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Request[AMA Request] People who turned into a meme

Apr 9th 2018 by Breros • 22 Questions • 31 Points

Hey, Michael Imperioli here. Ask me anything! I just released my first novel and it’s out now! “The Perfume Burned His Eyes” (http://www.akashicbooks.com/catalog/the-perfume-burned-his-eyes/).

You can also catch me with Zach Braff in the new comedy series “Alex Inc.” Wednesday’s at 8:30PM/7:30PMc on ABC.

Proof: https://i.redd.it/swr3rytpudq01.jpg

Q:

On your tour, what city did you get into the MOST shenanigans in? What were they?

A:
  1. How often do people misgender you?
  2. Have you experienced any hazing? Sexual harassment?
  3. Have you developed any valuable friendships?
  4. How old were you when you decided you wanted to join the military? Why did you?

*Thank you for posting this, I can already see you enduring a lot of terrible comments here. You are very thick-skinned to endure that with the positivity you have.


Q:

Hey Michael,

I've always wanted to know... how much fun did you and Tony Sirico have while doing "Pine Barrens"? I can't imagine you two not bursting out laughing at some points while shooting that episode.

A:

We definitely got into a lot of shenanigans in Denver, when we went to Casa Bonita: the cliff diving Mexican restaurant that everyone told us to go to but not to eat at. We had a blast breaking the law and trespassing in Bloomington, Indiana, trying to go out to the quarries where Breaking Away was shot. And we had a blast going to Houston's oldest gay friendly night club, Numbers, when we were there for the Come and Take it Festival.


Q:
  1. Not often, honestly.
  2. At first, before we had equal opportunity protections, I received a lot of undue scrutiny. Since the 2016 policy change, it's been a lot better.
  3. Absolutely. Both with my fellow transgender service members and with the other women in my unit.
  4. My dad was in the Air Force, so it was always kind of a thing. And why did I? Because college didn't work out and I needed a career.
A:

we are good friends and had a ton of laughs, especially when bacala shows up in the orange hunting hat


Q:

Did you make it to the quarries? Some those cutouts down by Lake Monroe are never patrolled but super hard to find.

A:

I have read the policy letter from the end of March. I'm a little confused because there had been no guidance. Has the ban changed anything yet?


Q:

Hey Spider! Two questions: 1) As you can tell I love Goodfellas so I have to ask, how was it working with Martin Scorsese? 2) What is your most prized possession, something you've had since even before the Goodfella days that you have and will never get rid of under any circumstance?

A:

We did make it out to the Quarries! We walked past a ton of no trespassing signs and then one hand written sign that said, "Sklars Get Out Of Here!" But we persisted and got to a quarry. We had to go. Breaking Away was a seminal piece of art for us and has become synonymous with Bloomington, Indiana


Q:

No. The ban hasn't changed anything. Papers have been shuffled several times, but nothing has changed since the initial tweets.

A:

1)Marty was very kind, generous and trusting towards me on the set and really treated me like i truly belonged on that set for which i am forever grateful. 2)My most treasured possession from way back is my sanity which seems to be harder and harder to hold onto.


Q:

Got any personal favorite episodes of Dumb People Town?

There are so many (I listen religiously) but I still go back to listen to the Breckin Meyer episode. "I'm from the future! Yeeeeaaaah!"

A:

I remember hearing a segment of something similar to this on an NPR radio station on my commute to work. I bet the feeling of having to be a part of a big case, who's ultimate decision could impact millions of other transgendered individuals who either serve or want to serve, is probably really daunting.

1.) My first question is; what do you really feel about going against something as enormous as this? Is it more of a "how did i even get here?" Type of feeling or has this shocked you in anyway?

2.) What type of publicity has this accumulated towards you (for lack of a better way to phrase this question). Given how national, or even global, this story has become ;; Has there been anything that someone has said to you or done to you that really impacted how you feel and such?

3.) This question is more for your legal team (since the majority of case AmA's have to be censored and questions cherry picked by the law firm so it doesn't back fire later);; how are you guys dealing with this? As a firm dealing with something this large, i bet the front desk gets loaded with phone calls for one. Do you feel prepared or stressed from the enormity of all this?

Hope this AmA can be verified soon

Thank you for your service and i wish you the best of luck.


