Watching Cartoons in Your Underwear

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How to Have a Great Sketch Submission/Audition

So lately I’ve been getting asked a lot of questions about sketch submission packets and auditions. It can be a confusing process, especially if it’s your first time submitting, and there are a lot of mistakes that people often make, so I decided to put some stuff down in a helpful little list that you can refer back to whenever you like. Keep in mind that a lot of this stuff is based on my own opinions and experiences, but seeing as I’ve read hundreds of packets, watched hundreds of auditions, and will be one of the ones grading them at iO this go around, I don’t feel like TOO much of an asshole when I say seriously, do these things.

YOUR WRITING PACKET

1. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, FORMAT IT PROPERLY. Look, I get that not everyone wants to shell out the dough for Final Draft. It’s expensive, and we’re broke comedians. Celtx, however, is totally free, and formats scripts in almost the exact same way Final Draft does, and once it’s switched to a .PDF, you can barely tell the difference. You should never ever ever ever be writing scripts in word, or notepad, or any other weird program. It is off putting to look at and screams amateur. Also, if you have any desire to be a writer for a living, just shell out the money for Final Draft. 

2. A PACKET SHOULD BE 3 FULL LENGTH SKETCHES. What this means is, you may think you have a hilarious blackout, and maybe you do, but the people reading packets typically want to see three fully fleshed out sketches. Three is not a lot, and we want to get a feel for what you can do. Throwing in a blackout is only hurting you. I am also not a fan of runners in packets, but that’s more of a personal preference.

3. "FULL LENGTH" DOES NOT MEAN 7 PAGES. The sweet spot in terms of sketch length for me is between three and four pages. Anything longer than that, and it better be the best damn sketch I have ever read in my life. I understand that SNL does 10 minute sketches, but really, have you ever seen an episode and genuinely wanted the sketches to be that long? Also, there is a difference between a show on tv that’s an hour and a half and a live sketch show that lasts 20 minutes. More than four pages and the readers WILL get bored. Trust me.

4. CHARACTER SKETCHES DO NOT READ WELL. Look, I’m sure you have an amazing sketch where you do an impression of French president Francois Hollande riding a pony during a snowstorm, but if the funny parts are overly dependent on your performance, it’s probably not the best thing to submit when people will just be in their apartments, reading them quietly to themselves. Stick with premise stuff that’s funny on paper.

5. OVERLY VISUAL SKETCHES DO NOT READ WELL. Again, I’m sure you have a great silent sketch ready to go, but keep in mind that seeing funny visual stuff is vastly different than reading funny visual stuff. If I write “Charlie Chaplin does the dance of the rolls by putting two dinner rolls on the ends of forks and using them as tiny legs and feet,” you might be thinking “What the hell does that even mean?” However, when I show you the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoKbDNY0Zwg

you suddenly get it. Stick to sketches that don’t need to be seen to get a laugh. Which leads directly to my next point

6. TAKE OUT ANY UNNECESSARY STAGE DIRECTIONS. In a sketch packet, stage directions should be minimal. If it needs a ton of stage directions to be funny, don’t include it in your packet.

7. IF YOU ARE AN ASIAN FEMALE LESBIAN, DON’T MAKE EVERY SKETCH ABOUT BEING AN ASIAN FEMALE LESBIAN. Before you start sending me angry emails, what I mean by this is that your three sketches should be varied. A LOT of the times, a female writer will include three sketches in her packet about what it’s like to be a female, a gay writer will include three sketches about what it’s like to be gay, a Latina writer will put three in about what it’s like to be Latina, and so on and so forth. I get the whole “write what you know,” thing, but keep in mind that a sketch team is a team. You will be writing for other people, and audiences don’t care who wrote what. I would never put three sketches in one show all about an Italian girl from New Jersey and her adventures. If this is what you write, write a sitcom, or a movie, but sketch packets need to be diverse. I want to see three different sketches with different games and different kinds of characters.

