There are quite a bit of bloggers I’ve come across while doing this Blogger’s Rundown. But there are very few who choose to go the commentary route like I. A person who’s writing of how she feels about situations that happen in the media every day, Shae McCoy is definitely one of those bloggers. She’s the founder of the UncommonRealist, where the tagline of her site states she’s “concerned with just the facts; favoring the practicality and literal truth.”
I enjoyed the time catching up with an old friend while interviewing her for this addition to my Rundown. She kept it real with me the entire time of this interview, completely following the brand of her site by being a realist. Shae and I discussed what new things are coming for her blog, her love for her favorite actor Michael B. Jordan, and what keeps her motivated to continue writing for the UncommonRealist. I’m proud to see someone I’ve known for a while doing great things. Shae has the potential to go very far and I know she’ll excel in whatever she puts her mind to.
Doc: What’s the story behind your blog? How did you get started?
Shae: Well, last year, it was one day I was just sitting in the house. I had like a few days off, probably three days in a row. So I’m like, “What am I going to do with all this time?” I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a while. I’m thinking what can I write about? How do I start it? Whatever, whatever. Around that time is when Fruitvale Station came out. So that was something I could write about. It was something strong to start with, as well. I wrote that as my first blog and it did well. That’s because it was something I liked and the movie was good on top of that. So it’s what I recommend for people who want to start blogs to do. They should always write something they’re passionate about or they’ll never have anything to write about.
Doc: So how did you come up with your name?
Shae: It just came. (Laughs) That was the first name that I thought of and it stuck. I guess it’s because I am a realist.
Doc: Oh, okay. So my favorite posts on the UncommonRealist are your Questions of the Day.
Shae: Which I need to get back on.
Doc: (Laughs) How do you come up with those questions?
Shae: Sometimes if I’m watching TV or listening to the radio and I hear something, I might take it from them. But most of the time, it’s questions from real situations that I may be going through or someone I know may be going through. Sometimes it’s stuff I know people can relate to.
Doc: Alright. So you specialize in writing movie reviews?
Shae: Umm, I like them. (Laughs) I need to write one of those again, too.
Shae: I need to come across a movie that I can write a good thorough review about. Usually when people write reviews, its short and settle. But when I write reviews, I like to, uhh, I don’t know…
Doc: You like your reviews to be well thought out.
Shae: Right! I notice like the first few reviews I wrote, they kind of, I don’t want to say spoiled the movie because it didn’t, but they kind of gave the plot. I learned as I went on with doing it that you can’t give the plot when writing a review. It’s a lot of changes I have to make.
Doc: Well, you’re definitely learning. That’s a good thing.
Shae: (Laughs) Yeah. I see movies like every weekend.
Doc: You go more than me. I think the last time I been was the beginning of last month.
Shae: Before last year, I would go to the movies once a year. I actually like going to the movies by myself.
Doc: Do you know of any independent films here in Baltimore?
Shae: Uhh (Laughs), the only one, I mean, that I think is an independent film, I know of is The 12 O’clock Boys film.
Doc: Yeah, I think that’s an independent film.
Shae: That’s the only film I knew about, but anything else, not really. I would like to write about more Baltimore things that go on.
Doc: Did you write a review about that movie?
Shae: Nah, I didn’t because I didn’t see it and I heard bad reviews about it. I’m the type of person if I don’t find interest in it; I’m not going to write about it because my writing is not going to be sincere. Things like that, I’m not really interested in.
Doc: So people who have independent films need to make their movies good so you could write about them, basically. (Laughs)
Shae: Right. It’s like I never hear about them. Then when I do, it’s brief. Like it was a poet I tried to reach out to one time to be featured on my blog and he was like, “I’m not a blog artist.” I’m like, “What are you talking about.” He was acting like I was trying to advertise him. I was trying to get his name out there, help him out. That’s why I write about people who aren’t from here. They come to me. People who come from different states always email me or hit me up on Twitter. It’s either they want me to help them put their music out or write about their business.
Doc: Yeah, I completely understand.
Shae: It’s the consistency, also. Some contact me wanting me to do things for them and then they never come through.
Doc: You need to deal with more persistent people. (Laughs)
Shae: Right! (Laughs)
Doc: I know you’ve recently entered a contest with The Insider. You want to talk about that?
Shae: Well, it wasn’t like a “contest” contest. It’s called the Social Sound-Off. Basically, they’ll ask a question and you make a video. If you make the video in time for them to do the show, they put it on there. I always do it.
Doc: So did you get your video on there?
Shae: Yes, twice.
Shae: The first time it was about the Oscars. The other one was about Oprah and her birthday. I like it.
Doc: You’ve been on there more than a lot of people though. You were on it twice. I know you kind of do that on Twitter, too. When you reach out to people, they really answer you a lot more often than other people.
Shae: It’s just about how you go about it. Like the whole Michael B. Jordan thing, people don’t understand that I was once a person who was always saying stuff and being ignored. I was always like, “Oh, hi! Michael B. Jordan, I’m your biggest fan. Blah, blah, blah.” Then I thought to calm down because this is someone I really want to work with or meet. I can’t be coming off all clingy.
Doc: So you became really strategic with how you approached him?
