How To Make Entertaining Videos with comedic actresses Shelby Dash and Kristina Clifford
TRANSCRIPT AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED Hey, Hey, today's guest Shelby Dash and Kristina Clifford are professionally trained, comedic actresses. They started making comedy videos just for fun, and they turned it into a one stop shop from ideation to editing, creating custom video content for brands and businesses. We've been told over and over again, entertaining video content is where it's at. So get your note, taking tools ready. Hey Shelby and Kristina welcome to the show [00:00:22] Shelby and Kristina: thank you so much for having us. Yeah, we're excited. [00:00:26] Diane: So before we dive into all of my questions, let's do a quick intro to both of you and your business journey. Like how did you come to be where you are today? [00:00:36] Shelby and Kristina: Well, Shelby and I both came from an acting background. We moved out to Los Angeles for the big dream. We're big into comedy as well. And that's. Where we first met each other. I thought she was hysterical. And I think she thought I was funny and I thought she was very funny and she made me laugh a lot. And so from there we kind of organically partnered up, started making videos, started writing little sketches, and it just kind of became a regular occurrence. We were putting out content every week on YouTube and getting, getting some great tracks. And then once the pandemic hit, we kind of had to like reorg and figure things out because we lost our day job. And we decided, because a brand ad agency actually reached out to us and asked us about doing branded videos. And we were kind of like, huh, that's, that's interesting. Let's give it a go. And I remember our first pitch call. We pitched him all these different ideas for this one particular brand and he was coming. Wow. These are all great. And we were like, oh, oh, are we good at this? And so from there, we, we started collabing with him. And after a while, we were kind of like, why aren't we doing this on our own? And that is how Take Two content was born. [00:02:04] Diane: So I like to think that I'm fairly amusing. Like in-person. Thank you. Thank you. I didn't pay them to say that before we started. But I know some people will be listening, thinking, like, I'm just not funny. So they're about to hit the skip button and go on to a different podcast episode. So can anyone be funny? [00:02:24] Shelby and Kristina: I think, yes. I think not every brand or product. Maybe can be funny, but person, I think you can. I think if you embrace the part of you that you think is not funny, that is inherently funny. Like if you're, as long as you're being authentic to yourself, if you don't think you're funny, don't, you know, try to act like someone that you do think is funny. Just be you and share your insecurities, share, you know, the funny thing that happened in your day that maybe someone else can relate to. And that is funny, funny comes from relate-ability and vulnerability. So everybody has that. Yeah. I mean, I think it's, I think there's definitely, we talk a lot about the different comedy tropes that can kind of be like guidelines that you can go off of that can really enhance it. But I also do think it is a craft. And it needs to be learned. If you're not inherently funny, like I would, I would say like building that craft would help with that. But like Shelby said, like when it comes to, you know, posting on Instagram or doing these stories, if you come from a place of vulnerability and something where you can connect with somebody else, then there's always humor in that. [00:03:42] Diane: And I think sometimes there's actually nothing funnier than watching somebody. Laugh hysterically at something they think is funny, whether it's happened to them or they're watching. Right. So when you work with brands and businesses, do you go kind of. The script-based end of things. So I always think of like tech talk and my favorite tech talker is called, like Jauncey dev or something. And he does all these like videos of like dogs as if they were humans, as all the different breeds. So I can picture like the skip based stuff. And I have lots of questions around that, but is there a way to infuse comedy into something as simple as a talking head video for someone. [00:04:23] Shelby and Kristina: Oh, yeah, definitely. Definitely. Cause you know, I feel like people gravitate towards story and like Shelby said, if something funny or interesting happened in your day, if you just kind of enhance it a little bit and go over. Like what happened? That was so interesting. Your point of view on it. I think that's when people are. All years and something that we do a lot when we're doing like a talking head or an interview style, depending on the client is even just throwing some fun bloopers at the top or at the end of the video can work wonders because a lot of times people feel very buttoned up when they're delivering. You know, brand or product info, but it's those fun moments where we really see their true personality when