Liza Koshy | 2018 MAKERS Conference
Liza Koshy, Writer, Performer, Actor, on feminism now and forever
[APPLAUSE] DYLLAN MCGEE: It only took me a minute to now we had to get Liza Koshy to the MAKERS stage. Ladies and gentlemen, Liza Koshy!
LIZA KOSHY: Raise your voices!
Let me hear that [INAUDIBLE]. Let me hear your female sin! Oh, too much? Hey! I'm having an adrenaline rush!
DYLLAN MCGEE: Yeah.
LIZA KOSHY: I have an estrogen rush.
DYLLAN MCGEE: OK.
LIZA KOSHY: Hey, I need some help. When I say may, you say ker. May, ker.
DYLLAN MCGEE: Oh, I like it.
LIZA KOSHY: May, ker. All right. All right. How are you guys doing tonight? Thank you so much.
DYLLAN MCGEE: OK.
LIZA KOSHY: Thank you, thank you.
DYLLAN MCGEE: You know, the funny thing about Liza--
LIZA KOSHY: Oh, lord--
DYLLAN MCGEE: Is I have to admit this to all of you is-- is that I think I may have met my match. Liza Koshy may have more energy than Dyllan McGee.
LIZA KOSHY: No way. No way.
DYLLAN MCGEE: You do your thing, honey. I'm leaving you on this stage.
LIZA KOSHY: We're both taller than this. That's my success story.
DYLLAN MCGEE: We are. We are. We're both five feet tall. All right, Liza Koshy!
LIZA KOSHY: Thank you. Oh, give it for Dyllan. Y'all, please give it up for Dyllan.
All right. Woo, goodness gracious. That is very-- I'm very small. Hi. How are you? I am very, very nervous to be here but I am very excited to raise my voice, so thank you for having me. Hi. I'm Liza Koshy, and that video made me look crazy, which means that it was accurate, because I am.
I spend-- I am just so honored and so flattered. And honestly, I was really confused as to how I got here.
I-- I don't know how I had the privilege of speaking to an enormous room of amazing badass women and supportive ass men, but I am here. And I would love to think Henry for having been in my age demographic and for having great taste in people he watches. So thank you, Henry. Henry going to keep me employed, y'all.
But I am so excited to raise my voice here today. I am not a public speaker by trade, and you guys can tell. I usually speak in private, and then I press a button to make it public. Millennials.
I am a millennial that creates for Gen Z, a.k.a. Henry. My creations began on an app called Vine. And now, Vine allowed me to create videos that were six seconds long, and now, it allows me to create nothing. Rest in peace, Vine.
Too soon. I'm sorry. Now, six seconds wasn't enough. And as you can see, I enjoy talking a lot and being extra obnoxious, so I explore the world of YouTube to see what I could create on there, and see if anybody would be down to listen to little old me, and they did. Now, 13 million people do. And I don't know what's wrong with them. But hey, you made them, OK? They're your kids, not mine.
But you raised them right, though. But for some reason, they put up with me, and they're willing to watch what I put up. So from writing, to shooting, to editing, to creating sketches, and bits, and characters from the voices that are inside my head-- y'all saw that-- they watch what I do, and what I do is what I love. And I'm just so grateful that they do. But with this love, and with love in general, comes responsibility.
Now, it is an honor to have the platform that allows me to communicate with our future leaders, and future entrepreneurs, and strong young boys and girls, and the future even stronger men and women. And it's amazing to be able to speak to them and speak their language. It's weird. They use, like, pound signs as hashtags. It's crazy, y'all.
But I am very proud to speak lightheartedly of topics they relate to and will learn of more as they develop and grow and raise their own voice, such as stereotypes, sexism, anxiety. And I take so much pride in having created this lighthearted world for them to speak their own voices, and share through their own comments, and relate to me on that different level.
But the reason why my voice is heard is thanks to those who have raised theirs before me. And I am thankful to have been raised by three amazing, strong women. No, I do not have three moms, although it is 2018, and we can do anything now. But I have an amazing, beautiful mother that raised me, and two strong older sisters, and an incredibly supportive father who allowed me to come out here and be this insane for the rest of the world.
So I was encouraged to be myself, and encouraged to be confident, and encouraged to be heard. And now, I'm-- not only do I have a platform online, but a platform I'm standing on today, so I'm very grateful for that. But-- thank you.
