Five Minutes With Mutha Mae

muthamaeIt’s not “Mother Mae”, its MUTHA Mae. And her website? It’s “the mutha of all mommy websites.” The stay-at-home mom of three not only blogs, but vlogs and produces an online video show for moms called “Word to Your Mutha”. Mutha Mae’s known for her pink feather boas, Elmo house slippers and sassy style. She’s also one savvy woman who’s chasing some Hollywood dreams. Read more about Mutha Mae’s recent trip to LA’s TV Festival and a deal that’s developed as a result!

Which came first? The creation of your blog or your show?
I’ve been blogging for about ten years now, which is sad considering I never knew you could do more with a blog than just write your story until very recently. I cringe when I think of all the opportunities I could have created from that first blog, which was an infertility blog with a large following.

I had actually removed myself from the mainstream blogging scene and was keeping a small China adoption journal just for my friends when I had the idea to create the online show in the summer of ’07. I had learned from past mistakes of lost online opportunities so I created MuthaMae.com as a website where I could blog and post show episodes. I focused on creating a marketable brand. The show title of Word To Your Mutha came first, and the Mutha Mae nickname and character closely followed. From there I designed the website and my husband made it happen. We carefully thought out everything on the site right down to the colors. We also put a lot of thought into the show’s opening, using a recording of my 1 year old saying Mama for the first time. Then I went to work on support materials like matching business cards and DVD labels.

What inspires you (for the blog and the show)?
You can see women give birth and adopt and you can see celebrity moms and moms with 29 kids. What about the everyday mom who just wants advice on how to cook kid friendly meals? Or where to take the kids on an affordable summer vacation? These were topics I wanted to tackle on the online show, but found out being a one woman production team with no money only got me so far- like to the Missouri Botanical Garden and Grant’s Farm! I quickly learned I had to keep things simple and that frustrated the hell out of me. My frustration lead to ideas of what I would do if I had money and a Hollywood crew. Which ultimately lead to the LA TV Festival.

You went to the LA TV Festival looking for some direction but you got a whole lot more! You got a “development deal”! Can you tell us where you are in that? What’s the timeline?
My life has changed and yet it hasn’t. What has changed is me constantly wondering what will happen next. There are phone meetings and email status updates, but it’s out of my hands at this point. It’s now up to a network to agree to fund a pilot episode. If that happens, we go into production. Once a pilot is delivered to a network, the network has X amount of months to determine if they want the show on their schedule. If they give us the green light, I will faint and then happily head back into production.

Really, all I want is to get on set and get to work. I can’t imagine doing my show with a crew of professionals who actually know how to work a camera and light a scene. The hardest part for me is being patient with the process. I am not a patient person to begin with and it’s a slow process! The bad economy does not help because networks are being extra careful with spending. I do plan on putting updates on my blog as this progresses. And you never know, this could end up as a funded online show. I just want to get to work. I am so ready for my close up!

As for the guild, why did you join?
I wanted to network with other local bloggers who were serious about blogging. I’ve only made it to one meeting so far, but I do plan to attend more in the future.

Any advice for other bloggers hoping to turn their blogs into opportunities (like book deals, development deals, stuff like that?)
I think these days you have to have the total package of talent, a marketable brand, and time to market that brand. Gone are the days a blogger can post amazing writing and have people coming to them with offers. I think now it’s more about getting out there and getting or creating opportunities.

I think not knowing the difficulties can be a blessing because you don’t have a voice in your head psyching out your confidence. I had no business attending the LA TV Festival and didn’t realize I would be so out of place. Most of the attendees had sizzle reels and resumes filled with experience. But that’s the beauty of being a dreamer from the Midwest. I didn’t let my lack of experience stop me. I just wanted answers. I’m from the “Show Me” state. Show me if I can be in this business or not!

Mutha Mae’s three favorites works can be found here (a little “green” for you) and here, (Mutha Mae’s daughter predicts) and here. (Her love for a super producer.)

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