how i get it done

How I Get It Done: Amy Sedaris

Illustration: Lauren Tamaki

Whether she’s playing a middle-aged woman who goes back to high school or she’s meticulously crafting a Christmas tree entirely out of cocktail shrimp, Amy Sedaris brings a delightfully wacky energy to whatever she does. The actress and comedian, who has voiced characters on Bojack Horseman and starred in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt since her breakout role as Jerri on Strangers With Candy, has most recently turned her passion for demented crafting and hosting twisted dinner parties into her own television show, At Home With Amy Sedaris. Sedaris, 57, lives in the West Village with her pet rabbit, Tina, and spoke to the Cut ahead of the show’s second season premiere, tonight on TruTV. Here’s how she gets it all done.

On her morning routine:
I have a rabbit, so lots of times I wake up with that rabbit in my face. I get up and I give the rabbit the banana, pellets, greens, change the water bowls. I always acknowledge my plants. I have two plants in my apartment and I’m always like “hey!” and then I go and do all that stuff for Tina — that’s my rabbit’s name. Tina, I just found out is a boy. She got sick and they had to insert a catheter and they called me and said “Amy, you know, this is a male rabbit.” I was like, “What? What?!” So I just think of Tina as a big queen.

I make my bed, and look at the headlines. So the New York Times, the Washington Post. I read the horoscope on New York Post and Susan Miller. And then I usually go work out. I either go to Pilates or I go to my gym. I have an Instagram account, so I like to wake up and think about what I’m gonna post that day. I have a French press, so I make myself a cup of coffee, but it’s not even a half a cup that it makes. I drink half of that half a cup, so like a quarter of a cup. And then I don’t really eat breakfast.

On exercise:
In 2001 I went through a breakup, and I was in bed and I was thinking, “Oh, I am depressed. I gotta hire a trainer, because there’s no way I’m going to motivate myself to go to the gym.” So I met this woman at Printing House and to this day we train together. I see her, you know, a couple days a week, and then Pilates I try to do once or twice a week. I like it ‘cause you’re really just stretching and elongating and it makes you slow down a little bit and breathe. I’m always like, “I don’t want to run! I fucking hate working out!” I just do it because I want to be able to bend over. I’m a very physical person, and when I’m performing, I need to be able to move, and so I just make myself do it.

On getting wellness tips from Justin Theroux:
I have a lemon every morning. Justin Theroux told me that’s what I need to do so that’s what I do. So I juice a lemon. Sometimes I drink it with water, and sometimes I just drink it plain. He knows what he’s talking about. I have a friend who is obsessed with working out right now and I said, “go talk to Justin,” and he helped him a lot. Collagen powder, Justin turned me onto. At night, before I go to bed I always add two scoops of collagen powder to my tea.

On her inspiration for crafts:
Some of it, I just like, woke up one day and wanted to make a log cabin out of sausages. And then you get creative and you’re like, how are you going to make that smoke coming out of that chimney? Sometimes you just see an image and it triggers something. The lunch meats are from the old Betty Crocker … you know, it’s fun to play with lunch meats. Do you follow @MeatGuys on Instagram? They’re really great.

On managing stress:
I can get stressed out. Sometimes an easy way to manage it is to pick up a book that takes you out of everything. Or calling a family member or a friend. I’m not a big drinker. I still like weed. When I get high, I like it.

On rabbit care:
Tina is my third rabbit. This woman who ran the House Rabbit Society came to my house to interview me and said you’re doing everything wrong and she educated me. And then I got into the program, and I have a little card, and I’ll go to people’s houses and I’ll educate them about rabbits. So I’ll go in there and be like, “Well, this space is too small. You need to protect your cords. You need to get the hay.” But, you know, that’s fun for me. I vacuum a lot. I’m always vacuuming. You just gotta stay on top of it, get the hay up. It’s like I live in a big hutch.

On chores:
I don’t have a housekeeper, so I clean my own apartment, and do my own laundry, and I always think no matter how busy I get, I always wanna make sure I can manage my home. I like being home, and I take a lot of pride in it.

On treating herself, and Tina:
Julienne carrots are my extravagance. Scented candles and buying julienne carrots for Tina. I buy ‘em for her maybe once a month, and I don’t go through the whole bag. I call them “French fries,” ‘cause they’re sticks. I got caught stealing carrot tops, because I’ve seen people just discard them. So I take ‘em ‘cause they’re free, and that’s what Tina likes. I just take the tops off, put the carrots back. And so I got caught doing that. I didn’t think I was doing anything bad, I’ve been doing it for years! But this one lady who works at the grocery store said you can’t do that.

On her nighttime routine:
At 5 o’clock, I always prepare for night. My shades go down, I have a night-light in the bedroom for Tina, and then I get my scented candles out, and I prepare for evening. I cook every night for myself. I like to make things that involve just one pot, you know what I mean. This week I made chicken and rice.

Gotta get Tina’s salad down and then you gotta blow all the candles out. One thing I’m obsessed with that I’ve done since I was little is I say my prayers, and that takes a long time. I gotta go through everybody I saw that day, I have to go through all the dead people, I have to go through the dead pets that I’m talking to. I go through everyone in my family, certain friends. I’ll light a candle for them, and I do it every single night. And some nights if I’m really tired, I might pick one person. Like it might be my dad, who’s 95, and be like “okay, that’s for dad tonight.”

On sleep:
Sometimes I go to bed at 3 in the morning, sometimes 2, sometimes midnight. Last night I was in bed at 10. I don’t have consistent hours. But Tina will get me up, ‘cause she wants that banana. So no matter what, I’ll feel a whisker on my face, like ’come on, really?’

On Marie Kondo:
I read it and I got rid of the book. I was like, okay, well, everything I have out does have a story behind it. I do have that shirt for that reason, so I felt like her book helped me with stuff.

I have a gift closet, so lots of times I’m like “Okay, I don’t need that anymore. I’ll put that in my gift closet.” And then I have a 25-cent sale. I’ll put everything out on the table, and some people I’ll call ahead of time and say “I’m having this sale today, but if you want to, at 11, you get pick of the chick.” That’s a great way to get rid of stuff. When people pick something up and are looking at it I’m like “Are you kidding me? I paid $110 for that and you’re looking at it like … a quarter!

On getting shingles:
Oh, here’s a good thing that happened to me once: I got shingles. I wasn’t stressed out, I got shingles because I talked to this lady who talks to dead people. And I was so open to it that I think that’s how I got the shingles. So my doctor gave me Prednisone for it. And so I went to an acupuncturist and I was like “I’m so happy! I’m in such a good mood! I bought these tarot cards, and I’m gonna learn how to do them!” and I go “and I’m taking these!” and he’s like: “Amy, that’s speed.” And I’m like “no, no, no, it’s Prednisone, it says here on the label!” And he goes, “Amy, you can’t take that, it’s speed.” But I was so happy on it. I saved ‘em.

How I Get It Done: Amy Sedaris