Kendall Milton: I’ve never had the patience for filters. Whether it’s on my Instagram posts, with my coffee, or in my daily conversations; I simply don’t have the energy or time to use a filter. I’m the living personification of #nofilter. This has been both a blessing and a curse, as I wear my emotions on my sleeve everywhere I go. I struggle with the whole concept of putting my best face forward. Some need to “stop frontin” I need to “start frontin”. Let me paint you a picture of what I mean by sharing this short exchange of words between me and the Green Peace Advocate standing in front of my Trader Joe’s the other day (also I apologize but since I’m a comedy writer my flashbacks are portrayed in script form).
This may seem like an exaggeration, but it’s actually exactly how I interact with the world on a bad day. Whether it’s venting to the Public Storage agent about how I may have to live in the new space I’m renting from him (because the landlord at the idyllic Manhattan Beach apartment I moved into only a week prior found out I was living there not on the lease and evicted me), or going on three hour tangent about my recent break up with the high up television executive I’m pitching to; I struggle with faking my feelings. For me it’s therapeutic to be open with people and talk through my struggles, but I have a lot to learn about slapping on a smile and powering through even my worst days.
However, when I say that being this open is a blessing, in some ways it truly is. My writing partner, Lily, is similar to me in this way and in our professional meetings it serves as a blessing because it makes people immediately feel comfortable with us. Another way I find my inability to fake my feelings beneficial is when it comes to dating. When you lay it all out there men are usually either swooning at your feet, or in an Uber GTFOing out of there faster than you can say, “I shit my pants in a car in Vegas when it turned 2017.”
A lot of my friends have dealt with guy problems, and maybe since I’ve always been in relationships it’s been harder for me to relate. My friends are all beautiful, intelligent, fiery women, but for some reason boys play with their feelings more than they play with their own dicks (and that’s saying a lot). I am single for the first time in five years now and I am starting to get back out in the dating scene. I see what they’re saying about these “fuck-boys with an i” but at the same time I don’t. I watch the way my friends interact with men they meet out and oftentimes I feel like they are holding back their beautifully comedic personalities in to impress these guys. I, on the other hand, love to just throw it all out there and see if a guy is going to stick around. I’m not kidding about the fact that I shit my pants when it turned 2017 (I think maybe it was a metaphor for me shitting out all the fucked-uppery that was that year), but it’s true. It’s a story that I sometimes whip out maybe five minutes into meeting a cute guy. I do it for two reasons. One: to see if he has a sense of humor, because if not it’s never going to work out and two: is he a sexist, unread, butthead that never read the book “Everyone Poops?”. Most guys laugh and it immediately breaks the ice, and then what started as, “Can I get you a drink?” is suddenly, “...and after my dad left I just really respect the way she raised me as a single mom.” I find that by being myself fully I weed out the guys I don’t want to spend time with. I’m not saying I don’t deal with fuckbois too, but if someone can’t see my worth and how awesome I am, they aren’t someone I care to give my time to. I also find that by being myself so fully in these interactions I remind the men I meet that I am more than just “pussy”. I am a person with thoughts, goals, dreams, and ambitions too. They’re like, “Wait she poops too? Oh wow, she’s actually a human!”
It’s hard because both young men and women get so caught up in the routine of the hook up culture that we often forget how beautiful a real connection can be, even if it’s just one conversation. One of my spirit animals is Liz Lemon from 30 Rock. In one scene a man hits on her at a bar and asks if he can get her a drink. She groans and says, “I already have a drink, how about some breadsticks?” This is one of my favorite lines and it’s definitely something I’ve whipped out in LA bars. Once, after a guy asked if he could buy me a drink, I said, “Look I’m honestly starving and really drunk and a drink costs about $14.00 whereas an In-n-Out burger, Animal Fries, and a chocolate shake costs $7.95. That’s like three dope things for the cost of half one subpar thing and I’d be way more likely to fuck you if I was fed.” This guy couldn’t argue with that. We ended up Ubering through In-n-Out’s drive through, hanging out and having a blast together. I didn’t even sleep with him that night and we actually ended up dating for a while.
