You might know him as the YouTube dude, but I know Ross Everett as the nicest person I met in all of 2014. He was also the host of the New Show on Discovery Digital, until it got cancelled. Instead of cryin' about it (PS Ross, it's totally cool if you did cry about it), he leapt at an opportunity to travel Europe-- which he had yet to embark on prior to this interview. I talked to him about being Internet famous, what freaks him out about traveling alone and who killed Hae Min Lee (you did listen to Serial, right?).
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How did you get into film (do you call it film? Moviemaking? Videoing? I have no idea.) in the first place?
Film is a very prestigious way to refer to YouTube videos, but seeing as how you don’t get into the field without a healthy dose of narcissism, I’ll allow it.
I kind of tripped and fell into it. During an internship in college I met my friend Brett who was very involved in YouTube- sorry, “film”- and he brought me into it. I was already very interested in making my own videos but hadn’t really explored the online platform until we met. After that it was a combination of being in the right place at the right time with the right material. Brett and I started a web series together called “Shitty Roommate” and eventually making YouTube videos became a full time gig.
I hear you’re a pretty big deal on YouTube. How’d that happen?
My favorite type of rumor. I’ll let it perpetuate. I wrote and produced for a lot of popular YouTubers before I was even in front of the camera myself. It wasn’t until I joined SourceFed (a popular YouTube news channel) that I gained any sort of public persona. I was there for about a year as part of the ensemble and then left to pursue my own show. Which I see you’re about to ask about in the next question.
Recently, the Discovery Digital Network picked up your talk show, The New Show. Even more recently, they cancelled it. What was your biggest takeaway from the experience?
I like working with people. I realized how important to me it is to be in a creative space surrounded by likeminded individuals. I’m glad I took the opportunity because I think we made some amazing content on The New Show and that exists online forever now. It’s the kind of thing you want to exist online forever, no offense to those that hate that idea like Anthony Weiner or Paula Deen.
Instead of wallowing in the cancellation sorrow, you decided to take a big-ass adventure. Why?
I made the mistake of not traveling before. I had this break between SourceFed and The New Show that I spent worrying about my next gig instead of taking the down time and doing something amazing. I promised myself that if I got that opportunity again I would take advantage of it. Also, it didn’t hurt that less than an hour after I got the call that the show was cancelled I got a trip offer to go to Israel. So, the universe gave me a nice nudge on that one.
When/where are you going & for how long?
I’m going a bunch of places and nothing is totally set in stone yet. I know that I have a flight into and out of Israel a month apart and I’m going to fill the time in between with some very cold places. Tentatively, I’m looking at Istanbul, Budapest, Prague, Krakow, and Berlin. I’d also like to see Rome, but that’s mostly because I like Gladiator movies.
You’re hitting the road solo. Are you scared? How is that affecting your planning/decision making?
I’m not scared, but I’m also not comfortable (which I think is just my normal state of being). Part of this trip is to do something brand new that I’ve never done before, so I don’t exactly know how it’s affecting my planning/decision making other than I’m the one to plan and make decisions. I think I’ll make friends who are also traveling and if they have more experience than me I’ll just copy everything they do. I assume “fake it ‘til you make it” applies to everything, not just show business.
What are you most excited for? Most nervous about?
I’m most excited to be doing my own thing. Often I get caught up looking at what everyone else is doing and comparing myself to them, which always makes me feel like I’m behind in some way. I think getting away from all that so entirely that it’s impossible to compare is going to be really liberating. “Who cares if So-And-So just released a book, or Yadda-Yadda is getting a talk show? I’m in a bath in Budapest.” is what I hope to say.
I’m most nervous about no knowing the language. I’ve had dreams recently where I’ve been in a French speaking country (which isn’t even on my itinerary) and been totally lost. I’m a talker so not being about to talk to people would be a nightmare for me. In this case, quite literally.
Prior to this trip, what’s the farthest away from home you’ve ever been?
I went to Israel in High School on an organized trip, so I guess distance-wise that’s the furthest, but I knew everyone on the trip so it wasn’t incredibly out of my comfort zone.
What’s next for you, workwise?
I just went on a road trip with my friend Steve down the west coast (as a bit of a dry run for this bigger Euro trip) and filmed it for my channel. I’ve really liked editing them together as sort of a Travel Vlog meet The Wonder Years type video and I’m going to keep doing that as I embark on my own.
Last question: who killed Hae Min Lee?
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You can check out my other Everyday Eleanor interviews in the archives. You know you want to.
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