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Interview: Theresa is Dead
A YouTuber Very Much Alive
When I first found Theresa Is Dead on YouTube, it was another morning getting ready for work. Or maybe it was another evening waiting for my clay mask to dry down in hopes that it would vanquish my acne (it didn't, but at least it's 10 minutes of peace). Either way, I'm always looking for someone to talk me through my little rituals every morning and evening.
Theresa's sarcasm and love for horror and goth culture drew me in from the start. I was never the "edgy" kid, but I couldn't help being drawn to creepy and dark movies and music. Her own stories of the bizarre happenings of her everyday life are a reminder that interesting stories can happy anywhere and that we can create our own story with the artistry of makeup. I'm honored I got to talk to her about her own creative process and the importance of storytelling in our lives and can't wait for others to discover her quick wit and honesty as well.
Your channel was just started in March of 2018 and has almost been active for an entire year. What inspired you to start your channel?
I have been a fan of YouTube for a long time now, and I remember feeling like I couldn't find anyone I can relate to. Sure, there were some perfectly nice people on this platform, but no one like me. As I was getting more and more into makeup, I felt like there were a lot of inconsistencies in the beauty community (biased reviews, unnecessary drama, no plus size representation, etc.). I thought, hey, maybe I can fill the gap. I consulted close friends for a few months, and I decided that if I didn't start now, I never would. Well...here I am.
The amount you've grown since your first video reviewing the Kat Von D Divine Palette is astounding! What do you credit your current "evolved form" to as a content creator? Sheer hard work, unicorn poop, or something else?
Unicorn poop, for sure. I think when I started my channel, I fell in line with how others review products on this platform. I tried my best to inject humor in my reviews, but you can tell I was still trying to figure out how to feel comfortable in front of the camera. I remember in one of my earlier videos (I think it was the Fenty summer collection review), I was talking about something non-makeup related that I thought it was funny to share: an Uber driver from hell. I started evolving my format in my videos because I noticed that people were commenting more on the story than the actual product I was reviewing. I didn't start shifting into my current format until the end of the summer in 2018. I credit my wonderful viewers; had they not been so receptive to my story, who knows if I would be in this format.
What other YouTube channels do you draw inspiration from?
I would say I get a lot of inspiration from the following channels: Shane Dawson, Garrett Watts, iDubbbzTV, Elvis the Alien, Nerd City, TVFilthyFrank, Maxmoefoe, and H3H3 Productions.
What started your fascination with horror films and how did that translate into your artistic expression as a makeup enthusiast?
My fascination with horror films started when I was young. I think having an older brother helped my love for horror. It was him that showed me these weird and wonderful movies growing up. My fascination and infatuation with horror is something that has followed me throughout my life. I love being scared, and I love a good story. When I was younger, I was always interested in horror FX makeup, and I would pride myself into turning into the grossest things possible. It wasn't until much much later in life that I started to get more involved with regular everyday makeup. I swapped out the spirit gum and prosthetics for eyeshadow palettes and foundations.
If you could create your own horror-inspired eye shadow palette, what colors or themes would you include?
First of all, I have thought about this too much. My favorite movie is Jaws, so if I were ever to have a palette, it would be in the shape of Jaws' mouth (think of the iconic poster art). The color story would be very similar to the movie, grungy olive greens, pale yellows, dark blues, grays, khaki-colored browns, and a beautiful blood red color to tie it together.
You always include a quirky, bizarre, or humorous story before you dive into your product reviews. What do you think storytelling adds to your videos and what motivated you to do it?
The first time I included a story, I was nervous to do so because I assumed people wouldn't care and would want to jump straight to the product review. On the same video, I noticed the overwhelming comments about the story. I think it was from there that made me want to include this as a regular component to my process. I find that adding the story component to my videos, makes my channel become more than just a makeup channel. I often get comments from men/women who watch my videos that their significant other who isn't interested in makeup will watch my videos because of the story. It's comments like this that motivates me to continue my format. However, its also comments like this that gives me the confidence to continue to evolve my format as well.
If you're into having a weird time, come check me out. I put up videos three times a week!
Theresa's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheresaisDead
3/5/2019 07:42:20 pm
Thank you for doing a piece on Theresa! I just found her not long ago, and she really does fill the need for a down to earth - salt of the earth - beautiful person inside and out - especially in the beauty community on youtube! I'll be a loyal fan of hers as long as she's there and I'm still alive!
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