Christine Friar is a two-time Emmy Award-winning tweeter and writer who lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. She is @christinefriar on Twitter and Snapchat and Instagram. Recently, Friar shared with me three of her favorite tweets, and we talked bits, writing for Twitter vs. professional work, and “swag about wings.”
Friar: I think I like the idea of someone taking a brand at their word. “Share a secret,” says the chocolate. And somewhere, someone who has been waiting to unload their life’s heaviest heavinesses finally feels safe to do it. Here, with chocolate, I am held. Here, with chocolate, I can speak my truth.
Plus, if you look at the timestamp, I tweeted it at 7:46 on Valentine’s Day from what is clearly my bed. It’s not funny in a Liz Lemon way so much as it’s funny to know that even then – even in my bed at 7:46 on Valentine’s Day eating chocolates – my brain is willing to do the acrobatics required to organize me as Above This Shit.
Do you have other characters or points of view you especially like to explore in tweets?
I definitely explore moods in a way that I wouldn’t in a physical social context. I tweet a lot about being hot and smart and perfect, and that comes from a place of thinking that voice and attitude are fun to play dress-up with. It’s not a bit I’d necessarily do at a party, but it’s not really a character, either. Sometimes it’s just fun to ask yourself, “What if I had phenomenal self esteem?”
Is there a place, time of day, and/or mood in which you tweet the most?
I definitely tweet the most from home or when I’m engaging with media. Like, if I’m home alone on a Wednesday 420 watching Frasier, Twitter will probably be part of that digestion process. Or if I’m at my buddy’s house watching The Bachelorette and want to weigh in on someone’s fuckability. I also love specifics. I was at my cousin’s new apartment in Connecticut recently and could not get over the fact that her loveseat was actually a double recliner, so I tweeted about it. Twitter’s sort of like a serial killer yarn-and-newspaper-clipping-board for, “Things I find pleasing,” and “Things I’m realizing are true about myself.”
It’s wild that living past a certain age in the entertainment industry is such a feat that we reward it with insane, multi-comma’d introductions at award shows. If I live past, say, 55, and still show up to a given ceremony, I am no longer Christine Friar. I am “The iconic, the innovative, the irreplicable Christine Friar.” Simply by virtue of the fact that I have not succumbed to addiction or massive personal tragedy. May every industry be so generous and sincere and effective. May every day be Divas Live.
What’s your favorite non-comedy account you follow on Twitter?
Wow, right now I’d probably have to say Wingstop. I tweeted about Rick Ross owning a couple Wingstops the other day and now I think they’re mailing me some wings—or swag about wings. Either way, that is my love language. Also: Atlas Obscura, and Fabulous Animals, an account that tweets good animal pics with factually-dubious captions. Nice to meet you, I like animals, rappers, and free merchandise.
How do you approach writing on Twitter vs writing longer pieces? Are there things you don’t tweet but do write longer stuff about, or vice versa?
The process of writing for Twitter is super different than how I approach my professional writing. All it takes for me to feel the impulse to tweet is, “ah, a complete thought.” As in: here is an idea. I don’t feel beholden to the idea’s structure – it doesn’t have to hold water or even necessarily be something I agree with, it just needs to feel silly and new and good to share.
With longer pieces I’m much more vibe-y and attentive to structure—I’m focused on guiding a reader through my ideas in a way that’s so comfortable they don’t even realize I’ve snuck in a whole bunch of data and perspective. Essay writing is like giving your dog a pill wrapped in a slice of turkey. Tweeting is like, “here’s the pill take it or don’t who cares I’m not your mother.”
I just love the image of someone finding out who their birth mother is through Coke. “Hello……son,” *hands you a can*
How important to you are the conversational/interactive aspects of Twitter?
It definitely depends on the day. Sometimes it’s really fun to have a community of people ready to engage with you on the things you care about. Other times the practice of being creative for money can suck the soul out of your eyeballs and feel very discouraging to watch on a broad scale. On the days where I feel the former, conversation and interaction are important. On days when I feel the latter, it’s good to talk to people with jobs and problems and frames of reference that are different than mine.
Do you typically have more fun doing topical tweets or more evergreen ones?
Evergreen for sure. Topical comedy can seriously bum me out, especially in a fav economy where everyone is wracking their brains for The Best Thing to Say about a given topic (see: tea lizard). Evergreen, observational shit is a lot more relaxing and fun, which is why I have the Twitter app in the first place. Let’s goof off and make each other feel good for half a second on this crappy earth.
Jenny Nelson lives and writes in Brooklyn and works at Funny Or Die.