5. I totally felt a Natural Connection™️ with Tarjei AND Henrik when I got to meet them
6. Trying to be straight™️? ME
7. I can cry. I mean, CRY cry. Ugly cry (but still look good)
8. Do you see that picture of me and my boy squad in front of a castle? Yeah. #boysquad
9. I’ve acted in almost a dozen plays, both through school and independently, as well as three short films, so I know what I’m doing, but am definitely an unknown.
10. Sitting on a bench? Sign me up
BONUS: I would do anything to play Isak Valtersen. Julie and Tarjei were able to expertly craft this phenomenal character that helped me grow as a person more than I ever thought a fictional character could. When I watch Skam, I see so much of myself in Isak. I took the exact same Gay Test as him. I laid awake for hours wondering if boys I liked, liked me back. I awkwardly came out to my friends when they heard it from other people first. I dated girls to prove to myself and people around me that I was straight. My first gay kiss was ripped right from a movie, only I was laying down like Sleeping Beauty and he got down on one knee and kissed me. I understand Isak because I am Isak. I’m the scared, lonely, angry closeted kid who makes other people guess who I like because it’s easier than telling them myself. I know US Skam won’t be able to replicate Julie and Tarjei’s Isak, because it never could. Nothing and nobody ever could. I don’t know if US Skam will be good; some remakes (The Office, Shameless) are amazing, others (Skins) are terrible. I hope US Skam is good, because I hope other people get to have characters they connect with the way I connect with Isak. I want to play Isak (or Isaac?) because I want to do for somewhat else what Tarjei did for me. I will always be grateful to him. I will never be able to thank him and Julie enough for Isak Valtersen.
If anybody important ever sees this and wants to give me a chance, I’ll be eternally grateful to you as well. :)
As I mentioned, I recently read Jon Ronson’s book “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” and thought it made some very compelling points on the renaissance of public shaming in the age of social media. I was going to post my highlights, but then I realized I’d highlighted about 30% of the book, so instead:
I wrote down what I thought were some of the key, take-home points the book made, and pulled quotes from the book in no particular order for each of them. It’s still a wall of text, but feel free to wade in if you’re interested.
Again, I strongly recommend giving this book a read.
Public shaming is often motivated by a belief that one is Doing Good
Public shaming is about social conformity
Public shaming can make us LESS aware of viewpoints different that our own
Shame works because we are all afraid
Shaming others can bring out our own brutality
Shame leads to dehumanization and “death of the soul”
Shame leads to violence
Technology has strange warping effects on how public shaming
affects us (and social media shaming can have longer impacts than we
There is evidence that “De-shaming” may have more positive outcomes than shaming
quotes from the book supporting each point under the cut. (bolding mine, quotes by paragraph and in no particular order)
No matter if they copy it scene for scene, the American “Shame” will never be is good as Skam. Because the success of Skam is not just the writing, the storyline or the format. Skam is Tarjei, Henrik, Iman, Cengiz, Lisa, Marlon, Josefine, Ulrikke, Ina, David, Sacha, Simo, Mutta, Yousef & Adam. Yes, Even’s dialogue last season was excellent, but it was Henrik who made it heartbreaking. Yes, Isak was written as an in-depth, complex character, but it was Tarjei’s performance that Gullruten broke their own rules for, to nominate him for Best Actor. Yes, Julie wrote Sana as a character full of love, but it was Iman who made us fall in love with her. Skam is writing, format, storyline, heart…. but it is also these kids. Without these kids, Skam is simply a shell.