The Marriage Tour Web Series Gives Clever Insight On Marital Issues

| May 16, 2013 | 1 Comment


Creator of The Marriage Tour web series, David Tinsley used real life experiences to capture the essence of marital life. The Marriage Tour has quickly become a web favorite for it’s natural depiction of love, marriage and real life issues that occur in relationships. In this interview, David Tinsley gives us the details on how he came up with the idea to highlight the joys and ills of marriage in his web series.

JAM: What gave you the idea to start your web series?

DavidTinsleyDavid Tinsley: I got married back in August 6, 2011 and before I got married, I was getting advice from people. And even after I got married. I remember I got advice from my mentor from middle school and he said, “Hey David, listen. If you ever decide to cheat…” I was like, “Whoa, you shouldn’t be telling me this before I get married. That’s not a good way to go into a marriage.” But he was just being honest he said, “Hey people make mistakes. Nobody’s perfect, just make sure that if you do decide to do that, you never put that woman above your family at home. Don’t do anything outside of your normal routine. Don’t come home from work 2 hours late or what ever the case maybe.”

Now mind you, I didn’t agree with anything that he was saying but I was so shocked to be getting that type of advice from somebody. I was thinking that I can’t be the only one who has gotten that type of advice before. So I felt like, if I put that in the web series, other people will be able to connect and relate to it. And then I also, know people who were telling me to be faithful and appreciate my wife. Someone told me when you cheat on your wife with another woman, especially being a good guy like I am, you know hard working, college educated, all of those things; The woman that you’re cheating on your wife with, probably thinks she would never find the right guy for her. If this good guy right here is cheating on his wife then I’ll never find my knight in shining armor.

So in a way, when you are faithful to your wife, you’re giving those other women out there hope that maybe one day they’re going to find somebody that’s going to be committed to them. So, I was getting advice from opposite ends of the spectrum. That was the reason, I wanted to put this out there for everybody to see, because I’m not really a writer but I can write what I know. And that was something that I had really gone through and it was fresh. I wanted to see if anybody else would connect with it.

JAM: Why do you think fans have connected so well with the series?

David Tinsley: I think a lot of times people create stuff thinking, “This is what the fans are going to like.” I think when you stay true to yourself, usually people will relate to it because, we’re more alike than we know we are. I think that’s the reason why. It was a genuine thing that came from the heart.

I think also, the cast was able to sell it. A lot of them had gone through these things and we had a great chemistry and a great rapport with each other. They all believed in the project just as much as me. When you have counterparts who feel as though the project is just as much there’s as it is the creators, it creates something that’s organic. It creates something that’s natural and not forced. I think that’s why the audience can relate to it. It’s not anything that we necessarily created for people to like. We created it because it felt natural.

JAM: A good cast & crew are essential for every web series, so how did you form your team?

David Tinsley: I did one short film before this one, called Something Different. It was a short film with two characters and in my mind I thought it would be awesome to not only help myself but to help other people out here that I know. Out here in LA, there are so many talented Black artists who don’t get opportunities and aren’t getting seen. I wanted to create something for them to be able to shine and get practice so once that big opportunity came up for them, they would be that much more prepared.

I didn’t audition anybody. I talked to all of the people that I already knew here, who I felt deserved an opportunity. The person who plays Kyle of the experienced couple, his real name is Shango. I knew him way back two years ago when I did a play with him in California. The person who Kyle’s wife, Laura, her real name is Tiffany Diaz and I met her a few years ago at another mutual friend’s house. The person who plays Carmen, is Jade Johnson, she’s one half of the newly wedded couple. I met her when I lived in Arizona 5 years ago we did a play together.

The person who plays her husband Andre in the series is Jerrel O’Neal. I met him a few years back at a party and I became his friend on Facebook. I thought he would be perfect for the part. I didn’t even know if he could act or not but he’s from Detroit. So, that was already a good thing for me because I’m from Detroit. Then the person who plays Eddie, is Keir Thirus. I met him when I first got out here. He and I have been like best friends ever since. Chi’Von Golden, plays Denise, my character’s girlfriend. I’ve known her since highschool. She was a freshman when I was a sophmore. So, everyone in the web series were people that I already knew.

JAM: How do you generate new ideas and creativity when you’re coming up with the episodes?

David Tinsley: I usually think of the character because each character has to have a voice. That’s a common mistake with a lot of beginner writers, such as myself. A lot of times they’ll make the common mistake of having all of our characters sound the same or sound like us. So I really put a lot of thought into making each character distinct.  Each character has their own set of problems, their own journey and their own backstories. From that point, the story just sort of unravels.

Then, I’ll think of a beginning, middle and end. In this case, there’s a cliffhanger at the end of this season. Mainly, because I want the audience to be anxious about seeing the next season.

(spoiler alert) JAM: Yeah, I’m definitely anxious. I was shocked by the cliffhanger. I couldn’t believe she said, “Ex wife.”

