And I said, “Of course.” And sort of, from then on I was folded into the circle of Sam’s friends and extended family that’s become the ensemble for four seasons now.
John: Yeah, what a show. And all of you are just wonderful and you’re just amazing. And like I’ve said before I ever had this conversation with you today – if I could ever have a manager, Tressa would be the manager.
Rebecca: That makes me and Tressa very happy. I think Tressa Fields chronically under-appreciated. So that would make Tressa feel very good.
John: For our listeners who have just joined us, we’ve got Jersey girl and Hollywood star, Rebecca Metz on with us today. You could find Rebecca on Twitter @therebeccametz or on Instagram @therebeccametz. Rebecca, talk a little bit about using the success that you’ve earned and the platform that you have now to make the world a better place in just where you come from and the things that are important for you and the things that you and your husband could actually make changes in.
Rebecca: You know, I think people have a lot of feelings about actors or public figures being outspoken about political and social issues, but for me, I was a citizen and a voter before anybody knew who I was for acting. I come from a family with a long history of sort of being outspoken progressives and so being a loudmouth about things that I care about predates being an actor. So I think it has only changed in so far as you use what you have at your disposal like we didn’t have social media when I was growing up. So we had to find other ways to be outspoken and now we have social media and now, you know, I have whatever visibility I have and whatever is at my disposal is a tool for speaking up for the things that I care about, the things that I believe in. I feel, especially, if someone in a pretty who’s gotten to a pretty privileged place professionally, I feel an obligation to use that for the greater good and especially on behalf of people who don’t have that voice. That’s just sort of the ethics I was raised with.
John: Let’s unpack that a little bit. First of all, we’ll go back to Rebecca, your ethnic background, grew up–
Rebecca: Eastern European Jew.
John: Okay. So, was your family where they genocide survivors? Your grandparents?
Rebecca: I don’t know because I think with a lot of Jewish families, we don’t talk about that part of our history that much. I know we came over from Poland and Russia. I think my great-grandparents were the first generations to be born here. I think that’s accurate.
John: It’s interesting. I’m Armenian and we came out of the genocide. Both my grandparents were survivors of the genocide as were my wife and her grandparents as well. I think there’s something, almost an obligation for us being from members of an ethnic group that have gone through a holocaust and tragedy and genocide like that to speak up for the little people that have been marginalized historically.
Rebecca: Absolutely. And I think for me anyway, because, with any big ethnic or religious community, you can’t speak for everyone. There are lots of differences even in our own family. There are lots of different ways of being Jewish. But for me anyway, there’s a rabbi follow on Twitter who talks about American Jews, American White presenting Jews being White with an asterisk because we enjoy White privilege, enjoy benefits from White Privilege, we get all those benefits but it’s conditional, it can be revoked at any time and we are always aware of that because we’re all aware of our history of that happening. So I think while I don’t feel the same kind of threat from, say, the police in the ways that we’re talking about right now in the Black Lives Matter Movement of that kind of thing, there’s a part of me that feels not so far from it, feels that people who look like me have been there within my family’s lifetimes and could be there. And so, who am I to say that I don’t care about it.
John: I agree. One of my favorite posts that you made using social media was, unfortunately, a little bit too much of a foreshadowing but it was a powerful message that you put out on Instagram on April 3rd where you wore a t-shirt which I had never seen before or some sort of top which had on it a message – Hate is a Virus. And wow, I mean this was before anything had transpired that we’ve just lived through the tragedies that we’ve seen and the divisions that it’s caused across this country. So, wow. Hate is a Virus is really true and in so many ways whether it’s speech hate, action hate, there is so much of that going on, unfortunately, in our country right now. I am old enough. I’m much older than you and I live through the Rodney King riots when I lived in LA with a young family at that time and I’ll tell you what, that was very very– you don’t forget that. And I hope permanent change is gotten out of this period and I hope people don’t forget what’s going on right now.
Rebecca: Yeah, and I hope people realize you know that shirt came out of actually of movement that someone alerted me to in the early days of COVID-19 when there was a lot of hate being directed at Asian Americans because some people were blaming the virus on China and that message became relevant as George Floyd and Brianna Taylor’s murders became national news. It’s not before any of that happened. It’s been happening for years, of course, but it took on a national level of attention that it deserves and I think we can all think of so many examples of that message being relevant, which is kind of the point. None of us is immune from it and so all of us have a responsibility to fight it especially those of us who enjoy some privilege. I keep saying enjoy, who benefit from some racial privilege because we’re the ones who have the sort of power and social capital and the responsibility to change things.
