Ten years today, YouTube, baby!
You n’ me?
Ten long, short, up, down, happy, sad, crazy, mad years.
Why it only seems like yesterday – July 21, 2006, to be exact – that a female friend of mine told me I should “sign up for YouTube” (“for what, like, online classes?”) and film myself doing my impressions. “Hey, hey, what’m I, some low-rent Rich Little wannabe? These ain’t impressions that I do here, lady. There are channelings. I’m an ARTIST. Me, I try to BECOME these guys.”
“Yeah, yeah, just get it done”, she’d say.
My channel, Bowlerhat – or Bowler Hat Productions, named in honor of Alex’s derby in Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” – became my wonderland. My most favorite form of creative expression. I took risks. And once the Tony Soprano stuff hit, I took even MORE risks. And hits. It got to the point that if I wanted to make something totally different over there…say, a video of a puppet trying to talk Gary Busey into taking a shit because he was constipated, while Nick Nolte is banging on the bathroom door outside…well, then, damn it, I was gonna do it.
Over time, making all those videos almost plunged me into madness. I got so method actor-y about them. I’ll never forget walking over to 7-11 and buying 15 types of bubble gum Al Pacino could sample for “Tony Soprano Stages an INTERVENTION.”
YouTube gave me an instant audience. It always brought me a lotta haters, which I wasn’t at ALL ready for. And soon I was even making $$$ from YouTube once they came at me about being a partner. But I think I’m making much less with them these days as I’ve gone from hundreds of thousands of views on stuff…to maybe a few hundred even.
And there’s where you start do wonder: Is it over? Do I suck? Or am I just TOO out there, too experimental? Does nobody even CARE anymore? Maybe it’s that I’m too old? Or is it because I don’t do Tony Soprano enough. But even when I do do Tony Soprano, the views just aren’t what they’ve been in the past.
I DON’T KNOW THE FORMULA BECAUSE THE FORMULA IS ALWAYS CHANGING.
Listen. Just know that YouTube’s been good to me. It has brought me TONS of work. And most of it legitimate. I got to work with Sopranos cast members on various projects. I got to play Mickey Rourke on a late-night talk show. I even got flown to Long Island once for a weekend of shooting videos and they put me up in this super-fancy corporate hotel that I never wanted to leave. The gig? Channel Pacino, Nicholson, and De Niro in an office setting. How much fun was THAT? I still thank Pete Sussi, the guy who found me on YouTube and put all that together, to this day. They even scored me a SAG contract, that’s how much it meant that we work together.
I’m proud of my little YouTube legacy. It will all be good fodder and footage for the Max Koch documentary someone makes when I die. (Oh, I totally believe that my true fame will be posthumous!)
When I started this blog, I opened a second channel for videos more related to wine and travel. I get a lot of very kind comments over there. All in all…I have enjoyed this run very much. And I most definitely plan to keep going.
Oh! Almost forgot. I made a quick, little new video in honor of the anni. Just click this pic below of the YouTube logo and GO:
WINE PAIRING: A.J. Soprano would be proud! I’m bustin’ out the Cristal! Hey!!! Happy Anniversary!!! (Aw, crap, half the bottle fizzled out…this stuff’s expensive…)