Earlier this week, I had to submit a bio to someone. I have a couple written, but this one could only be 50-100 words, so spent some time re-jigging what I have to make it fit. Therefore, I’ve been thinking about bio’s a lot these past few days, and what a crazy thing they are.
I understand why they are necessary, what I don’t understand is how to put one together without sounding like the most egocentric toff in the world; because, as everyone knows, we all write our own bio’s; even if we write them (rather uncomfortably) in the third person. The Queen speaks in “the Royal We”, as in, “We are very happy to be visiting the flower show today”, because, seemingly, she is speaking as Britain. Weird, but that’s how she rolls. Weirder still is writing your own bio in the third person as if someone else has written it for us. Who we are fooling, I don’t know… maybe it’s just easier to be generous with ourselves and our accomplishments if we don’t have to sound like it’s coming from us.
So, here’s what I submitted:
“Martha O’Neill’s wry, edgy comedy is at odds with her likeable stage presence, making her an audience favourite in clubs and venues across Canada, Dublin and London; and she recently showcased for Just for Laughs.
After years of performing improv and sketch, this Toronto native made the leap to stand up three years ago and we’re darn happy she did.
(**I then added the following rather silly close, because, really, I couldn’t help myself…)
On a personal note, she is proud to announce that she has recently mastered revolving doors. Through years of practice and trial and error she can now exit malls with virtually no problem. Like comedy, it’s all about the timing.”
But here is what I would have preferred to submit, if bio’s were really allowed to be honest and we weren’t concerned with self-promotion and third-person speak:
“When I started doing comedy, it was all for a bit of fun and to get out of the house and away from the kids for some “me” time… While I’ve always loved performing in general, I chose comedy because I’m not fit enough for tennis, dextrous enough for jewellery classes or bendy enough for yoga.
So believe me when I tell you that I’m as shocked as anyone that I’ve stuck with it this long, loved it as much as I do and have progressed far enough that anyone would want a “bio” in the first place. Frankly, I’m just glad that people laugh at my jokes and that I get paid to tell them.”