I first met the amazing Nancylee Myatt on a “speed pitching” panel at ClexaCon in ~Vegas~ in March of last year. I was super, super nervous to be on a panel with her, because she’s an extremely successful writer, director, and producer with a resume ten-thousand miles long, and I’m nothing but a vulnerable little internet lesbian in a teeming sea of internet lesbians. Lucky for me Myatt was warm, super kind and awesomely funny. She made me feel wonderfully comfortable right away, which is no easy feat seeing as I’m a Manhattan Jew with an anxiety disorder. She’s the kind of woman you want to get a drink with at a cool southern-chic bar and discuss both business, art and your personal life. She has that open, non-judgemental energy that will put even the most uptight entity at ease.
ClexaCon might have been the first time I met her in person, but prior to Vegas, I had been well-aware of the force of nature that is Ms. Nancylee Myatt for years.
Afterall, Myatt was the Co-Executive Producer, show runner, writer, and director of the first two seasons of “South of Nowhere” which is not only one of the best shows to ever exist, it helped an entire generation of young queer women come to terms with their sexuality! (Seriously, if you haven’t watched “South of Nowhere” yet, I urge you, as your lesbian big sister, to stay in this weekend, break-out the “snuggie” and cozy up with a mega case of velvety red wine and guzzle it back whilst binge-watching the first two seasons).
“South of Nowhere” is but one badass credit on Myatt’s lengthy resume. Myatt’s television credits include “Night Court” where she worked the last two seasons of its nine-year run, AND—get this, wrote the very last episode (swag!).
Myatt was also on the staff for “The Powers That Be” and produced and wrote on “The Five Mrs. Buchanans” and “Living Single” which landed her a NAACP award (Swag! swag! swag!). She also created and produced “Social Studies” and wrote episodes of “Recess,” Lloyd in Space” and “Teacher’s Pet” (Which landed her an Emmy in 2001. I really can’t swag enough). And so much more (Check out her very swaggy IMDB page).
Myatt is clearly one of the coolest queer babes on the scene. And we are forever grateful to her for creating such fabulous lesbian-friendly content over the years. That being said, today, we are super proud, today to feature Nancylee Myatt in “Seven Minutes In Heaven.”
GO Magazine: Who are you and what do you do?
Nancylee Matt: I’m Nancylee Myatt. And Since the 80’s I’ve been writing/producing/directing television, plays, indie movies and web-series. I’m a wife, legally married to the beautiful and talented Paige Bernhardt (writer/artist). I’m a cowgirl and a card carrying member of the Cherokee Tribe in Oklahoma. I’m a feminist and a democrat—and have been voting since 1976—starting with Jimmy Carter. I’m the Mother Confessor, you can tell me anything and I’ll try to help you find laughter and hope in dark times. Plus, I’m a damn good wing-woman, for work, play, protests, road trips, and happy hour…
GO: What is the driving force behind your career/activism?
NM: My parents—I was raised by super cool liberal parents, who were very politically active. They encouraged me to work for social justice and help those who needed a leg-up. They also taught me how to throw a kick-ass cocktail party. And I got lucky enough to be mentored and encouraged in my career by some very generous and talented writers/producers who gave me my first writing jobs, pilots, and opportunities—most notably, Jane Anderson, Joan Tewkesbury and Norman Lear.
GO: Where do you go for inspiration when you’re feeling discouraged or depleted?
NM: Two places feed my soul—On the back of a horse. Preferably at Deer Creek Ranch outside of Indio, CA where I used to own a small farm and played polo. Or in my adopted home of New Orleans. When I’m blocked or need to work something out, I walk in the neighborhoods, cemeteries, Audubon Park, or the French Quarter. It’s all visually inspiring and if you sit in a bar long enough in this city, someone will always tell you an amazing story.
GO: Who are your biggest queer lady role models?
NM: I have had the good fortune to have a lot of inspiring women (gay and straight) flow through my life and career. With respect to “Queer lady role models”—Jane Anderson & Tess Ayers. They were one of the first out couples that I knew. I worked for Jane as her writer’s assistant on her sitcom “Raising Miranda” and she and Tess took me under their wing. Not only in my career, but they showed me how to represent myself in the world in an “out” an authentic way.
More recently, I met and became friends with the incredibly inspired Nancy Lyons. You might not know Nancy, but she’s worth investigating. She’s the President/CEO of Clockwork. They create interactive websites for some of the biggest companies in America. Her business in Minneapolis was voted one of the best places in America to work. She’s the kind of boss I aspire to be… And Nancy’s a huge advocate for Social Justice and Family Equality. She and her wife and son went to the Obama White House (the good old days… sigh) and talked to the First Family about Family Equality for LGTBQ and racially blended families.
Also on my list of inspired women is Sarah Warn. Sarah was the creator and founder of Afterellen.com. From the ground up she created the biggest entertainment web destination for gay women. And suddenly the world got smaller and the community could find each other and entertainment geared toward us. Sarah and Afterellen.com were instrumental in helping our web-series “3Way” find it’s lesbian audience around the world.
Sarah Warn and afterellen.com helped the world find “South of Nowhere.” SON was a show about two high school girls falling in love on one of the small MTV networks. I was fortunate enough to be the Co-EP and Showrunner on the first two seasons. And am very proud of the stories that we were telling. I’ve heard over and over again how important that show was to young girls who were coming out.
GO: Describe yourself in three words?
A Social Animal.
GO: What music are you listening to right now?
“Here Come the Girls” by the Dukes of Dixieland is playing on WWOZ.org.
WWOZ a listener-supported, non-commercial radio station for New Orleans and the surrounding community. Traditional Jazz, Blues, Latin, Cajun, Funk and more. You can stream it live. BTW this song was the song we used for “Nikki & Nora” trailer – I kid you not it was playing when I got to this question. I’ve always had good timing…
GO: Where can we find you?
You can find me on Twitter @ishakeitup. You can find my web-series—3Way, Cowgirl Up, and Nikki & Nora on Tellofilms. When in New Orleans you can find me at my satellite office/booth at Tracey’s Irish Bar. Or with the usual suspects in costume, in front of R Bar in the Marigny on Mardi Gras Day…