Shay Carl | YouTube Personality

Shay Carl Butler. The man, the myth, the YouTube legend. His Shaycarl and Shaytards channels have around 1 million subscribers each, he’s one of the founders of a thriving Maker Studios, and he’s lost over 100 pounds since beginning ShayLoss in 2009. What can’t he do? NMR met up with streamlined Shay Carl at Lemonade in Venice, California, where we ate cafeteria-style cuisine and sipped on exotic lemonades in flavors like blueberry mint, watermelon rosemary, and blood-orange. Afterward, we went on to Santa Monica beach where Shay, the man with unlimited energy, swung on the rings, did backflips, cartwheels, jogged, and was an all-around Olympian while I was getting sand in my new sneakers and developing melanoma. Scroll down to see pictures of Shay acting up under Santa Monica Pier and to read my interview with Shay, where he discusses the jobs he’s schlepped through, how he feels about his family of fans, why he wouldn’t do reality television, and how his faith informs his life.

Fun Facts:

What’s the one thing you’d take with you to a deserted island?

 Shay Carl: I got this question asked to me today. I said I would take a helicopter. That would be the best thing. If you really wanted me seriously to be on the island, and I couldn’t bring a device to get off the island, what would I have? Probably a boat. I just want to get off the island. I don’t know. A cellphone.

Who asked you that randomly?

 I was at another shoot today. I got in this big argument because the person was saying, “How would you know how to fly a helicopter?” but I was like, “Every helicopter comes standard with an operators manual.” So you’d have the helicopter and I’d just figure out how to operate it.

I originally thought, “Oh, he’s obviously going to say ‘my family.’”

 See, I’d picture my family is at home and I’d go back to them.

A superpower you’d like.

Dude, I want to fly. I know it’s cliché, but I want to be able to fly. I think I’m going to someday. Honestly, I’m going to fly. There are dudes that fly. You see those guys with the wing suits that are flying and those guys with the little jet packs with the wings. They’re like flying! They’re going like this in the air [puts his arms out]. They jump off mountains. They can’t start from a low spot. They have to jump off of a high point but they’re basically tracking. They’re going a quarter half a mile some of these guys. I want to be able to fly. I would really love to be able to just swoop down like the pelicans and sniff the ocean and cruise through the Everglades.

You know, if you can’t ever get one of those suits you can just become a scientologist.

Either/or.

What’s your favorite and least favorite food dish?

Wait, do scientologists believe they can fly?

Eventually.

Serious?

 Eventually, you get the powers. They’re hidden within us.

Where do you sign up for this?

Los Angeles. Tom Cruise. John Travolta. Okay, favorite and least favorite food dish.

Well, it’s kind of a weird question since we just went to lunch and I had brussel sprouts. Least favorite? I don’t have a least favorite. As a guy who has a past of portliness, I tend to like most anything but if I was to pick a favorite, and this might sound weird because of my portly past, I love watermelon. If I was to pick one food, and it probably won’t sustain me on that island very long, but watermelon. A cold, crisp, freshly cut watermelon on a summer’s day right after somebody in the distance down the neighborhood cut their yard, and the sprinklers are on and you can just smell that. It’s the fresh juicy watermelon, I’ll take that.

You know you’re torturing us right now.

I know, right? Who wants some watermelon? Raise your hand. I know you do. Comment below! You want some watermelon.

 So you’re president of the United States. What’s the first thing you do or change?

I’ll tell you. I’ll go in there and implement some policies right away and make some quick change, and we can get this country pointed in the right direction! I would get us out of debt. My first job, day 1 as president, I’ll say, “OK, here I am everybody, I’m president! Obviously, I have no idea what I’m doing so give me some smart people. The first thing I want to work with these smart people is getting us out of debt. What do we gotta do?” And here’s honestly what I would do: I would cut spending across the board. I would not treat anything special. I would be an equal opportunity offender. I would just cut spending. Everybody has to get cut a certain percentage. I don’t care who you are or what program. Every program is going to be cut a certain percent. We’re a family. This country’s a family. We gotta cut back. I can go farther into this but I’d get us out of debt as president.

Very noble. Okay, done with fun facts.

And then I’d get all the chicks to make out with me by law. [laughs] Yeah! Woo!

So you first saw Katilette performing in a community theater musical. You said that the first moment you saw her that she was this vision. She was beautiful and singing. Was the feeling mutual? Was it love at first sight for her?

