Q&A with Jamie Denbo in Bitch MagazineFeb 21, 2015
One of Hollywood's biggest generally unspoken rules is that men are funny and women are hot. A lesser unspoken rule: Men smoke pot (it's funny, after all); women don't. Actor and writer Jamie Denbo defies the first rule in her work, and has set out to challenge the second with the stoner film Best Buds, a weedcentric female road comedy that Denbo sold earlier this year to Natalie Portman's production company, Handsome Charlie Films.
In Best Buds, the character played by suspected real-life stoner Portman hits the road to rescue her best friend, who's terror-struck by her upcoming nuptials. Whereas in regulation stoner comedies -- Knocked Up, Half Baked, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle -- female characters either nag the guys to give up their bongs or barely figure into the plot, in this one it's the women who roll their own.
You may have seen Denbo romancing Celia Hodes on Weeds, in bit parts on Reno 911! or Curb Your Enthusiasm, or in one of her Upright Citizens Brigade performances, but her most well-known work to date is as half of the comedy duo Ronna & Beverly. Denbo inhabits the chronically inappropriate Beverly Kahn-Ginsberg, a middle-aged woman from Boston who, along with her pal Ronna (Jessica Chaffin), has written a book called You'll Do Better Next Time: A Guide to Marriage and Remarriage for Jewish Singles. Ronna & Beverly have been offending people together for more than four years at live venues across the country. Before the 2008 election, for instance, the fictional duo urged people to "Vote for the schvartze," despite Beverly's insistence that Obama was "too tan to be president." In another sketch, the pair interviews a lesbian, asking probing questions such as whether a naked man would be appealing if he had a nipple on each testicle.
The Ronna & Beverly pilot, which aired on Showtime last December, will, with any luck, be picked up by a network. In the meantime, Denbo explains to an old high-school friend why funny is funny, regardless of gender.
You've created a character who thinks she is very hip and liberal, yet is in fact incredibly politically incorrect. Can you explain how you go about conceiving of and developing a piece like "Ronna & Bev Interview a Lesbian"?
I have to be honest: A lot of what comes out of Beverly's mouth truly is improvised in that moment. In something like "Ronna & Bev Interview a Lesbian," all you have to go from is Beverly is intrigued by the sexual practices of lesbians because to her it's exotic, and she wants to be perceived as cool. I think she has a running track in her head that's like, "Look at me! I'm talking to a lesbian just like a normal person!" There is sometimes a part of me that's like, "Look at me with my lesbian friends, how cool am I?" And then I'm like "I can't say that out loud; that's ridiculous. Oh, Beverly can say it out loud." We start at that thought and then it just gets bigger and bigger, and that's when it becomes funny.
Young Jewish women have been exoticized throughout history, but middle-aged women are not usually portrayed as sexual. Yet Beverly is downright raunchy. Where are you going with her sexual openness?
I wish I could say I had a really strong objective with it. But the truth is, my mom had a friend my adolescence. she was very well meaning. But her whole thing was "Oh, you look so sexy! So sexy, so curvy." I mean, there's nothing more upsetting than your mom's friend pointing out your sexual attributes. It came from that place.
With it wouldn't be hot sex talk of the modern porno age. Perhaps it would be like, "I want your penis inside my vagina." Maybe that's terribly ageist of me. But I imagine, having been talking to so uncomfortably by these middle-aged women, that that would be their bedroom talk. It would just be awful.
You're a beautiful thirtysomething who intentionally turns herself into a caricature of a middle-aged woman. Does that make the work less palatable to executives?
By Hollywood standards I'm not a beautiful thirtysomething -- I'm much more an average, saggy mother of two who is teetering on the edge of, "Maybe I should get Botox?" vanity is the death of comedy. Plenty of women make comedy out of uglifying. None of the Saturday Night Live women's careers have been built on Pretty Girl status.
I aspire to that. I'm not interested in making myself as beautiful as possible and then being told I'm not good enough. Not because I'm hurt by it, but because I won't get the job. I really don't care to enter myself into that competition anymore. We live in a stupid country with stupid standards, and the media and television and film industry reflect that more often than not. I've sort of just taken myself out of it completely, which feels great. To me, the best part of being a comedian is not feeling like you have to dress up. I'd so much rather black out a tooth than spend half an hour making my eyes pretty.
The live Ronna & Beverly show is a hit. What's the status of the TV version? Has it been hard to sell the adventures of two divorced Jewish mothers who do things like ask chemo patients whether their pubic hair has fallen out?
