INSIDE | HOW MATHEW McKENNA UNITED THE AUSTRALIAN YOUTUBE COMMUNITY

Ahead of his new collaboration with Wengie, Mathew McKenna talks to one44p about the events that led to the creation of the Australian YouTubers community and his plans for its future.

In the three years since the creation of the Australian YouTubers Facebook group, its architect, Mathew McKenna has become the unofficial spokesperson for the Australian YouTube community. Known and respected by YouTubers at all stages of their careers, the 21-year-old vlogger has not only united a diverse assemblage of Australian YouTubers from around the country under one group, but has also liaised with companies to provide opportunities to its members while also collaborating with some of the platform’s greatest influencers. Accomplishing all of this while also running his own channel, a day job and even working to create an animation studio, it is a miraculous act. In this interview, One44p speaks to McKenna about the events that have shaped his character and what he intends for the future of both his career and the Australian YouTubers Facebook group that he is best known for.

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Ask anyone you know for their YouTube origin story, and you might hear a wide range of tales ranging from the dull to the fantastical. Whether they are a creator or merely a casual viewer, it is always fascinating hearing about how they found a sense of place in one, or even multiple communities that have sprouted around the platform. Personally, despite being a regular user of the website since its inception (mostly for viewing countless legally dubiously uploaded episodes of BBC’s Top Gear), it was only relatively recently in 2012 when I discovered the world of vlogging. when Tom Fletcher from the British pop group McFly tweeted his sister’s, Carrie Hope Fletcher’s video blog recounting an awkward moment on her morning commute. While strange, unfamiliar and dare I say it a little too feminine for my fifteen-year-old tastes, I was instantly hooked by the engaging and personal nature of the medium. McKenna’s introduction to vlogging, on the other hand, was perhaps a little less delightful than my own.

He linked them to me and I was like ‘this is terrible, why are you doing this?’

“Wow uh that would have been 2008,” McKenna answers in a jovially exasperated fashion “and it was a former friend of mine who essentially started doing random little vlog style things on a channel. He linked them to me and I was like ‘this is terrible, why are you doing this?’”

After a somewhat grating introduction to the concept of vlogging by someone who he admits is no longer on friendly terms with, it wouldn’t be a surprise if McKenna were to completely eschew from the medium at that point, particularly in 2008 when the genre was still in its infancy. However, our unlikely saviour comes in the form of a channel called Blade376 by Myles Dyer and a video called How to Vlog / Video Blog! Start Today. In the grainy web-cam video, Dyer’s appearance whose signature woollen beanie hides a mane of long, unkempt hair, is particularly reminiscent of McKenna’s look on the earlier videos of his current MetaHew channel, sporting a similar dishevelled hairstyle and attire. He describes the video as “Literally a tutorial on vlogging and editing and web-camming and stuff like that.” This soon became a turning point for McKenna, for it was the epiphany that led to the creation of his own video blogs.

First videos on YouTube and the conditions that lead towards someone uploading them have recently become a phenomenon in themselves. With innumerable quantities of YouTube personalities revisiting their first videos in the form of ‘reaction videos’, videos like Marcus Butler’s Reacting to Youtubers First Videos provide a fascinating insight into the evolution of not only the vloggers themselves but also into the ever-changing nature of the platform.  Providing a sense of groundedness in a world where online personalities may appear to be distancing themselves from their roots, these videos often recount the difficult personal experiences that culminated in the creation of their first videos, while also allowing one to bask in the hilarity that their inexperience generates.

It was like a fifteen-year-old me talking about my heartache troubles and how people can go about helping themselves through a breakup

Charlie McDonnell (Charlieissocoollike), an inspiration of McKenna, who was the first British YouTuber to reach one million subscribers, recounted how he decided to begin uploading vlogs in 2007 after a particularly challenging period when his Legend of Zelda short film was facing production issues that would ultimately see project’s demise. Likewise, I personally began creating video blogs during the period after completing high school when I felt isolated and unsure of myself, needing an outlet for my frustrations and creativity. For a young Mathew McKenna however, the catalyst for the creation of his first video blog was perhaps the quintessential teenage experience, a break-up. “It was like a fifteen-year-old me talking about my heartache troubles and how people can go about helping themselves through a breakup,” he recalls the video with the hint of a wince.