8. RAPE, RACIAL HUMOR, AND AIDS JOKES ARE BEST LEFT TO THE EXPERTS. You may think your sketch about rape is absolutely hilarious, but I bet you 100 dollars the people reading your sketches won’t think that. I am of the mindset that nothing is off limits when it comes to comedy, but let’s face it, you’re not Louis C.K. I have read SO MANY packets with these above three elements in them, and I have, without fail, always found them to be in poor taste as opposed to “edgy.” If you think being a racist is edgy humor, time to take more classes.

9. DON’T FORGET TO DELETE THAT TITLE PAGE. Once again, nothing screams “I don’t know what I’m doing” faster than someone accidentally leaving a blank title page at the beginning of their packet. If you don’t know how to get rid of it, Google it. It’s very simple.

10. SHOW A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF GAME, BEAT, HEIGHTEN. I saved this one for last because it is by far the most important. While some coaches may disagree on what exactly it’s called, whether it’s “game” or “direction” or “thrust of the sketch,” trust me when I say every sketch MUST have a game. You should be able to pitch your sketch to me in one sentence. The pitch is the game of the sketch. What this means is, if I have a sketch about a janitor who loves ham, I can pitch that to you as “there’s a janitor who loves ham.” If you can’t easily pitch and summarize your sketch, it probably means you don’t have a good grasp of what it’s about, and the people who are reading it sure as hell won’t either. Get out the game of the sketch, and then heighten it to make it funnier. Almost all of the time, the notes coaches give on packets that they like are “Strong understanding of game. Good heightening.” If you don’t know what these concepts mean, or have no idea how to implement them, you should take some classes and wait to submit until you do.

YOUR PERFORMER AUDITION

1. DO YOUR AUDITION SEVERAL TIMES FOR A FRIEND BEFORE YOU FILM IT. Having someone watch you is beneficial for a lot of reasons. The more you do it, the more comfortable you are, they may notice things you were previously unaware of, and they may have some good pitches or advice. You should ideally be hiring someone who knows what they’re doing to coach you a bit first. There are a lot of GREAT sketch actors in the community with reasonable rates for this kind of coaching. Ask around and you’ll find them.

2. SHOW YOUR PERSONALITY. Whenever I coach people, I tell them that yes, the people watching these videos want to see your characters, but we also want to see you. Even something as simple as how you introduce yourself tells us a lot. Do you seem nervous? Shy? Bubbly? Warm? I have seen the note “likable” a lot when it comes time to grade auditions, and it has never hurt someone to be labeled as such. Treat the camera like a friend in the room with you. Engage with it. We want to know if the audience will like you, and this is the easiest way to tell.

3. FIND SOME WAY TO MAKE IT PHYSICAL. The truly great sketch actors I have seen use everything at their disposal. They not only change their voice or their accent, they change their physicality. If you’re playing a blue collar dock worker on an episode of Law & Order who just found out he’s married to a giraffe, I want to see you be that character. If your three minute audition is you standing stock still in the same pose and position, you’re not utilizing everything you could be to make it great. Move around a bit, shift your stance, make big hand motions if that’s what your character would do. This keeps it visually interesting.

4. ACCENTS DO NOT EQUAL CHARACTERS. Look, everyone I know can do an accent, whether it be Russian, German, Southern, etc. This doesn’t mean everyone I know would make a great sketch actor. If your character hinges solely on the fact that you’re doing an accent other than your own and that’s all, it’s time to take some more character classes.

5. STAY AWAY FROM RACIST OR HOMOPHOBIC STEREOTYPES. If you are a white man, and you intend to play some form of black stereotype, I can tell you right now, you aren’t going to make a team. Ditto for gay stereotypes. If your idea of a character is affecting an effeminate lisp, making your wrist go limp, and talking about what you and your bitches are going to do at the club this weekend, you should not audition. No one thinks it’s funny, and it will result in you getting a rep, so that if and when you do wise up, no one will want you on their team anyway.

