Articles, Blog

Rhea Butcher, Comic/Actor/Writer – XOXO Festival (2019)

October 31, 2019


[Applause]>>RHEA BUTCHER: A couple people were excited when they heard it was me. How are you guys? [Cheers] Some people are excited, that’s great,
cool. I am a stand-up comedian, and I was asked
to give a talk. [Poignant Silence]
[Laughter] And I was like, yeah, I can do that. And then I sat down to write it, and I was
like… [whispers] you’re a stand-up comedian. You talk all the time. And I was like, now is not the time to write
this, it’ll come to you. [Laughter] And so what I would like to do at the beginning of my talk is to give a shout-out to procrastination! [Cheers] [Applause] Because, through the process of this festival, I have learned the difference between procrastination
and believing in one’s self. [Laughter] And you can’t do one without the other, I’ll tell you that. [Laughter] I believe I was booked on this in March. [Laughter] And I had all that time! And it’s not the first time in my life that
I’ve had all that time. And I’m sure that people in this audience
can relate to having a bunch of time for something, and it is probably the worst thing that can
ever happen to a human being. [Laughter] I mean, if you want to get into some spirituality, God only took six days. But give me six days and I’ll be, like,
shit! Saturday night, I’ll write it! [Laughter] And then I’ll probably talk from the heart anyway. It is Sunday, how perfect. Who am I to say I’m not God? You know what I mean? [Laughter] It’s not up to me! [Laughter] Part of my procrastination process, and perhaps you can relate to this, was going to buy some
gummy bears. [Woo!] Anybody else getting off gummy bears? [Laughter] I’m in the process of getting off gummy bears. I got ON gummy bears to get off gummy vitamins. [Laughter] Because we’re a gummy-based economy now. [Laughter] Pick up your gummy badge on the way out, your gummy tote. I had to get off of gummy vitamins. Now this is just standup. I’ll get back to the talking part of it. [Laughter] That’s the thing about creating anything, anymore, at all, on the internet, or not. You never know when you are, and are not,
making anything. You know, the moment between making and not
making is barely decipherable, at this point, I’ve noticed. Decipherable? I just made that up. Thank you. [Laughter] This festival is the one place where you can say whatever you think, and they’re like,
that’s correct! [Laughter] It’s 300 points on a triple word score. [Scattered Laughter] Okay, there’s a few people into Scrabble in here. [Laughter] Yeah. But I did part of my process of writing this
was going to buy some gummy bears. I went to Target to get my Black Forest Organic
Gummy Bears, for my writing process. Also, how are gummy bears organic, by the way? Are they cage-free? Do they not — free range gummy bears? But I got myself a bag of gummy bears, and
then I got myself a second bag of gummy bears as a reward. [Laughter] For my first bag of gummy bears. And then I got into the car and I ate the
second bag, which was the reward for the first bag. The second bag is the car bag, the first bag
is the home bag. So I ate that bag before I left. And then I got home, all prepared to sit down,
and write. And I opened my home bag, and in that home
bag of Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears, which was supposed to contain five separate, distinguished
flavors, there were only two flavors. Exactly. If you can’t hear in the back, the people
in the front are aghast right now. [Laughter] There will be a trauma workshop after this. [Laughter] There were only two flavors, and not only were there only two flavors in that bag, they
were my two least favorite flavors of gummy bears — [audience groans] Yes! Yes, XOXO. It was cherry and lemon! Nightmare fuel! [Laughter] I was furious. So I furiously ate half the bag, in an act
of resistance. [Laughter] And then I got my laptop, opened it up, it was, of course, only charged to 6%. I went and found my AC adapter, unwound it,
plugged it in, plugged in the magnet thing, it came back out, put it back in again, started
charging it, put in my very unique and very long Apple ID password, fired up Safari, navigated
to the company’s website, blackforestorganics.org… [Laughter] Found their Contact Us page, opened an email! Began writing the email that simply had the
subject line, “How?” [Laughter] And then the body of the email said, “Could a manufacturing defect like this even happen
in the year 2019?!” [Laughter] I closed my laptop and was like, you’ve got a problem, you gotta talk to somebody. You also got to write this thing. That’s just a little look inside my process. [Laughter] [Applause] You don’t have to give me, you don’t have to do that. I do want to say how great it is that there’s
