Interview: Scrap of Success

There’s a new comedy duo in town on YouTube – Raz and Daz!

I must admit I sometimes cringe at new YouTubers, but there’s something hilariously stagey about Scrap of Success. The brand web series follows an aspiring musical theatre couple who are desperately wanting their big break. Wide-eyed to the dreams of West End stardom, it’s the pure entertaining ping-pong of banter which made me hit the subscribe button.

With their infectious personalities and showbiz smiles, I have this gut feeling that Scraps of Success are going to razzle-dazzle online. A double whammy of comedy and musical theatre – what’s there not to love about these two!

Wishing these guys EVERY success, I wanted to find out more about the stars behind the camera. Read my interview with Rosie Holden and Daniel Graham below ….

How did you two come up with the idea for “Scrap of Success”?

We’ve always found the world of musical theatre hilarious. We make each other laugh by exaggeratedly singing in the infamous musical theatre style whilst doing mundane things like bleaching the sink. We’ve met so many characters that are larger than life in this area of the industry and as it’s always brought us lots of humour we felt it was a good place to start.

So far you’ve filmed six episodes, how long did it take to write, record and edit?

We initially made a 20-minute pilot which we wrote and filmed in two weeks. We sent it to our close friends for feedback as we wanted to know if the idea and characters worked – if people found it funny! When we received positive feedback from the people we trusted the most, we agreed it was a concept worth exploring. 

One of our discoveries was that people don’t want to watch things longer than 5 minutes on the internet – shocking I know! I guess we’re competing with Candy Crush on someone’s morning commute, so you’ve got to keep it short and sweet. Therefore, we cut the pilot into 6 sections and themed each episode. This inspired us to re-shoot some footage that we’d already filmed and to shoot more scenes to give each episode a structure. Rosie would write the bones of the script and then we’d come together and improvise around it and try to make each other laugh. Dan would then write everything down, finalise the script and we’d go from there. 

As we’ve done the entire project ‘in-house’ so to speak, Rosie has edited the series. Having no previous editing experience, it was very much a baptism of fire! But we realised her amateur approach would benefit the style of the show. We want everyone to think Raz and Daz have rather desperately edited it themselves in their bedroom, so it suited us if the editing was rather rough around the edges! (Dan: Rose is extremely modest – she’s done a fantastic job and has worked tirelessly to get it all done.)

Any funny stories whilst filming?

Trying not to corpse has been a real challenge! One of our personal favourite moments was during filming a scene in a swimming pool cafe. Whilst Daz is speaking to camera, a passer-by coughs loudly interrupting his train of thought. We both somehow kept it together and used the footage for our episode. It’s small, but one of our favourite moments, as the joke was completely unexpected. Filming in public places has been exhilarating and nerve-wracking, you have to roll with the punches! 

How do you feel when you hit the upload button?

Terrified!! You never know how people are going to receive your idea, especially as we had no producer or director to give us guidance. Comedy is also particularly subjective, but we thought, what have we got to lose?!

Raz and Daz Scrap of Success
Rosie Holden (Raz) and Daniel Graham (Daz). Photo credit: Megan Taylor

How will you deal with your fans (or haters)?

Haha! Well, I’m sure Raz and Daz would revel in having fans. It’s hard to predict exactly what the response will be, I guess you have to cross every bridge.

Having a zero budget and filming on your iPhones, have you had any video training or are you winging it?

The latter! Many actors will tell you that they spend a lot of their life filming self-tapes, which are basically recorded auditions. iPhone cameras are of such high quality now, so they are an incredibly helpful tool. We wanted to explore how much we could do with them – turns out, a whole series!

Have you been inspired by any other YouTubers?

We were super inspired by the TV show ‘People Just Do Nothing’ a web series made by a group of friends on a shoestring budget. They uploaded it to YouTube and managed to gain lots of recognition, it’s now a BAFTA winner. So yeah, we’re waiting for a call from BAFTA any day now…

What are the highs and lows of living together?

Hmm… well… Practically, it’s been brilliant for this project as we’ve been able to just get on with it quickly. Truthfully, we feel so lucky. Not just because we’re both very much ‘pyjama people,’ so we spend most of our life in pyjamas without any judgement, but because we never argue, and we enjoy the same things (except for Sky Sports News constantly being on in the background). Living with your partner and best friend is obviously amazing, and it’s been so much fun making “Scrap of Success.”

Let’s also be real: Rosie will say the lows are Dan’s farts, and Dan finds it incredibly annoying when Rosie leaves chia seeds in the sponge. 

As young performers, what challenges do you face and how do you overcome them?

Where to start? We think a huge challenge for so many young performers is staying afloat in London. Rents, travel and living costs are astronomical and many people are living hand to mouth. There can be long spells of unemployment where you must find a job in the interim which will pay you enough and be flexible enough around auditions. It’s a huge struggle, which can mean you end up working more than one job which is exhausting and often soul destroying. 

Which leads us to mental health. A fundamental part of the job is dealing with a huge amount of rejection. Even though we are aware that it’s a business, it feels incredibly personal, and unfortunately so much of the time we’re being judged on how we look rather than our skills. Of course, like in any job, you perform better when you’re at your most confident so it can be a vicious circle when you haven’t been working for a while and feel nervous about upcoming auditions. We both feel that ‘How to sustain good mental health’ should be a weekly class/discussion in drama schools.

A final challenge is something we’ve called the ‘black hole’. This is when performers are no longer fresh graduates but don’t have huge credits on their CV yet. It’s a limbo where everything feels static. Casting directors aren’t as interested in you and it makes every casting feel like make or break. This period can make a lot of us who are late 20’s/early 30’s feel over the hill!

Have you both starred in any theatre shows?

We’ve both worked quite a lot in theatre, but never together. We’ve done straight plays as well as Musical Theatre. Dan’s first job straight out of drama school was Sweeney Todd with Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton which opened in Chichester and transferred to the West End. It was an incredible experience and one which he still talks too much about to this day.

If I could be your fairy godmother, what show would you love to star in?

Does the fairy godmother do time travel? Rosie wishes she could play Rachel in Friends, it’s the best of both worlds, performing in front of a live audience but also for film.

For Dan, his dream role would be to play Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at the National Theatre. Or Marius in Les Mis in the West End, which is probably Daz’s dream too.

What are your future plans? Where are you hoping Scrap of Success will take you?

Everything is very much “let’s wait and see” now, with the release of the series. We really hope we get a widely positive response so that we can carry on making future episodes. We’ve got lots of ideas of where we’d like to take the characters. We’ll let you know about the future when we know ourselves… The dream scenario is for a producer to see potential so that we can make the next series bigger and better!

You can watch the first episode of Scrap of Success here. Begging for more? Don’t worry! There will be new episodes coming every Sunday and Wednesday!

Give your social feeds a razzle-dazzle and follow Scrap of Success on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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