This section of my website is where I interview people who inspire me and are on the come up. I’m very fortunate to have so many people in my life that motivate me to be the best I can be, and it’s such a great energy to be around. I’m all about people doing what they love, and I want these little interviews to push you to do that too!
The first person I’m interviewing is one of my best friends, Chris Klemens. Chris and I apparently met in November 2014 at Playlist Live (we both don’t remember but there is photo evidence lol), and we became friends at VidCon in 2015. Chris is one of favorite people in the entire world and I’m so incredibly lucky to have him in my life. He has always believed in me and been there for me when I need it the most. He’s hands down the funniest person I know, but he’s also super hard working and on top of his shit. He has a YouTube channel, app, clothing line, full time job, and just graduated from NYU! DAMN! I asked him some questions so you can get to know him better.
Name: Chris Klemens
Where you’re from/Where you live now: Newark, Delaware/New York City, NY
What you do: YouTube, photograph/film/write for my app, Editorial Director at DWNLD
One quote you live by: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that’s all.” or “Anything worth having isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon”
When did you start your YouTube channel and what inspired you to start one?
I started my YouTube channel in December of 2012. It was the end of my first semester of college and I had been on set of The Wolf of Wall Street for a month and came home for winter break with NOTHING to do, so I had so many friends tell me to do YouTube. I had been watching YouTube for a while and I love entertaining so it felt so right.
Where do you find inspiration for videos and app content?
For my YouTube channel, I find inspiration for videos in pop culture and in certain bold comedians/entertainers like Chelsea Handler, Jimmy Fallon, or Miley Cyrus. For my app, I want it to be a real look at my life and the way I live it, so for inspiration, I really just draw it from my life.
A lot of people want to make videos but never do because they’re afraid of what other people will think. Did you ever get made fun of for it? If so, how did you deal with it?
I don’t ever remember getting made fun of for my videos, and if I did, I didn’t really give a fuck because I was (and still am) so happy making them that it didn’t matter if other people liked it. That’s part of being on the Internet!
The type of videos you make require a ton of confidence! What are your best tips on being confident and not giving a fuck?
I get asked this all the time but never really have a solid answer. I just remember that my happiness is most important and if I’m happy, again, I really don’t give a fuck what other random people hiding behind a computer screen have to say. A huge part of being confident is just taking what God gave ya and runnin’ with it. Just embrace it and love it 150%.
How do you avoid getting overwhelmed and stressed out being that you have like 3 jobs, school, a YouTube channel, and an app?
We’ll I just graduated from NYU and am done school forever, unless I want to go back for grad school (there’s a better chance of me growing a third nipple than that happening). When I was in school and had all this, a huge misconception is that you can’t do school and YouTube and have a job….but you can. It just requires organization and sacrifices. Did my social life have a bit of a lull when I was in the thick of it all? Yes, but my friends understood and I had to put in that work to get to where I am now.
Let’s talk NYC! Did you get homesick when you first moved there? How did you overcome it?
I got very homesick about 6 months after moving here. NYC is tough, dude! But I know that it was only a temporary feeling and that I would soon be kicking ass and taking names (still waiting on that…). A huge part of overcoming it is to stay busy and be surrounded by good people who start to feel like home.
Everyone and their mother has moved to LA over the past few years. Do you see yourself moving there too?
I want to say absolutely not, but I don’t ever want to limit myself. If something incredible came up that would require me to be there, then yes. Otherwise, FUCK. NO. Ideally, I would like to be bicoastal where I work a little in LA but am primarily based in NYC. I love visiting LA, but it is just so fake and the work ethic/vibe between NYC and LA is unparalleled in my opinion. In NY, no one gives a shit who you are or who you know. Everyone here (for the most part) has worked to get to where they are. That’s an environment you don’t see every day and one I need to be in. That isn’t any shade or a diss to anyone who lives in LA because yes, of course, there are incredibly hard working and talented people there; this is just how I personally feel when it comes to the living in NY or LA question.
What’s the best advice you have for anyone who wants to move to to New York?
Not to come for your brand Nike, but just do it. It’s going to require work and feeling like shit, but it’s beyond worth it.
If you had the opportunity to live in any city in the world right now, where would you go?
Hmm. I would probably still pick New York. That or London, which I lived in for about 5 months Sophomore year of college and fell in love with. It’s a little bit slower paced than NYC, but even still, I’d probably pick NY!
What was your dream job growing up?
My dream job growing up was to be an actor/entertainer, and it’s very cool to see that start to happen!
If you could go back and tell your high school self 3 things, what would you say?
It is all going to be okay. Emotions and feelings are temporary.
People will always have something to say. Focus on what’s worth listening to.
Your metabolism won’t be like this forever. Enjoy it.
You’ve already done so much this year, but what’s one thing you want to do before 2016 ends?
I have so much I want to do. Numbers-wise, I’d like to hit 150k on YouTube, but more importantly, I’d just like to continue doing what I’m doing and be happy. Happiness isn’t easy 1. to obtain and 2. to maintain. I would just like to maintain this level of happiness that I have right now.
ILYSM CHRIS! <3