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 current 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 usually 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 means that feels necessary. The title of the present alludes to discovering the nice in a foul scenario — Mae’s comedy is a few of that good. They discuss gender, however they spend much more time speaking about their ex and a moose.

I hope you get pleasure from my third chat with Mae for Autostaddle the place we don’t discuss their ex, however we do discuss 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 must 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 stay in LA. Type of. I used to be in Toronto final summer season and now I’m right here for the spring. However the plan proper now’s 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. Nicely, it’s really easy to work from anyplace now.

Drew: Yeah. Are you liking LA?

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

Drew: No, that’s factor!

Mae: I’m within the honeymoon part. 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 identical 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) Nicely, it’s a sophisticated reply, Drew. I crave nature. After I’m in it, I like it. However I’m not camper. I’m good for the day. Possibly having some drinks by the fireplace. Then I want to enter a mattress and have 4 sturdy 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 instances.

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 typically 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 bought to clean 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 loads of beavers. Insert joke there. However moose are fucking large. They’re big.

Drew: That’s nonetheless on my Canadian to-do checklist. I want to see a moose. Clearly not too shut. However I’d wish to see one in some unspecified time in the future.

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 all the time evolving. It relies upon what I’ve been doing that yr. Prior to now, as an example, I used to be engaged on a radio collection and a few of the writing for that become standup. This time loads of it was from improv.

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

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

Mae: Nicely, 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 slightly 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 have now a extremely comparable style. And I really 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 bored with enthusiastic about it and speaking about it, I’m positive Mae is absolutely bored with enthusiastic about it and speaking about it. I’m not going to stay to that bit, I’m actually sorry, however I’ll no less than preserve 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 begin 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 received’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 preserve 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 discuss this factor.

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

Drew: One in every of my favourite storylines in Really feel Good is when fictional Mae is attempting to resolve 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 comparable with comics who aren’t essentially abusive — effectively, perhaps they’re additionally abusive —however who’re simply consistently speaking about transness. Making an attempt to resolve when to wade into it and level out that what they’re saying is unsuitable and when to simply be like this has nothing to do with me.

Mae: Completely. It’s quite a bit to navigate. And I preferred that storyline, too. It was fascinating to me how little press targeted on that storyline despite the fact that 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 principle takeaway.

Drew: (laughs) In fact. 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: Nicely, I had no backup plan or different {qualifications}. So I type of needed to make it work. (laughs) However I all the time had such wonderful comics round me and such an incredible neighborhood. It brings me a lot pleasure. I’d by no means have given it up. I’m fortunate. I’m positive some individuals have worse experiences than me after which don’t proceed. However I used to be all the time in a position to encompass myself with good individuals and I simply like 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 wonderful. It’s an actual hub. I’ve gotten to fulfill 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 loads 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 perhaps much less well-known that our readers ought to know?

Mae: I’m not on the circuit the best way 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 discuss being requested as a child to select which Spice Lady you establish with. It made me understand that’s type of the place loads of conversations round gender have advanced to. Prefer it’s 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 choose between Child and Sporty. We could be Scary or Posh or Ginger. However what if [we want to be a] sixth Spice Lady or no Spice Ladies or a number of Spice Ladies.

Mae: Yeah it’s the identical previous story of labels being necessary when it comes to preventing for authorized rights, however being so insufficient when it comes to expressing nuances of present. And as quickly as you select a label it finally ends up inflating that a part of your identification above different components which are simply as necessary. I hope at some point we… I actually thought… You realize, I feel I used to be barely naive. And now I’m prefer it would possibly take 100 years for this technique 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 extra individuals in your life which are additionally trans? As a result of in my expertise that’s one benefit of labels.

Mae: Yeah, positively since transferring to LA. In London, I had so many wonderful mates, 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 mates. It does really feel good. It feels reassuring.

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

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

Drew: How do you give attention to the sap, so to talk? It’s clearly not the most effective time to be alive, however how are you discovering the steadiness between staying knowledgeable and current whereas nonetheless specializing in the great things?

Mae: It’s a day by day wrestle, however I feel scheduling in precise trip time. Even when it’s only a day to be off my cellphone, not responding to emails. Be in nature or one thing. And simply specializing in that silly checklist I do on the finish of the particular. Issues that make me really feel good. I really 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 time without work to stay a life. In any other case, you’ve bought nothing to put in writing about. And, you understand, a low dose of SSRIs and train. Train is essential for me to simply keep related to the ol’ bode. It’s robust. Regardless that we all know easy methods 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 cellphone much less they’d be happier and extra fulfilled. Nevertheless it’s laborious. Every little thing is designed to maintain us distracted.

Drew: Yeah I began placing my cellphone outdoors 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 do this. I do know I want to do this.

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

Mae: I do know it’s so annoying.

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

Mae: Ohhh fascinating.

Drew: Like a giant moose — however not the largest of all time — leaped over and it felt like they only 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 automobile.

Drew: That is my principle.

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

Sap is now streaming on Netflix, you may also learn Autostraddle’s assessment about it right here.

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