Are you concerned about how you’ll be perceived, due to the spelling or pronunciation of your name?
Do you pre-empt any inquisitiveness about your name by quickly changing the subject?
Have you changed its spelling or pronunciation?
How do you introduce yourself?
“Hi, I’m Dave Chappelle – older, whiter than, and nowhere near as funny as the famous comedian.”
That’s how I introduced myself when moderating a discussion panel at a cybersecurity event.
For reasons unknown to me, people laughed. They’ve laughed almost every time since.
I don’t know why people laugh at it, because I’m merely speaking the truth.
Advertising copywriters address what we call, “damaging admissions” as soon as the questions arise in readers’ minds. In my case, the damaging admission is the person’s letdown upon their realization they’re not going to meet the celebrity. That’s why I address it during introductions.
My name has led to some interesting comments, especially when I traveled to events as a tech mag editor.
“You have a great name.”
“I’m not going to say anything, because you probably hear comments about your name all the time.”
To which I reply, “Thank you.”
A white airline employee yelled out to his black colleague, “Hey, this guy is Dave Chappelle.”
“Love your show, man,” the colleague said with a wave.
After placing my passport on the counter in front of an American Customs and Border Patrol agent, he looked at it, then up at me and said, “You’re not the REAL Dave Chappelle. I don’t want your autograph. Get out of here.”
It’s always a relief when a customs agent tells me to go away.
An IT director and I saw each other at events a few weeks apart. She said to me, “You know, I got a lot of mileage out of telling my friends and family that I met Dave Chappelle at a conference.”
When I told that story to a young Canadian who knows only the metric system, she said, “That’s cute. What’s mileage?”
A common remark is, “You don’t look like you do on TV.”
My reply – “I have great lighting and makeup.”
Now, if you’re one of the few who likes to hunt for things about which you can choose to be offended, then you’re likely horrified by my response.
Please know that unlike the want-to-be actor who has never told the truth nor answered a question, and who has proven himself the worst Canadian prime minister in modern history – quite an achievement, considering previous candidates for that label – I have NEVER worn, nor has it ever OCCURRED to me, to wear blackface.
I attended college at Jane-Finch in Toronto. Most of my college friends were black. They helped me make the Dean’s List and elected me valedictorian for the entire graduating class, for which I’m grateful. So please relax.
Is it still popular to search for your name online?
Good luck searching mine.
I’m curious – if I were single, how might potential first dates react upon discovering a search of my name reveals only the famous comedian?
How would you react in that situation?
Thank you for reading.
If you’d like your content to sell without appearing salesy or as boring as your competitors… and narrations that deliver your message across various media… contact me.