The experience of being an adolescent girl is weird and awkward and completely overwhelming.
Her friend Amy Poehler, a comedienne with whom Walker became close on-set at SNL, also recognized it. Their friend Amy Miles, a singer-songwriter and host of PBS's Lomax, the Hound of Music, saw it as well.
"That's really when you're starting to form yourself," Walker tells CultureMap. Though it's painful to go through those growing pains, she explained, "We're pretty cool about where we are now."
"We try to home in on girls who are doing things for the sake of doing them, because that's when they feel most themselves," said Walker.
That was the impetus behind Smart Girls at the Party, a Web show that was conceived by the three friends, who act as cool older mentors for an online audience, encouraging girls to be girls and, more importantly, be themselves.
Smart Girls is a perceptive show and a subtly funny one, with real girl guests who talk about real issues and do real things. Each episode ends with a (sometimes star-studded) dance party.
"We try to home in on girls who are doing things for the sake of doing them, because that's when they feel most themselves," Walker says.
An admiring YouTube audience has amassed since the first episode aired in 2008 — made up of their target-audience girls, of course, but also parents and teachers who appreciate a reminder of what it's like to be a kid and a guide to speaking with their adolescent daughters and students about what is important to them.
This season will see a few new features: Boys Minute launched on July 24 with this video featuring a multi-tasking Will Arnett, and a second episode will be released on Wednesday. Walker says that the segment will have different guys — friends, brothers, nephews. Some famous, some not.
That segment is will alternate weeks with Ask Amy, a rambling, heartfelt advice video where Poehler — a mom herself — fields audience questions about everything from makeup to friendship. Another, Operation Nice, will star a team of do-gooders going out and doing good.
"[Smart Girls at the Party] is my passion, it's my dream come true," said Walker.
Walker will play host for Girls of the World, which comes out in September and features girls from the Ann Richards School in Austin interacting with girls from different spots around the globe in an effort to learn what life is like in other places.
"[Smart Girls at the Party] is my passion, it's my dream come true," says Walker, who will speak at the Texas Conference for Women in October. "What I like to say is, there's a smart girl in all of us."