Crushes, much like virginities, are temporary and don’t last half as long as you’d expect them to. When Wednesday rolls around, we decided to tweak the trending topic and bring forth Woman Creative Wednesday, highlighting some of the women whose creations we are always tuning into.
I became a fan of Trisha Hershberger and her work when I got assigned to interview SourceFed way back in early 2013. She had this smart, beautiful, nerdy thing going on, but she didn’t seem like a typical YouTuber. It was only later that I found out she was a classically trained actress (who minored in theology!) and that YouTube hadn’t been a destination for her until SourceFed! Good work, Philly D.
Now Trisha has her own YouTube channel where she hosts a naked vlog — and somehow has managed to turn a naked girl on camera into a wholesome pursuit of the soul. I like what she’s doing, even if I’m sometimes watching for the wrong reasons. No, seriously, it’s called The Naked Truth — go learn something about who you are. Don’t expect boobage though — not that kind of a show.
Doing commentary on gaming, cosplay and tech — three fields I know oh so little about, I find myself learning from watching not just SourceFed broadcasts where she is a stellar part of a brilliant team of humorists and candid personalities, but also her personal channel. She reminds me of myself — an outsider learning about this world called YouTube. It’s a beautiful exploration.
We don’t often talk about how much YouTube has changed. What was once a platform for weird kids talking to webcams has evolved into a cutting edge media platform populated primarily with glossy content from polished creators. For the most part weird kids with webcams have given way to confident kids with headshots. Still there are a handful of creators that bridge the gap between the authenticity of old school YouTube and the glossy high quality content of today. One such creator is Ashley Mardell. I’m not a person given to over fanboying, but in this case I make a limited exception.
Ashley does all the things that we’ve come to expect YouTubers to do, but she does it with flare. Her videos capture the experimental vibe of YouTube 1.0 except that she’s got the polished editing skills of an After Effects wizard on par with Wheezy Waiter. Ashley often vlogs about social issues but hasn’t dedicated her entire channel to social change, or to any one cause or theme. Ashley’s channel is what we all would like to imagine a YouTube channel could be. It’s a reflection of a person with varied interests and talents, who has personal rather than professional relationships with her audience and with other creators.
I suppose what I like most about Ashley’s videos is that she throws the playbook out the window and still plays a winning game. Many of our most visible YouTube creators have more or less figured out the secret formula for consistent views and as a result content has become formulaic. One can only sit through the usual rotation of Cinnamon Challenge, generic collab, Hair Tutorial, Room Tour a handful of times before it starts to feel stale. Ashley gives the impression that she’s still having fun rather than just going through the motions. There’s something spontaneous even in videos that obviously required significant prep and planning. It’s the spontaneity and willingness to innovate that first sparked my interest in new media creators and it’s the things that’s still holding my attention now as the scene grows into something we never imagined.
We here at NMR love a good, old fashioned, nerd success story. Like Cinderella, only with high-top converse instead of glass slippers. Amy Dallen, who started off as your average, adorkable, nerdy comic book fan, has gotten herself to be one of the go-to names in geeky YouTubers.
She started on the Geek & Sundry vlogs channel in mid 2013, and since then she has helped bring the channel the over 90k subscribers they currently enjoy. Her show Talking Comics, does exactly what one might expect and, well, talks about comics. Everything from the new Ms. Marvel to the old school Batman stories are covered.
Since her rocket to minor-celebrity status, Amy has been invited to most of the red carpet events for Marvel films and has been featured on the main Geek & Sundry channel. She has also had the chance to interview notable people in the geek world, including Gail Simone and Cecil Baldwin (Welcome To Night Vale).
Amy is still firmly attached to the Geek & Sundry name, but with her charm and knowledge of all things comics, we can’t wait to see where she’ll go from here.
I’m cheating a little here picking someone I know personally, but what’s the point of power if you don’t abuse it every now and again? I’ve watched Katie Wilson build up her channel over the course of a couple of years, and seeing her come into her own has been nothing short of delightful.
Making sure that, come hell or high water, you nail your two-a-week schedule is impressive to say the least, and that they’re so damn fun, whether it’s getting into Game of Thrones or her traipsing around the East Coast disappointed that none of their trains will take her to Hogwarts, is a delightfully sunny addition to anyone’s day.
The consistency’s also paid off — with a subscriber base of over 45,000, her channel has plenty of momentum that can break out into something bigger at just the right time. Considering her frequent collaborations with Andre Blacknerd, whose 298,000 subscribers were by no means acquired overnight, Katie’s in a solid place to not simply have the occasional break-out video (See: her Lindsey Stirling parody), but to expand greatly on her weekly viewerbase.
Katie is also the mother of dragons. So, there’s that.