No. She didn’t even know who I was for 2 weeks after that. I went to this play. It was this play “Anything Goes.” She was the lead role, Reno Sweeney, in the play, and I was there with my buddy whose brother was in the play. We were there to see my brother’s friend perform in this play. She came out on stage, and I was like, “Dang, girl! She’s hot!” She’s gorgeous, she can sing, she can act, and right away I checked the program. I was like, “What’s that girl’s name?” I was trying to figure out what part in the play she was playing and then I found her name. I told my buddy that night and I turned to him and said, “I will marry that girl.” I said that! It was probably more of just joking, but I thought that she was really pretty, and she can sing and I really liked that she could sing. You know how after the play all the people will come out and you can go shake their hand and be like, “That was a great performance. Great job! I love your part here and blah, blah, blah.” I was afraid to even go to that line. She was in the line, and I was so infatuated with her I was so afraid to even talk to her. What happened was that I started stalking her. She didn’t know who I was. I started seeing her around campus at college. I finally got the courage to ask her out and it took a year and a half to convince her to marry me but I finally did it, and we’ve been married 10 years this January.

So around that time when you were stalking her and you were in college –

I was incarcerated too because of these things.

So you quit college over money issues, and you probably don’t regret quitting.

No, I wish I had quit sooner really.

Do you think about going back?

No, absolutely not. A degree to me is such a worthless piece of paper at this point. Not for everybody. I don’t want to discourage those who are in school or that want to go to school. It just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t function there. It didn’t work out. Ultimately, the reason why I couldn’t, I wouldn’t say that this is the full truth, but the reason why I say I quit college is because I couldn’t find a parking spot. Literally, everyday I was going to this one class–my psychology class–there was never any parking spots. We had just had our second kid so my wife and 2 kids are at home, and I’m trying to find this parking spot, and I just spent $140 on this stupid book that the professor wrote so basically I’m sitting there and paying all this money sitting there listening to this guy’s opinion. Then next year he’s going to write a revised edition so the first $140 book that he sold me I’m going to be able to sell back for $15 and then buy his new book for $160 just so I can get 3 points that go towards this certificate that says I can have a job. Yay, I got a degree! I was like, “Screw that! I’m going to start working on my own. I don’t need these guys to tell me when I can start living in the real world,” so I dropped out of that stupid place and never looked back. Go to college, kids! You should though, honestly. If you don’t know what you’re going to do you should go there until you figure it out.

So after college you held a ton of different jobs. I’ve heard 20-something right? You’ve owned a stone countertop company, you were a bug guy, but out of all those jobs what was the worst?

 I’ve worked a lot of jobs, that’s true. That’s the one thing my dad growing up taught me. I would always remember him saying, “You need to learn how to work.” There’s a saying my family would go by, “Work will work when nothing else would work,” so he taught me how to work. It wasn’t like I wanted to work. I wanted to do something with purpose. So I did and I never settled. I’d get a job and I would like it and be good at it, but it was like, “This isn’t my passion,” so I did a lot of other stuff. Dishwashing was probably the worst. I was a dishwasher at this steak and seafood restaurant. They would wait until 11:30 at night, and here I am a 16-year-old kid–a sophomore or junior in high school–and these older cooks like to mess with the new guy so they would slam you at 11 o’clock at night, and they’d bring you all their broiler trays, grease traps, and oven hood vents, and I’d be there scrubbing these things until 2 in the morning. That was the worst job probably.

When you first got your computer, you were up all night watching YouTubers like sxephil and seeing how they connected with their audiences, and you thought,  “I could totally do that.” Before that point, had it ever crossed your mind that you would want to be an entertainer?

No. That’s what’s so crazy. I don’t know why it never dawned on me that this could be a viable source of income for me. Like, I could grow up and become an entertainer. It just never seemed realistic. That idea was never put in my mind. I never thought, “Oh, I’ll grow up to be an entertainer!” What did that mean? I couldn’t really sing, I’m not an actor, and I’m not a stand-up comedian. It’s evolved into that though, and it’s like, “Oh yeah, this makes sense. This is me.” People that have known me all my life will just say, “Oh, that’s just Shay being Shay.” That’s just how I normally am. This has been a perfect venue and a perfect medium for me to fall into. I remember the very first time that idea was put into my head was by a very good friend of mine named Jamie. He was a good friend of mine from high school. I went to his wedding, and at his wedding I randomly got to give a toast and there was 200 people, and I had the whole crowd just cracking up on the microphone and everyone at the wedding thought I was so funny. Afterwards, when I was leaving, I’m like, “Hey, congratulations!” and I was hugging him, and I remember he said to me, “Dude, you’ve got to get your comedy out there!” And I’m like, “What do you mean get my comedy out there? Like how? What comedy to get out where?” I remember when he said that I was thinking, “Well, how would I even go about that?” Little by little, I became a radio DJ, and I found out about YouTube. My life kind of made that switch where I can entertain people, and I found out I can get paid on YouTube to do it. Once I figured that out, I never looked back. It just kind of all focused on, and I wanted to make it work. I wanted this to be my career and it worked so far. You know, it’s interesting that out of all the 20 jobs I’ve had, this job as a full time YouTuber or whatever you want to call it has been the longest job I’ve ever had. I’m 32-years-old now, and I’ve had pretty close to 20 jobs, and this is the longest job I’ve ever had is being a YouTuber. I know this better than any career I’ve ever done at this point. This is what I do.

