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What are the Rules?

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

Episode #1 of The RuleBook: What are the rules?

Some of you may not know this but "The rules" were born on my TikTok page in February 2022.

I had just gotten fired from my first real social media job and was feeling all the feelings.

I was actually promoted and fired in the same week so it was a pretty confusing time. I was working for a fashion influencer in Brooklyn as her assistant, making no money whatsoever but trying to start my career in social media and learn as much as I could. The job was a lot of running around, filming, shooting, steaming, bullshitting. And when I asked for more money I was promptly fired LOL.

But I felt like I could do a lot of the things I watched my then boss do. I was on TikTok - not known on the platform at all and trying to establish myself as a comedy person. I thought maybe I didn’t need a 9-5 job to work in social media. I took my dog to the vet one night in February and was quickly running out of original ideas when I thought "hey why hasn’t anyone made a video about how you should always walk fast in NYC?" So that night I just recorded myself walking in the street and went home and did a voiceover. I didn’t script it I just let whatever I wanted to say come out. And this is what I said, "Rule number 1 for NYC - Always walk fast. Act like you got somewhere to be - even if you don’t. And if you don’t, pretend someone’s CHASING you." I posted it - didn’t think anyone would even care and a few days later I was going viral.

I was so elated. I was getting lots of comments most of them asking me what rule number 2 is. I didn’t know. All of a sudden I had an audience to cater to. As of now I have 60 original NYC rules and have expanded to dating rules, life rules, and general rules. Most of the rules are funny, some are absurd and few are practical. And maybe 60 NYC rules doesn’t sound like that many.... but I challenge you to come up with 60 rules that I haven’t already. It was an important moment for me because not only was I proving I could find success in social media but my voice was being validated too. People wanted to know what I thought and they for the most part liked what I had to say. I had been thinking about how I wanted to expand the rules lately. And I thought obviously I should do a podcast to give people the backstory of each rule. But the podcast will have its own set of rules that are born here. Which brings me to rule #1 for The RuleBook - no matter how many likes you get on social media none of them count if you don’t like yourself.

I came up with this rule because even though I was happy about all of my new likes I also know how easy it is for people to stop liking you. When you make being liked the most important thing it's really easy to lose yourself in the pursuit. That’s something I’m not new to. I have always twisted myself into all sorts of uncomfortable roles, clothes, schools just to make other people happy. And not surprisingly have made myself super miserable.

Some of you know this but some might not. I have a Master's degree in journalism from NYU. I decided to get this degree because after college I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was coming off a huge loss - I was first runner up at Miss NY USA, another pursuit that was all about meeting other peoples expectations. It's funny because it's always the least likable girls who end up winning those pageants but that’s neither here nor there. And I knew I had an English degree and a desire to be on camera. So I enrolled at NYU. I told my teachers I wanted to be the female Ryan Seacrest not really knowing what that even meant. I still don’t. And was met with them telling me I should be a war reporter LOL. But again even when I had a feeling journalism probably wasn’t it for me I stayed and got my degree and even did really well. I had a fancy internship and graduated with a high GPA. But after I graduated I found myself exactly where I started, confused, alone and lost. It might not be as simple as oh I let other people tell me who to be but maybe it does boil down to that after all. When you become wrapped up in getting external validation you can forget all about yourself and what’s right for you.

Every person I spoke to told me not to pursue acting. That it was a terrible industry and spoiler they weren’t wrong. I have had limited success in acting and have gone back and forth with myself on whether or not I should quit. But even with acting it's not about other people telling me if I should stick it out or not because I don’t pursue acting for other people. I pursued it because it has helped me become the person I am today. I am not on tv. I haven’t had an audition in months. I did actually shoot something this month and it was my first paid acting job ever. It might even be my last. But that’s not it. I needed to pursue acting, the thing no one around me liked that I was doing, so it could develop me into someone who is aware that being liked is bullshit, and that being cut off from yourself is not the best way to live and that success and likes aren’t even meaningful if you don’t like what you’re doing to get them.

And social media too has been another test of how important I make the likes. Social media is as subjective and fickle as Hollywood. I obviously get mean comments too - who doesn’t. But I don’t want social media to be another place I don’t get to be myself and I think that’s why the rules have been such a fun thing for me to do and why I felt like a podcast would be even better. Because even if no one watches this or cares it’s okay because I’m getting to do something I like doing and I’m getting even more practice showing people who I really am and what I really think.

All those lessons learned and there are many will hopefully be put to some use. So that’s why this is the first rule for the podcast! The likes do not count if you don’t like yourself.

So thank you so much for tuning in to The Rulebook! I hope you enjoyed this episode and will tell a friend to tell a friend to check it out! I will be dropping new episodes every Monday and of course new rules on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and on YouTube. I’m Alex Palmer see you next week!

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