The Importance of Embracing Your Inner Weirdo
Aussie YouTube stars Sketchshe tell us why it's cool to be funny.
We’ll always love hedgehogs taking baths, dogs doing yoga, and pretty much any cat video on the internet, but sometimes the funniest YouTube clips are the ones that involve the least effort. This definitely holds true for Sketchshe, the Australian comedy trio who practically broke the internet (sorry, Kim K.) with their 2014 rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody”—which they appropriately dubbed “Bohemian Carsody,” since it was performed behind the wheel. Shae-Lee Shackleford, Lana Kington, and Madison Lloyd have since won millions of fans for their hilariously down-to-earth clips, most of which involve singing and clever self-deprecating humor. Whether it’s in class, on YouTube, or just sitting alone in your room, Sketchshe is proof that being a total weirdo goofball can pay off in the long run. We Skyped with Lana to talk about the group's beginnings, the downside of Instagram, and why she'll never fit the mold.
How did you guys turn making funny car videos into a full-fledged career?
I met Shae maybe three years ago in Sydney on a promo job for Topshop. We were doing this boring gig where we were making, like, $15/hour. We became friends, mostly because we had the same sense of humor. So we kept hanging out after the gig ended, and started making videos. About a year later I met Maddy, and I instantly wanted her to be in our Sketchshe. In the beginning, it was tough. It’s hard to gain traction when there are so many people putting out so much content online. In late 2014, we ran out of cash but still wanted to make videos, so we shot one on Shae’s phone in her car, just lip-syncing to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas (Is You).” It took off, and all of the commenters were like, “OMG I do this with my friends, too!” We realized there was something simple and relatable about singing in the car. We followed it up with the “Bohemian Rhapsody” video, and from there things sort of spiraled.
Before the videos took off, how'd you stay motivated to power through and keep trying?
We all worked really shitty jobs to get where we are, which makes doing Sketchshe even more awesome. Girls shouldn’t be scared that they need to pick the job that they’re going to stick with forever as soon as they finish school. I’ve had to work in bars as long as I can remember to fund my creative lifestyle, but at the end of the day, we are all doing something that we love. We don’t have to fit into anyone else’s mold. It’s interesting to see, like, Victoria’s Secret models on the runway, who are at the peak of their career—but they’re still fitting into someone else’s vision. We get to do our own thing.
Why is embracing your sense of humor so important, especially when you're growing up as a girl?
Having a sense of humor helps you find yourself! I see all these girls who are trying to look a certain way and who are so serious about fitting in. I know how hard it is, trust me. You’re trying to figure out what’s right and what’s wrong, but having a sense of humor is the sexiest thing.
I would suggest putting the phone down, and trying not to focus too much on social media. It’s so warped. We’re not all about selfies, or butt shots, or boob shots, or fitspo. It’s all about living a fun, healthy, creative life. Humor is all around you; you just have to open your eyes to it and not be distracted by all the other stuff that’s on Instagram or wherever.
Who are the funniest people you know?
There are so many amazing comedians! Besides Shae and Maddy, I love Amy Schumer, the Flight of the Concord guys, the Lonely Island boys, and Weird Al. But my new favorite is this Viner, Lizzza. She's awesome and always makes me laugh.