closed captioning. I’ve never been closed captioned before. [Cheers] Someone is actively doing that? That’s cool. I did have two ASL interpreters at a show
once, and I got to speak with them afterwards. I was like, thanks for coming, really great
of you to be here, and the one lady was like, oh my god, you were such a treat to interpret! [Laughter] I was like, I can’t wait to hear what’s next! She was like, it was like you had this BIG
roadmap and you were ALL OVER the place! [Laughter] She got a lot of cardio during one of my shows. [Laughter] But last night, I was doing a show and this, this is why— this is why I went and got
the gummy bears, this is why I procrastinate. Because I have to stay open to what is happening
in my life, to be constantly going, what’s happening and what can I talk about? If I wouldn’t had done that, I wouldn’t
have heard this thing last night that I’m now telling you today. I did a guest spot on a friend’s standup
show, and I was going after the next gentlemen was performing. He looked out into the crowd and then he came
back and said to me, “Do you ever pick out in the crowd who’s going to hate your set?” [Laughter] “Do you ever just know who’s going to hate you?” And I was like, wow! And in that brief moment, I realized how often
I used to do that, not only at my own shows, but in life! [Laughter] Just like walking around and going, that person hates me, they definitely do not like my shit,
that person thinks I’m so stupid. And it’s probably been 20 years, just walking
around thinking that. And I realized how much I did it, and I also
realized how much I no longer do it. And in that fraction of a second, he asked
me that, and I said, “No, man. Everybody out here is here to have a good
time. Nobody that came to this thing came here and
spent $20 to have chicken tenders… [laughter] …and choose between the carrots and the
celery at the end of it, because they’re like, ‘That guy is going to SUCK!’ Nobody. Not a single person. Nobody. They all want you do well. They came here to have fun.” And that guy goes, “Wow. So positive.” [Laughter] And I was like, yeah! And then he went out and had a fantastic set! And so I share that with you guys today because—well,
I’m going to talk about more things. But I just had that experience last night
and it feels so relevant to everything that I’ve experienced on the internet in making
things, is that — nothing you can ever make will make everyone happy. You just can’t. And that’s not a bad thing! But, if you only focus on that one couple
of people who are a hundred years old at a comedy show, thinking they will think you
suck, so you think about that, you are negating all the people that love your shit! And there’s a bunch of people that love your
shit, man! Sorry, I forgot to have a content warning
for saying the word shit, I apologize. [Laughter] They asked me up top, is there a content warning? I was like… no? And I said just said… poop. So I apologize. So that’s what I’ve been learning to do
in comedy, because the thing is, like, I’m trying to make jokes, I’m trying to make people
happy, I’m also trying to say things that make sense. But I know that I can’t make everybody happy,
and I can’t make every single person laugh. And the thing about comedy is, it’s fully
subjective, and the conversation on the internet is that it’s objective, so I just don’t
get into that conversation anymore. Some people like these jokes and some people
like these jokes, and okay, there’s a bunch of different people that like different kinds
of jokes, so it’s just never going to work out. Some people like cherry and lemon gummy bears! Those people, to me, are out of their minds. [Laughter] And it’s all about expectations too. I realized, recently, in what I’m doing, is
that I set my expectations on people way too high. I set my expectations on human beings way
too high, and I’ve recently learned to set them way lower. I can give you an example of an experience
in my actual life that helped me to do that. I was traveling for work, going through the
airport, and I had to go through that big machine that I’m pretty sure only takes naked
photos of all of us. [Laughter] I’m pretty sure that’s the only purpose of the whole thing. So I had to get into that thing, I put my
little feet on the feet… [laughter] I like to follow directions. And I was about to do the YMCA, [laughter]. Also, by the way, that machine, every time
I get into it, I think for just a moment that maybe money will pop out of the bottom. [Laughter] And I’m going to save a middle
school on the way. So I put my feet on the feet, and I was about
to do the YMCA. And another human being got into the machine