In the beginning, you weren’t making much and after working up to finally become a partner your first partner check was only 300-something dollars. There were times where you weren’t really making it through the month but your wife supported you. What if she hadn’t supported you? What if she said, “No, this YouTube thing is not going to work out, Shay.”

I would probably have done what she told me to do because I have found that that’s the best thing to do [laughs]. Honestly, I am the person I am largely because of my wife. She has been so supportive throughout the years. Not only was it crazy for me to get into YouTube but when I was trying to find other things, I was like, “Hey honey, let’s move across the country to North Carolina.” We lived in Idaho at the time, and I wanted to move to North Carolina to be a door-to-door pest control salesman. It was like, “What? We’re going to move to the East Coast to sell pest control?” But she supported me and was always like, “OK.” She has always believed in me, and we’ve always made it work. There were some hard times where it was like, “Do we pay the gas bill or do we save this money for groceries because we don’t have groceries?” We also had two kids and we had to pay the gas bill. Those times were definitely hard as a newlywed couple.

She must have trusted you also because you’ve always been very entrepreneurial minded. When you first started getting your checks from YouTube, did you say, “Whoa, this could be a full-time career!” Did your mind immediately go, “I can make a ton of money off of this!”?

No. Once I finally got partnered–because I did this for a little while before I started making money–but once I finally got that all linked I saw that I was making money in my AdSense. Once you’re finally linked, you have an AdSense account where you can log on and see how much you’re making. I got on there and I remember when it was like 2 dollars or 3 dollars, and I was like, “Whoa, there’s something that’s showing up as a result of me uploading this video! When I upload this video this thing with the money goes up a little bit. Holy crap!” Just that connection was so cool. For a month’s worth of work, a month’s worth of videos, we got 326 bucks. I was like, “Dude, we can pay our light bill and our water bill with that!” That’s what it was at first. I was like, “This is gonna help us supplement those bills that we have.” I remember the first goal when I started doing this was, “I’m going to work until I can pay our mortgage,” because we had just bought a house. It was 1000 bucks a month for our mortgage payment. I thought, “If I could make 1000 dollars a month doing YouTube, and I could make this mortgage payment, I’ll be set.” It was little steps like that. I just kept working and working, and finally I got it up to where I could make enough to make my mortgage payment. One day I was like, “Wow, this is like replacing my regular income. This is my new job!” We just quit everything else and just started doing this.

How do you personally view the content that you create for YouTube? Do you look at it as art? Do you look at it as just fun? First and foremost a paycheck? What is it?

That’s a good question because after you’ve done this for so long and after the hype has worn off of like, “This is so crazy and exciting that this is my career and this is my job.” After you’ve done it for 4 years you start to say, “Well, what am I doing? Am I offering any kind of value?” Is it just me like, “Hey, guys! It’s me and my stupid family again”? Am I giving anything to society? Over the last probably six months, I started to really think about that. What am I providing? What am I doing? Just as a man, what am I providing to society? Am I doing anything? Plumbers help people fix their toilets, and construction workers help build things. What is the value that I’m giving, if any at all? At the end of the day, the comments really show us that what we’re doing is worth it. Somebody would pay a million dollars to feel better and smile and feel better about themselves. The feedback we get, the emails, the tweets, and all the comments we get from people who watch – yeah, we do offer a lot to people. The way that I view it is, it’s like “The Kardashians” and it’s like a reality show. People always complain about these horrible reality shows. We’ve got the “Jersey Shore” and these scumbag Kardashians. Well, we have something else to offer. You can have that sit-down experience where you want to sit down and eat dinner and have the relaxed experience like a TV. It’s something that’s easy to watch. It’s fun; it’s our family having a good time. It will, at the end of the day, make you smile. A lot of people like to smile, it turns out. I don’t know. It’s a thing catching on. Try it.

So if the Shaytards were on TV, would it be a reality show like “The Osbournes” or “The Kardashians”?

