Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Likable Internet personalities go live

Published:Friday | May 20, 2016 | 5:00 AM
Wally British
Toni 'Bella' Blair
Prince Marni
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It is now natural for persons to record themselves for others to view. The practice has evolved into an avenue for naturally entertaining personalities to become public figures generating income.

Some Internet sensations are reaping the benefits of being inherently likable with what was once just online amusement with the gratification of real-time responses having evolved into real-life entertainment. Frequently, those who have gained attention online are paid to show up and give their fans the opportunity to interact with them in real life.

Susan Williams, known by the alias Wally British, Toni Blair and Prince Marni are a few of those who have been hired based on their social media activity. It can happen quickly.

"Let's put it this way. I posted a video on January 14, 2014, and by the end of March, just about three months after, I was booked for a show", said Wally British, widely known for her viral video outlining a spiel of 'red flags' in relationships. Wally British highlighted Facebook as the launching pad of what seems like a budding career in show business.

"The statuses and the videos were supposed to be serious, but I just injected a little humour in the statuses, you know? My style. People responded to that. But videos come across better, and clearer," she said.

Wally British gained a massive following, which led to live appearances. "I had no experience at all; just brand new, get thrown on stage," she said. British describes her appearances as a cross between stand-up comedian and MC. "I can't even categorise myself as a comedian," she exclaimed, still sounding stunned by the direction her life has taken. "Social media is definitely one of the best things to come out since slice bread," British said, laughing.

 

AFRICA CHANNEL FEATURE

 

For Women's History Month in March 2016, each day The Africa Channel featured one outstanding young black female under the theme 31 Under 31. Toni 'Bella' Blair was featured. And after the recent release of a teaser clip for a new music video, it is apparent Blair intends to utilise her social media fame to jump-start her music career. After gaining attention from vlogging, Bella has been hired to host award shows and has made multiple TV appearances.

Prince Marni attributes the growth of his career in entertainment to his use of Instagram. Show business was always a part of his plan, but after some failed auditions and little traction from a YouTube channel, Instagram offered a more responsive and ultimately successful platform. Donning a wig and cotton nightgown, Prince Marni has created his female alter ego, Susan. "I didn't expect it to blow up like that. It was just posting videos for fun," he told The Gleaner. The pastime took on a life of its own from the introduction of Susan.

With just a smartphone and an Internet connection, Prince Marni became a personality paid to make appearances. He told The Gleaner that there is a play in the works featuring Susan - and that this is just the beginning.