Mae Martin on “Sap,” Tenting, and Discovering Queer Neighborhood

I interviewed Mae Martin for the primary time on the finish of March 2020. The primary season of their present Really feel Good had been launched because the early days of quarantine have been threatening to final a lot, for much longer.

It says quite a bit about how the world responded to that pandemic and the latest rise of transphobia, that three years later issues really feel much more difficult. However that’s why Mae’s new standup particular, Sap, is such a reduction. Netflix has taken a break from their often scheduled transphobic comics to create space for somebody who isn’t solely trans, but additionally actually, actually humorous.

Mae’s comedy doesn’t keep away from the seriousness of the second however it does de-prioritize it in a manner that feels vital. The title of the present alludes to discovering the great in a foul scenario — Mae’s comedy is a few of that good. They speak about gender, however they spend way more time speaking about their ex and a moose.

I hope you take pleasure in my third chat with Mae for Autostaddle the place we don’t speak about their ex, however we do speak about gender and the moose.

Mae: Hey Drew!

Drew: Hello! You’re in LA now, proper?

Mae: I’m in LA! I really feel like we should always’ve frolicked by now?

Drew: Yeah, however now I’m in Toronto.

Mae: Oh fuck! When did that occur?

Drew: I imply, I nonetheless dwell in LA. Kind of. I used to be in Toronto final summer season and now I’m right here for the spring. However the plan proper now could be July I’ll come again to LA and discover a new place after which keep for a bit.

Mae: Okay cool. And is that this all relationship primarily based?

Drew: (laughs) Yeah.

Mae: (laughs) Okay, okay, okay. Effectively, it’s really easy to work from anyplace now.

Drew: Yeah. Are you liking LA?

Mae: I’m loving it. However there’s stigma hooked up to loving LA. Like what does that say about me?

Drew: No, that’s an excellent factor!

Mae: I’m within the honeymoon section. The solar, the Mexican meals, it’s all good.

Drew: Yeah, I imply, it’s nonetheless so chilly in Toronto.

Mae: Is it?

Drew: There’s nothing extra boring than being in Toronto and complaining in regards to the climate however I’m similar to it’s April, I’m prepared for it to heat up.

Mae: Yeah, it’s intense.

Drew: Okay, so clearly you’re from right here. And your particular begins round a campfire and has a woodsy aesthetic on stage. Are you outdoorsy?

Mae: No. (laughs) Effectively, it’s a sophisticated reply, Drew. I crave nature. After I’m in it, I adore it. However I’m not an excellent camper. I’m good for the day. Perhaps having some drinks by the fireplace. Then I want to enter a mattress and have 4 robust partitions. However once I was a child I went to summer season camp for 9 summers in a row and so they have been the happiest occasions.

Drew: Oh wow! What sort of summer season camp?

Mae: It was a canoe tripping camp. I went on like a twelve day canoe journey the place you’re simply tenting and carrying your canoe in your again generally and canoeing all by means of the Canadian lakes.

Drew: Woah.

Mae: I used to be an actual camp child.

Drew: I do assume as a child I used to be higher at being crusty than I’m now.

Mae: Oh completely. Now I’ve obtained to scrub my face twice a day. I want my merchandise.

Drew: As a child, did you ever see a moose?

Mae: I did! On these canoe journeys I noticed a bear and a moose and plenty of beavers. Insert joke there. However moose are fucking huge. They’re enormous.

Drew: That’s nonetheless on my Canadian to-do listing. I want to see a moose. Clearly not too shut. However I’d wish to see one sooner or later.

Mae: They’re actually majestic. However moose are type of just like the hippos of the land. They’re aggressive. They run actually quick.

Drew: Talking of moose, how do you assemble your standup materials? What’s your writing course of like for standup?

Mae: It’s at all times evolving. It relies upon what I’ve been doing that yr. Prior to now, as an illustration, I used to be engaged on a radio collection and a number of the writing for that became standup. This time plenty of it was from improv.

I completed Really feel Good and was actually craving mild silliness and one thing barely much less gruelingly private. So I went on tour doing an improv present, improvised standup, improvising with associates, after which plenty of stuff got here out of that. I feel this has a lighter really feel to it. You’ll be able to inform I’m having enjoyable.