with me. [Laughter] [Groans] [Laughter] Now, how did that person stand outside of that thing and go, yeah, that’s a two-fer,
for sure. [Laughter] That’s, like, a luge situation for sure. [Laughter]
Absolutely. I’ll just go butt to front, it’s fine. What is this, security? Do I know you? No? Perfect, this is how this works. [Laughter] And if you need more evidence on how you have to set your expectations on other human beings
much lower, just stand outside of a building with a revolving door on it. [Laughter] How long have we had revolving door technology? Thousands of years, at this point. [Laughter] Just five minutes, five minutes, stand outside of a revolving door. Watch a family of four, all enter into the
same Trivial Pursuit wedge [laughter], and go, yeah, this is how this works. This is — [laughter]
But resetting those expectations has helped me in my work. There’s two jokes that have, sort of — “evolve”
is a bit of a strong word to use for them. But the basic idea of the jokes is still pretty
similar, but they’ve grown along a bunch of different lines because I, as a person,
have shifted, grown, whatever. Specifically because I recently, within a
— my concept of time is very liberal, at this point. But I started using they/them pronouns. [Cheers]
Yeah, I figured that was going to get an ovation at this festival. [Laughter] I like that they have the pins, but I just literally forgot to grab one. I was like, oh, this pin would change my life! [Laughter] I mostly just use they/them pronouns because I want people to really question whether they
want to talk to me or not. [Laughter] Just really spend a lot of time. [Laughter] But I used to have this joke that was about being on an airplane and sitting down, and
having the flight attendant come over and be like, “hello young man, can I get anything
for you?” And the joke was, I used to yell in that human
being’s face, “I’m a woman!” Just directly into their human face. [Laughter] Because I used to also just enter rooms that way, kicking down doors, dsh, “I’m a woman! Happy bat mitzvah! Yes, goodbye. Just letting you know.” But I said that to this flight attendant, and also in the joke, and I said, “I’m a
woman” and she just melted into apology immediately. She was like, “I’m so sorry, it’s just
your hair and clothes and general face and the way you carry yourself and your voice…” And I was just — shhhh! You had me at I’m sorry! [Laughter] So that’s the original joke. And you fast-forward a couple years later,
and I have a whole new bit which I’m going to tell you now. I called a Lyft. Now, I love taking Lyfts, I like talking to
people. Lyft is a nice $10 way that I can get into
a conversation and get right back out again. [Laughter] [Applause] It’s convenient. I also don’t understand — look, if you have
social anxiety, that I do get. If you have serious social anxiety, I do take
that very seriously. But if you don’t, and you get into a Lyft,
and you can’t even talk to that person that’s driving you around in their own vehicle, [whispering]
what’s wrong with you? [Laughter] What do you get in the back and just go, “Mush, peasant! Take me away!” “‘How’s my day going?’ What is this, Trader Joe’s?! I GOTTA GO!!” [Laughter] Have some context! Like eight years ago, people were like, “CRAIGSLIST IS GONNA MURDER YOU!” Now people are like, “Who are you, Kevin? Yeah, I’ll get in your car. I don’t care.” [Laughter] [Applause] “Yeah, I’m just leaving my mom’s house, and going to my own house. Yes, that’s where I’m going.” [Laughter] I also like to sit in the front of Lyfts. [Laughter] I just want to be up-front about all of it, literally, figuratively. But I ask consent to sit in the front seat,
and I like to ask Vincent D’Onofrio-style. [Laughter] “Can I sit in the front? No criminal intent here.” [Laughter] Thank you. So I call this Lyft. I get into the Lyft, I sit down, and I’m in
the front of the car, so you understand the proximity that we’re talking about here. I sit down, I’m like, “hello.” And the driver goes, “Hello, sir! How’s your night going?” And I don’t know if I just felt particularly
safe in that particular moment or what. Also, it was a short ride, I felt like I could
Ladybird out of there if I needed to, you know? [Laughter] I was also realizing like, I am the safe space, like, inside of me, this feels right. He was being respectful. He was like, he was getting an answer right
to a question that’s never been accurate to begin with. He’s not trying to say something to me. He has no idea. That’s why he’s saying it, he’s just guessing,
and the thing is, there’s not enough answers for all the people on the planet. We’ve only got two boxes, and some people
fit into this box, they’re like yeah, I feel like I’m pretty accurate in the box you
