There's this recurring thing that keeps happening every now and then where someone new will discover my YouTube channel by coming across a video I filmed 6 years ago that features a former friend of mine I haven't seen or heard from in years. They'll subscribe and leave a comment asking me to film more of those videos with the same person, not realizing it's an old upload that's there for the good memories and continued enjoyment of my fans and me. When they see my uploads now are solo videos, they try to demand more videos with other people in them or unsubscribe.
I had a lot of fun filming with those friends of the past, but I'm honestly happy to be able to continue on solo instead of depending on other people for my success. Creating content for my fans is a passion of mine, and I refuse to put my creation in a position where it relies on other people's participation to succeed when I'm the only one who's ever truly had the passion for it and actually appreciated the love and support from my fans beyond the financial support.
You couldn't see it on camera, but behind the scenes it was stressful for me to try to get all those guys motivated into showing up, and when I did get them to show up, I had to persuade them to actually film the videos instead of just talk and goof around since we always had limited time to hang out due to work, college, or girlfriends etc. This has always been my show and my passion, and while things are more fun with friends, I can't force anyone to fill in as guests in my videos -- and I'm aware that I don't need anyone else in my videos either. Plus, I have plenty of fun filming them by myself!
This experience has also allowed me to appreciate and get to know my true fans -- the ones who still follow and watch what I upload for them, and the ones who leave comments and reach out to me. And while I genuinely love the admiring comments I get from my fans, the people I filmed with in the past did not enjoy being objectified or having their friendship sexualized by people online.
I've had too many people participate in videos with me only to eventually abandon it, and every time I'm left with comments and emails asking what happened to them and if they're still available for commissions etc. After so many times of it happening, and after all my latest attempts to get new friends I organically met to participate ended up failing, I get to thinking that fate has been pushing me in a solo direction for a while now -- and while the videos with the friends of the past were a lot of fun, it's also a golden opportunity for me to further learn the strength in independence and take pride in doing everything myself.
There's a lesson in this that I want to share. Friendship is a beautiful part of life, and I want to continue making and keeping friends. But that group of friends I started my channel with 7 and a half years ago have moved on in life, and new friends I meet aren't going to be comfortable being broadcast on the internet or expected to commit to being on camera with me whenever we hang out. I honestly think that being in the videos may have deterred some people of the past from wanting to come around anymore. It was an obligation to them, and being on my show isn't a requirement for being my friend.
So that's where I'm at with it, and I just wanted to share these thoughts with everyone. I know more people will continue to find my channel via older videos and not read this post so the pattern will continue, but it's okay because I understand why it happens. Trust me, I miss filming brethling matches and having friends on camera with me too, but at the end of the day, I believe it's more important for me to empower people with my vlogs and entertain them with my own antics than it is to try to show off my friends as if they're models and try to get views and money out of them. It's never been a numbers game for me -- it's all about the connection I make with my fans and the impact I leave on them 💚