If you have a Facebook page — or pretty much any number of social media accounts — you may know Heather Land’s routine by heart ... whether you knew it was Heather Land or not.
She’s the woman with wildly exaggerated and enlarged eyes and mouth combined with a Southern accent modified to just-inhaled-helium levels (thanks to a SnapChat filter).
Land’s videos are one-minute clips of her chatting into her phone (oftentimes in her car) reciting hilarious grievances and annoyances ranging from bad drivers and airplane talkers to kindergarten graduations, dating and unicorn pajama pants, all ending with her now trademark sign-off “I Ain’t Doin It.”
Millions of social media followers and tens of millions of video views later, Heather Land is stepping out from behind the filter and making people laugh in-person with her “I Ain’t Doin’ It” tour, which comes to the EKU Center for the Arts in Richmond on Wednesday.
But when the Nashville-based internet sensation and musician thinks about how she ended up here, she gives a response similar to her catchphrase.
“To be very honest with you, comedy has never been something I wanted to pursue and when this started, I didn’t even want to pursue it,” she said. “When people wanted me to start doing comedy, I said, ‘No way Jose. I’m not doing comedy.”
The thought of making a live audience laugh was a scary proposition for Land, even though she was no stranger to performing live. The single mother of two performed as a worship leader for 20 years at churches when she lived in Amarillo, Texas, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, before returning to Nashville.
As she was bouncing back from a divorce, she was hanging out with her friends and sending silly SnapChat videos to them with her now familiar filter. On a dare, she posted a couple of them publicly. The third video caught the eye of author and humorist Susannah B. Lewis (a.k.a. Whoa! Susannah), who shared the video with her one million Facebook followers. The internet took notice and Land was happy to meet the demand to wax comedic on any observations or personal topics in her life.
“I live in the South,” she said. “There’s material on every corner. I just kept going and it just kept going up.”
Her fan page went up on September 2017 and she was getting requests for public appearances the following month. She eventually was a convinced by a tour manager to hit the road.
As a musician, the touring life is something she always dreamed of and her “I Ain’t Doin It” tour allows her to do it in an unexpected way. The show features Land not so much doing comedic bits as much as humorous storytelling, peppered with a few of her original songs (her country album “Counting On” was released this past April). People who follow her videos or her blog will get an even more detailed comedic look into her life.
“People think they know me from the videos, and that is definitely a side of me, but I think you just get the full picture of when you are actually watching somebody perform live,” Land said.
Land hopes the more people get to know about her story leading up to her internet fame and the occasional struggles she still deals with and overcomes, they will see that the fame that was formed on one-minute video clips came from a person who has persevered and found a way through.
“I think that it’s probably so cliche, but the truth is I had a lot of opportunities to really kind of quit life, just kind of give up,” she said. “I think in the back of my mind — I don’t think, I know — I thought something was coming for me. I didn’t know it was this, for sure. But I think being hopeful has helped keep me going.”
IF YOU GO
What: “I Ain’t Doin It” comedy and music tour
When: 7 p.m. Aug. 15
Where: EKU Center for the Arts 1 Hall Dr., Richmond
Tickets: $34.50 to $104.50