John: Rebecca, as we shared before we went on the air, I grew up in New Jersey as well and I was very lucky to have a horse farm in Toms River not far away from where you grew up and so I fell in love with horses and the environment and the ecosystem at a young age. What was a tipping point in your life to think beyond just ourselves and our daily actions that impact us and understand that our actions, albeit small on a one-by-one basis, make an impact on a larger scale both when someone has a celebrity platform like you do but also just for the regular man or woman on the street who the more appropriately they act, environmental behavior is borderless, whether it’s us as a country acting appropriately and responsibly or irresponsibly and affecting all the other countries around the world or acting responsibly has a benefit to all, when did you start? What was that evolution from a child on or as an adult? Some folks, friends of yours turned you really on to environmental and sustainable practices? Where did that come from?
Rebecca: I think it was incremental. I think growing up in New Jersey, I grew up, we grew up in beautiful parts of New Jersey like you said horse farms and green but you heard people talk about New Jersey like this industrial dump. And so, you know, you sort of go, “What are they talking about? That’s not what it looks like where I live.” But then you kind of learn what they’re talking about and then I went to college in Pittsburgh, which was a steel town and you could see the soot, the remnants of that industry, they were starting to clean it up and make some changes, but you could see and my aunt actually went to Carnegie Mellon and my grandparents talked about taking her to school and that you could see smoke, black smoke from the exit on the Pennsylvania turnpike. You could see it. And then in college, between my Junior and Senior year, I got a job in Glacier National Park in Montana working in the gift shop and singing in the country-western Cabaret, and I had never really spent much time that far west. I think it’s a big part of why I moved to LA because I just fell in love with the landscape and the space and just everything about it and became I think more aware of the impact, the way that park, it’s called Glacier, it’s right in the name and there won’t be any glaciers there within our lifetimes because of what’s happening to the climate. It’s happening in front of our eyes. And so I think just over the course of my life, I’ve been slowly, piece by piece, experience by experience, waking up to how vitally important that is.
John: So what do you and your husband on a regular basis do to consciously live more sustainably, live more with environmental thought process towards your actions and how you get through every day?
Rebecca: I mean, I was an early adopter of hybrid car technology. I had an early Prius.
John: Which are great cars, by the way.
Rebecca: Great cars. I love that car. And then I switched when that car died like drove it into the ground.
John: Two hundred thousand plus miles later.
Rebecca: That’s not true. The Prius, I was going to get rid of it, but a friend took it and I switch to leasing an electric car. I’m on my second electric car now. I love it. I’m never going back. My husband drives a hybrid. So we’re trying to, first and foremost, minimize as much as possible our dependence on oil and carbon fuels.
John: So, when we talk about electric cars when you guys come home, you plug it.
John: Oh, cool. Great.
Rebecca: It’s awesome. When we’re in normal time when I leave the house regularly. I leave the house with a full tank every day.
John: Wow. That’s awesome.
Rebecca: It’s so great. There are so many great things about it. My parents’ house in New Jersey, they converted to solar a number of years ago.
John: They’re living the environmental life, good.
Rebecca: We would love to do that here but we don’t have whatever kind of access you need to have on your roof. We’re working on it. We’re about to get a compost bin. We really try to minimize food waste. I keep a bag in the freezer for like veggie scraps and bones and anything left over, this goes back to my grandmother and to cooking, I made soup with it. One of my earliest cooking memories is watching my grandmother, my father’s mother, Grandma Fanny making chicken soup.
John: Right. That generation didn’t like to waste a lot by the way.
Rebecca: No, no, no. So, yeah, so I do that. We plant native plants. We had a little patch of grass in our yard that we converted to native plants which minimize water dependency, it encourages local wildlife. We have some beehives in the back on our property to support bees and pollination.
John: And I’ve read that you use a unique produce delivery service or something of that nature?
Rebecca: Oh, yeah. There’s this amazing service that we’ve been using for a long time. It’s coming in very handy now. It was called imperfect produce, now, it’s called imperfect foods that they take previously produce and now other kinds of food that aren’t going to be sold through traditional venues, grocery stores and that kind of thing because they don’t look right, they are too big, they’re too small, they have some scarring, whatever the rules are that make them not beautiful enough for people to want to buy but that are perfectly good and would otherwise be wasted.
John: That’s awesome.
Rebecca: And delivered them or their surplus or any number of reasons that so much food gets wasted and it comes to our house every other week, which means we don’t have to go to the grocery store as much. We’re helping to cut down on food waste, and we have fresh produce all the time. It’s really wonderful.
John: Is this a service that’s national now? Are they big enough or is it just local in major cities? Do we know?
Rebecca: I’m not sure. It was pretty small in the West when we started but I think they’ve expanded. So, it’s worth checking and there are lots of services like this. So, look into services that do produce delivery, food waste delivery. Even, there are some farms and farmer’s markets that are doing delivery now. So, wherever you are, I would absolutely encourage people to look into how you can support local growers which cuts down on fuel cost, transportation, and food waste.
John: And good produce is really important to a Jersey girl who grew up in what is really called the Garden State.
Rebecca: I mean, my father still grows tomatoes and all kinds of stuff in the yard and is very jealous of our year-long growing season in California.
John: I also heard and I’ve read that you had a unique wedding. Talk about why your wedding was so unique as to other weddings.