put me in, and then some people are like, you know, you put me in this box and now I
feel like I’m part of this box, and some people are like, you know, I want to run around
the box, and some people are like, I want to stack the boxes up really high, and some
people are like, I WANT TO CATCH THE BOXES ON FIRE! [Laughter] [Applause]
My point is, there’s not enough boxes for everybody. He was just trying to be nice, and like I
said, I felt particularly safe in this short Lyft ride to just roll with it. And I was like, “I don’t know man, I’m doing
pretty good, how about you?” And he goes, “Sir, I’m having a great night.” What?! It doesn’t usually go this far. Can we pull over, can I apply for a job real
quick? That is a joke about the gender pay gap. [Laughter] [Applause] Which I also love when hyper right-wing or MRAs go, “The gender pay gap is made up!!” Exactly. [Laughter] Exactly! You’re right! That’s what I’m saying! [Laughter] Sometimes we agree. [Laughter] So we keep riding in this Lyft together. And he goes, “Sir, can I ask you a question?” And I’m like, “Please.” [Laughter] And he goes, “Sir… Do you like jazz?” [Laughter] And I go, “You know? Actually, I do! I’ve been listening to a lot of jazz on
my car radio, I just have a radio in my car and I keep it locked to the jazz station,
‘cause it keeps my blood pressure down a little bit. I don’t road rage as much, and also, I didn’t
really listen to jazz before so now when I listen to it, it’s all new to me. So yeah, the answer is yes, I do like jazz.” He goes, “Sir, that’s great. That’s great, sir. I love that, sir.” And keeps driving. And then he goes, “Sir, can I ask you another
question?” [Laughter] And I was like, let’s keep this love train rolling. Yes, shoot! [Laughter] And he goes, “Sir… Do you like Frank Sinatra?” And I was like, “Do I like Frank– It’s
Frank Sinatra! Of course I like Frank Sinatra!” And he goes, “Sir… You’re a great man.” [Laughter] And I was like, “Hell, yeah, I am.” [Laughter] And that is a much better version of La La Land than you’ll ever see! [Laughter] [Applause] Now both of those jokes are about the same thing. And the difference is, one of them has a ton
of anger in it, and the other one has a lot of acceptance in it. And that’s what I realized, in that moment,
in that Lyft ride even, within that joke, I’m just accepting what’s going on. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a threat
of danger there, I’m not trying to say that everything is fine, blah blah blah. But I realized how much of my participating
in my own anger and bringing my own anger into every situation was then feeding anger
into those situations. Because then, recently, I went into a gas
station to buy some bottled water, which I am still very ashamed about! [Laughter] But I’m just being rigorously honest, that’s what I was buying! I forgot my Klean Kanteen with me. I have a note on my door to remind me to bring
it and I forgot, and I was dehydrated, and I was like, well, you’re going to kill a turtle! [Laughter] So I made peace with the turtle, I apologized to said turtle, and I went into the gas station. Also, way too many water brands: there’s
Life Water, Death Water, Gratitude Water, Spirit Water—I just need water! So I picked out a water and I put it on the
counter. And this is right in between the two of these. I set it down, and the guy working behind
the counter goes, “That’ll be $2.09, ma’am.” I was like, all right, that’s what he’s
reading in this situation. I don’t know how, but that’s what he’s
getting out of it. Most people think my identity is, you work
here, right? [Laughter] To which I often answer, no, and they say, are you sure? [Laughter] You know, come to think of it, I am at this Target a lot! [Laughter] Also, if I worked at Target and didn’t know it, do you want to be asking ME where to find
shit? [Laughter] So he goes, “That’ll be $2.09, ma’am” I give him a $5 bill, and he goes, “There’s
your change, sir!” Oh ho! You got me! I underestimated you, sir. [Laughter] You did know what was up. I see, I see. I prefer the mid-season change, personally,
to the faux woke person who accosts me to get my pronouns before they’ve even found
out what my first name is. That person that’s like, “What are your
pronouns? What are they? What are they? What do you use? What do you use? What do you use??” And I’m like, “They/them.” And they’re like, “She uses they/them! She! [Laughter] She uses— She uses they/them! And I found it out! She does, she uses it.” [Laughter] “She uses it. She’s brave.” [Laughter] Did that hit too hard, XOXO? [Laughter] [Applause] But it helped me to let go of my— like, that evolution of those jokes is just passing
