Hello creatives. Welcome back to Girl Gang Craft, the podcast, and today we have Sam Reece with us, and I'm really excited for this conversation. Sam, I've been following you for a while. You are hilarious and so crafty. Thank you. And really, I just know that our audience can learn a lot from you. So why don't you introduce yourself and tell us who you are.
Sam Reece (05:15):
Absolutely. Hi, I'm Sam Reece and I am Shitty Craft Club, as you may know, maybe that's why you're here. And also, I am a writer, comedian, director, actor. I do a thousand things, as we all do, but they're all kind of in the same universe. Thank you for having me.
Phoebe Sherman (05:37):
Thank you for being here. And if you're watching on YouTube, you can see that the background Sam has is just fabulous. And you probably recognize it from her social media.
Sam Reece (05:48):
Yeah, it's very subtle. I'm very into minimalism, obviously. Yes, we're unmuted tones. Palettes, yeah.
Phoebe Sherman (05:57):
Love it. Okay, so I guess right off the gate, let's talk about Shitty Craft Club first. Also, I love that yours is kind of a tongue twister because we're kind of a tongue twister and it's like in the same realm. So how did this start? What happened? Tell us about that journey.
Sam Reece (06:15):
Okay, so now I'm going to mess up saying it. Shitty Craft Club Girl Gang Craft. It's like, did you watch 30 Rock?
Phoebe Sherman (06:23):
Yes, of course.
Sam Reece (06:24):
The Royal Juror Rule…
Phoebe Sherman (06:25):
All the Tongue twisters.
Sam Reece (06:28):
Okay, so Shitty Craft Club started in 2019, and it was a live event first. That was the initial seed of it all. I just really wanted to get my friends together and make some silly stuff. And I rented a community space that I had been to before, done some shows at and invited 20 to 30 of my closest pals. And I extended an invite to any creatives that I was friends with and just had this feeling that we were all like, oh, our passion became our job, and now we can't be creative for fun. We can, but it feels harder. So I was like, I just want to goof around with some crafts. I'll buy a bunch of stuff, we'll show up. And yeah, we glued a bunch of stuff to sunglasses. The initial craft was inspired by “Imakestagram”. I don't know if you follow Rachel Burke, she's iconic.
She's an Australian designer, but she does these fun, she calls them “stunglasses”. So I was like, oh, perfect entryway craft here…. And we got together for three hours and I hired a photographer friend to take photos of us at the end because I was like, I think a big part of this will be not only doing the craft, but then celebrating it no matter how shitty it is. And the whole idea behind Shitty Craft Club is not that it looks shitty necessarily, but it's allowing yourself to try something new, make something just for fun, and let it be exactly what it is without judging it and judging yourself and judging anyone else's creation. So at the very end, we did a big dance party modeling session, and it was amazing. So I was like, let's do this every month. And that's how it started.
Phoebe Sherman (08:13):
I love it. And maybe to go a little bit off a tangent, and this is not the direction that I had planned in my Virgo mind, but yes…
Sam Reece (08:21):
Phoebe Sherman (08:22):
Yeah, you're Virgo too.. I love that. Okay, we'll hop onto that later. But this idea of creating for pleasure, I think is so potent and so top-of-mind for our community. Me in particular, I just started ceramics for fun and I love it, and I'm having so much fun, and it's really cool to be able to be, have a beginner mindset about it. It's not going to be perfect. You're not trying to sell it. It's like for fun, it's for you. It's for the process. Because as creatives, we get sort of, well, perhaps most of us get stuck on the outcome and the monetary value and the capitalism.
Sam Reece (09:03):
“It's not perfect. I can't show it to anybody.”
Phoebe Sherman (09:06):
Yes. So I think this is really cool. And so did this become an outlet for you, and how did your community respond to this? And were they all sort of artists doing art already professionally in various forms?
Sam Reece (09:19):
Yeah, I mean, it was a mix of my community because I was working as a copywriter at an ad agency at the time for Men's Warehouse. You may have heard of it, perfect fit.
Phoebe Sherman (09:31):
You're going to like the way you work, you're going to the way you look. But either works…
Sam Reece (09:35):
Spoiler alert. We were not allowed to use that line very explicitly. Devastating. That's all I wanted to do. I would literally write joke captions that I knew they wouldn't approve just to make us all laugh. And then the real ones, and they were all iterations of that. Anyway, so the mix of people was comedians, it was musical theater, friends from college. It was ad agency friends who are creatives, and some of them were strategy people. It was truly a mix of all of my communities. And the idea of creating just to create became the priority. After that first time, we were all like, oh wait, this was really fun. And also just being around the energy of other people who were letting loose and not judging the creations as they make them. It was a really supportive, safe space. Cause I think a safe space requires you not to judge others, but also not to judge yourself. And it was a really magical, magical moment. So from then on, I was like, oh, I really like this feeling of letting myself be bad at something. And so my kind of mantra became like, it's okay to be bad, impress yourself at how bad you can be at something because it's very vulnerable
Phoebe Sherman (10:54):
And you're always sharing these crafts.
