This interview with PunkWeb filmmaker Kimberly McBride was published on the old FnS site in July of 2008 and Kim was my first audio interview. There is no intro because I was just recording our conversation to write up later. But the real audio as too interesting to pass up so Kim gave me permission to upload it. Audio player is below:
JS: What you do is not necessarily parody, and it’s not always comedic. How do you categorize it?
KM: Homage in art. And I try to make it semi-funny, though it’s challenging sometimes working alone with no instant feedback. I do everything from the idea, to the set design, the makeup, the acting, the directing, and the editing. My solo work is a bizarre process. Working with other people is much more fun…I put my soul into my homage work.
That’s why I love to collaborate. Working with Felonland Films and Ricky Shore Sings the Blues has been awesome. We all met via Funny or Die. We were all fans of each other’s work, and voila. We’re making a short horror film together this summer along with our current skits. What I’ve loved is having people using my house as their studio…Warhol had the factory in NY, now I have it, here in LA and it’s growing. I consider myself PunkWeb.
JS: You have been doing this for only a few months?
KM: All this craziness and fun is new to me. It started with a character named Katya I uploaded before I could edit…it’s so ridiculous to look at them now….that started in September. I played a Lithuanian teaching other new to LA Lithos how to fit in….sort of….anyhow, it took off, my first clip was ranked in the top 25 of youtube’s comedy skits the first day. Eastern Europe was wild for Katya, The Lithuanian Weekly wrote me in Lithuanian to do a story, they thought the character was real. Berlin went wild too. They had theater showings of my youtube clips. Bands would do L.A. Lithuania Style shout outs at concerts in Lithuania. Wild. Some of my German fans have nicknamed me Madam Dimple. I could go on and on, and this has all happened in less than a year. I remember it like it was almost a year ago, I thought, screw it, I’m gonna do what I have always wanted. Film and TV raised me, so I decided to go into the family business, one could say. The only person with the power to limit life is the self. Oh, in April’s British Vogue, there was a mention of L.A. Lithuanian Style!
JS: You are quite fearless when it comes to impersonating men, something that is rarely done. Is that at all intimidating to you?
KM: Actually, it’s quite freeing. I’m not thinking as much about how I look in every angle and every facial movement. I lose a lot of my insecurity about being in front of a camera. And men act more secure. If you look at a woman’s eyes, as they think, they will often look up or to the side. Men don’t do that. They look straight over their noses.
I study individuals who are inspiring to me. A lot of my role models in entertainment and popular culture happen to be male. I never impersonate someone I don’t like. It’s a time waster and I love giving homage, not belittling people.
There have been some strange reactions to my impersonations of men. I’ve had death threats on Youtube. Men have said they are uncomfortable because they are attracted in a way to a male when they view these pieces. And I think I scared my co-star Paul Baio in a POP Now! taping. Between takes he had this look of fear in his eyes. He said he felt he was in ’75 with Bowie, not Kim in this millennium.
And even I still get a little freaked by my Iggy chest! I transform my 36D’s into a man’s bare chest!
JS: Who has been your favorite character?
KM: Whomever I’m currently studying. I’m a mad researcher, obsessive. There is what we think the person looks like, as portrayed in media, and what they really look like. I search for the essence of the real person. But my favorite videos I’ve made are the Andy Warhol’s factory series. I’m Andy Warhol, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Edie Sedgwick, Nico and four factory groupie girls. It was all shot in my bedroom with aluminum foil on all the walls. I wanted to create the experience of what a factory party would be like. Some people that spent time at the real factory with the real Warhol have seen the video, and loved it. They said I captured the feeling. The challenge for me was to make it look busy like a party, but the reality of shooting it, well; I’m the only one in the video.
JS: Have you ever come across any of your subjects?
KM: Malcolm McDowell saw the videos I made of him as Alex in A Clockwork Orange. He loved them, heard he was in “stitches.” I have an invitation to meet him…he said, “I want to meet Kim so I can do an impression of her doing an impression of me.” Ha! Life is but a dream.
More Kim online:
Jacki Schklar is a Video and Interactive Content Producer residing in Atlanta, GA. She publishes a website featuring funny female writers, producers and comedians called funnynotslutty.com. Funny not Slutty Original Productions have been featured by Funny or Die, Best Viral, TVGuide.com and Internet Video Magazine.