Leesa Dean: Adventures of a Web Series Newbie

Chapter 22: Something That Never Happens to Me
by Leesa Dean

beforeAnother incredibly busy week. Did a few interviews. It’s interesting that Season One ofChilltown is over, the Lele Show is on hiatus, I’m not planning on releasing new stuff till the Fall and people are still contacting me for interviews. Really speaks to what the web is like. Somebody who never heard of you can find your series and become a fan at any time.

Met KL Thomas from SketchBlock podcast. They have a really cool podcast and interview comedians, comedy writers and people doing improv. KL’s also a producer and involved in some very cool projects–like producing Jenn Dodd’s new show. We grabbed some ice cappuccino and sat in the garden of the church of St. John the Divine. She pulled out her tape recorder and mic and we just had a blast. It really was a lot of fun. You can check it out here.

Then did an long phone interview with Rodimus Prime. He’s the very cool guy who has a wildly successful podcast with his wife called The Black Guy Who Tips. I’m a fan of their podcast and they’re having me on the show as well. The interview I did is for their premium channel (you have to subscribe to listen.) We got pretty deep. He’s a great interviewer. It felt like I was talking to an old friend. Here’s the link. When I’m on The Black Guy Who Tips, I’ll also post.

Then this interview got talked about a lot in web series circles. In it, major YouTuber Hank Green takes YouTube to task for some of the changes it’s been doing. But one of things he said really hit home for me: that YouTube is NOT like television. The videos that typically go viral are not like tv shows (meaning web series.) Before I launched, I didn’t realize any of that, but I sure realized it almost immediately. Web series are just a different animal and anybody involved with them shouldn’t have the same expectations that someone doing a cat cuddle videos has. Even though I’m smack in the middle this, it’s good to hear/remember.

Of course there was The Verdict. Just felt emotionally wiped by it. I don’t think anybody could’ve summed it up better than one of my all-time favorite musicians (and, inspiration for Chilltown character Marv), Questlove.

And finally, more about Big Screen Little Screen. Had a cool experience I wanted to share. Something that normally NEVER happens to me.

After all the screenings were over, it was networking time. One of the presenters said they were looking for producers, I’ll call her Madame X. While I’m wildly busy withChilltown, I, um, do need to start making some actual money soon. On a regular basis. So I introduced myself to her. Her eyes glazed over when I said I did animation. She cut me off and said, look we don’t do anything like that. I started to explain that I had experience outside the realm of scripted comedy (and animation) but she literally turned away from me and started talking to someone else. Like I had cooties or something. I thought, “Whatever…” and moved on to someone else (who actually was really cool and interested in my show.)

When we were done chatting, I turned around and there was Madame X, involved in a deep conversation with some guy. I could tell she was trying to sell him on her channel and get him involved. Really pitching him. Hmmmm, I thought. YOU need producers? I started to walk away and the guy interrupted her mid-sentence, grabbed my arm and said, “Hey, do you have that animated show Chilltown?” I told him I did. He said he was a HUGE fan, had seen me at the Big Screen Little Chilltown screening and that he not only was inspired by my work but would love to do something together. Madame X, meanwhile, started turning a million shades of red, green, purple and, gasping, blurted out, “Oh, oh, I must check out your show.” He literally turned his back on her and we started chatting.

After the relaunch, we actually might start a brand new project.

Author: ChilltownTV

I'm primarily a writer. Sold a few series to tv networks and production companies but never had anything get on the air. So I taught myself how to animate and completed 3 digital series, launching two. The first, Chilltown has been named one of "Five Web Series That Should Be on Your Radar" by ABCNews/Univision and a "Show to Watch" by Tubefilter. The second, Lele's Ratchet Advice Show, garnered a fanatic cult following. As a result, I now do Lele's 60 Second Wrap Up, a weekly comedic entertainment report (which I write & perform) that airs on urban radio stations Rhythm 105.9fm and the Just Wake Up Morning Show on WWRNfm.

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