|PHOTO CREDIT: Adam Sheridan Taylor|
MAKEUP CREDIT: Cambria Serrano
Tell us all about Stevie TV.
Stevie TV is a female-driven, obviously, sketch comedy show. We're covering everything. It's all pop culture, everything from Facebook to reality shows to dramas. Everything on the map. If it's on your television set or your computer, we are hopefully going to cover everything. We have so many awesome sketches and it's all to do with things that everyone's familiar with. Even commercials!
How did you make the leap from YouTube to VH1?
Well, I was producing my own content on YouTube for the past few years and I had parodied a reality show that I was obsessed with at the time, which was Pretty Wild. The girls from that show saw that video and they sent it to their producers and one of the producers contacted me and was like, "Hey, I love the video. I produced the show. I would love to bring you in and we want to sit down and develop something with you. We've watched your other stuff and we think there's something there." So I got together with them and we had a very obvious idea of having a female-driven sketch comedy show that is centered around pop culture because that's what I am obsessed with.
Every show that we make fun of, it's not like someone wrote this and gave it to me. I'm writing this show and executive producing and I actually watch these shows. I am obsessed with television, movies, everything. Everything that we are parodying, I am actually a part of and watching and know these shows like the back of my hand.
And we went out and pitched it. VH1 really made us feel like we'd have the most creative freedom. It's really something new for them, it's something new for us. They made us feel like they wouldn't censor us. We have a lot more creative freedom with them and I couldn't be happier. I feel like we chose the best network.
Great. How did you get started making the YouTube videos? What was your inspiration?
Basically, I had just bought my first laptop. I was already living in L.A., I was working in commercials, and auditioning regularly. I was also working at Levi's, slinging jeans. I had bought my first laptop. It was a PC then, I'm a Mac girl now. I mean, I like PCs, but that's a whole other topic.
I saw that it had Windows Movie Maker and at that time I was really obsessed with silent films. I was into Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Clara Bow, of course Charlie Chaplin. I was really watching a lot of silent films and I just thought they were beautiful and really cool. I saw that I had this editing program and I was like, "Oh my gosh! I can make my own silent films like these silent film stars." My boyfriend at the time had a little camcorder and I made this little silent film. I needed a cord to hook it into the computer and then I can edit it. I ended up with the cord four days later. It took me forever to figure out what cord I needed. I should've went into Best Buy and asked, but I thought I could figure it out.
I started editing these little silent films. I had already known about YouTube. It was really small at the time. One hundred views was the most people would get. It was people blogging old commercials on there. There was nothing on YouTube. I had uploaded my little silent films just because I had really wanted to show my parents what I was making. When I started editing my little videos, I felt very fulfilled in the sense of acting-wise. I came to L.A. to act and this is what I'm doing by making these little videos. It made me feel really good so I wanted to share it with my parents.
I put it on YouTube and before I knew it, there were people leaving me comments like, "You're ugly and stupid and dumb!" And I was like, "Oh hellllll noooooooo they didn't!" I didn't realize what the Internet was yet, that it was just full of hate.
No matter who you are... You can be the most talented person in the world and you put anything on the Internet and all you're going to get is hateful responses. I didn't know that at the time. I don't think anyone knew that yet. I was like, "Oh hell no they didn't! These bitches do not know what they just asked for!" So then I created Little Loca thinking, "I'm going to hand YouTube its ass right now." I created Little Loca and thought I'd just do it and freak people out.
And then it just took off. Little Loca really took off on its own and for months people thought this was a real girl. I started uploading videos every day. I was writing the video before I shot it. I would write it all out and then I would shoot it and then I would edit it and then I thought of putting music behind it. It just kept growing. When I was getting responses and having people actually watch, it was feeding this. All of the sudden it was like a drug. I could not get enough. I don't care if there was one fan. If there's one person watching because they like it, I will create for that one person.
I love to create and entertain. I became almost addicted to it. I realized that I liked to write. I realized I liked editing and setting up the camera shots and seeing different angles and the lighting. I figured out I looked better in this type of lighting. It was really just discovering all these things and that's when I had the realization of "Wow! I don't just want to be an actor."
That's such a small piece of the pie. I want to be the whole freaking pie. Then I started losing my mind and getting super OCD on it and I wanted to be the best camera person, the best editor, the best everything. I got really obsessed with every part of it. When I met with this production company to create the show I made it very clear: "Look, I need full creative control because I've had full creative control for so long." I handpicked every person that worked on this show. I met one-on-one with every writer. Every single person that worked on this show was someone I vibed with and I thought it was really important to keep that creative vibe and creative control because the most important thing of the show would be to have my voice.
It all started from me being super weird and uploading weird videos online. I have really bad social anxiety as well. I prefer to stay in than to go out.
It's really weird. People don't ever think that about me. It also was a way for me to be social without being social. It was just easy for me to stay inside and to create these videos. In the end, it worked out.
|Stevie Ryan as Lady Gaga|
PHOTO CREDIT: Ron Jaffe VH1
You mentioned creative control. Has there ever been a time when you yourself said, "Hold up. I might be going too far with this skit?"
I have an awesome head writer whose name is Darren Belitsky. He worked on The Soup before he started working on our show. He very much has my voice and he knows me and the show very well. I tend to go to very dark places. I'm in comedy. You have to go to dark places to be in comedy; it's just a natural thing. I can get pretty dark with things and I can go pretty far with things. I usually do it when we're in the room having our table reads. I'll add things to go on this dark downward spiral. And he's always the one who pulls me back in. I think without Darren, I might go a little too far on certain things. He's there to say, "Whoa! Where the hell are you going? Turn it around and come back to normalcy. Not everyone's as crazy as you." And I'm like, "Oh yeah. That's right." So there are times, but that is thankfully why I think this show is going to be great because I have that partner that is there to reel me back in.
Who's been your favorite celebrity to parody?
I'd have to say Justin Bieber. I don't want to pick favorites because honestly, it's always a discovery whenever I play a different person. It's a discovery of myself and my strengths and how far I can go and what worlds I can take myself to. But if I had to pick just one, I'd have to say Justin Bieber because I can't even get someone to return a text or a phone call. Let me just tell you: I've been celibate for the past six months. I don't get asked on dates. No one ever wants to go out with me. Even working on the show, there were cute people around me and they're like, "Oh, but you're our boss." I'm so lame. I've been single for two years. I haven't even been asked on a date in I don't know how long.
But when I'm Justin Bieber, guys and girls go crazy for me! If I'm Justin Bieber, all of the sudden every girl is writing me or texting me or hitting on me somehow. Even the guys are like, "I don't know what it is, but you're really sexy as Bieber." When I first did Justin Bieber a few years ago, the guy I was dating and his friends were like, "Oh my gosh. This is going to sound weird, but I've never been so attracted to you before." I was like, "What?"
Have you heard from any of the celebrities you've made fun of?
I haven't heard from any of them but the Pretty Wild girls. They went crazy over the video I made of that show. I did have Tracy from Jerseylicious contact me and say, "Please make fun of our show and play me. I have people that come in all the time and they told me that I remind them of Stevie Ryan. I looked you up and I loved your stuff. Can you please parody our show?" I made an online video and we also have a Jerseylicious sketch where I play Tracy. I've had requests which is really, really cool.
What special plans do you have for Sunday night at 11:00 PM?
We are actually having our Wrap/Viewing Party that night so I'll be at our party but I'll also be online tweeting. We're going to watch the East Coast feed of it and I will be doing some live tweeting and interacting while the show is going on. I'm just thrilled and I'm terrified and whenever I think about it like right now I almost throw up and pass out.
They showed me the debut episode and I thought it was very funny. My favorite part was the "Sexy Mistake" video.
Will you be making more songs this year?
Yes! We have tons of songs. I'm so happy you like the Katy Perry one. First of all, I'd like to make it very clear that I cannot sing at all.
You did a really good job.
Thank you! That was the hardest part of the whole show, the biggest battle for me was getting in the recording studio and recording these songs because I sound like a cat getting ran over by a tractor. It's like so bad and it was really a humiliating experience for me but I got through it. If you liked the "Sexy Mistake" video, I'm so happy because our other music videos, I think, get even better and better.
Hopefully you'll like the other ones even more. But I'm very proud of the "Sexy Mistake" one and thank you, I'm very happy that you liked it.
I've got to know, what was it like being in the video for Billy Idol's "Scream?"
Oh my gosh! I can't believe you brought that up. That's so old school. It was one of the best experiences in my life. Billy Idol was the nicest guy ever. He was so nice, a complete gentleman. I've never met such a nice celebrity before. The director of that, Jeff Stein, was one of the best directors I've ever worked with. He was great. He actually directed one of my favorite movies growing up, which was called Mother Goose's Rock 'N' Rhyme. It has all of these different '80s musicians in it, like ZZ Top, Cyndi Lauper, all of these different '80s people, and they all play a Mother Goose rhyme. To work with him after growing up with that movie being one of my favorite movies, was one of the best experiences of my life and I had so much fun. I think about that day almost every day for some weird reason. It was super awesome and I loved that.
Cool. I wish you the best of luck with your show.
Thank you so much, Chris. And thank you so much for watching it and I'm happy you like it. I hope you watch all season and you like every single episode!
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