around me, and my life is funnier for it. Like, experiencing that guy calling me ma’am
and then calling me sir is such, like, holy shit, I can’t believe I get to do that. You know what I mean? That’s just what my life is. I get to walk around, as a person who — people
in my life who ask me what my pronouns are, or who figure it out, or who just guess and
they get it accurate with they/them… Love those people. I have so much love and appreciation for those
people in my life. But I also get to ride this wave of just being
whatever the heck somebody else thinks I am at every moment. Because sometimes people think I’m straight. [Laughter] [Laughter] [Laughter] And that’s been liberating for me because I realized how much I was walking around in
the world thinking everybody was straight, cause that’s what generation I am, I’m a
cusp millennial. I remember landlines, when the internet started,
and I voted for Gore. Nobody cares what I think. But I walked into every situation thinking
everybody was straight, and I met younger people who were like, “oh, that’s funny,
I walk into every situation thinking everybody’s queer until they tell me otherwise.” And I’m like, WHAT?! [Laughter] How did you just… WHAT!? I mean, yes, I wanted progress, but not for
you, for me! [Laughter] Do you know what I’ve been through?! [Laughter] Mm-hmm. Yeah. There’s a little hair on this microphone. Oh, sorry, some people in the front were very
upset about the hair. Let’s see. Okay. So I did want to talk about, because people
have talked about going viral and stuff., and I don’t know if that’s a thing that has
ever happened to me. But there was an experience that really helped
me a lot on the internet. This is the first time I’ve ever talked
about this, so bear with me. But my practice of– I don’t know that I’m
an internet person, other than I use it, and it’s a tool, and I’ve worked on the amount
that I’m on the internet, and I’ll get to that later because I want to make you laugh
last, but I want to talk about a real thing. I was working on my relationship to the internet
by not being on it very often, but I wasn’t very mindful about it. I would pick up my phone, check things, see
a spiky newsy thing and say, I should comment on that. And then I would comment on it with very strong
wording, and then I would go, I should get off my phone, and then I’d just put my phone
away and it would just explode in the other room without me knowing about it… [laughter]
…and then I would get back on the phone and be like, what did I do?! So this experience taught me to stop doing
that, and to just go, you don’t have to comment on anything! I don’t know if you guys know this, but you
don’t have to say shit sometimes. We can actually just be quiet and go… wow. There it went. [Laughter] But one time, on the internet, we were, as a culture on the internet, discussing what
“intersectional” meant. It just happened on a Friday, I think, I don’t
even remember when this was. But a white woman, who I think was a white
fem– I don’t know, whatever, white woman was trying to say what intersectional was,
and we were having the cultural conversation about whether intersectional was just being
a bunch of things, or what intersectional actually meant. [Laughter] And on Saturday Night [Live], that Saturday night, Don Cheadle wore a t-shirt to introduce
the band that says “Protect Trans Kids,” which is very cool. Just that even happened, that’s cool that
these conversations are even happening. So then the next day, I posted a photo of
that that said, “If you want to know what intersectional is, it’s this!” Guess what, it’s not. [Laughter] And I got off of my phone and walked my dog, and just had a day. And then I got back on my phone and was, like,
oh god! Because people were giving me what-for about
it, rightfully so, because guess what? I was wrong! And I realized, oh, I’m wrong. I don’t know if you can relate to this, but
in a moment, I was like a little trapped animal and I wanted to yell at everybody and tell
them how good I am, and stuff like that. And be like, I’m a good one!! Guess what, if you have to yell I’m a good
one, not a good one! Maybe it might just be in this moment, you
do good things in your life, but right now, not a good one! So in that moment I realized, oh, I’m just
going to sit here and I’m just going to converse with people, and listen to what they’re
saying, and I’m just going to hear what they’re saying and I’m not going to fight anything! And I did that for, I literally cleared my
calendar for a day. I was like, I can’t do these things because
I’m just going to do this. Because I’m not a person who’s going to
fight all this — I’m wrong! I’m literally wrong, and it’s an opportunity