Now that we've made the pilot, people love it. that doesn't always translate into "We'll put it on the air." When you are in the industry, and you're looking at something like that, you see it as a product. And when you see it as a product, your question is always, "How I do market it?" And, frankly, no one in the industry has been creative enough to say, "I know exactly how to market this thing." You put two middle-aged broads on a billboard and you , "Okay, I guess this is a Lifetime movie."
They don't realize that if they market it correctly and creatively, then it will resonate with the audience they're all going for, which is the hip, smart audience. And it's unfortunate, because they're keeping something from a mass audience that I think is funny and different and all the things that everyone says they want in a comedy.
Who else is doing work like yours?
There's a lot of alternative comedy exists in small theaters, in live performances. It doesn't get a huge platform unless something breaks through. The people I would mention, like Maria Bamford, are not necessarily people anyone has ever heard of. Women have a really hard time breaking through in comedy. It's cliche, but it's true. The reality is, there is more work for men. The really funny bit parts, the ones that stand out, the chances where people get to shine -- maybe one of those goes to a woman, but 10 of them go to dudes. There is an eclectic group of fabulous women who I associate myself with, and those are the parts that we'd be right for because they are for not-perfect-looking women with really funny voices.
The trick, I think, is not to write something that has women front and center, you run the risk that it's just going to be labeled as a "chick-whatever." If you can write a big comedy and then fill all the smaller parts with funny women, and it would cast unknown women in those sprinkly parts, they'd get a really nice advantage and suddenly they'd be able to build up their careers in the same way all those guys have made their way.
But you've had some fantastic parts on mainstream shows lately, especially Weeds.
Weeds is created by a woman -- a very rare thing. And she's an awesome example. One of the things I love about Jenji Kohan is that she has not had to become a man to do a job that is most commonly done by men. She does it as a woman with three kids, who's absolutely committed to her family and being a mother. Her voice has not been compromised in any way. It shines through as a woman on that series. What I love about that series is that, like any good comedy, it attracts both men and women. People love that show. Not just women, not just men. It's not a woman show, it's an everybody show. And Jenji? A very, very rare treat in an industry that is run by dudes.
You were chastised in the comments section of a Jezebel.com interview after you said that vaginas aren't funny. Can you explain what you meant by that remark?
I stand by it. I'm not saying women aren't as funny as men; women and men are equally as funny. But vaginas are not as funny . Or if they are, they ahve to be handled in a different way. I'll give my example: Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It was hilarious to watch Jason Segel by his girlfriend and start sobbing with his dick and balls hanging out. Hilarious. If a woman sat in the same scene with her legs spread, don't ask me why, I'm not going to laugh. It's not because I'm being precious about the birth canal. I just don't think it's funny. There is no reason for it. It just is. I subscribe to comedy rules; that's one of them.
A penis and balls is crazy. It's like wearing a clown nose. The vagina, for whatever reason, maybe because it's not anatomically big and out there, is the straight man -- a much more important job, by the way. Comedy is not necessarily watching someone do something ridiculous. I think a vagina would get that job before a penis, were they to audition for me.
Let's talk about Best Buds. In most potcentric films, guys smoke pot and women get manicures. Are you defending the right of women to get stoned?
In my movie, they get stoned and then get their manicures. Honestly, was born from the fact that in so many movies can only get the girl if they put down the bong. Those girls suck. They're not fun. I'm a fun girl. I have fun friends, we smoke weed. It's not from the loftiest place.
I hope people just see it as a movie for all stoners, not just for female stoners. It's a shame that people want to rob the male audience of stuff they think that they won't get or appreciate. That's the real sin of it.
Denbo's alter ego, Beverly, can be found at ronnaandbeverly.com. Emily Rosenbaum is a freelance writer living in New Jersey. Her work has appeared in Skirt!, Mom Writer's Literary Magazine, and the Pennsylvania Gazette. She blogs at wheelsonthebus.wordpress.com.
Drew Droege profiled in FrontiersFeb 21, 2015
Meet America's next big funny man-Drew Droege
The first time I ever did improv in Los Angeles, I was shaking in my Out of the Closet high heels and straining not to burst into tears and run my 99-Cent Store mascara. Yes, drunk Hollywood crowds watching attempts at "on the fly" comedic acting are anything but forgiving. But I'll always remember what the director told me (right before he force-fed me a vodka shot and kicked my ass out onto the stage).
