That Time We Did It First

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You’re going to laugh because I’m about to make an attempt at being serious for a moment. Look, it’s my second birthday and I’M SO OLD, so I get to do whatever I want today.

It’s been exactly two years since I created Annoying Actor Friend. For those who have been with me since I drunk followed three hundred people, you’ve seen how this has morphed into a somewhat different thing than it was when it first started. While looking back on the hashtag-memories, I had an epiphany about this community that I thought was pretty awesome.

The New York Times recently published a fairly detailed article analyzing the various misuses of the word “blessed” on social media. When I first read it, like any good actor, I made it all about me. I was like, “I did this already. I did this two years ago.” In retrospect, I’ve learned that it wasn’t really me who did it. We did it. I’m still a loser behind a computer, but I’d have been an even bigger one if you didn’t relate to what I was saying and encourage me to take it further. Our group of theatre actors really were at the forefront of social media behavior awareness.

People have always been obnoxious on social media, but we’re actors and we sort of found a way to break new ground in that subject. And we were the first to start calling that behavior out. The Times published their article in May of 2014, because it took that long for the topic of “blessed” to even get on the radar of an audience their size. Had they covered it in 2012, I don’t think many of their readers would have understood. It wasn’t an epidemic yet.

As far as I know, we were ahead of any articles devoted to the word “blessed.” (i.e. BuzzFeed, HuffPo, Cosmoetc.) As well as any number of studies analyzing social media character traits or articles explaining how not to be a douche online. We were even a year ahead of the Fallon/Timberlake Hashtag Video.

We’re in an industry that is constantly being criticized for being out of touch, and yet we were at the forefront of how to appropriately communicate on the fastest evolving technology on the planet.

And that makes sense because our first job as artists is to communicate. (<— LOL! And I’m back.)

But seriously. It’s pretty awesome. We did it first. It’s like neighborhoods, people go where the artists go. However, eventually what was once exciting, fresh, and cheap is no longer magical. Sooner or later you realize it might be time to leave Astoria.

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