Sam Reece (10:57):
Yes, yes. The TikTok was a whole other level of that for sure. Which came later.
Phoebe Sherman (11:05):
Yeah. So tell us about that. So how did you get into the content creation world and what did that sort of become for you?
Sam Reece (11:12):
I think a lot of people were resisting joining TikTok because it felt like it was not for us. I was sort of like, oh, I know it's trends and viral dances and stuff like that, and that wasn't my vibe. But I was in a commercial for #DoorDash, and a friend of mine was like, no, you got to get on there. And he really sat me down and was like, why not? Tell me. Give me one reason. Why not? And I was like, because I'm scared. And he convinced me. And it became obviously a sort of response to the pandemic in a way where I was like, my industry is closed at the moment, and I'm also in a space where I'm interested in what my creative voice feels and sounds like. And I have worked with a lot of collaborators in my career, and I've never given myself, or I hadn't given myself the chance to see what I sound like on my own in a while. And so I just started making a video a day, letting my heart guide the craft. And if I made us up myself, a rule that was like, if it doesn't feel fun, you don't have to do it. I didn't want it to feel pressured, and I just went for it.
Phoebe Sherman (12:37):
Does it still feel fun?
Sam Reece (12:39):
It does. But sometimes that means I only post once a week instead of every day, which is totally fine. Yeah. So it's a weird balance now, I think, because I do get in, of course, I get in the head space where I'm like, I should be boosting four times a day, and if I'm not, I'm a failure, but I have to sit down and remind myself this is supposed to be a fun thing. But again, I did end up making another little one of my passions, my job, so I love to do that.
Phoebe Sherman (13:12):
Okay. So what opportunities came to you through this posting on TikTok?
Sam Reece (13:20):
A lot of cool stuff. I think what was so fun for me, first of all, was the videos I've been editing myself. And that's been a really fun thing that I was like, oh, I am new at editing videos. And that's something I've always wanted to do. And this provided a perfect opportunity to combine my voice and comedy and crafts and editing and use it all together. And I've gotten a lot better at it, and I'm still getting better at it. There’s a lot I really don't know how to do. So the more I just sort of went for it and let myself get weird and freaky with the editing, the more I think people responded to that, including literal opportunities. I mean, the biggest one is obviously the book. That has been a whole journey. We'll get to that, I'm sure. But there's been a lot of stuff.
There's been brand stuff here and there. I really don't take on brand work unless it feels like I have a lot of creative freedom and it's a collaborative process. I don't want it to just be, here's the assignment, talk to camera situation. I want it to be like, oh, I'm going to make a weird thing and it's going to be a weird video, but it's going to work for all of us, I promise. And if they trust me to do that, great. And if not, then I don't usually go for it. So there's, yeah, been some really great collaborations like apartment therapy and Warby Parker, stuff like that, they've been like, yeah, do whatever you want. But I think the most random thing was I was in a little commercial for Google and they have this Google Lens feature now where you can just take pictures of stuff and be like, what is this? Or find something like this. And they were like, Hey, you had a bunch of weird stuff. Can we feature you in this commercial? I'm like, yeah, sure. So I was literally walking around my apartment being like, and this is a velvet burger I made, and this is a giant ginger ale can, and I got to keep this bagel purse from the set. So this is actually the best thing I've gotten from the craft club TikTok, I think is a free bagel purse, and you can quote me on that.
Phoebe Sherman (15:26):
I love it. Is that, what's her name? Is that…
Sam Reece (15:29):
Phoebe Sherman (15:30):
Oh, it is Betsey Johnson. Okay, great. Love it.
Sam Reece (15:33):
Yeah, Betsey's gotten into the bagel bag game.
Phoebe Sherman (15:36):
Love it. Didn't know that.
Sam Reece (15:39):
Happy for her.
Phoebe Sherman (15:41):
Okay. So were there other ways that you were monetizing your channel besides brand partnerships?
Sam Reece (15:49):
No, I guess in the way that I was like, this is supposed to be a fun thing. Really, how I was making money was still in commercial work and acting and writing, and it still is. And I would say I really don't make money from the TikTok. I didn't monetize my channel. I don't do YouTube, I do Instagram, but it's really just reposting everything. And also I think, did Instagram take away their creators program?
Phoebe Sherman (16:18):
Yeah, they don't pay out for reels anymore.
