Teala Dunn is proof that social media influencers need to be taken seriously
Teala Dunn grew up acting on shows on Nickelodeon and Disney, and now she’s an adult actress who’s other full time job is social media. With two Youtube accounts, 2.3 million Instagram followers, and several fan accounts who dm her daily, Teala literally has to make time in her day for social media engagement on top of being a full time actress.
She currently has two new TV shows coming out, one of which includes both of Teala’s passions — acting and vlogging. Her newest show, Guilty Party, has vlog accounts lined up for each character on the show – the characters ‘vlog’ in real life, as if they are real people, and viewers can watch and comment — which is all meant to be an inclusive, interactive experience for the show’s viewers. Check out our conversation with Teala about Ice Cube and Instagram captions below.
What was it like working with Ice Cube on the set of the show Are We There Yet?
Oh my gosh, working with Ice Cube was so amazing, At first, it was very intimidating, the idea of meeting him, but he’s actually the sweetest guy ever. He was super down to Earth, and would even have lunch with me.
You’ve been a Nickelodeon girl AND a Disney girl. There was always kind of a competition about which channel was better growing up. Choose: Nickelodeon or Disney.
Oooooohhh. That’s hard! I watched both, but I had specific shows on each that I watched. Like I loved Drake & Josh and Zoey 101 but I also loved That’s So Raven. I would say animated shows, Nickelodeon, and movies I’m gonna go Disney.
A lot of your roles in the past were for voice acting. How different is that from on-screen work? Is it harder?
It actually just takes a lot more energy. You have to put all of your emotion in your voice. I play superheroes when I voice act, so it requires a lot of scenes where I’m saving people, and I’ll be grunting and wailing around. Real acting is more concentration and listening than energy.
You’re also quite the YouTube girl. Tell us a little bit about the YouTube world. Is it hard to keep up your page and maintain followers? Do you feel pressured to put out a certain kind of content?
I never feel pressured to put out a certain kind of content, because my viewers are very supportive and love anything I put out there. They actually tend to like things more when I’m being real, open, and honest. Which makes it easier for me, actually. What’s hard is doing YouTube when I’m doing other work, because it’s a lot to keep up with, but social media is definitely a routine now.
How do you come up with your YouTube channel ideas?
I come up with ideas as I go or right before I film. I like to do things that feel natural and are true to me, especially because my viewers know when I’m faking it!
Having 2.3 million Instagram followers, do you ever wish you could just NOT for a few days? I’ve been following you and noticed you post a lot, and you always look so to the T. Do you ever get exhausted or do you live for the gram?
I mean, I live for the gram! I don’t have a theme or anything, but I do like to maintain a higher quality for my posts, because I feel like I owe that to my followers. As long as I’m consistent with posting, then I don’t stress.
How do you come up with your captions?
Oh my god I am the worst at coming up with captions! I feel like they’re always the same four questions. But I love interacting with my followers, and I like to see where they’re from, what their favorite emoji is. I like using Instagram as a way to get to know my followers.
Your current project with Fullscreen is being shown in a really different way than other TV shows, relying a ton on social media and fan interaction. Tell us a little about that.
Well my AT&T HelloLab show is called Guilty Party, I play Tatiana Johnson who’s like the queen bee of the school, she’s a fencer. And she’s kind of mean, she will let you know she rules the school. Which is fun to play because I’m not like that at all! There’s a new episode every Tuesday, and then each character has a YouTube account and they’ll post vlogs every week, too. So each character can comment on other character’s vlogs as if we are real people with real social media. And you’ll never guess who stole the diary, just keep watching.
And your next project, All Night, was recently picked up by Hulu — it has a massive cast of social media influencers like yourself. What is that like on set?
It’s so much fun on set. It’s such a huge cast. Sometimes there are 20 of us on set at once, it’s insane. They’re all mostly people I have known for a long time, which is the weirdest thing to be working with them now. This show is PG-13! My character is wild. My mom doesn’t even think she can watch it.
What are you interested in doing next (other than acting, which you clearly do a lot of)?
I guess I’ll give you guys a little inside scoop — let’s just say, I definitely will be working on music. You heard it here first.
What do you do to get the perfect brow?
Ooooh! Honestly, Benefit Cosmetics, they are amazing. I was the face of Benefit this past summer. But their brow stuff is amazing. It’s so easy, I use their brow gel.
Favorite place to get ice cream?
Oh, I have their card in my bag. Van Leeuwen. They are in Hollywood. I first found them at Coachella and their ice cream is delicious! And it’s VEGAN!
Are you a clean freak or messy?
It depends on my mood. On weekends, I’m messy. On a Monday, I like my shit to be together and in order.
Hair up or down?
Favorite artist to listen to before going out?