I feel like I’m falling.
It’s been a weird couple of weeks.
Most of you who read this know that Im a comedian, writer, actor. I have a YouTube channel and I do lots of silly, funny, comedy videos. One of those videos that I did back in 2010 is called “Oh! I’ve McFallen!” and it features me trying to order the McLobster at McDonalds (something they actually had on their menu for a time being, which is what we were mocking), then upon leaving with my food order, falling down (pratfall – yes, I did it on purpose. Its comedy), and saying loudly: “Oh! I’ve McFallin! Im sorry. Ive McFallen!” This video was the first in a series of about 8 more that I have been featured in, with my friend Gregg Hughes, on his YouTube channel, OpieRadio. (He is “Opie” of the “Opie and Jim Norton show on XM satellite radio)
Back when we filmed this, my husband thought it was hilarious. He kept watching me fall down over and over and cracking up. He was excited that I was being featured in this video and doing it with someone I had been a fan of for a long time. (My brother and I grew up in Boston listening to “The Opie and Anthony Show” on the radio, and now I was meeting him in the city to make these videos!) Well, that would be the last comedy video that my husband Don would ever see of mine. He died a few months later, and since then, I have done several more videos with Opie, a few of them getting some nice media attention. This past week, on Don’s birthday, a stranger on the site “Vine”, grabbed the 6 seconds where I fall down and say “Ive mcfallen”, from this video we did 5 whole years ago, and created a Vine video with it. That video, in just the past 6 or so days, has gone viral. Millions upon millions of views all over the internet. 15 million on Vine. 7 million on Facebook. A few million on Instagram. People creating a trending hashtag with the phrase #mcfallen. People doing their own versions of themselves falling down in McDonalds, and all over, and posting them online. Teenagers and kids telling their parents they want to fall own like the McFallen lady. My own friends and relatives calling me up and making me talk to their children on the phone, because their kid doesnt believe that they “know the McFallen girl.” It has been absolutely crazy on a level I cant even describe, because I have never experienced anything like this before.
However, the dude who posted the Vine video did not credit myself or Opie anywhere. In the world of online social media, it is not illegal what he did, but it IS extremely classless and tacky. To pull content from someone else’s video and then NOT credit them as being the originators of that video – it just isnt right. He should have put my name or my Twitter handle (@kelleyiskelley)and Opie’s channel (@OpieRadio) in the video caption, but he didn’t. And then when people got on him about it, he blocked them and then deleted the video altogether. It didnt matter. By that point, it had already been reposted so many times in so many places, that his original posting was no longer necessary. People were watching this thing everywhere – watching me fall down over and over again. Laughing with me. Enjoying my comedy.
And that is great. Its fantastic. But heres the thing – that stunt hurt my knees for days. Its not easy falling down like that. I should be getting recognized right now – this thing should be on Ellen or Fallon or Tosh.O or something – and people are telling me EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY: “Oh my god! Youre famous! Youre all over the internet! Youre viral! Congratulations!” Yeah. Pretty cool, right? Except my name isnt attached to it anywhere, except for me spending countless hours the past few days furiously commenting on threads and websites and everywhere I see the video posted – letting people know that this is comedian Kelley Lynn and where to find more of my stuff. Because this is it – this is my chance. Right here. This silly video. THIS is my chance to get noticed, and to get going down the road to success and fame. This is the kind of thing that catapults people’s careers – struggling people, like me. People who live paycheck to paycheck. People who have no health insurance and who miss their dead husband like crazy and just want to live the dreams that we both had for me. And so even though this whole thing has been surreal in the most awesome of ways, Im feeling very desperate with it all, like here it is – and I can already feel it slipping away and disappearing, before it even began.
I shouldnt have to work this hard just to get my name out there. I am 44 years old now, and my husband has been dead for just over 4 years. I am tired. I am exhausted from being in pain. I hurt everywhere, from getting older and living life without him. I am sick of working and working and working to pay the bills and rent, and then trying to constantly find the energy to put into my dreams, on top of working. My fingers ache from typing and typing and trying to write this damn book about my dead husband that I feel like I will never finish. I am so sick of chasing dreams that never come. When is it coming? Why do I have to work so hard to get to the tiniest steps forward? Why havent I been the lucky one yet – the one who is in the rigiht place at the right time – the one who has done all the hard work, and now has the opportunity? When is it going to be me?
If I cant have my husband, I HAVE to have my dreams. I just have to. I cant keep going like this forever.
Im falling. And my husband cant ever catch me.
I just want things to be easier.
When do things get easier?