Monday, October 08, 2012

15 minutes of fame & Trisha Paytas

Hey there,

So I'm sure you're familiar with the saying about 15 minutes of fame. I think YouTube requires revisiting the thought behind that, as it redefines exactly what it means to be famous.

In fact, this post is meant to be finished completely, text and videos, which will take about 20 minutes. I say videos, because I want to introduce you to somebody on YouTube, and I think it'd be hard to get to know her from just one video. So there goes the 15 minutes.

It's kind of the blessing and the curse of social media. It's easier than ever to share content, and connect with strangers, but because we've become so inundated with stimulus, it seems like we put more weight in snap judgments and tend to assume more than we might normally.

Case in point, there have been more than several occasions someone has shared a link to a news article that I unfortunately assumed to be recent, due to the fact that they just posted it, and I'd never heard the news before. Only after sharing and re-reading do I see the date in small print that it originally posted months, even years ago.

Oops. And that's just one, mostly harmless example I'd say, that only affects the context of information.

What happens when we make that kind of judgement about people, based on a YouTube clip?

This leads me to sharing with you the clip that I saw a friend post on Facebook, which I would recommend you watch in full, and continue reading the rest of the blog as is. If you find you just can't (which some have), then go ahead and pause it. I won't (and can't) make you watch it:

Regardless of what party you do or don't belong to, how much you believe the U.S. government does or doesn't work, I would hazard a guess that there are probably several assumptions you've made about Trisha as a person. Unfortunately, the info with the video gives little clues to provide context, but thankfully (or not) there are comments.

Let me save you some time. Amongst the pile of knee-jerk reactions, plenty of which are certainly rude and disrespectful (because that's a sure-fire way to get someone to listen to what you have to say), there were a handful that suggested that maybe this video shouldn't be taken as seriously as many seem to have.

Because, just in case that little voice in your head wasn't yelling loud enough, Trisha is an artist; she's an actor to be specific, surprise!! Here's a clip of her sharing what happened with a recent audition.

If you go to her Facebook page, she's even had a number of fans who've posted in support of her, due to the reaction to the first video:
Bethany More Oh my guys are seriously idiots if you think this is anything but a joke...
Russell Sullivan You're a genius, Trisha! And yes, you remind me of Andy Kaufman, with the whole is she for real/uncomfortable/pushing buttons style of fearless comedy...Sacha Baron Cohen vibe. The comments from dummies add to the delicious hysteria. LOVE YOU...and that's coming from a 51-year old gay man.
Daniel Carroll its a skit you idiots. thsi is what she does. anyone who actually pays attetion knows this is a skit. every one of you raging like this proves who the real ignorant people are.
If you're familiar with Andy Kaufman, then you probably have a better understanding of her as an artist than I did before I looked it up.

But I digress. I still, I wanted more context. And in this age of Google and DIY and social media, people might put there lives out there for the world to see, but it's still up to each of us to take the effort and get to know that person. Unfortunately, it seems we are so overwhelmed, that instead of taking the extra time to inform ourselves, we tend to think we've seen everything we need to before jumping back into the stream of our Facebook and Twitter feed just to get distracted by the next meme, viral video, infographic, or any of the numerous shiny things that grab our attention online.

Anyway, I came across this video, which is the third and final one of hers I will share. And to my acting friends, just take it for what it is, and don't pay attention to the "you know"s and "like"s.

Personally, it's probably one of my favorite vlog posts. It's pretty raw...and brave. It's somewhat self-depreciating, feeling down not just about superficial things, but simultaneously feeling down for being so superficial. And it's a moment I think many people can relate to, getting stuck in our head about something completely asinine and silly, but it still having a profound emotional impact.

Which leads me to where I personally connected with her. And appreciated her. Beyond her fans, seeing the people who've reached out to her, who look to her for support because she's shared her own experiences...well that's where I think the power lies in social media.

But what now, how will you resolve this with the first video you saw? I would say this, skit or not (although I lean towards skit), this is where the arts administrator in me kicks in: I think she nails it with her call to action at the end.

"Go Vote, go get educated, and inform yourselves"

I'm going to leave it at that. Whatever you think about her as a person, as a character, at the end of the first video, that is all she is asking anyone who watches it to do.

And from the reaction people seem to have from the first video, I would wager a guess that the good majority of them were motivated to do just that.

With regard to the 15 minutes reference in the title, I brought it up as something that doesn't apply to Trisha, or any others paving their own path via YouTube and other social media platforms. I just wanted to make that clear, I do not think the video is a 15 minutes of fame example, but I think Trisha is an example of why, depending on what fame means today, the 15 minutes paradigm is no longer as relevant as it used to be.

Case in point, now I don't watch TV regularly, but for those who do, if you think she looks familiar, there's a good reason. If you check out her resume and appearances, there's a good chance you've actually seen her already.

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