But I wouldn't be able to do what I do if I wasn't inspired by the amazing voices of women in this audience tonight, voices from the audience before me, including Amy Richards, who may be backstage right now, I think. But she is an amazing human being who I met at a dinner with these awesome ladies organized in conjunction with YouTube, Natacha Hildebrand and Betsy Rosenberg, who are the dynamic duo behind Doyenne.
They're a female-led line dedicated to curious conversations, and honestly opened my brain up, opened my world up into talking, and speaking, and using my platforms to really heighten my own voice and raise my own voice. But it was an amazing dinner that connected me with Amy. So I'm-- she's not back stage. She's right there. But-- but thank you.
And then the ladies of Bliss, hello. I am just incredibly-- your story is just incredible. And these women inspired a nation with an award winning documentary, "Step." And they are now taking-- they're taking in the lessons that they've learned, and teaching it to the world, and teaching it to a generation that I am also trying to speak to, so just--
You, thank you. Thank you. That was awful.
If y'all need a member, please let me know. I got better rhythm than that. That was pretty bad.
But thank you, and just absolutely beautiful. Regina Wilson in audience tonight, if you wouldn't mind raising your hand, because I'm not sure where everybody's at. Oh, my goodness. Hello. I'm so sorry. Regina Wilson, y'all don't know, but she remains 1 of only 10 African-American women on the New York Fire Department, which consists of more than 10,000 firefighters and officers. She was a first responder in 9/11-- a first responders in 9/11. So I have to say one more time, just please give it up for Regina. Thank you for being here.
And of course, Gloria Steinem.
I don't know where to start. Where's she at? Oh, [INAUDIBLE]. This-- woo. OK, I just don't know where to start with you. I have to talk to you later. I'll force you to talk to me later. Thank you. Tamika Catchings, where's she in the audience tonight? Yeah, right there, Tamika Catchings, please give it up.
Yes, give it up. Former WNBA player who embraced what others would call a disability and made it her sixth sense on the court. Still one of the best players ever in the WNBA today. Woo, raise your voice for Tamika one more time, please. Please, please, please.
And Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, I am so sorry, girl. I got a foreign last name, too. My bad. But this rock star, where's she at? Where's she at? I just saw-- did I see her? Oh, she's on the screen. There we go. There we go, reference. This rock star of a woman created MuslimGirl, which is a blog and YouTube channel and a movement that goes to take back the narrative about misleading misconceptions surrounding Islam, and specifically in and around women. Please, please raise your voice so loud for Amani.
Now, these are just a few of the incredible women that I am learning from, and who are just a few that inspire what I am currently doing. I'm trying to apply the lessons that I've learned from all of them into what I do moving forward with my life.
Now, I am extremely proud to be raising my voice on a show I am making right now called "Liza on Demand." Yes, my name is in the title. Don't worry. I'm humble.
But not too humble. Look at my sweatshirt. That's right. Uh-huh. I got it from my incredible co-writers, and co-creators, and show runners, and amazing just overall badasses, Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont. They are just incredible creative people who are woke and are absolutely amazing. We have a half-- over half female cast and crew, and are all helping me raise my voice through entertaining, storytelling, and being completely unapologetic about who I am as a strong female lead.
So the show's themes of feminism and strength really carry through the entire storyline in each episode, and from being catcalled, from being told to smile, beautiful, from saying that I can't do a job because it's for a man. This show gives those archetypes the not always perfectly manicured middle finger and a humor--
All through humor with a smile and a message. And that humble plug being said, go check it out.
I am honored to contribute to the foundation laid before me by you incredibly strong women in the audience. And by-- I-- I am actually proud to share my platform so that all may be heard. I'm talking of generations before me and generations ahead of me. I'm very, very excited to just be someone contributing to the time that is now, because time's up.
But I am proud to be raising my voice, and I am so excited for yours to keep raising over the next three days and beyond, baby, because this is what it is for the rest of our life and for the rest of our generation is what we're doing now. Just going to keep raising and keep yelling even louder. So thank you guys so, so, so very much, and thanks for listening.
Oh, that's my cue. All right. See you later. I think I'll keep running. Hold on.
MAKERS amplifies the dialogue around harassment, equal pay and other urgent issues, pushing the women's movement forward. #RAISEYOURVOICE