by Cortney Cleveland
Some people spend their whole lives waiting for their big break. But, some driven people – like Issa Rae and Aisha Tyler – have the initiative to create their own opportunities. For those individuals, digital technology can be a godsend that allows them to take their careers into their own hands.
Aisha Tyler is receiving accolades for her podcast “Girl on Guy”. The series was designated a Best New Comedy in the iTunes Rewind 2011 year-end roundup. Tyler, an established standup comedian, is currently known as the voice of the character Lana on FX’s animated hit “Archer” and co-host of CBS’ daytime show “The Talk.” Her podcast allows her to step outside of comedy to showcase her interview skills through poignant conversations with guests ranging from well-known actors and comedians to indie rock musicians, world-class athletes and wounded warriors.
The podcast may have started out as a hobby, but it has become a stepping-stone for her career, introducing her to new audiences and invigorating her brand. “I set out to make a little podcast about things and people I’m passionate about,” said Tyler. “It’s grown into much more, and I’m thrilled my enthusiasm for unvarnished conversation with compelling people is shared by my audience.”
Issa Rae; star, writer and producer of the hit web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl”; used digital to launch her career. The comedy debuted to 60,000 viewers on YouTube after its launch in January of last year.
When Rae found herself jobless and tapped out financially at the end the series’ sixth episode, she again turned to a digital solution. Rae and Tracy Oliver, a producer and writer on the show, launched a campaign with Kickstarter, an online funding platform, to crowd source financing for the show. They were able to generate over $50,000, nearly doubling their original goal, to complete their first season and produce a season finale, set to air this Thursday.
Rae’s success brought Hollywood to her. She recently signed with United Talent Agency and 3 Arts Entertainment, the same representation behind Tina Fey. But, Rae is not anxious to turn her product over to a big network.