‘Take One Thing Off’ Brings Cabaret Style Comedy to a Lesbian-Centric Web Series

Scout Durwood, Take One Thing Off

Scout Durwood’s Take One Thing Off is a new series that brings to the web the comedy and musical style of off-Broadway cabaret. Durwood, who came up in New York clubs, may be used to charming the world 50 people at a time, in her words, but these all-too short, funny, slanted and woman-powered sketches are going to charm a much bigger corner of YouTube.

To bring this project to life, Durwood partnered with Kacy Boccumini, who many will remember as being the most stable character on the Real L Word, especially remarkable since at the time she and her wife were on a long and tumultuous journey to parenthood.

Boccumini’s excited to be known for something other than the Real L Word. She says, “I feel like I’m a completely different person. What you saw on the Real L Word was me as an ‘and,’ ‘___ and Kacy,’ and what you have now in front of you is me doing things for myself, learning, pushing myself in new ways, never being afraid to do things I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to write, create content, I’m obsessed with movies, I’m also obsessed with music. and That’s why this opportunity was such an incredible way to merge all of the things I love. It doesn’t surprise anyone that there’s this beautiful lesbian who’s really talented and funny at the head of it. And so that’s really the difference, is that I’m not an ‘and,’ I’m Kacy. Scout is Scout and Kacy is Kacy.”

Durwood and Boccumini actually met on their basketball team. Durwood says, “Side by side Kacy and I went through simultaneous breakups. And at the end of it, I was like well I have to pull off this digital series and she was like, well I have space in my life now. So we went from people who went out for Mexican after basketball games to people who never spend a moment away from each other because we are always working on a video.”

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” adds Kacy. “It’s not every day you can turn to your basketball teammate and they can just hand you the opportunity of a lifetime at the exact moment you need.”

Where Are They Now? Reality “Celesbian” Edition

Fans of Canada’s Baroness Von Sketch Show will definitely appreciate TOTO. They’re part of a growing sisterhood of sketch comics with a feminist slant. Central to both shows’ style is diverse representation of women. Durwood bemoans the separation of women into categories, especially those that limit our embodiment. “I have a chip on my shoulder for being thrown into a category I don’t feel like I belong in. I don’t like that we graduate women toward a certain image and otherwise say ‘It’s ok to be blank!’ Fashion tells women the best thing for them to be is physically nonexistent. I don’t love that. I think you can take up space without it being ‘ok’ for us to take up space.”

Crucial to opening up representation for women is presenting butch women. Boccumini’s presence as a butch woman will be a welcome sight for lesbians.

Other welcome sights? Collabs with lesbian culture beloveds from The Real L Word, for one thing. Sara Bettencourt makes an appearance. Although series is drawn directly from Scout Durwood’s album of the same name, Durwood says it’s highly collaborative, and she’s excited to be able to rope in friends from the lesbian orbit. The show is about relationships, and seeks to explore the ways relationships change when performance goes from stage to streaming.

“So many of our interactions are going from face to face to digital. What’s cool about that is that if you make a thing that someone can watch wherever they want you can reach more people than you can physically touch. You can get a million views on a video, whereas it’s tough to get a million people to come to a live show. It compromises the integrity of that interaction, or at least changes it. But as a live performer, I’m used to all things having context and having relationships. So, like, nudity is a great example. Nudity was context and relationship. It’s this beautiful and sacred thing. On the Internet, nudity can be taken out of context. The viewer can then use what the performer presents for whatever they want. So for me, this series is about the journey of trying to go from being a below 14th street dirty NY singer who wanted to charm the world 50 people at a time, and that game changes in LA. So that was a huge impetus for this series, asking ‘what is a cabaret performer now?’

Episodes are released Tuesday and Thursday, so stay tuned. As Boccumini points out, “We could have chosen to do anything with this but …we need really smart funny lesbians at the head of content right now.” Now more than ever.