Former Confetti student turned one of the world’s most popular YouTube and Twitch streamers, TommyInnit, recently kicked off his UK Tour with a fantastic performance at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham. Sitting in the audience were many current Confetti students who benefited from a limited number of free tickets, thanks to Tommy’s generosity. Read on to find out all about Tommy’s new show, his journey to stardom, and how it’s helping inspire the next generation of Confetti content creators!
Thomas Simons AKA Tommy Innit is currently touring his new show, ‘Annoying At First’, across the country. It’s a semi-autobiographical tale of his rise to internet stardom. TommyInnit, is a gamer, comedian and writer with over 50 million subscribers across his channels, surpassing one billion views on YouTube at the age of just 17. Tom is adored by fans around the world for his chaotic comedy and wild adventures, and many of them showed up to see him at the Royal Concert Hall on Wednesday 7 June.
Aspiring Confetti content creator, Ria Reddy (pictured-right), was one of those lucky students who got to attend the show and she’s clearly taken a lot from it, she said:
“Tommyinnit is a big deal in the industry. The fact he studied at Confetti made him so much more intriguing to me.
“His personality on his social media platforms is so big that I wanted to see it for myself.
“That kind of confidence isn’t easy to find, so I want to take every opportunity I can to find it.
“I’m so happy he gave us tickets – it’s really nice he’s looking out for future content creators. Him being from the same uni helps make achieving my dreams so much more realistic for me!”
Ria’s currently studying our new Content Creation degree course. The contemporary course supports students developing their skills in video production, image manipulation and editing as they produce cutting-edge, high-end digital content for a diverse global audience.
TommyInnit’s content focuses on Minecraft, a virtual open world video game where players can dig, mine, build, craft, and enchant things. It’s described as a ‘sandbox game’, as it allows players to create their own worlds and experiences where the possibilities are virtually limitless. Tommy’s big break came when he joined the Dream SNP, a private survival multiplayer Minecraft server which has attracted a large following, with hundreds of thousands of viewers turning up for live events.
Of course, it wasn’t so long ago Tommy was a Level 3 Film and TV student studying at Confetti himself, and his college experience is a big part of the show – he even showed a photo of our Digital Media Hub on screen. His journey to becoming one of the world’s most successful content creators has certainly inspired Ria, who even managed to bag a photo (pictured above) with him! With support from Ria, we’ve provided our key takeaways:
The importance of staying on your grind
They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something, and Tommy subscribes to that rule. During the show, he spoke about his strong work ethic during college, in his own words ‘a constant grind’. He’d be up editing every morning at 6am, then speed through college and stream late into the evening every day. Tommy’s hard work soon paid off and he hit the big time when he started collaborating with other YouTubers and streamers.
Not everyone’s going to like you
Underneath Tommy’s trademark banter, jokes and slapstick comedy, he’s just like us – he wants people to like him and the unfortunate truth is not everyone’s going to. This sad fact is amplified one thousand-fold thanks to today’s social media age – a double-edged sword for content creators. With popular fandom comes hate, and Tommy’s had more than his fair share online and in-person. Unprepared for fame and without anyone to steer him away from the comments and the suspicious mail arriving at his door (not quite a letter to Hogwarts), Tommy took all of that negativity inside himself and things began to unravel. This brings us to the end of part one.
Ria really enjoyed the first part of the show, she particularly respected how real Tommy was about his journey and how it hasn’t all been plain sailing. She said
“Tommy took us down memory lane, which I could tell was very personal to him. The level of openness made me connect to him and made the whole show so much more inspirational! He was transparent with his entire journey, career and personal life.
“He also spoke about the dark side of the industry. With his flamboyant personality, you would never think he would be subjected to online abuse. Seeing him talk about it, humanised him and opened my eyes.
“Being in the public eye isn’t always as easy as it looks and voicing this will help other creators feel strength, it’s good to know that there is a way out. He was vulnerable and made it okay to be so.”
Never give up on your dream
The climax of Tommy’s show is one of triumph, as he overcomes the dark forces with the support of his ‘dad’ and faithful dog, ‘Binda’, played by comedy actors. At key points throughout the show, they join Tommy on stage for hijinks and dramatic re-enactments from scenes in Tommy’s life. Tommy and the actor that plays his dad have a great chemistry – there’s lots of mickey taking at both their expense – think Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father. Jokes aside, you can tell Tommy has a strong bond with his dad – why else would he make him a central character within his show? Tommy’s real-life dad is Iain Simons, a Creative Executive who, like his son, has a strong passion for video games. In fact, Iain was the Director and Founder of the world-renowned video game festival in Nottingham, GameCity, and the world’s first cultural centre dedicated to videogames, the National Videogame Museum – I guess you can say it runs in the family.
Tommy’s Dad has been instrumental in his son’s success and he’s been there for him throughout all of the ups and downs, particularly during the low points, championing him to never give up. He and Binda represent our friends and family and the importance of opening up to them when we’re struggling. They also keep us grounded and spur us on when we need it most. Binda’s a very entertaining character – I mean, who doesn’t love a dancing, talking dog! Especially one that’s ready to give a good hiding to ‘the dark web’, who shows up in part two of the show for a real pasting, complete with over the top punch sound effects a Rocky movie would be proud of. Asked for her take on part two of the show and the sensitive themes it deals with, Ria commented:
“It isn’t easy to openly say one is struggling with their mental health, especially when you’re in the public eye. But it was so respectable that Tommy recognised the power he has with his platform and that struggling with mental health is something that needs to be normalised. He inspired everyone with his vulnerability and openness”.
Tommy began his show in telling the audience, he can teach them how to be a billionaire, he says:
“I will explain how, at age 16, I made more money than your whole family, and you will listen. It will not be funny.
“It will not be a musical.
“It will not have puppets.
“This is strictly BUSINESS.
“Come along if you want to get rich.”
The reality is, this was far from the truth. The whole thing is very tongue in cheek – Tommy is not a billionaire, however, he’s well on his way! Yes, it was funny, yes, there were musical numbers, yes, there were puppets, and it’ll never be strictly business with Tommy. Sure, his brand is hot property and he’s clearly got a great team around him, but underneath it all, Tommy’s a showman – he clearly loves what he does, he enjoys connecting with his fans, and has a strong affinity for his city.
Content creators seem to be on this big platform with millions of followers and brand endorsements – they can seem not of this world. Tommy did a great job of bringing it all back down to earth and I’m sure he motivated many budding creators in the audience to aim for the stars. Ria was one of those inspired, she said:
“The energy in that room was astronomical!
“Every time Tommy said absolutely anything, the crowd would roar. It was such an incredible experience to be in a room filled with so much passion.
“The crowd and the show were so wholesome. It filled the room up with so much positive energy. Tommy was very engaging and let his big personality shine throughout the show.
“There wasn’t a moment I felt off the hook. It was a great night, with great energy and a great creator!”
Want to find out more about TommyInnit and how he’s become so successful? Check out an interview with Chris Macchi, a Strategic Partner Manager at YouTube, who helps top creators like TommyInnit stay ahead of the curve.
Are you interested in attending events and getting hands on experience as part of your studies? Book onto an Open Day to find out more about all the opportunities on offer here at Confetti.