We are huge fans of Key & Peele who accepted the Mixed Remixed Festival’s Storyteller’s Prize at the Mixed Remixed Festival in 2014. We absolutely love this New Yorker article written by another favorite of ours Zadie Smith.
Here are some of the gems from the article out this week:
- “The one thing that you don’t figure out as an improviser or a sketch performer is ‘What am I?’ ” Jordan Peele observed. The essence of his talent is multivocal, and he has, in the past, attributed this to his childhood anxiety at having the wrong voice, which, in his case, meant speaking like his mother—that is, speaking “white.”
- “They make you say what race you are, where you check out, and I think that’s ultimately an unhealthy tradition,” says Jordan Peele. His eyes, naturally rather narrow, widened dramatically. “It is crazy that as a kid we’re taught, ‘What is your identity?’ We’re asked that!” Key, who sat at the other end of the trailer, going from having hair to being bald to having hair again, is similarly struck by the irrational nature of racial categories. “The limbic system is alive and well,” he said. “And it’s going, ‘I need to find a category. I need to find a category. If I don’t find a category, I’m not safe.’ ”
Key: “Jordan and I are . . . we’re biracial.”
Peele: “Yes. Half black, half white.”
Key: “And because of that we find ourselves particularly adept at lying, er, because on a daily basis we have to adjust our blackness.”