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by Darren Held

You know how some famous celebrities change their names because Norma Jean doesn’t sound as glam as Marilyn or whatever? Yeah, I did that. Only, you know, not to Marilyn. Duh.

People think it’s unusual to change your name, but I actually know several people who have done so – some legally and some just in daily usage. Richard of H2G Friday Company fame told me a hilarious story about a woman of his acquaintance who had a name that was both cumbersome and unattractive. Somehow during a conversation, she let it be known that she had changed her name to that strange moniker and Richard, ever tactful, replied, “You chose that?” Anyway, that’s not really my point.

I was just thinking about labeling in improv and how names can be labels. It’s all well and good to call everyone some variation of Frank, but if you call someone Dr. Franklin, that gives a little more information about the character. Names like Missy, Buffy or Bubbles give a different impression than Prudence, Harriet or Constance. Bubba is not going to give the same information as Harrison. Using Mr. or Mrs. So-and-So tells us a little something about the status of the characters.

Yeah, that’s pretty much all I got today: Labels = good.

In any event, I changed my name to Sonnjea a long time ago, and now I’m totally glam. Need proof? Come check me out at Last Laugh Saturday in January or watch our hilarious videos.

Oh, okay, fine. Marilyn’s more glamorous. But I am kinda blonde.

By Sonnjea Blackwell

Darren Held
About Darren Held
Darren is the CEO and Creative Director of Held2gether, Improv for LIfe. He has been teaching and performing improv for 15 years, and has performed with H2g, the Groundlings, UCB and Second City. He loves Moto, red wine, and Madonna.

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