Life Stories #86: Matteson Perry

Life Stories: Matteson Perry

After Matteson Perry broke up with his “Manic Pixie Dream Girl,” he realized that he’d never really not been in a serious relationship since high school, and decided it was time to get casual. Available recounts his adventures, and over the course of our conversation he explained what he learned about himself during his year of no-strings-attached dating, including how the validation he got from being able to land so many first dates was like the thrill he got as a stand-up performer—as well as how he ended up meeting his wife (and not dating her for several months), and what she thought when he told her he was going to write a book about how he was playing the field just before they started seeing each other. We also talked about how this very clearly isn’t a book about how to pick up women and how, as he tells his stories, he’s generally careful to make himself the butt of any jokes, treating the women on the other side of the anecdotes with empathy:

“Through storytelling, I know what works with a crowd for me, and angry and mean does not work for me. There’s some comics, they can work angry and mean, it’s hilarious; I’m not one of those comics. I need to be self-effacing and empathetic and thoughtful about things and then find humor there.

So I tried to take that point of view, and the other thing that helped is my agent is a woman, and so she would let me know when I was being a douchebag in the book, and we would rework it. Not that you would change a story, but think about it from the other person’s point of view—you know, okay, I can see how that would be taken the wrong way by a woman—this specific woman, or any woman—and let’s think about how this felt to her as well.”

Listen to Life Stories #86: Matteson Perry (MP3 file); or download this file by right-clicking (Mac users, option-click). Or subscribe to Life Stories in iTunes, where you can catch up with earlier episodes and be alerted whenever a new one is released. (And if you are an iTunes subscriber, please consider rating and reviewing the podcast!)

photo: Stephanie Nelson

27 September 2016 | life stories |