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  • I really like computers, so at school I quickly became The Computer Kid which was fine, but

  • I always felt like I was so much more than that, ya know?

  • One thing that helped was a project I did in the sixth grade.

  • Our teacher split the class into three groups.

  • We were gonna make ~movies~ (woahh) My friend Scott and I wrote our group's script about

  • a nerdy kid who wins a basketball game and finally gains the respect of his whole class.

  • You know, because obviously I knew how it felt to be liked by everyone, I just wanted

  • to show everyone else.

  • I played the main character, and since I was the only one who knew how to use the camera,

  • I also ended up filming and editing the whole thing.

  • I was a little upset that I did so much by myself, so I put my name in the credits like

  • a dozen times.

  • When everyone finished their movie, we threw a little red-carpet premiere so parents could

  • come and watch.

  • My mom couldn't get off work, so I was kinda on my own.

  • While the seats filled up, it hit me that this would be the first time anyone else had

  • seen mine and I got really nervous that people would hate it.

  • I worked so hard, but I had never done this before, and my name was all over it!

  • If it was bad, everyone would know that I was bad.

  • So I sat in the back of the room while everyone watched.

  • I couldn't really tell what they thought, but when it finished, they clapped.

  • They really seemed to like it, and the best part was when my crush said that my movie

  • was her favorite.

  • Hi Morgan!

  • I was still The Computer Kid, but now I was also kinda The Video Kid, when I wanted to

  • be.

  • It felt, cool.

  • In the eighth grade I met Jeremy, who introduced me to Rob.

  • They were into filmmaking too, and Jeremy had a camera!

  • So after school we'd make little sketches for Jeremy's channel.

  • He had almost 30 subscribers, which I remember thinking was a lot.

  • Also, his mom made us use fake names, and I guess I didn't pick mine fast enough because

  • suddenly, and without being consulted, I became...

  • Barry.

  • We never got a ton of views, but that didn't matter!

  • We were having fun.

  • I wasn't always the most confident in school, but I was The Video Kid, so I felt like I

  • could try things.

  • Even if they were cringey.

  • Like in one video, I had to run down a path but there was a bunch of branches in my way.

  • I ducked and dodged, but it's not totally clear what I'm doing, so it looks like I

  • just run weird.

  • But then I do a totally sick parkour roll, so I guess that makes up for it.

  • I was embarrassed by those videos for a long time, but now it's fun to look back and

  • see how far I've come.

  • Besides, I had nothing to be embarrassed about!

  • Making stuff is always cool.

  • Luckily Jeremy didn't delete his channel, but most of the vlogs and sketches and claymation

  • things I made when I was younger are gone forever because I didn't think they were

  • good enough.

  • Which is dumb, because everything I learned making stuff for fun got me a job working

  • for a YouTuber I really admire: Hank Green.

  • (He's the guy who started VidCon.)

  • I was so excited to move out of my mom's house, I made sure to take everything I owned

  • with me.

  • I got my dream job, and now I was a VidCon employee!

  • Everything clicked into place.

  • It was like the random projects and videos I had been making for fun had actually been

  • designed to make me the best life I could imagine, all along!

  • I felt really lucky to be there, even if I didn't fit in too well.

  • My coworkers were really nice, I was just way younger than them.

  • This was my first real job, and I was living on my own for the first time so I was figuring

  • out how to grocery shop, while they were having kids.

  • We were at different stages in life, but it was hard for me to see at the time.

  • Like, I'm the only one who doesn't have things figured out.

  • What's wrong with me?

  • And since I was new in town I didn't know anyone outside of work.

  • One time I went to a computer meetup thing to hopefully find some people my age.

  • But like, three old dudes showed up who already knew each other, and I guess they weren't

  • very good with computers after all because I never got the invite to the next one.

  • I was pretty lonely.

  • But this is my dream job!

  • This is as good as it gets!

  • I'll never find anything this good ever again!

  • I should be happy...

  • Why aren't I happy?

  • One day, on a whim, I asked my boss something likeIf I quit, how much would that mess

  • things up for you?”

  • I think part of me was hoping he'd sayYou can't quit!

  • We need you!” but he didn't.

  • We talked about everything I'd need to do to before leaving, we even decided what my

  • final day would be, and before I knew it, it was over.

