Film Courage: Where did you grow up?
Punkie Johnson: I grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans is amazing. It’s the best place for some good food, live music, sexy people, and the best place for love and hospitality. I’m glad I grew up there because it taught me how to be true to myself. We got some good ole’ “southernality” down there. Where everybody says hello, hold open doors for strangers, drink, help each other out just because of a kind heart, and known for calling everybody “baby” please say the baby. Can’t forget the New Orleans SAINTS. Lose, win, tie, WHO DATS till we die.
Film Courage: Which of your parents do you resemble most?
Punkie: Good question. The answer is both of them. I have my mother’s toughness, her stern and confident attitude. I have her thick skin and without that there is no way I could make it in California. I have her cheerfulness and big smile. I am my mother.
My father…well. I have his swag. I have his smoothness and his charm. I have his mouth piece and his dance moves. Lol. I have his quick ability to solve problems and remain humble and panic free in adversity. Sounds like they have given me all the tools I need to survive in life, love, and work. I guess I’m lucky. More blessed should I say.
Film Courage: How would you describe yourself as a child?
Punkie: Lol. I am still a child. A child with bills. Adult bills. Playful, everything is a joke to me. Always in trouble, but for something goofy like saying an inappropriate knock knock joke to a nun in school, or mooning a member of the usher board at the church. I was crazy. Passing gas at a funeral, funky everybody up while they mourned, that was boocoo fun. I was and still is the person that jokes and laughs in the midst of despair. I would always make up these crazy, wild funny stories and others kids at school would actually believe me. I had and still have a big imagination. I am still a child.
Punkie: Married with bills. Lol. Oh and the ability to have a nice stiff drink when need be. But remember I am still a child, at least that’s what my wife tells me. I am a joyful person I stay far clear of negativity. Mentally I can’t handle nothing other than beautiful things and people. I click quick if I feel something is not of good. I am also a psycho. A psycho in my work with my career. It’s makes me crazy. I make it crazy. I am an artist where everything is art to me from the ugliest to the most beautiful. I am a comedian where everything is funny to me, or I make it funny. I am me. A humorist. I am Punkie Johnson.
Film Courage: Who in your life would you like to thank and for what?
Punkie: Well, first and foremost GOD. I don’t go to church every Sunday and I am not the most religious person but I do believe he exists because he is in me and I do believe he is responsible for all the wonderful things in my life. I owe him everything. My parents second because of every one of their skills, traits, and qualities I possess. The love and support they display, and belief in my ability to achieve my goals and difficult dreams. They have showed me the very true meaning of unconditional love. My wife for knowing the psycho in me and choosing to remain team Punkie Johnson. She knows and loves every piece of my soul good and bad. I love her every breath. Last, but not least, the people who I have met along the way here in Hollywood making moves to be and do better for their lives and family, especially my big squid family.
Film Courage: Did you go to film school or major in theater/dramatic arts?
Punkie: Not really, but I did attend the actor’s corp boot camp. I feel they could have offered more, but none the less I wouldn’t have met Kyle Valle. So I have something to be grateful for when it comes down to the actor’s corps. He’s my guy. His belief in me, himself and those around him is priceless.
Film Courage: What was your worst job?
Punkie: Never had a “worst job.” I basically always been a bartender. Ain’t nothing bad about that if you know what I mean. Lol.
Film Courage: If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
Punkie: I would say buy a house, but what house is a million bucks in Los Angeles. Lol. Honestly, I would just grind my ass off. Quit my job and do nothing but take care of my family and grind. It would be nice to one day be financially free just so I can work on my career almost 24/7. I would definitely visit that good ole’ NOLA more often. Can’t stay way from that southern hospitality too long.
Film Courage: How did you meet Erin and Kyle of the MewNowTV team?
Punkie: Well like I said before I met Kyle at actor’s boot camp. Then he and I found out we were staying in the same apartment complex paying ridiculous rent and decided we could do better just staying together. He and I lived together for a couple of years and grew to be something special. I met the lovely Erin through Kyle maybe a year or two later. She got that good ole’ southern spirit I been speaking about so much. You can just tell good people when you meet em…
Punkie: Anything Kyle is apart of I want to be a part of. PERIOD. His name should be determination. Everybody that meets him should beg to be apart of whatever he is involved in. I also just appreciate the idea of MewNowTV.com. It gives us the platform to create and produce. It helps to get and keep me camera ready and I am also learning more and more about myself. Keeps me open minded and creative and makes me look fear and insecurity in the face and take it down. It is amazing and I am truly blessed to be apart of the MewNowTV.com.
Punkie: Number one I am a team player so wherever I’m needed, I’m there no questions asked. My part is doing a show called Talking Points. It’s my show where I, myself, Punkie Johnson get behind the camera and talk about a topic and act a complete fool. Kyle just sits there and let me cut up and talk all kinds of crazy shit and then he say cut, perfect… He just gives me the freedom to be supa dupa stupid and I love it. Lol. Jobless is another film I have been apart of on MewNowTV.com. Jobless was also nominated for an award at the Burbank film festival. Check it out it’s really good. Also we have journey man. Its a sci-fi action packed type series wit aliens, guns, explosions, speed, and just a burst of action flavor. It’s a very creative series and I highly recommend watching it.
