Bailey Pelkman tells us how she successfully transitioned from YouTube sensation to TV starlet.
Bailey Pelkman opened for singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton, released her original EP in 2015 and now stars in teen docudrama Lost & Found Music Studios which airs on the BBC, Netflix and the Family Channel, Canada.
How did you first start performing music?
I actually used to be super shy but I grew up doing a lot of musical theater which helped me come out of my shell and made me fall in love with performing live.
What drew you into the world of YouTube?
I had been watching other aspiring musicians posting cover videos to YouTube. A lot of them seemed my age and they were getting pretty good exposure from their videos. I thought I would give it a try!
What equipment do you use?
I record my videos with a Canon Rebel T3i and a GoPro2. For lighting, I have one softbox and one spotlight, and I edit my videos with Final Cut Pro X.
What tips would you have for people who don’t have that equipment?
You can have the best camera in the world but proper lighting is what makes a good video. Even if you don’t have fancy lighting equipment, there are tonnes of photography/video lighting DIYs and hacks out there and they can make all the difference, so do some research!
What was the biggest challenge when joining the Lost & Found cast?
I had never done any film or television work before so there was a lot to become familiar with. There were so many words and instructions that I didn’t understand, so many people to remember the names of; it was all pretty fast paced.
How is performing behind a camera different to performing on stage?
When performing on stage, you have the energy from the crowd, the ambiance of the venue, and the nerves from having one shot to nail your set. Performing behind a camera requires more imagination. There’s no crowd, most of the time the venue isn’t real, and there’s crew members all around you getting the perfect camera angles, lighting, and sound. It’s a completely different vibe.
A musical lesson you’ve learned the hard way
Comparing yourself to others is useless and basically a recipe for unhappiness. The only comparison that you should ever make is with yourself to make sure that you’re always reaching YOUR fullest potential and doing YOUR best.
Most important lesson you have learned about social media
Social media makes reaching out to people so incredibly easy, so use that to your advantage and reach out! Always remember that one opportunity will always lead to another.
What scenario gets you the most nervous?
Auditions. Performing something in front of people whose jobs are to sit there and critique your skills is definitely nerve wracking!
Any nerves remedies?
I don’t think about what I’m about to perform. I know I’ve rehearsed and prepared as much as possible before the day of an audition or performance. I’ll end up psyching myself out if I think about it too much more.
What tips do you have for working well with a director?
Be as prepared as possible, always follow instructions, and be easily adaptable. They have enough to worry about as it is, so they will appreciate anyone who is easy to work with.
What keeps you motivated to keep pursuing a singing career?
Singing is my passion and I’d rather spend a life pursuing what I love, no matter how hard it is, than settle for something else. I’ve only got one life so why not pursue a life I dream of?
Since the release of her first independently produced cover video, Bailey Pelkman has been rapidly gaining followers on her social media platforms. Bringing forth inspiration from the pop styles of Jason Mraz, to the early works of Nat King Cole, Bailey’s unique style and diverse vocabulary of musical taste continues to excite and surprise her audience.