When we last talked to Taryn Southern, the comedic actress-singer-writer who hails from Wichita was appearing in “Rules of Engagement.” But she has since mostly ditched TV to concentrate on her passion for the digital format.
“I wouldn't say I quit TV, but I stopped putting so much time into it,” Southern said from LA.
The Internet emphasis can be seen in her latest distinction: being named to Seventeen magazine’s first-ever YouTube Hot list.
“You know Taryn Southern for her LOL-tastic mock music videos, like love songs about Insta-stalking,” the magazine says in its October issue, next to a half-page picture of Southern with a lock of her hair pulled up into a mustache. “But now she’s taking her jokey ’tude beyond YouTube. She is working on a book and a talk show, and is a correspondent on the Discovery Channel — girlfriend even makes Shark Week funny!”
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Southern, who is a 2003 graduate of East High School, has three YouTube channels and, when she talked to us on the phone, was in post-production on a movie done in “experimental documentary style” that she wrote and produced 4 1/2 years ago that was just sitting on the shelf: “Searching for Katie.”
“I play myself in it,” Southern says, adding that there were some reshoots in part as a way to explain the lapse in years; she doesn’t look quite as young as she did when it was originally filmed.
The movie is “an investigative thriller,” ideal for its expected pre-Halloween release from Vimeo.
“It will available to rent or purchase on Vimeo for an exclusive window of time.”
The 28-year-old has many other irons in the digital fire, including a content series with Glamour magazine and Conde Nast Entertainment (oops! Seventeen’s competition!) and a digital series called “Self-Help for Your Digital Soul.”
Lest you think you will find true therapy from Southern, the self-help includes “a tongue-in-cheek how to stalk an ex.” She says that 90 percent of her work is comedic; the 10 percent that is serious is devoted to music. Her song “Crush” (more about digital stalking) got airplay on Sirius and made the Mediabase Top 100 List.
And she has done a bit of TV this year, appearing on “New Girl” and “The League.”
Southern comes back to Wichita to see her family about once a year, she said, and is due for a visit, as her last one was in August 2013. Holidays are spent at Grandma’s house in Kansas City.