to do the thing that I’m always pointing my finger at other people to do, which is hey,
you messed up, so try to do it right. And I don’t know if I did it right. I mean, I’m at this festival, so I didn’t
do it super wrong, I guess. But I learned what intersectional meant, I don’t use it flippantly. Because I’ve had conversations with people
about it, and they’re like, that’s a crazy thing to get in trouble for. Is it? I was wrong! That’s also what I learned! I don’t want to be right. Not that I don’t want to do right things. I want to remain open to what’s happening
in the world. If I think I’m right all the time, just like
when I was angry all the time, if I think I’m right going into every situation—that’s
not to say I don’t work on knowing what is right and understanding, it’s very different. If I go into every situation thinking that
I’m already right, what am I ever going to learn? How am I ever going to understand what needs
to be different in the world, or in me? Because I can’t control the world. I can only be me inside the world. If I went into that situation on the internet,
which is so tiny. But also for me, that day, huge. It was huge. And I could have spent that day yelling and
saying all of these things that I do right in my life, that are good and positive things. Literally that day, I put out these t-shirts
with a company, and all the profits went to two non-profits: one was Trans Lifeline and
the other was Project Q, a local non-profit in Los Angeles that gives haircuts to homeless
queer youth so they can get jobs and apply for things and also just feel good. It’s simply that, not even a purpose any
bigger than that. They’re a really great company, entity, and
so I wanted to make them some money. And that day, I found out the money that we
made off these t-shirts allowed them to pay their rent for so long that they could open
up more queer people of color businesses owned in that thing! And I was like, that’s very intersectional! But nobody on the internet knows that, and
for me to sit on the internet and yell that, would just be… That’s so not the thing. So I just spent that time going, what do I
need to learn from this? That’s not the information for right now,
the information is, yeah, I was wrong. And I’m happy to be wrong today so I can learn
something new. And that is my new approach to the internet. I just pretty much make fun of Joe Biden. But, other than that… [Laughter] I don’t really need to make fun of other people, because everybody’s learning. With people approaching me, and people that
make mistakes with my pronouns, if they’re people that I love and care about, I’m very
open to it because it’s learning. There are people in my life that will say
she and they in the same paragraph. And that is really kind to me, because they’re
paying attention to what they’re saying and grateful for the experience, which has been
really wonderful. That’s a very long-winded way of talking about
something, I don’t know. [Applause] But I will end with this, because it’s been a half hour, I think. So this is a festival that is about, kind
of making things on the internet, and I’m spending so much less time on the internet. But I do think that the time that I do spend
on the internet is so much better for the amount of time that I don’t spend on the internet,
if that makes sense to you. Yes. Just big nods, yes. And I’ll tell you this story because I feel
like you might enjoy it about the best time I didn’t get on my phone. [Laughs]
So I went to the movies and I went to the concession stand and I made my usual order,
which is a medium popcorn, no butter, and a medium Sprite, no ice. Because if I’m going to spend $5 on a Sprite,
I better get $5 dollars’ worth of Sprite. [Laughter] So I made my order, and the woman helping me turns away to get my popcorn and stuff,
and I don’t get on my phone. I wanted to compulsively pull that phone out,
I didn’t do it. I just stood in the movie theater lobby. Period. [Laughter] Do you ever just stand someplace anymore? Sometimes I just stand outside. If you stand there for a little while, sometimes—oh,
butterfly! Did you know we still have those? Keep an eye out. So I’m standing in this movie theater lobby, not on my phone, didn’t get on the internet,
stayed in regular reality, not augmented reality. And I’m so glad I did. Because, moments later, a woman came out of
another movie theater and was like, help! And I was like, I am prepared for what comes
next. [Laughter] She was like, “My Red Vines are incredibly stale!” [Laughter] And I was like, I’m prepared for that, but I did not expect it. [Laughter] Also, that is a movie theater-based emergency, for sure. That’s the other thing, XOXO. Context is always key. She’s like, “My Red Vines are stale, please!”
