DEAR KELLY: My parents don’t support that I want to be a pro vlogger. They don’t think it’s possible to do it. I try to show them famous people like Joey Graceffa, Alfie Deyes, Roman Atwood (above) and Caspar Lee to show them it can be done. They want me to do things the way they have – go to college, get a job, buy a house, blah blah blah. I think that sounds painfully boring. The idea of a day-to-day job sounds awful.
I have a lot of You Tube (videos), and people say they are hilarious and so clever. But whenever I show them to my parents, they roll their eyes and tell me to grow up and get with the deal which, means we don’t support you and we think your ideas are stupid. I want to tell them (but I don’t because they will take my car away) that I think their life is stupid and miserable, and I never want to be like them. I want to do things my way and make money doing what I love. My parents insist college is the only way to be successful. I think that’s just old school. I don’t know how to help my parents join the new world and accept that not everyone is made for college, and I can become famous and rich as a vlogger.
DEAR DREW: I’m all for supporting one’s dreams and goals. It’s awesome you have found something you love to do and want to continue doing. But it doesn’t matter if you know you want to be a vlogger or a doctor, you always need to have a Plan B just in case things fall through with Plan A.
Say you wanted to be a doctor. Great dream but what if you struggle in sciences or financially can’t take on the debt of medical school? You would need to re-evaluate and have a Plan B. Maybe you go into medical sales instead, or put off medical school until your finances were better and look into jobs to help you build your savings. The same thing applies if you want to be a vlogger. Respect the goal but have a Plan B. Do you study computer programing or film or look into getting into media production? Until your vlogging can support you, you need to be open to changing plans if you have to in order to live as an independent and self-supporting young adult.
Unfortunately for every famous vlogger, there are at least 1,000 aspiring vloggers trying to get famous. It’s not an easy road to fame and glory. Professional vloggers, without trying, send the wrong message to young people that they don’t need to study hard, go to college and get a good job to make a living. People believe they can be famous for playing video games or filming goofy tricks. They don’t think beyond “What if I don’t reach the level of notoriety I’m shooting for and the vlogging doesn’t pay the bills”?
Another factor is that what looks simple such as “point camera and record” is not as easy as it may seem. Even vloggers have stagers and help with things like editing and lighting. It takes a lot of effort to make these videos seems effortless. It takes a lot of creativity, an interesting personality and a whole lot of luck to make it as a famous YouTuber. You are correct that some famous vloggers make a lot of money, but there are more You Tubers who don’t make any money. It’s not easy to achieve the kind of fame you need to make a living, but it is possible. Be hopeful and work hard but also be willing to lean on Plan B if you need to.
You might be missing the point of why you parents feel the way they do. I hardly think wanting their kids to go to college so they can have career options is “old school.” They want what most parents do: to raise self sustaining young people who can support themselves, be a responsible citizen and positively contribute to society. If you are able to do that and live a productive life vlogging, I’m sure your parents would be supportive of your dreams. Odds are, they would be your biggest fans. They are probably just concerned you will struggle and, without an education to fall back on, your Plan B could be one full of financial hardship and disappointment. Of all people, they want to see you successful and happy. Don’t confuse their concern with disapproval.
Approach this with an open mind. Don’t close the door on going to college and combining your love of videos and film into a job that could sustain you and possibly a family one day. Do what you love but realize how difficult it is to break into the entertainment world. Be careful of judging your parents for being “stupid and boring” when they are allowing you to have the life and the privileges you have. Show gratitude for your life and the work your parents have done to provide for you. Your approach with them might change their approach with you.
Have goals, be creative, learn something new every day, believe in yourself and work hard. That combined with staying true to who you are and being humble will keep you pointed in the right direction. Doing your best is way more important than being the best.