6. JERSEY GUIDO, MINNESOTA MOM, SORORITY/VALLEY GIRL AND KRISTEN STEWART SHOULD BE ILLEGAL TO DO FOR AUDITIONS. Seriously, I have seen each of these so many times that it’s not only not funny anymore, it actually just makes me angry. Once again, these are voices/characters almost every human being can do. We don’t want to see them again. All it proves is that you’re a limited performer who sticks to tired old tropes.

7. FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT DIFFERENT. We want to see what you, as a performer, will bring to a team. What unique role will you be able to fill? I have seen people make teams who weren’t necessarily the strongest sketch actors simply because they were so different from everyone else. This doesn’t mean you have to gain 800 pounds and dye your hair pink to stand out. It means that whatever you’re doing, try and look at it from a unique angle. Bring something to it that no one has thought of before, and trust me, it will pay off.

8. WATCH AS MANY AUDITIONS AS YOU CAN. Someone just recently asked me “What should go on a sketch audition reel.” I asked him how many he’d watched, and the answer was clearly zero. The internet is a bottomless resource. Google “SNL auditions” or “Maude auditions” or “character reel” and then watch, watch, watch. Do NOT watch them to copy, but to see what you personally find funny and interesting. Take notes. Watch good ones and bad ones and figure out what makes the good ones good and the bad ones bad. You can’t watch too many auditions. It’s not possible.

9. IF YOU HAVE A SPECIAL SKILL, SHOW IT OFF. If you’re an amazing singer, make sure one of your characters sings. If you’re an amazing juggler, make sure one of them juggles. If you studied mime for years, there had better be a mime character in that reel. This is a no brainer. It will make you stand out.

10. VARY YOUR CHARACTERS. The number one negative comment I see given to performers is that their three minutes of characters were “too one note.” I don’t want to see you play three mush mouthed singer songwriters. I likewise don’t want to see three sassy loudmouths or three Russian mobsters. If I had a nickel for every time I have seen a girl do Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Taylor Swift impressions in her reel, I’d be rich. The characters should all be very different, in every aspect. Start making a list of characters you often do in improv shows, or when joking around with friends. Then eliminate those that are too similar.

FINAL ADVICE FOR EVERYONE

Don’t be bummed out if you don’t make a team the first time you try. The first year I submitted for a Maude team at UCB, I didn’t make it. I set up a meeting with the AD to get notes on the writing packet that I had submitted, and then asked what he recommended I do for the next year to get better. Then, I took classes, wrote as many sketches as I could, put them up at Not Too Shabby and some indie sketch nights, and wrote a Spank show. The next year, I submitted again and got placed on a team as a writer. There are a lot of talented people in this community, and simply not enough room for all of them on teams. A lot of people don’t make it. The smart ones work their asses off and get as much experience as they can. The dumb or lazy ones lay about, wait for the next round of submissions to roll around and submit again, having not gotten any stronger. Not making a team isn’t the end of the world. There are tons of opportunities to get your stuff seen. There are a slew of indie venues that incorporate sketch. Again, ask around and you’ll find them.

I’m sure there are a lot of great coaches out there who could tell you what other stuff I’ve left off this list. Ask them their advice. I’m sure they’ll be happy to share it. That’s all I got for now, so good luck!

11 notes

#YesAllWomen : We’re allowed to be complex

So ever since the #YesAllWomen movement started in the wake of the horrific events that took place on May 23rd, my FB and Twitter feeds have been flooded by stories of abuse and harassment by women, and supportive words from most male friends. I have also been questioned a lot by some male friends who want to know things like, “How are you supposed to know a woman doesn’t want to be hit on?” and “Would it make a difference if the person flirting with you was someone you’re attracted to?” The short answer is, it’s complicated.

