Considering all her rapid-fire fast-talk as Shoshanna on the HBO hit series Girls, it actually makes sense that actress Zosia Mamet had a secret rap video. In fact, one could argue that it is probably the best revelation of the week, albeit in a week when everything is basically falling to shit. So I definitely had a horrifying moment this morning when it was briefly taken off YouTube.
Why was it taken down? It wouldn't be unreasonable that Mamet was embarrassed and asked it to be removed, although she shouldn't be! In the Internet era, it's not uncommon to have at least one or six cringe-worthy YouTube videos floating around in cyber space. In fact, the rest of the Girls cast have a bunch of old videos lying around too, and I've collected them as proof.
Realize that I'm not doing this to out any of the actresses with the ghosts of old work. This is done from a place of love and reverence, and also from an uneasy amount of knowledge on said videos. And more to the point, they're definitely not all bad. Sometimes, in fact, they can be a blessing in disguise (here's looking at you, Allison Williams).
So enjoy, and rest assured, of all the things that happen to the girls of Girls, old YouTube videos will not be the thing that buries their career. Hell, Marnie's still doing okay.
Dunham is the easiest target of the bunch, as she's been filming her creative efforts for years now, but I think the most eyebrow-raising piece of work has to be the web series Delusional Downtown Divas. Done during her days working at a high-end children's clothing store, she and two friends portrayed three creative eccentrics that were shooting for stardom, despite being void of the effort and talent it requires. Irony. For her part, Dunham played Oona Winegrod, a would-be novelist who had yet to actually write anything.
On page 186 of Not That Kind of Girl , Dunham reflected on the series, saying:
Looking at the videos, now, they leave something to be desired. Blaringly digital, with shaky camerawork, we careen across the screen in messy costumes, cracking up at our own jokes, tickled with the ingenuity of the concept. Lines like 'I just know we can join the feminist art collective if we put our minds to it and we will finally be IT girls!' are a little too real to feel like parody.
Bonus: you can also find Dunham's student film Creative Nonfiction in full online. It's an embryonic variation of the same mood we see in 2010's Tiny Furniture and Girls if, you know, you're into that kind of thing.
Because Marnie makes it so painstakingly awkward on the show, we rarely get to appreciate that Williams has a genuinely beautiful voice. In fact, her first taste of fame occurred in 2012 when she was tapped to sing in a super polished mash-up of the Mad Men theme and "Nature Boy." The video quickly went viral, and ultimately got her hired for Girls: Judd Apatow saw the video and thought Williams would be a good counterpoint to Dunham.
If that's a little too polished for you, tune into a 2010 slow cover of Kesha's "Tik Tok," which has since accrued 7 million views. You know, a casual 7 million views.
Looking up old videos of Kirke, whose as enigmatic as her character, was a little more tricky. It's general knowledge that she never had tremendous designs for fame (considering herself an artist first and foremost), and only got roped into acting because of her childhood friend (Dunham, obviously). I was, however, delighted to find this above: An adorably twee animated music video of a song called "Love Sick," which allegedly was sung by Kirke! That is, it certainly sounds like her, and I've never known "Jemima Kirke" to be an exceedingly popular name. Personally, this is the true treasure of all my finds, and it's really worth a listen.