In Conversation with Nick Lehmann

Nick is without a doubt one of the cutest people I have had the pleasure of meeting (albeit virtually). His kind demeanour and hilarious sense of humour make him just an absolute joy to behold. I first came across Nick on the famed Instagram page for queer humour “Best of Grindr”. With yet another one of his impersonation videos, I was captivated by how well he had managed to perfectly encapsulate a character that so many LGBTQ people could relate to. To This day, he has built sizeable followings on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter as a means of spreading his joy with the world.


Now, let’s start with those ice breakers, shall we?


1. What’s the one thing that never fails to make you smile?

Quality time with Family and friends


2. What animal best represents your personality?

A golden retriever puppy


3. On a scale of 1-10, how are you feeling today?

I’m about a 7 - caught me on a good day!


IMAGE BY MATT ALVES

Having only known Nick through a mobile screen, I too would’ve thought a golden retriever puppy was a perfect representation for Nick, so it was interesting to see that he agreed! One thing that proved this was his excitement and boisterous responses to this interview. For a mere 15 questions (three of which were supposed to be one-word answers) I received upwards of 30, one minute voice notes of Nick telling his story. The excitement and personality that came from his messages made me smile continuously, and I didn’t tire once.

To me, Nick has become one of the prominent queer social media comedians of our time, a compliment that he was very humbled by. I asked Nick what sort of feelings it brings knowing that he’s admired by so many. He almost deflected this praise onto the community itself by commemorating and praising the rest of the comedians around him.


“ It is so so incredible to be able to watch so many black, trans, non-binary and other queer comedians starting to tell their own story through their own comedy and it’s been such a lovely group to be a part of, and I feel really lucky”

Nick has wanted to be in comedy for as long as he can remember. Growing up being in theatre and plays, Nick was no stranger to performing and prides himself on being able to take moments of stress and remould them into something comedic thanks to his “large crazy broken mind” as he likes to call it. Unsurprisingly, Nick found himself in detention from most of his classes through his various antics during school. I think that happened to me once, and it was just because I wouldn’t stop talking, but I always appreciated the class comedy of others!


“Ultimately my main reason of wanting to get into comedy was to make people’s days better, put a smile on someone’s face, take something that they really were stressed about and flip it and make them laugh!”

The next question was my favourite. Not because of the answer Nick gave, but because of how his response proved that he truly is a golden retriever puppy in human form. As social media has become such a powerful tool for content creators of all types, I wanted to know what platform Nick thought was best for comedy. My personal preference is TikTok due to its short and minimalist videos that have harnessed the concept of the “meme” and bloody run with it. Nick went on to sing the praises of all of the platforms he’s on (specifically Instagram, TikTok and Twitter) but forgot to actually answer the question and tell me his favourite. I chose not to follow up as I thought this just summed up his busy brain! Plus, he’d already given me so much of his time!


IMAGE BY CHASE BAXTER

For those of you who are not familiar with Nick’s work, the bulk of his comedy focuses on the creation and acting out of various characters and scenarios. These are usually characters that most of us are able to relate to or can recall meeting at some point, hence Nick’s wild success. Being able to take on the role of so many individuals, to me, is incredible. Being able narrativise someone’s personality and create a conversation for hundreds and thousands of people to relate to is pure talent, and I wanted to know how Nick even does it. Nick admitted that a lot of his comedy actually comes from a combination of his own personality and genuine interactions he has with people; the latter explains why he perfectly encapsulates the modern-day Karen so well. An interesting and commendable characteristic that Nick possesses is his innate ability to see things with an open mind. His fascination with us all being so different and seeing things so differently allows him to truly place himself in someone else’s shoes and perfectly recreate them into a narrative.


“I’m the sort of person that likes to approach life with an open mind and understand that every single person on earth is wildly different and we all think very differently, feel differently and see things differently. I like to put myself in other people’s shoes and see things as they do”

Being able to bring this level of joy is incredible and a talent that needs to be highly appreciated, but I assumed it would come with its fair share of pressure. Nick’s comedic style isn’t bitchy nor degrading, it’s light-hearted and just brings a smile to people’s faces. He admitted that this does mean that he’s not 100% transparent all of the time, he doesn’t always show what he’s going through as the sole purpose is to bring people joy, not the contrary. Like everyone, Nick admits to having his down days and experiencing his own struggles (which we’ll get into a little bit later). Another admission he makes is that being a creator can sometimes be a mental health spiral. It can add to anxiety and depression as the pressure of having such a large audience watching your content can mean you feel the need to live up to those expectations, which obviously isn’t possible all of the time.


