Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"I'm not cute! Stop calling me cute!"

So I performed at another open mic a few weeks back. And I've noticed since doing this whole "comedy thing", that I have been getting strange reactions from audience members. People actually like me. What's up with that?!?! And I thought for a while audience members were just being nice (because I know I'm not that great a comedian, yet...) Maybe it's my persona on stage. Maybe they pitied me. Maybe they feel the "awwwwhhh" pang in their stomach and they sense that I needed them to clap as I left the stage, (just so that I wouldn't feel like pond scum.) And I tested this theory from open mic to open mic, from audience to audience.

But not only do they like me, they are attracted to me. How weird is that?

And how do I know this? It's a specific look that every girl is receptive to: The lustful "I-want-to-see-what-you-look-like-in-a-compromising-position" look. The problem I find with this is that I fear I'm not being taken seriously, especially as a female comic. I purposely dress so as to detract from such attention. I don't wear low cut this, and high cut that. I detest when women use that as a draw! I think it lessens the impact of the message.

But it's not as if I don't understand "the magical women magnetism." It's the same reason Britney Spears (if she ever went back to her original formula) will always sell more tickets than Justin Timberlake. The reason being: Guys will attend a Britney Spears' show--not just the girls, who are the majority of Timberlake's fanbase!

I remember the days of yore, when I developed crushes on TV icons: Davy Jones (when they put the The Monkees back into syndication, and then I quickly made my way through the rest of the group--Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, Michael Nesmith. (What can I say? I clearly had no clue as to how to pick a prospect, nor any concept of commitment. I can't say that I've improved upon my hunches since.)

As I got older, I moved on to other TV/movie heartthrobs: Alisdair Gillis of "You Can't Do That on Television", "Kevin Arnold", "Parker Lewis", of Parker Lewis Can't Lose, "Mitchell Goosen", from Airborne a really bad cult/B-movie that is near and dear to my heart, "Jordan Catalano", "Eddie" from Threesome (aka Knox Overstreet from Dead Poets Society), "Josh" from Clueless, "Banky" from Chasing Amy. They came and went as I grew older, wiser, and more discerning. (Notice: I didn't mention anything about The New Kids on the Block, any members of the 90210 cast, nor Johnny Depp of 21 Jump Street days. Corey Haim I do profess should be stuck in there somewhere.)

Then I grew out of TV characters and I went for the gut, vying for members of bands: Chris Cornell (solely Superunknown), Trent Reznor, Dave Grohl (Post-Nirvana, Post-The Color and The Shape, but Pre-The Crappier albums), Damon Albarn ('nuff said, I think it's a sin that anyone could be so hot, talented, and successful all at once. Clearly, he made a pact with the Devil. And if he ever asked for my hand in marriage, I would have no problem dropping my current comedy life, family, and friends, to prance off to the UK and make babies with him.) Eh-hem! Did I just write that?

Well, uhm...

My point being is that my lovelife paid dearly during those glory days of 120 minutes.

But I never fawned over a poster. Never bought a lunch box. Never subscribed to a fan club. I never bought an album because of the member--I bought because of the music. Never solely for the artist. That's what poseurs do. We all know that.

This brings me to the magical, yet disturbing side of comedy (and fame for that matter): The Wow Factor - The Star Power - The "Twinkle in Your Eye" Factor

Once you step onto that stage, people (audience members) begin to revere you. They get stars in their eyes. And you become, well, uh, attractive, to put it lightly. And feelings/emotions get wrapped up in it. And people, I don't think, know where to place the admiration--that energy... So they divert it to certain chakras. With women performers, audience members take that energy place it in the sexual vicinity (2nd chakra.) Even if she sucks. How many people knew of The Black Eyed Peas BEFORE Fergie? Did anyone know the Black Eyed Peas had been around 15 years prior to Fergie? And now that she's gone solo, where are they now? (A slightly different version of this story could be around No Doubt and Gwen Stefani.)

To think the only reason anyone would like an artist because of the artist's looks is asinine to me. I never could subscribe to that.

If I had met them on the street before seeing them on TV/the big screen, would it have the same effect? The stage, I'm noticing, is a powerful medium. It's intoxicating for the audience member. When you step onto the stage, it almost seems like anticipatory adulation from the audience---like adulation in the making. Granted, I do have a specific motive while I'm up there. I'm there to twist your little impressionable minds into critical thinkers--to question the world and society that we live in. After all, comedians are the barometers of society. I simply wanted to use it to, to spread my agenda--and ultimately take over the world (as tongue in cheek as I can make that last sentence.) But I never expected to get the side effect of fan crushes. This worries me. You shouldn't crush on me. You should fear me. I am soul-less. Well, not really, but I would like to be the all-powerful. Not really. I just want to do comedy and go home. That's it. Boring. I know.

But crushing on me. Nawwwhh! There are way hotter crushes than me. Tyra Banks, Halle Berry, Cindy Crawford, Gisele Bunchen.

One person said to me after the show, after giving me suggestions about my delivery, "It's so cute!" Ugh! You couldn't find more frightening word to describe me. The minute someone utters that word in reference to me, it makes me squirm and I react with that weird involuntary split-second chill that stems from the depths of oblivion.

So whatever you do, if you see me at a show, don't call me cute.
I'm not responsible for what will happen afterwards.

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Les Becker said...

But "cute" sounds so YOUNG! *I* wanna be cute! Pout...* Just think what you can get away with on stage if they think you're cute... The freedom to be snide without having a drink thrown at you has got to be worth something.

Steve said...

Hey, just think how lucky you are that you can choose not to accept the "cute" compliment! You're already ruling the world! I never got cute. I still don't...

Maybe that's a good reason to move into comedy?

Loving Annie said...

Good Wednesday afternoon to you Lucy,
Fame and power are aphrodiasiacs...
Evidently you being on stage has both for some people.
You've mentioned some of the upsides and downsides already. It isn't all roses being 'up there', but there can be some nice scents along the way :)

Rick said...

The word cute can seem a little dismissive sometimes.
Like, "oh what a cute little hobby you have there."

"Yeah, no, it's not a hobby I actually take it pretty serious..."

But sometimes people are just complimenting you the best way they can.

modelbehavior said...

I get it...I hate being called 'cute' in any context - performance-wise or otherwise. 'Cute' just doesn't translate to desirable or admirable.

Fleiger said...

Well, I can see how cute can hurt in this particular condition. But then, why not use it in your act?

Ed said...

Ugh...Cute means fat and bolegged according to Webster. :-)
Grace and Peace,

Lucy said...

les becker - You're right. Sarah Silverman is considered cute and think it's because of that title "cute" that she gets away with so much on stage.

steve - "ruling the world"? Well, in due time... in due time.

loving annie - thanks annie! Those are some very optimistic viewpoints. And I have to admit that I am the eternal optimist. thanks for that!

rick - You're right. I shouldn't take offense. But the issue is that I get annoyed at the idea that the message isn't getting through and they're only charmed by my looks.

modelbehavior - desirable or admirable in what sense? I guess I can go without the admiration. And I don't need guys to desire me. I simply want people to listen. Put down their iPods and listen.

fleiger - yeah, I've been told to use it in my act. I'm still trying to figure out how to do so and get the message across.

ed - that is the first definition of its kind that I'm hearing. Perhaps, I'll check the OED (Oxford English Dictionary), for comparison.

suchsimplepleasures said...

people used to tell me i was beautiful, now, i'm over 35 and i'm referred to as cute. wtf is that? anyway, love the post. and...i think jonny depp in 21 jump street...definitely worth mentioning (sorry)
take care...