When the work is stacking up, the meetings feel endless, and no one is listening to you anyway, sometimes the only way to survive the day is to take a beat — or, if you’re Samantha Jayne, make a beat and turn it into a catchy, smart, and ultimately empowering music video, “Circle Back.”
In her latest “Quarter Life Poetry” short film, Jayne walks women through an average workday, tackling each exhausting and infuriating challenge that pops up with the same sage advice: hit pause and circle back later. The short — dedicated to “the ladies on the 9 to 5 grind” — will debut Wednesday night as part of FXX’s new short anthology series, “Cake.” Two of Jayne’s videos have already aired as part of the show, “Damn, I Love This Friday Night” and “Think of Nothing,” while more will be included in future episodes.
“Quarter Life Poetry” premiered as part of the Indie Episodic section at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Each short film is told from women’s perspectives, focusing on various real-world anxieties and captured through smartly choreographed music videos. Directed by Arturo Perez Jr., the shorts vary in length but always encapsulate the awkward quarter-life challenges faced by millennials in the modern age — and they’re often sung, rapped, or performed via spoken word in Jayne’s catchy, smooth cadence. One short might capture the battle between social expectations and personal exhaustion on a Friday night, while another studies the struggle to simply relax.
Jayne got her start by creating an Instagram account to help sell her book of poetry, “Quarter Life Poetry: For the Young, Broke, and Hangry,” which was published in April 2016 after her handle pulled in over 100,000 followers. She describes her videos as chronicling specific, externally trivial, anxiety-inducing-scenarios, short episodes, and subjective reality from inside one woman’s anxious brain.
“Cake,” meanwhile, is a half-hour assortment of shorts carefully curated into weekly programs. Each entry highlights a diverse array of narratives from new and established storytellers, including live-action and animated comedies. Early episodes have featured Natasha Lyonne, Mamoudou Athie, and more.
Check out “Circle Back” below, and watch the full episode of “Cake” tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET on FX. New episodes air every Wednesday.