Jenna Marbles, YouTube pro and vlogger, was one of the first to inspire and motivate me to get into YouTube. In fact, Jenna Marbles was the one who inspired me to reactivate my blog years ago and not be afraid to be my aggressive, abrasive, vulgar self. Her popularity and following made me realize that my kind of rant-humor could grow into more than just me bitching about life to my dog while I make mac n cheese in my underwear.
Although I’ll never stop doing that. My dog lives for those shows.
Before I really knew what YouTube was, I had been told by several people that I reminded them of Jenna Marbles.
I didn’t even know who or what the fuck that was, but finally a roommate showed me.
I felt less alone and downright ecstatic that someone was out there saying the same stupid shit that I was.
However, the past semester I’ve been losing interest in her work. With every passing month, I haven’t been as amused by her comedy. She started changing her style a bit.
I was fine with that. I still watched her videos when I got the chance, and accepted that people change and find other forms of comedy and entertainment to produce. Totally acceptable.
But in some of her videos over the past year Jenna Marbles would subtly comment on how she’s not the person she portrays on screen.
Ok, personally it’s a little disappointing that you’re just doing an act, but that’s on me. To an extent, we’re all doing an act. It is just entertainment. But surely she’s still this ass-kicking, no nonsense, fuck everyone’s bullshit kind of person, right?
No, apparently that’s the act. Jenna Marbles rants and call-outs are just her amping herself up for the sake of likes and subscribes.
That kind of sucks. Comedians tend to use their reality and who they are to create their own style of comedy. That’s kind of the point. Truth-based, honest comedy.
Like Kevin Hart, Louis C. K., Chelsea Handler, Patton Oswalt, and Ron White to name a handful.
They’re just going up on stage and being themselves. That’s why it’s funny.
But whatever, cool cool, you got a shtick, and you’re sticking to it. A lot of successful comedians build great comedy careers on a persona or by overly elaborating themselves. It’s not really my thing, but I get it.
But listen here bitch, don’t fucking sit there and cop out on all your work, say that’s not even your thing, and act all fucking judgey and shit.
Jenna Marbles’s latest video was her rambling on as she watched her old videos from the start of her career.
I swear to God I was about to make a drinking game out of it. Drink every time Jenna says something about her sound and camera quality.
We get it. You were an amateur college vlogger working off your laptop. Thanks for making other amateur college vloggers feel confident about their work… (insert sarcasm sign here).
She kept going off on the quality of her old videos saying she didn’t understand why anyone watched her and how they found her old work funny at all.
Because you’re talented and good at what you do. It was like 2006 or some shit when Jenna Marbles started out. Everyone’s videos from back then look shitty nowadays, but we still watch them because the content was great.
She went off on how she wasn’t a fan of her rant videos, and she seemed unsure and a little judgmental as to why people liked her rant and drunk vlogs. Then she totally copped out and said that the only reason she kept doing these videos was because her fans kept asking for them.
BECAUSE THEY’RE FUNNY.
She said the rant/drunk videos made her seem angry all the time in real life, or that she was an alcoholic, and she hated that. She didn’t want people to think she was angry or over-drinking. She felt the need to explain that she is not an angry person at all, quite the opposite, and that no one is like that all the time.
I need to level with you.
Although you’ll never read this, because damn you successful and damn I’m not, but it does me some good at least.
1, you built a career off of your work. Stand by it. Don’t apologize for something you loved doing, even if you don’t love doing it anymore. But you ain’t that good an actress, it was pretty damn apparent that you loved what you did back then. Your honesty flowed through your rants. It was real. That’s why people loved it. And how does one decide that you’re an alcoholic for putting out a few drunk videos per year? When you’re in your early twenties? In college?
My God, I drink more than that every month, and I’m pretty sure I’m not an avid alcoholic. And if I am, oh well. It’s not like I have kids involved.
2, who are you explaining yourself to? No one gives a shit if you’re a ranty person 24/7 or not. Are you trying to convince yourself? Is that a little pow-wow you need to have on your own time?
3, don’t sit there and blame your fans for your work. You said you only kept doing rant and drunk videos because people kept asking for them. But if you never wanted to do that, then you shouldn’t have. Don’t look back and say, “oh, well, everyone kept asking for it so that’s why I did it.” That’s fucking stupid. You’re the creator, the entertainer, you get to decide what you want to do. You get to choose your audience, and fuck everyone else.
4, hello there, I am one of those people who are bitchy, sarcastic, ranty, facetious, jaded, and all that jazz 24/7. “No one is like that all the time,” well bitch here I am. And to say it in that condescending way made it truly insulting.