"Don't worry. You're on stage with Droege. He'll take care of you." Truer words were never spoken in a non-profit gay L.A. blackbox theater! For those of you who have never seen Mr. Drew Droege on stage, in film or on the net, you're truly missing out. Yes, this side-splitting man has been compared to the likes of Will Ferrell, John Cleese, Robin Williams-even Carol Burnett-and he's earned every ounce of associated praise!
His resume drips with an endless list of highlights and triumphs that any L.A. performer would kick, scream and kill for: an alum of The Groundlings; a regular performer at Upright Citizens Brigade; the Comedy Central Stage and Celebration Theatre; TV credits including The Sarah Silverman Program, Reno 911! and Jimmy Kimmel Live; a cast member of the hit theatrical show Streep Tease at Bang Studio; the star of more online viral hits than you can shake an artsy-fartsy stick at!
To date, Drew's biggest hit has arguably come with his insanely spot-on impersonations of Ms. Chloe Sevigny, America's indie flick sweetheart. The story goes something like this: "I was doing a sketch show a few years ago and put on a blonde wig and realized, 'Holy shit, I look like Chloe Sevigny!' Then I read an interview with her and she was talking about Fassbinder and Jay Z in the same sentence. And then I saw her in US Weekly, wearing high-waisted marching-band pants and elf shoes, looking at me as if to say 'You're welcome!'... I I had to play her. I know it's a random choice, but I honestly can't imagine why no one else got to her first!" He goes on: "My friend Jim Hansen saw me play her onstage and said he had an idea for a video. When I watched his first edit, I had no notes for him. It was just brilliant; he totally got it. He gave me a copy of it we put it on the web ... Perez Hilton featured it, and it went through the roof! He's been so awesome in helping it go viral." Since then, "Chloe's" videos have appeared on EntertainmentWeekly.com's Pop Watch, New York Magazine, Movieline, World of Wonder, Huffington Post and the Advocate. Droege knows that Chloe has seen his videos, but he has yet to receive a response.
"I hope she likes them," he muses. "I want her to give me notes ... and hand-me-downs!" But never one to be put in a box, Drew Droege considers himself an all-around performer at large, with multiple characters and credits under his belt. So he explains: "What kind of artist do I consider myself? I don't know ... a comedic actor? I don't think of myself as a comedian, really. I'd love to do more dramatic work ... or anything, really! I guess that makes me a whore. Yeah, Whore Artist!" So, how did this self-proclaimed "whore artist" go from a good ol' North Carolina boy to L.A. infamous? He tells us: "My Sunday School teacher, Ms. Raper-I swear to God, that was her name!-once told me that I was a thespian. I had no idea what that meant, but she made it sound so vile, depraved and spiritually bankrupt, that I knew that I had to be one ... Years later, I moved to L.A. I really wanted to be on Silk Stalkings. When that didn't work out, I decided to try comedy. I took some classes at the Groundlings, and that felt right." This year, Droege won the coveted 2010 Award for Emerging Talent at OutFest; for those who attended, they may remember his shocking (and record-setting) seven different performances in the shorts program. Dennis Hensley, a celebrated WeHo writer/director who often works with the award-winner, enthuses: "Everything out of his mouth me laugh ... he always comes up with the most inspired, nutso, hilarious stuff and he's as nice and professional as he is talented." When asked what word Drew would use to best describe himself, he is very matter of fact: "Mo'Nique." With no explanation.
And that, my theater-loving friends, illustrates Droege's comedic stylings perfectly-off-the-wall, random and dripping with pop culture shout-outs and an intelligently biting twist! He's destined to be America's next big funny man, and that is exactly why we love this over-the-top, part-time drag-tastic, full-time LOL-enducer so damn much!
The Awl meets Josh Simpson, the man behind Twitter's @BPGlobalPRFeb 20, 2015
@BPGlobalPR started sending out messages about the Gulf oil spill to Twitter. The parody account took on the persona of an inept and insensitive public relations pro working at BP--and it viciously skewered BP's messaging attempts from behind a veil of anonymity. Within a week, it ate Twitter.
The writer's identity became the guessing game of the summer, one that I became deeply enmeshed in after a reporter incorrectly wrote that I had outed Twitter provocateur Mike Monteiro as the account's author. (I had not.) Ironically, however, the erroneous story eventually led me to the 26 year-old prankster behind the account who, after much cajoling (and some minor threats), agreed to be interviewed on the record. Meet Josh Simpson, better known as @BPGlobalPR.