Following the video, he admits that his now deleted channel managed to gather a small, but loyal following. Uploading skits, vlogs and other short and comedic videos, he accomplished all this while his friends and family were all unaware of what was happening inside his bedroom. Having recently finished high school at the young age of fourteen (he was an accelerated student), he says the growing distance that he felt to his former classmates allowed him to be “so secret about it” that even his family didn’t know that he “did anything on YouTube until probably a year after (he) made the (Australian) YouTube Community.” Despite the channel’s success, however, he made the difficult decision to distance himself from the self-confessed “terrible” content that was found on the channel and began anew with his first YouTube creator experience placed firmly in the past.

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McKenna’s first YouTube channel wasn’t his only connection to the formative years of YouTube however, for I have personally frequently encountered people commenting about McKenna’s almost uncanny resemblance to a teenage Charlie McDonnell. Perhaps it is because they had both dyed their hair ruby red, or perhaps it their similar engaging, yet humble on screen personas. Whatever it is, though, it isn’t something that has been achieved by complete coincidence, for McKenna admits to having watched Charlie’s videos since he had approximately thirty thousand subscribers, describing his Charlie obsession as “something real old school.”

I think I just liked the authenticity, I think that’s what it was

What resonated within McKenna the most was the authenticity Charlie exhibited in his early (2008) videos. “I remember back when he was featured on the YouTube home page back when that was a thing” McKenna recalls, “I think I just liked the authenticity, I think that’s what it was. When I watched Charlie, he was so genuine and down to earth, you really want to establish a connection him.” Confessing that Charlie was probably the first “good introduction to vlogging and YouTube” he had, it is perhaps difficult to convey exactly how instrumental Charlie was to not only to McKenna’s career, but also other vloggers that were to follow.

McKenna’s early forays into the world of YouTube didn’t remain a solo affair for long however as he soon found himself collaborating with other creators on a ‘collab channel’. For those of us who perhaps aren’t too familiar with the formative years of YouTube, collaboration channels, or more commonly dubbed ‘collab channels’ were YouTube channels where several creators decide to upload videos onto a shared account. Each member would generally assign themselves a day of the week, with videos themed around a certain weekly topic. Some of the more prolific of these ‘collab channels’ included ‘FiveAwesomeGirls’ with members including Kristina Horner and Hayley G. Hoover, ‘FiveAwesomeGuys’, a parody of the former with members including aforementioned Charlie McDonnel and Alex Day and ‘Sarcaschicks’ which included creators such as Lex Croucher, Bryarly Bishop and Kim Nieuwenhuis. These channels were often created with the aim of ‘building each other up’, a phrase often used by budding creators, whereby all the creators would expect to share and benefit from the success of the channel. It is a strategy that is both collaborative and instils a sense of community on a medium that can at times feel quite isolating. With collaboration channels including ‘our2ndlife,’ which featured creators containing Connor Franta and Ricky Dillon as of December 2016 standing at more than three million subscribers despite being inactive for the past year, it is perhaps not a surprise that it isn’t rare for aspiring vloggers even today to follow in their heroes’ footsteps.

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Collab channels, they never ended up going anywhere

The reality of collaboration channels on the other hand perhaps wasn’t quite as rosy as the dream. “Collab channels, they never ended up going anywhere,” McKenna admits while reminiscing about his experience in one. Reporting that while they are often created with honourable intentions, they didn’t take long to unravel as members miss their upload days, growing frustrated by the lack of instant growth. Despite this, it was through this experience that McKenna made his first friend on the platform and gained a taste of the global scale and potential of YouTube.

People are now always on the back foot, if you approach someone, they get a bit cautious

“Stephen was probably my first YouTube friend I made.” Based in the UK, Stephen made videos together with McKenna on their collaboration channel. While still regularly in contact with each other, perhaps of more importance was that he gave McKenna an insight into the dynamics of the early vlogging community. “I hesitate to say it, but the community was a bit more closed off back then, a lot smaller and more close-knit I guess.” Where it isn’t uncommon for some of the more prominent YouTube creators have far more than a million subscribers today, “Back in 2008 or 2009, the community was much smaller. If you sent the most subscribed person a message, they’d respond in a day.” Because it was far easier to contact the most prolific creators, McKenna suggests that YouTube as a platform was perhaps more ‘global’ than it is today. “People are now always on the back foot, if you approach someone, they get a bit cautious because they think of the that people have been burnt, or used too many times, so now they have to be on the offensive. Whereas back then you could hit up someone and they would think nothing of it because it’s just how it was done. It was less about jobs, money or brand deals, rather it was about friends and a community.” Reflecting that YouTube had now evolved into an industry, McKenna articulates that it doesn’t necessitate the change as being an entirely negative proposition, rather the platform has merely evolved, just like the creators who continue to create content on it.