So you can sit there and pretend to act like that for your show, but if anyone is actually like that then you disapprove?
Man, fuck you.
Look, I’m down with going over your old work and noticing your mistakes and wanting to grow from them to become a better version of yourself. Totally get that. I do that with my blog several times every year.
I was also more than OK to see Jenna Marbles point out that sometimes she used to use mindlessly offensive and rude terms that were just not funny and not all right. She corrected herself. Cool shit. I’m fine with that too.
In fact, when I look back at my work and find something that I don’t agree with or believe anymore, I edit it out and make a note that says, “hey, I’m not this person anymore, it was how I felt or thought back then, but not now.”
But I just watched someone who greatly inspired me to pursue this new degree, this career, to pursue my style of comedy, and to feel comfortable with who I am totally bash themselves, trash their own work, cop out of their work, blame their fans, and act like that style of comedy is basically stupid and not worth anyone’s time.
That was a sorry display. In fact, I’ll say it. It was fucking pathetic.
I think everyone experiences watching one of their role models transform into a total waste of time, but damn, that kind of hurt.
It was a rambling train of sloppy mess, and I wish she kept that to herself. That was rough to watch.
And for God’s sake, who gives a shit what random people think of you?
She went on about how she lets people’s opinions of her affect her and that it really gets to her.
In your line of work? Excuse me, in our line of work we can’t afford to let every single internet troll affect each and every decision we make.
Writers, comedians, actors, artists, musicians, and entertainers of every kind have to walk into this business with some shred of resilience. We have to already expect to receive shit and be prepared to sift through what’s constructive criticism and what’s useless garbage. We can’t listen to everything and everyone. And most importantly, as long as we’re honest with ourselves and what we want to be, and who we want to project, then that’s all that really matters. Not to have a Sesame Street moment here…
So let me share what I’ve learned looking back on all my bullshit blogs, stories, unpublished novels, songs and poems, and comics:
Accept your work, fuck-ups and all, make the changes you want to make, and move the fuck on.
Be honest. Share your perspective. Be yourself (again, seriously not trying to have Sesame Street moments), but build from yourself. Become more of who you are as you move along through life.
No one is alone. None of us are so fucking unique that we have zero people with whom to relate or find camaraderie. We each have our audiences, we just need to keep throwing ourselves out there like jetsam in the ocean and we will one day wash up on someone’s shore. There will be people who will pick us up. Of course there will be. Because we are all someone else’s audience. I flock to Chelsea Handler, Amanda Palmer, Dane Cook, Patton Oswalt, Arin Hanson and Danny Avidan, and so on.
And on a smaller scale, I have several fellow students whose work I’m a fan of. I am a member of their audiences.
Your people are out there, they just all haven’t found you yet. I haven’t found all of my audience, and I hope I never find them all. I hope beyond death I get new members all the time. I hope that I can make that connection. I hope that I can pass on that feeling I got when I picked up “Nightcrawler’s Inferno,” the first comic book I ever read which inspired me to write more than ever.
Or that feeling I got when I heard Gerard Way’s lyrics, which was the first time I ever felt the desire to live rather than wish I was dead. Although I struggled with suicide for years afterward, that was the difference. It became a struggle against death, not an acceptance, and it was because of My Chemical Romance.
I want to pass on that feeling I got when I read Scott Westerfield’s “Peeps,” “The Last Days,” and “Midnighters.” Or Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson” series. Or Michael Crichton’s “Jurassic Park.”
With every bit of substance we love, we are that creator’s audience. Even if it’s only for a moment. We connect with their perspective, their thoughts, their reasoning, their side of the story.
And as young creators, we want to pass that on.
For me, out of everything I love, out of everything I want to do and who I want to be, first and foremost I want to make people laugh.
I love clinical mental health, I will always pursue it. I love writing, I’ll always pursue that. I love nature, travel, and exploring wild environments, and I will always pursue that as well.
But top of my list is to make people laugh. Because, selfishly, nothing makes me feel more a part of this world than that. With every ability to make someone genuinely laugh, I’m confident in who I am and what I’m doing.
Even if I’m the only person laughing.
For that matter, I will always be a member of my own audience. And Jenna Marbles, you can’t live worth a shit in your career if you’re not apart of your own audience.
If you’re not a fan of your work, why are you even bothering?
Make shit for yourself first, then everyone else will fall in place around you.
P.S. Although I’m referring to several different videos, the main one that sparked this rant was this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_PFgg0QnVI