If TV is considered the "small screen" then Jodie Rivera known by her fans as Venetian Princess is America's starlet of the tiny screen. Being a Youtube sensation was happenstance much like that experienced by Justin Bieber, but Jodie has taken that happy accident and turned it into a career that she is very passionate about. No doubt the celebrity looks are there, but Jodie has surpassed the skills of the triple threat and created a league all her own. Her domain has become her Youtube channel populated by videos she directs, writes, produces,edits, acts in an stylizes herself. Most viewers are shocked at the fact she plays all the characters in her web series The Princess Chronicles, yes even the grotesque ones (the characters that is, not the fans!). Still not impressed? Then tune in for this interview in its two part blog entirety, where we discover how the Venetian Princess has built an empire with loyal subscribers, that first started out with credit card debt and later landed her the house of her dreams.
I personally don't believe I would have been as successful and I'll tell you why. When I first started out, the majority of videos on YouTube were webcam videos.They didn't include any costumes or props. At the time, I was one of the only people on there that was going way out production-wise. And this started before I was even generating any income from my videos. I think it really set me apart from everyone else and ultimately it's what gave me that push. However, if I were to have started today- I would have had a much harder time trying to get noticed, because YouTube is now all about the production value.
How did opportunities to work with major brands come to be? What company was the first one you worked with?
I received an email in 2006 for my first brand integration. It was for Universal Studios, to promote a Dax Shepard movie called "Let's Go To Prison."The video quality was awful, I had no studio lighting yet so I literally lit myself with a window. I think my script was pretty funny though. Of course, back then, the compensation wasn't very much. Probably in the low
four figures, but it was a big deal to me because I had no idea major movie studios even knew who I was, let alone want me to promote their film.
Due to shows like Toddlers & Tiaras there are a lot of varied feelings on the pageant industry and whether or not it has positive effects on young girls. From your personal experience do you feel you have gained any skill or mindsets that have helped you both professionally and/or personally from your pageant experiences?
My pageant training definitely helped with my interviews. It was always my strong point and I won a lot of interview categories, even as a child. I loved
speaking with the judges and it carried into my career as a new media
personality, aiding in my interviews with the press. On the negative side, it definitely affected my self esteem growing up. My mother was one of the only moms that didn't dye my hair or put tons of makeup on me for pageants. I never wore false teeth. Seeing that on all the other girls made me feel like I stuck out like a sore thumb. But now as an adult, I can look back and really appreciate my mom having kept me a natural little girl and concentrating on my talents and personality rather than spray tans and hair pieces.
Were you very techie when you first started? Or did you learn how to do things like special effects as you went along?
Since 1998, I was building websites and doing graphic design. I was new to video editing though, so I just taught myself how to use different editing software and after hours and hours doing it, I figured it out on my own.
Who is your support team? Who do you turn to when you don't know the answers to something?
Most of the time, if I don't know the answer to something, I will do the research and find it myself. If it's a matter of opinion, I'll ask my husband, my mother, or my viewers.
What do you think it is about your videos that makes them so popular they have been known to be viewed more than the original music video from which they are based?(An example would be your I Kissed a Girl spoof)
I think probably because they are comedic. The original music videos that I'm spoofing obviously aren't. My videos spoof the music and visuals of the original and are funny, which is a component that most viral videos have.
What does one receive for being crowned Miss Youtube besides noteriety?
For that, I didn't receive anything besides the title. It was a contest put together by another well-known YouTube personality named . He is actually a friend of mine, but it was completely based off of viewer votes. It was a pretty big thing and was an honor for me to win. But I just recently found out that YouTube is awarding me a gold play button for hitting a million subscribers. So I'm anticipating it's arrival!
Like what you've read? Then come back and check out part 2, which will be posted soon!