most of the people I knew were of the teen guys demographic because it wasn’t regarded as professional

The formative years of the YouTube vlogging scene have typically been retroactively viewed as being populated by young and socially recluse male characters, an image that was perpetuated by Benjamin Cook’s 2011-2014 documentary series Becoming YouTube. McKenna’s recollections of the early YouTube community further propagate this notion, “most of the people I knew were of the teen guys demographic because it wasn’t regarded as professional.” Describing many of the people he met as “closed off, or social recluse” in character, individuals who were looking for new creative outlets; it is a description McKenna says while at the risk of being offensive, is something that he can personally relate to. With “long hair and a ridiculous look,” McKenna’s early videos on MetaHew channelled much of that he was trying to achieve professionally at the time. As a young and bright stand-up comedian performing at small venues, his comedic videos which consisted of “skits and comedy stuff” was intended to be “a sort of stepping stone to the industry.” With the likes of Justin Bieber and the Australian Cody Simpson being discovered on the platform and entering lucrative careers as musicians, the platform soon progressed into a place for talent discovery, hence YouTube was a platform that existed as part of the journey to success, rather than the destination for its creators.

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you can turn YouTube into a career path, you can forge your own way

“Now I tend to think YouTube as less of a stepping stone, but more as a mainstream industry” McKenna explains, where the connections one makes on YouTube are now used “to grow YouTube itself” rather than for opportunities outside the platform. With YouTube gaining monetisation features following its acquisition by Google and ‘YouTubing’ becoming a legitimate career path, it perhaps is no surprise that there is “far more opportunity in regards to YouTube and online media, in general, today than a few years back.” However, as the platform of YouTube has evolved, so have McKenna’s interests. Pronouncing that “you can turn YouTube into a career path, you can forge your own way,” he has forged a presence far more toward the backstage of the platform than one may suspect from his continued occasional light-hearted uploads on his MetaHew channel.

Visionaries are often inspired by the most mundane of events. Jeff Hawkins in the early 1990s famously said after being frustrated by the speed and hefty size of his PDA computer, that handheld computers would only become successful once they can compete with the speed and simplicity of pen and paper. Leading to the creation of the Palm Pilot which was far smaller and lighter than Apple’s Newton at the time, his simple musings as evidenced by our prolific use of smartphones today, went on to revolutionise the way we use computers. The falling of an apple onto Isaac Newton’s head that developed into the theory of gravity is another story that has been propagated endlessly despite its dubious historical accuracy. The spark of inspiration for the creation of the Australian YouTubers Facebook group meanwhile, sprung into McKenna’s mind at the 2013 YouTube convention, VidInc.  

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Choppa, sorry about this, but I kinda did a thing

“It was 2013 and I went to VidInc because I wasn’t aware of any Australian community at that point, and I was like ‘man, there are so many people here, they all love YouTube and it’s amazing!” Leaving the convention and inspired by the sense of community that had previously been foreign to him, McKenna proceeded home and searched for an online Australian YouTube community to join, but resigned with joining only the Sydney YouTubers Facebook Page as a national group was yet to be created. Nonetheless, it was through the Sydney YouTubers Facebook group where he was encouraged to attend his first YouTube meet-up where he met his next major influence, friend and collaborator, Choppa Green. Known for his wildly successful YouTube channel CakesByChoppA where he cooks up a variety of dazzling creations including most notably an ‘Olaf Kit-Kat Cake’ that has found over three million viewers and a Spider-Man cake with ten times as many, Choppa despite his somewhat intimidating rugged and punky facade, is perhaps one of the most welcoming, approachable and humble creators I have met, with a dirty and quick wit of a personality. At his first YouTube meet-up, the kind that consists of a group of social outcasts standing in a park, a young McKenna inquired to his new friend about the lack of a larger Australian YouTuber Facebook group and proposed that they ought to create and manage the group together. However, upon being told to sit tight on his idea as Google was planning a similar venture, McKenna recalls that he “started waiting, and later I was like, you know what? I’m just going to make it anyway.” Chuckling to himself, what he was most concerned about at the time, however, was how Choppa would respond to his rebellious ways. “I became particularly worried when it started going really well. And then I was worried that Choppa would be upset that I just made the community without consulting him. So, I just sort of kept it to myself and didn’t tell him.” Looking guiltily up from his sugared coffee drink, McKenna recounts that it was only after three months, upon the group amassing over three hundred active members when he admitted to himself that he needed help with his venture. “Choppa, sorry about this, but I kinda did a thing” McKenna recalls saying, however, as many things often eventuate, he needn’t be worried as Google’s project ultimately failed to materialise and now there was a community ready to go.

