Thursday, April 5, 2012

Video Killed The Radio Star (The Buggles)

A beautiful picture to start this blog. Now  that I wasted your time, decide if you want to read my diatribe. 
This past year I have really gotten into making videos. It started when I was on TLC a year ago. In order to keep my fans intrigued I started shooting little puppet webisodes with semi-famous for famous people. Then from there I did other little things. I was touch and go at first. Originally I expected the flood gates to open with the standup. It didnt happen. There were attitudes about who I was and what I did. There were adjectives like "fame whore" being tossed my way. Mostly, it was people angry I was getting TV time they weren't.

Anyway, I started working as a talking head for YouNow and many of the kids on there either watched youtube or made youtube videos. Some of the other talking heads were youtube celebrities. These talking heads and I sort of bonded. One in particular was Eddie Lawshea, or elawshea on youtube, who much like me used his platform not just to entertain but to be an activist. Standup was not the platform for social activism but rather almost the opposite. The videos gave us the forum to speak out, give an opinion. Eddie was especially inspirational, because not only did he care about his fans but he always had something to say. Not to mention he was very supportive of me.

As a result I found myself regularly on Eddie's show preaching. I found myself speaking out against domestic violence, homophobia, cyberbullying, and generalized hate. I also found myself using my puppets to help me deliver my messages. Whenever I would do my thing many of the fans would ask, "Do you have a youtube?"

I just started throwing videos up. Some were of my ventriloquism. Some were of me singing because I did it so often on younow. Some were of me just giving advice because as younow grew to an international audience I was poised as an aunt of sorts to these youngins. Many of these youngsters, from the UK, immediately subscribed to my youtube and began posting my videos everywhere. That's when my videos started to have more of a point. That's when my videos began to preach.

While I consider my videos entertaining, I also want people to think. My videos have given me a way to do that in a way standup hasn't. In standup if I address women's issues I am a "man hater." On video I could be labeled the same thing, however, there are young women who reach out to me to tell me that having someone like me in their corner comforts them. They know I am not just another woman but a friend, a friend who understands that feminism is the radical notion that women are people and not just objects.

In my videos I can address homophobia and generalized hatred. I can preach that all people are people regardless of what they look like or who they may date. As a result of those messages there have been gay kids who have reached out to me, telling me they were thankful someone understood. One young man wrote me telling me how he was beat up for being gay, and it was wonderful someone got it. I can't get this political in standup. My audience will go silent.

In my videos I can address dating violence. I do it in some extent in my standup, but it's not as in depth as I want it to be. When I do this I get letters from all sorts of people letting me know their horror stories from small to large.

I want my work to challenge and it does. Moreso, I want my work to encourage young people that they have a choice, that they matter.

On the other hand, I make videos that are fun and people seem to like them. My youtube fan base is growing. It is a good feeling everytime I get a new subscriber. I have also gone on to make holiday videos and birthday greeting cards via youtube.

Hey, why not?

On the flipside my videos have gotten me work. One is the poster girl for Panic Girl, a new series coming out. Todd Hollers saw my angry videos and decided I would be the perfect face for the new aged love child of Esther Greenwood and Holden Caulfield. Another was a role in a project on anti-bullying, where I talked about how my gifts as a comedian and ventriloquist gave me self-worth. Then of course there is the new agent I am sort of working with, Marcia, who fell in love with me in a way as a result of my videos. The beautiful thing about the videos is that my fans don't have to shove into some basement or club or schlepp. They can turn on the computer and see me ranting with a smile.

Ironically, my videos are also the thing opening the doors to the comedy clubs for me. Several comedy bookers have messaged me online, telling me they love my videos and offering me feature and headliner spots. Although standup hasn't been the focus for sometime, and at one point I thought about giving it up altogether, plans are changing. The strange thing is that it is all because of the videos. One booker called me today and informed me that I needed to make happier videos.

Done deal. No more dead beat daddies.

On the flipside when I walk into clubs comedians will tell me how they saw my videos. They will tell me how proud they am of me for doing well. And when I get home I see fan mail from some far reach of the globe from some young fan telling me how I either make them laugh or how my videos have changed their life.

So I will continue with the standup, awing and amazing crowds with laughter. However, my Poppyseeds have let me know my responsibility is bigger. Therefore, I must continue with my videos. My journey to superstardom has not ended but only just begun.

To be continued.....

Love, April

Making a video

No comments:

Post a Comment