I’ve never, ever been the type of person who has colored within the lines. To get into my bouji, private elementary school I was told to draw a person. I instead drew a mermaid, because I thought people were just boring. Like when Elle Woods applies to Harvard, I think the admissions board just went off on a whim when they decided to accept me because of, “like diversity”? It was a terrible mistake on their part, because I pulled the fire alarm in first grade, got all the girls to dunk their heads in the toilet in third grade, got sent to the office for performing “satanic rituals” in fourth grade, and asked the principal what a dick was in fifth grade. I never fit the cookie cutter mold the faculty at my school, and society, wanted me to fit in. I didn’t care in elementary school or even middle school. However, in high school and in the early days of college I was not nearly as confident in who I am, as I am today. I was insecure, I wanted to feel sexy, but not slutty. I wanted to be perceived as funny, but not dumb. I wanted to be perceived as smart, but not too smart that I didn’t seem like any fun. I wanted to seem like a good time, but not like a train wreck. Then one day I realized that if I wanted to be a comedy writer, being female, I’d have to stop caring what people thought of me. One day I stopped suppressing the crazy, bold, creative, mess of a person that I am and I just let her out. I’m not saying I’m a love guru, but since I stopped suppressing the woman inside of me and started embracing her, I found the men I liked, liked me more too. Not only that, but I found more success in my career, fostered beautiful new friendships, and even improved my relationship with my family.
Lily Drew: Thank you for that grand display, Kenny. I just read it and laughed out loud. Even though I was sitting next to you the whole time you wrote it, while you also laughed out loud at your own writing. Now, if you knew her, you would know how much Kendall lets her emotions drench her sleeves. And yes, I am that too. This is a key aspect that differentiates us from many and it has done us well in the dating, pitching, and friendship space.
I had an ex once tell me that I could really be anyone if I put my mind to it. That was the truest thing that dumbass ever said, and it wasn’t him telling me that I was “frontin”. I don’t front I just adapt to understand different people’s perspectives; call it “method acting” if you will. Anyone can do it it’s just the ability to look at another person and realize that they, like you, have a mom, a dad, two dads, two moms, a sob story, and a “best day of their lives”. This includes the random guy at the bar and if you and that guy can mutually care about each other, even in the slightest, or take advantage of the fact that you don’t have a lot of time on this earth, the two of you may find that by being utterly honest you have opened the doors to something really special. Put yourselves in his shoes and adapt to his world for a brief moment, not by leaving your opinion and personality out of it, but by relating to his life experiences through your own. Try truly listening next time you talk to a friend, a stranger, or a potential long term partner (ew I hate that word).
Nothing gets the juices flowing more than honesty. Because honesty brings out those meet-cute moments. Meet-cute: the screenwriting term for that first connection with a potential lover. The moment you touch hands for the first time, bond over a favorite hockey team, awkwardly giggle over spinach in one’s tooth. I met up with my ex boyfriend for the first time in 3 years yesterday and he brought some star pasties and said, "I don’t know why I brought these for you, but I felt like you would like them." Look! Even honesty with exes presents somewhat of a reverse meet-cute. Everyone deserves a movie moment. No one’s got the time to fake it. After all, you’re looking for someone to spend “your whole life with” or at least your first marriage. That’s a heck of a lot of time.
Kendall & Lily: I think one of the reasons we both are so ourselves and not afraid of what people will think is because we are comedians. We post embarrassing videos of ourselves saying ridiculously raunchy things on our @theeskimosisters page on the daily. We humiliate ourselves for the sake of our art, and it translates into the way we interact with the world. If you are someone who isn’t yet comfortable in your skin we encourage you to try something that terrifies you: perform stand up at a comedy club, perform a song you wrote for your friends and family, take a pole dancing class, go skydiving, travel to a foreign country alone, etc. Discover who you are through these experiences. Once you know who that person is put her, him, or “they” out there in your daily interactions and everything will fall into place.
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