Celebrating a year since they met at a YouTube meet-up, “MichelleMorrisTV” and “Captain Fizman” talk to One44p about how their meeting changed their entire outlook on YouTube, the importance of their friendship, and finding their place in the Australian YouTube community.
“ew, who’s this arsehole?” – Michelle Morris
“She seems annoying” – Anthony Farah
Gathering from YouTube vloggers; Michelle Morris and Anthony Farrah’s first impressions of each other, it is difficult to come to the conclusion that they would develop the rich professional and personal relationship they exhibit to us now. Recognising this very specific moment at the August 2015 Australian YouTube meetup in Sydney’s picturesque Hyde Park as a turning point in their Youtube careers, they reflect upon their epiphany where they discovered the existence of other YouTubers in their very own neighbourhood for the very first time. “I was shocked to see so many other people making the same kind of videos I was, here in Sydney,” exclaims an overexcited Michelle.
Michelle Morris, who prides herself as a mix between “iJustine, Grace Helbig and a Hotdog” makes traditional sit-down style vlogs with a comedic twist, chats to us about how important she found finding an entire community of other creators was to her. “It was extremely important to me. I think, it’s great to be part of a community where everyone shares the same passion. Because most of my friends aren’t interested in YouTube at all, yet alone are interested in making them, this can make you feel somewhat isolated. But if you can find this community who have the same passion for YouTube as you, and what they want to do with their life, and even if it isn’t your career goal, you stop feeling isolated but instead you find yourself in an understanding community.”
Anthony reflects similarly upon the unique friendships he’s nurtured among other like-minded YouTubers, only going further, suggesting a deeper and more supportive friendship can exist too, “I managed to find people who will support you and stand by you, no matter what, and you can talk to about anything about YouTube. For example, my lovely friend Michelle.”
What they were both initially unwary of upon their first meeting was their soon to be uncovered collective shared experiences of the struggles in being a more unknown Youtuber. Michelle confides that prior to the August 2015 meetup, without the motivational structures of a large audience or ‘Youtube friends’, she was struggling to gather any motivation to make videos. “I found it very hard, still find it very hard to get the views you aspire to get, and even harder to get people to subscribe. It is hard to keep the motivation to make videos, because as a small YouTuber, it is easy to say, ‘Look, nobody is subscribing or watching my videos, why bother making the videos?’”
“It is hard to keep the motivation to make videos, because as a small YouTuber, it is easy to say, ‘Look, nobody is subscribing or watching my videos, why bother making the videos?’” – Michelle Morris
Perhaps from imparting her particularly personal crisis to us, she Michelle continues to divulge her inner most insecurities which fuelled her original desire to make YouTube videos during her formative years. “I was never really popular in high school. I didn’t have that many friends, so when I came across Grace Helbig one day, the first female YouTuber I came across, I was like, ‘She’s so cool and funny, popular and has cool friends, I wanna be just like her.’” So her YouTube channel, “MichelleMorrisTV” started from her contemplation of a more interesting, better life, surrounded by the type of friends she wished she had.
It wasn’t only Michelle who used YouTube as a form of escapism, leaving behind mundane lonely school lives for an entire community of like-minded people. Anthony describes how during his final year of his school, he used YouTube as a way of making friends, “I was on Twitter a lot, and I saw a lot of cool YouTubers with cool lives doing drama stuff, stuff that I really wanted to do for my HSC (The final exams a high school student has to complete before graduating in New South Wales), so from that, I found two like minded YouTube friends who wanted to do the same things as I did, and it went on from there.”
“Make your videos for yourself, or if not, a close friend who you know will enjoy it, and not some imaginary audience you wish you had” – Michelle Morris
We invite Michelle and Anthony to impart how small YouTubers target and manufacture videos without an established audience base. Michelle contemplates this for a while, before deciding that that her idol, popular YouTube vlogger Grace Helbig, bestowed her the philosophical mindset that she now avidly follows, “Make your videos for yourself, or if not, a close friend (Anthony) who you know will enjoy it, and not some imaginary audience you wish you had. That’s what Grace Helbig taught me, and it was like one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard because if you try to cater for a whole audience, it’s like so many people you can’t wrap your head around. So cater for a few people, and if they enjoy it, and if you enjoy it, then it shouldn’t be a big deal who is watching. Ask yourself what you want to watch and people will come from that.”
“Some people have misconceptions about YouTube friendships being all about getting views from collabs, but it’s not like that”- Anthony Farrah
“Some people have misconceptions about YouTube friendships being all about getting views from collabs, but it’s not like that,” Anthony reveals. Quite startling is the contrast between the traditional motive behind a YouTube relationship (Appearing in each other’s videos or “Collabs” with the hope of combining audiences) and the relationships Anthony and Michelle have made in the community. Despite knowing each other for an entire year and being close friends, but they haven’t made a video with each other outside of daily vlogs. Michelle explains, “ A YouTube friendship is far more than just doing collabs, because it’s so important to have friends who have the same interests as you, people you can share ideas with, and ask for help.” Although she would like to do a collab with Anthony, Michelle admits to us that she, like most YouTubers are “Really very busy all the time, and because of where I live too, I haven’t done many collabs, but i do hope to make a video about superheroes with Anthony one day.” She might be wise to share her innermost desires with Anthony, for he also hopes to make a collab video with Michelle soon, except, “I’m not sure on what subject exactly.”
Even if Michelle and Anthony don’t make their superhero collab video anytime soon, their audiences would be pleased to learn that their friendship extend far further than just what they exhibit on YouTube, and even extends to the wider YouTube community itself. “It’s good to find friends coz it’s good to feel you’re part of something,” Michelle says. “It helps me want to make videos whenever I’m hanging out with creators, I’m like, they’re all creating cool stuff, and here I am, just watching it, it makes me more motivated to want to create content.” We hope for many more videos from Michelle and Anthony to come.
Written by Dennis Fang;