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Refinery 29 names UCB performers on list of unique "slashies"

Mar 25, 2015

Of course, the nature of Lena Dunham is that she's a breath of fresh air, a unique presence in a predominantly male industry - an outlier. But in a recent R29 editorial meeting, our London editor referred to a group of "slashies," a term for those who professionally blur boundaries, like a model-slash-actress or a writer-slash-director. And, whether she isn't your cup of tea or if you are firmly in Camp Dunham (we happen to be the latter), Lena Dunham is the most recognizable example of a young, female actress-slash-writer-director working today. Her success, plus the immense critical conversation she has inspired, has led to script execs beginning to think of shows with pitches that include "women," "New York," "real," "sex," and "funny" in the description.

With that in mind, here are 10 other ladies (two of whom work together) who are just as unique as Dunham, but still have that "slashie" quality. They also aren't just actresses but comedians, writers, directors, and cinematographers, each one following (err, or not following) in the groundbreaking footsteps of a certain "voice of her generation."

So, these gals might not be the next Lena Dunham, so to speak, but perhaps the next gal we'll all be talking about, not only because she gets us, but because she can really, truly do it all. 

Kate McKinnon, 29
Known talents: Sketch actress, writer, SNL cast member, killer Ellen impersonator
Known collaborators: The cast of SNL
If anyone has been catching the most recent season of SNL, they'd see the bright, slapstick-ready McKinnon, who has a Wiig-esque ability to fit into any role, at any age, and make it hilarious. Like many (literally, many) of her SNL compatriots, McKinnon came from the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre and spent four years writing and performing on Logo's The Big Gay Sketch Show. Oh, yeah, there's this, too: McKinnon is the first openly lesbian cast member of SNL

Zoe Lister-Jones

Jenny Slate, 31
Known talents: Actress, improv pro, writer, published author
Known collaborators: Lena Dunham, Marcel The Shell
Okay, let's get this out of the way: Slate is Marcel The Shell. Yep, that's her amazing voice that made you fall in love with one of the best viral videos ever. In fact, it helped land her a single season role on Saturday Night Live, but her contract wasn't renewed (some may think it's because she dropped the F-bomb on live TV). But that didn't slow Slate, who has appeared on Bored To Death, Bob's Burgers, and Parks and Recreation, while lending her voice talents to The Lorax. Oh, and fittingly, Slate has played opposite Dunham in Girls - as Hannah Horvath's obnoxious, successful rival. 

Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson, 27 and unknown
Known talents: Sketch comedy, writers, directors, and actors in their own show, artist and author (Abbi)
Known collaborators: Amy Poehler
So, yes, we are putting these two together, but both Glazer and Jacobson are the brains behind Broad City, a web series that has not only been picked up by FX to make into a larger show in the style of Louie, but it's being produced by fellow awesome-lady Amy Poehler. The show is - surprise, surprise - about girls in New York, but the Glazer/Jacobson product is less frantic and a little more light-hearted than Dunham's take. Oh, and you've already seen their work: The super-duper viral "S*** New Yorkers Say" was all Glazer. 

Issa Rae

Maggie Carey

Amy Seimetz

Lake Bell

Greta Gerwig

LA General

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behind Kreayfish 'Fishy Fishy' Kreayshawn parody with Wendy McColm

Mar 25, 2015

Meet the Taco-Loving Creator of That Funny Kreayfish "Fishy Fishy" Kreayshawn Parody

Instead of ragging on high-end fashion labels, what if Kreayshawn's "Gucci Gucci" was about loving fish tacos?

Comedy students Jeremy Burke and Will Reese took that weird question and turned it into an exacting -- and funny -- video parody of the Oakland-via-L.A. rapper's breakout single. The "Fishy Fishy" clip, credited to a Natassia Zolot-lookalike named Kreayfish, went live on YouTube last Thursday and has since racked up more than a quarter-million views. It was featured on World Star Hip-Hop, Funny or Die, and of course, this blog.

Disguised as a parody, "Fishy Fishy" is also a comedic appreciation for the food of Best Fish Taco in Ensenada, a "low-key" favorite of Burke's in L.A.'s Los Feliz neighborhood. The idea for the clip was suggested by his friend, Will Reese, who helped with writing the lyrics and directing the video. From the beginning, their idea was to stick as close to the original "Gucci Gucci" as possible. It helped that Reese's roomate, Richard Figone -- the guy who plays Lil Debbie in the video -- made a beat that sounds remarkably similar to the song's quasi-dubstep backing track.

From there, Burke says, "I printed out her lyrics and pretty much dissected syllable for syllable. I wanted everything to be the same rhyme scheme, almost to the point where our lyrics could rhyme with her lyrics."

So "Fishy Fishy" starts with the memorable, "I put that on with salsa, I put that on with sour cream/ Ensenada representing, yes, these tacos are supreme."

But the funniest line in the video was the one that gave Burke the most trouble. He wasn't sure what to do with Kreayshawn's lyric about 'swag coming out my ovaries." But Reese suggested, "So many fishies I got caviar for ovaries."

"That put us over the top," Burke laughs.

Casting the video wasn't hard. Both Burke and Reese study at the improv comedy school Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in L.A. They found their Kreayshawn in UCB actress/comedian Wendy McColm. "It's funny, because she's a long-haired, redheaded girl," Burke says. "But with the wig and makeup, she's a dead-ringer for Kreayshawn."

They took McColm and the rest of the cast to virtually the same Los Angeles locations where "Gucci Gucci" was filmed -- but instead of shooting outside high-end fashion stores in Beverly Hills, they focused on Best Fish Taco in Ensenada.

The resulting clip resonates with both fans of "Gucci Gucci," and with those who say Kreayshawn is overhyped. But Burke says he likes the original and doesn't mean to criticize Kreayshawn. "I know that's one of the main reasons people hate on her, because anybody could do , but she's the one that did do it," Burke says. "I never wanted the song to be a knock on Kreayshawn -- it's a very light, playful parody. She's embodying a vibe right now that no one else is."

Since it was posted, the video has been shared thousands of times on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr (no doubt aided by interest stemming from Kreayshawn's appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards this past Sunday, and the leak, afterward, of nude photos of an underage Zolot, after her Twitter account was hacked.) The fake Twitter account they created @Kreayfish, is accumulating hundreds of followers, and Burke hopes to have more music video parodies out soon -- possibly future Kreayshawn send-ups.

Whatever happens, though, Burke says he already got a pretty sweet payoff for all the attention "Fishy Fishy" has received: Free fish tacos for life from his favorite shop. 
LA General

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MTV's Hey Girl Features Sasheer Zamata, Emily Axford, Laura Wilcox & More

Mar 25, 2015

Hey Girl, a new show from MTV premiering this Sunday, July 28th at 9pm features UCBT performers Sasheer Zamata, Emily Axford, Laura Willcox and Wendy McColm. The show is written by Julie Klausner, Emily Altman, Halle Kiefer and Alison Bennett. 
NY General

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