Sam Reece (16:20):
Immediately they were like, oopsies, we can't do that.
Phoebe Sherman (16:23):
They're like, let's take more things away from you and keep you all on TikTok and not For You [page].
Sam Reece (16:28):
We're going to change the rules every 20 minutes. What do you think of that? Do you like that? Does it doesn't matter? You're here. And we're like, yeah, awesome. But yeah, I do not really monetize it in any big way… yet. I don't know.
Phoebe Sherman (16:43):
Okay. So did you continue the events?
Sam Reece (16:47):
Oh yeah. So actually the pandemic lockdown started the weekend I was going to throw the big one year anniversary party for Craft Club, which I canceled, and I didn't do an event for a year and a half. And then, I guess it was summer 2021, a small vintage store reached out to me and was like, I'd love to partner on an event. And I was like, great. Yeah, I really would love to. So that was the first big one back. And because I got so excited about it, and the event is really such a magical part of Craft Club for me, and it had grown so much without the events in person. This first event back had some friends and then a lot of people I didn't know, which I was like, oh, this is interesting. I like this.
But I started doing a lot of events for the rest of the fall, probably two a month, which was a lot. And I'm definitely, if I feel comfortable, I'm perfectly happy being an extrovert. I love to be funny, make people laugh, whatever, but it gets to a certain point where I need to be alone for three days in my room watching The Bachelor, unfortunately. And I didn't give myself any of that downtime, and I burnt myself out on events pretty badly to the point where I cut all of my hair off. I had my Britney moment, and I think at the time I was like, no, I want short hair. But it was really just like I needed control of something, even though I was perfectly in control of these events, it just felt like I was doing so many. It's me and a huge suitcase…
It was in New York at the time, so I was dragging a suitcase down the subway steps and back up the subway steps. And it got to a point where at these events I didn't know anybody. And it wasn't super comfortable in that moment for me because I didn't know, I didn't really understand what was happening. And so it was just sort of me by myself not doing any craft, just sort of watching over hosting. And in the beginning of 2022, I was like, I need to take a break. And I have not hosted an event since then, but I am gearing up to start in a more manageable way.
Phoebe Sherman (19:13):
Thank you for sharing all of that with us.
Sam Reece (19:15):
Phoebe Sherman (19:17):
I think that's a story that a lot of our community can relate to with just something successful. And then we go full in and then we're like, oh, this is not what I'm going to be doing all the time.
Sam Reece (19:31):
Because you do craft fairs, right?
Phoebe Sherman (19:33):
I do craft fairs.
Sam Reece (19:34):
I mean, I did a yard sale on Sunday and I was like, I don't know how people pack for these every weekend. This is so intense.
Phoebe Sherman (19:43):
It's a lot. And we're getting older. My back is starting to hurt.
Sam Reece (19:51):
Yeah. Oh, for sure. That's my brand, right? You need interns.
Phoebe Sherman (19:58):
Yeah. Totally relate. So how do you balance your other stuff? So tell us a little bit about your other world, your acting, your writing, your comedy. What does that look like today?
Sam Reece (20:08):
Yeah, so I've been a comedian person for a little over 10 years now. I was a performer and writer at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City, and I work with my best friend, and she's also, my writing partner name is Becky Chicoine.
Phoebe Sherman (20:26):
Dropped, by the way, just casually dropped that.
Sam Reece (20:28):
Phoebe Sherman (20:29):
About the Brigade…
Sam Reece (20:32):
Yeah. I mean, I'm part of the Brigade. It's true. Spent a lot of my time in a basement performing comedy. We performed together as the duo girls with brown hair, and we do a lot of musical comedy, sketch comedy, and we also write TV together. So it's been a wild ride, but we've been performing live shows together for a long time. We did a lot of festivals. We've toured and now we both live in LA, and we do a lot of developing our own projects and trying to sell TV shows and get staffed on TV shows, which is a lot of packets, and making sure you have pilots written of all different types that represent your work. And we still perform a lot, and we're starting to get that going in LA. And we just did a show called the “1953 Thanksgiving Special” in LA, which is one of our Class Six, which is a parody of the Judy Garland Christmas Specials in the 60’s, but it's about Thanksgiving.
