Frisky Q&A: Tyler Marcum, The Man Behind The “I’m Getting Older 2″ Video, Talks Unicorn Masks, Beyonce & The Importance Of Dancing In Your Underwear
Tyler Marcum will heretofore be known as the man who made a “sensible mashup” of himself dancing to “Landslide” in his underwear at age 20 and again at age 30. The moment I saw his “I’m Getting Older 2″ video, I knew two things: 1) that we needed to be friends and 2) that he was going to be an Internet sensation. The Internet sensation thing is already happening. His YouTube video got nearly 67,000 views in the span of one day. The friendship thing, well, I think our first conversation went well. We talked about lots of exciting things like unicorn masks, “winding it back,” and the importance of dancing in one’s underwear. Check it out after the jump.
The Frisky: Happy Birthday! Welcome to 30.
Tyler Marcum: Thanks. My birthday was actually yesterday. It’s been the most hilarious and ridiculous birthday ever.
Yeah, you’re an overnight Internet star.
The guy I’m dating emailed me, freaking out. He said, “You’re too famous for me now.” And I said, “You mean … too gaymous.” My mom was so excited at the thought that I might be on “Ellen.” I would ab-so-freaking-lutely go on “Ellen” if she asked. I think she has “Ellen” underwear. I could wear them while I dance. It would be perfect. But who knows, this moment will probably all be over in like two days.
Your video is my new favorite. What are your favorite Internet videos?
Just so things aren’t awkward between us, do you know who originally sang “Landslide?”
It’s Stevie Nicks, right?
The Dixie Chicks version was randomly on iTunes library. I always listen to music and dance when I get ready. It was on my “fall asleep” mix. I thought it was kind of a sad song. It reminded me of solitude.
What motivated you to film the video when you were 20?
I just wanted to make a ridiculous video. It was 2003. I had just come out a week before to my roommate and best friend. After I did, I was in this weird place of feeling uninhibited and not caring anymore what anyone thought. I felt like all rainbows and love. My roommates were on the couch watching “The Real World” and I went into my room and just danced to the song and filmed it. It was all improv — not choreographed, so it was hard to re-learn the dance when I did it again. I went to a small conservatory where I studied musical theater, and when I left college, I showed the video as a going away present to all my friends.
How did you get the idea to revisit it for your 30th birthday?
I’ve never felt weird about turning any age in my life. The tw of the 20s was fine, but when I went to say thirty, it was a weird number. I was cleaning out my Mac and I came across a bunch of old videos I made in college and found this one. So, I re-learned the dance. And did it on a split screen. I edited it on iMovie. I was gonna show it to my college friends on Facebook just to make them laugh. I never thought so many people would see it.
If you could go back in time, what would you tell the 20-year-old dancer? What do you wish he knew about life?
To breathe more and get out of your head.
Did you see that TED talk about how it’s dangerous to consider the 20’s a throwaway decade? Do you agree?
No, I didn’t see it, but I love TED talks, so I will watch it. I think of the 20s as a big transition time. You’re finding stability that you create by yourself without your parents, or college, or anything to fall back on. It was scary. I wouldn’t trade my trade my 20’s anything. My 20s were like a carnival ride of wigs, unicorn masks, and Malibu rum. I got to dive into so many pots. I started as a performer and now I’m working as a senior sales planner at ad tech company. I like it a lot. I have a unicorn mask and every day 3p.m., I have a unicorn dance party. I blast Beyonce and wind it back with my mask.
What is winding it back?
It’s one of my signature dance moves. It’s like a backwards body roll that you lean back into. My dance style is saucy mixed with Beyonce. I mostly just copy Beyonce’s dance moves. That’s my thing. Here’s a video of me dancing to “Lost Yo Mind.” Oh, and every Friday, I dance in my underwear on my bed and film it on my iPhone. Last Friday, I danced to Macklemore. The Friday before that it was “Wings” by Little Mix. I don’t know what I’m dancing to this Friday, but it will be something upbeat and brilliant. Everyone should dance in their underwear. It should be a thing.
I couldn’t agree with you more. What are you working on next? Are there more dancing videos for us to look forward to?
My job is great, but I sit in a cubicle all day. So whether it’s in dancing in my underwear or winding it back in the unicorn mask, I always have to find a way to exercise the creative part of my brain or I’ll go crazy. I still love performing and try to do it when I can. I backup danced to Nicki Minaj in an “SNL” digital short. I did a Logo promo for “Eden’s World.” Now I wanna start filming more of my own videos. Who knows, I may be inspired to do a web series or something.
Um, yes please. Can you make that one of your goals for your 30s?
I made a list of things that I’m saying goodbye to in my 30’s. Hold on, let me look at it on my iPhone. OK. IKEA furniture, all you can drink, having single friends. Because everyone is settling down and pairing off. There are so many weddings. It’s unbelievable. Not having health insurance, cheap wine, fearing failure.
That’s a great list. Where do you see yourself at 40? Are you going to make another video?
I am absolutely making another video when I’m 40. It will be called “I’m Getting Older 3.” I don’t know where I’ll be when I’m 40. I wonder if I’ll be in New York City anymore. I may be in a suburban area. Settling down. Getting married. I want to have a house because I love to cook and entertain. I love interior design.
What advice would you give to someone who just turned 20?
Just to embrace who you are. Who you really are. And to run towards things that scare you — some of the most brilliant moments come from embracing stuff that makes me terrified. And never under any circumstances, stop dancing.