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  • In this episode of MarieTV we do have some adult language. So if you have little ones

  • around, grab your headphones now.

  • Hey there, it's Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV. The place to be to create

  • a business and life you love. Now, if you've ever wondered how you can take all your passions

  • and your gifts and your skills, and create a thriving and world-changing career, you

  • are gonna love today's guest.

  • Franchesca Ramsey is an actress, comedian, and video blogger with over 29 million views

  • on YouTube and over half a million followers across Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Her

  • videos have been featured on MTV, the New York Times, and the BBC. In 2012, “Shit

  • White Girls Say to Black Girlswas viewed 5 million times in five days, garnering coverage

  • on MSNBC, ABC, and Anderson Cooper. Most recently Francesca worked as a writer and contributor

  • for the nightly show with Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central and as the host of the MTV

  • web series Decoded.

  • Franchesca!

  • Yay!

  • So damn happy to have you here. I'm so excited. I've been such a fan of

  • yours for such a long time.

  • That makes me thrilled.

  • Back in the brick wall days.

  • See, this is

  • Old school.

  • Old school. And we can even go like further back from the brick wallmy ass was jumping

  • around on my couch.

  • Oh, I remember those.

  • Like, being so silly.

  • Yeah.  We still do it now, we just do it like green screen and other stuff.

  • Oh, yay.

  • So, you know, you are brilliant in so many ways and we have so many good things to talk

  • about. But I want to take it back to what inspired you. I know you were blogging in

  • middle school and then you got on YouTube. What was the impulse to start creating, to

  • start sharing, to start putting stuff out online?

  • I am very much an only child. And so I think when you don't have siblings, you need to

  • find ways to entertain yourself, and the computer was really that for me. And I always wanted

  • to be an actor, I was always interested in the arts and media, and so the internet was

  • really a great place for me to combine my interest in technology and also creating content

  • and media. And as someone that was just struggling to get acting work, YouTube was a really great

  • place for me for that reason.

  • So your initial idea wasactor.”

  • Yeah, actor and also like beauty. So when I started – I've had locs for 14 years

  • and it's really exciting because now the natural hair space is so, you know, vibrant.

  • There's so many places that you can find things, stores you can buy products for natural

  • hair. But when I started thereit just did not exist.

  • And so I was looking for help with my hair and I couldn't find it, so I started making

  • videos about my hair. But they were funny because that's like my personality, and

  • so I started expanding into more characters and sketch and really just making things that

  • I felt needed to be in the world.

  • Was it everlike when you were thinking about comedy, like did you have training in

  • that or was that just your natural personality?

  • I went to school for acting. I went to a performing arts middle and high school and then I went

  • to University of Michigan for acting, and then I transferred schools and studied graphic

  • design. But then I did stand-up for about four years before I got really serious about

  • YouTube. I like to go to bed early and so stand-up shows always start super late. I

  • was like, “Do you guys have anything at like 3:00 or like mornings?” And they don't.

  • So I was like I'm not gonna do this anymore. I'm gonna just stick to YouTube because

  • I can make my own schedule and meet people and also make a little bit of money, which

  • I really enjoyed.

  • Yeah. And one of the things that I love about you, you know, so many people in our community

  • – I consider them, they consider themselves, multipassionate entrepreneurs. They do a bunch

  • of things. And I lovefirst of all, your website is gorgeous.

  • Thank you.

  • It's done by our mutual friend Krystle.

  • Yes, she's so talented.

  • She's so damn good.

  • Yeah.

  • But I lovedit was like actress/ comedianor actor/ comedian, blogger, graphic designer,

  • like all the slashes. And I was like yes, yes, yes.

  • It's funny because therewhen I was growing up and when I was in school and I

  • was interested in all these different things I would constantly run into people in my family

  • and at school who would say, “You have to pick one.” and I thought, “Well, I don't

  • want to pick one. I like all of these things.”

  • And I very much think that if you have lots of different interests, you should explore

  • them to the best of your ability. Because you never know how they're gonna interplay

  • or which one is gonna really take off. And for me, like my graphic design stuff helped

  • me have a great website and make sure that I had beautiful business cards and help me

  • edit my videos. My interest in beauty and hair, you know, make sure I look cute when

  • I go on auditions. Like, all of those things really work together for me.

  • Yeah. And then it seems like they allin my life too, they converge at some point.

  • Yes.

  • In the beginning it could almost feel like you're scattered. At least that's how

  • I felt. All these different things that I wanted to do, but if you have that sense of

  • courage and the willingness like “I'm just gonna keep going for it.”

