As many of you know I am on a website called YouNow.com where I host a show called Confessions. The wonderful and crazy thing about YouNow is that anyone can broadcast. You have folks like myself, Bunny, Eddie Lawshea, The Galinskys, Donovan Santiago, Ryan Humphrey and Ann Hirsch as well as Cody-Ann who are performers and artists in real time. While we broadcast we are trained performers and actually have a piece of paper on our wall telling the world we know how to use our voice, our bodies and could probably be a hell of a cater waiter if we had to be. Of course there is MsSassy Neighbor who uses it as a therapeutic outlet not only to get out there as a reality tv star but also to serve as a power of example that one can overcome addiction. Jerry Brooks, I don’t know what his classification is. Of course you have the kids, Amanda and Holly. Then there is Chrissy who has a helluva voice….
But we also have people from all over the world. While it brings everyone closer together it teaches people one thing, interaction with others can be dangerous. Back in August during a broadcast I was doing the bizarre mixture of freestyle and rap that I do. Next thing I know I am in this online flame war with these kids from Italy. I am like WTF. Then one got on and explained in her broadcast why they collectively hated me as a group. I get raw when I slam. I never said I was good at it but I do go hard. Anyway after about three hours of flaming at midnight our time it was revealed that they thought I had been swearing at them for no reason. Then it occurred to me, they don’t have slam poetry in their culture or angry chick rock. This whole matter was lost in translation. I took an opposite action and just apologized, sang for them, told some funny stories, and as a result made six new facebook friends and got six new subscribers on youtube.
Recently we have had a sort of British Invasion on the site. We have Sam Pepper, Alfie, and Mark Lunford. There have been some hurt feelings from the original younow family members and understandably so. However I have found they have brought a whole new dimension to the site. While they are adamant about seeing their people I find that if you are just yourself their people give you a shot. And some people take being voted off straight away personally. I don’t, they are there to see these folks in basically a live internet concert. However when I am on I am not only having fun but learning how to talk to a new audience. These kids are young. A lot of the time they just want to have fun. They are a more sensitive, less political audience.
For years I was used to the New York Club audiences. They like comedy hard or just intellectual to the point where they don’t even know what they are talking about. Comedians are even worse. It’s a contest to see who is the edgiest. These kids on the other hand don’t want to hear about that and its not all together a bad thing. For a while I didn’t like the window I called idiot time, but now I sort of welcome it. Actually it is sort of condescending to call it that. It’s more or less these kids are young, they want to be young, they want to be cheeky and that’s their right. As a bonus many have not only fanned me but friended me on facebook and follow me online. Not to mention several saw me on both My Strange Addiction and in Chat Magazine. Sometimes I even get online and already in the chat they are asking for May Wilson. Woman is a diva. Don’t they know she isn’t even up yet.
I do get a kick out of how young these kids are. I don’t think Sam, Alfie, or Mark are above eighteen. Heck, I would probably get registered on a website somewhere if I ever called them cute and didn’t specify how. One of my poppyseeds, the name I call my fans, in the UK mentioned eighteen is their drinking age. It still doesn’t feel right. These kids are fetuses with legs. It is hysterical because I remember and forget how young that particular age is even though they probably feel at times they rule the world and know everything, at least I did at that age. Then as I got older I realized I still know next to nothing and wonder not only how I breathe but in the words of my late friend Roger, “You chew on pebbles and wonder why they are crunchy.”
I actually get a kick out of these kids in general too. They are very honest, brutally honest as well as tech savvy. In a funny encounter with Dr. Pepper, as I have started to call Sam, he went through my photos and emailed me a pic of one I took back in the day and told me I should go with less makeup because I actually looked pretty hot that way. I found myself laughing out loud. It wasn’t nice to meet you. It wasn’t I enjoyed your broadcast. It was a fashion tip. Those are young guys. On the other hand, he was the second person who told me that this week. Just because I am a good ten years older than these kids doesn’t mean I have to throw in the towel, overdo my makeup, and go to the nursing home. So perhaps I will start following the fashion advice of Dr. Pepper. However, I neglected to tell him I was a whippersnapper like him when the photo was taken.
The other young guys on the site crack me up as well. Gavin Hill comes on and talks about how cover up gives girls spots. I didn’t think it gave me spots but oh well. Not to mention this bloke speaks about how girls only want bad guys. This is true. We all want to piss our parents off before we realize the bad boys don’t want to work and want us to ultimately support them. Oh and the probation officer ruins date night.
In a way I also have become sort of a Mama Foxxx, a den mother to these children. For about a month now I have nicknamed my fans Poppyseeds. One of my fans came up with the name himself. One even asked me today to be her younow mother. Anyway, since befriending these children they message me, tell me what’s going on with them, and even how the trolls aka cyberbullies that are usually quickly banned from the chat bother them. I usually in turn comfort them, share my knowledge I have gathered from my advanced years, and do my best to protect them from cyber bullies. I also ask their input about what they want to see in my broadcasts and in my videos. In turn I encourage them to study in school and let them know that talking to me online is not a substitute for their school work. Although we have only just met, these new little poppyseeds have already warmed my heart and I am looking forward to a beautiful and long Trans-Atlantic friendship.
Truth be told, while many of these kids don’t know how young they are I do. And I also know the world can be an ugly place, especially for those trying to navigate their way through adolescence and trying to figure out their place in the universe. That’s when I look at the leader board and think, “I don’t have the youtube followers.” Then that’s when Sam Underwood, bless his young heart, gives me props. Then Gavin loves the way I exit my broadcasts and tells everyone he loves me. At that moment it hits me that I am reaching these young ones. And it doesn’t matter if I am number one or not on the leader board. If I am, at the very least, an adult that they feel they can turn to, look up to and don’t view as an eternal adversary that’s alright with me.
Still there have been some funny growing pains. Today there was a misunderstanding during a broadcast. Some of the kiddies thought I was dissing Alfie and said I wanted to kick his ass. Truth be told I said I wanted to kick the ass of anyone who dissed him and Sam. Alfie was going in and out of the room when this was being said and thought I said I wanted to kick his ass for bringing all these people. Truth be told, I am glad they are bringing these people because I am making loads of new friends and new fans.
As for the old guard at YouNow, a lot are unhappy about this. However most are American. As Americans we have this erroneous belief that our way is the only way and somehow the rest of the world is wrong. Sometimes though, we need a gentle reminder, a smack upside the head, that there are other countries and other ideas in this world. That their ideas are different than ours. And while their ideas are different they are not necessarily wrong but rather do deserve a voice. It takes many ideas to make the world go round.
Lastly, if you aren’t doing anything Sunday night tune into Confessions from 8-10 pm EST. I am not sure what that is Greenwich Meridian Time but Poppyseeds, I am no substitute for a good night’s sleep, especially on a school night. Love April