SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
This week on “Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia,” Lilian sits down with WWE personality, Renee Young! From the start, this episode quickly dives into dealing with insecurities especially in the entertainment world. Renee talks about growing up near Toronto and being a child of divorce; how she was able to cope with not having both parents around, as well as her relationship with her brother. Hear what traumatic event happened on her 10th birthday with her stepfather that led to her growing up fast and the need to lean on comedy to help lighten the mood. Renee also reflects on her move to Los Angeles at the age of 19… and why she moved back after only six months. Hear all about her journey to becoming a Television Host, her triumphant road to the WWE, including her crazy audition, and how she got the name “Renee Young,” plus her feelings about being on the hit reality show “Total Divas” with her husband, WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose. In this interview she also tells us her one regret and why it’s hard for her to receive compliments. What does the future look like for Renee? Find out in this exclusive episode. It’s about to get real, raw, and inspiring with Renee Young!
•Being inspired by female comedians: “My biggest pull as soon as I got out of high school was just trying to figure out what exactly it was that I wanted to do and I knew that I wanted to be a performer. I knew I wanted to entertain, but I was always drawn to more to the likes of a Gilda Radner, Carol Burnett, Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler was such a big one for me, and Sarah Silverman. I used to study their stuff all the time from watching “Chelsea Lately” and watching “The Sarah Silverman Program”, and I was trying to figure out how I wanted to navigate being a TV host because it really wasn’t something that spoke to me. I wanted to be an actress.”
•How she coped with stress and her parent’s divorce growing up: “Whenever I was going through the times of feeling stressed out, or nervous, or not sure of what was going on with my mom, my dad, these extra marriages, etcetera, I would always think, “You know what, all these people are successful and great actors and comedians, they always have a great story. Everybody had this weird childhood. Maybe that’s what this will be for me and I’ll be able to write about it someday!” It’s funny because I haven’t talked about any of that stuff in so long, so I mean those are just little nuggets and little patches of things just because I really feel like I pushed that aside and tried not to make it stuff that I dwell on because it’s in the past and I had a good childhood.”
•Moving to Los Angeles at 19: “I just packed up one day and I knew that I wanted to go, I knew I just wanted to get out there. I think it’s like that stars in your eyes thing that seems like the natural thing. That’s where you have to go to try to figure some stuff out, but I hadn’t really worked as an entertainer, I’ve only taken classes. I had taken acting classes and did the improv stuff so I was like, “Alright, I’m ready! I’m ready to go do this!” But going there as a Canadian, I didn’t have any work papers, so I couldn’t get an agent, I couldn’t get any meetings, and I also just didn’t know how to do that. I had no idea what the steps were, what I needed, I was definitely in over my head a little bit.”
•The story behind the name, “Renee Young”: “I sent them a bunch of alliterations, which truly I thought were better. I had Renee Ruston, which is Aubrey Hepburn’s real last name. I had Renee Rogers which is Prince’s real last name. I had Ryan which is my closest aunt’s married name. And then I did Young for Neil Young. I was literally flipping through my records, I was like, “Oh, that could be cool.””
•Her experience on “Total Divas”: “It was a cool experience, but I think when I was in the middle of it and even when we started and I get the call, “You’re going to be on Total Divas”, I was like “Okay…”, because I knew I was going to have to broach this subject with my significant other. Now listen if it was destiny, it probably would have been a little bit different, but I also might not have been on the show if it was just me. It was hard, it was really hard and even now when I see the girls and their on the road, and you’ve got a camera in your face, and you’re taking these vacations that aren’t really vacations, it’s exhausting, it’s really a lot of work. I commend them all for doing it. For the people that it’s great for, its great for, but I think the problem that I essentially ran into was that I’m not a private person and my husband is. I didn’t want to make him do something that he didn’t want to do.”
•How she and Dean Ambrose got together: “I feel like we just always talked. We would like connect and hang out, but at this point I did not know that he doesn’t talk to anybody, because he always just talked to me. So we would be on Voxer this app, it’s like a walkie talkie app and we would just message each other all day long and we would always make plans, try to hangout. As soon as we actually like hung out, he came and met me in Orlando. We were on like neutral territory, I was down there doing NXT, because there was times when he said he was going to come to New York and I’m like, “You’re not staying in my apartment! What do you think that means?!” So he came to meet me in Orlando and we hung out and we’ve literally been together since.”
•How she feels about her past work as a commentator: “It stressed me out more then, but I also was so much newer in the company that I felt like, and I did this to myself I think, but I felt like I was on such a tightrope about what I can say, what I can do, how I can behave, how am I supposed to come across. I was like, “Who am I? What is this thing that I’m delivering to people because this doesn’t feel like it’s me.” I just feel like I had to rework how I speak and I can definitely be a little crass or I can make fun of stuff in ways that doesn’t work here. So I think now that I’ve been here long enough and I’ve been on the panels long enough, that I have such a better perspective of how everything works from a non-scripted idea. So I think if I were able to apply that again a second round, it might be a different outcome.”
Listen to the full episode here: http://liliangarcia.com/chasing-glory-podcast/