Forget the headshot and promo reels; if you really want to get noticed as an actor these days it takes a lot more than a couple of airbrushed photos from ten years ago and a few student videos. Just ask Josh Rimer, who has been using Youtube to help him stand out in the crowd.
“I was tired of going to auditions and hoping to be a dot in the background as an extra and I heard on the news about his guy that got a movie after being discovered on Youtube,” says Rimer who started posting his videos online five years ago.
Including both song parodies and sketch comedy, it is the parodies on Rimer’s Youtube channel that have seen the most success as they have the longest lasting impact on his online audience.
“I enjoy making the song parodies the most,” says Rimer despite the extra work that is involved. “You have to re-write the song, record the music and then shoot the video so it is a lot of work, but the payoff comes when anyone that has seen my video hears the song again they immediately think of me.”
Refusing to claim a favourite that include songs from Gotye, Carly Rae Jepson, Katy Perry and Madonna, Rimer’s latest video is a slightly racy gay version of Chris Brown’s “Don’t Wake Me Up”, featuring local dancer and singer/songwriter Tyrell Witherspoon.
Originally thinking he might do a parody of the Justin Bieber’s new song “As Long as You Love Me” or Pink’s “Blow Me One More Kiss”, he didn’t think they we were edgy enough for his viewers.
“What I do is a little more raunchy for adult viewing so I didn’t want to write a song about eating fruit – I needed something for an adult audience.”
Choosing which video will appear next not only includes looking for the more raunchy possibilities it also means watching what is moving up on the music charts. But Rimer says he still needs to find a personal connection and that usually means a song that he likes and while not all of his song parodies have a gay theme, it is what sets him apart among his peers.
“I did one song with Ryan Steele [a spoof of the Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg’s “Mother Lover”] and it hit a million views and I did another. It is my niche that people really seem to like,” explains Rimer as to why he is doing more song parodies than sketch comedy these days.
Perhaps ironically, an offshoot of Rimer’s success on Youtube is a consulting business that also helps businesses take advantage of what he says is the second largest search engine on the internet.
“I have a full day workshop and we go through how to market themselves on Youtube,” says Rimer who reveals that it has turned into a pretty lucrative business, although it is balanced by the number of hours he doesn’t get paid in creating his own videos.
“I spend a lot of time on my own videos that doesn’t make money and with some of the elaborate productions that I do it can be hard to make more money than I actually spend.”
Working with a core team from the Vancouver Independent Film Industry Network that he facilitates, Rimer’s videos come together surprisingly fast once he has chosen a song.
“It usually takes about a week and a half before it goes up [on Youtube],” explains Rimer. “I check the charts to see what is popular and then I begin the process.”
What’s next on Rimer’s radar? He says we’ll just to wait and find out what’s hot in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can also find Rimer every Thursday as part of the weekly rotation on A Gay Collab, another Youtube channel that he shares with four other gay guys from around the world.
Subscribe to Josh’s Youtube channel online at http://www.youtube.com/user/JoshRimer.