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Lady Comics: Who Needs Late Night? We’ve Got Tumblr
If you ask a female comedian how social media has impacted her professional life, she will likely respond like Elaine Carrol. “Social media has made my career,” says Carrol, the 30-year-old creator of the Very Mary Kate web series, a spoof of Mary Kate Olsen’s glam life in New York.
Remember just a few years back, when comedians (of any gender) relentlessly chased guest spots at the feet of David Letterman and Jay Leno? Getting a gig on late night was the ultimate career boost, but women comedians had to fight through the prejudices both professional (like infamously misogynist Letterman booker Eddie Brill) and cultural (let’s all try to forget that Christopher Hitchens essay).
But the level playing field of Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr means no one gets between ambitious talent and a potentially receptive audience. All it takes is perseverance, ability, skill, and infinite patience.
“Social media has essentially become my career,” says Kate Spencer, an improv instructor and writer at VH1 who blogs on Tumblr.
About four years ago, photographer Johanna Heldebro’s father abruptly left his family in Montreal and relocated to his native Sweden. Johanna’s parents had just finalized a sudden divorce after Mr. Heldebro disclosed that he was having an affair with a mother of two who lived in Stockholm. Of course, everyone was angry and confused. But instead of writing her dad’s name 30 times on a piece of paper in black ink and burning it over a black candle, Johanna decided to use the unfortunate situation as inspiration for her artwork. She traveled to Sweden to stalk her dad and find out about his new life firsthand.