• Checking in with comedian Jamie Lee of ‘Girl Code’ on MTV (Interview)

    Ever since Lauren Conrad left MTV’s camera crew wallowing in her Mercedes-Benz’s magic dust, all of womankind has been lost. Um, like, who is supposed to tell them whether or not they should wear something with string ties to a frenemy’s pool party…Sammi Sweetheart?! Cha right!

    Well breathe easy, ladies. You no longer have to live in a world of such unbearable uncertainty. MTV is bringing back female perspective to their lineup – à la the highly anticipated series, Girl Code. The witty female-driven comedy series will explore the wonders and woes of womanhood– like meeting a penis for the first time, cutting bathroom lines in clubs, (wanting to cut women in general) and…hair color.

    The cast is comprised mainly of female stand-up comics, most notably Texas-bred comedian Jamie Lee, who cut her teeth in New York City. We recently caught up with Lee to chat Girl Code, what it meant for her to land a spot on Conan and more. Check it out!

    Tell us about Girl Code. Is there stuff that you’re nervous for your parents to see?
    Oh yeah! There are definitely some topics where after filming, I thought, ‘Oh God…mom and dad!’ However, they know my thing. They’ve heard the jokes I make and they follow me pretty closely online. So at this point, if they see stuff that they’re not thrilled with, we just don’t talk about it.

    It looks like it’s going to be a really silly show. Fun for everyone.
    It is. It has a really fun, funny message. It’s a humorous take on rules-to-live-by for girls of any age. And I like the format. It’s a combination of talking head stuff, and sketches; it has a really strong female voice with all of these really funny people. It’s kind of a culmination of all the best things about comedy and…being a girl. I’m a fan of the talking head format, too – because you get to write and perform your own material without it being straight stand-up. Even though there are guidelines and topics that they want you to follow when doing talking head stuff, you’re still getting to write your own material and say it and own it.

    Also, I’m thrilled that Awkward is our lead-in. I just started watching it on Netflix. That show is phenomenal. It’s so well-written – it’s unbelievable that it’s about kids in high school because it has such relateability. It transcends age groups. And I think Girl Code will have the ability to do that as well.

    I’ve seen your most recent set, and I love the bit about your roommate’s tits being fraternal twins. When you started out, how was it finding your niche and dealing with various crowds?
    I think I just had a blind confidence when I started out. I just felt like, ‘Oh, I’m in New York. This is a world of possibilities.’ I don’t remember focusing on any kind of rejection because I was just so happy to be doing stand-up. Even at the shows that didn’t go well; I figured it was still better than not doing the show at all. I didn’t worry about rejection until about two years in.

    That’s when it hit me, like, ‘Oh, you really care about this. This is what you want to do with your life– it’s a career path!’ I think once you admit that to yourself is when everything becomes scary. It’s pretty easy to coast and think, ‘Oh this is fun! This is a great hobby!’ But when you shift into the mindset that comedy is what you want to do with your life, that’s when you realize how invested you are. Every bump in the road just feels much larger. But I’m a big believer in everything happens when it should happen. There’s stuff that you haven’t done and you want to do – and it’s so easy to become anxious about it. But the truth is, you’ll do those things when you’re actually ready to do them.

    Like Conan?
    Like Conan.

    Yeah, so you slayed your set (see below). What was that whole experience like?
    Doing Conan was awesome. And it was really fun when it was over. Honestly, leading up to it there was so much anxiety. Every part of it made me very, very anxious. I cried on the way to Conan and I cried right after I got off stage. It was this total mix of emotions like, ‘Don’t fuck this up. Don’t fuck this up.’ Also being so appreciative that all of the open mics I did got me to that moment. It was very overwhelming. You know, just waiting for so many hours to get on stage for no money – for 5—sometimes 2—minutes. Looking back, and being able to do Conan, everything you endure as a working comedian suddenly becomes worth it.

    As a viewer, you seemed so confident. It looks like you didn’t even break a sweat on Conan.
    Oh my God, can I tell you – there is misconception that when you’re up there that it’s brightly lit and everyone looks glowing. That it’s like this big happy victory lap. But the truth is during your dress rehearsal, you do the rehearsal when the studio is fully lit and you’re the only one on stage. You’re not even running through your jokes, you’re just standing on your mark and being told what camera to look into. But when you actually go out there, it is pitch black. I mean, pitch black. You are literally performing into an abyss. And in that moment you have to tell yourself that that’s not what’s going on – and you tell yourself that you have to perform your stand-up and you have to kill. There is nothing that can prepare you for that. Fingers crossed, if I get to do it again, I’ll know not to go out there thinking that it’s going to look like a happy glow lamp.

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    Chris Carpenter

    Chris Carpenter is a sometimes comic from Boston, MA. Aside from Laughspin, Chris also writes for DigBoston. During his career, he’s interviewed many of the greats like Chelsea Peretti and Jersey Shore’s Pauly D. Chris has recently come to terms with the fact that his mother loves The Real Housewives of Miami more than him.

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