It's wild. So balancing the two is interesting because I feel like each of them go through phases where Becky and I will be super busy working on something… we just directed a bunch of videos for It Gets Better, the organization. So that was four months of traveling and a lot of prep work, a lot of editing. And then I got back into crafts for a couple weeks, which was really nice. It's like a creative release, just lock myself in my studio and make some weird shit. Then we got into the Thanksgiving specials, a lot of rehearsals, a lot of updating scripts, stuff like that. And now I'm back in sort of a craft mode for a little bit. And sometimes it's in tandem. We're also writing a lot, we meet once or twice a week to write every single week. And there's some really interesting stuff happening with Craft Club that is new to me as well. A lot of physical art installations. It's going to be the theme of the summer. And I'm going to probably have Becky help me because she's got great stage manager energy. She can really coordinate. She's the Brains and I'm the Crafts. I don't know, we're both the brains, but she's the voice. She can really put everyone in their place, help me out. It's a good dynamic. Does that answer your question?
Phoebe Sherman (23:03):
Yes, yes. I think so. Okay. So let's talk about the book. So how did the book come along? Yeah, tell us about the book.
Sam Reece (23:11):
Great. Okay, so this woman named Rachel emailed me or DM’ed me, I don't remember. And she was like, hi, I work with this book agency called Serendipity. Have you thought about working on a book? I’m very into the craft stuff. And she has a lot of experience and publishing and thought it would be a good fit. And I was like, oh, I haven't thought about a book, but let's talk about it. And so I met with her and who is now my literary agent, Charles at Serendipity. And we spent the summer working on a pitch together. And as a Virgo, I don't know if you identify as someone who loves to put together a mood board and a deck, but that was exciting for me. I was like, how many mood boards do you need? And can I send them to you right now? And they're like, great. We're still going to take all this and make something completely different, but we love the energy. Thank you. So yeah, I made a big wishlist of everything I wanted in a deck. Happy to share some of those photos. The mood boards were actually very cute. I do want to make a sort of TikTok about them because the inspiration was really helpful.
So we worked on that for a summer, and then we were getting ready to pitch to publishers, and then they had this one publisher in mind, which is Chronicle Books, and that was the big one that they wanted to shoot for. And then out of the blue, one of their editors emailed me cold and was like, hey, have you ever thought about making a book? And I was like, that's so funny you should say that. Actually, I have all these materials right here. And it was just like that perfect wet… what is it… “Luck is when opportunity meets preparation moment.” I was like, oh my God.
Phoebe Sherman (25:03):
A preparation moment. I love that.
Sam Reece (25:06):
Yeah, it was perfect. And I met with her, her name's Dina. She's an amazing editor at Chronicle. And we really clicked. She gets it. She pitched the book to her team and they were like, let's do it. And that was probably in the winter of last year, no, 2021. And I signed contracts in 2022, Timelines, fuck with my head so much. And then I started writing it early 2022, and it was due in June, June 1st, and I was moving to LA June 1st. So the week that the book was due was the week I was moving to a different state. And that I do not actually recommend, if you can believe it. Also, my partner and I were in Austin, Texas for a television festival that they were in this big pilot competition for which they won… very exciting. And so we were in this tiny hotel room in Austin with seven Suitcases.
This was in between New York and LA. And they also had a job for the whole week. And I had to finish the book. And then I also directed some commercials for Google. That was a really cool opportunity that also came out of TikTok. We were both working in this tiny hotel room, and it was chaos. So we finally got here. This was a big lesson for me in asking for help, because I was like, no, they're deadlines. I have to stick to them. And my Nikki did a very good job encouraging me to reach out and just ask for an extension, which I did. And I got a vacation responder that said, I won't be in the office till next week. And I was like, well, I'm just going to take the week, then I'm going to take that as a sign. And it was fine. No one said anything or cared. And they actually sent me cookies as a “welcome to LA” gift. So that was nice. So yeah, I finished, I turned in the manuscript, that's a word they throw around a lot over there. Manuscript is new to me. And then I was ready for some scary notes. I didn't take any writing classes in college. I was taking tap and jazz and singing my little ass off…
Phoebe Sherman (27:29):
I am also a tap dancer.
Sam Reece (27:31):
Oh my God, yes. I'm a bad one. You're probably way better than me. I'm amatueur still. I can make it look good with the arms. Yeah, yeah. Can really do a lot with arm confidence.
Phoebe Sherman (27:44):
It’s been 13 years for me.
Sam Reece (27:45):
It's like riding a bike, isn’t it? In some ways…
Phoebe Sherman (27:50):
Sam Reece (27:51):
Yeah. So I was, I was a little imposter syndrome-y about being a writer in that way, because I can write dialogue forever. I love to write a script. But yeah, just again, honing in on my own voice and what that is as a writer was really interesting. And the notes were great. They were very encouraging and great suggestions and very helpful. And for the next, about a year or, yeah, it's been almost a year… since that I was doing the visuals. The book photo shoot was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I got to choose the photographer. Her name's Lizzie Darden. Do you know her?
Phoebe Sherman (28:35):
I do know her. Yeah.