Shae: Right. I wanted to talk to him as if he’s not a celebrity, like he’s a regular person because I’m sure that’s how he would want to be treated. Talking to him, I know he’s kind of shy. Because when I wrote about him, he didn’t really want me to publicize it that much. He wanted me to keep it low-key. I respect his wishes. I posted things on my site but I only shared it like three times. It’s all about how you approach people.
Doc: Then people finally answer you?
Shae: Yeah. No one’s going to answer you if you’re being crazy. People get mad at me when he says stuff to me. They’ll inbox me like, “Oh my gosh, I’m jealous. Why does he keep talking to you?” Then one girl she even said she thinks I have a thing going on with him and he shut her up.
Doc: What? (Laughs)
Shae: I never met this man. How can I have a thing going on? It’s crazy.
Doc: People assume anything.
Doc: So what keeps you motivated to keep writing for the UncommonRealist?
Shae: It’s something that I came up with on my own. It’s not like I’m writing for the Baltimore Sun or under anyone else. I came up with it alone. I see how far I can go with it. It keeps me motivated to have a career rather than working a 9 to 5. Necole Bitchie, she’s one of my favorite bloggers. She’s actually from Maryland. She did pretty well. It kind of set the bar for me. I know blogging is not the only thing I want to do.
Doc: So she’s one of the people who inspires you?
Shae: Yeah, that and I just want more for myself. I just want to get away. It helps me be a better me. Like some of my family knows that I write, but my mom and everyone else, they don’t really care. That kind of stuff keeps me pushing. I’m doing it because it makes me happy.
Doc: Okay, so I recently saw that you started a new blog. So now you actually have two?
Shae: Mhmm! That blog is for the Michael B. Jordan fans. People liked when I wrote about him on my regular blog. I’ve decided to have a blog strictly for stories that I write about him. I did that for them. I have a group of fans on Twitter that often hit me up. I’m pretty sure he probably appreciates it. I’m not the only fan site of his. I’m probably the most publicized, even though I just started. Just from establishing it, I guess it makes it more eager for him to see what I write about him. (Laughs) I hope he looks at it. I hope he saw it because I sent it to him. I plan to keep it running for a really long time. Hopefully, it turns into something else. I got the T-shirt thing going on right now. I probably will send them out to a few of the fans that frequently check on the site and keep up with me.
Doc: Do you plan on expanding the UncommonRealist like adding more contributors?
Shae: That’s an iffy thing because truthfully I don’t want anybody taking my shine. (Laughs)
Shae: It’s the trust thing. I’ve had people who’ve offered. But first I have to see what they’re capable of, and then I have to see if I can trust them with staying consistent. For the guy that asked me to write for him, I was consistent. I think I was more consistent than him. I was supposed to write a review for Mandela. I wrote it for my site and his site. I don’t know what was wrong with it or whatever. He didn’t put it up.
Doc: Some people have specific ways they like for others to write for their site sometimes.
Shae: Yeah, he said I needed to be more colorful in how I write. But I don’t think writing a movie review is supposed to be like that. “Oh, this movie was cranked up!” No, it’s not, especially if you have serious people reading your stuff. They don’t take you serious.
Doc: That’s why you’re the UncommonRealist.
Shae: (Laughs) Ain’t anybody going to take me serious if you talking like “This was boom, bang, and pow!” I mean, I’m not a hip-hop blogger. I think that’s what he is. I made the suggestion to do movie reviews but I don’t know how that project is going to go because I only write for him when he asks. Anyway, it’s all about consistency.
Doc: Do you write for any more blogs?
Shae: I would like to write for some serious bloggers, not someone who’s going to contact me on the random. Not for someone who’s going to be like, “Oh, just go look on the page and see what you want to do.” No, I need somebody that has a plan for me.
Doc: You’ll write for someone who has more structure.
Shae: Basically! I’d like to write for some people. I’d actually like to do some combined blogs. I’ve always wanted to do that. We’ll see.
Doc: So is there any big blog you can see yourself writing for?
Shae: Well, I hate Bossip. They’re funny as hell, but I hate them. I would never want to write for them. I would write for Necole Bitchie because her blog is kind of like mine. She writes about different pop culture things that are going on. But at the same time, she’s not too extra. Bossip is extra. They’re like Media Takeout. I don’t like Media Takeout. Media Takeout isn’t even creditable.
Doc: Is there anything new coming for the UncommonRealist that we should be looking out for?
Shae: I don’t know. I always think of something new and then I’ll try it for a little while and stop. So yeah, Questions of the Day are coming back. I will probably be getting some more movie reviews done because it’s getting warm so I’ll be out going to see movies. Maybe some interviews coming up.
Doc: So what about your other blog? Just look out for the T-Shirts?
Shae: Yeah, T-Shirts coming soon. Basically on there is whatever with Michael B. Jordan. I’ve been talking about his new movie role on the Fantastic Four, which I’m proud of. That’s the most controversial thing going on now because he’s black and playing a white character. A bunch of BS! So on that site, it’s strictly news.
Doc: Okay! Well, thank you for doing this interview. We’re finished all the questions.
Check out Shae McCoy’s blog at www.uncommonrealist.wordpress.com.
To see the last Blogger’s Rundown Interview, read the Q & A with The Industry Blogger.