they're like, oh, I just messed up. Or they're like, wait, what was that? You know? So just popping those back to back with a little like, beep beep beep can really work wonders and, and then you're starting out your video with people, seeing the real you, how you're, you know, you're not perfect. And then we go into this. Crafted image of everything that you have to say. So even just, that is a great way to incorporate it to a talking head. [00:05:35] Diane: So it's just bringing a little more personality to just judge things up. Even if you're talking slightly more seriously, like a, how to, or something. [00:05:44] Shelby and Kristina: Right. Totally. Yeah. [00:05:46] Diane: Okay. So Everybody has been told by everybody that entertaining video is where it's at now. if you're creating any kind of content, it needs to be video and preferably entertaining. So I'm curious how we do that from a business perspective. So my favorite tech talker, I watch everything as it comes out. I've literally no idea what he does outside of creating tech talks. It's never occurred to me to use. Look, so when I'm thinking about this from like, if I'm going to go through all of this and produce videos and do all of this sort of thing, where's my ROI for it. How does it connect? Is it an attraction thing? Is it a no like, and trust and we're heavy on the like thing. Where is this fitting in that come forth and give me your money. [00:06:30] Shelby and Kristina: Well, I think part of the problem with your favorite dog take talker is that he doesn't have a CTA. So he's doing these dog videos. We're loving them. They're amazing if he just had something quick at the end, like maybe one of the dogs looks to camera and say, Like, oh yeah. And if you need dog training go to this website or whatever, I mean, that's a bad example, but yeah, the importance of a CTA is really what brings, I think that the customer to wherever you want them to go and make sure that, you know, the message of the product or brand gets out there. So yeah. Yeah. And I think, you know, what we've learned over the last few years is pairing. That comedy side that we've always done with brands and it is an interesting meld. We really have to make sure that the brand and what it does is very clear and concise at the top, along with the comedy and entertainment value. So, yeah, there is, you know, strategic process we go through, when we talk with the client about what they're looking for. Exactly. They give us everything that they want to highlight and we understand their tone. And then we just kind of put the comedy on top or find a way to show that in a fun and interesting way. [00:07:48] Diane: So we're basically saying as long as we take any kind of video and we infuse some comedy or some personality into it, as long as we have that key CTA, and I guess some transitioned into that CTA, that makes sense. Then any kind of video can really work for our business. [00:08:07] Shelby and Kristina: Yeah. And you ideally wanted at the top as well. You want to make sure it's clear what. Selling, whether it's a product or service, you want to make sure that is clear, concise, but it can still be paired with the comedy or the unexpected thing that really hooks the person to keep watching the video. [00:08:27] Diane: Yes, the hook. My next question. So we're all ready to go and create like an amazing video. That's either going to be organic or it's going to be turned into an ad or something. How do we come up with that scroll stopping idea? Because I feel like you are super creative and it's probably an idea every 30 seconds, but. For us non video people. It's kind of like, okay, I'm looking at the lens, come on ideas. [00:08:53] Shelby and Kristina: Yeah. Right. I think he's still w w w no matter who you are, I think you still need to plan it out. And before you hit that record button, you want to really do a big brainstorm. We always do a big brainstorm. You know, don't edit yourself, really throw everything at the wall and just write down all your ideas. And then when you're thinking about the hooks, once you've pared down your ideas, you want to think about something that is unexpected or eye catching, for example one of the successful hooks that we had for a cat litter company, it was the concept was. Taking a cat lady and turning her into a cat goddess. And the hook that did the best was the cat lady who is taking cat food in a spoon. And it looks like she's about to take a bite. And see that is like the surprising, like kind of thing. And then it goes into the, the whole video. So once you pair down those ideas and you like that, Then go into, okay. What would be a hook for this idea? What would be another hook for this idea? So there is a lot of planning that goes involved before we hit that record button. [00:10:04] Diane: And then is that like the hardest bit? So I've had the idea, I've got the hook, I've jotted down some bullet points. I kind of know where I'm going. We film, we edit, done like, Hey Presto, I am a viral Tech-Talk slash YouTube star, or are there some key elements that I