Awl: Are you Mike Monteiro?
@BPGlobalPR: No. No I'm not. But I do have a lot of respect for that guy. When all that was going on I didn't envy him. I think he handled it well. I contacted him at one point to tell him I felt bad for him.
Awl: So who are you?
@BPGlobalPR: I'm Josh Simpson, I'm a comedian based out of Los Angeles. Before all this, I was a producer and writer for Funny or Die. I've done some acting on Reno 911, the short-lived Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. I perform regularly at the Upright Citizen's Brigade (UCB) theater on an improv team, and I write for a sketch show and a talk show there as well.
Awl: Were you doing this all by yourself?
@BPGlobalPR: No, not at all. The idea was mine, and all the long form writing, talks, and speeches were me. But a lot of tweets--a lot of my favorite tweets--weren't mine. I edited and maybe tweaked some of them, but there's no way I would have been able to come up with the quality or volume of jokes without a good team. We had about 15 people, and those writers deserve a lot of the credit. Some contributed every day. My dad did one, even. I sent him a message and told him about it, and I was like, "fuck, I'm not sure what he'll think." But he responded immediately with a joke.
It was nice to create something that could be inclusive with people's frustrations. I made it purposefully non-partisan for that reason. As much as I could, I mean. When you've got Joe Barton grovelling on the House floor, I had to say something about that.
Awl: Why did you start the account? What were you hoping to accomplish?
@BPGlobalPR: My initial motive was just to mock them. It wasn't something I'd been planning. I was home sick from work, perusing the news, and I honestly started it on a whim. One morning, on May 19, I saw a video on Huffington Post where a CBS reporter was told by the U.S. Coast Guard that if they didn't get off the beach they'd be arrested. When the reporter asked how the Coast Guard could do that on a public beach, they responded, "it's BP's rules." It was very obvious to me BP was more worried about its image than about actually letting people see and understand what was happening on the Gulf. I was literally taking a whiz when I had this idea: How could I be BP's public relations team on Twitter?
I started on a Wednesday and did a few tweets to find the voice. If you look at those first tweets, they were really silly. We definitely found the voice later on, that was more like official PR-speak. That Friday I started focusing it more, and following people to get their attention. Roger Ebert retweeted it and it just went from there.
Awl: How long did it take to catch on?
@BPGlobalPR: By Saturday. Roger Ebert retweeted something I said, and then it just didn't stop growing. That weekend we gained 5,000 followers. It was gaining like 50,000 a week and didn't start slowing down until about 170,000 or 180,000. The second week, I went to New Orleans, because I felt like I couldn't make fun of this without also doing something about it.
Awl: Were you at all alarmed when it blew up like it did? I mean, you certainly weren't under the radar once Ebert re-Tweeted you.
@BPGlobalPR: I was alarmed because I didn't expect it to blow up like it did. I could refresh my browser again and again and there would be different reactions every time. Every time I wrote a tweet it would get retweeted like 200 times. That first weekend, when it was blowing up I thought, "well this is obviously getting a lot of attention and by Monday it will surely have BP's attention." What saved me, I think, was a happy accident from that first weekend. I'd been responding to people who were upset with BP saying, "I'm sorry you're upset. We're trying to make this right. Let us send you a free BP Cares T-shirt for $25 shipping." And then some user started the hashtag #iwantmybptshirt. And I was like, "oh, man, now I have to make a t-shirt." So, I contacted a friend from Street Giant, and we created this very simple BP Cares t-shirt. By Monday morning, we'd already raised a few thousand dollars for charity, which we made abundantly clear. So, if they wanted to shut me down, they had a real mess, because I'd already gotten attention and I was raising money for charity to help restore the Gulf. It put them in a pickle. I didn't know how they'd handle it, but I knew they weren't going to shut me down.
Awl: Did you ever get any blowback or even contact from BP?
@BPGlobalPR: Not directly, no. Just through Twitter.
Awl: Tell me about that. Twitter told you you had to make it clear it was a parody account, but what happened once you did? Your account was compromised, right?
@BPGlobalPR: I can't totally confirm that. But we posted a Twitpic, and got an anonymous email from a hacker, saying be careful, that people could gain access to your account via Twitpic. I apologize to Twitter if that isn't true, but they sent me that.
