Tag Archives: youtube

The Waiting Game: “Promises are Meant to Be Kept.”

Awhile back, an old friend popped into my head. You know, someone you haven’t seen or thought of in years, just magically enters your thoughts. Why this happens, we don’t know. Is it divine intervention? Is there some ‘behind-the scenes’ brain chemistry at work that just randomly brings up the person?

Whatever the case may be, it happened and I took it upon myself to find them on Facebook and reach out.

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I say ‘old friend’, but not in the traditional sense. This was an internet friend, someone I had met through Youtube before it was even a thing. He was an actor, on the cusp of hitting it big time. We had talked off and on on Myspace and our connection was lost just by circumstance and the changing technology.

So, when I reached out, I was happy to get a reply. He did in fact remember me and our connection had a few bars again. I was thrilled. Over the moon. While I did consider him a friend, he really was admirable. I hoped to one day reach his calibur of talent and visibility in the entertainment world.

As we began talking again, I caught him up with all my projects. I went ahead and shared with him of a failed project, “Three Little Words.” It was a web series created after a group of friends had agreed to do a project with me. I had done theatre all throughout high school and all my friends were actors. But, without dragging the story along— people dropped out, thought the material was too serious, “got busy”— and it just went nowhere. It still pains me today, that friends who at the time were very involved in the acting world— thought they were above it all.

Before I gave up on the project, I had written a few monologues for the major characters for audition purposes. In the end, only one ‘actor’ performed for me. I say ‘actor’, because he really was a male model and after watching his performance, I realized the ability to act was something you either had or didn’t have

After hearing my story, my old friend said, “Well hey. Send me the monologue my way. I’ll do it!”

The thought of asking him to perform one of the monologues hadn’t crossed my mind at all. I was just sharing my woes. So, you can believe me when I tell you I nearly jumped out of my seat after hearing this from him.

Someone with TALENT was going to bring one of my characters to life. The rush of happiness that I felt can not be described. It was at this moment that I wondered— had he popped into my head to ultimately lead me to finding a competent actor?

So, I sent him over the monologue for the character of Todd Walker, the antagonist. I was pretty excited because villains are more fun to write than heroes and they’re more fun to play, too. And with that, we said goodbye. I figured he’d be prompt and get a video of himself performing it for me within a week.

Boy, was I wrong.

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Time slowly ticked by. A week, a month… I was getting anxious. I didn’t want to bother him. He was a hard working young man. He had a girlfriend. Life was busy. So, I waited some more.

When we reached the two month mark, I figured I’d go ahead and ask again. I caught him online and shot him a “hello.” We had a pleasant conversation just about how things were going. When it felt right,  I snuck in a “I can’t wait for the monologue” comment. He responded with: Yeah, I’m probably the worst with taking my sweet time!

I realize now there might have been some kind of problem then. He had apologized for not getting it done, but there was no confirmation I’d ever see the monologue performed. At the time I didn’t realize this and thanked him for chatting and The Waiting Game began again.

Another month went by. And it was now his birthday. I always try to say something personal to people on their birthdays instead of just the generic “Happy Birthday”, so I wrote him a short little birthday wish and sent a message.

He replied with a thank you and nothing more.

The Waiting Game started again.

Another two months go by.

By this time, the monologue had been in his possession for five months. I was frustrated, worried, and confused. He had offered to do it. We were friends. What was the hold up? I wrote to him again, being more direct, but still polite.

He responded a few hours later, but not how I was expecting.

You see, aside from acting, he was a published author. And way back when, he had offered to send me his book. And his response was that he had a surprise for me. He hinted at it being his book, so I thanked him. It was then he said the monologue would need to wait until after his exams were finished.

But you see. In looking at the situation now, this was a distraction. He didn’t want to do the monologue. So instead, he changes the situation around with him sharing something else I had asked for years ago.

It was another two months before his surprise arrived. It wasn’t just his book. It was that and a lot more. He asked me to not share anything of the contents, so I suppose I’ll still honor that. It goes without saying, he put a lot of effort into what he sent me. It was a really good distraction. He did acknowledge me “waiting so long” for his book and thanked me for “putting up with” him.