Drew: Yeah positively. When approaching the particular, what sorts of conversations did you’ve gotten with director Abbi Jacobson?

Mae: Effectively, the very first thing was simply whether or not she wished to do it. (laughs)

Drew: (laughs) Certain.

Mae: Then she got here to a bunch of previews I did in LA and gave notes on bits that weren’t working. I’d been touring the present for awhile and had gotten a bit complacent with it. There was stuff that wasn’t working that I used to be nonetheless doing. It wanted a shakeup. I feel we reordered some bits.

And on the evening, we mentioned issues like digicam positions and labored collectively designing the forest stage. And with these bookending scenes by the fireplace, Abbi’s only a nice director. We’ve a extremely related style. And I like that she’s not a standup, so she’s coming at it from extra of a storytelling angle.

Drew: That’s fascinating.

So I nearly determined to do a bit the place I didn’t ask you a single query about transness.

Mae: (laughs) That will’ve been an excellent bit.

Drew: I used to be like I’m actually uninterested in serious about it and speaking about it, I’m positive Mae is admittedly uninterested in serious about it and speaking about it. I’m not going to stay to that bit, I’m actually sorry, however I’ll not less than maintain issues a bit meta. So first I wish to know, how have the pressures of discussing transness modified since doing press for Really feel Good?

Mae: Oh I’d say they’ve amped up tenfold. To start with, I’m additional alongside in that journey. I really feel extra solidly a part of that neighborhood. So I really feel extra certified to have ideas about it. Nevertheless it’s additionally due to all of the laws and hysteria round it. I’m positive this gained’t be the case with Autostraddle, however it’s simply been the pull quote of each interview. 1

So then it seems like I’m obsessed. I imply, I anticipated it a bit due to the content material within the present. However I simply maintain waving the banner of prefer it’s only one a part of the present and I say just about every little thing I wish to say about it within the present.

Drew: Look, I do know from speaking with you earlier than, and from Really feel Good, and also you even see it within the particular, there’s a begrudging acknowledgment that everybody is ready so that you can speak about this factor.

Mae: Yeah and I’m at all times interrogating the place that reluctance is coming from. However I feel it’s largely as a result of it will get taken out of context. And since I’ve a lot extra I wish to say. Plus the concern of being pigeon-holed. However like I say within the present, it feels vital. And I do recognize the platform to speak about it.

Drew: One among my favourite storylines in Really feel Good is when fictional Mae is attempting to determine whether or not to name out the abusive comedian. I feel a lot of being within the business is navigating when to talk up and when to simply ignore issues. And I’d think about it’s related with comics who aren’t essentially abusive — nicely, possibly they’re additionally abusive —however who’re simply continually speaking about transness. Making an attempt to determine when to wade into it and level out that what they’re saying is improper and when to simply be like this has nothing to do with me.

Mae: Completely. It’s quite a bit to navigate. And I appreciated that storyline, too. It was fascinating to me how little press targeted on that storyline although it was a pulsing thread all through the collection. However there was one scene the place I talked about being nonbinary and that was the primary takeaway.

Drew: (laughs) After all. In all of the years you’ve been doing comedy, was there ever a time the place you questioned if there was house for you within the standup world?

Mae: Effectively, I had no backup plan or different {qualifications}. So I type of needed to make it work. (laughs) However I at all times had such superb comics round me and such a tremendous neighborhood. It brings me a lot pleasure. I’d by no means have given it up. I’m fortunate. I’m positive some folks have worse experiences than me after which don’t proceed. However I used to be at all times capable of encompass myself with good folks and I simply adore it an excessive amount of to cease.

Drew: Talking of, what comics are you loving proper now? Who’re you actually excited to look at and carry out with?

Mae: So many! It’s been very nice dwelling in LA and attending to carry out with so many individuals. I do a month-to-month present at Largo and that venue is superb. It’s an actual hub. I’ve gotten to satisfy a few of my idols. I’ve been performing with Brett Goldstein quite a bit. After which like Tig Notaro, Sarah Silverman, Fortune Feimster, Zach Galifiknakis. I’ve been doing plenty of improv with Stephanie Allyne and Alana Johnson. Additionally John Early and Kate Berlant. Meg Stalter. Jes Tom. Who else…

Drew: I’m going to interrupt you since you’re naming all of our faves. However is there anybody queer or trans who’s possibly much less well-known that our readers ought to know?