Q:

Is there a small part of you that gets tired of being recognized from the Soprano's? Spider was awesome, too.

A:

Time Travelin' Bryan Johnson from ACDC had Jason laughing so hard he almost threw up. Tom Segura as Ronald T. Justice, Tiffany Haddish's story about Will Smith and Jada, and Paul F. Tompkins portrait of a man with a wheelchair full of knives were a few high lights. The show has been a dream to do and Dan Van Kirk is a genius. We love it as much as the fans do and that comes through we think.


Q:
  1. Sometimes I have that "how did I get here" feeling. Looking back, though, I don't think I can identify any one point in this whole process where I made the wrong choice. I definitely didn't expect the sum of those choices to lead me here, though.
  2. There are others in the trans military community who have received far more publicity than I, and I don't envy them that at all. So far, I haven't had anybody recognize me on the street or anything, and I'm perfectly happy with that.
  3. From a lawyer: "Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest nonprofit legal group advocating for the full rights of LGBTQ people and people living with HIV in the United States. We feel confident in our abilities to handle cases of this magnitude. We're honored to have Staff Sergeant Schmid as a client."
A:

if i were to be remembered by one role i would be happy its the sopranos


Q:

Hi Randy and Jason! Why'd you choose to partner with Audible to do an audiobook? Do you feel your comedy translates better to spoken word than written text?

A:

How does the transition between genders affect your deployment status? Are you still able to deploy while undergoing gender reassignment?


Q:

Hi Michael, I'm sorry I can't not ask you about The Sopranos. How hard was it to shed Christopher's attitude after a day on set?

A:

We loved Audible because they gave us the freedom to do the type of documentary we really wanted to do, and the support we needed to get it done and now get it out to everyone. They were amazing throughout the process. Comedy, while visually enjoyable is really enjoyed in audio setting. Think of comedy albums. Think of podcasts. This kind of merges all of that and This American Life as well. Hope you enjoy it.


Q:

This is a really big misconception. Anybody who starts a new medication (including hormones) is non-deployable for 90 days. After that, you go back to deployable status.

If you have any type of surgery, then your non-deployable time depends on how long it takes you to recover from your surgery, and what your doctor recommends.

In short, it isn't as big a deal as people make it out to be.

A:

sometimes it would be hard to shake a certain mood of anger or frustration but the character itself i was always pretty good about leaving him on the set.


Q:

Re: Cheap Seats: Your fave memories of that show, and what did you think of the MST3K cameo in one of your eps? :D

A:

What would you most like to tell us that no one has asked about?


Q:

Thank you so much for responding! I'm a huge fan so I'm kinda freaking out.

A:

Favorite moments on Cheap Seats included, the on the road ep where we tried to pitch a combo old/new Busch Stadium, every spelling be episode that featured Wendy Guey (cutest little speller ever), Johnny Damon in the Elephant Soccer Drills Video ("This is the Elephant Drills Video that gets results"), anything Evil Knevil related, and working with the hilarious Jon Glaser and all the amazing guest stars on the show including, Nick Kroll, Chelsea Peretti, Kristen Schaal, Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, David Wain, Scott Aukerman, Stephanie Courtney, Zach Galifianakis, David Cross, Paul Rudd and on and on and on. That show is very near and dear to us and don't think that we aren't trying to find a way to reboot it


Q:

David Gerrold promised us a fourth book in the Chtorr series and hasn't delivered.

A:

thank you!


Q:

Did you ever get to meet Wendy Guey? Is she even aware of how she became a meme on an expanded cable television show?

A:

How do other soldiers (I know you cannot speak for all of them) perceive your service, as opposed to those at the top?


Q:

You’re an Emmy winning actor. You’re an author. You’re absolutely one of my favorite actors of all time. I have incredible respect for you. What’s something strange or quirky about you that no one would ever imagine?

A:

We never met Wendy Guey! We often wonder if she's like an adult mogwai? Wendy we are not worried about meeting. Sealfon is a another story.


Q:

My service, I think, speaks for itself. When other soldiers are looking at me, they're not seeing "a trans soldier", they're seeing a Staff Sergeant. And that's really what matters.

A:

i hate watching violence in movies, and am very squeamish


Q:

Did Ozzie Smith ever bring that basket of bread that your father asked for at his restaurant?

