YouTube Duo Takes On Songwriter Life in "Successful People" Web Series

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Musical YouTube duo Skip & Terri are unsuccessful songwriters in a world of successful people in new comedic web series. Eight-episode first season currently releasing weekly.

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Theresa Ryan & Artie O'Daly write & star in the new comedic web series "Successful People"

"If you've ever wanted to see a pregnant woman attempt to wear a corset, we're your show."

Writers Artie O’Daly and Theresa Ryan, better known as the popular YouTube duo Skip & Terri, explore the plight of the unsuccessful songwriter in the just-released comedic web series Successful People. The eight 5-minute episodes follow a pair of songwriters, played by O'Daly and Ryan, as they navigate their way through a world of people who have already made it. Episodes release on Tuesdays via the duo's YouTube channel. The web series also features Todd Sherry (Supergirl, Parks & Recreation), Malcolm Foster Smith (The Middle, Modern Family), Matthew Bohrer (Masters of Sex, Scandal), Miki Yamashita (Law & Order, The LA Opera), and Lisa Linke (Black-ish).

In the web series, songwriters Laura O’Malley (Theresa Ryan) and Chet Kensington (Artie O’Daly) are ten years into an unsuccessful career penning jingles for doughnut shops, but a hit for Ariana Grande has eluded them. After encountering a much younger and more successful songwriter (Matthew Bohrer) at a networking event, pregnant Laura is stunned to realize her dream has been slipping away and decides she wants it back. Chet, on the other hand, has nothing but his dream - no friends, no boyfriend, no home (except for Laura’s garage). When Laura’s formerly-unsuccessful - and highly judgmental - friend Jake (Rob Dionne) convinces them the baby is the definitive end to their songwriting hopes - and possibly their friendship, Laura and Chet try new tactics to achieve their dreams, including making vision boards to make gay friends; learning how to be a functioning alcoholic from a high-powered agent (Miki Yamashita); and crashing a red carpet event in outfits that are more “gag” than Gaga.

“Theresa and I have been friends for sixteen years and we’ve been doing Skip & Terri for six of them,” says O’Daly. “We’ve seen contemporaries of ours achieve success, and it’s like, ‘How did that a-hole make it?’ But then it’s like, ‘Well, do we only think they’re an a-hole because they made it and we haven’t? Do they know the secret to success?’ We wanted to take that and play it for laughs.”

Ryan’s real-life pregnancy spawned her character’s storyline during pre-production on the web series, and ended up adding to the humor beneath the pathos. In one episode, Ryan’s character gets a makeover from a stylist/drug dealer (played by Sherry) who dresses her like a cross between Little House on the Prairie and Nicki Minaj.

“If you’ve ever wanted to see a pregnant woman attempt to wear a corset, we’re your show,” says Ryan.

“We wanted to exploit tricks people do to become successful, like dressing crazy on a red carpet,” Ryan continues. “At the Grammys this year, there were people in straight up costumes. One girl looked like she had her head stuck in a bike helmet, and I was like, ‘Someone’s gonna call her an ambulance, right?’ But everyone took her picture. It’s crazy.”

Exploring the lengths people go to to achieve professional success is only part of the story. O’Daly’s character Chet is a socially awkward gay man who fails at his attempts to connect to the gay community, causing him to cling to Laura and their shared dream. “We’re kind of like Will & Grace,” says O’Daly. “But without the careers. Or the friends. Or the ability to afford an apartment.”

Through all their obstacles, however, Chet and Laura still believe they can make it, but are feeling the fear of getting left behind.

“We’re living in a time now where your number of Instagram followers is more important than where you went to school, where a song will literally have no melody and become a top ten hit,” says Ryan. “It wasn’t like that when we started out. The rules to success are constantly changing, and I ask myself, ‘Am I able to keep up? Do I even want to?’”

“I don’t know,” responds O’Daly. “What would a successful person do?”

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