Last year, Lilly Singh was listed No. 8 on Forbes list of YouTube millionaires and more recently landed on its influential 30 Under 30 list of emerging stars. She visited 31 shows in 27 cities in 2015 during her world tour. Scarborough native Lilly Singh, YouTube superstar, has moved to L.A., hoping to get into film and TV.
LOS ANGELES – It’s been an unexpected and eventful journey from the Scarborough home where Lilly Singh first became a YouTube star to the bright lights of Los Angeles, reported Toronto Star.
In between, there was a whirlwind global tour in 2015 that included 31 shows in 27 cities — most of them sold out — chronicled in the documentary A Trip to Unicorn Island, a YouTube-produced movie that can be streamed for $14.99.
“Everything that people love about my videos and channel online, I wanted to bring it to a stage and bring it to cities across the world. There were a lot of places that I’d never been such as Trinidad, such as Hong Kong,” says Singh, a comic and motivational speaker.
“The biggest highlight was meeting the fans from all over the world. You make videos online and you see analytics and comments. But there’s something special about seeing people’s faces in real life.”
The tour didn’t come without its “hiccups,” including visa problems in India and a stage in Adelaide, Australia, that was barely large enough for Singh and the eight backup dancers she brought along. In Dubai, employees of the theatre smoked prodigiously throughout the show.
“The schedule was quite ambitious, especially to begin with. India is a hard country to start with because it is on the opposite (side) of the world. So you had to adjust to not only the weather and the food and the climate (but) also the time,” Singh recalled.
“So our first six shows back to back were in India and after the sixth show, I was hospitalized already from dehydration and exhaustion,” she added.
The tour and the new film are just the latest triumphs in an unlikely success story that began in 2010 when Singh started posting comedy videos from her bedroom enclave.
Last year, Singh was listed No. 8 on Forbes list of YouTube millionaires and more recently landed on its influential 30 Under 30 list of emerging stars.
Besides a clothing line, Singh has two YouTube channels, IISuperwomanII, where she continues to post her Monday and Thursday “scripted comedy” videos for an estimated 7.8 million fans, and SuperwomanVlogs, where she posts a daily blog for her “super-fans.”
For Singh, the next logical step was heading to Los Angeles, a move she made early in the new year.
“One of the main reasons I moved to L.A. is because there’s like-minded people there, people in the same industry as me. So you have that motivation and drive because when you look around, you see everyone else doing something and so you feel guilty if you’re not doing something,” Singh said.
“That energy is exactly what I need to flourish in my career at this point. Almost everybody in the (entertainment) industry lives in L.A. so it’s very easy to collaborate and bounce ideas off each other.”
Former WWF star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who has become a solid box office draw as an action star, has become a mentor. (Johnson makes a brief appearance in Unicorn Island).
“We have yet to work together, but he does kind of guide me through a lot of things. It would be my dream to work with him on a creative project one day,” Singh said.
“I would love to get into TV and film. I’ve been auditioning and I love acting the few times I’ve done it. I’d love to get into that world not necessarily instead of YouTube — I still love YouTube — but I would really love to get into TV and film.”