Millennials are the kids born in the 1990s and have grown up in the 2000s. I’m a part of this generation and us young adults seem to have a bad reputation. We are considered to be lazy, narcissistic, self entitled and in the wise words of my father, “You think your shit don’t stink.” Seriously, we can’t be that bad right?
Fellow millennial and Australian comedian, Louisa Wall, 21, has plenty to say about our generation in her latest comedy cabaret show It’s Not Me, It’s Lou, a part of this year’s Melbourne Fringe. She opened her first show at the quirky Butterfly Club in Carson Place, Melbourne.
The colourful interior of The Butterfly Club is reminiscent of a treasure trove filled kitsch décor and excited audience members, who were happily chatting and sipping cocktails awaiting the infamous bell ring to line up and enter the theatre.
Wall graced the stage in a shimmering red dress, beginning her first of many serenades… with a twist. She spoke and sang about her experiences growing up as a millennial in this day and age and answering the important questions of where your bobby pins run off to and how your socks magically disappear.
Her hilarious songs were inspired by Facebook statuses she has come across on her feed. With popular topics being people’s complaints about cafe milk substitutes and the need for individuals to share their love and hash tag it on social media. Of course, the most important status being how smashed avo is life and will always be welcomed via a public service announcement.
“I had seen a really amazing show at the comedy festival about Facebook, there’s so much material in that and I was like perfect. It’s also open enough where I can do whatever I like,” Wall says.
“I found this status I wrote in 2008 when I first got it (Facebook) and I do not remember writing it, and it literally said ‘one day I will be famous’ and that’s it and I was like I probably regret that,” Wall laughs.
Wall is well and truly on her way to making her mark in the comedy scene. She is incredibly humble, I told her she will for sure find fame in the comedy scene in which she laughed off and replies ‘nah’. She is bubbly and easy to talk to, not to mention a natural when it comes to comedy, the audience’s continuous laughter was evident of that.
She grew up in regional New South Wales, after high school she attended the prestigious Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and graduated in 2016. After graduating she was eager to create her own material and branch out into the comedy scene.
“I did my first comedy set when I was 17, I went to study acting and when I got out I just wanted to do comedy again,” says Wall.
Wall’s set further commented on the ever so present issues of marriage equality and feminism in today’s age. Her passion for these topics was shared with the accompaniment of her expert piano and clarinet skills. I asked her if our generation was progressive in promoting change in which she agreed, calling the youth “open minded” and not influenced by prejudice.
“I think every generation has its thing, like in the 70s women were fighting for their rights and it was the younger women. Often it’s the youth of the generation that are the most hardcore activists,” she says.
In regards to the negative connotations related to being a millennial, Wall says we are described as being “lazy, entitled, too connected to the internet, obsessed with Facebook, on our phones constantly, and that’s exactly what I am,” she jokes.
The baby boomer generation appears to agree with the so-called “entitled” millennials. Who better to ask than my dad John, 56, father of two millennial daughters.
He was unsure with the term at first, “Millennial, isn’t that referring to the future?”
After defining the term we got deep into conversation, “Oh yeah I’ve heard this yes! I heard it on the radio, you are called millennials you are the new generation of people am I right?” Well, yeah he is.
John described the millennial generation as “smartassy” and “outspoken”
“You don’t want to take advice from elderly people like me you think you know it all,” he says.
“You don’t follow suit the way we (baby boomers) used to do things, we listened to our parents. If you didn’t listen to your parents then fuck watch out!
“You think you know it all with Google, social media, you tweet go on Facebook and you let the whole world know what you’re doing. Back in my day it was private nobody knew your business.”
He’s right; our generation is more open to trying various pathways and not having to settle straight away, and he isn’t wrong about us being a little too dependent on technology.
Social media is heavily present in all generation’s lives not only millennials. It is safe to say that millennials are not the only narcissist generation, as everyone young and old are all active participants in sharing their daily encounters on social media, the proof is in your Facebook feed. According to a 2017 Deloitte survey, 65% millennials prefer working full time; this counteracts the supposed laziness connotation also.
He does agree that our “outspoken” ways are not necessary a bad thing as we “fight for more rights.”
“We (baby boomers) were more restricted; if you couldn’t go any further than that’s it, that’s the end of the argument, you’re the opposite,” he says.
I attended It’s Not Me, It’s Lou with one of my friends, another millennial named Alessia, 19 who “loved the show” and called it “hilarious”.
“It (It’s Not Me, It’s Lou) was relatable and she spoke about relevant problems in our society, for example the vote for marriage equality which I am so passionate about,” Alessia says.
Wall serenaded the audience with a song she played to an upbeat tempo on her keyboard, telling people that marriage equality is a must because love is love and anybody who is against that has to simply “fuck off”.
Wall said that she hopes to create theatre that “anyone can see” and have “a good night out.”
“I just hope they have a bloody good time, my main intention is to not have theatre that is pressing about values on anyone.” Wall says.
“I don’t feel like a millennial this is the only world I know.
“So I guess I feel millennial is a very derogatory term its used negatively like ‘ah the bloody millennial!’ I feel like why not embrace it, I think it can be used satirically.”
She is right, why not embrace it. After all the term millennial is used satirically in most instances so why not just laugh it off.
Rest assured there were no shortages of laughs as Wall’s talent shines on stage, It’s Not Me, It’s Lou is scarily relatable and definitely worth seeing for a good night out. If you still aren’t convinced that millennials aren’t that bad, then why not laugh at them instead.