I have been obsessed with the "Opossum Lady" for years — she's been posting videos on her YouTube channel for over a decade — and am always delighted when one of her videos pops up in my feed. I decided to find out a little bit about her to share with you, in case you've never had the pleasure of seeing her incredibly-weird-yet-mesmerizing work.
Rae Alexandra of KQED sums up the Opossum Lady brilliantly, stating she's what you'd get if "you combined Jackie Onassis' poise, Jane Fonda's comic timing and Audrey Hepburn's love of wildlife." We don't know the Opossum Lady's real name, but she calls herself "Georgette Spelvin." I've always thought she looked like Jessica Lange — in fact, in some of her videos she looks exactly like Lange, and when I first encountered her years ago I wondered if she was actually Lange, playing some bizarre movie role.
Alexandra explains that while we don't know her name, what we DO know is that "this Southern California resident has a multitude of opossums, a handful of squirrels and a killer sense of humor." On her YouTube channel you can see her interacting with her opossums and other animals in lots of different and strange (but always animal-friendly!) ways. Perhaps her most famous video, which has become a widely-circulated meme, is one where she is swaying back and forth and playing percussion, using both a hand drum and an opossum as instruments, before introducing the winners of the "Proper Opossum Poetry Contest."
In one video she performs "Psychic Readings by Pearl," where she serves as a medium for a dead squirrel called "Me Pearl," an "ascended squirrel" she channels for psychic readings. In that video, she does readings for two opossums who are both named Apple. Me Pearl, the ascended squirrel, also has her own website where readers can ask questions for her to answer. Who is Me Pearl? The website states:
I AM A DEAD SQUIRREL WHO KNOWS EVERYTHING and pines to share it with YOU. I lived for 10 years as a non-releasable in So. Cal, and gnawed my way through most of a Merriam-Webster's English dictionary and around the edges of a LaRousse Spanish/French. Plus, I absorbed vast amounts of information through my 7 senses, tuned beyond anything you can yet imagine. And the rest I make up.
In short, in matters vegetable, animal and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern psychic squirrel.
Croaking only increased my power and lovability factor.
You can ASK PEARL anything
Confide in ME, Gentle Reader; unburden your soul.
Pearl wants to hear from you, NOW.
When she's not hosting poetry contests or channeling dead squirrels, Georgette Spelvin also makes slightly less esoteric but no less bizarre videos, like this one where she gives an opossum massage.
Again, Rae Alexandra of KQED describes her appeal perfectly:
Her inherent watchability is rooted in the hilarious juxtaposition of her glamorous appearance and blue blooded demeanor with the rat-tailed fang-faces most commonly located in people's trash. Georgette knows how to play up that weird combination with aplomb, thanks in part to her very relaxed means of handling the animals.