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Are you ready for the best blog hop on the net? #atozchallenge

*All 31 "Prompts" might not be featured on this blog; I have my own schedule and topics to adhere to.

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Entries in YouTube (8)


Enjoy these Extras from My A to Z Co-Host Intro!

So far this month we’ve discussed real life superheroes, depression, child abuse and some foolish behaviors douchebags at the movie theater. Today’s post is all about the bonus material from my A to Z Challenge Co-Host Introductions including the Fifty Shades of Nicole piece I wrote for the A-Z Blog in March.

Do you like to watch special features usually seen on movie DVDs, such as outtakes, trailers and the like? Well, E is for Extras, as I present to you six videos of extra content where I tell you some random things about me, based on prompts from men and women who served as assets in my Mighty Minion Bureau.

The topics in these videos range from blog design, Harry Potter hauntings, drug dealers and British films to how I financed my movie. Plus we’re just getting started; more will be added to this playlist in the coming weeks. Enjoy!

*If the video player isn't showing up in your browser, Click Here to Watch my playlist directly on YouTube.

All this talk about Extras has me thinking of the toys, etc. that come with kids meals at McDonalds. I wonder why nothing usually comes with the meals for adults! So answer me this…

E is for EXTRAS


Would YOU be more likely to buy a value meal/combo at Chipotle, Subway, Burger King, etc. if it came with a DVD movie?


How to Bounce Back in Life, Like a Boss! The Superwoman Edition

Lilly Singh aka Superwoman on set where she plays a spy named Lana Steele for the #ilovemakeup channel.Lilly Singh is a hero who always puts me in a good mood with her outlook on changing the world. As YouTube’s Superwoman, she uses humor to tackle situations and issues that the average person can relate to such as awkward moments with parents, friendships, having confidence, illness, dating, traveling, racism, goal setting, homophobia, depression and living your dreams.

There are times when I think I’ve lost all hope for humanity and then someone like her shows up.

Watching her work reminds me how we all have the power to make our todays better than our yesterdays, and inspire those around us to be all we can be and treat each other kindly.

So I dedicate today’s blog post to the person who finds themselves at the end of his or her rope and is trying to figure out a way to hang on. Canadian actress Lilly Singh is more than a comic who loves buttery popcorn, Chipotle, “surround sound and the colossal feel of the Cineplex” but thinks 3D glasses are horrendous inventions that were “designed to prevent couples from making out at the movie theater.” She carries with her the message that no experience is too much to handle when you believe in yourself enough to battle this gigantic monster called life with all your might.

Superwoman says no matter how many people watched her videos, all the work that went into making them would be worth it if she could make just one person smile. A lesson that can be gleaned from this is that focusing on others makes it possible for you to literally swoop in and save their day. Another way to look at this can be found in the likelihood that you’ll have a lot less time to be in a funk, because you’re too busy putting out positive energy into the world.

Superwoman says producing sketch comedy videos helped her get out of depression. So it should come as no surprise to anyone else how much laughter can really be the best medicine, especially when you are going through hard times. Listening to a funny joke or watching comedy movies are a quick way to lift your spirits when you’re feeling down in the dumps. If we can find it in ourselves to laugh, then that means some circumstances don’t suck as bad as we think they do.

B is for Bouncing Back and Being a BossSuperwoman says a lack of representation of women in her Punjabi culture, within the new media landscape, is what influenced the themes in her videos. If anything, this tells of the possibilities available when you become a leader rather than a follower. It’s one thing to consume entertainment but it’s a whole other ballgame when you decide to create the images that are being placed in front of the rest of the world.

That takes some balls and can be life changing when other people start coming out of the woodworks because they finally see something, or someone with whom they share similar experiences or viewpoints. The short of this lesson is that if you work to improve the things you don’t like about the media (or the world, for that matter) or introduce things you notice are missing from the space, you’ll make life a little better for other people while also doing the same for yourself.

It takes a willingness to get back up for another around in the boxing ring when life knocks you down, that builds your super powers. This young lady named Lilly Singh aka Superwoman doesn’t hesitate to let everyone know that we can be our own superheroes too.

Can YOU describe a situation, big or small, (illness, road rage, grief, breakup, injury/accident, work/job challenges, lawsuit, etc.) where you had to show those circumstances who’s BOSS?


New Media - What YouTubers Can Teach Us about Getting Noticed #atozchallenge #IndieFilm

TIPSYBARTENDER host Skyy John partying with singer Jessica Tovar, Alphacat, King Bach and other YouTubers at Vidcon, an online video conference. It's so easy to produce content these days that I believe filmmakers can stand to learn a thing or two from YouTubers and other media makers (Vine stars, Netflix, etc.) who are building audiences, getting paid and gaining a high profile within the entertainment business.