  • Absolutely. And even if they don't fit together in a traditional sense, I feel like all the

  • more reason for you to try and figure out a way to make it work. Because that's gonna

  • separate you from the pack. You're gonna be able to differentiate yourself and create

  • a brand that's really unique to you because someone's gonna say, “Huh, I never thought

  • of fashion and fitness fitting together,” but maybe there's a way that you can, you

  • know, do that that no one else is doing.

  • Yes. So speaking of multipassionate, because I know what's a struggle for a lot of folks

  • that are watching, when they do have multiple interests, if things do start to take off,

  • have you ever had a point whether it's in, you know, the past 10 years or even more recently,

  • where the multiple passions are almost fighting with each other?

  • Where you're starting to get stuffmaybe it's rolling in the beauty sense or maybe

  • it's more people want you to speak on tech or you're like, “Oh, my goodness. But

  • I have these projects that I want to do and start pitching shows.” How have you been

  • able to navigate some of that?

  • I am someone who lives by my calendar. So I love making sure that I schedule everything.

  • Whether it's “I'm gonna be on MarieTVor “I've got an auditionor even when

  • it's just like getting coffee with a friend or doing a phone call catch up with someone

  • I went to high school with, I put it all on my calendar.

  • And so I really try to stick to that, but also keep myself a personal day. So I really

  • try to keep Friday as my day that I don't take auditions, I don't take meetings, and

  • I really stick to that. So that's my day to kind of explore maybe some things that

  • I didn't get to do during the week or work on some more personal projects. And, you know,

  • my team knows that if it's on the calendar, that's a time that is blocked off and they

  • can't have that time. So I think that you kind of have to set those boundaries for yourself.

  • Yeah. And, you know, you and I share a few things. One, we're both Sag sisters.

  • I didn't know that!

  • Yes, fireside. And also the Friday thing. I actuallyFridays I try. I don't have

  • as strict boundaries as you do, but Fridays, my team knows on the calendar. They're like,

  • Oh, that's Marie's kind of off day.”

  • I mean, if something happens and I need it to be an on Friday, it's fine. But I really

  • try to keep that day for myself. And you need it. I learned that actually from someone that

  • I worked with years ago and she used to do that at like 6:00. She would have an email

  • responder that would say “I don't answer emails after 6:00.” I don't do that. I wish

  • I did. But for me I turned it into a Friday thing. So setting those boundaries I think

  • is really important so that you can explore your passion projects if you're not doing

  • them elsewhere within your career.

  • Yeah. So you mentioned in an interview that you were part of YouTube's Nextup program

  • and that you learned a lot from other content creators, especially when you were first starting

  • to come up. And one of the things, I believe, that's in your heart now is you want to

  • be able to pass along some of those lessons because you've learned so much. I mean,

  • you're out there in such a big way.

  • For anyone watching who feels like they have something to say but they're not quite sure

  • how to say it right or how to do it right, what are some of the lessons you would pass

  • on now?

  • I think one of the biggest things that I learned was just doing your research. I think a lot

  • of times people say, “Well, I want to do this thing but I'm not really sure how.”

  • I always say go look at somebody whose career you really admire, somebody that's doing

  • what you would like to see yourself doing. Maybe not exactly, but there's some element

  • of it that you kind of feel drawn to, and go look at their very first videos. Go listen

  • to some podcast interviews. Go comb through their website. You know, that's the cool

  • thing about social media is you can really learn a lot about someone and their career

  • trajectory and some of the things that they've done.

  • And really I love to write lists in notebooks and things. So really make yourself a list

  • of all the things that they've done that you can learn from, things that they've

  • done right and things that they've done wrong. And really kind of help use that as

  • a roadmap for whatever it is that you're working on.

  • And I also think that's so important because often times you might have a really great

  • idea and then realize, “Oh, crap. Somebody's already doing that or someone did that and

  • it failed.” Why did it fail? Or what am I doing that's possibly going to lead me

  • down the path where this will not be successful? So I think that research step is really important.

  • And then I also just thinking working with other people, you know, you can just learn

  • so much from other people and you can also kind of help lift each other up. Maybe there's

  • a skill that they have that you don't have that you can partner in a project together.

  • And also just you never know who they're gonna meet that you will be perfect for a

  • project or you might meet someone, and vice versa. I'm so lucky I met so many people

  • through Nextup who I'm still really good friends with today and have gotten to work

  • with in a variety of different ways.

  • That's so cool. You know, one of the things we were talking about off camera while we

  • were just getting ready was this idea of comparison. You were sharing a MarieTV video.

  • Yes.

  • Let's talk about that – one of your favorite ones from early on.

