Amber Bixby: Once More, with Feeling

February 10, 2020

Photo Credit

Amber Bixby


Valerie Lopez


Richard Goodwin


(Hot Tip: Click here to add the Teen Mom release date and Sure Thing head­line date to your calendar!)

We love all of our guests, so much so that we wel­come them back with open arms to catch up on the lat­est goings on in their lives. When Amber Bix­by dropped by to get us up to date, she had quite a few updates indeed. 

The biggest news is the release of Bixby’s first ever album, drop­ping from Sure Thing Records on Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 14th. It’s the per­fect addi­tion to your cadre of Valentine’s Day gifts; and if you for­got that was com­ing, we also just saved you some seri­ous heartache from your sig­nif­i­cant oth­er. You’re wel­come on both counts. 

Titled Teen Mom, and record­ed at Cap City Com­e­dy Club (with cov­er art by the fan­tas­tic Natal­ie Guil­lot), the album cap­tures but a few of the many facets of Bixby’s life so far. The set­ting was her per­fect choice to cap­ture her debut record. “[I feel] so sup­port­ed by the club here and the com­mu­ni­ty,” she raves. She was, in fact, a teen mom, and time has passed such that – in a fit­ting reori­en­ta­tion – she’s now mom to her own teen.

[I feel] so supported by the club here and the community
Amber Bixby

Yet she has at times been ret­i­cent to build much of her act around that part of her life, opt­ing ini­tial­ly for the pri­va­cy of her fam­i­ly. But a child is such a big part of anyone’s life, it’s inevitable that the top­ic would grow in impor­tance. Bix­by was coun­seled, You’re talk­ing about your life on stage but leav­ing out this huge part”, some­thing she took to heart and began to build more sto­ries around. 

While the album is its own major accom­plish­ment (“one of the biggest adren­a­line rush­es I think I’ve ever had as far as com­e­dy,” she says), Bix­by has been busy in all aspects of her career. She’s opened for SNL’s Michael Che 3 times, and for Tom Green (of Steal­ing Har­vard, and Fred­dy Got Fin­gered, among many oth­er claims to fame). She got to spend face­time, and per­form for, per­son­al hero and Texas Sen­a­tor Wendy Davis. Just being in the same room would have been a thrill, but after her set Davis approached her direct­ly and shared her own sto­ry and strug­gles of being a teen mom. Of find­ing suc­cess and con­tin­u­ing to pur­sue her com­e­dy dreams in a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion, she told Bix­by, You and your daugh­ter climbed a moun­tain, and that’s what I want for you.” It was all Bix­by could do not to lose it com­plete­ly”, and under­stand­ably so. It was a high­light in my life; I’ll nev­er for­get that moment.” 

With near­ly 10 years of per­form­ing behind her, it’s inevitable that not every moment has been so spec­tac­u­lar­ly pos­i­tive. Bix­by shares, both on stage and off, her strug­gles with depres­sion and anx­i­ety. Ther­a­py has been a help­ful tool, and one that is giv­ing her more skills and prac­tices to fight the dark­er times. I’m try­ing to get bet­ter at let­ting myself feel good,” she says; I’m pret­ty tough on myself at times.” Com­ing off a high like record­ing an album can often have a para­dox­i­cal effect for peo­ple, espe­cial­ly those with goal ori­ent­ed depres­sion”, as Abra­ham Lin­coln was said to also strug­gle from. After the intense ride of prepa­ra­tion, and then wrap­ping the tap­ing, friend – and anoth­er of our favorite comics – Matt Bear­den wise­ly coun­seled, Rest after [the record­ing], you deserve it, it’s such a process.” 

[Recording the album was] one of the biggest adrenaline rushes I think I've ever had as far as comedy
Amber Bixby
Teen Mom (album art by Natalie Guillot)

For some­one that feels so intense­ly, Bix­by has been some­what reserved in the past at let­ting those emo­tions come through in her per­for­mances and mate­r­i­al. It’s some­thing she’s work­ing on, and has already paid div­i­dends with audi­ences. Com­e­dy often works best when peo­ple can feel the per­son­al invest­ment in the sto­ry being told, and it’s a skill that we’ve seen Bix­by deliv­er on more and more over time. See­ing her per­form now, it’s clear her heart is both on her sleeve and in her mate­r­i­al, and it builds a tan­gi­ble con­nec­tion that cross­es the bound­ary of the stage and lights.

What comes next after this momen­tous occa­sion, and per­son­al growth? Once Teen Mom is released, Bix­by will be trav­el­ing, with the dock­et includ­ing San Anto­nio, Dal­las, New York, and poten­tial­ly Los Ange­les (from which we respect­ful­ly request that she returns). As a sin­gle mom, get­ting onto the road is an under­stand­able chal­lenge, but some­thing she hopes to work in more when possible. 

Writ­ing is also play­ing a big­ger role in her life, espe­cial­ly since – as with most comics – the con­tent on the album is now effec­tive­ly retired”. Does she feel anx­i­ety about leav­ing the body of work behind? These jokes have got­ten me [as far] as they’re going to get me,” she says, and that’s no small achieve­ment. She also hopes to do more work in film, jok­ing that Direc­tors seem not to hate me.” Her tal­ent on screen has already been cap­tured in the hilar­i­ous web series Pret­ty Awful, and it’s hard to see that as any­thing oth­er than an indi­ca­tor of future suc­cess in the medium.

As our time draws to a close, a con­sis­tent theme has emerged. I always want to be more, and I always want to be bet­ter,” Bix­by says, and her past accom­plish­ments and future goals clear­ly reflect that. The dri­ve to cre­ate and suc­ceed is a dou­ble edged sword; admirable and nec­es­sary, yet often per­son­al­ly cost­ly. The need to achieve can fos­ter its own anx­i­ety, and suc­cess is a roller coast­er for many. 

The Amber Bix­by that sat down with us today is more excit­ed and pre­pared than ever to han­dle it, and we feel she’s absolute­ly on her way to even greater things.

iTunes pre-sale link for Amber’s album Teen Mom: itunes/​AmberBixby/​TeenMom

Amber can be seen:

  • Ground Floor — Fri­day Feb­ru­ary 14 8pm at Hotel Vegas
  • Sure Thing — ALBUM RELEASE SHOW and head­lin­ing Fri­day Feb­ru­ary 14 9:30pm at Fall­out Theater
  • Hop­py End­ings — head­lin­ing Sat­ur­day Feb­ru­ary 15 8pm in San Antonio
  • The Velvee­ta Room — head­lin­ing Fri­day 228 9pm, and Sat­ur­day 229 9pm and 11pm 

Fol­low Amber

Amber Bixby