I was so touched by his kindness, this ‘surprise’, that I had the thought that perhaps, he was just too busy and that I didn’t really need him to perform the monologue anymore.

So, I wrote to him saying we could forget about the monologue.

He responded with “No, no— I’d still like to do it.”

But, he had just had surgery on his eyes and he couldn’t read! “They’ll be better in two weeks,” he said.

So, yet again, The Waiting Game starts for the umpteenth time… but I am sure he’ll honor my request. He ‘wants’ to do it, after all.

We talk a bunch as time slips by. Five months to be exact. I didn’t ask about it once, but it was often on my mind. His eyes were better and he had vacationed in Cuba.

A monologue takes a person five minutes to do.

So, I write him a longer message now. I talk about how I admire him, how he’s a real talent, and maybe, he’ll find enough time to perform this tiny little thing for me.

“Send it again” he says.

The next day, he sends me this:

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“One must print and highlight or one is not taking it seriously”

Oh my god, it’s actually happening. Holy shit. Adrenaline rush.

“I’ll send it tomorrow,” he writes.

Tomorrow comes. Tomorrow Goes.

He’s had the monologue for over a year now. It’s a new year. And I wish him a happy one and remind him once again– “Hope I get the monologue soon!”

He didn’t respond at all.

One more month goes by. He’s had the monologue since July of 2014. And it is now 2016. I ask him flat out, is the monologue this bad? What follows was one of the oddest conversations I’ve ever had.

He mentions Occams razor. (How do I solve this problem?) And he proceeds to tell me he’s joining the secret service. I am so incredibly confused and very frustrated by now.

“I don’t want to keep waiting”, I finally say, a year after the fact.

He reads the message but that’s that.

I decide to cut the cord. Hit the delete button.

But… The Waiting Game had begun again.

The show wasn’t over…

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The Sea Witch.

You’ve heard of The Little Mermaid, right? The Disney animated film about a mermaid who gives her voice to a sea witch for legs, in hopes of marrying a human prince.Disney-Princess-Screencaps-Princess-Ariel-Ursula-disney-princess-35433582-5000-2813

The Sea Witch notices the mermaid is getting a little too close at having the prince, so the witch transforms herself into a beautiful woman to tempt him with the angelic voice of the mermaid.

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Again, we have a story of the Youtube glory days. When content was far and in between and it had yet to blow up.

Meet Ysabella Brave. She found Youtube in 2007 and quickly took the internet by storm. With her angelic voice, Ysabella enchanted viewers. She made you feel loved, too, with the addition of her Talk Channel. She’d offer advice, talk a bit of her personal life and sometimes say a prayer.

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Ysabella was an angel, for sure.

But, in 2008, she was struck with illness. Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue System. She stated she had more illnesses, but this was what she chose to share. She also ran into trouble when her videos were flagged for Copyright.

So, with her being ill and many of her videos gone, Ysabella faded away from the internet. Another Youtube great, gone. I was saddened.

I had forgotten about her, as time went on. However, she popped into my mind this January. I wondered, had she gotten help? Was she better? Was she still singing?

So, I looked her up. The first result was the Wikipedia page. The second link caught my eye. YOUCARE. I clicked it.

Youcare is a donation service, much like GoFundMe. I was shocked reading the information. Ysabella was out of a job and needed money for her medical expenses! My heart sank, just for a second. Then, it occurred to me… was this real? As far as I knew, Ysabella was MIA from the internet. Was someone profiting off the angelic Youtube Star?

I did a little digging, and could not find any information from Ysabella herself. This was concerning. Surely, if a person needed money, they’d post a video or note on their website, right? RIGHT?

All I managed to find was a 5 minute video, “Help Ysabella…” from March 31, 2014. So, something fairly recent.

The video is a string of text, put to angelic music. “Ysabella’s life has been at risk for years…”

“She can not afford food…”

“She can not keep food down…”

“Many illnesses…”

“Ysabella can not operate a computer due to her condition…”

At this point, I was utterly convinced this was a scam. It was just too convenient that Ysabella herself could not communicate with her fans. She had over 34,000 subscribers. A two minute video explaining her situation would be plenty and serve as proof.