should probably be thinking about so that it's like, I get results. And maybe not just like. [00:10:23] Shelby and Kristina: Yeah. Well, one thing that we do when we're working with clients, like. Christina said, once we've got those ideas, we brainstorm hooks for them, but you know, we also will brainstorm multiple hooks. For the same core section of the video and multiple CTA options. So that way, like if you have your concept that you love, like, for example, we did like a male version of that same cat thing called cat man, where he's a very suave man. So that way, if you love cat, man, you have three different hooks that you can test with the same section of the core video, two different CTS, And then you can pull the top performer that way. You know, say you're the hook that you chose, isn't working the way you hoped. Yeah, it doesn't go to waste. [00:11:06] Diane: And how are you testing that? If like, let's say it's not ads. So I get like with ads, you could run like different versions of the ad and, or you could see your ad results and then pull the ad. But let's say I'm going to put it on like a real or tick-tock or YouTube. Like I can't pull the video once it's up there. I feel like I'm asking you how, you know, funny is going to land. [00:11:25] Shelby and Kristina: the thing about that is, you know, it's not a perfect science in terms of, that's why we do have multiple hooks because it isn't a perfect science. We don't necessarily know what is going to hit. I wish we could have a crystal ball and see it in the future. But you start to understand what does best and for you. Personally in your brand, and that is a lot of trial and error, and I think that's just with everything. So sometimes maybe your video isn't going to do so well the first few times, and then one, you do one and you get all the likes and the views, and then you have to dissect, why did that video perform? What was different about this one? Was it a relate-ability factor? Was it something that was super unexpected. And we also tell people to, to watch ads or stories or reels that you really resonate with and then dissect that. So it's like, if you can emulate what you like and then find your own way to do it. So it's, it is a process. It's not like you can just hear a couple of tips and tricks and then go do it. Like you do kind of have to go through. The gamut of the trial and error. Yeah. And even like with your dog guy example who had that sounds amazing. You know, I'm sure they're not all hits, like you've probably got your favorites and then you've probably got somewhere that's funny, but it's not my favorite. So just know that even with your favorite, like viral, creative, They're not all going to be bangers, you know? And it's, that's something you, you learn, like she said, through trial and error, you've just got to keep going until you. But the difference is they're still putting themselves out there. They're still taking those risks and you don't see them wavering. Yes. Is that not funny? They just do it because they know it's part of the process and, you know, consistency is also very key. Then people will really start to learn once, you know, your voice, then people will start to learn your voice as well. [00:13:28] Diane: Yeah, I think that's important for people to hear, you know, we joke about businesses who are overnight success because you didn't see the 14 years of work. And I think because of TechTalk and reels and. You often don't scroll back through 3000 videos that they made to watch that very first one that was just awful and badly lit and shot on an iPhone with a shaky hand or something. Right. [00:13:54] Shelby and Kristina: Right. Exactly. [00:13:55] Diane: is there anything that you find that works kind of universally? Because comedy is I guess in like the ear or the eye of the beholder, we all have our little quirks. And then I find culturally from country to country, some things land. Like I have a friend group in the U S who introduced me literally as this is Diane. She's very sarcastic. Like if they could make it all one word they would but nobody in the UK has ever introduced me or warn anybody that I'm sarcastic. And I don't even think, I think I'm kind of mid-level here. So part of me is, oh, like, are people going to get it somewhere else? That I'm like, actually kidding when I like dead pat and something. [00:14:36] Shelby and Kristina: Yeah, they'll get it. We get it. And I feel like. I think with the sarcasm too. There's also some fun, like self-deprecation stuff. Like at the beginning you said, like, I didn't pay them to say that, like, stuff like that, that's very like undertone. Like I feel like, I feel like everybody loves dry. Right? Well that dry, sarcastic. Yeah. I mean, the other thing that came to mind when you were saying sometimes your humor may not translate like culturally sometimes even within the same. You know, culture humor may not translate from this person to this person, but that's okay. As long if this is for your brand or your product, as long as the humor that you're using is hitting your target