IMAGE BY MATT ALVES

It’s no surprise that Nick’s loving and personable nature has come from an equally loving home. When asked about his coming out story, he was expressive of his sheer gratitude for the “very easy experience” he had with opening up to his family and friends, and his support system is something he has continual gratitude for. Like most of us that are fortunate and privileged enough to have an accepting and progressive family, Nick still struggled with his sexuality at first and refused to accept it. Like myself, I knew my family would accept my sexuality, but society had given so little (if any) representation that it just felt wrong. This is a struggle that we all go through and whilst we can be fortunate for a loving and caring family, we can still go through the initial struggle of not accepting ourselves.

“When I saw wolverine in X-man I thought oop maybe I’m gay. When I was memorising choreography to pussycat dolls I through oop maybe I’m gay. When I had to wear husky jeans at the GAP and I cried, I thought hmm maybe I’m gay”.

Whilst his profile is full of comedy and laughable moments, Nick has been able to successfully shield his personal life from his public life. Nick was very open about his future intentions and goals. As he grew up with such a supportive and loving family, he wants nothing more than to create one of his own. From experience, I know that dating whilst having a large following can be tough as you often question someone’s motives, Nick is no exception. It is naturally hard to find someone that you have so much in common with, but even more so when the other person can so easily have an ulterior motive. Nick recalled a specific date with one guy that he’d become very interested in. The date ended with the guy asking, “so when are we making a YouTube video together?”. I remember that feeling all too well, that sigh of “ahhh, and there it is”. He still holds high humour about it however, ending his answer to my question with “I’m hopeful and if anyone out there wants to marry me then I am very single and very ready”.


As always, I asked Nick what the biggest struggle is that he can recall going through. This is not to get some mind-blowing revelation; it is simply to show that even people that may look like they have it all still go through shit and are still human. One of Nick’s biggest struggles has been with self-love, something that he certainly isn’t alone in. It’s no secret that body image is a serious problem within the gay community and Nick himself mentions that of the main struggles of self-love was with his weight, and even suffered an intense eating disorder. This was as much detail as he cared to delve into, but this was enough to give provide a very needed message. Even people that seem the happiest, the most content, the most comfortable and most confident have their demons.

IMAGE BY MATT ALVES

Following this, Nick expressed the importance of role models within the queer community. It’s important for us to grow up seeing successful examples of people within our community and be able to say, “they did something revolutionary to move us in the direction of being more comfortable in our own skin”. The importance of having someone else represent who you are and letting you know that it’s ok to you, is literally unmeasurable. It is due to creators like Nick that I felt a growth in self-love and acceptance growing up.


“As queer people we need these public figures in our lives to help us believe in ourselves, because for so much of our lives we struggle with not thinking we are enough and every queer person is more than enough. A role model doesn’t always have to be someone who’s famous, but someone who’s impacted your life for the better.”

It is clear that like most queer people, Nick still had his fair share of struggles growing up. So, when I asked Nick what advice would he give to his younger self, he answered by simply stating, “stop being so hard on yourself”. Life is hard enough as it without us adding to our own struggles. He added by stating that so long as we’re surrounding ourselves with the right people and the right support network, then we’re doing it right. This is a true testament to the value of Nick’s support network growing up.


Finally, with 2020 being such a SHIT year, I was intrigued to know what Nick was most excited for in 2021. Like most of his answers he preached gratitude for what blessings he had in 2020 rather than the pitfalls. With this, he stated that the lack of contact in 2020 has just made him more grateful for what he has. “I think I took a lot for granted before the pandemic” he continued, as most of us have, so he wants to focus his energy on what is really important to him in 2021 and what really matters.


So, if there’s anything we can learn from Nick, it is the following:


1. Count your blessings.

2. Don’t take anything for granted.

3. Be kinder to you.


Thank you for giving us your time Nick, you're a beautiful human.

Please feel free to connect with Nick on his socials:


Instagram: @nicklehmann

Twitter: @NickStopTalking

TikTok: @nickstoptalking


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