For three years, Caleb Marshall made YouTube videos in his small hometown of Marion, Indiana, starring himself, his friends, and his family members. In 2016, one retweet from singer Meghan Trainor showed the internet at large what his fans already knew: That The Fitness Marshall's booty-shakin' dance cardio magic is impossible to resist. And now the Fitness Marshall is about to get an even bigger audience: On Jan. 9, the first season of Marshall's new reality show, Life of a Fitness Pop Star, will premiere on streaming platform Verizon go90, giving fans "an insight to our lives that they’ve never seen before," Cameron Moody, Marshall's boyfriend and the Team Fitness Marshall manager, tells Bustle.
The 12-episode season, produced by dance entertainment programming brand DanceOn, chronicles Marshall and Moody, as well as the Fitness Marshall backup dancers (aka "backup booty") Haley Jordan and Bria Nachele, as they move to Los Angeles in hot pursuit of Marshall's dream career: A mash-up of Richard Simmons and Britney Spears, half pop, half workout, and all good vibes.
Marshall's known for his positivity and his vivaciousness, but outside of his fitness vids, which are set to popular songs and have garnered him nearly 1.2 million YouTube subscribers, he's shyer than fans would likely expect. Though Life of a Fitness Pop Star is something he's "dreamed about since I was in high school," adjusting to being in front of the cameras 24/7 was a little tricky for him.
"It was honestly an adjustment initially because I have very bad performance anxiety so when the cameras got in my face, I freaked out for a minute," he says. "I didn't know how to just be a person without doing something fun. And they were just like, 'Okay, now practice! Do your thing!' And I just froze up." However, he says, "Once I got past the initial [adjustment], I just had to figure out to play myself with all these people in the room. It kind of got easier and I started to care about it less and just go with the flow. It was initially very weird to not be in control."
Even with the stress of transitioning to reality TV, Marshall and Moody are both thrilled about engaging more with their fans through Life of a Fitness Pop Star. The show will be a raw look at all the complications and messy emotions of their everyday lives, things that "maybe we would be uncomfortable putting in our [vlogs]," Moody explains. "So this is really a place of vulnerability and something we're doing for the fans, and hopefully it will help them get to know us and help them deal with things they're going through in life."
Forging bonds with fans is hugely important to Team Fitness Marshall, and it's easy to do through music, "a universal language that connects people," Marshall says.
And fans seem to return the team's love. On a recent world tour, Moody said there were nothing but positive vibes. "Everyone was uplifting," Moody says. "That's what I love about Caleb's audience, because [...] people want to have a good time and lift each other up. It was just an out-of-this-world experience, honestly."
The pair hopes the out-of-this-world-ness continues as they head into new opportunities in 2018. Marshall has hefty expectations for himself: "Stadiums, Super Bowls, Ellen, just takin' over the world," he says.
You can watch Life of a Fitness Pop Star for free beginning Jan. 9 on Verizon go90. And if you just can't wait for the premiere, remember you can bless your booty right now with the dozens of workout vids on Marshall's YouTube channel. Let the spirit take over ya body!