Saturday, March 1, 2014

The new Real World

Ten years ago my sister did something absolutely awful.  She auditioned for MTV's The Real World.  Where did she audition you ask?  LA?...NYC?...Nope. Try BYU.  She auditioned on BYU campus. Thats right! the same people who later scrutinized her and kicked her out.  It was painful as a young girl watching my sister deal with all the negative publicity. And the worst offenders were Mormons.  I remember one morning she left her E-mail open on the computer.  I thought it would be fun to read some of her fan mail.  Instead I found myself cringing and quickly hitting the X.  An 18 year old young woman president took on the responsibility of chastising my sister. One man said my sister deserved to stand over my fathers grave and know she killed him.  Why? because she was on MTV! Julie received a lot of flack over an artical published in the New York Times.  The artical stated that "Gordon B. Hinckley may hold the keys to the church but Julie holds the microphone".  It hurt me to see this religion I loved so much treat my sister with such distaste. 

    I recently spent three hours on a very popular radio station. I was on the show for my comedy and being a ex-Mormon woman in a not mormon world. We talked about drinking, drugs, sex, and banjos.  Thousands of people in my local city heard my show.  Including Mormons.   Luckily I have a sister who has a lot of experience with a fame and Mormons.  She advised me to "speak as if a Mormon was in the room."  I talked about myself as a non-Mormon and avoid touchy subjects but never denying how I perceived the religion. The DJ's were fascinated.  Part of the show was to go on a date with a non-mormon man...and get drunk. They recorded the date and played it on the air.  It was said to be one of the best dates they have ever had.  Mostly because I made it very entertaining with no intention of finding love.  I had a blast and practiced a little of my stand up. ( you can find my date under the cloud on Fish in the  )

After the show aired I got a few messages from my Mormon cohorts. Phrases like "disappointed in you" and "you will be sorry" swam in my Facebook inbox.  These notes gave me flashbacks to messages my sister Julie got after she did her show.   I remember being curled up on the couch crying.  I was so young and I could not understand why the church was being so mean to my her.  She didn't do anything wrong.  If anything she held fast to her "morals" in New Orleans.  I remember being at EFY and my friend told me that one of the counselors was talking bad about my sister. He was telling his kids how Julie was a bad influence and we should not look at her as a good Mormon.  

I was livid.  One thing Mormons do well is love our families. I would not let some stupid camp leader talk smack about sister.  I walked right over to him with the courage and furry of a Nephite.  I was going to give this jerk a peace of my mind. I planned a powerful speech, walked right up to him.  Once I there did the most vicious thing a 14yr old could do to this man.  I cried.  I was balling my eyes out yelling heaving for breath as I yelled "Hey! my sister is a good person..sniffle haaungg..and you should not..sniffil...You should not...YOU...snort ...YOU SHOULD NOT SAY MEAN THINGS ABOUT MY BIG SISTER!"  I was having a little meltdown right in the middle of class.  How wonderful this must have looked.  A 23 year old man making a 14yr old girl heave and shake.  Ha ha ha I showed him.

Like any truly brainwashed Mormon,  I have thought almost every day about going back to church. Not because I miss it, but because this new world I live in so strange. I miss the familiar. I am in a constant state of panic and guilt. Mormonism feel to me like The Real World.  No matter how many drinks I have had or how many boys dicks I have seen(see: V-card Punch) I still believed deep down that I'm on Rumspringer.  That it is only a matter of time before I'm safe sitting in the church pues again.  I did not realize how HUGE a step doing the radio would be.  Once the DJ Said "Her name is Lisa and she is an Ex-mormon!"  I knew that was it. No going back. Everyone had either heard the show or heard about it.  I sympathized with my sister.  My show was only a few days.  Her show was national and fallowed her for years. In many ways this radio show was the best thing that could have happened.  For a long time I have been playing on both sides of the fence.  I have pick a proverbial side. I have known where I stood for a long while and now so dose everyone else.


  1. Your sister is Julie??? How cool! Even when I was a faithful 100% true believing member, I sympathized with her. It had to be hard to live in such a fish bowl.

  2. I admired your sister for being on that show & putting herself out there to learn and grow. I was more faithful back then and felt bad that she seemed to get so much flack from all sides. I admire you as well for putting this blog out, it's so great! It's nice seeing someone else dealing with the same issues, figuring out how you fit in this world now that Mormonism isn't part of your life.