No. I mean, probably. They’d probably want to switch it and script it and make us fight at stuff. That would never happen. We would never agree to that. It wouldn’t be worth it to us. We have so much control now that I would never forfeit that. We are able to provide and make enough money to provide for our families. Even if I made substantially more money, to lose that freedom is not worth it. That opportunity cost isn’t there. The freedom that I have now is worth more than a billion dollars. If you were to say, “I will give you a billion dollars but you have to work 9 to 5 Monday through Friday at this place, and you have to do exactly what I tell you to do,” I’d say, “No way.” I’m not going to do it because freedom is more valuable to me than the money. Those opportunities will come. I’m not about being a YouTuber to become a TV star or to become a movie star. I’m doing this because I’m part of a wave, a generation of people who are creating a new form of content, a new form of communication, a new form of ingesting news and knowledge and all that stuff. That rhymed! News and knowledge. Check out news and knowledge on my new “News and Knowledge Show”! So it’s cool to be part of something that is groundbreaking, to be a pioneer of something. Not like, “I hope I can get enough exposure so I can get on TV and be on a billboard!” That doesn’t matter to me. I don’t care about that. I want to be part of something that people will look back on and be like, “Remember when the computers started taking over? Remember when the computers made us do that stuff we didn’t want to do?”

It’s interesting that your channel, all your fans are really a community.

It’s a family really. Like I said, I’ve been doing this for 4 years. There’s some people that have been on this journey with me this whole time. They have been there on those videos where I was in my room and I have hit 200 subscribers. 200 people have hit this button that said that they wanted me to be a part of their life. And I remember thinking like – hold on, I want to wait for this.

[Helicopter flies by]

Hey! There’s your helicopter! It’s coming to get you!

I‘m right here! Deliver the chopper here! See, guarantee you that the helicopter has an operators manual on them. If it had landed here, and we had enough time stranded on an island, don’t you think we can figure out how to fly it? I mean, there’s trial and error but I guess you don’t have much trial and error with a helicopter. Anyway, what were we talking about?

Community. It’s your family.

Right. Some of those people were there when I was imagining 200 people in my room. I remember when I had hit 200 subscribers I thought, “Wow, what if all 200 people were right here in my bedroom?” We wouldn’t fit them all! That’s a lot of people! Some of those people that have been here for this whole journey, like that guy who was walking by that said, “Hey Shay!” he is in my house everyday because people that watch me, they’re part of our family. I get that all the time when people would walk up and say, “I know that this is weird, but I feel like I know you so well. You have no idea who I am.” But I do know who they are because I know that they know who I am so they have a lot of stuff to talk about because they know my life. It’s easy for them to say, “How’s Babytard?” They know them. It’s more of a community. A lot of it feels like a big family sometimes. And you know, I have adopted a lot, probably over 60,000 children, so there’s that.

It’s cool how they’re so comfortable going up to you. You talk about the service that you provide to your community, your family, and these people that watch you. It’s beyond a paycheck for you; you’re giving them a smile. I think one of the most common adjectives seen when your fans post on your videos is “inspirational.” What makes your videos so inspirational?

Back a long time ago, I remember getting that question, and I don’t know if they’re inspirational. I think the goal that I have is that I am just having a really good time living life, and I really enjoy my life, and I’m grateful for all the things that I have. Just realize there’s so much out there that’s available, not only to me but to anybody, and it’s just fun to me and I’m having a good time, and I want everybody else that’s watching the videos to feel that and feel like they’re part of the party. There’s a lot of good opportunities, and I’ve kind of always been like that. In my life, I just love inspirational movies and I love inspirational quotes. I love going to movies where afterwards you feel like, “I can do that!” I’ve always been very optimistic. I’ve always had this crazy and insane goals for myself like, “I can do this!” I’ve kind of always had this tendency, and I feel like kind of an obligation with all of these people willing to watch our videos that I feel like I should offer something to them that will give them something to come back for. If you can inspire people, what better thing to provide than a little bit of inspiration? Tell you what, everybody wakes up on those days where you just don’t feel like it. You don’t feel like smiling, you don’t feel like talking to anybody. I hope that our videos are that place where people can come when you wake up on those days where it’s like, “Ugh,” and just get a little laugh first thing in the morning. It’s all about perspective. It’s easy to be like, “I’m in a crappy mood today,” but it’s like, “No, I’m going to choose to not be in a crappy mood. I’m going to breathe deep, I’m going to sit up, and I’m going to smile.”  Physiologically making those changes in your body can change your mental mood and they can change your state.

 Your videos are very positive and uplifting. Do you think it has anything to do with your faith? A lot of your viewers wonder if you are Mormon, but I think you’ve been pretty open about being a Mormon. You went on a mission to Trinidad, Tobago, and Guyana. Do you think your faith affects your videos in any way?

