Late last year, I got the opportunity to speak with Lane Moore, comedian, musician, and author of the bestselling book How to Be Alone: If You Want to And Even If You Don’t. I read a lot of books throughout that year about love and sadness, and her book stood out to me as one of the best at breaking down the full range of anxiety that comes with isolation and loneliness. Very Timely! This is why I was excited to see Moore continuing her lecturing of the masses on sadness with a nightly comedy talk show on her Twitch channel.
Designed to help people feel less alone in chaotic times (a.k.a. right freakin now), the show will feature tips and tricks on coping with loneliness and isolation. Moore will play games with her audience, including channeling her popular Tinder Live comedy show and ’80s board games. The show will also offer wellness check-ins, where she reminds viewers to drink water, take care of themselves, and be gentle through whatever they’re facing right now.
When I saw this project, I thought it was a great idea, but I wanted to ask Moore about the reason for doing this and putting so much emotional energy out there in a time where everyone is so drained. Yet, as a performer and someone who literally wrote the book on being alone, she decided “Why not?”
“I make my living as a performer, and the idea of not getting to perform live in person for a while was just too depressing to me, honestly,” Moore explained. “So I thought, well I wrote this book called How to Be Alone: If You Want to and Even If You Don’t, and most of us currently have to be, and do not want to be, so I could do a live streaming show that’s literally about that, check in with people, seeing how they’re doing, do my comedy show Tinder Live, sing songs to people because I’m in a band called It Was Romance, just take all of the ways I would normally perform for people in person, and do it online. We’re all trapped inside right now anyway, let’s be alone together.”
Still, there has been a lot made about the pressure to perform right now, to do work to keep busy, especially with all the uncertainty going on. So, I wondered how people can balance the need to be productive with the pressure of trying to “create King Lear during a plague”.
“I’m absolutely grappling with that as well,” Moore said. “The drive in me to help, to perform, to create, and to connect is so strong, but I’m also trying to allow myself the opportunity to feel really overwhelmed and sad and anxious, because you can be both. Both things are true. But I do know that creating tv shows and songs and jokes is what helps me survive, and helps other people survive, so I want to do that when I can.”
Right now, with COVID-19, even those of us who are used to being alone are struggling, so I asked what are some suggestions (along with watching her livestream) for connecting to people at this time.
“I love voice memos. I use them often, it’s just a great way to communicate with your friends in a passive way where you get to hear each other’s actual voices,” she suggested. “FaceTime is also great because again, just having someone’s actual face and voice, from the comfort (or discomfort) of your home is so essential. We really need each other, however we can connect.”
Moore aptly describes How to Be Alone as “PeeWee’s Playhouse for lonely adults,” and as someone who has a hard time dealing with isolation, I think live streams like this are going to be excellent ways to connect, but also support artists and creators who are struggling in this economy.
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