As we mentioned on our blog, Natasha Younge is our first Paper.li publisher to receive a nomination for a global award! Natasha’s Paper.li, The Younge Hollywood Blast, is in the running for Best Magazine in Social Media in the News and Media category of the Shorty Awards.
Natasha is an actress-preneur, blogger and social media enthusiast. She uses Paper.li to discover industry trends, champion new talent, give back to her community and connect with peers.
The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and recognize the people and organizations who are producing real-time short form content across the social web.
Natasha, how are you feeling about your Shorty nomination?
Totally elated. It is nice to feel that your work is actually enjoyed and useful to others.
Who nominated you and were you surprised?
Another actress, Kayla Tabish (@KaylaTabish). We have not yet met in person, but connected through a networking service for entertainers over the past year. Her nomination came as a complete surprise, because I had never heard of the Shorty Awards before that. It actually took a little while for it to sink in — the magnitude of the recognition was completely beyond my vision for the paper!
Did you ever imagine yourself as a magazine publisher?
Although I have been interested in learning about blogging for a long while, I never imagined myself as a digital publisher. Or that it could be easy! It is almost surreal how creative re-direction can turn an endless stream of information into something informative, and engaging — with a staff of one.
Why did you start your Paper.li? What’s so great about publishing it?
I first noticed Paper.li when my content started showing up in others’ publications. I thought it was a great idea, but imagined it would be very complicated, and would be irrelevant to my acting career.
It wasn’t until I started meeting with my Twitter coach from Australia, Keith Keller (@KeithKeller), that I first considered that I could use Paper.li myself. I also read a great article by Adam Troudart about the usefulness of Paper.li. It all became less daunting.
And I set it up in five minutes, just like Adam said.
At first what I enjoyed was finally being able to see at a glance what the people I followed were tweeting about. It was a great tool to see what type of content they were interested in. As the weeks went on, I began to fine-tune my paper to reflect more of my interests in the entertainment industry.
Even while the publication continues to evolve, I have been able to start connecting with information, groups and people across social media platforms in a way that feels within my grasp. My Paper.li has given me easy access to real-time content relevant to me, and allowed me to start conversations with others who find similar content of interest. It has made my experience on Twitter, particularly, less overwhelming.
Who reads it and retweets it, and what kinds of content do you like including?
Many different types of readers read and retweet: authors, social media strategists, independent film makers, musicians, web series creatives, screenwriters, actors, bloggers, record labels, etc. Anyone who is involved in the entertainment industry really!
The Publish.it! button is a great tool that allowed me to start adding content myself. I love to promote new artists and talent, who, like me, want to draw attention to what they have to offer to the world. It is especially fun to share the work of creatives with a unique voice and perspective.
Specifically, I enjoy including the following in YHB:
- New web series
- New authors
- Creative blogs
- Crowdfunding campaigns
- Indie film stuff
- Press releases for artists
- Music videos (but trying to move most music stuff to another Paper.li Younge Music Trends – what can I say, it’s fun?!)
What do people tweet to you about it?
People tweet the nicest things, mainly gratitude for sharing their content. Some people tweet requests for me to review their content to add it to the paper. Some just say it’s really cool. And it is. Thanks Paper.li.
What else can we find in your social hub?
My Social Hub, listed in my Editor’s note box, is a great overview of my favorite social media hangouts, and all my professional links to my work as an actress.
The main site I enjoy sharing is http://about.me/natashayounge
I also share:
- YHB (of course!),
- Tools that can help entertainment professionals promote themselves for free online –and also make money from their online presence
- Twylah – which allows followers an overview of all my Tweets in one website
And what do you love most about social media?
I love that social media has almost leveled the playing-field for those with aspirations to a career in entertainment. The power has shifted more squarely to those who have content — and those with content do not necessarily need to be the ones with the most money, or the most established within the industry currently.
I really like that I have more power to market myself as a new actress — in ways that were completely unimaginable only a few years ago. It makes marketing cost-friendly – the options are limited only by imagination. Just amazing.
And I love that social media has made the world a friendlier and smaller place.
Let’s talk acting. What role have you enjoyed most so far?
I have enjoyed roles that surprise the audience when they see how I can transform into a character – whether that be a terrorizing teenage boy wolf in Red Riding Hood & the Wolves, Mrs. Fainall in The Way of the World, Sunita – a dreamy, East Indian seamstress in The Emperor’s New Clothes, or Voova – an alien with existential angst in experimental, multi-media play, Tick-a-licious.
I have constantly leaned towards the characters who are not the hero, and maybe have a questionable, or skewed perspective.
What character would you like to play?
In film, I would like to portray women of color who show the full range of their humanity, vulnerability, intelligence and personal strength. Whether that be in modern or period pieces, I’d like them to not only be inspiring but truthful deliveries. I think there are roles yet to be written for me, so writers, this is your call to action!
Stage-wise, I would love to work in an adaptation of The Three Sisters by Chekhov. The adulterating sister, of course.
Now let’s talk Natasha. Tell us something we didn’t know about you.
My second language is German — it became my major in university quite late. And in fact, my first professional performance as an actress was entirely in German! OK, I say professional, but our audience was actually a group of hungry International students who were enticed by promises of wine and cheese following the show. Loriot sketches were my introduction to sketch comedy and true ensemble performance, and I have a soft spot in my heart for that.
I am a trained audio engineer, and originally intended to work in the music industry.
I can cross my eyes. Hmmm, what else…?
Who inspired you to become an actress-preneur?
My mom is my greatest inspiration. She always instilled in me a sense of being grounded (which wasn’t easy when I was floating in the clouds of my imagination as a teenager). And probably having a minor in Business Administration from UC Berkeley doesn’t hurt.
Combined with wonderful internship mentors throughout, and following college, all of the above has served me well in my approach to my acting career, which has always been to treat it as a business professional.
Watching countless biographies about successful actors and actresses also helped me further see that knowing the business can only serve me better in the long-run.
What do you think you’ll be doing in five years time? Or what would you like to be doing?
I will be working in web TV as an actress in web series that I have created. I will probably own a production company. I will be having a lot of fun working with awesome people who make my world interesting and joyful. I will get to travel the world acting, creating, collaborating, etc.
And I will be relaxing, and spending time with the people I love, because that’s what makes this all worthwhile.
You can help Natasha win by nominating her until February 17.