to the manager, [panicky voice] “Please, can I just get a different candy? The movie’s about to start, I’ll pay the
difference! I’m happy to pay the difference!” And he goes, “Well, you can get something
else, you just have to pay the difference.” And she’s like, “I JUST SAID THAT!!” [Laughter] She’s losing her shit. So she picks out a new candy, and he goes,
“That’ll be 75 cents.” And she goes, “Oh, shit. I left my money with my husband in the theater. Can I just pay you on the way out?” And the manager goes… “No.” [Laughter] Heartless. But, at that exact moment, the woman helping
me gave me my popcorn and my drink and was like, that’ll be $9, please. And I looked into my wallet and I had two
fives. Guess who’s going to be… a hero. [Laughter] [Applause] This guy. [Laughter] And I go, “I will pay your candy difference, madam.” And she goes, “You will?” And I say, “You bet your sweet patoot, I
will.” Content warning. [Laughter] So I pay her candy difference, give the dollar, and she goes, “That was so nice of you.” And I was like, “That’s okay. It’s really no trouble, it’s really just
a dollar, I’m happy you’re happy.” And we just part ways, and then she turns
and goes, “Hey… Do you want some of this candy?” [Laughter] And I go, “No. I couldn’t possibly! You’ve been through hell.” [Laughter] But she saw my face, and what she saw on my face was pure joy from childhood. Because the new candy that she had purchased
was my first love in the candy world. Also, you guys heard that gummy bears story! She had my first candy crush, if you will. [Laughter] She had replaced her stale Red Vines with Kit Kat. [Ooohs from Audience]
That’s right. It’s a Kit Kat crowd. You get it, I love the jingle, I love the
commercial, I love a Chunky, I love a Big Kat. I will even eat a white chocolate Kit Kat. [Shock from Audience]
That’s right! I said it. Portland, I said it. [Laughter] So she saw that register on my face when she was like, “Can I give you some of this candy?” I was like… [Laughter] But I was like, “No! I couldn’t possibly!” And I turned to leave. And she said, “Please!” [Laughter] “Let me… break you off a piece of this Kit Kat bar!” [Laughter] [Applause] And I never would have gotten to experience a real live Kit Kat commercial if I would
have just been tweeting on my phone. [Laughter]
And she did, she gave me a loose Kit Kat… [Laughter] Which I then wrapped in a napkin like a little sleeping bag, sort of an evac situation for
my loose Kit Kat. And as I was leaving, I walked past the concession
stand lady and she was like, “Wow. That was brave.” [Laughter] And I was like, “You think that’s brave? I use they/them pronouns.” [Laughter] [Applause] I usually like to leave on laughs, but this
is a talk, so… [Laughter] I just want to say this last thing. I do really think that seeking is what we
need to be doing. Seeking and not necessarily even finding,
because I think that is truly the way to understanding. But I will leave you with this last thought,
and it isn’t a joke. Because my last thought that I usually leave
people with as a joke is, doesn’t it seem like toads are just elderly frogs? [Laughter] But someone said this to me recently, and I have been thinking about it so much, because
in my life and my making, I have been trying to push cynicism and skepticism out and let
this openness and seeking in. And this statement when they said it to me,
I was like ptth, come on! And then I’ve been thinking about it non-stop,
so I feel like it’s something I want to share with everybody. We were talking about Los Angeles as a place
for creative people to end up, and she was like, we’re all here because somewhere along
the line, someone shown a light on humanity, and we just want to do that back. And I was like, c’mon! But now I’m here, and I see all these people
in this audience, and I see everybody walking around with little pins and little badges
and making zines and making shit! And that’s the true thing of it. Somewhere along the line, somebody in your
life shined a light on humanity, and you were like, oh, there it is! So that’s our job. Everybody in this room has a flashlight, and
that’s what you get to keep doing. You get to make somebody laugh or you get
to make somebody think. But that’s all you have to do, just shine
a light on humanity. Because it’s still out there! We’re in here right now. It’s going to be great, because it already
is. Thanks so much for having me. [Applause] [Cheers]

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