Wedding season is upon us, and as our newsfeeds fill with engagement announcements and wedding photos, we also see marriage related topics via online magazines, television shows, and now on Lizzy Bryce’s new web series “Sham.” Bryce is best known for her involvement at New York City’s Upright Citizens Brigade as well as her producer role for “Your Vagina Can Save The World!”
“Sham” is a comedy show centered on the pressures of marriage and finding our identity within a high functioning, social media focused society. “Sham” makes light of the situation by exaggerating our thoughts on screen. The web series focuses on Lizzy and Tim who came to an agreement that if they hadn’t found a significant other by their 30th birthday they would marry each other and bypass the stress of dating. The time has arrived and the two of them could not be more unhappy.
After having been asked to review the web series, I reached out to ask if I could snag an interview via email with the creator. For me, the show brought a new approach to a topic so talked about amongst millennials. Instead of writing a perspective piece, or outlining the pros and cons through a short film, Bryce made a comedy on the absurd scenario of two people bypassing the ups and downs of relationships to just biting the bullet. What I get from the series is that everyone has their own opinion, and we all have our own feelings towards marriage, so why not skip the discussion and laugh at the complexity of this traditional life choice. Bryce described the idea for this series explaining:
“I thought that this was a side of being a “millennial” (The curse-ed word!) that hadn’t really been explored yet, and that there could be some absurdist comedy to pull out of it. Maybe this sounds like I hate marriage? I don’t! I have a pretty serious Pinterest board of my very own. But, I do think that the societal need to get married at a certain age can be detrimental and VERY stressful.”
And Bryce is right. All we have to do is look to Huffington Post, LD, HelloGiggles, and other online magazines to see that millennial’s are battling with whether they should be focused on finding “the one” or justifying their choice to fly solo. Articles like this, this, this, this, and this revolve around the same thing: finding our way through the pressures of meeting the right one and if you’re not interested in finding the right one, then the pressures of being recognized under the mound of marital commitments.
Bryce, a comedian/director/producer, felt that “Sham” would work best as a web series and describes her approach saying:
“I came at it knowing that nobody wants to watch a long video online. It’s okay, I don’t either! But I thought YouTube was our best platform for us, and knew that this project needed more than 3 minutes. A series wound up being the best option.”
Likewise, Bryce’s decision to create and star in the film rather than create, star, and direct emerged from her awareness that the project couldn’t be a one-man show. Bryce explained, “I needed someone else to help guide the ship who got the meta and political side of it. [Matt] Fisher looked over the scripts and was very helpful and supportive, so I was excited to ask him to come on as director.” Bryce was also able to find help and the majority of the cast and crew through her connections of the Upright Citizens Brigade, a community of like-minded people looking to pursue a future in entertainment through comedy, film, television, etc.
With so many creative outlets, I was curious where Bryce planned to take “Sham” as well as some of her overall career goals with comedy. Bryce explained:
“I think that to be a comedian now, you really have to be a jack-of-all-trades. I went to school to direct and fell in love with comedy along the way. I really respect people who don’t wait for permission or the perfect moment to do what they want to do. I think there’s a huge reward just in that. I’m lucky to have come up in a comedy scene with tons of (especially lady!) role models for this. I want to direct, produce, or be in anything that excites me. My current plan is to be constantly creating original content, and the worry about the scary career stuff later.”
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