Hobby became my career, says Goulds opera singer turned YouTuber
Meet ChelsiMadonna, who's come a long way from her early videos
A woman from this province who studied to be an opera singer is now making her living in Toronto as a YouTuber and Much digital content creator.
Chelsi Walsh is perhaps known better by her audience as YouTuber ChelsiMadonna.
With more than 65,000 subscribers, Walsh says what started as a hobby has turned into a career.
"It was in my first year of music school at Memorial and I realized that I didn't have a hobby anymore because up to that point, music was my hobby, and all of a sudden it was completely consuming my life — which I loved, but it was more of a job or more work than it had been before," she told CBC's Weekend AM.
Walsh enjoyed watching videos on YouTube and felt inspired to start a channel of her own.
"I picked up the camera on my birthday one year and I recorded my first makeup tutorial. The rest is history."
I like to keep it very positive and something that girls can watch and feel motivated or inspired.- Chelsi Walsh
Since she started her channel in 2011, Walsh's lifestyle videos — including hair and makeup tutorials, morning routines, favourites and hauls — have been viewed more than two million times.
Walsh hasn't abandoned her opera. She still has a couple of students, and will do a workshop at Memorial University in May, but her YouTube channel has become a full-time job.
"It's a very girly channel, but I try to keep the whole channel very positive as well and I try to be a good role model," said Walsh.
"I know I have a lot of young viewers, as well, so I like to keep it very positive and something that girls can watch and feel motivated or inspired or just hopefully brighten their day a little bit, too."
'An amazing experience'
In November, Walsh was selected as one of Much's 15 new digital content creators.
According to Walsh, the offer came just a month after she relocated to Toronto to expand her career.
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While she can still create her own content, Walsh said she now has access to Much resources, such as professional lighting and camera equipment, as well as opportunities to further develop her digital skills.
"On top of that we also get to meet some pretty cool people. We'll do some interviews if they need someone to do an interview," she said.
Make sure that you are putting out content that you are happy with and that really, truly, represents you.- Chelsi Walsh
"In the fall I interviewed Troye Sivan, who is very famous Australian musician right now, so I got the opportunity to interview him and we also get to do some cool campaigns through them as well, so it's been an amazing experience."
As for advice to people in this province interested in starting a YouTube channel, Walsh said it's important to remember it can be fun, but it is work.
"I would definitely tell them to really stay true to themselves. Make sure that you are putting out content that you are happy with and that really, truly, represents you. People will know whether or not you're going to be genuine online," she said.
"Making a YouTube schedule and uploading at a certain time of the week is great. It's something I still struggle with, but it is something that's so important if you want to start off — and start off on the right foot."
With files from Weekend AM