Sam Reece (28:37):
Everybody follows Lizzie. She's amazing.
Phoebe Sherman (28:40):
Sam Reece (28:41):
Yeah. Truly a visual icon.
Phoebe Sherman (28:44):
I mean, I don’t her personally. I know her work.
Sam Reece (28:45):
Yeah. Yes, I did too. For years had followed her, and we had kind of become internet buddies just because she found Craft Club on TikTok. And then I was starstruck, and I was like, “I love your work. Hello.” And when I suggested her as the book photographer, they were like, yeah, we'll reach out. And she was in, and she flew in from Florida. We had two days to do it all. And this is a 144-page book that is mostly photos. And it was a lot. And we ran out of time at the studio and had to then set up at my apartment and shoot until 2:00 AM The shot list is six pages long. She brought props, she brought so much stuff. It was really interesting. I experienced this a lot in comedy writing too, where it's like what you write on the page and what happens in real life shifts a lot. And you have to be on your toes ready to adjust. And it was a lot of that. It was like, okay, this in theory is interesting, but we can't make it look like this in a photo. So how can we change it and come up with something together that makes sense? And that was really hard, but I learned a lot. It was awesome, ultimately. And the pictures look amazing. I wish we could sell them all as puzzles or foot posters.
Phoebe Sherman (30:09):
Sam Reece (30:10):
I feel like, yeah, they want to make money. That’s a great way to make money. Who doesn't love a puzzle?
Phoebe Sherman (30:16):
I love it. Maybe some craft aprons.
Sam Reece (30:20):
Yes, yes. Yeah. Anything.
Phoebe Sherman (30:23):
Wait, so what is the book about?
Sam Reece (30:26):
Great question. The book is funny. Short stories paired with craft DIY that are also funny. So it's all about stories about friendship and mental health and perfectionism, all the things we've been talking about, being creative and not selling your soul completely for it. And also just a lot of silly stuff…glue and beads to trash and how to make it fun. And yeah, there's like 12 chapters and 11 of them are specific crafts. Got a holiday chapter in there. Yeah, and it's a little interactive too. I encourage everyone to write in the book craft on the book, make it their own little craft bible, if you will. And it's very colorful, stunning,
Phoebe Sherman (31:21):
So exciting. And I can't wait to read it. And that's out September 19th, right?
Sam Reece (31:26):
Yes, September 19th.
Phoebe Sherman (31:29):
Sam Reece (31:30):
She’s a Virgo. I get the free copies of it, advanced copies. I get them in at the end of May, so that'll be crazy to see for the first time.
Phoebe Sherman (31:47):
So exciting. When's your birthday?
Sam Reece (31:49):
Phoebe Sherman (31:50):
Sam Reece (31:51):
What is yours?
Phoebe Sherman (31:53):
On the 20th.
Sam Reece (31:54):
Phoebe Sherman (31:55):
Sam Reece (31:56):
Phoebe Sherman (31:59):
Okay, so let's switch gears a little bit. And I want to talk about content. And I think you have a very interesting intersection for a lot of our community, because our community is full of a lot of makers and crafters, but also a lot of service professionals, healers, witches, photographers, things like that. And I kind of think that you sit in the middle of that with your content because you're also showing up as yourself and talking about your work and talking about what you've made. So I think that's interesting because I think everyone listening can, well, everyone listening regardless, can get inspired and get advice from you. But yeah, I just think a lot of people can utilize some of the strategies, if you will have strategies or if you're just naturally amazing for showing up. So I don't know what makes good content. What do you think makes good content?
Sam Reece (32:57):
Isn't that just the ultimate question that everyone is always asking? Well, I can speak to obviously what makes content good for everybody, but for my own work and for what I like to watch, I can speak to that. For me, I like to make content that is, how do I describe it? It's not trying to be cool, I guess. I don't know. I really like to embrace however weird I'm feeling in the moment. The process to me is always interesting. I don't care about viral trends, whatever. I'll sometimes do those if they feel fun, but I tend to avoid those. Although sometimes I like to watch them. It's fun to watch. Yeah, I think the most fun to me is how weird I can make it with editing, or if there's a silly angle I can find that's not just voiceover and video. That's not interesting to me.
I like a lot of weird cuts and angles. And I do, I'll reshoot a joke here and there if I want to change how it hits in the video. But I really just strive for feeling like my most authentic self that day beause it's always different. Sometimes my energy is low, sometimes it's off the charts. So I try to lean into however that feels that day and makes something that makes me laugh. I think that's most important. As if I make myself laugh, that's a really good sign. And then in terms of content I like to watch, I just love to watch anyone showing what they're good at and showing what they love. I think one of my favorite things about human beings is just how everyone finds their niche and gets good at their niche and their art, and it's so impressive and cool and you know, see someone making miniatures so detailed. I'm like, that must have taken forever to learn how to do that. That's so cool. Yeah, it's just so impressive to me when people can show off what their special thing is. I like to think that that's also what I'm doing, even though sometimes it's just rhinestoning a trash can. It's special to me. So that's enough. But yeah.