Of course, no one is saying (or at least I hope no one is saying) never flirt with a woman ever again. That would lead to some sort of weird, dystopian society in which robots collect semen samples from men and implant them into women who give birth to a new generation of no sex-having lonely hearts. I like to call that society “Blue Ball-opolis.” It doesn’t sound appealing at all, does it? What people ARE saying is go ahead and flirt, or go up to a woman at a bar and hit on her, but if she shows no interest and does not reciprocate, back the poop off. I have made this point in the past in several blog posts, but people NEED to be better about reading signals. Don’t mistake a woman not wanting to be outright rude with a woman wanting to bang. I shouldn’t have to be a mega bitch to you to get the point across that I don’t want to be bothered. I realize some men are socially awkward and not great at reading cues. If that’s you, maybe it’s better you avoid these types of situations. I’m not trying to be an asshole or punish people for being shy and inexperienced, but if you can’t tell the difference between polite disinterest and panty burning lust, maybe just stick with internet dating and friends setting you up rather than approaching women in social situations for the purpose of getting laid.

I had a friend recently ask me if so and so (male casual acquaintance whom I find creepy) and so and so (male friend with whom I have a flirty rapport) both said the same thing to me, would it have the same effect? If I’m okay with one of them flirting with me, why not the other? To that, I responded, of course I do not treat everyone equally when it comes to stuff like that. I am allowed to be okay with some things, and not okay with others. Nothing is black and white. People are complex individuals with complex emotions. Just because one friend can make a joke about my boobs does not mean everyone in the world is allowed to do so. This concept should not be hard to grasp, but yet, I have been hearing a lot of guys comment that “It all depends on whether the guy is attractive if it’s harassment or flirting.” This concept is so ridiculous, for one, because everyone is attracted by different things, and no one is found universally attractive by everyone (except Michael Fassbender, obviously), and two, even if that WERE the case, who are you to tell me whether I should be okay with something?

I hate to resort to this, since I feel it’s already been put out there as an example, but I’m going to frame it in a way that hopefully most men can understand. Men, say you’re at a bar. You’re straight, and you may want someone to flirt with you or hit on you, because it’s fun, or you want the attention, or you want to get laid, or you are looking for a relationship. A gay guy comes up to you and is clearly interested. You don’t want to seem rude or make a scene, so you either engage in polite conversation, or you flat out state you’re not interested, albeit politely. Now, how annoyed would you be if the guy continued to make comments about the size of your package after you felt you made it clear you were uncomfortable? Now imagine if 50% of the world’s population were gay men. This wasn’t an isolated incident, but rather happened every single time you went out. You complain to your female friends, and they say “If you didn’t want to get hit on by gay guys, why did you go out?” They tell you, “Maybe you should be meaner next time it happens so they’ll know you’re not interested.” Then next time you go out to a bar, a woman you think is intriguing/sexy/cute comes up and flirts with you and you reciprocate. Your friends then say “Oh okay I get it. It’s okay for her to do it but not all those gay guys? Do you want people to hit on you, or not?” The scenario works, too, if it’s say, a woman you are not attracted to, and find weird for some reason. Even if your friends think she’s attractive, you may not want to be hit on by this woman. Every situation, every individual, every interaction is different, and no sweeping statement can possibly cover all the complex emotions and feelings we have as individuals and as a society.

Do you see how ridiculous the above scenario is? I hope your response to your friends would be something along the lines of “I am the one who decides what behavior is and is not appropriate when it comes to interacting with me, not you.” Each circumstance is unique, and while that may confuse some of you who want a clean, neat answer tied up with a little bow of “You treat every woman exactly like this and it is okay and don’t treat any woman like this and you’ll be okay,” the world doesn’t work like that. I’m sure your friends can joke around about stuff that you would be pissed off if you heard from a stranger. 

