Dillard University Alumna Leah Rouege’s Impact On New Orlean’s Instafamous Subculture
Dillard University Alumnae Leah Rouege’s Impact On New Orlean’s Instafamous Subculture
Author: Lauren R.D. Fox
If you're an avid person on these Internet streets with your thumb connected to the pulse of Black Internet Pop Culture, you probably fell in love with New Orleans’ culture and the city’s infectious accent by way of its instafamous natives Raynell Steward (Wuzzam Supa) or rapper Tokyo Vanity. While Steward would share intimate details about her life and rise to fame in the beauty industry, Tokyo Vanity showed us how to simultaneously wiggle and shake when pointing to our best friends. But then there is Leah Rouege, also known as @Everything_Elz who creates Mad TV/Saturday Night Live-Esque skits on her Instagram platform. Alumna of Dillard University's Theatre program, Rouege’s skits showcase how day-to-day life is in New Orleans, outside of the tourist-driven French Quarter. Learn more about this Dillard alum and rising star, below.
Dillard University (DU): You’re pretty open about your life online and how it inspires some of your skits! Tell us about your family and upcoming wedding.
Leah Rouege (LR): My name is Leah "Elz” Rachel and I am a 27-year-old New Orleans native. My dad is from the Seventh Ward and my mom is from the Eighth Ward. They met in elementary school but reconnected after high school and fell in love. They got married in 1986 and have been married for 33 years in September. I have one older brother and two older sisters who spend a lot of time spoiling me. My family has always been a fantastic foundation and a great support system.
Let's fast forward to my engagement to my wonderful fiance Morrazel also known as Zelly. I met Zelly at summer school in 2010. We've been inseparable ever since. He decided to ask for my hand in marriage on December 25th, 2017. As our families gathered around to open Christmas presents, he presented me with a present that was from his mom. When I opened the gift it was two champagne glasses that [were engraved] Mr. and Mrs. Grimes. When I looked down, he was on one knee. That moment was blissful. For just a split second, it was as if everyone in the room disappeared except my future husband. I could feel the tears of joy running down my face. That is a moment I will cherish forever.
DU: What did your Dillard education teach you?
LR: Dillard has taught me that hard work pays off. You have to put the time in to get the results you want to see. There are no handouts in this world no matter who you are.
DU: When did you first go viral? What did that feel like?
LR: It's hard to say! I'm not as viral as I want to be, just yet. I still feel like a small town girl who has big dreams. I will say [though] in August 2017, one of my videos got over 100,000 views and that made me feel really proud. It seemed as though I was making more people laugh and tuning in to [my content] so I was super happy about that.
DU: In the age of social media, a lot of comedians are focusing on their specific culture within the African diaspora. Why do you think that is important?
LR: This is so important for us right now. We are now living in a very sensitive era, especially on social media and our culture is most affected by this. Whether it's trying to be influenced, or duplicated, or wiped away period it seems like Black people are always the root and cause of what's taking place. So we as comedians just try to take our history whether that's good or bad and turn it into a laugh for our community.
DU: What would be your ideal acting role?
LR: My ideal acting role [would be] to play Denzel Washington's daughter in a movie. I just feel [like] I can learn so much from him. He has a wealth of knowledge of the arts and industry that I would love to learn about.
DU: What advice do you have for first-year students?
LR: Make sure you get involved with as many activities as you can on campus. Also, make sure you get to know your professors and make sure they know you.
DU: What can fans expect next from your platform?
LR: Definitely more laughs and more videos. I don't want to say too much more, but I will say this, I want to give kids and the community a chance to experience the arts like I did growing up. So stay tuned and keep following @Everything_ Elz on Instagram to stay updated.
Follow Leah Rouege on Instagram for more laughs and her career advancements.