A Word About Fashion From The Girl Who Wears Flip Flops

Meme_S2E4_1Admittedly, what I know about fashion is not much. In fact, up until about 2 years ago, I sort of saw it as a nuisance. I was the girl who secretly envied Einstein for his choice to not deal with it by purchasing 5 of the exact same suits and essentially wearing the same thing every day. I was “busy” and if I’m really really honest, didn’t see the point in spending so much time on a pursuit I saw as shallow and meaningless.

But yet here we are, 2 years later, and I am about to leave for New York to attend the Women & Fashion FilmFest and She Webfest where, not one, but, two of the projects I’m involved with (Feathers and Toast & Velvet Karma) are being honored. And yes, you heard me correctly, its the Women & Fashion FilmFest. LOL.

How did that happen? Why did they let me, the imposter, in? Well, it all started with the influence of two very lovely ladies.

First there was our own Mhairi Morrison, who, through Tallulah, showed me repeatedly by example that fashion has the power to lift the spirits of not only yourself, but those around you. I have been a first hand witness to the countless joy that has been shared with perfect strangers simply because Mhairi is willing to take the time to pick out and then wear so many beautiful and bold hats.

And then second, I had the opportunity this past year to work closely with my dear friend, jewelry designer Tarina Tarantino. After witnessing the love and creativity Tarina puts into every piece she creates, my view on fashion changed forever.

Not only does Tarina care deeply about what she creates, she also cares about where she gets her materials (she opts to purchase top quality materials from local vendors), cares about her employees (who work directly with her at the Sparkle Factory), and most especially she cares about her customers, whom she genuinely wants to help feel beautiful by offering them a myriad of unique, and eye catching ways to express themselves.

Through Mhairi and Tarina I have learned that fashion can be fun, creative, conscious, giving and inspiring. I now understand that designers and fashion enthusiasts are fellow creatives like me, who are constantly looking for unique ways to express themselves and make the world a more inspiring place. And I have learned that my purchases are far more powerful than I had ever imagined, that where I put my money is essentially placing my vote towards which designers, corporations and practices I want to support. Shallow and meaningless? Not by a long shot.

Don’t get me wrong, I still walk into stores and panic, feeling a bit clueless about where to even begin. So many years of neglect do not get remedied over night. But I would classify myself now, as a student, eager and willing to learn about this thing called Fashion. I might even let go of a few of my flip flops. (But don’t tell Tallulah 🙂 )

Which leads me to…

Industry Tip #28

Always be open to learning new things. Inspiration can come from the places you’d least suspect.

In the next blog I will share more about some of our itinerary for our trip to NYC (Nov 12th – 14th) including which panels and screenings we will be attending at the Women & Fashion Film Fest, in case of any of you want to join us. We would love to see you there.

And without further ado, for your viewing pleasure, here’s a #TBT Tallulah Talks Back episode where Tallulah warns our viewers that she doesn’t want any of them wearing crocs while watching our show.

Stop What You’re Doing and Eat a Sandwich

Meme_S1E6_9Alright so I was going to write to you today about how excited Mhairi and I are for our upcoming trip to the Big Apple, but as it turns out that is going to have to wait because it’s National Sandwich Day people!!!

This day is our opportunity to show our support and wrap a proverbial hug around all our sandwich loving friends and those who make the sandwiches for them. These are the people who will help us in our mission to “Save The World One Sandwich at a Time” and we simply can not just gloss by that.

Not after all the effort Tallulah has put in to helping people prepare themselves a proper sandwich and look good while doing it. I mean, look at all the sandwiches she has shared with us. There was the good ole PB & J with neon, the travel Pita with a pencil skirt, the left handed banana sandwich with a side of gloating, the Ham Sandwich thwarted by a Can Can dancer, and who could forget the classic Tomato Soup Sandwich in the style of melodrama (she researched that).

No darling, Tallulah would want us to stop whatever we were doing, pop open the champagne and take the proper time to offer up a toast to all the well dressed, peace spreading, sandwich lovers everywhere! And so that is what we are doing. To all you glorious sandwich makers and eaters across the country, we salute you! Happy #NationalSandwichDay

Which leads me to…

Industry Tip #27

In the social media game, if you can find an organic way to jump in on what is trending, then do it. Trends come and go quick, and if you don’t make a few quick adjustments once in awhile, you’re gonna miss out.

So now we have to ask: what sandwich will you be eating today? And what outfit will you be wearing while eating it?

And without further ado, in honor of #NationalSandwichDay we leave you with the Classic Tomato Soup Sandwich in the style of Melodrama.

How to Meme Your Way To Success: Halloween Edition

Meme_3_SquareI honestly can not stress enough the importance of having a great Photographer on your team.

As independent content creators fighting your way to be seen amidst an overcrowded marketplace of amazing talent, sometimes an image is the only shot you’ve got at getting your potential audiences attention, so that image better be good. And if its share worthy, you’re in business.

Luckily for us we have the amazing Katie Nolan on our team. As often is the case with us, Katie walked right into our lives at the exact moment we needed her. Fresh from Australia she became the photographer behind images I truly believe will become iconic collector’s items someday. I realize I may be biased, but these images genuinely blow me away and I feel fortunate every time I get to post them.

While I am gushing on Katie, I just have to say, not only is she an amazing photographer, but she also understands the unique needs of independent web content creators, and has an eye for both set and graphic design. She was instrumental in helping us create all the collateral we have needed over time from Memes, to Movie posters, to social media headers and even greeting cards. I guess what I’m saying is, if you have a budget and need a stills photographer who gets it, hire Katie. Her work is the gift that keeps on giving.

We started working with Katie right around this time 2 years ago when Mhairi and I had decided that Tallulah really should do a series sharing her Top 10 Tidbits of advice for getting through the Holiday Season. I mean, who can get through the holidays without the help of Tallulah, right? 😉

Anyway, Katie was amazing. She came in and helped us transform the infamous kitchen multiple times over to reflect all the holidays of the season and then tirelessly weeded through the bounty of images we got, and turned them into the Memes and greeting cards we will be sharing with you again over the next couple months. (as well as all the photos we have ever shared with you.)

And this leads me to…

Industry Tip #25

Often times you only have a literal second to grab a potential audience members attention, therefore share worthy Memes are a necessity for independent content creators, and to pull them off properly you are going to need an excellent photographer.

And now, in honor of Halloween, I give you a one minute tip from Tallulah on how to carve a pumpkin. Happy Halloween everybody. We love you!!

Our Fans Are The Coolest People on The Planet

Meme_Feb_2The industry is always banging around with that term “what’s your demographic?” They want to know an age range, but our fans can’t be constricted by an age range. What unites our fans is not a particular decade (we have serious fans ranging in age from 12 to 91), or even a particular ethnicity/sex/etc, our fans are united by a shared zest for life, a certain jeux de vie.

Our fans tend to be smart, funny, generous people who look at life and say, “why not add a little bit of play?” People who find it perfectly normal to dance while you’re cooking, to share witty banter with perfect strangers, to actually wear that crazy hat they’ve had sitting in their closet just because its fun. In a black and white world, they are going to add some color, because they know life isn’t meant to be just lived, it’s meant to be enjoyed! Our fans are people who never ever take themselves too seriously, but take fun very seriously.

Which brings me to…

Industry Tip #23

Your fans are your greatest resource. Treat them like the precious gems that they are.

So as we come to the end of this phase of our journey (don’t worry, we are starting a new one) we want to take some time to thank our beautiful, lovely fans. You people are amazing!!! We are continuously blown away by your generosity, support and willingness to play.

Throughout this journey, there has been very little time for us to get down, because every time we might have, you always lifted us right back up.

You have played with us on Twitter. Shared our content with your friends and family. Taken your time to give us heartfelt feedback. Sent us presents! (Diamond encrusted potato mashers, gorgeous hats). You have flown half way around the world to see us. And even offered up your homes to us when we travel. What could be better than that?

Which is why, as we move forward on this journey, Mhairi and I have decided its gonna be all about you. Yes, I will continue to share industry tips, inspirations and breaking news in regards to our journey to a TV deal, but starting now, we will also be sharing all the wonderful things that you are up to, so don’t be surprised if you click on this blog one day only to discover that the whole post is dedicated to you. Thank you for being wonderful you!

And now, without further ado, the final episode of Season 2. The one where Tallulah falls in love with her twitter fans.

How to Be a Left Handed Person in a Right Handed World

Meme_S1E6_3Art really does just imitate life sometimes.

For the first time since I started writing this blog, I have no idea what to say.

I’ve been over here hemming and hawing, waiting until the last second, avoiding the task completely, and its not because I don’t have anything to express, to the contrary, I feel like a shaken up bottled soda with the cap still on, ready to explode, I just have no way to get it out.

In that magical way that art and life intersect sometimes, I feel like I am experiencing the doubt and subsequent insights Holster would be experiencing at this particular moment in our story.

Here Holster is, constantly pushing Tallulah in the direction of what she feels will be the answer to getting her more ratings, trying to be infinitely more clever in her marketing ploys, trying harder and harder to give the audience what she perceives they want, but what if she’s wrong? What if its true what Tallulah says, that all she really needs to do is be her authentic self and that that will eventually lead to the success they both desire? What if trust, patience and the courage to be one’s unique self is all that is required?

Being an artist can sometimes feel like being a left handed person in a right handed world. You know you don’t fit in but there’s still the pull to try, especially in situations where you are surrounded by the right handed people. You try to fit yourself into their box, do as you think they would want you to do, be as you think they would want you to be, as if that is the road to any kind of success. But what if you being your left handed self is really all those right handed people really want?

Anyway, these are the thoughts rolling around in my mind this morning as I contemplate spending the day in, what is for me, the right handed world. I intend to do something different today. I intend to draw from the continuous inspiration that is Tallulah Grace, a woman who doesn’t fit in this world at all and clearly isn’t bothered by it. Wish me luck.

Which leads me to…

Industry Tip #21

Have the courage to be your authentic self. It’s the most original idea you’ve got.

And without further ado, enjoy Episode 6 of Season 2


The Funniest Cat Video In The History of Ever

BusterCan I just tell you how disheartening it is to spend the whole of your adult life honing your skills, perfecting your craft, then spending countless hours creating, writing and producing content for Youtube to the best of your entertaining abilities, only to be shown up by a cat? Lots of cats. Kittens even?

I mean, come on!!! Take that one little Black kitten with the white paws, how long has he even been alive? 8 weeks? And all he had to do was throw his cute little paws up in the air each time his owner quit tickling him and you people swoon. At least make him work for it a little bit. He didn’t even have to get up out of bed and boom! You’re giving him million of views.

He doesn’t appreciate it. He just goes on his merry little way never even acknowledging his millions of Facebook fans. He is completely unconcerned with the coveted gift of going viral you have bestowed upon him. I’d become his manager and embezzle all his ad dollars to get back at him but he wouldn’t care about that either.

Yes its a sad reality we content creators will have to face: the fact that in the ratings game of life we are simply no match for the, always entertaining, but eternally ungrateful, house cat.

Which is why in our game of one up-man-ship in Season 2, the one where Holster keeps torturing Tallulah with more and more co-hosts who she claims she has hired because they are trending, she can’t help but bring in the sure fire ratings maker, the almighty cat. Tallulah had asked for just one episode that she could do in the style that she wished the show to be, but Holster just couldn’t do it. She had to “cheapen it all with a cat”

Which brings me to…

Industry Tip #20
If you can’t beat em, join em.

And now, without further ado I bring you Episode 5 of Season 2. I’m not sure what I love most about this episode, the fact that Mhairi actually did do research about the tomato soup sandwich, the fact that both my daughter and my cat attempt to steal the show, the fact that yet again Mhairi challenged me to create/edit something I never would have created on my own but sincerely love (meaning that whole b & w segment,) or the barrage of epic insults Tallulah hurls at Holster, all I know is we packed a lot into this 5 minutes of fun and it ended up doing quite well for us on the Festival circuit.

Who Wants To See a Half Naked Girl In the Kitchen?

Shot05-014AThis episode still makes me laugh the most out of all of them (thus far) and its largely because of Tallulah’s extreme reaction to it. I have never seen her get so flustered. (And yes, I am talking about Tallulah here, not Mhairi)

The funny thing about the creative process is that, just like you, the audience, we, as creators, are also still getting to know our own characters every step of the way. Sometimes you really don’t know how a character is going to behave in a certain situation, until you put them in it.

You develop the character well, give them a problem, and then do your best to get out of the way, so that your character can tell you exactly how they feel about this particular situation, and that is exactly what happened in this episode, to hilarious effect.

Mhairi and I knew that bringing Gigi (the Can Can girl, brilliantly played by our dear friend Charlotte, who actually is an authentic French Can Can girl) into the situation would likely bring out Tallulah’s jealous streak, but I don’t think either of us really expected this strong of a reaction.

From the moment I called action and Gigi entered from stage right Tallulah had an almost visceral reaction to her being there, she actually turned red at one point, often clutching her pearls as if they were safety rails on a train, as if her very life depended on getting this woman off her “stage”. She was not having it and it was hilarious.

Tallulah really just took over, but it was perfect, because I believe, in that moment, Tallulah perfectly embodied that primal fear so many of us women share. The fear of “what if all the things I do to better myself, to be smart, talented, kind, giving and wise, what if none of that really matters? What if the only real value we have in this world is how good we look naked? And p.s. there’s already a million younger girls out there who look better naked.”

It’s easy for women to get locked into that fear, because, if we are looking for it, we can easily find societal evidence of it everywhere (case in point, this and our twerking episode still have the largest views to this day, so we could read all sorts of things into that) and next thing you know we are obsessed with getting older, worrying about skin creams, tummy tucks and gray hairs, as if taking care of these things will somehow increase our value.

But honestly, I’ve always believed we can find evidence of whatever we are looking for, everywhere, and therefore, in times of fear, its best to back up and remind ourselves that we are the ones that get to decide what makes us valuable. We get to decide what determines our worth. We get to rest in the knowing that we are the sum of ALL our magnificent parts.

And when we take the time to honor, appreciate and really know in our hearts what’s valuable about ourselves, then we can come to a place where Holster’s response to Tallulah’s question “who wants to see this?” “Everyone” is absolutely true. Because like an exquisite piece of art, who doesn’t like to look at a half naked pretty girl once in a while? They make us smile.

Which brings me to….

Industry Tip #19

When navigating such tricky intersections as art and commerce, allow yourself to dance on the edge of what’s comfortable a little bit. That’s what art is for: to challenge us, to help us find that line. There is no growth in playing it safe.

So without further ado here is Episode 4 of Season 2 where we find Tallulah hanging on to her baguette for dear life, while simultaneously helping us laugh through all our fears.


The Thing is: Mimes Are Trending

Publicity 2Episode 3 made Mhairi and I both laugh out loud even at the first thought of it. (Yes that’s what we were cracking up about during our writing session in Malibu, in case you were wondering Jamie Foxx. 🙂 )

Whether people realize it or not, we are fully aware of the ridiculousness of Tallulah constantly banging on about the fact that she is a “classically trained mime” even though she literally never stops talking.

Tallulah is quite possibly the chattiest Mime that ever existed. In fact, if there was a society for Mimes, I am pretty sure Tallulah would have been kicked out by now for talking too much. But she would never admit it. No darling, she would say she left because they were droll, banal and terrible conversationalists.

So as we were coming up with all these ways to keep messing with Tallulah over the course of Season 2, we knew we had to throw a mime into the mix.

We found the perfect one in Mhairi’s dear friend Jabez Zuniga. I had never worked with him before but had a feeling that he was going to be great and he did not disappoint. The dichotomy of him back there, finding all these great moments, and Mhairi, straight faced, not having a clue what he was up to was, for me, hilarious.

When she finally did discover him and then accuses me of not even finding a real Mime. “He’s probably from Burbank or something” I almost had to break character and laugh. I don’t know where she comes up with this stuff, but she genuinely cracks me up, despite the fact that she’s my friend. Which brings me to…

Industry Tip #17

If you are making comedy, you better make yourself laugh. If you’re not even making yourself laugh, then you should keep honing it and developing it until you do.

And now for the ultimate test, does it make you, the audience, laugh? That’s what really counts. Without further ado, here is Episode 3 of Season 2 “There’s a Mime in the Kitchen!!!”

The Day Tallulah Was Forced to Share Her Kitchen with Circus Types

Meme_S2E7_2I’ll never forget the day we shot Season 2. Tallulah may not have appreciated having to share her kitchen with “circus types,” but Mhairi was thrilled. In fact, she was so excited that she greeted each and every new cast & crew member that arrived with giant hugs and little gift bags filled with candy, and of course, feathers.

It felt like a party.

I was thrilled too but if I’m honest, was still quite a bit nervous with anticipation about whether we were going to be able to pull this off or not. Our plan was to shoot the entire 8 episodes in one day, and given the unscripted nature of our show, this was no small feat. It was going to take a tremendous amount of focus, energy and determination.

I love Improv for the same reasons that I hate it: it’s scary, unpredictable and you never know what you’re gonna get, but when you hit it right, its like capturing magic in a bottle, and I was determined to capture that magic.

Mhairi and I had plotted and planned deeply for this day, we knew exactly the beats we needed to hit for each episode and I had no doubt that on her own, Mhairi would hit them all, as I had seen her do it a thousand times, but today we would be intentionally throwing ourselves a curve ball. We were throwing new characters into the mix, via new Improv actors, each with their own motivations and beats to hit and there was no way to know for sure how this dynamic would play out.

I was most nervous about introducing the Marge character, the woman Tallulah had saved from the brink in Season 1 and the sole reason for Tallulah’s messiah complex. She was an important character to be sure, but mainly I was nervous because I didn’t have a vision for her. Marge had been Mhairi’s idea, a character she described to me as a lump, depressed, and not doing much of anything, and although I trusted Mhairi completely, I had trouble seeing how that was going to be funny. (Silly me)

In an attempt to mitigate my fears, I had asked my friend and fellow Second City grad, Tami Hillberry if she would be Marge, as I figured if anyone could pull it off, it would be her.

And here we were, everyone in their places, lights ready, camera speeding, nervous excitement in the air, seconds away from filming the very first episode of Season 2, I call action, and in she walks, Marge, living and breathing. The dynamic between her and “Tallulah” was immediately perfect, Tami’s layered choices as “Marge” so obviously brilliant. I was riveted, as she was adding things I didn’t even know could be there, the perfect foil to Tallulah, making Mhairi’s already funny choices even funnier.

By the time I yelled cut I was already breathing a huge sigh of relief, followed quickly by deep and sincere gratitude. I knew I had just been blessed with the opportunity to capture magic in a bottle, the birth of yet another legendary character, which leads me to…

Industry Tip #15

Hire Tami Hillberry. I’m kidding. I know she’s not right for every role (or is she?) But seriously, your tip for the day is “cast well, and then let your actors do what they do. If you let them, they will bring you more to your characters than you even realized was there.”

And without further ado here is Episode 1 Season 2 of Feathers and Toast. We did about 3 takes of this scene but ended up using that very first one. It was perfect right from the start. (And honestly and truly Tami, I can never thank you enough for being our Marge)

Season 2 Was Born in Malibu with Jamie Foxx By Our Side

Shot07-200ALiterally. Mhairi and I came up with the entire outline for Season 2 of Feathers and Toast while hanging out in what has become our favorite place in the world for getting away and creating, Malibu. And just a few feet to the left of us, the entire time, was Jamie Foxx.

Yes, okay, he wasn’t actually aware he was participating with us, for all he knows he was just there hanging out with his family, silly him, but for two girls who had made it their mission that day to not come home until they had created comedic gold, the realization that there was an Academy Award winner sitting within ear shot of us really got the ole creative juices pumping. So thanks Jamie Foxx for being our silent partner, and no, you can not have any royalties. 🙂

Creating Season 2 was way easier than creating Season 1 because we now had a years worth of character development, and experience collaborating, on our side.

Thanks to our fans, we knew that their favorite part of our show was the Behind The Scenes bits, and thanks to our industry peeps we knew that collaboration with the right talent was one of the golden tickets to trending in the digital space, so we put that knowledge in our creative stew and started stirring.

Then we added a heaping helping of story plot lines that we knew we wanted to push forward, and a dash of our own personal angst as artists and voila! We had an 8 episode arc that centered around the age old battle between art and commerce with lots of special guest opportunities (which I believe the trailer below illustrates pretty well so I won’t overstate it here). And of course this leads me to….

Industry Tip #14
When scheduling important writing sessions, try to make sure your favorite Academy Award winners can be seated right next to you. I’m kidding. The real tip is to allow yourself to go off-road a bit, meaning if a place like Malibu inspires you, go there. That’s the beauty of being a writer, you can go places, explore things, even in the middle of a Tuesday when everyone else is at work. Allow your mind to soar, to flounder for awhile inside of the question, let it get uncomfortable even, refuse to settle on an idea just to settle, and then just before the brain starts to hurt too much and your faith in yourself as a writer is lost, boom, out pops your golden ticket.

And now without further ado, the trailer for Season 2. (Which btw we did not edit until we had edited all the episodes of the season first. See. We took our own advice) Have you watched Season 2 yet? If not I hope you will consider watching it along with us over the coming weeks.