audience. Whether that's women in their mid twenties or men over 50 that's who you want in on the joke, everyone else, let them, let them go. They don't have to get it. Same with when we were just doing, you know, our comedy videos, we did a little. Humor about dating and being friends as women and, you know, a 23 year old, guy's not going to pick up on that and that's okay. We don't want him to [00:15:44] Diane: That's actually a really good example because some of the funniest videos or the ones that you know, that I'd done by a female creator that, you know, no, man is going to have any idea. So I'm super casual, I'm in a hoodie, no makeup. Hair's a mess for the people who can see me. That's behind the scenes of me consulting on people's businesses, on their strategy on team strategy, which is fairly serious. if I was in corporate, I would be in like the power suit with the shoulder pads and the briefcase and the whole thing. So you mentioned that not all businesses are designed to have comedy in it. How do I marry wanting to be taken seriously? And having them trust me and my expertise with the idea of sprinkling in some of that comedy and that personality are there any do's and don'ts. [00:16:31] Shelby and Kristina: when you were saying that about being taken seriously in humor, I think if it's the right kind of humor, it almost. Elevates if it's smart, witty humor, I think it's only going to elevate, you know, your professionalism and you as a brand, as long as it's in that. That right lane. What'd you say? Yeah. I mean, I, I know when I see a very creative out of the box, funny ad, I immediately have trust. I don't know what it is. I'm like, okay, they get it. They're smart. They, they went there, they took those risks. And for some reason that to me is like, they're, they're innovative. And that is kind of, equates trust to me. So I think it's actually the opposite. Sometimes if you are willing to kind of go there, then. not only get the eyeballs, but then people will be like, okay. I like them for some reason. And I don't know why, but I mean, there's, there's some fine lines. You don't want to it. If it's a certain type of brand, you might want not want to go like this direction in comedy, but you want to go in the other a different direction. So there are some teachers. Yeah. Sometimes if it's like a charitable organization or we, we, the example we always use is like Zoloft. You might want not want to do comedy for that, but I do follow a lawyer on Tech-Talk. And she does these very funny videos that are very dry, where she reads like court transcripts that are very funny. It was a lot of attitude and you know, she's an attorney. And then she also talks about her life as an attorney and kind of. You know, the trials and tribulations and what she's gone through and it's, there is humor there, but also like if I needed a criminal defense lawyer, I would probably call her, you know, because I feel like I know her on like a personal level. Yeah. yeah. [00:18:24] Diane: I liked it. I liked it. You've made notes. Like if I ever need a criminal defense lawyer, like I've got one. [00:18:31] Shelby and Kristina: Girl, you never know. [00:18:36] Diane: So what is the first step that somebody could take? Like they want to add a little more video or especially a little more comedy, maybe into a video. So let's imagine they are extremely lazy. Like me, I have a podcast because I don't need to do hair, makeup, lighting, et cetera, for video. So what's the lowest barrier to entry. [00:18:56] Shelby and Kristina: Hire us might be the lowest. [00:19:01] Diane: what's the lowest DIY and treats barrier. And then they'll come back to how you can help everyone. [00:19:07] Shelby and Kristina: What would video, maybe like an Instagram story, because those are very casual. They're supposed to look very off the cuff, not plan, just sharing vulnerability. So if you want. Do the absolute bare minimum, but experiment with like video and showing yourself on video. I don't think people expect you to look all put together on stories. In fact, I think they kind of prefer when you don't. So that would probably be my, my answer. What about you? yeah, depending on what you actually want to do, maybe just start small and just do a brainstorm, we work with the pet litter company a lot. And say you're, if, if say you are like lazy or which I am as well, where you kind of promote on that, you're like watching TV, film yourself. Like, God, God, I smell the boot, but I don't want to change it. And then like, you're, you're doing something at like, you're eating ice cream in bed, which, you know, I do that a lot. And you're like, God, you know, I feel like, I feel like sparkles is going tinkle again. And I know I'm not gonna want to change that. . I think what you're saying is like, embrace your personality. If you are, you know, the type of person that doesn't like to that considers yourself lazy or says like, oh, I don't really like to be on video or whatever, then share that. Yeah. Embrace it wholeheartedly. Like, Hey guys, I'm not the queen of video over here, but I'm trying, you know, am I wearing makeup? No. Do I care? No. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. [00:20:36] Diane: Oh, my God created filters. [00:20:38] Shelby and Kristina: Yeah. [00:20:40] Diane: Something sparked for me when you were talking about doing Instagram stories. I wonder if that's a way without ads to maybe test, like we were talking about testing the hooks or testing, like the characters or the storyline, Seeing if people are, you know, nice heading an emoji back for the story Cause a lot of your people won't have seen that story. So if it really lands, you could then go and do a whole tech talk series or whatever on [00:21:04] Shelby and Kristina: That's genius. That is genius. Very smart. We actually did stories to narrow down our business name. Like we put up all the different names we were thinking and had people vote and that's kinda how we narrowed it. down. So I think that's really genius. Yeah. There's this comedic Robin Shaw. Hysterical and she's so freaking funny. And she does that kind of thing a lot. I mean, granted, she does have a lot of followers, but she kind of asks her audience on the stories. Like, do you want me to do this character or this character for my next video? Do you want me to run down the streets of New York and a trash bag? Or do you want me to like call and prank prank call somebody like, so, Yeah. I think that is right on the money. Testing what your audience might want to see [00:21:50] Diane: and I guess it'll also tell you if from a business perspective you've veered off course, if everyone's like, this is outrageous. I never want to watch anything like this from you ever again. Right. [00:22:01] Shelby and Kristina: Right. [00:22:02] Diane: So you mentioned that the lowest, lowest barrier to entry is just to hire you guys. So let's talk about what that might look like or how people can get some help from you and like dropping that business name that everyone voted for. [00:22:15] Shelby and Kristina: I would go to take two content.com or. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Christina, take two.com and we do offer a free 30 minute call for anybody who might be interested or might have, might have some issues with how they want to go about their brand or doing videos. So we have that as an option. [00:22:37] Diane: and you help with the whole thing. So people can come into you and be like, this is who I am, make me entertaining. [00:22:43] Shelby and Kristina: Yeah, we always start with a preliminary call where we want to hear all about you, your business, your target market. And then we go away. We do a big brainstorm. Then we come back to a second call. Pitch you, you know, all the ideas we've come up with and we do a full on performance girl. So buckle up. We hacked out every part, so you'll really get a sense of the vibe and the tone. And then, yeah, from there we narrow it down and we go into production and pre-production, but it's worth mentioning that we also, like, if you just need some ideas or you just need production, you have an editor. Like we will do one tier. The process. [00:23:21] Diane: What a fun business. So to finish things up, I always ask my guests the same two questions. And so I'm going to ask both to both of, you know, trying to get off with answering one each First up. What is your number one lifestyle boundary for your business? [00:23:36] Shelby and Kristina: I would say what's really nice about me and Shelby is we have. Because we are, you know, the owners of this company, we it's nice that we have the freedom. If we do have like an appointment or ideal, I still do acting stuff. I still have, you know, self-tapes to do and things like that. So just having that freedom to on a Wednesday at noon, if I have to go do this thing, then I can so having that little bit of flexibility is isn't. Yeah. Yeah. similar for me. I mean, you're going to be like, girl, you get the same answer, but [00:24:12] Diane: That's why you've always got to try to go first. [00:24:16] Shelby and Kristina: Get in there. I serve him like, boom. But similarly, sometimes I'll even say to her, like, I've got so much life stuff going on. Like I need to take a day and you know, then we do. And a lot of times after we have like a big shoot or a big week of shoots, we will take like a day or a couple of days off, like have a longer weekend just to, I mean, that's a lot of energy, so we need that recovery. Yeah, [00:24:39] Diane: Yeah, gosh, especially if you'd like played like multiple, multiple pots. I mean, I'm like who, okay. You can do a talking head video, go on. You can do it. And you're like, let me play 17 new people. Okay. And then what is the worst piece of cookie cutter advice that you have been given in your business? [00:25:00] Shelby and Kristina: That's a good one. I'm going to go first this time. So this is actually via a friend, but I remember a few years ago she had a business partner who told her you know, Live the life that you want to live. Now, it's kind of very secretive. Like if you want to be the kind of person that can afford this car, go out and get it. And then you'll work hard enough to be able to make that money back girl, two years later, she's like, why did I buy this car? This was the worst idea. And like, I just, I always think about that. 