<- Internet Studio
Queer Pancake by Corey Sherman
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLXm9tDOhIEpBx0GDYSEdoA

This YouTube channel is an absurdist parody of the self-obsession and recycled language of the Internet era. It stars a caricature of our times, the self-titled "QueerPancake" who relates what she describes as her "amazing, crazy, random life" in a series of vlogs. Over the course of the series, she grows more and more obsessed with her beauty and talent, as well as achieving the fame that she believes they will bring her. This series employs caricature, humor, and irony to ease audiences into taking a closer look at a subject that might otherwise make them uncomfortable: the narcissism and fame-seeking complexes of so many modern social media users.   
 
QueerPancake speaks only in cliches of the 2015 era, but uses them as if they were expressions of her individuality. In this way, she is a parody of the imperative to self-brand in 2015. She is so obsessed with defining the strength and uniqueness of her personality that she becomes blind to the fact that absolutely everything she says is borrowed from others. Furthermore, she is desperate for followers, often begging the viewer to "like, comment, and subscribe." This shameless self-promotion has become such standard vernacular in our day and age, but I really want to beg the question: How healthy is it for the individual and society as a whole? According to a recent study by Jean M. Twnege and W. Keith Campbell, “among a group of 37,000 college students, narcissistic personality traits rose just as quickly as obesity from the 1980s to the present.” Reports among frequent Twitter and Facebook users reveal a link between a lack of “likes” and increased depression—many of us are now becoming dependent upon the praise of strangers to feel good about ourselves. QueerPancake is an example of such an individual—someone who relies totally on others' approval to feel successful and talented. I find this to be a dangerous and scary trend, and want to do everything I can to make people reassess, and possibly fix it. Links to pieces about the effects of narcissism and frequent social media use can be found below. 
 
The editing style of the show is a take on the hyperactive, hyperkinetic, jump-cut style of modern vloggers. QueerPancake never rests, always offering us more comments, Internet-sourced imagery, and sound effects to keep our attention. Ideally, the character's anxiety and desperation will come through in the very rhythm of the show. Furthermore, this frantic style will contribute to the sense of "collage". After all, each episode is more of a collage than it is a narrative, which will parody the scatterbrained nature of so much amateurish, homemade Internet art (i.e. YouTube Poop). 

I was heavily inspired by the montage style of Jon Rafman, and his exploration of the darker side of Internet dependence in such videos as “Still Life.” I was also influenced by our discussions of and reading on LARPing, as they encouraged me to think about the adoption of a new identity to learn new things about myself. By directing the performance of QueerPancake, I’ve learned a lot about and explored my own narcissism and dependence on other people’s approval. 
 
The main character draws upon popular queer culture through costume, language, and attitude. She ventures into drag, employs such empowering phrases as “Yaas Queen”, and adopts a stereotypically queer attitude of “fierceness” and “sassiness.” However, it is all in attempt to define her own specialness and strength, instead of connect her to a larger community. I would like everyone to be able to laugh at this, gay or straight, because egotism is a universally human trait. My ultimate hope for this piece is that it both reveals and calms the egomaniac in everyone, and allows for a more open dialogue on the dangers of shameless self-promotion. 

Links: