Cross-Platform Comedy Explores YouTube, Fame and Infamy
Los Angeles, CA (July 15, 2019) – Viral comedy web series Tinsel’s Town returns with new episodes that will mark its final season. The show, about a struggling LA actress who makes a bid for fame and attention via her own YouTube vlog, marks the first foray into the world of web series for pioneering Broadway, film and TV director Michael Lindsay-Hogg. The BAFTA-winning director is considered the “Father of the Music Video” for having directed the first videos for The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Since its inception, Tinsel’s Town has had a novel approach to cross-platform storytelling. When the show premiered on YouTube, its titular character, Tinsel Townsend, (played by Disney alum Aimee- Lynn Chadwick) had already made her own debut on SoundCloud, a first step in an innovative transmedia storyline that would go on to include live appearances of the character at real LA events such as The Razzies (as the ceremony’s marginalized Envelope Girl, who parlays a non-speaking role into a star turn at Hollywood’s Montalban Theater) and Vidcon (where, in cosplay as Penelope Pitstop, she sang the national anthem during an official VidCon pre-party at a popular speedway).
“We pulled Tinsel through the looking glass into the real world”, says show creator David C. Barry. But the show’s unique cross-platform roots go even deeper: Tinsel’s Town was written as the online spin-off of a backdoor TV pilot called The Lullaby League, also penned by Barry and also set for direction by Lindsay-Hogg with Chadwick ready to reprise her role as Tinsel Townsend – who, in the TV pilot, is now an infamous reality TV star sentenced to perform community service in a “home” for veteran Hollywood actresses. Tinsel’s Town rewinds the clock in an effort to find out who Tinsel was before becoming famous. “I liked the idea of creating a spin-off and was taken by David’s scripts for Tinsel. They were alert and funny, then suddenly very dramatic, with a surprising heroine”, says Lindsay-Hogg.
Before Tinsel made her debuts on SoundCloud and YouTube to worldwide audiences, she made a debut on stage to a local LA audience: Barry produced a stage reading of the The Lullaby League starring Lee Meriwether and directed by Lindsay-Hogg at The Lee Strasberg Theater. After encountering ageist and sexist attitudes about the story and its characters, Barry – with support from Women In Film – countered by producing the sold-out Ageism in Hollywood panel at West Hollywood’s London Hotel. The evening was moderated by actress Sharon Lawrence and panelists included Kathy Griffin, Lynn Whitfield, Lesley Ann Warren, Jobeth Williams, and Lindsay-Hogg, who spoke about the “The Lullaby League” and the sexist, ageist reactions he and Barry were met with.
Since its premiere, Tinsel’s Town has garnered an impressive 2.3 million views for its first season alone on YouTube and has won multiple awards including the People’s Choice Award at the Rio Web Fest, receiving half of all votes cast. The show has also been nominated at Hollyweb, Miami Web Fest, and Seoul Web Fest, where it earned two nominations, one for the show and another for series lead Aimee-Lynn Chadwick.
With the success of “Tinsel’s Town” building, Barry hopes to use a page from Tinsel’s own playbook by conquering Hollywood the new-fashioned way: one subscriber at a time.