Living the Youtuber Life

Think about your favourite people to watch on YouTube. The tutorials you follow, and reviews you listen to. Because of you and millions of other subscribers these internet personalities have been able to make a career out of simply talking to a camera.

It’s amazing how something that starts out as a hobby, like making videos about life, doing weird challenges with your friends and having strangers on the internet watch you just for being you can be turned into a career.

Watching these YouTubers through your computer screen seems as if their lives are easy. They film videos about their day and play games with their friends on camera, but it really isn’t as easy as it looks. Being a YouTuber is actually pretty intense.

I am a devoted YouTube watcher. Anytime my favourite YouTubers, like Zoe Sugg or Tanya Burr, post a video, I watch it as soon as I can.

For years, I’ve been watching these girls through the small screen. There have been so many times that I wanted to try doing it myself, but some part of me always knew that I might not be able to handle it. And I was completely right.

This past weekend, my curiosity finally got the best of me and I decided I would spend a day trying to be a YouTuber, and do everything they would do in a day.

On an average filming day, a YouTuber will make one to two videos and vlog their entire day. So I decided that in 24 hours, I would try and make one solo video, one video with my boyfriend to be a collaboration, and a sort of behind the scenes inside look vlog.

I was in way over my head. It takes more than being a fan to do what they do. I now have even more respect for these YouTubers than I ever did before.

First off, you need to be motivated. Waking up early on a Sunday to get the first video done and still have time to do my other homework throughout the day was a challenge in itself. And then getting the motivation to start the videos was a whole other issue.

I am a very motivated person but when it came to filming videos like a YouTuber, I was about as motivated as a sloth trying to move from one spot on a tree to another.

Kera Hargrave, a 21-year-old local YouTuber, has been consistently making YouTube videos for the last eight months. Hargrave hosts a beauty channel under her name where she does make-up tutorials, product reviews and lifestyle vlogs. She keeps motivated by constantly ordering products so she always has new products and material to make videos about.

“I try to record and upload two to four videos. If I have multiple days off from work consecutively I aim to record three to six, if I have the content to do so,” says Hargrave. “YouTube does require a lot of motivation to film, to be honest the majority of my motivation for YouTube comes from boredom and new products. I order makeup and hair products regularly so usually when I receive them the day after, or the day of, if I have time, I film to get my new content out right away.”

Through my filming experience, I discovered to be a YouTuber, you need to be very outgoing and have the personality to back the video up. Sure, when I was filming one of my videos it was just my boyfriend and I in the room looking at the camera, but once I hit that record button and realized the people of the world would be seeing this I completely froze up. I had no idea what to say or do and I suddenly became as shy, dull and lifeless as Bella Swan from Twilight.

During my 24-hour YouTuber challenge, I also realized that to be a YouTuber, you have to be extremely organized and very carefully plan out your day. Between filming, homework, chores, family commitments and video editing I completely underestimated how much I had to do and just how short 24 hours was.

In the end, I couldn’t keep up with everything I had to do. I only managed to make the collaboration and behind the scenes videos before I ran out of time and couldn’t make the solo video.

Didier Bracho, first-year television broadcasting student at Algonquin made YouTube videos for two years before school. His life started to get busier, loosing the time to make videos and he couldn’t keep up with filming like he needed to.

“I was in grade 11 when I started YouTube and wasn’t as busy as I am now,” says Bracho. “Once I started college, school got in the way and I didn’t have space or time in my schedule to make videos anymore. Because of that I started posting less and less before I stopped completely.”

The YouTubers you see online are extremely well organized to get everything they need to do in a day done while keeping up with the filming schedules they set up for themselves.

“Once I’m not as busy and have more space in my schedule I’d really like to pick it up again,” says Bracho. “But for now it’s a bit more than I can handle.”

At the end of this experiment I came to the conclusion that YouTubers are superstars.

You may think that they have it easy, getting paid to make videos, but they don’t. Whether they’re world famous YouTubers, like Zoe Sugg and Tyler Oakley, or local YouTubers like Hargrave and Bracho, these people deserve a lot of respect for what they do. Because take my word for it, it’s a lot harder than you think.

“YouTube is a hard game to play,” says Hargrave. “And it is often very hard to keep up with making videos, editing, and promoting them. But it allows me to channel all my creative energy and it gives me the opportunity to create a career out of it if I am lucky enough to be very successful in it.”