I've started an Indiegogo. I'm about the seven billionth to do so. I get it. They're exhausting. And what makes my cause more important than any other? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
But, I had to do it. I had an idea, an idea that cost $5,500, and I decided to reach out and touch someone, like a 90s AT&T commercial.
Sheryl Still Single is a lot of things to me. It's a six episode web series, a chance for me to wear gorgeous blazers, but it's also a culmination of 25 years of playing female characters, and many of those years this was done somewhat in shame, many of those years done despite knowing full well that a giant football player playing older women is unmarketable, confusing and has directly hindered my comedy career. I'm gay, but not always in the right way.
About two years ago, I went into a high-profile improv audition. I played all female characters, including Elizabeth Olsen. I even referenced Martha Marcy May Marlene. I was comfortable, in my element and having fun. The auditors laughed a ton. It was my best improv audition I've ever had, at least from my perspective. I didn't get a callback.
The next year, I went into the same audition. I made a conscious choice to play all butch men, knowing that's what they wanted. Because that's what I am, physically. That's what I read as when you see me on stage. When you see a six foot three, 225-pound blonde man, it's hard to envision him as anything other than an a dutch overlord. It's what casting directors expect me to be.
I had a subpar audition. I didn't have fun. I didn't play Elizabeth Olsen. I didn't get called back. And I left feeling a little dirty, like I had betrayed myself.
That's when I said "fuck it" and decided to stop trying to be what I thought others wanted me to be, and to embrace what made me different and made me unique. I wrote this web series. I wrote a play called Lady Balls and starred as a 60-year-old Texas lady tyrant. And now, I'm ready to produce Sheryl Still Single and (hopefully) put my style of fuck-the-gender-binary comedy into the universe, on a level I've never done it before.
In other words, I'm taking control of my own narrative and not letting others dictate or guide it. I've had lots of success in the Chicago comedy community, but much if it has come after years of failure.
I never got on a Harold team. It took me five auditions to get on a Playground team. I've never gotten a TourCo audition callback. Most of the shows I've done in my nine years in the Chicago comedy world, I've created myself. And don't cry for me Argentina, anyone who has been in this world long enough has their own set of setbacks and missed opportunities. It's the nature of the game.
I'm simply done waiting for the opportunities to find me, or be given to me, or waiting for approval that never arrives. I'm doing it my way, on my terms and not letting anything stop me, least of all a $5,000 pricetag.
If you have a few spare bucks and would like to support this passion project, one that creates roles for women over 40 and kicks the male, cisgendered nature of online broseph comedy square in the balls, that would be amazing.
You can check out my Indiegogo page here.
If the entire concept of this Indiegogo annoys you and I annoy you and you just wish I'd shut up, take that annoyance and use it to donate to the Kenya Red Cross.