What can I say, really; I never expected to be where I am.
I mean, sure, I spent my whole life aspiring to be a film-maker. Even as a small child I would document things with my camera and make skits and sketches for the entertainment of others. My first commercial was about a fake mental-hospital that has a strong focus on learning technology and computers. It starred my youngest brother as the mental-patient and my other brother as the spokesman.
After that, I made a commercial where my brothers beat the shit out of each-other and when the fight was over, the winner picked up a can, cracked it open, looked at the camera and said “Pepsi.” It was the funniest thing I had ever done up to that point, but it would soon be surpassed by the next commercial.
Again, starring my younger brothers, one playing the father, the other playing the son. The father comes home, opens his briefcase and it’s filled with beer. The son grabs one and they drink together talking about what degenerates they are. After a while of describing their nefarious exploits I came on-screen, looked at the camera and said “Another chance wasted to talk to your son about marijuana.”
I laughed for years at that commercial.
I made a mini-series called Life, the tag-line was “What’s up with it?” This was my baby in grade 8. Again, starring my brothers, I played a supporting role. This was before I could edit, so I had to do on-camera editing, which means you have to stop the camera exactly where you want the scene to end, and hit record exactly when you wanted the next scene to begin. There was zero room for error. Clearly, there has to be an excuse for a character to get up and walk towards the camera at the end of every scene. The excuse we came up with was that my character… uh… my character had a bladder problem and had to go to the bathroom every 3 minutes. We tried to play this off as a running-gag, but before the end of the second episode it had already run thin. Damn shame, really, that my characters only recognizable trait was small-bladder syndrome. My younger brother’s trait was that he liked to lick bridges, and my youngest brother’s running gag was one of the funniest I had ever made, even today, because it was so versatile. He would always go away for the day to what he called his “job” but he could never keep his story straight about what he did for a living. Working at the Pepsi factory, Popcorn factory… a lot of factories, really. The series also featured cameos from my mother and my sister.
I miss that series.
My camera broke after the following summer with almost nothing to show for the time I had with it. I still loved making videos but I had trouble getting casts and crews together. This is the absolute bane of existence for any aspiring film-maker: getting people interested in helping you. It became rare that someone would help, especially knowing I couldn’t pay them.
That would not last long though. Eventually I joined a film program designed for high-school. Four credits, one semester, two dozen like-minded individuals, young and aspiring to work in film. This is where I really came into my own. This is where I discovered that not only can I make good films, but that I was good at it and could make a career out of it.
I met my best friend in this program, I learned all the editing tricks, I learned camera operation, studio operation, set design, storytelling, directing and I even learned that I am a damn good actor. I had so many amazing videos and films come out of this program, some of them I still watch on VHS (yes, I am a dinosaur).
Throughout high school I made a few more films. One of which was about my band. We were a comedy rock-band and all of our songs were funny. We made a mockumentary about our group and we did it in the style of VH1’s Behind the Music series. This was the greatest project we had ever done and it was a masterpiece. Too bad all the jokes went over everyone’s heads.
I was accepted into Humber, a college with an excellent film program. This was where I was meant to be. I had the grades, I had the passion and I had the desire to work behind the scenes of real films and movies. I was excited and optimistic about the future. This, however, was not to be. My parents did not want me involved in film, they did not see it as a sustainable career and they did not trust that I would make it. They refused to release my savings (they had for my schooling) and said they wouldn’t support me financially if I went to Toronto.
This was devastating. I had my own savings and I was working two jobs, but this wasn’t enough money for tuition. Instead my parents insisted I go to a more local college and take some sort of Television program. I asked the teacher of this program if it will help me get into film later on. He told me that film was a dying art-form and I should train up to be on a news crew.
So, instead I went to my local college for their “Film Class” which was an elective… and a total joke. I studied art and graphic design and even computer programming, but the only fun I really had were in the university classes, history and biology.
I never graduated.
Fast-forward about a decade. I get a real job, I get a home and I try to build a nuclear family. I’m lost. I am not doing what I wanted to do and I’m pretending that I’m ok with it because I’m “Happy.”
Funny how when you’re a broken man that you confuse not hating yourself with liking yourself, you confuse not being lonely with being in love, and you confuse not being sad with being happy.
Boom, I start a YouTube channel to kill the boredom. It gets suspiciously popular suspiciously fast. Can’t question it, got to build it, got to love it, got to live it. This is my main focus in life now. This is who I am now.
The point I am making here is I always expected to work in films, movies and videos, but I never expected it to be YouTube. I never expected that I would love being an online personality. I just wanted to entertain people. I just wanted to make people laugh with my art.
Someone told me a week ago that I changed… From her perspective, maybe I did, but from my perspective I found the old me that I lost so many years ago.