It is perhaps quite difficult to put into words just how instrumental ‘YouTube meet-ups’ are to the development of the communities that develop around the platform. Being a medium that is entirely based online, Benjamin Anderson’s concept of an ‘Imagined Community’ is perhaps most relevant here. Anderson theorises that where there is a group of people who associate themselves to a common idea, whilst individually they may be both unknown and physically displaced from one another,  they coexist in an ‘imagined community. A sense of identity like ‘Australian’ or ‘YouTuber’ is therefore able to be forged from such a sense of belonging , and the idea of the ‘Australian YouTube Community’ is one that exists outside the traditional realm of a physical space and in this case, the members bond together through a common shared interest.

Benjamin Cook in his A Tale of Two Gatherings | Becoming YouTube (2013) provides an insight into how physical gatherings help to both legitimise the platform in the minds of its creators and audiences and forge stronger ties between those in the community. “At their best and in their heart, a YouTube gathering is a place, be it a park or a church or major…venue where anyone is welcome so long as they love YouTube and aren’t being a dick about it. A group of really nice people with a shared interest getting together to just be awesome,” Cook says after visiting both a small London gathering in Hyde Park and the larger ticketed event, Summer in The City. Physical gatherings for online communities, therefore, can enhance and reinforce the weaker ties that are fashioned through online interactions, or even through the notion of simply existing in such an ‘imagined community’. In Networks, Crowds and Markets: Reasoning bout a Highly Connected World, David Easley and John Kleinberg (2010) communicate the difference between communities that are made of either weak or strong ties. Where communities with stronger ties are tight-knit and are largely exclusionary in their well-developed cliques, weaker ties are communities where everyone is merely an acquaintance, and in the world of social activism, can often lead to the dreaded ‘slacktivism’. With the Australian YouTube Community regularly building both types of relationships through online and physical communications, it has become a group that can expand while also simultaneously maintaining an extremely engaged core community.

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I feel like they don’t understand the whole goal of YouTube

As McKenna’s Australian YouTubers Facebook group has continued to steadily grow from its 2013 origins, while the mantra of the group has been kept consistent, he has felt a general change in attitude, particularly of the attendees at the regular meet-ups. “I’ve noticed that back in the day, when people came to the YouTube meet-ups, they just wanted to hang out, and now, not that it’s a bad thing, there’s a lot more focus on going to a meet-up to network, to gain contacts, to get something from the industry as opposed to just enjoying themselves. And, that’s been because of the way the industry has somehow forged itself, there’s a lot more people who’ve joined and there’s the sense that people want to come onboard and make YouTube videos to make tonnes of money and get famous.” While he admits using the platform as a springboard to stardom is a legitimate, if a contrived use of the website, McKenna finds such goals to go against the grind of YouTube. “I feel like they don’t understand the whole goal of YouTube. I don’t know about you, but personally, I watch YouTubers because they are authentic. If I watched a TV show, it’s obviously staged and scripted, even if you watch reality. When you watch a vlogger on YouTube, they are like that most of the time, that person you’re watching is who they are on the screen. It’s when people come in with that mindset of becoming rich and famous where you lose that authenticity.”

Before Smosh, people were just doing stupid vlogs where it was all the one person playing six characters

As the platform has grown, one of the most discernible effects is perhaps the size of the audience, with McKenna proclaiming at there is now an ‘overwhelming’ proportion of Australians who regularly scourge the platform for entertainment. However, what he has found to be a most extraordinary consequence of the platform’s growth is the wide breadth of content and number of niches have been filled by its creators. During YouTube’s infancy, when “it was so young and immature, most of the content was just sitting down and talking to the camera because people hadn’t expanded on it yet.” McKenna creating a parallel between early vlogs and silent films, says “when sound came in, the entire industry was revolutionised. Now people instead of just sitting down and talking, people are thinking, why don’t I teach people something, why don’t I share knowledge and wisdom? When you get people thinking, that’s when you get innovators like Casey Neistat, and back in the day when Smosh first started. Before Smosh, people were just doing stupid vlogs where it was all the one person playing six characters.” McKenna explains how when Smosh began to shoot well-produced comedy sketches in 2006, the entire industry was flabbergasted by the quality and success of the format. Analogous to Steve Jobs’ unveiling of the original iPhone reveal only a year after and its monumental effects on the entire phone industry, Smosh showed a way forward for online entertainment and exhibited that professionally produced comedy did deserve to have a place on the internet. With countless amounts of comedy groups following in their footsteps, he concludes that niches like comedy sketch groups on YouTube often “grow in a really amazing way” and continuously work to reshape the landscape of online entertainment.

