Amy Leask is a children’s interactive media producer, and founder of Red T Media and co-founder of Enable Education. She’s a former college professor and high school teacher with a background in philosophy and literature, and is passionate about finding ways to bring philosophy into the mainstream.
What excites you about philosophy?
I love that philosophy spills into everything else, and that it shows up in novels, movies, stand-up comedy routines, cartoons, and so many other places. It’s portable, it’s free, and it’s relevant. I think that’s why we’re really starting to hear about initiatives in public philosophy, as well as efforts to bring philosophy into the classroom. I’m intrigued and delighted by each new opportunity to make it more accessible.
What is your favourite thing that you’ve written?
I write short fiction, poetry, and I blog, but the things that make me giddy are the children’s philosophy books I did a few years ago. Before working on them, I had never really focused on nonfiction, and I had to develop a new set of muscles as an author. When we decided to make animated shorts and interactive materials from them, I had to stretch and challenge myself even further with screen writing and game design. I love the characters we created, I love the subject matter, but I’m most proud of the fact that writing these pieces has pushed me to explore different media.
Name a trait, skill or characteristic that you have that others may not know about you.
I have a memory like double-sided tape. Unfortunately, it’s mostly for trivia and useless facts, but once in a while, it comes in handy. Phone numbers, appointments and other important details float away if I don’t write them down, but if someone needs to recall song lyrics, comedy routines, what someone wants for Christmas, or what they ordered the last time they went to their favourite restaurant, I’m their gal. It helps with my writing, for sure, and it also makes me a formidable opponent in Trivial Pursuit and a useful resource for Game of Thrones fans.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I’m an entrepreneur and a writer, so “outside of work” sometimes seems like a distant, faraway place, but when I have the time, I bake. I mean, really bake. I like taking on the recipes that require a week’s worth of planning, industrial kitchen implements, and weird, exotic ingredients. I can churn out five different kinds of cookies in the span of a few hours, and I can make Christmas fruit cake that people actually like to eat. Employees at our company get their favorite treat for their birthday every year, and I like to bring something new and special to family occasions.
Besides baking, I read voraciously, do wobbly yoga poses, grow giant, mutant vegetables, and sew cute things with very crooked seams. I’m also pretty amazing at Just Dance for Wii.
What would your childhood self say if someone told you that you would grow up to be a philosopher?
I’ve always been a little frustrated that no one so even used the word philosophy around me as a child, because I think it would have made sense of a lot of the things I was thinking. If someone had explained what a philosopher was, I probably would have told them that I already was one. What’s amazing is that grown-ups manage to either maintain themselves as philosophers (i.e. don’t have big questions squeezed out of them), or that they find their way back to it as an adult. I would, however, have been utterly shocked to hear that I grew up to do philosophy in digital media. I was raised on horrible, snowy television reception, and the only computers I used as a kid weighed fifty pounds and took 15 minutes to warm up. Even as a teenager, I never saw myself doing anything involving technology.
Find out more about Amy here.
This section of the APA Blog is designed to get to know our fellow philosophers a little better. We’re including profiles of APA members that spotlight what captures their interest not only inside the office, but also outside of it. We’d love for you to be a part of it, so please contact us via the interview nomination form here to nominate yourself or a friend.