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Students at Bonita Vista High do not limit themselves to traditional arts. Sophomore Karease Hope and juniors Eli Bagaporo and Shae-Lin Carr extend their talent in voice acting and skit performance to their YouTube channels.
Although their interest began in music and theatre, they developed an interest in a newer type of art. These students, all having been part of the BVH Vocal Music Department at one point, use their knowledge on vocals to voice a character in their videos. Alongside this, they incorporate singing and acting into their videos.
“I really want people to know that this is my passion, this is what I want to do with the rest of my life. Not YouTube, but pursue a music career in general,” Hope said.
In addition to her YouTube channel, Hope is also preparing to voice a character named Allison in an upcoming video game. Try Again: Learning to Love is a dating simulator in which the player leaves an abusive relationship in hopes of finding a healthy relationship.
“[Allison] is your basic gamer girl, she’s a top competitive gamer and she is one of the love interests in the game. With a diverse set of main characters to choose from, the game is meant to teach life lessons and pull tears from the players,” Hope said.
Hobbies and academics can be hard to balance. According to Bagaporo, Carr and Hope, working on an equilibrium between their channels and academics has been an enlightening task.
“I honestly think that it’s helped me with my time management. As far as upload schedules go, even though I don’t have a set schedule, [making YouTube videos] helps me balance school work with hobbies. In a way, it’s made me a better student,” Carr said.
Not only has it improved Eli Bagaporo’s work ethic in terms of academics, it has also altered their future career goals. The majority of this Sound Unlimited member’s YouTube content consists of short films. Their interest in filmmaking has resurfaced as a result of making YouTube videos and they now plan to pursue a future in the film industry by majoring in film as they approach college.
“I feel like the introduction of YouTube has given me the chance to improve upon my filmmaking skills and I can really make it a full career,” Eli Bagaporo said. “It’s honestly the greatest choice I’ve ever made. It’s helped me pursue a love that I have. Creating YouTube videos and working on collaborations with Shae-Lin or Karease helps build a bond between friends. You make new friends and meet new people. It’s such a widespread network and I’m really grateful for that.”
The social aspect is a large part of what makes YouTube what it is. YouTube provides an area to meet new people on a scale larger than what the high school provides. Because of this, relationships can be created and developed from across the globe. Aside from the on-screen relationships, YouTube also encourages the participation in other related activities. Events such as Comic-Con are entertainment conventions where people with shared interest in various subjects like T.V. shows and video games come together.
“I’ve met a lot of really cool people, specifically at Comic-Con, I met a couple of fans there and it’s really cool to see how I’ve impacted other people’s lives. I’ll get emails from people saying ‘your videos really helped me,’ they’ll tell me really personal things and how it’s helped them through that. It’s cool knowing I’ve impacted people,” Carr said.
YouTube is known for being a widespread network in which people are able to share their interests, hobbies, art and more with the public for free. On the other hand, it is also notorious for being an outlet for ‘internet trolls’ to spread hateful comments with ease and anonymity. Freedom of speech and hate speech are still in the process of being defined by YouTube and the Federal government, so YouTubers are left to deal with these comments in their own ways.
“Usually, I don’t pay mind to [negative comments.] I leave it be because it’s not my problem, they’re the ones that have a problem,” Hope said.
Despite seeing hateful comments posted on their videos, these students stay motivated to continue their work. With academics and social life thrown into the mix, finding a source of inspiration has aided them in their YouTube journey.
“I find my inspiration in music and also in the people around me. Shae-Lin has been a huge inspiration [for me] to actually do my work and continue on with my YouTube. Having an environment like that makes it more positive for me to actually do work,” Hope said.
Their inspiration doesn’t stop there. Carr, who draws inspiration from television shows and movies, states that her main goal is to make people smile when watching one of her videos. She spreads her love for music and acting to her 10,000 plus subscribers through her videos, and through her words.
“Do what you love because the people that appreciate it will find you,” Carr said. “I didn’t think people would enjoy some things I do, but I found an entire community of people who do.”