Here comes another shocker for those of you still reading. Women are capable of making dirty jokes, and having a dirty sense of humor, and still not being okay with being sexually harassed. Just because I write sketches about aliens giving fish people blowjobs (I haven’t written that one yet, but rest assured, it is now in my pitch notebook) and just because I make super blue jokes with my guy friends does not mean it is okay for you to ask me personal questions about my sex life and think I’m cool with it. Yes, I may make a lot more dirty jokes than a lot of girls. Yes, I may be able to “hang with the guys.” Yes, I may “giggle uncontrollably when people use fake dicks as swords.” None of this means I am cool with being harassed. Again, I am allowed to be a complex individual who does all these things, and yet also be extremely private about my personal life. I am allowed to dodge questions about what kinds of sex positions are my favorite, or whether or not I’m seriously dating anyone, because hey, answering that crap makes me uncomfortable. Doing bits about a girl whose face is a vagina does not make me uncomfortable.

Finally, I want to make it clear that yes, a lot of women like being complimented. Yes, a lot of women like being flirted with. Again, I realize this sounds like a complicated concept to grasp, but enjoying these things does not make catcalling, whistling, pursuing a woman after she’s made it clear she’s not interested, and any number of other behaviors okay. That crap isn’t flattering. At its best, it’s annoying. At its worst, it’s terrifying and anxiety inducing. This shouldn’t have to be said, but you are not entitled to anything. Just because your guy friend has a hot, great girlfriend does not mean you deserve one. Just because you’ve never raped a girl does not make you entitled to the “best” or the “prettiest” girl. Just because a girl may be dating a rich asshole and you feel you’re a super nice guy does not mean you’re entitled to a supermodel. Imagine if even a small percentage of the women you encountered felt they were entitled to go out with you. A woman you have no interest in comes up, hits on you, and gets annoyed when you aren’t into it. She asks if you’re gay, if you have a girlfriend, if you think you can do better than her. Maybe she doesn’t ask it, but secretly, she wonders it. Then she goes home and says to all of her friends “Why does everyone get a hot guy except me? I deserve a hot guy.”

People are complex. If you’re genuinely curious about the stuff your female friends have been posting, by all means, ask them, but don’t make the mistake of giving them advice about how they should or should not feel when someone flirts with them. Don’t make the mistake of suggesting stuff they can do to combat behavior. It may be coming from a good place, but trust me when I say that women have been hearing it all their lives. Instead, save that advice for the next time you see a guy cornering a woman on the metro, or at a bar, or the next time your poker buddies make a joke about raping a chick. Continue to be supportive, continue to read the stories people are posting, and continue the open dialogue this movement has started, because it’s not gonna last forever.

83 notes

Game Revisited

vossprov:

A while ago I worked on a post for Splitsider that sought to reconcile the differences in game philosophy between UCB and iO. As someone who had been trained at both theaters, I never agreed with the characterization that “UCB is all about game; iO is about the relationship.”

After gathering…

Pretty much one of the best things I’ve ever read on the iO vs. UCB debate.

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2014 Annual Scripted Comedy Festival!

Standups, comedians, sketch performers, writers, listen up! From Sunday, February 16th through Saturday, February 22nd, the LA Scripted Comedy Festival will be taking place at iO West. They will have a variety of different shows going on at all three stages. If you’d like to be involved, there are a number of categories, all with prizes.  For the standup competition, first prize is $250. Same with the storytelling competition (you just have to tell a great story onstage!). For the video short competition, first prize is $100. Whoever wins the video pilot award and written pilot award gets a table read of both in front of big wigs complete with a cast of celebs. Sketch people, if you win sketch cagematch or 24 hour sketch, you get a four week show run on the mainstage at io and get a comedy central stage showcase! Deadline to submit is January 24th. 

Here is the link to more info:

http://ioimprov.com/west/scriptedfestival/

And the link for the application itself:

http://ioimprov.com/west/scriptedfestival/application

Good luck, all!

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Making Blanket Statements Regarding Who One Should or Should Not Date — Don’t Do It!

