artist spotlight May 14, 2016


By Cynthia Underwood

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Cynthia: You know how you’ve always secretly, or not so secretly, wanted to be able to sing beautifully, be able to dance like you own the town, know how to put your creativity together in a way that’s golden and….oh, and be gorgeous, too? Meet the artist/actress/comedian/burlesque dancer/beauty pageant winner/soccer player/musician/out and proud lesbian/intelligent SCOUT DURWOOD. Did I mention she’s got the kind of looks that men will kill for….and in her case, she is catching the eyes of lesbians worldwide. She caught mine too at her recent comedy show in Hollywood. 

This isn't the show i saw but check out her amazingly funny DIY comedy skit:

Scout dedicated her life to a career in a heavily male dominated field, comedy, because she cannot imagine life WITHOUT her art.

I included several links to short skits that she wrote and performed throughout this Artist Spotlight. They completely kill me with sharp wit, angelic singing, FUNNY acting and creativity. By the way, Scout’s birth name is not Scout.  She changed it when she was a mere eight years old after being inspired by Harper Lee’s character in her classic American novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. “Scout was my first true love", she says.


Scout said to me for Artist Spotlight:

I am equal parts obsessed with:


the notion that no one can tell me what to do


To be fair, I am obsessed with a lot of things, and not in the pop vernacular way, like being “obsessed” with floral prints, for example. I have obsessive behavior just to the right of needing medical attention with a couple of non- productive OCD ticks that I am constantly working to keep in check. Then again, few comedians enter their profession on the grounds of profound mental stability.

Being obsessive is not without its upside.

Obsession means I’m great at staying up all night and reading what I’ve written over and over again until I believe it is absolutely perfect. It also means that because I obsessively look for shortcomings and flaws, at some point, I will find them. I think everything I have ever created is garbage, even if at another point, I also thought it was perfect. In other words, I start more projects than I complete.

Believing I can do anything means that I have done a little bit of everything in my life. Perhaps I could have moved further forward had I focused, but I also had a lot of fun playing soccer in college and look back fondly on my Jessie Spano No Doz moments in my life when I was equal parts excited and scared.


Fame is a part of the industry where the stakes are high and the road to success is arbitrary. I know a lot about celebrity origin stories. I know who bought their career when they were young, who worked hard and broke late, who writes their own music and who mostly leans on their producer. I know the politics behind most major award shows, which makes me want to win one so that I have the authority to publicly denounce them entirely.

When I was very young, someone told me that when a little girl takes voice lessons, you can hear the training in her voice, and not wanting to be like anyone else, I refused to partake. I stand by that decision, but also wonder what my life would have been like had it not been so terribly scattered.

While I am constantly moving fast, I am not always moving forward. There were the years I spent running a theater company and working in burlesque. The years I dedicated to my career as an athlete. The thousands of hours I dedicated to stand up comedy. There was that time I thought I was destined to be in musicals.

My darkest nights came just over a year ago. I had been in Los Angeles long enough that I could tell that I was falling behind. I was on a reality show about stand-up comedy (link provided below) that made me existentially doubt the meaning of humanity, and though I loved comedy more than anything else in the world, I was starting to miss music more than I could stand and finding it harder and harder to actually laugh.

I got obsessed with being sad. I dedicated my life to being sad. I figured out how to be sad all the time. If I put my mind to it, I am really good at being sad.

Then a friend from a previous life visited from NYC, we sang together at a show, and somehow, in the middle of a song, life didn’t seem to hurt quite so badly.

Then, because I can do “anything,” I opened an account on Backstage and landed the lead roll in a brand new musical following the life of blues musician Janiva Magnass. And then I got a record deal.

And then I got a lead role in a television show, both of which are set to come out in June.

Maybe I can do anything after all? There certainly was a more direct path to this moment at which I have arrived, a moment which is as wonderful as it is fleeting, but that was not the path that I took. I do not recommend trying to do everything; it will more likely than not leave you feeling exhausted and unaccomplished.


 and there’s still my love hate relationship with fame that I have yet to nail down, but right now I am happy.

Really happy.

My music album is the most beautiful thing of which I have ever been a part. It’s funny, too. The TV show (link below) is a dream that I can’t begin to describe, so even though eight year old me might have thought I would be on the cover of magazines by now, me right now is pretty satisfied with having lived so many lives before I arrived here in this one.


 Here is an article with which I (Cynthia) resonate. Scout wrote about why she cannot not live her life as a creative. Here’s a quote: The transition from being funny to making funny my job was –and is—challenging in a way that only the creative freelancer can understand.  When that which one loves becomes that which one does for money, the stakes are paralyzingly high. When people tell me they want to go into comedy I ask them first if there anything else in the world they could picture themselves doing. Anything at all. If there is then do that, I say, because comedy will destroy you many times before it will let you build back up again.”  Read the EXCELLENT article here:

Scout in her smart, hilarious, very well-done skit on marriage:


Scout's Facebook biz page:

#CynthiaUnderwood #ArtistSpotlight


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