In modern day life it is so easy to pick up a new hobby, thanks to the likes of Google and YouTube ANYBODY can teach themselves… well, anything really!
Which is why I find it so upsetting that commonly within young people creativity is hindered and judged by peers, especially when we’re living in the golden age of expression and individuality.
When I was 13 years old, I started my own YouTube channel, here I expressed my passion for comedy entertainment and video games, resulting in my own personal product. This channel was my pride and joy. Every day I would be coming up with new video ideas and dedicating hours upon hours to bringing them to fruition. Countless amount of nights spent recording and editing, perfecting my craft, constantly improving to ensure I always enjoyed the content I made. This was always my philosophy (and still is to this day): if I enjoy the work I create, I am doing the right thing.
However, despite my burning passion for video creation, NO ONE knew about this channel because I knew that if anybody were to find my videos, I would never hear the end of it. But of course, soon enough the news blew out in school. I remember whenever someone made mention of my channel a hot rush of panic would flood every part of my body, I would instantly enter (what I call) ‘repair mode’ where like a celebrity trying to defend a scandal, I would salvage what little dignity I felt I had left, denying any and all allegations made against me – this only made matters much worse.
I had showed people that I was embarrassed by YouTube and just as I predicted, I never heard the end of it. This was the perfect tool for bullies to get at me, I was followed all around school, haunted by kids imitating my videos and calling me names simply for expressing myself. It got to the point where no matter where I went, I couldn’t escape this torment, abusive comments and spam dislikes were a common occurrence on every video I uploaded. Until I left high school, this never stopped.
When I look back it complexes me how ashamed I was of my work, I taught myself to use Adobe Premiere Pro, industry standard editing software at the age of 13! On the opposite end of all the hate I got; I had built up a loyal audience of hundreds of subscribers who commonly came back liking and commenting on videos. This engagement was what I lived for! I remember telling myself not to focus on people putting me down, but the abundance of people that watched my videos purely because they enjoyed them. So, every day after school I logged onto my computer and put all my energy into maintaining this audience; I had friends from Britain, America, Ireland even Greece and Vietnam!
This is what determined me to never give up, no matter what anyone said, I pursued in perfecting my craft every day. Today I work as a digital marketing apprentice for Inspire Travel and having just been a few weeks in, I’m enjoying the role beyond belief! But do you know what made me stand out to my employer the day they hired me? My YouTube experience. Had I have let all the nastiness from school get to me I probably wouldn’t have landed the dream job I am in right now! And that’s not even the best part yet, on the very first day of my job they told me the company had secured a brand deal with PEWDIEPIE! The #1 Youtuber in the entire world, boasting a staggering 100+ million subscribers. Working with an individual of such high status is an accomplishment that will stay with me forever and will be a permanent gloat for my CV!
This is why I’m so grateful for organisations such as The Juice Academy that encourage creativity and allow people such as myself, to apply their passion into the professional world.
To conclude I’d like to give some advice to aspiring content creators out there; keep doing what you’re doing! Never let ANYBODY hinder your creative spark, the fact that you have the initiative to begin your own projects (no matter what they may be) speaks volumes of the highest tier!
I went from being bullied for YouTube to securing my dream job and ultimately working with the most influential internet personality in the world!
Non, je ne regrette rien.
Matthew Anderson Cohort 26