Film Courage: Aside from your show, what other MewNowTV series is your favorite?
Punkie: Lol. All of them are good. I recommend all of them. ALL OF THEM. That damn joe show though. That’s it. That’s all I’m saying. Lol. He is a nut.
Film Courage: How can someone watch MewNowTV?
Punkie: That’s easy you just go to MewNowTv.com, sign in and you will have superb entertainment at your feet.
Film Courage: Did you have to audition for MewNowTV?
Punkie: I did not have to audition. I guess knowing Kyle for some years was my audition. He needed to know who would be down for him and who was talented, because he been having MewNowTV.com up his sleeve. He saw right through my foolishness and insecurities and believed in me more than I did and invited me on what’s been a positive productive journey thus far.
Film Courage: How many episodes did you make of Talkin Points?
Punkie: We make as many episodes as we can make when we meet. Right now we probably have about 40ish already pre-recorded and ready to be dropped. We drop an episode every Tuesday on MewNowTV.com. We have enough to last almost a year.
Film Courage: What is the show about?
Punkie: Talkin’ Points is about whatever Kyle and I want the show to be about. We get together for a lunch date and talk topics and then we meet another day in the week and film. All I do is talk shit while he sits back and lets that camera roll. As long as every topic and every ramble comes from a place of passion, excitement, and energy he will let that camera roll on.
Punkie: It’s only one roll for Talkin’ Points. BE PUNKIE JOHNSON.
Film Courage: How long did it take to film?
Punkie: It takes as long as it takes. We get it right and we don’t settle. If we can’t get it we move on. But we come back to it. Sometimes we break a bit, but we never settle. It has to be perfect. It’s has to be real. It has to be felt regardless of topic. It has to have a strong delivery and meaning behind every single word. It has to be art. It takes as long as it takes. Settling just to save time or move in is never an option. It never will be.
Film Courage: Where do you shoot it?
Punkie: We shoot at the Big Squid Production studio in valley village. In front of a big green screen in a room full of lights cameras and action.
Film Courage: Who writes the script?
Punkie: Script? Seriously? Lol. There are no scripts. Topics may be premeditated, may have a few notes here and there but no script.. Just get behind the camera and rip. Just know we act a fool and we develop most of our work on the spot. Passion and energy, baby, that’s all we need… Scripts are unnecessary for Talkin’ Points.
Punkie: I honestly think they are pretty much the same person. I may be a little calmer when I am not Punkie Johnson, maybe not as animated but as far as I’m concern, it’s all the same to me, but I can’t look at myself from the outside in. But I will say when I am not on stage or on set I talk more real life. When I am Punkie Johnson EVERYTHING I see, touch, feel, hear, breath, or speak is art, work, comedy. Regular conversation can not be had with me when I am Punkie Johnson.
Punkie: Women are funnier than men and men are funnier than women. It has nothing to do with gender just love for your craft and how much you willing to define it and grind for it. It’s only hard for people to receive me in a roles if you I don’t show them the realness of whatever character I play. All you have to do is make them believe, and you do that by believing in yourself. Mean what you say and put power behind it. Be soft and tough at the same time. People will follow you. People will love you. The only thing that makes humor different for each gender is the body parts. Art and creativity has absolutely nothing to do with gender. That gender thing is 100 percent nonsense. Just grind, work hard, believe, and come bullet proof to the bullshit and be brave enough to put your expose your craft. Dare yourself to fail. Dare yourself to continue. Dare your art to be free.
Punkie: Honestly DOING WHAT EVER I WANT TO DO. Long as I don’t hurt nobody.
My mother raised me on this motto: “DO WHAT CHA WANNA.” That motto comes from a famous New Orleans second line song called “Do What CHA Wanna.” It’s not sung, it’s played by a second line band. A second line is a celebration we have after funerals, weddings, parties. The second line is just a big celebration. There is a second line every Sunday in New Orleans. We love the second line. That’s happiness all within itself.
Key to be happy? I say just be happy. Some say that’s easier said than done but it’s a choice, and I always and forever will choose to be happy. Which is why for the most part I am always happy. Love yourself.
Film Courage: What is right with the world?
Punkie: Nothing is right until I get on that stage and forget the world exists. Nothing is right until I curl under my wife at night and forget the world exists.
Film Courage: What’s next for you creatively?
Punkie: I never tell. I just create, and I buss it out on people like BOOM! But know I’m always working and always in da lab making my next move. ALWAYS.
Jessica Williams (best known as Punkie Johnson) born April 29, is an aspiring comedian.
She was raised by her mother Mary Johnson in New Orleans, Louisiana where she attended catholic and public schools, graduating in May, 2003 from McDonough 35 High School. Punkie went on to Nicholl’s State University in Thibodeaux, Louisiana where she graduated in May, 2008 receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies.
In February, 2011 she moved to Los Angeles, California where she attended The Acting Core. Soon after, she began working at the Comedy Store as a waitress. While there, Punkie decided to embark on a career of stand-up comedy.
She spreads her “southernality” all over Los Angeles with a big smile, a bear hug and a “have a good one my baby.”
Talkin’ Points on MewNowTV.com