Still searching for proof that this was in fact from Ysabella, I found her facebook page. It was public, so I cruised the activity. The stuff “she” was putting out was strange. Really Evangelical. Ysabella had mentioned God in some of her videos, but it never had seemed extreme. There was also a lot of I’M SO ILL. NEED HELP. MONEY NEEDED. All over the page. It just seemed strange to me. Red flags were popping up all over. There was this exchange with a ‘fan’ where you can see Ysabella becomes enraged that she’s being questioned at all:

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Then, Ysabella is going to “set fire to the world” if she can’t find a video chatting application:

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Before I had begun exploring the facebook page, I had commented on the “Help Ysabella” video. I was polite, as I expressed my concern.

So, as I’m reading her facebook, I get an email. Someone has responded to my comment on the video. Then, another email. The responses were blowing up. One was from the video creator, someone who appeared to be speaking to Ysabella frequently. The other comment told me to “read Ysabella’s response.”

And there it was— from Ysabella’s own Youtube profile: “This has been going on all my life.”

What followed though, was nasty. Very, very nasty.

I replied back, saying I felt she should make a video to better explain the situation.

FEED YOUR HEAD, she said.

I couldn’t understand what was going on. Was this really Ysabella? Was someone pretending to be her?

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We talked back and forth a bit. Nothing good. “She” was so upset she was being questioned. She could not understand why I didn’t just believe her. Why doesn’t she just send me her social security number and her ID, she taunted.

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Elsewhere on the internet, Ysabella was being questioned by other fans. People with legitimate concern. One person even said they had been donating to her fund, but stopped, when the money seemed to “just be going into a black hole.” You can see that thread here:  http://www.reddit.com/r/youtube/comments/2vy2fw/ysabella_brave_scammers_profiting_from_former/

The thread then has responses from someone defending Ysabella. Andrew. He was not the person who had posted the video, but seemed to be in close conjunction. His responses were long. Linking to pictures of Ysabella supposed “ailing condition” and reasons she couldn’t get help from government programs.

His language was similar to that of the Youcare page, leading me to think he had been the one to set it up.

The situation died down— as the Facebook page went missing and the Youcare page was being investigated.

But, our story does not end there.

No. Because on May 21st, 2015, a new video arrived. A broken Ysabella appears.

“Hey guys, guess what… I’m not dead. I’m alive. So in my email, my facebook…”

“I’ve been reading a lot, from my friend, from my Youcare page… I wanted to say a few things…”

“I’m grateful for those who believe me…”

“I do need help money wise…”

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She then mentions seeing communication about people wanting identification, pictures of her in the hospital, etc. I never saw any of that, specifically. I only saw the one comment of a fan asking for a general photo… not from a hospital bed, just of her. And, people wanted her ID? Well, she had accused me of wanting hers, but I never asked her for it.

Then, halfway through the video, a man slides into frame. ‘Andrew’. Her ‘biggest fan.’ And he’s ‘going into debt’ trying to help her. The Youcare page is real, she says. She assures us that all donations from PayPal do go to her. She coughs a little then.

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It doesn’t end there.

“For those who are skeptical, I get it. Here’s your video… “

She says it in a manner of kindness. She understands why people were concerned and wondered if this was real. But why then, did she give me a hard time? Why did she attack me by SHOUTING and linking me to a video from CLUE suggesting I was stupid?

So, once more, I commrented on the original donation video.

“I’m glad she made a video… but why did she give me hell?”

Some hours later:

From Ysabella:

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Now, is this how you respond to people who are concerned?

In the blogosphere, I happened to find this: http://insurancevideos.blogspot.com/2007/08/ysabella-brave-investigation-and-other.html

Someone was ‘investigating’ Ysabella way back in 2007. For what, I don’t know. But Ysabella was harassing the poor woman, apparently. I have seen a bit of this anger.

The bottom line is this:

There are several red flags going on here. Ysabella always projected this angelic energy. But, now, she seems bitter and cold. Was she always this way? Is she even really ill? The thought did cross my mind, that she may very well just be faking this entire thing.

And, where does Andrew fit into all this? Who is he?

I don’t wish her ill will. If she’s sick, that of course is horrible. However, I can’t understand why she is acting so cruel to me and others who are wondering if this is legitimate.

And so, we come full circle. The Little Mermaid.

Who Is Ysabella, really? Is Ysabella in disguise?

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“Broadcast Yourself”

On Nov 6, 2013, I logged into my Youtube account.

Everything seemed normal at first. I watched a few videos and then decided I wanted to comment. I clicked into the comment box, but my cursor didn’t appear. I thought my computer was having a moment. But soon, an interface box appeared. One I had seen before. One I had X’d out of nearly a thousand times.

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An example of what you will see when you attempt to comment.

This was the ‘Connect to Google Plus’ box.  It attempts to get you to link your Youtube Channel with your Google Plus page. This link also will display your full name. While I could still close the box, commenting was still not working. I soon realized, Google has now made the acceptance of this feature mandatory, if I wanted to comment.

I then saw I had a few messages in my Inbox. I clicked on it to read them, but saw this instead:

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Are you kidding me? Why would I want to use Google Plus to read comments from my Youtube videos? Why do you want me to use my real name when commenting?

Side Note: I originally connected my G+ account, under the choice “Use User Name”, but when I commented on a video, my real name displayed.

If you read the news, Goggle is saying they’ve implemented the G+ integration to cut down on spam. I think this a lie. I believe this is a tactic to get users onto G+, which, let’s face it, is a failed social network.

Let me also remind you that in 2011, it was against Youtube policy to use your real name. Goggle has since rewritten the policy, clearly so they protect their butts from getting sued.

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Screenshot from the 2011 policy, verses the 2013 version.

Some may say that the change is good. But, I would tell you to take a look at some videos and their comments. Spam Bots are rampant and  ASCII artwork is now allowed in comments, which people are using to post offensive images.

'Drawings' that appear in YouTube Comments.

‘Drawings’ that appear in YouTube Comments.

Comment boxes now allow links, in which Bots are placing viruses.

Some news outlets are reporting that many users are abandoning commenting altogether. I am one of those users. This really is an unjust change and it has me fuming with anger.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Install Adblock in your browser. This extension blocks ads from running, which will cause Goggle to lose money.
  2. Write your opinion on the Youtube facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/youtube
  3. Write your opinion on Larry Page’s G+ profile. He’s Goggle’s CEO. : https://plus.google.com/+LarryPage/posts
  4. Refrain from linking your G+ account. You can even delete it.
  5. Refrain from commenting on Youtube.

It is important to combat this change. Google is becoming too powerful and too controlling. They are trying to remove anonymity from the internet completely, and that is not good.

All of the big Youtubers, Shane Dawson, Pewdiepie, Smosh and Ray William Johnson have reminded quiet on this issue. They make serious money from Youtube (Google), so it is fair to say they don’t want to lose their checks. But,  Jawed Karim, a co-founder of Youtube, commented on his channel for the first time in 8 years:

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So, please join the fight against G+ and let us hope Youtube returns to normal. 

EDIT: PewDiePie, The most-subscribed youtuber has spoken out against these changes. He had this to say, in his most recent video description box:

Turning comments off until they are working properly.

Due to the recent changes of the YouTube comment system I’m forced to disable comments.
Since front page/top comments are filled with: Links to virus sites, Advertisers, Self Advertisers, Spam, Copy and paste pics of dogs (I’m ok with those though) :p … Anyway, the list goes on.

Sorry about this, it’s not an easy decision since I love reading your comments! But I hope this will get fixed soon, my proposal would be to let us disable top comments (as we could before).

Until then I’ll still reply on Fb and Pm’s

-Pewds

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The Youtuber who Self Deleted

I believe it was early 2006 when I joined Youtube. Before its creation, video on the internet was obscure, and even if you found video, the quality was horrid. I used Youtube mainly to laugh, to cheer up. I never thought it would one day be the media giant it is now.

However, shortly after its creation, I decided one day to type ‘acting’ into the search bar. It was the first ‘serious’ thing I had searched for. This was before Shane Dawson, mind you. No one was on this site yet. It was all funny videos with very little serious content.

