In 2008, Kayleigh Brown made her first YouTube video out of sheer boredom. Spending the summer in Utah away from all her South Florida friends, the self-proclaimed geek started making videos as a way of keeping in contact with those from home. But after a couple months of watching popular YouTube vloggers such as Timaya, Livelavalive and Meekakitty, Kayleigh decided to start her own vlogging channel and has been hooked ever since. Her channel houses an eclectic mix of comedy skits, vlogs about her daily life, and rants and reviews. In many videos Kayleigh speaks out about the bullying and self-image issues she endured during high school, and how on YouTube, she found a space away from the negativity and freedom to be herself. Her eccentric, uncensored personality has made her beloved by her loyal fanbase (which now includes me, because I too love Harry Potter). The one-woman show shares with NMR how YouTube changed her life; the Harry Potter characters she would kill, bang or marry; and gives her advice to others being bullied.
Of all the Harry Potter characters, who would you kill? Marry? Hit up for a one-night stand?
WHO WOULD I KILL?? That’s a very serious question. Hmm. Probably Tom Riddle. I’d use the time turner to go back to his youth and do away with him. I’m sure another dark wizard would pop up eventually, but at least then a bunch of amazing characters wouldn’t die.
I’d marry SO MANY CHARACTERS. I mean, you have Fred or George, Neville, Snape … don’t judge me! Snape would make a kick-ass husband! He literally loves the hardest I’ve ever seen a character love. I can’t make a decision! Too much pressure! I’m not too big on the idea of a one-night-stand in general, but if you put me in a room with Draco Malfoy, I doubt we’d end up playing monopoly.
Most inspirational YouTuber to you.
There are so many YouTubers I look up to, but if I had to narrow it to one person, I would say without a doubt, it’s Mike Falzone. I watch every single video he puts out, and I can’t think of one that didn’t make me stop and think or move me in some way. He is a very wise individual, and I’m very honored to call him a friend. I wish Mike had a much larger subscriber base, because the world deserves to hear what he has to say. He has inspired a lot of my recent videos actually. I highly recommend his channel to every human being on this planet.
Three things you can’t live without (cannot include camera, television, cellphone or computer)?
Without naming literal things such as health, sleep, food, water, etc., I would have to say my family, my creativity and music. I hope those reasons are all self-explanatory. :]
In your videos you speak out a lot about bullying and your personal experiences being bullied. What advice would you have for kids who feel like they can’t stand up to their bullies?
As simple and cliché as this sounds, “It gets better.” I was there before, thinking my life would always be what it was and that things would never change. I wish I could go back and tell my teenage self to ignore all the hurtful things that were said to me, because it took growing up to see that the bullies only treated me that way due to their low self-worth. It was never me. Most bullies lash out because they themselves are hurting. Middle and high school is so temporary. Everything about it is. When you grow up and go to college, it’s CRAZY how different life becomes. I think Eleanor Roosevelt said it best: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” You don’t have to physically fight a bully to stand up to him. Ignoring them and showing it doesn’t bother you is a very effective form of fighting back.
Where you originally afraid to post videos because of what others might think? How did you overcome that fear?
To be truthful, a lot of why I was bullied in schooling had to do with me NOT being afraid of what others may think. I’ve always had a problem with saying what is on my mind. Obviously now, having grown up, I see that certain situations require filters, but back then, I would do and say whatever I wanted without second thought. If I wanted to wear a costume or a weird outfit to school, I did. If I wanted to walk around all day with a British accent, I did that too. I was an easy target for bullies. Even though the bullying hurt my feelings, the one thing I never did was let it stop me from being me. I wasn’t afraid of video-making because I went into it knowing that nothing an anonymous username could comment on my video would ever stop me from creating what I wanted to create. It’s my channel. You don’t like it, there’s about a million more for you to watch.
After being named a NextUp Vlogger how do you see your channel changing and staying the same?
Well, my channel will still be the quirky, geeky, eclectic mess that it currently is, but I see my video quality enhancing, as well as possible collaborations. One thing I’ve always wanted to do is to create collaborative videos. Living in South Florida, there aren’t many content creators down here, so normally I’m stuck with the one-woman show deal. I’m crossing my fingers for a new computer to edit on, since my current setup is terrible. THAT will make a huge difference as well.
About YouTube Next Vlogger Series 2013:
YouTube gave its yearly shoutout back in April for motivated YouTube creators with “stories of personal triumph” to apply for their Next Vlogger award — a sort of spotlight program for YouTube stars-in-the-making. This year, they’ve selected 15 unique voices from around the world that are challenging the way we think, wowing us or just plain making us laugh. In exchange for that, the recipients get mentoring from industry leaders, $4,000 worth of equipment and channel promotion.
NMR always wants to give you the first and best look at emerging talent, so we’ve reached out to these creators for a little more info on just who they are and why you should be paying attention. Past winners of the Next Vlogger award include Danisnotonfire and Black Nerd Comedy, so this 2013 class is definitely full of up-and-coming creators to keep an eye on.