Phoebe Sherman (35:26):
Well obviously there's been an audience for that, obviously, right?
Sam Reece (35:28):
Phoebe Sherman (35:30):
…receptive to your bejeweled trash cans.
Sam Reece (35:32):
So I'm very grateful.
Phoebe Sherman (35:35):
So do you have a formula for your content? Are you someone who thinks about a hook and a call to action or thinking it as a story beginning, middle, and end? I don't know. Do you have any sort of formulas or formats that you think about?
Sam Reece (35:50):
I guess not consciously. I think that that is so much of what my other work is. Writing scripts is so much about formula and structure that I am naturally doing more storytelling in TikTok than I probably give myself credit for. But yeah, I think I'll always prioritize in a video what is the funniest way to get somebody's attention. That's just my life story. Look at me. So yeah, I think if I paid attention, I would probably notice a lot of like, oh yeah, I am thinking of a beginning, middle, and end. I am switching clips around so that the storytelling makes more sense. But it's not something that I do on purpose except for stupid ways I can enter the frame. I love to roll into frame on my computer chair. I love to pop out. I love to make an entrance. But besides that, it's really just filming and it's all in the editing process, I guess is really where the magic happens.
Phoebe Sherman (36:57):
Well, I think that is a strategy, the rolling into the frame. I mean, so I'm a teacher, so I like to break things down for y'all listening. So you may be so natural at this that you're not thinking about that, but that's a strategy I think coming into the frame, getting someone's attention immediately, starting with a joke, showing your bright colorful thing immediately, and maybe doing a smaller clip first. I think I've seen you use all those strategies.
Sam Reece (37:25):
I've got you pin. I know what you do. Yeah, tell me. I'd love to know.
Phoebe Sherman (37:31):
So I mean, thinking about that too, whether it's your face, right, or if it's your item, I'm talking to you all. I'm pointing to the empty room.
Sam Reece (37:40):
It's a grand you. Yes.
Phoebe Sherman (37:44):
How are you getting people's attention immediately? Okay, wait, here's a question. Do you find yourself making more short form content or what's your average video time?
Sam Reece (37:54):
I don't know. I think, yeah, I think they tend to be 30 seconds or less because I don't really do tutorials. It's more like a process of me, literally you're watching me figure it out. And sometimes it's like, oh, that's a 15 minute video, or two hour video, or a five hour video that I've cut down. But actually a lot of it is me. I'm filming on purpose and then I'm watching an entire season of television and then filming again. You know what I mean? So yeah, I don't know. It's always different, but oh, they're building a house next door. I don't know if you can hear that. That's a craft.
Phoebe Sherman (38:34):
I loved video the other day and I was thinking about it and I was like, I think I want to stitch this. I was like, what else are crafts? I was making a salad.
Sam Reece (38:41):
That's such a craft. I'm not good at that one.
Phoebe Sherman (38:45):
And thrifting is a craft.
Sam Reece (38:47):
Yes, it is. Yes. Yeah, that's a fun craft. I like that one. Yes. Yeah, anything can be a craft, truly.
Phoebe Sherman (38:56):
So do you film through your whole process? And so you have that million hour video and then you just chop it down?
Sam Reece (39:04):
For the most part, if I know that what I'm doing on the camera is not interesting, I will stop the camera so I can finish it. But if I have a funny thought, then I'll record it. But yeah, so it's been a while actually since I've, the last craft that took fucking forever was the toilet rug that I made for which I have the prototype here.
Phoebe Sherman (39:24):
Did you use a rug gun?
Sam Reece (39:26):
No, that's my outline. I had to learn how to use Illustrator for 10 minutes through a video to make that big enough and tape it together. But I was doing a video for a brand that is like craft instructional tutorial videos and not just crafts. They do a ton of stuff, but I was like, yeah, I'll learn how to punch needle. Yeah, I can learn to do it in a couple hours. No big deal. I got that. Yeah, it took me all day, obviously. Cause it's not something you can just pick up and be perfect at, which I forget. And the instructor, her name's Adeline Wang, she's Australian. Is she Australian? I keep thinking she's Australian. I think it's because Adelaide is a place in Australia. I don't actually know where she's from, but she's an incredible punch needle artist. She doesn't use a gun.
