Justin Tan, Instagram, Abbott discussed on Awards Chatter

Awards Chatter


It's still my manager now. He was like, you know, a way that you can still show up and he's like, it's stand up, and I really think you'd be good at it. And I was like, okay, so I started doing stand up. And that introduced me to that community kind of, you know, my community was growing, and then through stand up, I met just in ten who was one of my writers now on Abbott, but at the time, Justin tan was working at BuzzFeed, and I needed a job. I had gone viral and stuff, but I didn't have any money. Well, because in those in whatever that would have, I guess, 2014, I think is about 2013, yeah. Yeah, it wasn't really possible to monetize directly from Instagram, right? It wasn't. It was not what it is today. There was no, you know, you weren't even and I still to this day do not know if this is true. Someone told me this at an event at VidCon that said my video series was the first series to go viral on Instagram. So this was before that was even a thing, like serializing videos or whatever. So there was no money to be made. I like sold t-shirts with the catch phrases on them, but honestly, I didn't love doing that. It was just not, well, just to remind people, because of the way it worked on Instagram, these had to be 15 seconds or shorter. So for you, I guess it was just like a creative outlet that you initially put up on Instagram because you had had a response from or it actually came out of Friends. One Friends, yeah. It was just a girl with a regular Instagram and killed just showing my Friends a video, you know? And frustrated with what, like the LA dating scene versus Philly? Yes. And I'm not going to I'm not going to ask you to say the catch phrase unless you're willing to, but I do know that it is still so closely almost a decade later. Would you ever believe that this would still be trailing you? No, but I'm learning a lot about myself. He's passed. A few months. I am drastically intentional, even when I don't think I'm being, you know, I think my vision kind of guides me and I'm just always working in accordance with it. So nothing surprises me anymore about what you know. So yeah. Well, so as you say, the series of Instagram videos, which really did go viral before that was common for anything. That's on one level giving you probably good feedback. This is something I really can do well, but on the other hand, I still have to eat. So I needed a job. And so Justin told me about BuzzFeed. He was working there and he wanted me to be in a video for them. Something silly about potato chips from around the world. And I went to go be in the video, but I looked around the place and I was like, I need to work here. I need to work. Once again, talking about vision, because BuzzFeed wasn't at all became well. I was there. But I was like, I can see the path of where this can go. But at the time, it truly was just like taste test videos. There was nothing more to it than that. But I saw a little bit more. And I was like, yeah, I need to work here. And Justin's like, are you serious? You're so good as dead, you know, whatever, but you're done. I was like, I need money and I need a giant house. I love the stability of a job. Like, I don't love capitalism or anything, but I love a day to today. I love working with people. I love it just always has brought me a clarity, you know? To do something every day with people, and I was missing that too at the time because, you know, I wasn't working. I was making stuff, but, you know, anyway, so yeah, that's when I started working at BuzzFeed and then opened up a whole new door of well, and it's interesting because basically what you were being asked to do at BuzzFeed was to make comedy that would appeal across a wide cross section of demographics, which is basically the mandate for a network sitcom. Yeah. Absolutely. And that's when you realize, because again, some people seem to find that not what they gravitate toward, not what they like because they're saying, I don't want to have to please everybody, or there was something about that while you're making videos at BuzzFeed that you found you actually did respond to. Yeah. I have, I loved it. I loved making videos for the masses. I always was like, I want to be able to reach every demographic. And while I was at BuzzFeed, it was almost like my own little personal fight for representation in the way. I was like, I want for people to be able to watch a video with the black girl in it. And feel and feel that it is relatable. And that was part of my challenge of like, I wanted to make something consumable for everybody. And once again, I'm not sure I knew how much I loved sitcoms in how much that influenced that one. I knew how much I loved sitcoms. I'm not sure how much I knew it was influencing influencing me, but that was my favorite thing was to try to make the world very small. You know, I had a series. There are called broke, which was about three black best friends who just were broken Los Angeles. And I was like, I don't care that this is about three black kids. I want someone to be watching this in Japan and loving it, you know? That was always kind of my goal. And it did, in that case, I think sultan YouTube read, right? It did get a bigger audience. And I wonder though how much were you aware at that time, I think you've talked about it since, but there were supposedly YouTube studies and things saying that and I don't know whether to be, I guess you don't get angry at the study. You get angry at the people who they were studying, but there was some bullshit that people did not click as often on. Absolutely. Tell me, tell me what you can describe it better than I can. What was the study? Well, I mean, that was something we knew working at BuzzFeed. If there was going to be a black person or another person of color in the thumbnail, the viewer was user of YouTube or whatever was less inclined

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