A:

Why do you think so many people in the thread are trying to conflate the issue of the military paying for transition-related medical costs with the competency of transgender people being able to perform military duties?

It seems to me that these are entirely separate issues, and that others are incorrectly dismissing your ability to perform your duties purely because they don't want their tax dollars being spent on transitions. What would your response to these people be?


Q:

How did you feel about your death in The Sopranos? Did you think it was a good end to Christopher's story?

A:

Ozzie did, and you have to listen to our special which will be out on STARZ on demand in May, there's a great ending to that story. Also, this week on View From The Cheap Seats tomorrow is a full length hour and 20 min interview with the Wizard himself!!! Ozzie appears in the STL ep of Sklars and Stripes as well.


Q:

It's called "moving the goalposts". They make the accusation that it's prohibitively expensive, then when they're shown it's not, they make the accusation that I'm incapable of my duties. Then, when they're shown I'm not, they move back to the spending argument.

A:

i think christopher's death was spot on and very necessary to the story, especially in terms of who tony became...which is, in the end, a vicious criminal


Q:

How many Henderson’s worth of hype would we need to get a new Comedy Special for you two?

A:

Do you plan to stay in the military long term or (if not)what do your future plans look like outside the military?


Q:

Very true, really spoke to his true character no matter how much he was adored. Best of luck with the book, I look forward to giving it a read!

A:

Not many. We have a new special that we shot last year that was supposed to premiere on SeeSo this past Sept. that now will be on STARZ on demand and their app and STARZ.com. We are trying to see if it will air on the STARZ network proper, finding that out now. But this will drop in May. We are really proud of it. It's called Hipster Ghosts. And we are now working on the next hour. Not sure where that will go


Q:

I have another 7 years left until retirement. After that, who knows.

A:

thank you !


Q:

Judd Apatow just came out with The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling to rave reviews. Did you have any cool stories/encounters with him?

A:
  1. Thank you for your service.

  2. What would you say is the biggest misconception about transgendered service members?


Q:

Michael, thank you for your tremendous career. If Tony had not killed Christopher after the car accident, do you think there was any chance at reconciliation between the two characters? Also, if not, do you think Christopher would have attempted to harm Tony eventually?

A:

We have been watching the documentary and loving it. We got the honor to meet Garry on the set of Larry Sanders when we visited Tommy Schlamme, who had directed our MTV pilot and was directing Sanders that week. We saw Jon Stewart on the set, this was right before he took over the Daily Show. And Randy got to hang with Garry at a Collin Hay's birthday party in Malibu about 10 years ago. Garry was a hero to us. His stand up was inspiring and hilarious and his TV work was unparalleled. He inspires us still. It's such a shame that he is gone and that he was so sad so often when he was here. He's definitely on our comedy Mount Rushmore


Q:

There are several. Look at this thread. 😜

  1. That we're mentally unstable.
  2. That it's a cosmetic thing and not medically-necessary.
  3. That we're unsure of who we "really" are.
  4. That being trans at all impacts our ability to do our jobs.
A:

I think what happened was exactly what needed to happen so its hard for me to envision an alternate version to be honest


Q:

The San Diego bit got me so hungry! Serious question, how many tacos/burritos did you try during that trip??

A:

Not trying to be a dick here, but how is getting transgender surgery considered medically necessary?


Q:

Is your book based on actual events?

A:

We ate so many tacos that Trump tried to deport us through DACA. We ate at 6 different taco spots and all of it was amazing.


A:

it is not based on actual events but Lou Reed is a character in the book and he did live in NYC in the mid 70s where the book is set


Q:

NOM.

I had a California Burrito (hyped up by my Uber driver in SD) and I wasn't a fan. Maybe because I went to Rutgers University in NJ and Fat Sandwiches are pretty much the same thing in bread form.

I just started listening to Sklars and Stripes and only up to the Wisconson part... do you go to New Jersey? If not, you should. Think of the joke inspiration!

A:

Vets and trans are the two most likely groups to commit suicide what are your thoughts on allowing someone to be both?


Q:

As soon as I saw the title of the book, I wondered if it was the lyric from Reed’s Romeo and Juliette. I love the imagery he paints in that song.

I’m a big fan of your acting and will definitely check out the book!

A:

season 2 -- Jersey Shore! We'd love it. We didn't get there on this round. But the Madison chapter might be our favorite one!! enjoy!!!


Q:

The reality is these aren't two different groups. There are already transgender service members and transgender veterans. The question is if we're really going to leave them out to dry.

A:

sorry that should be "the better part of two years"


Q:

who inSan Diego serves the best burritos?

A:

Thank you for your service. However do you think your presence and lawsuit compromises unit cohesion? For instance do fellow soldiers roll their eyes when teased by others for being part of “that persons” platoon...company...even battalion?


Q:
  1. I enjoyed the one episode of "Girls" you did. Would you work with Judd Apatow, Lena Dunham, or Jenni Konner again?

  2. When you agree to do the Sopranos, were you worried about being typecast as "Mafia guy" from then on?

A:

We ate more tacos than burritos in San Diego. Our favorite was the rolled tacos at Las Quatro Milpas. So authentic each taco came with a crying baby. Abuelitas in the back rolling tacos. Unreal so good.


Q:

The biggest response I've gotten from other soldiers specifically asking about the lawsuit is "Wait, can you do that?" (Spoiler alert: Yes.)

I know my first Sergeant has rolled his eyes a couple of times. But the fact that this is going on doesn't make me a "problem soldier". And I think that's what most everybody is concerned about. The first question is "can you do that?" and the second question is "well, is she still doing her job?" (Spoiler alert: Yes.)

A:

i loved doing the show "girls" and would gladly work with any of that team again

i was never worried about being typecast from the sopranos because it was a unique and groundbreaking show


Q:

Do you try to eat healthy on the road or do you indulge in local junk food?

A:

Are you transitioning?

Are you paying for it or is the military?


Q:

Is writing a book something you have always had an interest in doing?

A:

We try to eat healthy, but it's one of the hardest things to do... ever. The clubs give you free food, and it's always fried and horrible for you. We try to avoid that when we can. But most cities also have delicious local delicacies which are rarely healthy, and it's hard to avoid that. Because it's part of the culture and we want to soak it all in.


Q:

Any medical care I receive, whether it's transition-related or not, is part of what I earn by being a service member, just like any other service member.

A:

I have wanted to write a book for many years, have started a bunch but have never finished till now


Q:

As someone who's only familiar with your work from Cheap Seats but looking to get into more of your stuff, where would you recommend I start?

A:

If it requires medical treatment, why isn't it perceived as a pre-existing medical condition?


Q:

Thanks ... I wish Detroit 187 would have stayed on longer, really good show, my wife and I enjoyed it a great deal and you were a big reason it was so good.

A:

We would say, start with this audio doc on Audible. Sklars and Stripes. Then hit up our podcast Dumb People Town. You may also like our Netflix comedy special Sklar Brothers: What Are We Talking About? That's a good start. We also have a sports/comedy podcast called View From The Cheap Seats that you might enjoy. Let us know what you think!!!!


Q:

A medical condition is only prohibitive if it's duty-limiting. It's not comparable to diabetes or flat feet, it's more comparable to a cisgender service member who develops low-testosterone, or menopause. You take a couple pills and drive on.

A:

thank you !


Q:

Konichiwa Sklars. How big is Brandon these days?

A:

What would you say has been the biggest challenge of being a trans woman in the military that the majority might not face or understand?

And as someone who does not live in the U.S., how can I help from afar?


Q:

do you have a favorite story of working with Tony Sirico on the sopranos that you can share with us?

Thanks man!

A:

Konichiwa!

Brandon has really gotten so big. He uses Mazda Miatas as roller skates. He's also playing pee wee hockey, Jon Dore. You gotta see him! He's so big he has two Audible accounts.


Q:

The words "tremendous burden" from the initial tweet still ring in my ears. The weight of knowing that attitude is so persistent is, well, tremendous.

A:

i loved being lost in the snowy woods with tony and being forced to survive on ketchup packets!


Q:

Who ya got in the Coney Island Hot Dog contest this year?

