Happy New Year, hope you’re all doing well.
In this video I want to go over a bit
of what we accomplished last year
and where the channel is going
here in 2023.
Firstly, I want to say
we won’t be posting for January.
Just like last year, we give the channel
a little time to breathe.
I’ll be out there shooting videos.
So I’ll still be going at it but my wife
will get a little break from editing.
We’ll be back in February and this year
posting on Saturdays instead of Sundays.
So it will be Saturdays,
11:00 Eastern Standard Time.
Okay, so 2022…
What a frickin’ cool, amazing year.
It started with the Chicanos.
What a world, I had no clue
and like most of these series,
I go in as a novice like most of you.
We’re learning together.
This is a journey for all of us
and I like it that way.
I go in as a beginner and learn
right along side of you.
Then we had the rancher, cowboy series
from Texas all the way to Montana.
Another culture in America
very few of us have an understanding of.
Learned a ton in that one.
Alaska, what a spectacular place
and got as far out
as Saint Lawrence Island.
I was Google Earthing for weeks.
Like how far out can I really get
in the United States?
And I found Saint Lawrence Island
way out there in the Bering Strait.
Close to Russia.
30 miles from Russia.
They still live off of a whale hunt,
walrus kills, and reindeer.
What a fantastic place,
I’ll never forget that one.
The Native series…
I feel like that door
has just been opened a bit.
The series is done for now
but I look forward to doing
more Native content down the road
and getting a bit deeper.
You know, a lot of this content
is about building trust.
Trust with the subjects in the videos,
trust with the audience
and thank you all,
that have been in my videos.
Because you never know my intention
or how it’s gonna come out in the edit
and you’re online, right?
And everyone can see it.
So, you know, the Native series
was definitely the hardest culture,
group of people to get into,
and it’s because, you know,
they’re very cautious of who comes in,
and with a camera.
So thank you,
to all the Natives that took me in
and a question I get asked often from
you guys that I want to answer here is,
“Are you a journalist?”
and my answer is no.
I’m not a journalist and here’s why…
I feel like a true journalist
needs to hit a story, go into a story
and get myriad perspectives
from many different angles, right?
Put in a lot of time on research.
Usually has a big team to help.
I mean this is how I look at
what journalism should be at least
and my stories are meeting up with a person
and them bringing us into their world.
And the goal is to show you where
their mind is at, and how they think,
and I don’t agree with
a lot of what my subjects say.
But that’s not my job
to push a narrative on anyone.
It’s to let people speak
and for you and for me
to see where they’re at.
You know, of course there’s bias.
You know, all the stories I choose
have bias because I have to be interested
and I have to be curious.
So everything I get into,
and I want to learn more about
and also it’s a lot from you guys.
Like what do you guys want?
And usually there’s a lot of
similar interests, which is great.
So I’m not a journalist
and I don’t even feel like
I’m a travel vlogger
because a lot of travel vlogging
is more, you know,
“Here’s my journey
through a city and a place.”
and “I’m eating this food.”
and “Here’s a building.”
and I’ve done some of those videos
but I’m trying to get more depth.
I’m trying to get deeper into culture,
and society, into the human condition.
So I’m in between, let’s just call it that.
Another question I get quite a lot,
which is a great question,
and I’m very humbled
that people are asking me this but,
“Are you hiring?”
And the answer right now is no.
And here’s why…
The goal is to keep
the leanest, smallest team as possible.
For example, when I’m shooting
I don’t want a camera man.
I’m out there with a GoPro.
The reason I use the GoPro
is because it’s psychology almost.
If I have a big DSLR camera
in the subject’s face
it’s a little more intimidating, right?
So I use a GoPro, it looks like nothing.
You know, everyone knows
they’re gonna be on a YouTube video
but it looks like…
Almost like a tourist camera or something.
And there’s no camera man over here,
there’s no producer over there.
So the goal is always
to get deeper into the story
and a deeper connection with the subjects.
So by just me doing it,
though it does provide a bit of a challenge
when I’m thinking of questions,
what to say, where the lighting is,
where the wind’s coming from,
how, you know…
The times I look at the camera
in those videos
it’s not ’cause I want
to look at the camera.
I just want to make sure
the lens is pointed towards me.
There have been many times
where I’m shooting and the…
The lens is pointing out
and I totally missed the shot.
There are some challenges
with trying to do it all as one person
but the advantages far outweigh
those challenges in my opinion.
Then with the edit,
we have my wife, and then Kimberly,
our admin person does a lot of help there
and with finding stories.
So thank you, all those
that have reached out looking for work.
It means a lot to me,
it means you like what I’m doing.
So very cool, thank you.
I also want to thank all of you guys
for your story ideas.
So coming through emails
or through comments,
a lot of these, we pick up
and apply in our videos
or the characters
who have reached out and said,
“Come into my Amish world.”
or “My Hasidic Jewish world.”
or “My Chicano world.”
Coming up here this year, the content’s
gonna start in LA for a couple reasons.
LA is a treasure trove of stories
and secondly, the weather.
January, it’s hard to shoot
in most parts of the US.
I need warmer weather.
got a few stories I’m working on there
and then Arizona.
And I don’t want to tell you
exactly what these stories are
because many times
there’s a lot of preparation
and we have the story set up
and it falls through
or then something comes out of nowhere
but we have some
very interesting stories
we’re working on in those locations.
And then it’s gonna be…
The first big series will be in Hawaii
and I think Hawaii
will be like the Alaska series.
Where it’s, you know,
far from the mainland.
It’s a world most of us
don’t know much about
and there are a lot of
different colors and elements to it.
And lastly, I was just on a recent podcast.
A lot of you ask about the YouTube journey
or my story, the struggles.
A lot of you don’t think
there were struggles to get to this point.
Maybe it just happened.
Not the truth.
So if you want to see
more of the raw, gritty, behind-the-scenes
of how I’m here now.
I’ll leave that video at the end here also.
Thank you again, all so much.
Without you guys this isn’t possible.
I really cherish you.
I respect you.
I thank you for allowing me to do what I do
and I don’t take that lightly.
It takes many moving parts.
You know, it looks like
I’m just making these on my own out there
but wouldn’t be able to do it
without the people in the videos.
Without you guys watching
Without my wife and Kimberly.
And so there’s a lot to it
and we’ve all come together.
We’re at a level now,
I feel in this channel where
we have a good foundation
and the goal is just to get deeper
and deeper, and deeper,
and to understand this wacky,
fascinating, motley country
that we call the United States.
There will be a lot more content
in the world too
but the priority right now…
I’m just… I’m so fascinated with the US
that I want to stick on this
for quite some time.
Also, if you’re not part of my mailing list
there will be somewhere to click
at the end of the video here.
We’d love you to be part of it.
Little more behind-the-scenes
and a little bit more of preview
of what’s coming up.
All right, big 2023 ahead.
And we’ll see you in the next one.