Leesa Dean: Sometimes Entering the Fast Lane Means Slowing Down

leles week in review

Adventures in Digital Series Land #116
by Leesa Dean

Things are getting intense. In a good way! My radio segment *just* went live on AM radio to a pretty big audience! The show, Lele’s Week in Review, is a 90 second parody of entertainment news done by my character Lele. I write, produce and voice it. It’s A LOT of fun.  And a lot to do. I bang out/record a new episode every single week.

Two radio stations have it: Rhythm 105.9 in Yuma, CA and now WWRN 1620 AM Urban Classics (as part of the Just Wake Up Morning Show every Friday at noon EST) which is in Lehigh, PA.  They’re both syndicated out to smaller stations. Total listeners so far: about 250,000. Not too shabby.

WWRN started as a digital channel, I met them when they interviewed me aboutChilltown, I had just started the segment with Rhythm 105.9  and they were interested. WWRN kept growing and growing and now, it’s finally made them jump to AM. Cool factoid:  WWRN is co-owned by former 1990’s phenom Damion “Crazy Legs” Hall from the R&B group Guy. I feel it’s a real opportunity for me to increase brand awareness. read article

Leesa Dean: The Squiggle that is Failure

Adventures in Digital Series Land #114
by Leesa Dean

jazzatthenewzealandschoolofmusicConfession #1: Sometimes (ok, a lot of the time) I wake up in the morning and feel like a failure. Why? Duh. Cause my career isn’t where I feel it should be. And, partly, cause I had a Quick! Easy! Fast! kinda-sorta success when I started out. And since then? Well, let’s just say I’m trying to catch up.  This is not about depression, btw. I’m not depressed. In fact, I’m a happy person and actually pretty optimistic about how things will turn out .

The Background: I made a big rookie mistake when I started:  I actually believed my agent/manager would get me work. So I didn’t spend every waking hour networking and writing writing writing. Yeah, I had more ideas. Yeah, I worked on some. And wrote a few spec scripts.  But since right out the box, I sold a spec script to a network (with virtually no experience under my belt), I thought it would just magically keep happening like that.

Spoiler alert: It didn’t. read article

Leesa Dean Gives Thumbs Down to ‘Thumbs Down’


Adventures in Digital Series Land – #112
by Leesa Dean

Been so so busy I haven’t had time to do anything, which is why this post is late. Aside from everything else going on (animating/production work on new series, promos and writing a pilot), I just signed a deal with fledgling streaming VOD company Kweli TV.  They fell in love with Chilltown and now it will be on their platform in HD!! So I’ve been redoing all the episodes in preparation for the launch. A ton of work.

But something really big is brewing in the digital media world and I felt I had to address it.  That’s right, Facebook is planning on adding a dislike button (thumbs down) and people are going berserk.  And for a good reason. Given all the trolls, schadenfreude-mongers, ill-wishers and general sh*theads that populate an average timeline, people are bracing themselves for their videos to get tons of thumbs down. To make things worse, Facebook says it’s planning on DELETING any video that has more than 10 dislikes.  Talk about pressure.

When I first read about this I had, what can only be described as, a social-media take on the classic comedian’s nightmare: I dreamed I posted my latest radio show segment and all the hosts from one of the radio stations that carries the segment gave it a thumbs down.  Not only by clicking the button, but also by posting a huge image of the FB thumbs down.  To be fair, that joke did kind of suck. read article

Leesa Dean’s Tale of Promotional Woe

promotionAdventures in Digital Series Land #111
by Leesa Dean

First, I’m finally over the hump. Meaning, about to start production on the last part of this new series. Something that should take about 6 – 8 weeks. Yes, I’m psyched! Also, a little scared. Not only about putting myself on the line again, but just the sheer volume of work ahead just promoting it is intimidating. I’m prepping so much stuff with so many plans I can barely see straight. But, it’s necessary. And I’m taking my cues from the big guys (even though I’m doing this on a minuscule level).

So what are the big guys doing?  Continuing to blur the lines between cable, tv and digital. If you’ve been on another planet (or, ahem, haven’t happened to read this blog where I rant and rave about it), things are now in full effect with execs and creatives from digital moving into cable and tv positions and visa versa.  And what that means for shows and series is: more and more content is being produced online to help promote shows. I thought it was really telling that The Daily Show with Trevor Noah hired Baratunde Thurston as a Supervising Producer for Digital.

Thurston has been at the forefront of all things digital content (he was the Director of Digital at The Onion) for many years plus, he did this which forever earned him my respect. It’s a big step for a show that’s that high profile, especially since all eyes will be watching Noah to see if he fills Jon Stewart’s shoes, to hire somebody with those specific internet credentials–someone who easily straddles both worlds but really and truly understands promoting on the internet–to set things up on twitter, instagram and snapshot. read article

Leesa Dean on Shooting Yourself in the Foot

bullet-in-footAdventures in Digital Series Land – Chapter 110
by Leesa Dean

Been working like a psycho, trying to bang out these mini-episodes and it’s been tough.  Wanna have 35 in the can before I return to final animation production on the new series—hopefully within 2 1/2 weeks. It’s a lot.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all of this, I spoke with a friend whose script recently made it into the first round of a prestigious competition.  She wrote about it on Facebook and when I congratulated her, she minimized the achievement. That mini act of self-deprecation stopped me in my tracks and I thought I’d write about it. Mostly cause it’s something I used to do all the time. Until recently.

Why? Three reasons: read article