A:

Do you have a favorite self-care activity that you find affirming? Thank you for your service. I grew up in a military town and worked on a military base for years and I appreciate it! 💜 queer femme


Q:

Hi Michael,

I loved both the Sopranos and your character. I have recently started watching an Italian series called Gomorrah (which follows a mob family set in southern Italy) and am obsessed with that to.

Are you a mob film/series enthusiast and if so: favourite movie and favourite series?

A:

Joey Chestnut is to Coney Island hot dog eating contests what Morris Chestnut is to urban romantic comedies. Ubiquitous and dominant. He could win again. Although it's time for a woman to win. Maybe Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Although as she's winning she would deny being in the contest at all or knowing anything about it.


Q:

I like to cook. And honestly, putting on the uniform is affirming.

A:

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie by John Cassavetes is my favorite mob movie of all time


Q:

Randy and Jason huge fan of you guys. I got 3 questions 1.Was any of the things on Cheap Seats that you guys watch ever make you feel uncomfortable like the US Open Of competitive eating? Or just flat out am I really watching this and how is this even considered a sport?

2.Was there any unseen or unreleased footage of the show or any episodes you had planned on doing?

2.5How were you able to get in some of the episode such stage ESPN talent like John Saunders,Stephen A Smith or Brian Kenny? I mean it’s ESPN and all but such a cult classic like this. I thought that was pretty cool

3.I have people disagree with me on this but you guys being Cardinals fans does Scott Rolen deserve a place in the Baseball Hall Of Fame? I mean the stats are there

Just saw you guys with Adam Carolla and it was pretty exciting seeing 3 of my favorite comedians in the same room.

Keep on going guys. Hope you guys come to Orlando soon.

A:

Hey Katie.. I can't guarantee I'll respond back as I'm back and forth between being unconscious and sick, but is there any way we can help your cause outside of any petitions we may have already signed through places like change.org?


Q:

Hi Michael, what music did you listen to while you were writing this book? Thanks!

A:

Great Questions all the way around.
1) Uh, the Beard and Mustache championships made us uncomfortable, also, when at the cat show, a woman put make up on her cat, that seemed to cross many lines for us, but it was always funny. We simply asked Sanders, Stephen A and Brian to do the show for us and they obliged because we wrote funny stuff for them to do and we think they were fans of ours and the show so it was an easy ask. Not sure if Rolen belongs in the hall. We put him in the Dale Murphy category. You can make a case but it's not a slam dunk. He was great for the Cards in those years, we loved having him as our guy on the hot corner. We could be persuaded though.


Q:

The primary accusation is that we're not capable of doing our jobs. The military serves the American people, and so it's them that we have to convince. In short, tell your friends.

A:

Lou Reed, Suicide, T Rex, Mott the Hoople, David Bowie, Dion, Patti Smith, John and Yoko, The Smiths,


Q:

Who is your favorite Kpop idol? Mine's Momo. This week anyway.

A:

Who was your favourite guest star to work with on The Sopranos, and why was it Ben Kingsley?

(Sorry, your opinion may differ, but friends and I still look at each other and deliver Sir Ben's "FuuuUuck" semi-regularly.)


Q:

EXO! They're adorable, I can't help it.

A:

Ben was great but my fave was Julianna Marguiles


Q:

Will you be in The Sopranos prequel?

A:

I doubt it. My character was not even born in the late 60s which is when the movie is supposed to take place.


Q:

Hi Michael!

I'm a big fan of Christopher with my favourite scene of his in the series being when he goes to rob and punches Lauren Bacall.

I was just wondering if you had any great set stories during your time filming The Sopranos and what was it like shooting that scene with her.

A:

i had met "betty" bacall many years before in Paris on the set of Robert Altman's "Ready to Wear" and was in awe of her every time I was near her. She was a legend, truly and a class act all the way. Punching her difficult for me but a highlight of my career to be sure!


Q:

Great job as Stu Ungar. What connections did you feel with him?

A:

I got to meet a lot of people who knew him in las vegas...people who both loved and hated him...he was an obsessive human being and pursued his interests with lots of passion and intensity...i guess i try to do the same


Q:

Out of curiosity, when you were growing up, was there a particular movie or TV series that really stood out to you and made you think "I want to do that"? or any actor(s) that really stand out to you as all time greats in your mind?

A:

Midnight Cowboy and Dog Day Afternoon probably more than any others