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Meet Sierra Mckie of Juvenile Studio in North Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sierra Mckie.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Sierra. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My life is a joke, so I’ve always told it. It started out as little Snapchat stories about how men are trash lol. My friends would laugh and call me bitter. Maybe I was. But I also spoke from experience, not speculation, so people appreciate the perspective. Moving to California and working in TV and film has been a dream of mine for years, so I thought-what better way to start than creating my own show? I’d been applying to jobs for months to no avail, so it seemed like the perfect way to prove I could do everything on my resume. At first, I was only writing, directing, voicing the lead and editing My Crynicles because I used Bitmoji for the character art; then I animated their faces. When the trailer dropped on Twitter though, it went viral and my YouTube channel got monetized so I had to own everything I was using in the content. After the third episode, I taught myself to draw and have been using strictly my art ever since. I also only use music submitted to me by new artists to help give them exposure and avoid copyright claims.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Whenever I complain, people always tell me I’ve gone a lot farther a lot quicker than many before me so I should be grateful. And I am. But things went a little too good for me and too instantly so it’s hard for me to appreciate where I am now because it looks like I’m actually going backwards. After going viral, the first episode was already posted so it has some 50k views on YouTube. Since I do all the production myself, it takes me about a month to finish a 30-minute episode. It’s hard to keep people engaged when they don’t know when the next update is. And I’ve watched my views slowly decrease with every new drop. Employers see that too. It doesn’t look good to lose an audience. When I first moved to LA in March, a week after the trailer dropped, I was hot. I talked to many producers about getting the show shopped to a network, met with people in the industry and even got an assistant job working for a celebrity family. But after my buzz started dying down, I heard from the producers less and less, the celebrity family dropped me out of nowhere through text the day I moved to an air BnB that was closer to their home and farther from the city, and I realized I wasn’t anything special. Since then, I still haven’t been able to find a job. I worked at Ashley’s furniture for a short time but struggled to make commission and the minimum wage they paid me didn’t seem worth it because of how much I hated being a salesman. Very dumb on my part because even though I had money saved, I quit before I secured another job and had leased an apartment myself. I tried to go back to serving but haven’t even had luck there despite my years of experience in college. After graduating, I was working for a production company within two months out of school back in Jacksonville, but the competition is a lot steeper here so I’ve applied to as many retail, hospitality, and waitress jobs as I have industry. I’ve been relying heavily on postmates and my credit card these past few months but I’m praying someone sees the value in me somewhere soon.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Juvenile Studio – what should we know?
Juvenile Studio is my production company that is run solely from my laptop lol. It started out as me just making little edits and graphic visualizers for artists to release with their music, and now I have an entire series under my belt. Whenever I tell people I can create and drop an entire 30-minute episode within a month, they are in awe. But it’s really not hard when you alone are in control of the whole process. I give myself two weeks to write the episode and to do other things like postmates and freelancing, then a week to get the voice-overs back from my actors, and then just lock myself in my house for another week to animate and edit. It would be nice to have a team because it would free up a lot of my time, but working solo is vastly efficient. What I’m most proud about though, is how My Crynicles has resonated with so many people. I hate that so many girls can relate to some of the more tragic moments in the show, but the amount of them who reach out to me and tell me that it helps them, really keeps me going. Same as when men tell me they see themselves in some of the guys portrayed and it has opened their eyes to their careless behavior. If I can help prevent just one person from being hurt with my stories, I’ve served a great purpose. I created the show to help get me a job, but what it’s doing turned out to be a lot greater.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
For overall success, I believe it is making a living while doing what you love. Without making money, you just have a hobby that you can’t fully explore because there are other things you need to do to make money. And if you’re just making money, you’re not truly successful if you’d rather be doing something else.

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