She uses it all by hand, and she makes some crazy stuff, highly recommend a follow. And she's very funny. And so she was a great teacher. She walks you through everything. So I was filming myself also watching her video, which was part of the pitch. So I was like, okay, I need to find funny clips that she has where I can respond to her. We're in a conversation, but then I also need to record myself. I wanted it to be honest that, yeah, this is hard and you have to listen to the teacher. You can't just go off script when you're learning something. I mean, you can obviously teach yourself a lot, but there are teachers for a reason, and we thank you for your service. You know what you're doing. You're sharing that gift with us. And so that was helpful to remember. So yeah, that one took a really long time and I think finished it in five or six hours. And so that video is, there are probably some outtakes that are really embarrassing of me just hunched over a little troll cursing at myself, why am I not good at this? And I started it an hour ago, but we did it. We got through it.
Phoebe Sherman (41:33):
Do you do it all on your phone?
Sam Reece (41:35):
Phoebe Sherman (41:36):
Is in your storage wild?
Sam Reece (41:37):
Yeah, it's bad. It's really bad. Yeah. I get that notification all the time that's like, I'm dying. Help me please delete stuff. I'm like, maybe I need to get a hard drive, is what I need to do. That's going to be a good one for me.
Phoebe Sherman (41:52):
Do you batch content at all or batch editing, or is it all based on your crafting mood?
Sam Reece (41:59):
It all depends on the mood. I have done some batching in the early days. There was a moment actually when I had been making a video every day, and then I was going to visit my dad and I was like, oh my god, how am I going to make videos? Because I was still in this place where I was like, I have to have my hair and makeup done. I'm dressed the part, the background looks great, it's all very aesthetic forward, finished product tied with a bow. And that was the first time where I was like, okay, maybe I can show a little more off script of what I've been doing. And it was a necessary break, of course, but that was the first time I had filmed a couple videos that I could post while I was there to not lose momentum or the illusion of momentum. And the funniest, there's, I think it's a video that didn't even do that well, but makes me laugh a lot, is that I was literally washing my face at my dad's and there were cotton balls in the bathroom and it on the back of the bag says that you should use them for crafts. And I was like, oh, that's kind of a funny idea that I'm away from all of my craft stuff, but here I am still wanting to be like, what can I use them for?
So no, I don't batch content, I just go with the flow. I have plenty of fucked up drafts that I tried to batch or that I was like, yeah, I'll post this. And I was like, absolutely not. I'm not going to post this. Because I can either watch myself being sort of manic in the, I have to make a video about something and I can watch myself not enjoying the process. Or it's a silly trend that I'm like, eh, I don't really need to contribute to this. It's just fun to use the filter sometimes.
Phoebe Sherman (43:42):
So what does your day-to-day look like? How do you stay organized with all your projects?
Sam Reece (43:48):
Great question. I am still figuring that out day-to-day. It's always different. I think ADHD-wise, a routine, sticks for a little bit, and then I lose it like dust in the wind, and I'm like, I've never had a routine ever in my life. And then I'll come back to it three months later. It's like how I journal. I'm like every day for three months and then not for two years and then I'm back. But yeah, I think the fact that I have such freedom in my day has always been a dream of mine. I had a very specific therapy session a few years ago where I was at the end of my rope with this advertising job. And one of those, I dunno if you've ever gotten to the point where you walk into an office and you are about to burst into tears and you're like, ah, I got to get out of here.
I was at that point and my therapist had me shut my eyes and just talk through what an ideal week would look like every day to day, what were the things that I would want to be doing that day? And over three years, I was able to move towards that. And that's where I'm at now, where I can kind of build my day however I want when I wake up, or I obviously have stuff scheduled, but I really have the creative freedom to make my day what I need it to be. And that is a huge privilege. I'm really grateful for that. And a lot of it is because I have done commercial work that gives me those sweet, sweet residuals and some voiceover job pays my rent for a year and a half, and that is a very unique way to make money. And it's also how I get my health insurance. So that is something very special that I have going on right now. And it might not always be like that, but that's always what I'm trying to aim for. Crazy. Yeah, I love it.
Phoebe Sherman (45:46):
That's beautiful. So what's next for you?
Sam Reece (45:49):
What is next? So yeah, like I mentioned earlier, I have some kind of sort of art installation projects coming up. I am partnering with Mud Witch. I don't know if you follow them on social media…
Phoebe Sherman (46:07):
They did one of our first shows.