In addition to fielding offers for production deals and landing representation at the top talent agencies, many of them have also expanded their brands into self-supporting business ventures, complete with merchandising and offline gigs. The fruits of their labor, however, didn’t just show up on their doorstep overnight. Online mediamakers are winning because they have something to show – today, right now. They are doing, not talking; Most importantly, they know how to use new media to their advantage – making changes and improving as they go while learning the ropes of whatever platform is working for them.

We still need not get it twisted -- the common perk of exposure that comes with utilizing online media could very well be the extent of a platform’s value in having an impact on one’s career. “More people view my art…my films and photos. That’s about it,” says Estevan Oriol, a notable photographer who also makes documentaries about subcultures in Los Angeles. When I welcomed this urban lifestyle entrepreneur to discuss some of the highlights of using new media, it became clear that YouTube is not attributed to his success as a director.

Lowrider scraping Photo by Estevan Oriol“Nobody’s ever said ‘Hey, I’ve seen your work on YouTube…would you be interested in doing this job for me?’ It depends on what kind of success you mean. Some people might think that having a million views on your YouTube channel is success. To some degree, it is, but to me success is a little bit more than that,” he says.

Oriol, who produces content for three shows on his "SANCTIONED TV" channel; including Skid Row Stories, Tattoo Stories and L.A. Woman, foresees having to find something else to do as his deal ends and YouTube, so far, hasn’t brought him any new clients. The uncertainty of cracking that online success code also hasn’t escaped Skyy John, host of the YouTube show "TIPSYBARTENDER." Having watched this Bahama-bred actor’s videos for some time, I was familiar with his channel long before even seeing him on the CBS show “COLD CASE.”

Despite having nearly 400,000 subscribers to "Tipsybartender" -- some of whom send gifts like high-end Tequila and a year’s supply of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and help him organize meet-ups in other countries, Skyy John doesn’t consider himself among the top media makers online. However, this former bartender who was once hospitalized following a machete accident while working on his show does find the medium to be beneficial for aspiring actors.

Skyy John's 'Rainbow Shots' episode with Emma is the most watched video on "TIPSYBARTENDER."A lot of people think that YouTube might hurt their acting career. I’ve been on YouTube for a while and when I began, most actors were under the assumption that YouTube is beneath them – but if you look at YouTube now, that’s where [casting directors, producers, studios, etc.] go to find talent.

For instance, King Bach is big on Vine; a lot of people do both. Vine and YouTube kinda go hand-in-hand. He created his whole thing online; the new Black chick on Saturday Night Live (Sasheer Zamata) was a YouTuber, so it's becoming that place to showcase your talent outside of the conventional methods.

Hollywood wouldn’t normally accept a dude like me [because of the way] I speak; I’m a naturalized American citizen but I wasn’t born here so I sound funny and that doesn’t always play well [in Hollywood]. Yeah, we have some dudes like Arnold Schwarzenegger [who make it big in the entertainment industry] but that’s rare.” – Skky John

Actor Robert Patrick ("TRUE BLOOD," "JUDGEMENT DAY" and "THE UNIT" | Photo by Estevan OriolEstevan Oriol agrees on the importance of artists being proactive in getting their work noticed. “Just put it out there on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and then you’ll get eyes on it, and then it’s up to the people and the work [to decide] whether anything comes out of it or not. There are people doing great art but they don’t have eyes on their work, so nothing comes out of it,” he says. Reinforcing Oriol’s advice, Skyy John lets it be known that showcasing your stuff on social media is not only vital to your chances of success but also hard work. In other words, just because you upload something doesn’t mean viewers or fans or money will come.

Showcase your stuff on social media; don’t think anything is beneath you and just keep working hard. You always gotta be on the grind 24/7 – being in entertainment is not like a nine-to-five job where you work a couple of hours and then go home; with us, you’re working around the clock,” says Skyy John.

New media has been good to many online personalities like Estevan Oriol and Skyy John because they are prolific -- always releasing new content, which is a huge factor in getting people to pay attention to one’s work. The formula is simple -- If I want to be a writer, I need to write often; If I want to be an illustrator, I need to practice drawing daily. My sketchbook should be active and if I want to make films, I need to be doing so on a consistent basis. The only way I see how to make filmmaking work for me is by following through on this very practice; using tools that can take me to the next level.

Do YOU think it's easier or harder to get Noticed, in this age of New Media?