So by now, most of you have seen the blog posts and articles circulating around about dating a comedian and why you should NEVER do it EVER under penalty of death (or extreme unhappiness or catching “Whiny Bitch-itis” or something). One of those particular articles involved a writer who happily proclaims that she’s been comedian-free for a month now (good for you, honey. I’m sure you’ll be man free for a lot longer than that after dudes realize you write about personal dating experiences in your crappy blog). She decided to do this after going out with two comedians and having a bad time in each relationship.

Hold up. Two? Did I type that correctly? Surely no one would ever go out with TWO people and use those experiences to make horrible blanket statements about an entire subsection of humans, right? Oh, just checked again and apparently I read it right. So, based on this logic, if I claimed that I’ve met two bloggers in my life who were terrible, twat-y shrews, I could lump you in with them, right, lady?

Other than the fact that it’s simply INSANE that this woman dated two comedians and now says no one should do it, there is a larger issue that I take with her stupidity. Yes, I do comedy and yes, I have dated other people who do comedy and so it may seem like I’m a bit biased which, hey, I’m sure I am, but you know what, when you set limitations like this, it only hurts one person, and that’s you. Obviously not 100% of comedians are “never interacting…always performing.” Some of the best conversations I’ve had are with comedians who are smart, funny, charming and interesting. So what happens if this “rule” makes you, and the other people to whom you’re peddling your terrible advice, miss out on dating one of those awesome individuals who isn’t like the two you happened to date? What if you start setting other limitations based on minimal experiences? Gone out with a couple of businessmen who work too much? Stop dating them! Had some intimate experiences with blue collar workers who forgot your birthday? Cross them off the list too! Before you know it, that list will be longer than your straggly fingernails after you’ve become a shut in to avoid any human experiences.

Look, I’ve definitely met my share of comedians who are always doing bits. I’ve met my share of comedians who don’t listen and want to be the center of attention. You know what, though? I’ve also met my share of people in general who do that stuff. Narcissism is not specific to one job or lifestyle. So how about you dole out better advice. Don’t date assholes. Or how about you only date people you enjoy dating and have a good time with. Who cares what their profession is? 

I’d also like to point out the fact that, in your telling of the stories regarding those relationships, neither of those guys seemed to be too broken up about them ending. So maybe the problem is with you? Maybe you’re not as awesome as you think you are? Maybe these guys weren’t giving you 100% of their attention because you’re a boring cow who doesn’t appreciate a good mussels/muscles joke? Lighten up, lady.

So here’s my advice to counteract that chick’s terrible advice: Date whoever the hell you want. The fewer restrictions you set on your life, the happier you’ll be, I promise.

Also, for the record, I totally would have laughed at the mussels/muscles joke, and I’m happy to date the comedy dudes you are so ignorantly refusing to acknowledge now. Dudes, I promise you that I’m a much better time than she is, and that you will never end up in one of my blog posts. Cheers!

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Dangerous Expectations or: What’s Your Number?

Does everyone remember that movie that came out a few years back starring Anna Faris entitled “What’s Your Number”? The premise of the movie (spoiler alert, since I bet you’ve had this on your Netflix cue and would just DIE if I ruined it for you) is that Faris’s character reads an article claiming that women who’ve had more than 20 sexual partners have trouble finding a husband. Faris realizes, with horror, that her number is at exactly 20, and so she hunts down all of those men with the hope that one of them will be her true love, to avoid making her stats go any higher. When she has a connection with Chris Evans’ character (and I use the word “connection” extremely loosely), the moral of the movie seems like it might turn out to be “Numbers don’t matter a fig! What matters is what you feel!” But wait, lest you give this awful dud any credit, in the button at the end, it turns out that Faris was mistaken about one of the dudes she thought she had bedded (she was like, TOTES drunk, you guys) and, SURPRISE! sleeping with Evans will put her right at 20. Cue happy ending music!

