Photo Credit (below): Jesse Ashton Stevie
Ryan is about to have her dreams come true when her
very own pop-culture-meets-sketch-comedy show, Stevie
TV, premieres Sunday, March 4 at 11/10c on VH1.
With her fresh and funny take on the latest, greatest and,
well, those pesky hate-to-love and love-to-hate pop-culture
events, celebrities and TV shows, as creator, executive
producer, co-writer, star and host, Stevie is poised to
become the next big thing all on her own. But while she
may be causing the latest buzz on VH1, she's just
a normal girl who adores pop culture, dislikes the Kardashians
and gets a little distracted at the mention of Ryan Gosling
("What was the first thing you asked me? I'm sorry,
you said Ryan Gosling and my mind kind of just went crazy...").
So, what's not to love?
PCM's Allison had the chance to speak with Stevie to get
the inside scoop on the show and the soon-to-be breakout
star herself. As soon as the call began, it was clear that
Stevie was bursting at the seams with excitement. "Oh
my gosh, I'm so stoked!" she began. "It's weird
because after we were shooting for so long I felt really
depleted - of, like, all emotions. I wasn't excited, I wasn't
sad, I wasn't happy. We shot for months; I mean I was working
6 days a week, like 17 hour days, so it was really intense
and exhausting. And once we had stopped shooting our sketches,
I was so drained. My battery was on empty."
"And just this week, with the promos airing and everything
happening, I just started feeling super excited. And all
of the sudden, I have this electric buzz going through my
body and I can't sleep, I can't eat! I don't even know what
to do with myself! I'm like shaking and trembling and walking
around. It's the most incredible feeling ever because it's
really the moment I've kind of waited for my whole life.
And it's here and it's magical. But at the same time it's
terrifying because I don't know what's ahead, I don't know
what to expect and that's always kind of scary."
But at least Stevie can take comfort in the fact that she
knows her material and she knows how to make people laugh.
After all, this isn't the first time she's entertained people
with her views on pop culture. For years she posted her
own YouTube video sketches, that she explained, were largely
what developed her passion.
"I always knew I wanted to do acting. I wanted to
be an actress - I was living in LA, like, working in commercials
and print and stuff and I just so happened to start, you
know, creating my own videos and editing them and uploading
them. And when I saw that other people were interested,
that's when I was like 'Oh, this is entertaining people!
Awesome!' and I just kept going with it."
"I've always been really... not obsessed... but just
really intrigued by celebrities and pop culture and famous
people," she continued. "Every type of famous
person, from movie stars to socialites; it's always just
been a weird thing for me. I just kind of used that with
my YouTube things when all that was happening and I saw
that people were really liking it. And that's really what
it was about for me. I'm all about getting a laugh. I love
making people laugh. That's what I live for. I don't live
to be famous. I'm not in it to be rich and famous and be
on magazine covers. I'm doing what I do because I genuinely
like to make people happy, to make people laugh."
"When I saw that pretending to be these celebrities
and talking about pop culture as characters was making people
laugh and really bringing people in, you know, it's like
sharing a little something with the rest of the world and
when I saw that that's how I can connect with people and
maybe make someone's day a little bit better I was like
'Hells yeah!' I just became obsessed with it."
"And also," she added, "in all honesty,
I'm obsessed with pop culture as a human being! I watch
all of these reality shows. I mean, every show that we make
fun of or every celebrity that we poke fun at, I'm genuinely
invested in that person or that show. Like, I love television,
I love movies, I love the internet; I love all of that stuff.
And at the same time, I just find it so weird! So to just
say what I think about it through a sketch and have other
people say 'wow, that's exactly what I was thinking!', to
me, is just awesome."
And that's one of the things we absolutely love about Stevie!
Not only does she love what she does, but she loves the
very shows she parodies. On the pilot, there's a sketch
parodying several ABC Family shows and when I mentioned
my love for Pretty Little Liars and, admittedly,
its absurdity, Stevie jumped in with excitement.
"Yes! ... I love Pretty Little Liars, 90210,
just all of those teen dramas. I love them and I don't know
what it is about it, because most of the time it's ridiculous
scenarios and situations that aren't real and aren't really
happening and that will never happen, yet somehow I'm so
entertained by it! And I think that's what we're making
fun of: [that] this is what we're entertained by and it's
so funny, but it's still makes a great show."
But she doesn't always start out loving the pop culture
topic. "There's things that we do, like, let's say,
we have a Ke$ha parody and when we first wrote the
Ke$ha parody, I was whatever about Ke$ha. I know that she
has a huge fan base and she's a good artist, but I was just
so-so about her. I was like, Oh, Ke$ha, whatever,'"
she explained. "But then, I had to listen to her album
and read about her and get to know her before we did the
parody because I need to sound like her and I need to get
her essence. And then I really fell in love with her after
that! I was like, 'I like Ke$ha! I don't care what anybody
says. I don't care. Ke$ha's awesome! And I like her music
and I like her vibe and I like her; more power to Ke$ha!'
And if I wouldn't have done my research about Ke$ha I would
have still felt so-so."
Ke$ha isn't the only one who has this effect on her, either.
"I always thought Lady Gaga was like cool, she's
Lady Gaga, but after doing Lady Gaga parodies and having
on crazy-a$$ outfits for like 17 hours straight and not
being able to walk and being in pain... It made me realize,
'Wow, Gaga is a real artist! She is in it to win it and
she is getting in these crazy-a$$ outfits that are so uncomfortable
and she owns it.' And the fact that I got to experience
that, I have a new respect for Gaga and I really love Gaga
as an artist now because I see that it's not just about
her music, it's about how hard she works in general. Even
just standing there in her outfits is painful!"
"So even if I want to not like something, after we
do it and I do my research on the person and I kind of try
to get to know them, I always walk away really like them,"
she continued. "Except for the Kardashians!
That's one that I've never walked away from being a huge
fan of them or anything." Stevie, you're just giving
us more reasons to love you!
But as confident as Stevie sounds now, she admits that
she was nervous about moving from YouTube to VH1, from moving
from her own home to the professional set. "I was terrified
of that. Like, 'it's going to be such a huge thing, what
am I going to do?' and to be honest, it really hasn't been
that different for me mentally. It's just having a lot more
people around which actually makes my job, as far as doing
everything, easier because now I'm just performing. I don't
have to do my hair, do my makeup, find my clothes and do
all these things."
"But it's definitely different in the sense of - it's
not just me in a room anymore, it's me in a room with an
audience," she said. "Like, when you have a crew...
I have a crew of 100 people... so it's not just me filming
myself in front of the camera. I have 100 people now watching
me so I have a small audience. I think that was the biggest
thing for me to get used to because I have severe ADD as
well and the minute that someone from behind the camera,
like, walks across the room or just moves, I look and want
to watch them and so I think that was the hardest thing
for me was just getting used to having an audience and not
paying attention to them when I'm filming the scenes which
actually was really easy to do, but it was actually really
fun. I felt like I had a family and when we had wrapped
the sketches I just felt so brokenhearted and I would rather
shoot with my crew than alone."
"It's really two different experiences to be honest,"
she finished, "When I'm shooting alone, I feel like
I'm an artist and then when I'm shooting with my crew, I
feel like I'm an actor, producer, writer person. I really
like both. It's definitely been a change, but it just makes
me feel like I'm growing."
While Stevie ended up having a great time on set, that
didn't mean it was always easy. She already told us about
the long days, but there is also the matter of pop culture
and it's tendency to change so quickly. "That was our
challenge from the very beginning: how do you keep something
topical when it's being shot way before... You have no control
over knowing what's going to happen or what's going to change.
Even on these reality shows, it's like, we can make fun
of a reality show but sometimes by the time it airs they
have a new cast member and all the sudden, we're like 'sh!t,
we don't have that cast member in our parody!'"
just have to be safe," Stevie acknowledged. "There's
certain ways around it. I think it's about sticking to certain
things that are already embedded in people's minds as far
as certain television shows go. Like, Toddlers &
Tiaras, let's take... there's always a different
toddler that they're focusing on or a few different girls
that they're focusing on each episode. Yes, there are a
few girls that have become iconic from Toddlers &
Tiaras and are the Toddlers & Tiaras faces
and so, if we do one of those girls at least we're still
doing Toddlers & Tiaras; it's still something
that's being talked about and we're still covering it but
with one of their girls that are popular even if she's not
on the latest episode. Everyone still knows that little
girl is from Toddlers & Tiaras."
"There's certain ways around it but then there's just
certain things you can't do because you know it's going
to change quick. The Bachelor or something
like that is just happening too fast to catch up... or American
Idol, even though we have an American Idol
parody," Stevie laughed.
An American Idol sketch? We can only imagine the
fun Stevie is going to have with that one. But what other
sketches can we expect from her? Well, in the pilot alone
there's sketches on Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry,
Kendra Wilkinson, Mob Wives, Justin
Bieber, Ryan Gosling and many more! But for the
rest of the season, Stevie told us there would be Real
Housewives of Beverly Hills, Ice & Coco,
Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, many more "moments
with Ryan Gosling" (my personal favorite segment
of the show, where a Ryan Gosling impersonator speaks to
the viewer, which Stevie said was one of her "proudest
little things... I just love those because what girl doesn't
want to be told that?"), her original character Katrina
and much more!
One sketch she seemed particularly excited about was The
Hunger Games parody, which is fueling her excitement
even more for the movie. "The Hunger Games looks
awesome and I can't wait because I'm sure I'm going to think
that I'm the girl in the movie and then come home and think
that I'm in the Hunger Games," she exclaimed. But as
far as her favorite movies go, she proves herself even more
an eclectic by listing Amelie and Pooty
Tang as her top two, "just for the record."
Clearly Stevie is a pop culture aficionado and more than
excited to share her views and her humor with us so that
we can all laugh together about some of the things we watch,
the people we end up (at times inadvertently) supporting
and the absurdity of it all. The sky seems to be the limit
for Stevie Ryan and we can't wait to see where she
goes. Be sure to check out all that she has to offer and
get in on the brilliance of Stevie TV from
the beginning. It's a little crude at times, but, hey, that's
Check out this supertrailer of Stevie TV
and be sure to tune in for new episodes every Sunday at
11/10c on VH1.
Series Premiere of Stevie TV airs
Sunday, March 4 at 11/10c on VH1.
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