Totally. Absolutely. That’s the funny thing. I leave our faith out of it a lot just because sometimes I just don’t want to deal with it in the comments. The official name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The nickname of our church is Mormons. We’re Mormons. I kind of don’t talk about it a lot. I could talk about it a lot more. Honestly, a lot of the answers to the questions that people ask me, “Why are you so happy,” and stuff, is because of our faith and what we believe. It’s not crazy. I know there’s a lot of stereotypes of Mormons and stuff like that. We believe that our family is sealed forever. That’s kind of the basis of our belief.  Me and my wife believe that we are married for not only until death do us part but we believe because of our faith that we are sealed for time and eternity. We believe that we live after this life, and we believe that we will remain in this relationship after we die and that our children are sealed with us and that we’re an eternal family and that we’ll always be together. That basis and that feeling of that we’re just this little unit of people who are family. We’re brothers and sisters but still at the same time it’s cool to be able to figure out life together in a sense that we’re teaching our kids. We’re religious and we’re Mormons, and I don’t talk about it a lot because of the comments and people are freaking out in these giants fights in the comments break out. Sometimes it’s not worth it. I did a funny video the other day where I was at church, and I was filming myself in front of the church with the sign of the church behind me saying, “You guys always ask me which church we go to, and I just really don’t want to talk about it. I want to keep that private,” but the sign is really big and then of course in the comments they’re like, “The sign was behind you!” and people are fighting and people take it too serious sometimes. Anyway, yeah, we’re Mormons. I don’t hide it, but I don’t come out and shove it down people’s throat.

You have so many channels now and Katilette has her own channel. Was she gung ho about having her own channel, or was this an extension of your brand? Were your audiences asking for Katilette?

They love her. I think that’s really why we have any subscribers at all is because of her. When we first started her channel, she wanted to get into it too. It’s so long ago, it’s hard to remember now. She started her channel 3 years ago. I was getting into it, and she was excited about doing it. Sometimes she feels like, “Is it worth doing a YouTube channel because I’m in it so much,” but she likes it. She makes 2 videos a week, and she’s part of “The Moms View,” which is a new channel that they’ve got going, which is with my sister, my sister-in-law, and my wife, and they all do mommy tips, all that kind of stuff. She’s a full time YouTuber too, and her conflict is that she wants to be a mom, first and foremost. She was in college too, and she wanted to go into health and fitness. She always wanted to be a mom, and that’s her favorite thing, being at home with the kids.

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You have all these channels. You basically have kind of an empire; this Tard empire. You put out so many videos, at least a video a day. You started off putting out a video a day, and you still put out a video a day.

 We put out like 6 videos a day now with all the channels. Just yesterday alone, our little crew, that’s so funny because people are starting to think that I planned it this way. Little by little, my family’s gotten into it. We uploaded a podcast, an iPhone video, sometimes we upload a lot of content.

 Going into that, some people think you planned it that way. Do you think that your content output is growing with your audience or do you think your audience is growing with your content output?

 That’s a good question. I think our content output is growing…I don’t know. I don’t think about it that much. I just upload a lot of videos. I’m just like, “Let’s put up this video, and let’s make this video!” This Justin Beiber video that we’re making is literally like we’re all in a room, and I’m like, “Hey, have you heard Justin Beiber’s new song?” and my brother’s like, “Yeah, I hate it,” and I’m like, “No! It’s kinda catchy; I like it,” and he’s like, “No, it sucks!” and I’m like, “Don’t you think Logan looks like Justin Beiber?” So we’re just sitting there talking, and we’re like, “We should do a parody video,” and he’s like, “No,” and I’m like, “Yeah! Let’s fly Logan out here!” That’s what’s so fun about it. It’s just like every idea we have or idea that we want to do we’re just like, “Yeah, let’s make a video out of it.” So yeah, sometimes we upload a lot of videos.

 What if one day one of your children said to you, “Dad, I don’t want to be on these YouTube channels anymore.” Do you ever feel  uncomfortable with putting too much of your family out there?

 That’s definitely something that me and my wife have to take into consideration, like how much are we going to share and how much of our lives are we going to put out there for all of these people to see. At the end of the day, our daily videos are 15-20 minutes long. I have an editor now, but I see all those videos before it goes up. It’s not like TV where I don’t have a say of what goes up. I’m very conscious of keeping my family and kids safe. If the day ever comes where the kids don’t want to do it, I’m not going to force them into it. “You get on that camera and be funny! Better be cute or I’m going to smack you!” What I’m more worried about is that they want to start their own YouTube channels. Princesstard already has her channel design laid out. She’s like, “I want it pink, and I want it to say Princesstard here!” and I’m like, “Oh my gosh.” I’m trying to oppress them from getting on the Internet as long as possible. I think that’s going to be the other way around. I think they want to get on and start doing it right away but I’m trying to hold them back for as long as I can.

