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Interview: Kira Silverman, star of "Seminoles," speaks on video and reaction

We talked to the person in that video above.

You have seen "Seminoles by now. In case you haven't, it's above.

But I was curious, considering the furor about it, and the abuse rained down upon its star, Florida student Kira Silverman, how the idea came to be, and how she was enduring the reaction.

So I reached out via email. Here's what we learned.

How did the idea come about, and how did the video come to be?

Generation Sketch Comedy produces a promotional video for our shows each semester. During our rehearsals, someone mentioned it had been a while since Generation had produced anything related to the FSU/UF rivalry. Another person on my team had already written a song about FSU to the tune of a song I did not know. I decided I wanted to write a song as well, but to a more recognizable tune. I thought "Hey, Seminoles rhymes with Royals1, I can do that." I went home and wrote the song in about 10 minutes. I picked the most basic elements of the rivalry and threw a song together. Everyone on my team thought it was funny and we decided to film a fake music video to use as our promo.

What was the thought process behind the video? Is it supposed to be satire of Florida fans? Florida State fans? Florida students' air of superiority when it comes to Florida State? Because, frankly, I've watched it a few times and I'm not quite sure.

This video was not created as any of those things. The song and video were created strictly as a promotion for our show. The music video is a satire of the entire rivalry in general. I, personally, do not care for the FSU/UF rivalry and wrote the song about Seminoles because it was suggested to me. I have nothing against FSU; I think it is a great school. This was not intended to be a serious jab at FSU. It was a basic song that we thought would appeal to our friends and other students in order to draw them to our show.

Did you have any inkling that it might go viral? Was that a goal, conscious or unconscious?

I had absolutely no intention of this video going viral. We joked about it amongst ourselves, thinking it would be great if the video did go viral. That way, we would attract more of an audience to our show. When it did go viral, we were all shocked and confused.

What's the reaction been like, for you? Do you think people are getting the point?

The reaction has been very negative for me. I have received multiple personal messages, tweets, and comments insulting my appearance, voice, and artistic ability. Most of the blogs I have seen reacting to this video have been geared at insulting UF, the song, and me personally. The video highlights stereotypes about the rivalry between our two schools, but the criticisms I have received have been less about the video and song, and more personal attacks on my appearance and talent. (Which is inappropriate, I think.)

There is no point to this video for people to get; it was made to garner an audience for our show and because we all thought it was hilarious and silly.

My biggest problem with the video is that it calls itself a parody and is obviously satire, but I have a hard time finding a lot of humor in it; it's as if you angled for the form of a parody music video sketch, but didn't have any worthwhile jokes. Am I off base, lacking in a sense of humor, or both?

Everyone has a different sense of humor. I wrote this song very quickly and without much consideration; since I do not follow sports or any elements of the FSU/UF rivalry, I chose things that I had heard other students say of FSU and things that were typical to the rivalry, ie. UF creating Gatorade and UF, typically, being ranked higher academically. Every "joke" or reference was very skin deep to the rivalry.

The video is a satire of music videos in general; all of my movements and the clips are over the top and ridiculous on purpose. It's a pretty stupid video, but these were things that made us laugh, so we produced them in hopes of drawing a crowd. I felt that the silliness and ridiculousness of this video was obvious and that most viewers would recognize that and laugh along with or at me.

I, personally, feel that there has been a massive overreaction to this video and that many people, from FSU and UF, are taking it way too seriously. After all, it does say Generation Sketch Comedy in the title. We are a bunch of jokesters and comedians and we poke fun at everything, including our own school.

It feels to me like the Internet's mostly been laughing at, and not with you, something I think you've probably felt, too. Is that all right with you, as long as the laughing doesn't turn into the sort of nasty stuff about your appearance and ability you alluded to?

I'm fine with people laughing at me. As an improviser and a sketch writer, I am expected and willing to do ridiculous, gross, and crazy things to get a laugh from my audience.

The sole intention of this video was to get a laugh. If people are laughing at me, then I have succeeded. The fact that people are laughing at me and posting these nasty comments does not bother me personally, but I do think it is inappropriate and unnecessary.

What's next for you? And do you think you'll ever wade into the waters of this rivalry again?

Many people have told me to create a follow up video with the same character. At this moment, I'm not inclined to do so. The attention I've gotten from this video will not stop me from making more videos in the future, but I will probably steer clear of anything related to FSU for the near future.


Thanks again, Kira. For more from Generation Sketch, check out their YouTube channel.

  1. I had to press on this. Kira's explanation:

    Seminoles and Royals isn't an exact rhyme, but they sound similar, especially if you emphasize the "oles" in "Seminoles" and de-emphasize the "als" in "Royals." Basically, it was a close enough rhyme for me to think I could write a quick, little song.