Hey guys, my first, "Being Gay & Native American" , tv clip finally reached 100,000 hits on youtube and I would personally like to thank everyone for watching it.
If it weren't for youtube I would not have a comedy career at all. That little video helped me get work for the past 5 years and it also established me as one of the premiere Native stand up comedians in the United States.
My comedy career really has taken a non-conventional form to success. When I did the Outlaugh Comedy Festival back in 2006, I was told a network executive cut my video from the 8 original comedy episodes to be aired on LOGO that year and when I found that out, I was devastated. It was hard for me to believe that because I knew I had one of the best sets of the Outlaugh Festival that year.
As the fates would have it, LOGO decided to release my video in the form a video podcast, which anyone could download.
So thats what happened. I just happened to search my name on youtube and there was my video. A young girl named Courtney originally downloaded my video podcast and was the first to post it on youtube. Immediately that video started to spread like wild fire. I got messages from different people saying it was being showcased on different web video channels, which to me was amazing.
In doing so, my video 20,000 hits in a short time, most from the Native American community passing it around on Myspace, which was the hot online social network at the time.
Eventually the LOGO Network did air my clip in a special, on a comedy outing in NYC back in 2007, a fan spotted me in a gay night club on Christopher St. and asked me for my autograph. I'll never forget the way that made me feel, I felt like such a big star that night.
This video was my first training on how to start acting/behaving like a celebrity. When Courtney posted my video, I got some nice comments and not so nice comments. A couple of times I responded back negatively to whoever left a rude comment and eventually Courtney pulled the video because of it. I don't blame her for doing so because our exchanges were probably giving her more trouble then she asked for.
So thats when I took charge and downloaded my LOGO podcast myself, created a youtube page, and so on.
From then on, I decided not to respond personally to any comment, good or bad. I figure the comment section on youtube is for the fans/viewers and really, thats their space to express themselves.
What I feel most honored about is how the Native community responded to my work. When I search my LOGO clip, a few Natives created a their own video playlist and listed my video among their favorites with search words like, "Native Pride, Proud NDN, or Funny Indians" , and to me that means a lot because that lets me know I did my job. When I set out, my goal was to give a voice to our Native American community members and hopefully try to make them feel good about themselves.
Over the years, I also had many college students email me who saw my clip in their classrooms. Its nice being subjectified academically because I love how college students and professors deconstruct my work, its very flattering.
I don't mind being known as the Gay Native American, in fact, I have to thank my friend Tony Sparks for helping realize my comedy niche early on and going after it, he really is smart man when it comes to comedy and is a brilliant joke writer. And for everyone who doesn't know, he wrote the, "Smallpox" , and, "Circling" , jokes that made me infamous. And it was those jokes that helped me find my voice.
I was listening to a Jennifer Holiday interview recently and she was a little irritated that shes never been able to let go of her character role, "Effie" , on Dream Girls because shes built her whole career around that musical.
On somedays I know exactly how Jennifer Holiday feels because however much the mainstream entertainment industry has decided to bamboozle my endeavors, all I have to say to them is, "And I'm a Telling you That I'm Not Going" .