Sam Reece (46:09):
Oh my God, amazing. Yeah, I've been obsessed with their mugs forever. And they reached out and asked if I would do the windows for this sort of creative space they have in San Francisco and do their windows for Pride. And I was like, yeah, I've never done that before. I will figure it out. So in the process of figuring out plans for that, but I'm very excited to give that a shot. And I'll also be doing an event there for Pride. I'm doing my first event in LA at Junior High, which is a really fun, creative space, great community space. They do awesome events. So that's going to be on May 28th and tickets will be on sale for that pretty soon. Yeah, I mean, hopefully I'll have news about a book tour soon. That's sort of my dream is that I get to go to a bunch of cities and have events at places that have reached out to me in the past and invited me to do events there and get to meet everyone around the country and maybe abroad, if you will, and what else is going on... And comedy wise, Becky and I still perform, so we're always doing shows. I'll be actually in New York next weekend doing a show called Internet Explorers. It's the final two shows that we're doing, but it's a really fun internet comedy show where I really reveal a lot of my middle school online presence, which was robust. So that's going to be at Caveat on April 28th and 29th in New York if this episode comes out before that, am I not? And if not, then you missed it and there's videos of it, but that's all you get.
Phoebe Sherman (47:52):
And then I guess last question, how, I don't know, has there been pushback for anything trolls? How have you dealt with that? Yeah, that was a really incomplete question, but…
Sam Reece (48:04):
Pushback trolls, that's enough. I've been incredibly online for a long time, and I'd say Twitter is the most hellscape place I've ever been, where if you go viral, it's just like the worst people responding to it who don't understand it's a joke. And I haven't been on Twitter in a long time. I took myself out of that world because it was too stressful. But TikTok, I've really landed on whatever side that is lovely and supportive and fun, and we're all fun, cute little weirdos over there and love sharing our art with each other. And so I think the most pushback I've gotten is one time someone commented, there's a tinfoil shortage and what are you doing about that? And I was like, I'm obviously the reason for it. This is my fault.
Phoebe Sherman (48:52):
What did you use tinfoil for?
Sam Reece (48:54):
I use it for everything. It's just a great sculpting agent, if you will. Very multiple. Yeah. So I was like, yeah, I'll take credit for that. I'm so sorry. I should apologize to my community. So that was just a very funny moment of, oh, sustainability is something that is important to me. And I do recycle and upcycle and reuse a lot of my supplies. I don't buy fast fashion. I thrift, I'm a vegetarian, there's all these things that I think about, but to be nailed for the tinfoil thing was like, I'll own that. But also that's very funny to me. I'm just one little lady who's in some tinfoil to make some stupid stuff, but that's probably the most troll I've gotten so far. I'm sure there will be more.
Phoebe Sherman (49:46):
Are there other ways that you manage your mental health and take care of yourself besides crafting or is crafting sort of your go-to?
Sam Reece (49:53):
No, it's a small part of it. I have a therapist who is great. I love therapy, and I also do like taking breaks from therapy. I think some people have to be in it all the time, but sometimes taking a few months off or a year off has been, for me personally, has been great. So I can try and use what I've learned in my life and give myself some space to do that. But I always come back. I have really gotten into just hanging out with friends, not making plans to do anything. We just go over each other's houses and we just hang out kind of like we used to in high school. And sometimes it's video games, sometimes we're going on walks or we're going on a day trip. But yeah, just really spending time with my community has been really helpful and healing and lovely.
And what else do I do? Oh, I love to go to Angel City Soccer games here in LA, support the women's soccer team, and really just spending time with the queer community here in LA, getting to know those little pockets. And there's lots of really cool events that they put together in support of the community. So really try to be part of it all and then hope that I can contribute on my end as well. Yeah, and then crafts are great too, but then sometimes just watching like 400 hours of TV is a great way to relax and cope, so all the above.
Phoebe Sherman (51:23):
Well, Sam, this has been so nice. Can you tell everyone where they can find you?
Sam Reece (51:27):
Yes. Shitty Craft Club on TikTok and Instagram, or if you want to see more personal chaos, it's Sam Reece on Instagram as well. And then girlswithbrownhair.com or at @gwbhcomedy is our Instagram. And we are also on TikTok. We do some funny videos sometimes. And yeah, I'm around, I'm always posting about shows on Instagram, so that's probably the most up-to-date place with events and stuff that you'll find for Craft Club as well. That's where I'll post ticket links and all that stuff, so make sure you follow.
Phoebe Sherman (52:09):
And the books out September 19th. Woo-hoo!
Sam Reece (52:11):
You can pre-order it now.
Phoebe Sherman (52:13):
Amazing. Yay. Okay. Well thank you so much, Sam. This has been a blast and I really appreciate you. Yeah,
Sam Reece (52:20):
Thank you, Phoebe, I appreciate you.
Phoebe Sherman (52:22):
Thank you so much for listening to The Girl Game Craft podcast. Head to girlgangcraft.com/podcast for show notes and more. See you next time.