 Earlier, when we were having lunch, you were talking about Maker Studios. You were one of the founders. What’s it like being a part of Maker Studios? How has it helped you with all of your channels?

I wouldn’t be able to do half the stuff without having Maker Studios. Maker has been crazy. For the last 3 years of our lives, this company developing and growing has been cool to watch and to be a part of. It’s just an amazing opportunity. We started it with the idea that we were just going to help each other make YouTube videos. It was just a bunch of YouTubers together to help each other create content. Before, I was just shooting with my wife, and my wife’s holding this little digital camera, and I’m like, “No! Hold it like this!” and she’s like, “I don’t know how to do it!” When I got with the other YouTubers, there were cameras and guys that knew how to edit and know how do to sound. When we first started it, it was the idea of convenience like, “Let’s work together and make it easier to do videos.” As time progressed, we were able to hire people and get people who know what they’re doing, like cameramen and people who graduated from film school. For this Justin Bieber parody that we made, it was like “OK, we need somebody to do the beat. Who do we have to do the beat? My buddy, HiimRawn, he’s part of Maker Studio. I call and say, “Ron, I need you to make this beat song.” So me and Casey write the lyrics. Well, who can we get to sing it? So we get somebody that can sing. Well, who can film it? It’s like this pool of resources that I can pull from. For instance, yesterday we were filming on the green screen, and we’re like, “We need this!” We have a prop room so we can run to the prop room, and we have all this random stuff that we’ve had from the 4 years of videos that we’ve made and kept, and we’ve grown this giant prop room and we have wardrobe. The first outfits we’ve ever bought to shoot videos for the station, we still have that stuff. Over the last 4 years, we’ve built up this giant library of wardrobe and props so we can just go in and be like, “I want that shirt and that Freddy Krueger glove and these earrings and this wig.” Then we run off and go “OK, let’s go make our video now!” You have all these supplies, and it’s just been really cool. As a founder of Maker, I was just at the right place at the right time. I made friends with Danny Diamond and Lisa Nova and Ben, and I came here to LA and they were super nice to me and we started the company together. Now Maker Studios is way bigger. It’s a real legitimate corporation. There’s 300 employees, there’s insurance and 401Ks; all that crap that companies have. I’m not part of any of that. I just kind of create my content, and I’m a founder of the company but I don’t run it day to day. I just run my channels.

 I don’t know how different you are private versus public persona, if there’s even a difference at all. Do you ever feel tired during the day? Do you feel like you’re always “on” and always looking for a moment to film? Don’t you ever just get sick of it and just want to live a day without it?

Totally. Here’s a great example: something funny would be happening where one of our kids are doing something, and we’d be cracking up and me and Katilette would be like, “Oh! We should be filming this!” And then we say to ourselves, “No, let’s just enjoy this moment. Let’s just enjoy this part of our lives without feeling like we have to film it.” There’s definitely days where it’s like, “Ugh, I got to turn the camera on.” It’s kind of just become part of my personality. You just get through it. That’s part of my mantra that I talk to my viewers about is the ability to choose happiness. I believe you literally have the option to choose how you react to any stimulus. You can reach over and slap me in my face right now and the natural reaction would to be pissed at you and fight back at you, but there’s this little space between what you did to me and my option to choose how I’m going to react to you. I really believe as people our power is to say, “I’m not going to let that affect me. I’m not going to let that person choose how I feel.” This outside stimulus, whatever it is, it could be a flat tire, or somebody can hit you in the eye, whatever it is, I’m not going to let that decide how I feel inside. When I feel that way or I feel like, “Ugh, I just don’t feel like it today,” it’s just like [takes deep breath] and I can just change my mood by just little things. Like, what is really important in life? All this stupid stuff I’m worrying about right now, it doesn’t matter. What if my kids died right now? I wouldn’t care about any of the crap right now. You got to have those moments whatever it is. Whether it’s a good song or Shaytards video or opening your window, just those things you can do to make yourself feel better. On those days where I don’t feel like filming, I just do things whatever it takes. Maybe it takes a little time to feel better, but as a person, you got to learn how to do it. Some people do it different ways. It’s hard, it’s not easy. It’s not like, “Oh yeah! It’s easy to be happy!” It takes a lot of work. That’s the crazy thing about life in general is that we’re all dealing with these emotions and feelings. It’s like what we’re all worried about, right? It’s how we feel. Are we happy? Anyway, that’s one thing I want to do more of. I want to delve into that sociological discussion between people. I want to actually start another YouTube channel where we have discussions like that, but I don’t dare because people will yell at me for starting another YouTube channel. The reason why YouTubers start new YouTube channels is perception. Their viewers think, “This is the only thing that can go on this channel.” I don’t know, that doesn’t make sense. Anyway, next question!