  • After more than two years, I wasn't a VidCon employee any more.

  • I really did like working there.

  • And my coworkers really were so good.

  • I didn't even know what I was gonna do next, but I was quitting my dream job?

  • What was I thinking?

  • After my last work day, I remember sitting on the floor of my apartment with my mom.

  • She had come to help pack, and as the boxes filled up, it hit me that I had just thrown

  • away the best thing that would ever happen to me, and there really was no going back.

  • My mom let me stay with her until I figured out what was next, so we moved all of my stuff

  • back to her house.

  • One morning my mom came in and asked if I had been on the phone in the night, but when

  • I told her I fell asleep really quickly she saidOh.

  • It sounded like you were saying 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry'” I was straight up crying

  • in my sleep.

  • Leaving was supposed to make me feel better, but I didn't even know who I was any more.

  • So I told myself that quitting VidCon would be the biggest mistake of my life, until I

  • made something better happen.

  • Working there taught me enough about the inner workings of YouTube that I was pretty sure

  • I could be a YouTuber.

  • And I got to work.

  • I tried a few things but eventually decided that I like telling stories the most.

  • A few animated story channels were suddenly doing well too, so it seemed like a smart

  • move.

  • I spent a month planning things out, writing scripts, and sending audio clips to everyone

  • I knew to get their opinions.

  • I didn't know how to draw yet, but I did have a theory.

  • When it came to the type of videos I wanted to make, the visuals might just be the least

  • important part.

  • It doesn't matter how beautiful a video is, if the story is bad, nobody will want

  • to watch.

  • And I had listened to enough podcasts to know that stories could be incredibly entertaining

  • with just audio.

  • As everything shaped up I became convinced.

  • This would work.

  • I had never been The Art Kid before, but I wasn't gonna let that stop me.

  • So I did something recklessly optimistic, and spent very almost all of my savings on

  • a drawing tablet.

  • Now this had to work.

  • I'M GONNA TEACH YOU A THING ABOUT YOUTUBE!

  • When you first create a channel, the videos you upload aren't recommended.

  • YouTube doesn't know who will like them, or how much they'll watch, so starting fresh

  • can be hard.

  • Before you get in recommended, you first need to get enough organic views that THE ALGORITHM

  • can decide how good your videos are.

  • OK BACK TO THE STORY I uploaded my first animated story and tried

  • my best to promote it.

  • It got a couple hundred views, and people seemed to like it, but it didn't get any

  • recommended traffic.

  • I posted my second video, promoted it more, and people liked it too!

  • But no recommendations yet.

  • I thought they were genuinely entertaining, I just needed to get them in front of more

  • people.

  • There was a channel with over a million subscribers that would sometimes collab with people who

  • were just starting out, which seemed like a good bet.

  • I emailed him and asked if he would read lines for me.

  • I used to work for Hank Green, after all, so I kinda know what I'm doing.

  • But he said no, so I said...

  • please?

  • He agreed, but later I found out that it was just because he thought I could get him into

  • VidCon.

  • Like, I quit!

  • I couldn't even get myself into VidCon.

  • Jaiden told me that when she saw my first video she was likeHoly crap how did he

  • start good?” which was so nice!

  • Little did she know

  • Anyway, I worked as hard as I could to make my third video AWESOME.

  • I stressed over every detail and even spent a whole day on the thumbnail so I didn't

  • waste the opportunity.

  • Then one morning I woke up in really bad pain.

  • I didn't have health insurance, and even though I didn't have too many expenses - thanks

  • mom - the reckless optimist in me had just gone all-in to buy equipment!

  • I couldn't afford to go to the hospital.

  • But the pain got worse, and that night my mom had to take me to the emergency room.

  • Turns out that everything was fine, I just needed to eat more fiber.

  • (It helps ya poop) What can I say, being super stressed out does weird things to you.

  • So I loaded up on Metamucil because suddenly I had a huge hospital bill to worry about.

  • This had to work, now.

  • In all honesty, I should have stopped.

  • I should have switched to plan B, get a job at the first place that hired me, go back

  • to college and stop wasting time.

  • But I had spent more than two years working for a YouTuber, I learned first hand what

  • it takes, and I couldn't let myself throw all that away for nothing.