David Tinsley: That actually happened to my sister. My sister was 6 months pregnant. She found out from the guy she was engaged to at the time, that he hadn’t divorced his ex-wife who he had two kids with. Now mind you, they were separated. So it’s not like he was still with his ex-wife but he never officially got the divorce. She found out when she met his ex. When she met her, they were talking cool with each other. They went out to eat and his ex said, “ Hey, I’m shocked that you’re okay with him still being married.” And my sister played it off as if she knew because she didn’t want his ex to have the satisfaction of knowing that my sister didn’t know about it. But when she got home, she was highly up set and it didn’t end well. They didn’t end up staying together and that’s what the result was.

Usually, when I grab stuff, I grab it from real incidents. So what happened in the web series is not necessarily a true story. It didn’t happen verbatim but I took stories from different people that I know. I just kind of put the stories together.

David Tinsley: This season was short. It was only like 5 or 6 minutes an episode on average. We shot it over the course of four days in two consecutive weekends in October.  It was on the 6-7th of October 2012 and 13-14th of October 2012. We shot all 6 episodes then. We took a couple of months to edit it and we released the first episode January 12th of 2013. Every week there after, we released it until it was over. In this season I wanted to set up a foundation. I wanted to introduce you to these characters. But I wanted the main story to revolve around the main couple which is Denise and Brian.

When we get to the second season, I’ll take viewers into the households of each of these couples. Then, there is already the dilemma of Brian trying to make up for what he did and trying to get back with Denise. Eddie, who is the single guy that was married before; He’s a player but he wants love. He wants somebody to cook dinners for him, tell him to clean up and tell him to go to bed if he’s staying up too late. He likes that.  He’s looking for that stability from a woman. So, there’s a whole lot going on in the second season.

JAM: What advice would you give to anyone that’s starting a web series?

David Tinsley: First, it always starts with the writer. I know so many people who have ideas. It’s a million people out there with ideas. I have people calling me all of the time with ideas. Then I hear from them a month later and I ask, “ What happened to that idea?” That’s where it starts. That’s where the seed is planted. From that point, you have to use your resources. Fortunately, being out here in LA, there are plenty of resources. But no matter where you are, there’s people around you with talent.

The first thing is to actually follow through and create the project by writing. The second step is to find talent. Find people that you think can help bring the story to life. Third, you need to figure out how to get it done within your budget. I rented the equipment. I don’t own any of the equipment. I knew a director out here who had her on camera, that’s half the battle right there. Then I went on a website called and I rented a wide lens that she would need to bring out the best in terms of the quality of the web series. I ordered that and It was about $80 or $90 for tens days. I also ordered a dolly for her and some lights and all of that stuff. That came out to about $400. Then I had to feed everybody. You can’t pay people but you can find people who want to work.

Like I said earlier, find people who are going to want to do the project and consider the project their own. You don’t want to find people that think their doing you a favor. They might not show up, they might be inconsistent. They might not respond to your emails on time. So everybody that I picked was hungry and they considered the project their own. When I didn’t have places for people to rehearse, they were like, “Hey come over to my house. Hey David, what do you need? Do you need us to bring any food?” Everybody played the role of the producer on this because they valued the project that much.

Find talent, even if you have to put an add on Craigslist. And find out how much it’s going to cost you. You might have to rent the equipment. I’m sure many are working a 9 to 5. So save up your money or talk to family members and try to raise it from there. That’s kind of how I did it. A lot of people do a kickstarter. With Kickstarter if you raise all of the money in your goal you get to keep the money. If you don’t raise it, you don’t get to keep it. With IndieGoGo, no matter what you raise, as long as you give the site a percentage, you can keep the money. But I didn’t want to do that. I’m thankful. I’m an engineer. I went to the University of Michigan and I got my degree in engineering.  I minored in African American theater in college. I had a lot of friends who majored in acting but I came from humble beginnings. I didn’t want to go to college spending $30,000 and not have anything to show for it. I already grew up a certain way, I didn’t want to come out of college starving. I don’t believe in that. I felt like I could do both. And I thank my mother all the time for telling me to get my degree and minor in acting. That way you can come out to LA and fund your dream.

I’m thankful that she told me that. I didn’t want to do a kickstarter with the first web series because I didn’t prove anything. I don’t believe in throwing out some trailer or throwing out an idea and ask for donations. People don’t want to invest in something that they don’t know about. I have to do this out of my pocket at least the first time around. Maybe the second or third time, when I generate enough interest, people may want to donate. And that’s a catch 22. because when people start donating, they start feeling like they have a say so in terms of the creative decisions that you make with that project. You may come out with something they don’t like and they’ll say, “I know I didn’t spend my money for this.”

I see people comment on other web series’ Youtube pages after they’ve donated and they feel entitled or like they have the right to critique it. But when you’re giving people something for free and it’s at least half way decent, they have to respect that.

Ninety percent of it is really planning and scheduling. That’s the biggest thing.


To learn more visit:






Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Category: Interviews

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Sam says:

    It is important that couples understand the “Rules and Roles”of their relationship before they say,”I do”. Watch “The Marriage Contact” at for more insights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *