The Reason to Tube Yourself

In 2014,

My cousin and I, along with the our neighbor, now friend, started a #Youtube channel called the STUDENT HEROES EXPERIMENT. We had one camera, a boom (sound mic), and two lights, literally. My cousin wrote most of the scripts which consisted of fart jokes, awkward stares, and timely and sometimes awful punchlines. The videos are funny, and at the beginning of such things one can expect the quality to be, well, garbage – but it was all a process. Most of the skits were scripted giving us (the three shmuckateers) a voice and a forum to educate ourselves and our viewers of the painstaking risks of acting, writing and directing. Today, we call ourselves Youtubers, but in reality we like to think of ourselves as filmmakers, or better yet, auteurs as some fancy Frenchman would say as he lifts his glass of whiskey to the air and waves it about his estate.

I am an auteur.

Whatever, haha! Pompous, pretentious, son of a prophet’s goat.

However, in all seriousness, what does the filmmaking process entail? What does the craft of writing, acting, and then producing visual art, cinema, require of an individual and his partners?

Patience, time, and begrudgingly, more patience.

One person described the process of filmmaking (writing, acting, directing, and lastly, producing) as watching a canvass dry; no one wants do it but it has to get done!

So why create Youtube videos? What’s the point.

Simply put: to practice!

My voice coach once told me that “Practice makes permanence.”

That quote resonated and has stuck with me to this day, and I often use it when speaking in groups of other filmmakers.




The Misconceptions of Race, Gender, and Sexuality.

One day I was sitting on the couch at my father’s house when one of my younger brothers, Jake approached me and asked if I wanted to play Wii (Nintendo). Right away he step up the players, both my guest and his pre-created Avatar. I noticed the characteristics of his player, it was in essence, the likeness of my little brother: small, cute, and of course, dark skin. When the game began, I paused, and turned to my brother and requested that I, too, be given the opportunity to create my own Avatar. My brother, the kind and gentle creature he is, quit the game and took me into the “create a player” mode, and this is where the conception of race, gender and even, sexuality came to my immediate radar of intellect.

What was happening inside of me? Did I feel uncomfortable because I did not want to create my create with the obvious brown skin that I hold in real life? Or, maybe, it was the mere fact that I had the liberty of choosing a different skin tone, and even gender as my Avatar, but needless to say, I neither concerned with the color, gender, but what was happening during this contemplation of my Avatar identity, my brothers watched in silence every characteristic I browsed over with the finger icon – eye shape, color of skin, weight size, all came to the center piece of my little brothers’ concentration and most importantly, developmental psyche.

Given their age, and my step-mother’s preference to raise them in a particular conservative Judeo-Christian home, I refuted from stirring controversy in my father’s home, but instead I would use this as a primary example of my research, of my inquiry into the furthering the discussion of race, culture, and identity. It marked a day in which I recognized that race, gender, and even in this day, sexuality, is a subjective reality determined by the mass consensus; and that if we are to ever change this subjective realities, it would be up to individuals like myself, along with others, to bring to light drastic change to our ways of perceiving others, but most importantly, our selves.

Look in the mirror, and what do you see? What subjective reality tells you to see: Man, Woman, black person, white person, gay individual, straight individual, a communist, or a socialist, a capitalist, or maybe sometimes, a libertarian – these are just but a few of your realities that you are born into, but remember, destiny is in the hand of the it’s possessor.