Then later, Twitter told me to change the bio , which I did in a little bit of a panic because I didn't want to get shut down. Afterwards, I was doing my normal thing on Twitter, and refreshed the page, and got a message that my password was incorrect. I had to reset the password, and got back in my account, and the only thing that had chanced was my bio, back to the original. I changed it back. Then it happened a second time, and I reported it to Twitter, and told them that I thought my account was being compromised. It happened a third time, and I said "I'm just going to leave it the way it was," and sure enough it didn't happen again after those three times. What it is right now is exactly what it was when it started. But we almost got more interest once we announced we were fake. The New York Times even covered it that we weren't really BP.
I do want to say one thing. There was this whole controversy of whether or not BP's Twitter account had been hacked the day they launched Topkill. The morning of Topkill, it was 6 in the morning Pacific time, and I had been up all night, as I had been most of the time. And they had a tweet on their @BP_America account that said "Terry is in charge of operation topkill, gotta find him a XXL wetsuit!" There had been all these articles saying that BP should find a way to incorporate this bad publicity into their own. As soon as I saw that, that's the first thing I thought, well, that's what they're trying to do. Because one, it was such a stupid joke. It was like a Jay Leno joke. "Gotta find a XXL wetsuit for Terry!" I never said Terry was fat, because I'm Terry, dammit! That was the first time I realized what they must have felt like, because they stole my thing! My immediate response was, "looks like we've got some impostors. Here's how you can tell us apart, we can say pickle dick and pussy fart."
Then it immediately got taken down, and BP claimed their account had been hacked. And I just don't buy it. It just seems implausible to me. Maybe I'm a crazy conspiracy theorist, but I don't think @BP_America got hacked.
Awl: What happened when you went to New Orleans?
@BPGlobalPR: That was when I realized the severity of the situation, I'd been poking fun at BP, like poking at the beast, but when I went to New Orleans I realized: it IS a beast. Meeting guys like professor Rick Steiner, who explained how BP and oil companies in general try to weasel their way out of cleaning up their mess.
For instance: the dispersant. The dispersant is criminal. It just created plumes of underwater oil and cleaned up the huge slicks on surface. They just put everything underwater, and actively made the problem worse. I realized how tied up the government is on all this--the MMS, the EPA. I don't trust a thing those guys say. I was really disappointed when the White House said that there was only 26 percent of the oil remaining in the Gulf, because that's just not true. This is a big problem. These guys are going to continue milking oil from our coasts in a way that obviously is not safe. And they're going to make huge profits off of it, with the help of the government.
This is how far these guys would go. I met a person who had worked for BP for three weeks, who had to quit, because the doctor said their lungs looked like someone who had been smoking three packs a day for 15 years. Just from working out there on the water. This person told me BP cleanup crews were basically props for photos, and weren't able to wear respirators. Not only that--and while I don't have any way to confirm this, I do believe this person--he told me that when the cleanup crews were done with their mission, BP would give them cigars and take photos of them smoking them so at some point in the future they could deny liability.
Awl: You were the first to follow the BPGlobalPR account, which almost got you busted by Adweek. Did you have to learn more about being stealthy as you went on? Were you ever worried that you would be exposed?
@BPGlobalPR: It was AdAge. I wasn't that worried. It's very easy to lie to the media. They kind of take you at your word. I got a call at work from Funny or Die's publicist, and she said she had someone at AdAge who wanted to know about the BP Twitter account. "You can give her my email," I said. "Don't say it's me, but I can point her in the right direction." emailed me, and I made the mistake of replying to her with my phone number in the email. And she called me. I was on the phone with her and I said "I'm not the one who started it, but I can give you his email." From then on I just used that email and it was pretty easy.
At Twittercon I had the genius idea to end my speech by running out of the room in a panic. I literally ran out of the room and ran outside to get a cab. The major problem with that plan is that I was wearing a ski mask and it turns out it's very hard to hail a cab in New York in a ski mask.
One guy, this reporter who was not a very nice guy, chased me out of the building and got a picture of me with my ski mask up, in profile, getting into a cab. He snapped the picture and then he started looking for a cab also. What he didn't realize is that my cab driver wouldn't drive me anywhere. He was on break, and also was not thrilled to have a guy in a ski mask in the back of his cab. I was like almost in a shouting match with him, trying to get him to drive me. But I had to exit the cab, and I got behind the reporter and then got in another cab and left.
You know a lot of people in UCB and the comedy world knew, and no one said a thing. A lot of people could have outed me, but nobody did. I kind of expected to be outed at some point, especially because my name was associated with it early on.
Awl: What did you think about all the speculation as to who was behind the account? I heard everything from a Colbert Report writer to Conan O'Brien himself.
@BPGlobalPR: It amused me. I was flattered by most of that. I like Conan O'Brien a lot and I was pretty involved with Funny or Die's "I'm with CoCo" stuff. Even Mike Monteiro, that's not the worst guy to be. It was all flattering.
Awl: Seriously, is this Mike?
@BPGlobalPR: This is not Mike. I owe that guy a beer
Awl: How do you feel about all the other similar accounts, like @Gulf_Pelican, or @ATTWirelessPR, or the @iTunes10icon? Kindred spirits or copycats?
@BPGlobalPR: It was very nice to start a meme. From the beginning, I encouraged people to send in BP jingles, song parodies, I asked for BP billboards, I realized it would be more powerful if I could get people involved. The great thing about Twitter is that people are actively involved--they have to hit follow. As to the others, I was mostly flattered.
There's one now for Park 51 that's- I made a few choices from the beginning to try to keep it tasteful. I never mentioned the eleven that died , I never criticized BPs attempts to actually cap the well. I didn't want to be cynical about that. I wanted to skew their PR and mock their messaging attempts.
I will say, part of the reason it worked is because the name was kind of real. It was the first one and people were confused by it. But everyone knows it now. If you really want to jack someone's brand on Twitter, I suggest you don't use "GlobalPR."
Awl: But you are building a WorldGlobalPR website, right? What's that about?
@BPGlobalPR: The basic idea is that I want to be a hub for fake PR that encourages corporate responsibility. I'm building a website that I want to be a reaction to spin. To be an antidote for spin. A site where, when people want to respond to spin, can do whatever they want on there. They can publish a satirical, Onion-style article about a brand. They can create satirical graphics or logos. They can do all these things to respond to spin. It's all going to be filtered through me, you won't be able to just put something up on the site, but I want it to be a hub for that, and to create a network that will allow us to hopefully pull off some of these publicity stunts in real life.
Awl: Sort of a culture jamming kind of site?
@BPGlobalPR: I'm not even really sure what that means.
Awl: Do you think of yourself as an activist, or a comedian?
@BPGlobalPR: A comedian. I got roped into the activism world. I care about things and want to change things. But I think what makes me a good activist is my sense of humor. That's what I have to offer, what my writers and I can offer that I think would be hard to match. The activism is a happy accident. This worked because I had a target. I'm not sure it works for me to promote something. I had a victim. I've stumbled upon a way to use humor to maybe do a little bit of good, but I'm not going to fool myself into thinking I'm changing the world.
Awl: Did you ever think this could be a good career move?
@BPGlobalPR: I never worried about it from a career standpoint. I just had faith that if I kept doing the right thing with it, it would be fun. I'm working on a book and a TV pilot, and you know, who knows if any of that will happen. But it seemed clear that the account would be getting attention and, so, sure I hoped it would get a little print afterwards. I want to write comedy.
I started all this just to make fun of BP, but I quickly learned that these people aren't to be trusted. The only way it will turn around is if people start giving a shit. Which I've started to do. Admittedly, I wasn't that engaged before. But I want to stress, this problem is not going to go away unless people start giving a shit. Don't believe what they're trying to tell us. It'll happen again unless people start caring.
Awl: So now you're outed. What's next for you?
@BPGlobalPR: I don't think revealing myself will keep me from doing anything I want to do. I'm not sure I'll be able to replicate what I did with BPGlobalPR on Twitter, so I'm going to build on the GlobalPR idea rather than hoping I get struck by lightning twice. The difference between myself and someone like Banksy besides the fact that Banksy is about a thousand times cooler than me, is that what Banksy does is against the law. If you find out who Banksy is, he can't do his thing anymore. That doesn't apply to the Internet. Anyone can do what I did and part of the reason I wanted to reveal my identity was to show that I am a nobody. I expect people to be underwhelmed.
Mat Honan is a contributing editor to WIRED magazine, and a co-founder of Longshot magazine. Self-Serving Disclosure: Josh conceptualized and shot this video for my magazine. Futhermore: Awl editor Choire Sicha is one of the writers for my magazine. Choire is likely to earn somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 or more dollars if I sell a lot of magazines. This very Q&A could, in fact, help me sell magazines. Please buy my magazine.