 I can see how you’re so inspirational to people because you’re so positive. You, yourself, are empowered by your own positivity and you’re empowering other people by saying, “You have a choice.”

 If I don’t live it, then how can I inspire other people? That’s the great thing in this whole inspiring other people. It’s just me learning to become a better person. It’s not like I’m preaching to people. I hope I can be open and honest, and I want to figure out what is the truth and what is the best way to approach life and people and just to discuss that and be honest. Whatever the truth is, I don’t care what it is or what the best way is, I want to be able to do that and be able to discuss that and figure it out. That’s my goal to become a self-actualized person and become the best person I can be. When people are around you, they are motivated by other people. Just trying to do the best, I guess. It’s a big compliment though, so thank you for anybody who says I’m inspirational.

 We had questions for you from Twitter. This one is from @MattGehring123, and he asked, “How does it feel knowing you inspired so many people to vlog themselves?”

 I bet there are a lot of moms and dads that are pissed at me because their kid is always like, “Mom! Dad! Why can’t you be more like the Shaytards!” I hate getting those comments like, “I wish my parents were more like you.” I know there’s parents out there that probably hate the Shaytards because of that. I think it’s a good thing. I think sharing life in general is good. I know that this is profound, but at the end of the day people are people. People like the same things. Everybody likes fresh air, good food, pretty girls, and handsome guys. Everybody likes the same stuff. We’re all the same. People that vlog now, I think it’s cool. There’s so many daily vloggers now. I stumble across a lot of people. It’s interesting to see different people’s lives. That’s the gist of it, like, “What’s he doing? What’s he like when he goes to the grocery store? I go to the grocery store too!” That’s relatable. I want to see that. It’s cool to see these people and their different relationships. It’s interesting to see how much different vloggers are willing to share. Certain people are so raw on camera and are just like crying. I don’t do that much but it’s interesting to see different levels of openness in people vlogging.

Moving on to @AlisonBusch1. She asks, “How long do you believe you are going to continue on the journey you are now experiencing?” How long can you see yourself go along with this?

 Forever, I guess. I always say it’s this giant train I’m riding, and I don’t know where it’s going to go and how long it’s going to take me but I’m just riding it as long and as fast as I can. The longer we go, the more legitimacy that this industry gets, the longer I foresee it going. At this point, barring some crazy disaster, it’s just going to evolve the way it has evolved in the last 4 years. It’s just going to exponentially grow faster with time. Little by little, it’ll just get bigger and bigger and we’ll just adapt and develop with it. Who knows? The sky’s the limit. I know for a fact there’s some really cool things and opportunities in our future, and that’s exciting. I’m not saying that just for me, that’s true for  everybody. Everybody has that feeling of abundance. Trust me, there’s a lot of great cool things that are coming. It just takes time. You got to work at it and put the time in. Eventually you’ll start seeing the fruits of your labor but it does take time. I feel like we’ll keep doing this. I don’t know what we’ll do. We’ll do different projects. My goal, where I want it to be, is that I always want to be in control of what I’m doing. I always want to be creating things that I like and other people will like. If I can just keep doing that and keep being able to make money to live off of because we’re people, we have to make money to pay off our stupid bills. As long as I can provide for my family, I’ll just keep doing this exact thing but just at a different level. I want to be able to just create stuff. With YouTube you can. The way that it’s set up now, I can literally wake up tomorrow and say, “I want to make a music video about tennis balls and sand,” and just think of a crazy idea, put it together, and make something and just present it for people to watch. If I can just keep doing that, I don’t know at what rate or level we’ll adapt to but I want to keep doing it.

 @Claire4489 asks, “Ask Shay Carl, will you be having more kids?”

Yeah, I bet we will. In fact I would like to take this opportunity to announce – no, just kidding [laughs]. I think we should adopt, but my wife wants to have another one. Her mom had 5 kids so I think in my wife’s mind she wants 5 kids so she can match her mom. I’m sure we’ll probably have 1 or 2. I don’t know.  Do you want me to adopt any of you guys?

Me! First Asian kid. Every white family needs an Asian kid.

We need an Asian kid in the Shaytards, right guys? Too bad you can’t see this guy. He’s so Asian [laughs].

@JoeSomebody1986 asks, “What advice would you give to content creators that are struggling?”

What do you mean struggling? Struggling because you can’t think of anything to make or struggling because you can’t get enough views?

 I think that’s what he probably means. A lot of people want to ask YouTubers, “How do you become YouTube famous?” or “What do you do if you’re not getting all the views that you want?”  How would you answer that in general?

