Female Comedy: Interview with Period – Comedian Leonie Schley brings taboo topics to life

Comedian Leo Schley brings body parts, moods and objects to life as “JustLeo”.

Female Comedy: Interview with Period – Comedian Leonie Schley brings taboo topics to life

Comedian Leo Schley brings body parts, moods and objects to life as “JustLeo”. For her approximately 170,000 Instagram followers, 400,000 YouTube followers and almost 700,000 TikTok fans, the content creator slips into different costumes and amuses all age groups. It's still challenging to break into the comedy industry as a woman. According to Leo Schley, the old belief that “women are not allowed to be funny” is still present.

Thank you for finding the time, you only get your period once a month. How did you come up with the idea of ​​becoming a social media star and why are you interesting to the world?The period: One day I thought to myself: "Hey, everyone thinks and talks so negatively about me and somehow many people still have it "I have no idea what makes me tick." That's why I took the helm myself and since then I've made sure that I'm present on social media and that people talk about me. In such a way that you can't look away.

Why should people talk about you?The period: Well, because I'm a completely natural process in the body of about half of the population and you shouldn't just brush it aside. This is part of life for people who menstruate. That's why people should also talk about me.

Their periodic facial expressions are very diverse and unique. What character traits and emotions particularly characterize you when you appear once a month? The period: Well, on the one hand, I would say that I am self-confident and definitely spontaneous. Always up for a surprise visit. A spontaneous action. I'm also easy-going. I don't care whether I cum in the swimming pool or in bed at home. I'm not that demanding. I'm also very curious and like to be present everywhere. I don't want to be excluded from all the fun, exciting things that women do, but I would like to be part of it. I know who I am, what my purpose is, where I want to go in this life.

Where do you want to go in life, what is the goal other than fertility?The period: decluttering. Once a month. This frees me and gives me a meaning in life.

Doesn't it bother you that most women, except in the case of an unwanted pregnancy, only find you negative and stressful? The period: But that does matter to me, because as I said, I would actually much rather be seen as a friend and not as an annoying visitor that you somehow want to get rid of or are upset about all the time. I'm important, but unfortunately many people associate me with being in a bad mood, but that's not me at all. This is my cousin PMS, ruling the days before me. Although I don't really want to gossip about her, maybe it's better if I leave now...

Period leaves the room - her time is up for the next few weeks - her character creator Leo Schley, comedian and content creator, now takes her place.

Ms. Schley, you can be seen on social media in costumes and absurd roles. They play the period, the intestines, PMS, the mind, the appetite, the vibrator and many more, a very special kind of comedy - how did you come up with this idea? Do you know how you come up with a creative idea from nothing coming to his head? That's how I felt about this one. I get most of the ideas while walking and the period idea suddenly just appeared. I thought to myself, “What if you could talk to your period?” Zack, I already had a costume idea and then brooded over the format for a while.

Approximately when was that? I published the first period video about three years ago and I actually had the idea in my head for about four or five years. But then I also thought: "Hmm, is this so funny? Will people understand that?" Sometimes you have an idea in your head and you really like it. But other people think "Hey, what's this supposed to be?!"

So how did you get started? With a YouTube video “If Periods Could Talk”. And from this a small universe has developed, such as the personified brain. A short time later I started mixing the characters in a sketch. Actually, you can personify anything and thereby embody topics that you might not otherwise address.

So was the concept just meant to be humorous or to address more serious topics? So it was meant to be sketchy. Nevertheless, I thought it would be nice if topics like periods were taken away from the severity. And I think I can do that quite well through this format, because I also address taboo topics and more unpleasant topics.

What was the feedback from your surroundings, family and friends when you first appeared as Period? I only showed them the idea after finishing the first video and luckily everyone thought it was funny, I really had a bit of respect for it. The role as a period, for example, also includes a pinch of courage and self-confidence in presenting this very extravagant costume and appearing with this voice and strong facial expressions.

Has there ever been negative feedback in the social media world? Little, in between there are comments from men saying that they find periods disgusting, or statements like "I don't want to deal with that topic". That rubs off on me because it's nothing personal. However, this is not up to date. It's 2024, so by now you should have slowly understood that the period is part of it, albeit more discreetly than when I bring it to life.

Do you also use your facial expressions in your private life and does it sometimes get on the nerves of someone around you? No, I don't think I have these exaggerated facial expressions outside of my role, do you? Tell me.

No, you seem different, but doesn't your comedy self come out by accident? Not that extreme now. But it sometimes happens that I slip into different vocal tones or certainly have a different look at it. My friends usually find it entertaining too – luckily.

How did you get into comedy and how did it develop? I've always had a passion for acting, but more for loud and stronger roles. At school I once played Cassiopeia the turtle with Momo. At that time the whole school auditorium laughed, which of course felt incredibly good because I think there is nothing better than making people laugh. Comedy and the interest in it have accompanied me throughout my life, YouTube then offered me the platform to live out this talent, then Instagram and TikTok came along, now soon a podcast and back to the beginnings at school: the stage.

How can I imagine that? On the podcast you can't see your facial expressions and on stage you'll change outfits or are you aiming for a new concept? The podcast will be a little different from comedy. I'm doing it with a friend of mine and we're talking about different topics that affect young people. It's about relationships, it's about finding yourself. Also, how you find your place in society as a creative person, about the pressure you put on yourself, about everything.

And the stage? Do you perform your characters live? Yes, I would really like to bring the period to the stage. Maybe a mix of stand-up and acting, so to speak. I could imagine that quite well.

The comedy stages in Germany are predominantly dominated by men. Is there room for the big, red period? Comedy is definitely still a male-dominated scene. I think it's gradually breaking down and then you need women who have the courage to do that and somehow stand up to the voices that say, "Women can't be funny."

They prove that women can be funny. I hope that the cliché is anchored across generations as a kind of belief: "Only men can be funny and as a woman you have to be this and that." Now we need women to prove the opposite, women can also be loud and funny.

Was your career also shaped by this belief? For a while I was ashamed of this side of myself. Simply because I thought I wasn't allowed to be like that. Then I actively decided to live out this comedy talent.

Do you have a message for funny women? I would really like to encourage more women to have the courage to be loud, to do their thing, even if it doesn't correspond to the norm or is offensive in some way and probably still upsets some people . But it's fun if you dare to show this side to the outside world and be funny. And I would hope that many more women would simply dare to do that. So.

Would you also show this talent on a comedy show like "LOL: Last One Laughing"? I can easily imagine it as a period. Yes, totally and I even think I would have a good chance. Because I don't laugh that easily myself, or I can quickly stop myself from doing so. Oh God, I'm saying this now.

Thank you very much for your time, but how would the period say goodbye now? You'll see me again sooner than you'd like.

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