I know I am still rather perturbed in light of what developments have been happening on YouTube. In spite of that, I want to use this opportunity to invite you all to subscribe to my channel and take a gander at the content I have to offer. I know I have been using this plug for countless of times but it has to be done because this is a reminder that just because my channel only has 529 subscribers does not mean I am going to wallow in self-pity.
I do not just do these vlog-style reviews of operas, concerts, musicals, ballet, anime, cartoons, and movies for kicks-and-giggles. I put in a lot of effort, research, heart, encouragement, and of course, I take my career as an online reviewer very seriously. It has been my mission to not only voice out my opinions via this platform and do so in a way that does not make me come off as mean-spirited nor pushy nor pretentious but to also create genuine, healthy, and long-lasting relationships with my fellow actors, voice actors, singers and musicians of several genres, animators, creators, filmmakers, artists, and reviewers. Through my reviews and through loads and loads of inspiration from many of some fabulous reviewers, who I am glad to call my friends, I felt like I fulfilled making some well-meaning relationships, be it on Manic Expression, Team Night Saturn, Channel Awesome, Steemit, and many other platforms.
I don’t want to bore you too much with a history lesson but I essentially started off as an aspiring actor wanting to be noticed for my craft, as it is the 21st century and some casting directors will end up searching for a video of someone doing a monologue in spite of the fact that the camera quality may not be amazing. It was not until the night before my 21st birthday did I decide to release my first vlog-style review of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia at the Deutsche Oper Berlin starring Edita Gruberova and Pavol Breslik. From this point forward, this was my experimental phase, as I made more vlog-style reviews. I did not want to confine myself to reviewing music, so I made my first anime vlog regarding Space Dandy when I had a stopover in Washington Dulles. I even branched myself out into doing movie reviews, as that was what a lot of my reviewer friends were doing. Whilst making these reviews, I was initially hesitant on becoming a YouTube partner because I did not want to whore myself out and I was rather hesitant. However, that all came to a head in June 2014 when I finally said, yes I will be a YouTube partner. I did not receive my first YouTube payment of 71 Euros until June 2016, as it took me two years to achieve that, which was far from easy as I was still branching out and of course my schedule in my old acting school did not really make it possible for me to watch certain operas and concerts, as several days were intended for rehearsal. The next payment I ended up getting took me 1 year and it was 74 Euros. These days I am really lucky to use Steemit for my overall revenue to increase, as I have a pretty strong following on that particular site and I do enjoy posting my stuff there as I do get something great in return, whether it be payments or people who are genuinely supportive of my content.
Speaking of followings, whilst I may not have the most significant amount of followers ever, I was glad to know some of my favorite opera singers and some fellow opera fans recognized my work. Anna Prohaska, whose concert I saw in Salzburg in the summer of 2014, automatically recognized me as the guy with the vlogs. She even remarked that my work was informative and people can learn a lot. One of my opera singer and opera fan friends recognized me through a review I did of, I believe, The Magic Flute in the Deutsche Oper Berlin. I even made a lot of great friends with a lot of the opera singers of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and I cherish each of them for being such down-to-earth and amazing people. This all got to the point where the Deutsche Oper Berlin even subscribed to my YouTube channel, which was one of the best moments I had so far, as I did make a lot of my reviews based on the Deutsche Oper Berlin’s productions. I even met the likes of Evelin Novak, Katharina Kammerloher, Pavol Breslik, Diana Damrau, Thomas Hampson, Waltraud Meier, Cheryl Studer, Adrianne Pieczonka and Evelyn Herlitzius. I even achieved my biggest dream of seeing Elena Mosuc perform the role of Violetta Valery from La Traviata, of course, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and she herself loved my review of her performance in one of her signature roles. During my time in Pesaro last summer, some of my friends who performed in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims were so thankful that I not only came to see that production but also make a review of it. Some of them even remarked my review as interesting and thoughtful, so much so that the conductor, Michele Spotti himself, gave me his business card once he recognized me. Through all of these happenings, they were all blessings because I knew deep down that this was what I wanted and I achieved it because I kept soldiering on and I was not going to go up in smoke any time soon. Mind you, I have become so familiar with a lot of operatic topics from the popular works to the rarer works to the many singers of the past and present to even the Fach system, which categorizes vocal types and each of them has their own traits. I was all but thirteen years old when I became familiar with the Fach system, fifteen when I listened to various interpretations of Der Hölle Rache nonstop, sixteen when I found myself to be a major fan of Richard Strauss’s Elektra, and seventeen when I wrote research paper on Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin, which included the vocal types of each character, the performance history, the plot, the analysis of each character, and a discography.
Fame and fortune were never my intentions. As appealing as they seem, it was always vital for me to show the love, show the support, and show the gratitude to the many performing artists who have done their damnedest to make everything they do flourish. Regardless if I review an opera, a musical, an anime, a cartoon, a movie, or a ballet, I feel that each performer’s efforts should be acknowledged. Yes, in terms of my subscriber count, it always went up and down. There were days I was increasing in them and there were days I was decreasing so badly. In spite of all of these fluctuations, I kept on going because I had to survive.
Because I was so full of gratitude and inspiration to all of the reviewers I watched so far, I even decided to make a Top 30 Reviewers list last year, which had pretty good feedback when all is said and done. On top of that, because of my first milestone of getting my first YouTube partner payment, this was recognized by the founder of Manic Expression himself, James Daniel Walsh, and from there I have been a loyal contributor. Even more so, because my Top 30 Reviewers list caught attention, Christine Tsuzaki aka The Asian Critic Chick and Jack Skyblue invited me to be a part of Team Night Saturn and I could not be any happier. To this day, I am still proud to call myself a Manic Expressionist and a Team Night Saturnist.
I want to wrap this up by saying this. YouTube can take away my partnership if I do not reach 1000 subscribers. However, that is not going to stop me from being a YouTuber for life. I have done a lot in my reviewing career and I put in a lot of effort to get to this point. There is no way in Hell, I am ever going to throw in the towel. I have to keep fighting the great fight. Yes, not everyone is going to like my work and what I do on YouTube, but that’s okay it is what it is and I cannot please everybody. As long as I keep on moving and keep on grooving then I can surely survive and thrive simultaneously with flying colors. So, what are you waiting for? Subscribe to my channel. Spread the word and don’t hold back. I want to be there for you people because you have meant a lot in my journey as a YouTuber. I never want to sell myself short and I want to continue making video-blog style reviews for all of you to see. Thank you for your time and I will see you in the next upload.