Gill and Jill Bumby have a tagline for their act, and it reads: A Fair and Honest Appraisal of Your Appearance. Mostly known for their presence at events, the two dress so there are no identifying features showing, and then critique those who approach them and their typewriters. With honest quips regarding how they perceive their demeanor and general aesthetic, they hand you a piece of paper with your verdict. We decided to chat with The Bumbys regarding their take on LA, as well as why people would gravitate toward being judged by complete strangers.
What was the main inspiration for starting this project?
Laughter, excitement, people using them to get dates at the events.
Why do you think people gravitate toward anonymous judgement?
The prospect of getting feedback and a status update wherein a total stranger commits to dedicating a few passing moments of thought only to you and what they think about you is a novel and intriguing concept that really resonates with people. People want to know that they’re doing okay.
You’ve said some nice things about LA in the past. What are your thoughts on the city? Have you noticed the changes?
LA is a wonderful city full of great people and amazing food. We spend a lot of time performing there, so we’ve gotten pretty familiar over the past few years. Interesting cities are always in a perpetual state of change. It’s what makes them interesting. Places that don’t change are called ghost towns.
How has this project evolved throughout the years?
The team feels lucky and grateful that the project is still going strong after several years and hundreds of performances. We’ve definitely learned a great deal from all the travel experiences and encounters with so many different and interesting people.
What are your thoughts on the anonymous nature of social media and people’s propensity to judge people behind a social persona? Why do you think that allows people to be more harsh, abrasive, etc.?
Unfortunately, the negativity has a way of finding the spotlight. The internet/social media is a great place to vent misdirected feelings of frustration and inadequacy, but we genuinely believe that MOST people do their best and try to think positive things about others, unless given ample reason not to think positive things about someone.