Rebecca: Because I’m crazy. When we got engaged, I was never the kind of girl who dreamed of my wedding my whole life. I wasn’t sure I wanted to get married.
Rebecca: So I didn’t have a wedding all mapped out in my head. And when we got engaged I was immediately flooded with all the things I didn’t want. I was like, “I’m not doing it in a country club. I’m not doing it in a hotel ballroom. We’re not doing this. We’re not doing this.” And so–
John: So you had the list of we’re not doing. There has to be a list somewhere of what we can do.
Rebecca: I went to the internet and I looked on some wedding planning website. There’s just like a list of venues and I saw the Santa Barbara Zoo. I was like, “You can get married in a zoo?” And I’ll never forget it, there was a picture on the website that was this smiling beautiful bride, smiling beautiful groom and a giraffe between them smiling and I was like, “That’s what I want. That’s the wedding that I want.”
John: That’s the best. Did it turn out the way you wanted it? In reality, was it as great as you wanted it to be?
Rebecca: Oh, plus a million times more. It was the best wedding I’ve ever been to, which I think everyone’s wedding should be.
John: I never even heard that. That’s the best.
Rebecca: We had the little train running so everybody could go look at the animals after the ceremony. We fed the giraffes, my husband and I, in our wedding attire before everyone showed up. And it was just like a cocktail, heavy tray pass hors d’oeuvres, so people were standing and dancing and talking to each other. There was no seating plan. It was a party which is what we wanted.
John: Which was so nice, but also it was a form of inspiration because instead of being in just a sterile ballroom somewhere, USA, you actually put them with living beautiful animals. That makes us all appreciate just this great world in the environment more than just a sterile ballroom. So what a wonderful idea.
Rebecca: And there were mountains on one side and the ocean on the other side. It’s a beautiful location and a beautiful organization. And so it was really special and memorable. I’m not gonna gush forever about my wedding, but it was good.
John: I see in your social media a lot of cats. How many animals do you have at home? I just need to know this.
Rebecca: Just the three. Yeah, we have three cats.
John: Okay, no dogs?
Rebecca: No dogs. I’m not opposed to dogs, but I’ve never been a dog person. I’ve never had a dog. So I speak cat language. I understand cat.
John: Yeah, it’s so interesting. It’s like people are dog-people or cat-people. If you don’t mind me asking, what does your husband do?
Rebecca: He is a writer. Not a scriptwriter, but he’s a journalist. He mostly writes about music and now he’s writing podcast for a podcasting company called Wondery, so he’s upstairs working on that right now.
John: I’ve heard Wondery, of course, they’re very well-known. It’s always fascinating to me, to creatives balance themselves out with somebody else, a different type of personality or do to creatives get together and it’s always, the same thing in business. I’m a business person through and through, so is my wife. She’s the CEO of our company and we work together forever and a day and it works. It is just always fascinating to understand how relationships work and two creatives together. That makes sense especially that he’s into music given that you have a huge musical background, vis a vis your parents.
Rebecca: And he studied playwriting and dramaturgy. So he speaks the language but a lot of actors, their partners are other actors and I always knew I didn’t want that. I didn’t want another actor and so like we’re both creative but different. We speak each other’s languages, we understand the processes, but we’re not in the same business which for us is very healthy.
John: That’s great. That is just awesome. Rebecca, any last thoughts before we say goodbye for today?
Rebecca: I mean, this has been such a lovely wonderful conversation. I just want to thank you for the work that you’re doing and the focus that you’re putting on not just the projects and plugging projects that creative people are working on but on turning that into something that benefits everyone. I think that’s great.
John: This was just started as a mission. It’s still a mission. It’s a non-profit deal that I do as part of my career and it’s just a delight and it also gives me so much inspiration and hopes to have successful people like you that although you used the word earlier you’ve gotten to that position. I’ve used the other word, you’ve earned your success, you’ve earned everything you’ve gotten. Hollywood is not an easy place, I know that. You’ve given some great examples of how easy it really is not and you’re a true celebrity that you’ve earned in the fact that you use the platform to make an impact to make the world a better place is exactly why I have this show and it’s to have great people like you who are special on, to just share your journey and inspire others to come on that journey, to help do their part wherever they are, whatever they’ve got. You don’t need to be the creator of Tesla or some new solar firm, you could just make small adjustments in the household as you’ve done and literally that’s not only inspirational to others but it also does make the world a better place and for that, I’m very grateful, Rebecca.
Rebecca: Well, thank you. It’s been a wonderful way to spend however long we’ve been talking. Talking about these things.
John: For our listeners out there, again, you can find Rebecca Metz and her great work on the Disney Channel’s Coop & Cami Ask the world, and of course, on one of my favorite shows, Better Things. Rebecca Metz, you’re always welcome back on the Impact! Podcast. I’m grateful for you, I’m very grateful for your time today. Thank you for making the world a better place.
Rebecca: My pleasure. Thank you.