  • Yeah, I – it really spoke to me just talking about the downside of comparing yourself to

  • other people and how especially for entrepreneurs it's hard not to do that. Because there's

  • so much time where things aren't working out and you're taking this risk and you've

  • got people around you telling you like, “Is this a good idea?” You're, you know, putting

  • money into something that doesn't necessarily see an end goal in sight.

  • And then you see somebody appear, you know, that's doing what you want to do and they're

  • being really successful, and it's just hard. And that really spoke to me because, you know,

  • in any creative field there's gonna be times it's just not working yet. And so I really

  • kind of built on that and I've started sayingstop hating, start studying.”

  • I love it!

  • Because I've had so many times where I'm like, “Mm, she ain't all that.” And

  • then I was like, “Wait a second, she is all that. She's doing so well.” Then instead

  • of like getting upset and, you know, like going down that Facebook k-hole and looking

  • at all their pictures and seeing all the stuff that they're doing. I started thinking,

  • Let me study this person and see how is it that she booked that job? How is it that

  • she got that client?” And I think that once I started doing that it's helped me so,

  • so much. And I think that more of us need to put that into practice, especially because

  • social media makes it so easy to just hate and consume everything that's going on in

  • someone else's life.

  • Yeah. And, you know, we were also talking too about how so much of what's on social

  • media, it's just kind of bullshit.

  • Oh, yeah.

  • Because it's a lot of fakeness.

  • Yeah, exactly. That's a hefe filter. I know it and I see it. Nobody looks that good all

  • the time. And so much of it's not real, right? Like think about about how many selfies

  • you have to take before you get that perfect selfie.

  • Oh, I am the queen of having my eyes closed.

  • Exactly.

  • Queen.

  • Right, so you have to take a ton of pictures. Or you have to like jump to get that one flawless

  • jump picture and you've got all the ones where you're like on the ground, you know,

  • and your like skirt is up. I think that we look at what's happening on social media

  • and we think, “Wow, that person's life is perfect,” but we don't know aboutoh.

  • A perfect example. I remember I had bedbugs in my apartment.

  • I've had them too!

  • You're in New York, right?

  • Yes.

  • And I still had to make videos, and so I had like one area of my apartment that was clean

  • and the rest of my apartment was like garbage bags. And I was like, “Hey, guys!” And

  • then like the camera would go off and I was like, “I hate my life!” I was like, “This

  • sucks!” I'm like climbing over bags. No one knew. I wasn't telling them that. You

  • know? But my audience is watching thinking like, “Wow, her apartment's so cute.”

  • She's so put together. She's so funny.

  • And I was like, “No, I'm literally sitting here being likethis sucks.” And you

  • don't realize like what's happening outside of that frame. Right? And so I think the minute

  • that you start comparing yourself to somebody else, it's a lose-lose no matterno

  • matter what. Because you don't actually know the whole story and what you're seeing has

  • been tweaked and edited to present an illusion.

  • Yes. Yes, amen. And we were also – I don't spend that much time on social. Like, people

  • I wish I didn't.

  • And I know we do similar things, but, you know, everyone's got their own path. But

  • for me, I just have so much fun putting the damn phone down. I get so many more things

  • done!

  • I know. It's true. It's – for me it's like a double-edged sword because it is work

  • and play.

  • And you get to connect with people and there's that beautiful upside, which I do really love.

  • And then there isit's likeit's really about I think for me bringing a level

  • of consciousness and awareness to it.

  • Yeah, that was one of my New Year's Resolutions was to try and live in the moment more. I

  • realized I was thinking a little bit too much about capturing things for social media rather

  • than just actually enjoying them.

  • Yes.

  • Because you're never gonna watch concert snaps. You're just not.

  • Yeah. No, that's my thing. Like, I have to dial down the Jersey when I go to concerts.

  • I'm like, okay. Because I'm the person who will want to start maybe yelling like,

  • Please put your goddamn phones down! I just wanna see Beyonce!”

  • And I am so the person that's like on Snapchat that's like, “I'm getting my life.”

  • I know, it's bad. I apologize in advance. I'm getting better.

  • It's fun stuff though. I love that we're having this conversation.

  • So one of the things that I – I mean, I admire so many things about you. You're

  • so brilliant at what you do.

  • Thank you.

  • But I love that your work from your perspective, from what you've shared, it's solution-based.

  • Talk to me about your perspective on creating content around women's issues and social

  • justice and things that can bethey're tricky paths to walk. And really what I feel

  • when I watch your work is this sense of wanting to help us understand each other better.

  • Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I saw this quote that saidyou don't know what you don't