That’s the problem. A lot of people who are YouTube famous did not start YouTube to become famous. They started because they like doing their videos then it became  famous because they are good at it and they like they did. A lot of people have the wrong attitude like, “Okay, I’m going to make this video so it can get a lot of views.” You have to switch your thinking. What video can you make that’s just really good and you really like and who cares if anybody watches it because you like to watch it and you can show your mom and dad and be like, “Check it out!” and all of them will be like, “Whoa! That’s really cool!” If you’re going to show your mom or your brother a video and they’re just like, “Eh,” nobody else is going to watch it. If friends and family think it’s dumb then why would a stranger watch your stuff? Make something that you like and people like to watch, and then the views will come. There’s a million things I can tell you. Get on Twitter more. Get on Facebook more. There’s a hundred things that go into this business into getting YouTube views. At the end of the day, if you’re just making this stuff just trying to become YouTube famous, you’ve got a long road ahead of you. It’s not going to pan out like you want it to. Just imagine something you wish that you can see and try to figure out a way to make that and hopefully you make the views. If you don’t then I’m sorry. Go get a different job. I did a lot of things that I thought was going to be my career and it wasn’t and that’s okay! There were some car salesmen that were really good and can sell a lot of cars. I did OK as a car salesmen but it wasn’t for me. Maybe YouTube just isn’t for me. Move onto something else. Just because it looks glamorous, maybe it just isn’t right for you and that’s OK too if something is not right, because you’ll find something that is better and you’ll be like, “I’m glad that YouTube thing didn’t work out because this is way better. I don’t want to be a YouTuber. I’m a this!” or whatever it turns out to be. Just go for your dreams, kids. I love you.

Good advice. Last user question. @Ranya_Ranyaa, she asks, “What goes into making a successful family? I know there may be a lot of things but what’s the main thing?

I would say as far as family the relationship between me and my wife is paramount. My kids know that at the end of the day the most important person to me is my wife, and they come second. I know it might sound harsh but to me that’s the foundation of our family. Me and my wife are the first members of our family. That’s the most important unit. It’s like me and my wife are one. There will never be like, “Go ask dad” or “Go ask mom.” There’s not going to be any of that in our family. Mom and dad are the same and if you want to ask the head of the family, you ask both of them. I think that’s important. The kids see that and they see that that relationship is strong then they feel secure and express themselves more. There’s so much more freedom to be who you are when that security is there. Mom and dad love each other and there’s that foundation and that’s not going to get messed up. That’s the most important part. A lot of people give up too easy because marriage is not easy. It’s a job, it’s hard, it’s work. Anything that is worth having takes time. Love is a verb. Love is something that you have to do. You don’t just love somebody, you serve somebody. You’ve got to do the dishes sometimes. You have to vacuum the floor. You have to do those crappy things that nobody wants because your wife is tired and she’s going to love you more. Just that foundation between a man and a wife and when kids can see that I think it’s probably the most important thing. You just got to love each other bro, it’s all about the love.

What have you have coming down the pipeline. Anything big? Anything exciting?

Me and my brother, Casey, have a really cool series coming up called “Broventures.” Brothers on adventures. We’re just going to find stuff because we love doing crazy stuff. Cliff jumping, we want to go parasailing, we’re just going to do a bunch of crazy stuff where me and my brother go and we’re going to shoot and just make an adventure reality show called “Broventures.” Another thing we’re really excited about, and it’s been a long time coming, is that we’re going to do a Shaytards documentary. I want to tell the story of how this became my job. Not only my job but how this became a lot of people’s job. 300 people work at Maker Studios. Most of the documentary is shot already. I got like 4 years of my life right there. I want to make a documentary, and I want Morgan Spurlock to direct it. Morgan, you out there bro? Come on man. Super size me bro! Documentary! Shaytards! Everybody, Twitter the Morgan Spurlock guy. Ask him. He can direct the Shaytards documentary. Thanks, Morgan! Appreciate it in advance. Email me. Other than that, we’ve got some other stuff coming up but those are the big things.

Are you and your brother going to do the flying squirrel thing?

Eventually! We’ve got to work up to it. A lot of skydiving and base jumping to work up to that. It’s like, “OK, I got these wings on; let’s try this; I don’t know if it will work! Woo!” Eventually I want to be able to someday just throw my jams in, some Coldplay, and be like, “Honey, I will be back! I’m going flying!” Wouldn’t that be cool? Just flying into some canyons?

How do we stalk you?

Check me out. Links below. They’ll put my links below.

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/shaycarl
YouTube (SHAYTARDS): http://www.youtube.com/user/shaytards
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/shaycarl
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shaycarlbook

Photography by Melly Lee