Comedian Sam Jay and New York Times bestselling author Elisabeth Ovesen, better known as Karrine Steffans, sit down for a fresh set while diving into fame and boundaries.
We get a glimpse into the life of Karrine Steffans, who introduced “Superhead” to the world in 2005 and sparked a cultural shift around women’s sexual autonomy and empowerment.
“What’s so funny is that when a woman has sexual autonomy, people assume she’s being used,” Ovesen says. “Seeing a woman play a man’s game and win at it was very disturbing to people.”
“How do you feel about that whole idea of perception versus the reality?” Jay asks.
Ovesen, who shot to fame as Steffans, author of the iconic Confessions of a Video Vixen, says it was a balancing act. “I live in it, so I create a persona for that perception to protect who I am as a person,” she says. “Meanwhile, I’m in bed at 9, I’m watching the Golden Girls… I’m living my life the way I live my life, which is not the way my persona lives her life.”
Despite her wild success with The Vixen Series, Ovesen’s creative freedom suffered. “Publishers did not want me to stop. So they kept asking me to write the same book over and over again,” she says. “I started a persona that nobody wanted me to finish. She had to keep going.”
“By the time I got to my mid-thirties, I was like, guys, I’ve grown and my son is getting older. I can’t continue to write this way. So there was a time where the persona and the person went through a little war. The person was growing, and the person was learning, and the person was evolving. But the persona can’t,” Ovesen says.
Ovesen retired the pen name Karrine Steffans after 10 years. “That was a difficult choice to make too. To get rid of Karrine was very difficult because she was my armor,” she says. Now under the name Elisabeth Ovesen, the iconic author oversees her own branding agency out of Los Angeles, among other pursuits.
Jay has handled fame differently. With comedy, it’s not as easy to hide behind the persona. “Sometimes I’m like, maybe I should be making more of a separation between these things, but I don’t know how to, because comedy is such, like, this revealing thing,” she says. “I’ve been trying to honestly figure out how to make those boundaries for myself, so I still feel safe and like a part of me still belongs to me. I don’t know that I’ve figured that out quite yet.”
‘Full Set’ is fresh and funny, new style series that pairs two Black women from different walks of life as they engage in an open and entertaining conversation while getting their nails done.
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