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anyone could have made a group of Facebook

What we haven’t touched so far perhaps is the incredibly humble nature of McKenna’s character. When the subject finally arrived at how his Australian YouTubers Facebook group has worked to bring a scattered community together, he laughs uneasily and proclaims that it wasn’t anything particularly special because “anyone could have made a group of Facebook.” However, like Jeff Hawkins who created the Palm Pilot, it was only he who had the courage to put his idea into action and went on to affect thousands of lives in the process.

I want something that is sustainable and proper

When I was beginning my YouTube journey, like McKenna, I waded through an endless sea of forums and groups in a search for a sense of place in the YouTube community. Unfortunately, like what McKenna observed, most of these online ‘communities’ I discovered in my searches were “nothing but dead link grounds.” This refers to desperate creators, who would only visit to announce a new video that they had made and then leave, never to return until their next video with the vague hope that one unlucky fellow would click and sit through their mediocre video and subscribe. These facades of communities aren’t sustainable and aren’t places where strong or perhaps even weak ties are made. When he first made his Australian YouTubers Facebook group, this was the first thing he admitted that he wished to avoid. “I want something that is sustainable and proper” he asserts with a hint of the drive that encouraged him to create the group. “The times I think we are most helpful is when we try to connect to brands and companies and find people opportunities,” while listing through a seemingly endless list of ways how he had contributed to how brands had connected with creators, he mentions his regular social media workshops that he leads om Google Hangouts that helps creators to finesse their skills in that area. With YouTube pop-up workshops that often take place at locations including Google’s Sydney HQ, Sun Studios and the prestigious Australian Film, Radio and Television School, he sees his creation as “not just a place for a rhetoric,” but a place that provides “legitimate resources that I think are most helpful and connections.”

I recommended five people that they should talk to for brand deals

Through his careful negotiations and a laundry list of industry connections, McKenna’s liaisons with larger companies is becoming one of the more significant ways his group is offering more value to its members. Despite this, it is still often a struggle to initiate such programmes. “Yeah, I’m currently biding my time,” McKenna verbalises when pressed for his current plans with larger companies. “There’s a lot more red-tape I think. For example, if I deal with Google, I would just say that we want to do this event and then it just happens, because it’s Google. They can just go whoosh, no worries! When it comes to other companies, there’s a lot of approvals you have to get from different people for me to even mention it to the group.” As the group, has gradually transitioned from a group of friends chatting about YouTube to more of a networking based environment, opportunities and brand deals are becoming a more prominent fixture. “Because I know most of the people in the group, just last night I was at an IGN event, and I was talking to one of the sales people who was in charge of sales, and on the spot, I recommended five people that they should talk to for brand deals, all of which were from the group.” Suggesting that this would lead to a “trickle down of resources” McKenna is convinced that communications like this example would ultimately be to the benefit of all members of the group, and not just those with sizeable followings.

Being one of the more prominent figures in the Australian YouTube community does come with some perks, as McKenna has had the opportunity to spend time with some of the most influential names on the platform including Philip DeFranco, Jenna Marbles and Philip Lester. Meeting most of these creators during his trips to VidCon 2015 and 2016, he describes his experiences as somewhat “weird,” because as an Australian, he didn’t attend the conferences with any lofty expectations. However, following some conversations sparked by some of his connections, he recalls his experiences “just spiralling from there.”

okay, there’s this party on tonight for Maker Studios, come along

“It’s a really weird scenario, especially being Australian, all the way from over there to being in Los Angeles for someone to message you and say ‘okay, there’s this party on tonight for Maker Studios, come along, I’ve got a wristband for you.’ Then you go in and it was like there’s AmazingPhil, there’s Philip DeFranco, there’s Filthy Frank, there’s Logan Paul, it’s mind-blowing to be in that sort of field, that bubble.”