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So recently, I have spoken to a few people who don’t see the correlation that I often make between slut shaming and rape culture and caring about how many sexual partners a potential paramour has. I’ve spoken to two guys in the past month who have said things along the lines of “I don’t think people should sleep with a large number of people” (which is obviously 100% subjective) or they “don’t want to be with someone whose number is higher than their own.” They could not understand my irritation and anger at these comments. So let me break it down for you. Say you find a girl (or guy, this certainly can go both ways) with what you think is the perfect amount of sexual partners under her belt. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that this number is three. This girl is perfect, and her ideal-to-you number, makes her even more appealing.

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So now let’s suppose that you share your feelings with her about how ideal her three is and you both share some good times marveling at the wonder of the universe for bringing two such perfect people together.

Then let’s say she gets raped.

Uh oh. What now? You’ve always had in your head that three is the perfect number, but suddenly, through no fault of her own, she’s, *GASP*, a dirty, dreaded FOUR! I mean, just look at that number. Four. FOUR. It practically shouts indecency what with it’s straight lines and suggestive F at the start. But hey, maybe you’re a nice guy, and maybe your girlfriend’s number going up because she got raped doesn’t offend you, so you’re willing to let it slide.

But, uh oh again! You’ve already told her your perfect number is three. So now, this girl, who has just been through a traumatic and scarring and horrible event, has another worry on her plate. “Will my kind, loving, perfect boyfriend still love me? Will he still want me? Should I not tell him about this? Should I not tell ANYONE about this?” If BEFORE she was raped, her value was at least somewhat based on her sexual history, then isn’t that the case after she was raped as well? Here’s where it gets dangerous, and rape culture and slut shaming come into play.

Elizabeth Smart goes around to schools giving lectures on the dangers of abstinence only education and about her ordeal of being kidnapped and forced to endure daily rapes. When asked why she never tried to escape, she indicated that the rape made her feel so dirty and filthy, and her conservative religious upbringing had taught her that once you have sex, you’re like a used piece of bubblegum, that she didn’t see any point in escaping, because even if she did, she would be worthless. What if it wasn’t the expectation of remaining abstinent that had her worried, but the expectation that she should only sleep with 3 men? Or 10? Or 20? Do you see how this gets sticky?

Yes, obviously this is an extreme example, and an extreme case, but when you live your life in generalities of “What I think is the perfect number should be the perfect number for everyone”, you’re bound to run into a few extremes. There is no cookie cutter human, and what is suitable for one, is definitely not suitable for all. Odds are, if I said to you “My favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip, so everyone’s favorite flavor of ice cream should be mint chocolate chip,” you’d probably think I was batty. So why, then, is there the attitude of “I’ve had sex with X number of people so everyone should have had sex with X number of people.” Don’t even get me started on people who want their partners to have a lower number than their own. Hypocrisy isn’t an ancient Greek physician, people.

My advice to those of you out there who really care about numbers and sexual history and the like is to open your mind. Your own number is undoubtedly too high or too low for countless numbers of people, so what makes you the authority on what is proper? There is no consensus on this. There is no “right” number. There is only your opinion, and once you strip yourself of those expectations and the rest of the world does as well, then maybe the next Elizabeth Smart won’t worry about what the world will think of her once she finally escapes her rapist. Also, I guarantee you that the fewer “rules” and “expectations” you have going into a date or a relationship, the happier you’ll be. Trust me. I’m a doctor. 

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(ed note, I am not even slightly a doctor, but I have seen lots of episodes of House.)

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Slut Shaming

Paul Goebel invited me on his podcast to talk to me about slut shaming and encourage you all to creepily check out photos of me on Facebook.

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erika heidewald #1 #1!!: The Unofficial Goldman Sachs Guide to Being a Man: A Sick-Ass Rebuttal

erikaheidewald:

A Facebook friend shared this helpful guide to being a man that I disagree with almost completely, so I’ve crafted this hilarious and helpful rebuttal. “But you’re not a man!” you exclaim. You’re right, but I know everything so I am qualified to write this. Commence the list! (Also FYI they start…

Yeah my knee jerk reaction to this original list pretty much went something like this, but Erika said it way better than I could.