Anjelah Johnson-Reyes (stand-up comedian, actress, author) discusses her journey from professional cheerleader to stand up comedy, the benefits of aligning with your intuition, and how she was able to work through physical and emotional trauma with her dad. She opens up about relying on God to reveal her path in life, how her family’s fear about not fitting into American culture kept her from exploring her heritage, and the mindblowing paranormal experience that put her supernatural podcast on hiatus. Mayim and Anjelah recount going on a USO tour together. They consider the difficulty of breaking family patterns, the benefits of assessing practical outcomes for anxiety-inducing situations, and why we subconsciously assign others authority roles over us.
With her razor-sharp wit, Anjelah recounts funny stories from her journey—from growing up caught between two worlds (do chips and salsa go with potato salad?) to unexpectedly embracing faith (“I love Jesus, but I will punch a ‘ho”) to her many adventures in dating (she may or may not have accepted dates simply for the food). Through it all, Anjelah transforms from a suburban-adjacent kid with Aquanet-drenched hair into a devoted Christian who abstains from drinking and premarital sex, into a mall-famous Oakland Raiders cheerleader, and then an actually famous comedian traveling the world and meeting people from all-walks of life, including Oprah. No biggie.