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So I was lucky to at Fan-Fest last year to meet Jenna Marbles

Unfortunately, not every encounter with one’s YouTube idols is destined to proceed as smoothly as one might imagine, as McKenna discovered when he met Jenna Marbles for the first time in 2015. “So I was lucky to at Fan-Fest last year to meet Jenna Marbles and I was like really excited about that, but the problem was that I didn’t realise that I was meeting her because she had her red hair and was wearing a purple shirt, some tights and a pair of really high, high heels. I was with my friend Rachel and I saw her and she was facing the bar and I came over and tapped her on the shoulder, she turned around and I was like ‘you’re not Louna!’ Because I thought it was Louna Maroun and she was like ‘what?’ but that was literally the first words I said to Jenna Marbles.” While the initial encounter might have been a little off the hook, McKenna recalls having an amiable twenty-minute conversation with her and claims to have not done anything nearly as awkward since.

I feel like I can approach pretty much anyone and say ‘if you wanna do some recording for us, we’ll animate you’

The Australian YouTubers Facebook page isn’t McKenna’s only project, however, far from it in fact. As revealed by an early preview into his new animation company that he has created with his partner Casey O’Kelly, an American 3D artist who is based in Atlanta, his other projects are a little more ‘international’. Christened Realms Animation, McKenna reveals that his new venture will initially be creating a high profile short film that would eventuate with a full-length feature. While also having a YouTube presence, Realms Animation intends to leverage its industry connections to feature well-known YouTubers in collaborations where the YouTuber would need only to deliver a voice-over performance. Once the voice performances are complete, animators would create a 3D animation around it, a collaboration format that McKenna describes as “really cool.” With featured creators including Wengie and Thomas Sanders, it is difficult to imagine the venture failing to gain much traction. Nonetheless, what McKenna believes makes this style of collaboration so enticing for featured creators is the fact that “it isn’t so common, so it sparks an interest more.” When questioned further for what he means by that, he proposes “Who doesn’t want to be turned into a cartoon? I feel like I can approach pretty much anyone and say ‘if you wanna do some recording for us, we’ll animate you.’ That sounds freaking awesome you know!” With an ambitious marketing strategy in place, 2017 will see Realms Animation being be unleashed with “a bit more of a bigger bang” after its initial soft launch last year.

I don’t think I’d be able to do that without YouTube

Like many other YouTube creators, his ventures on the online platform are not enough to generate a steady income. While like most, McKenna says as of the time of the interview that “I’d love to do YouTube full time or anything in the industry in fact,” his day jobs in technology retail with a side of freelance social media consulting help to support his relatively modest lifestyle. Where his retail position has ensured that he keeps up with the latest developments in technology and has allowed him to more easily afford the latest gadgets with the aid of employee discounts, his experiences with helping businesses overhaul their social media presences has also allowed him to not only strengthen his skills in that area, but to also to further his relationships with such companies. Furthermore, while these experiences have helped him to advance certain YouTube related skills, he also believes that the opposite springs true as “whether it is consulting or running social media profiles or editing videos, I don’t think I’d be able to do that without YouTube.”

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While McKenna has spent most of his life in Australia, with the breath of opportunity that is available overseas in Los Angeles, he has lately been considering the process of emigrating to the United States. Intending to continue his appreciation of “acting, particularly voice acting,” over the next five years, he reports that he’d like to be making YouTube videos full time on both his studio’s channel and his own, while also being more involved in professional voice acting opportunities. “Like what I was saying with YouTube being an industry earlier, it’s an industry that melds with other industries, so through YouTube, I’ve literally met casting directors, directors, producers that live and work in Hollywood… and it still blows my mind.”

YouTuber, stand-up comedian, voice actor, video producer, entrepreneur and the man who united the Australian YouTube community, it is difficult to define what Mathew McKenna is. Luckily however, before he went, he informed me that either one of his many voice impressions videos or one of his Dr Metahew videos would be a good way to conclude this interview. And that is how late one night while researching his many exploits, I ended up viewing his Dr MetaHew video on coping with social anxiety and depression, which is where I discovered the perfect quote to conclude this interview. What I found quite remarkable about this quote is that the very people that he talks about, those people who care and would do anything for you are those very same people that I have found through the Australian YouTubers Facebook group.

I think that the most important thing you need is support, people who will love and support you unconditionally. But even if you don’t feel like it, there is someone in the world, and most likely, multiple people who care so much about you and love you so much and will do anything for you. I know that it can be overwhelming to reach out, but sit down and think about who those people might be, be patient with them and talk to them. Try to make them understand how you feel. Because once you have those supportive relationships, things can improve really quickly.

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Since the interview, McKenna has announced in a YouTube video that he is working on another new venture, as a producer of YouTuber, Wengie’s new children’s channel that is set to be unveiled in February this year.

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