Self-Taught: Rising Comedy Talent Erin McCluskey Launches YouTube Channel

Erin discusses her experience in the world of comedy content creation.

With only two months of comedy writing classes under her belt, and having never filmed anything on her own before, rising comedy talent Erin McCluskey began working out the production details of her first piece, about two girls struggling to hear each other correctly over Zoom. It was to be the beginning of a new YouTube comedy channel, appropriately named “Erin McCluskey.” The channel’s recent videos are featured on the Humor Times’ Funny Videos page.

Rising comedy talent Erin McCluskey
Rising comedy talent Erin McCluskey.

Erin reminds us of a cross between Sarah Silverman and Ilana Glazer. She is a yet-to-be-discovered raw talent that could one day find herself on SNL or in a popular sitcom. She writes and, out of necessity for now, produces and shoots her own videos. Erin has not yet attracted a viral audience on YouTube, but I anticipate that this will happen sooner rather than later.

For her first video about the two girls on Zoom, she fleshed out everything from wardrobe details, to camera angles, to the pacing of the piece, and asked a fellow actor friend of hers to play the part of one of the girls.

“I learned a lot doing that piece and it was a good first effort,” she says.” After sharing it, I picked up on some important lessons right away. The most important being, shorter is always better. That first piece timed in at 5 minutes and in our fast-paced, technology-fueled world, people’s attention spans are shorter, so I needed to learn how to pack a lot of content into a smaller amount of time.”

In an effort to make her videos more attention-grabbing, Erin now constructs her pieces to time in at no more than one minute and finds that people are more inclined to watch from start to finish this way.

Originally from Connecticut, Erin moved to New Orleans in 2009 to attend Tulane University. Since graduating, she has remained in New Orleans actively pursuing the craft of acting, writing, and filmmaking.

While initially focused on drama, in the last year, Erin has shifted her focus to comedy. After taking improv classes for a year at a local comedy theater, Erin began to find her unique comedic voice.

“At first, I felt like I didn’t quite fit in in the improv world. I thought because I didn’t click with the larger-than-life comedy style of say, Will Ferrell or Jim Carey, that it meant I didn’t have the talent.” But over time, she says, she began to realize that she did have something to offer. “My style is more subtle, but nonetheless entertaining. It took me a while to embrace that.”

When COVID hit, Erin had to find new ways to express herself comedically within the confines of the quarantine. After taking a virtual sketch comedy writing class with The Groundlings School in Los Angeles, she decided to try her hand at filming some of her pieces to share on social media.

“I’ve always admired people who unapologetically put their stuff out there,” she says. “Content creation can be really intimidating because you never know if people will respond positively or negatively to a piece.” As many comedy stars have attested, comedy can make you feel quite vulnerable. As Erin puts it, “You have no idea whether what you put out there will take off or land totally flat.”

Still very new to the world of content creation, and even newer to the world of YouTube, Erin McCluskey continues to focus on producing quality content rather than artificially creating followers. Though she’s only produced four comedy videos to date, they have been well received by her existing following and many people in her circle have reached out encouraging her to make more.

“I’m still very new to content creation. Even if I’m confident in an idea at first, I always experience self-doubt the day of posting. Sometimes, I’ll close the app and won’t open it to read the comments until the next day because I’m so anxious. But the more I do it, the more my confidence grows and I find myself expanding into different comedic styles. I’m excited to see where it all goes from here.”

She concludes, “It’s given me something to look forward to during this incredibly difficult year and I hope it gives others a momentary laugh of relief too. Content creation is a great way to stay creative and show the world what you’ve got to give.”

We know Erin has a lot to give, and the world ought to sit up and take notice. Check out her videos today, and share!

James Israel
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