Alumna Creates and Stars in New Viral Video

Deanna McDonald

Deanna McDonald

Last week, a video about the differences in how people in their 20s vs people in their 30s approach nightlife caught our eye.

We were able to catch up with creator and co-star Deanna McDonald, SMPA BA ’05, to ask her about her experience at GW, the changing media landscape, and how she came up with the concept for this video!

GW Alumni: Tell me a little bit about your inspiration for the video…

Deanna: My friends and I had a long night brainstorming sketch ideas, and decided to call it a night. One of our friends invited us to meet him at a bar later, so I went to my car to get my makeup bag. I came back and my friend was curled under a blanket, half asleep! It was 10 pm at the latest. We realized we were basically living a sketch.

GW Alumni: This video has gained a lot of traction. It’s been featured on BroBible, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, and College Humor. Did you know from the start that this video was going to go viral?

Deanna: We were confident enough to know that it it had the potential, but thousands of videos are uploaded all over the web every single day. While we hoped it would gain traction, we knew that there was always the possibility it could get lost in there too.

GW Alumni: You graduated from GW with a degree in political communication, so you’re aware of the changes in media. Can you talk a little bit about the importance of that, and the changing landscape?

Deanna: There are also so many great scripted ventures that have homes on YouTube, and to me that’s intriguing because it gives writers and actors, such as myself, the opportunity to create and distribute something they are proud of, without a lot of money behind them.

GW Alumni: How has your time at GW influenced your work?

Deanna: The number one thing GW has done for my writing is that I really aim to make smart comedy. Not everyone loves that or gets that, but that’s fine. As a former poli comm major, I am able to utilize a lot of the tools I learned in school- I can tell you I’ve become very good at staying on message when I need to! I learned so much from all my classes, but If I had to pick one, I’d pick Campaigns & Elections with Professor Aday. I remember he was really, really funny and the comedian in me loved it. I once tried to write a paper that I hadn’t properly researched in the same sarcastic manner, hoping it would save me– it didn’t! It was a pretty important lesson: always do your research! You’re a lot funnier if you can back it up!

GW Alumni: What advice would give to those students or very recent students that are trying to break into the entertainment industry?

Deanna: Gosh! If I had some great advice, I’d be taking it!  It’s such a crazy business, and the old formulas don’t always work anymore. I figured out a long time ago that I wasn’t going to break in the traditional way, and I decided to start making my own way instead. You’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t jump off the cliff once in awhile–trust me, I know!

Haven’t seen Deanna’s video yet? Check it out below!

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