Mae: I’m not on the circuit the way in which I was, however positively Jes Tom, Nori Reed, and Sydnee Washington.

Drew: They’re nice!

There’s a second within the particular the place you speak about being requested as a child to choose which Spice Lady you establish with. It made me notice that’s type of the place plenty of conversations round gender have developed to. Prefer it’s now not two choices, however it’s nonetheless solely 5 choices. And that’s the problem when phrases and labels change however our cultural attitudes round gender don’t. Like nice, we don’t have to simply decide between Child and Sporty. We might be Scary or Posh or Ginger. However what if [we want to be a] sixth Spice Lady or no Spice Women or a number of Spice Women.

Mae: Yeah it’s the identical previous story of labels being vital by way of combating for authorized rights, however being so insufficient by way of expressing nuances of current. And as quickly as you select a label it finally ends up inflating that a part of your identification above different elements which can be simply as vital. I hope sooner or later we… I actually thought… You understand, I feel I used to be barely naive. And now I’m prefer it would possibly take 100 years for this method to be deconstructed.

Drew: I do know, I used to be additionally feeling fairly good for some time there.

Mae: Yeah. (laughs)

Drew: Okay, however since proudly owning your trans identification and feeling extra settled in that a part of your self, do you’ve gotten extra folks in your life which can be additionally trans? As a result of in my expertise that’s one advantage of labels.

Mae: Yeah, positively since shifting to LA. In London, I had so many superb associates, however I used to be very a lot simply within the comedy neighborhood. I positively really feel extra of queer neighborhood right here in LA and have extra nonbinary and trans associates. It does really feel good. It feels reassuring.

Drew: That’s one factor I like about LA. I’ve discovered such nice queer neighborhood there.

Mae: I imply, I’m positive it exists in London. Perhaps I simply wasn’t prepared to search out it but. Nevertheless it’s very nice.

Drew: How do you concentrate on the sap, so to talk? It’s clearly not the perfect time to be alive, however how are you discovering the stability between staying knowledgeable and current whereas nonetheless specializing in the great things?

Mae: It’s a day by day battle, however I feel scheduling in precise trip time. Even when it’s only a day to be off my telephone, not responding to emails. Be in nature or one thing. And simply specializing in that silly listing I do on the finish of the particular. Issues that make me really feel good. I like enjoying the guitar and making music. I simply recorded an album of like, severe music.

Drew: Oh shit!

Mae: Yeah, yeah. However I’m an actual workaholic, so simply taking sufficient break day to dwell a life. In any other case, you’ve obtained nothing to put in writing about. And, you already know, a low dose of SSRIs and train. Train is vital for me to simply keep related to the ol’ bode. It’s robust. Though we all know find out how to really feel higher. We all know all these items. We simply don’t do them. Everybody is aware of in the event that they have been on their telephone much less they’d be happier and extra fulfilled. Nevertheless it’s onerous. Every little thing is designed to maintain us distracted.

Drew: Yeah I began placing my telephone exterior my bed room earlier than like 10pm and it’s so annoying how significantly better I’m sleeping and the way significantly better I really feel.

Mae: Actually? Okay I want to try this. I do know I want to try this.

Drew: It’s so annoying. I want it didn’t work.

Mae: I do know it’s so annoying.

Drew: Okay one final thing. So far as your loved ones debate goes with the moose, my instant response was {that a} moose should have jumped over your mother and father’ automotive.

Mae: Ohhh fascinating.

Drew: Like an enormous moose — however not the largest of all time — leaped over and it felt like they simply drove underneath it. That was my learn. I don’t know what it says about me.

Mae: That’s a extremely fascinating learn. And it might clarify the sound of the fur grazing the roof of the automotive.

Drew: That is my principle.

Mae: I’m going to deliver this as much as them.

Sap is now streaming on Netflix, you can too learn Autostraddle’s evaluation about it right here.

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