Annie Hamilton's unique brand of honesty lands her NYC residency

NEW YORK CITY -- New York City's nightlife took a big hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but now, venues shut down for the better part of two years are coming back to life.

It's the perfect time for Annie Hamilton to begin her residency at the Jane Hotel in the Meatpacking District.

The performer is building on her fame that began online, where her confessional videos get hundreds of thousands of likes.

Hamilton is a native New Yorker who grew up on the Upper West Side and is now back in Manhattan after spending 10 years trying to get a foothold in acting out in Hollywood.

Her breakthrough might have come first on her social media accounts, but now she's selling out shows at the Jane.

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On a recent evening, hundreds of people were right where she wants them: in the palm of her hand and hanging on every word of her stories.

"All I've ever wanted is to be famous and interesting," she tells the audience.

And today, she is consistently interesting and almost famous thanks to her unique brand of honesty.

"I have a compulsion to say what I'm not supposed to," she said.

Hamilton has become popular with young women of her generation by speaking publicly what others feel privately.

"Not only do I quite enjoy humiliating myself, but I'm good at it," she tells the crowd.

Her producer is Aria Dean.

"(Hamilton) presents an ongoing process of making and remaking oneself," she said. "There's an honesty about the complexity of life."

On Instagram, you'll find posts of the performer in tears.

"I feel really sad," she says in one post that caught the eye of The New York Times, which noted her posts are "endearing and impossible to categorize."

Of course, she posted a video about the Times article and made another featuring me after we'd finished our interview.

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Hamilton spent a decade in LA appearing in guest shots on shows like the Disney+ series "Hawkeye," but jobs were too few and far between.

"I didn't know where to put all the feelings I had," she said.

So she started posting about those feelings, because as she says through tears on Instagram, "You can't just keep them all to yourself or you just die."

"I get myself in a lot of trouble that way, but I also am now getting some job opportunities which I didn't expect," she said.

That includes the likes of shows at the Jane, which sell out in less than an hour.

"It's very confusing to me," she tells her audience. "Because it feels like you guys all in some way love me for being a total disaster."

She gets a lot of laughs, but Hamilton is not a stand-up comic. Instead, she's reviving the lost art of the monologue.

Consider this: When this storyteller takes a pause in the middle of one of her tales, nobody in the audience makes a move. There is dead silence until she is ready to continue. Such is the fascination of Annie Hamilton.

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