There were several results. But, one video thumbnail caught my eye. There was a young man in a red robe, with his back to the camera, parodying Tom Cruise’s scene from Risky Business. I clicked the video link and laughed and smiled. Remember, Youtube was new. This was a rarity. No one else had thought to do this, yet.

The man in the robe was Andrew McCarthy.

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He was 17 or 18, I believe. He was right around my age. His videos consisted of acted monologues he had written or the occasional ‘funny video’ that was popular at the time. (He had this video where he ate a wrapped chocolate egg around Easter that was pretty clever.) He had also written and published a book of short stories. My interest in writing was just beginning, but I was intrigued. I regret not buying his book.

I’d like to say that Andrew and I became friends shortly after I subscribed to him.This was when MYSPACE was the place to be and he added me and a few others that watched his Youtube Videos to his friend list. Now, I know we weren’t close friends, by any means. But, this was before Youtubers had Facebook fan pages. Not everyone got added to a person’s private profile, but I had made the cut.

I remember one day in particular. I was having a rough day and was doubting my future as an actor. I was not a ‘looker’ by any means and was very worried that I’d never make it anywhere in life. I had summed up this belief in a MYSPACE post. Andrew was the first, and only person to comment. While I can not remember his exact words, he was comforting and supportive, telling me to have faith in my dreams and not give up. This was a big deal, because I think this was right before Andrew landed a role in a major Indie Film, Still Here.

Still Here was a big deal to me. Andrew played Adian, a high schooler who had just lost his girl friend in a tragic accident. I was excited to see Andrew’s acting abilities in a major setting. Throughout the film’s production, Andrew would share screen caps of the film or behind the scenes pictures. I was in total heaven, seeing someone I admired get his big break.

This is where our story goes dark. Andrew began appearing on YouTube less frequently. The time the film should have seen release came and went— Myspace faded into obscurity. And one day, Andrew’s 30+ videos were gone. It was like he had never existed.

That was 5 years ago. If you go to Andrew’s  channel,  http://www.youtube.com/user/ImReallyAGeek , you will see a video from March of this year. But, it’s of Andrew’s cat— and Andrew doesn’t respond to comments anymore.

While we know he’s ‘alive’, this random cat video is totally out of left field. Andrew never posted anything like that before.

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What caused him to leave Youtube?

It just, sort of hurts. Andrew was a you tuber I really enjoyed. And out of all the youtubers I watched, he was the one I had hoped to stick around.

I wonder why he didn’t.

My hope is that Andrew returns to YouTube or at the very least, makes it big in the acting world. He had raw talent and was just a plain old good guy.

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Character Studies.

I’m always looking at people as characters. It’s a bad habit I can’t seem to break. I take some of their characteristics and create someone new.  My friends don’t know about this exactly, but it’s true. I think any writer would agree, most of their characters have a bit of real people in them.

Some people I find extremely fascinating. See my last entry for an example. Some people, just grab you. Especially as a writer. Sometimes, you don’t turn them into characters, but you see their potential to be actors or the like.

But, I want to talk about someone today. Someone that I think is truly unique, and someone who is what I would call a ‘character study.’

ONISION.

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That’s his username. His real name is Greg, and he’s a fairly famous Youtuber.  If you haven’t heard of him, and want to look him up, be a little cautious. His videos can be graphic and offensive. But, beneath this extreme content, is someone who shines as an actor.

You should see his videos where he plays THE JOKER from Batman. Yes, he is mimicking a performance of a late actor, but his portrayal is flawless.  And, this is not the only character he plays. He has many original characters that are fleshed out with traits and ideals.

What Onision also does is share his personal life. Some would say he shares too much. But, in these videos, you see raw emotion. And as a writer, I’m like, glued to my computer.  Greg’s life tends to be more dratamtic than most.

On one end, you have this amazing actor. On the other, you have this slightly nutty guy sharing his life.

Some say Onision is some secret scripted fiasco and that Greg really IS acting.

I’m not sure.

But, whatever the case may be… he fuels my mind with character ideas and at the very least, is ‘interesting.’

NOTE: Image from public Google Search.

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