'cause, you know, you hear these people that are like, you have to believe it and do it if you want it. It's like, no girl, why don't you just do it first? And then you can reap the benefits when you can read the rest of it's. [00:25:43] Diane: Yeah, it's the entrepreneurial, like fake it till you make it. But instead of like incorporate, you would just wear a suit that was like similar to like, well, boss's suit. Now you have to have like the private plane and the Ferrari and the like uh, sipping champagne and Paris looking at the Eiffel tower or whatever the current marketing favorite is. Yes. I relate to that one. [00:26:05] Shelby and Kristina: I would say this is actually is good advice. I think eventually, but people saying, you know, really cherry pick and hone in on the clients that you want and, you know, say no. To everybody else. And for us, I think we're still kind of trying to, we're so new that we're still trying to find all those clients that we could potentially have. So. I think we do want to be open to saying yes to someone who might seem like out of our, our wheelhouse. For instance, there was a client who wasn't a comedy thing at all. It was just like a little a video to show off his men's product and very lifestyle, very lifestyle, just under music, really well shot. And he had a video he wanted to emulate. And we took it on, even though it was not as much money as we would've liked, but now we have this really great sample and, and he was super happy with the outcome. So now he could potentially be a word of mouth and, and hire us again. So I think we still want to say yes, a lot more than most. [00:27:16] Diane: Yeah, you can niche down in two ways, either you niche, who you work with. If you're like me and you're a business strategist, you want to be really specific about who you work with, but what you do is really niche. So you need less niching on the like clients side of things. [00:27:33] Shelby and Kristina: Ah, that's so true. What great advice, Diane. [00:27:36] Diane: Thank you. Thank you so much. Again, did not pay for that. Kid is going to be like such a great promo reel for me. I'm just going to cut out. It's going to cut out all the complimentary butts and pretend that it was like someone just sends us to me unprompted. This has been so much fun. I knew it was going to be hilarious, but I have enjoyed it so much. Where is the best place for people to carry on the conversation with you on social media, your YouTube, Instagram? Where would you like people to slide into DMS or drop comments on videos? [00:28:10] Shelby and Kristina: You can slide in really anywhere, you know? Um, I would say take two content on Instagram and take two content on YouTube. We're going to have some fun tips And tricks. Behind the scenes and bloopers and all that good stuff. So give us a subscribe. Our website has our portfolio and our website also has some fun comedy videos from when we first start. [00:28:34] Diane: Oh amazing. I'll be sure to link everything in the show notes. So it's super easy for everyone to find you. Oh, thank you so much. This has been thoroughly enjoyable. [00:28:42] Shelby and Kristina: Yeah.
If the idea of staring into the lens already makes you want to run and hide, adding comedy to them might be just what you need to get started.
Shelby Dash and Kristina Clifford walk you through creating entertaining videos that boost your business and your authority between the laughs.
Funny comes from relatability and vulnerability.
We talk about
- The one thing that makes any video good for business
- How to find your scroll stopping idea
- How to test and evaluate your videos
- How to add comedy and still be taken seriously in your business
- How to get started even if you don’t want to bother with hair and make up
- Shelby and Kristina’s lifestyle boundary for her business
- The worst cookie-cutter advice Shelby and Kristina’s been given on her lifestyle business
About Shelby and Kristina
Shelby & Kristina, both professionally trained comedic actresses, started making comedy videos “just for fun” in 2015. What started out as a passion project turned into a career, when various brands & businesses started approaching them for custom video content. Although content creation is no longer just a hobby, Shelby & Kristina still bring that same sense of fun to every project they tackle, leaving their clients with something truly unique. They handle every aspect of production from ideation to editing; a one-stop shop for your all of your video content needs.
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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this podcast episode and article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article or episode. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Diane Mayor disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.