“How to Become a Chatelebrity,” by Alexa Dooseman

Mar 30th, 2011 | By | Category: Nonfiction, Prose

If you’re like me, and I think you are, you are not social, but you dream of being a little bit famous.  You are awkward, but you are also delusional.  Am I right?  You’re trying to get out in the world without ever leaving your apartment.  Yes?  Well, it is time for you to thank a god – and that 17 year old Russian kid – for thinking up Chatroulette.  What could be better?  You can stay at home and talk to other people, while creating and branding a personality.  And since you’re like me, I know that you actually hate talking to people.  So, skip the talking to people!  Just make a persona for yourself.  Get yourself known!

How do you do this?  Don’t worry, friend, I have the answer for you.  Develop a schtick.  Really anything will work, but something clever is favorable.  Here, because you’re like me, I’m going to share my Chatroulette schticks with you.  Use them as inspiration to transform your real personality into something one-dimensional and amazing.  (And, no, you may not be the sidekicks to any of these acts.  Sorry.)

  • LOUD DEAF GUY:  I talk extremely loud, while complimenting my partner.  For instance, “I LOVE YOUR SWEATER.  WHERE DID YOU GET IT?!?”  And then when my partner responds to me, I point at my ear and shrug my shoulders, as in I can’t hear you.  So then my partner has to yell too.  If they don’t yell, I next them.  If they do yell, jackpot.  Now you’re both yelling at each other – comic gold.
  • INVISIBLE GUY:  One word for you: camouflage.  I dress in clothes that are the exact fabric and style as my 1970’s wallpaper; I then place myself against the far wall in my room.  I slowly rock my body back and forth until my partner finds where I am.  When they see me, I say “boo” in a small childish voice.
  • IMPROVISING SINGER GUY:  I sing improvised songs about the people who pop up on my screen, while playing the recorder.  Yes, you’re right, it can be tricky playing a recorder while singing…but, you can’t become a Chatelebrity doing easy shit. 
  • BATMAN – GUY:  I speak like characters from Batman; yes, obviously, from the Christopher Nolan versions.  When my partner appears, I use my best Christian Bale voice and say, “Now, we’re two.”  And then when my partner asks, “What?,” I growl even deeper and repeat the line “Now, we’re two.”  If they still don’t understand the allusion, I get my crazy eyes on, and say “Why so serious?”   I’ve never had anyone stay with me after that point – but, if someone were to, I obviously would say, “Want to know how I got these scars?” (Even though I don’t have any scars on my face…LOL).
  • PERVERTED GUY:  Just kidding.  Don’t go this route.  There are too many of them out there.
  • EMERGENCY GUY:  I ask my partner frantically, “Oh my god, why are on Chatroulette at a time like this?  Don’t you know what’s just happened!?”  Then when my partner gets really nervous and scared, (and I’ve told them that they better check the news ASAP), I type in size-8 Calibri print: jk.
  • SLOWLY APPEARING GUY:  This is a good one – I hide.  I next people and then duck out of the way of the camera.  Then when my partner shows up and confusedly asks, “Hello?  Anyone there?,”  I rise slowly from under my desk.  Like, really slowly.  That way, my partner first sees the top of my bald head, and then my large owl eyes, and finally my face – which I always contort into a frightened and desperate expression.
  • TOM COLICCHIO GUY:  I host my own cooking show.  I bring my laptop into the kitchen and just begin to make food.  Nothing fancy, but something like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cereal, chips and salsa, things like that.  And as I’m putting these treats together, I explain to my partner in a really patient voice how I am making the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cereal, chips and salsa, or the like.
  • CAT GUY:  I ask my partner if they want to see a show.  (No, it’s not what you think, this is PG-rated).  If my partner says “yes,” I get my cat, and we put on a rocking rendition of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes; yes, I take my cat’s little paws and have her touch her head, shoulders, knees and toes.  I don’t want to brag, but my cat is a bit of a Chatelebrity in her own right. 

Impressed?  I thought so.  Now go sit at your computer and create a name for yourself!  But not these names: HEADBAND GUY, MOROCCAN ACCENT GUY, PRETEND YOU ARE DEAD GUY or BEAUTY SHOP GUY.  I’m working on those.


Alexa Dooseman is an aspiring writer who lives in San Francisco with her husband and cat.  Her work has appeared in Amoskeag, Glossolalia and The Rumpus’s Funny Women; it is also forthcoming on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.  She has her MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Virginia, which sounds fancy and is fancy.

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