Tag Archives: lil gripes

VIDEO: I Started Vlogging… And It All Went to S***

I HAD HOPED the first entry back from our summer hiatus would begin on a more positive note, but I can’t keep contained any longer the maelstrom of insecurities, self-hatred, and the general detriment to my mental health that I’ve been experiencing since attempting a YouTube career.

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Yay I’m back! Sorry for the gripe-y tone of this post.

 What happened?

I pride myself on being an above-average writer and I will hold that conviction dearly ’til the day I die. As Lil Gripes™ flourished in theme and followership, I began hearing encouragement from trusted friends and associates that I should begin a vlog extension to the brand. So I did, as the previously blogged-about stream-of-consciousness freakout detailed).

YouTube, as with blogging, is 100% marketplace distinction. What the hell do I have to offer that others don’t already? I am the girl who loooooves fashion, beauty and art as much as I love crude humor and sci-fi/fantasy/superhero films and TV shows. I bookmark WhoWhatWear.com as well as ComicBook.com.

My inaugural video should combine all of those things, I figured. I wore a floral Marc by Marc Jacobs bikini top along with a pair of high-waisted leather Topshop shorts as I enthused about my expectations for the then-upcoming blockbuster, “Captain America: Civil War.” It was all done with a wink, nod, and mischievous smile.

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Not so surprisingly in hindsight, I couldn’t please them all.

There were many who watched and supported me and GOD, do I appreciate every single one of you (seriously, big smooches xx), but the whiners are always the most audible for some unholy reason. Many took to my comments section, my blog and my Twitter to complain repeatedly about how the sex appeal was too subtle, as if that was the entire point of my channel.

Just for argument’s sake, I’ll explain the point: Me + bikini was my idea of including me and all other women in on the joke that, in order to reach a male audience, you have to appease their appetite for sexuality. NO SHAME… On either side! Men are visual creatures and that’s totally fine. Women can embrace and empower themselves through their sexuality and that’s totally fine.

Le Sigh–I guess satire is world-famous for soaring over some’s heads.

When people are screaming in your face, WTF? I came to see this girl in her bikini and not babble on about superheroes [despite that being the clearly stated M.O. of my channel]” and your videos are better on mute,” you pause for a sobering self-evaluation of your vlogging capabilities. It’s funny how criticism has a way of registering way deeper than compliments do. I had prepared myself for the inevitable scrutiny projecting yourself out into the Youtube-sphere will bring but I lost more than just my confidence… Two full-time corporate gigs perfectly suited to my skill set sought me out because of my blog and I’m 99% sure they both cut me loose during the last stages of vetting due to my vlog.

I lost a step or two after that setback. I hadn’t been actively seeking any fulltime 9-to-5 jobs so it was like this great beam of hope shined on me without me even reaching for it and then it got snuffed out right between my fingers because of my stupid little channel.

On top of all the negative vibes flowing my way the past few months, it just so happens that summer is a notoriously huge lull in the superhero show/movie calendar and the well had seemingly dried of topics on that front.

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Now, as I’ve cathartically purged this through my keyboard with my dog mid-snooze on my lap, I’ve realized it’s not all over. I can come back from this:

  1. Summer is still Superhero Season. Tis the season for those passionate about it comme moi to weigh in on the casting news pouring in. Marvel’s Doctor Strange just confirmed Mads Mikkelsen‘s much-anticipated villainous role, Arrow on the CW cast two exciting new supporting characters and DC’s Justice League movies have been continuously adding interesting faces to its payroll. More on these in subsequent posts…
  2. I’m a friggin’ amazing writer. I have defined myself by the title of “writer” since I was a wee tween listening to both Britney Spears and Jim Morrison religiously.
  3. Rejection always makes me push harder. I don’t know the precise fate of my YouTube channel, but the more people tell me I can’t, the harder I always push back, like it just became my sole mission in life to prove them wrong.
  4. I will prove them wrong.

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VIDEO: 2 Weeks Into YouTube and I’m Freaking Out!

“WHY AM I DOING THIS?”

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…is the predominant thought running off-and-on through my head the past two weeks since I’ve posted my inaugural video on https://lilgripes.com/video/

~

YOU SEE, I never had aspirations for myself or Li’l Gripes to be the next PewDiePie or Jenna Marbles. Making it on YouTube, given the mounds of talent (and clutter) amongst which one can easily get lost, seems as much of a pipe dream as making it in Hollywood. At multiple friends’ and associates’ suggestions, however, my initial reservations about making my brand vulnerable to the indiscriminate scrutiny of a platform like YouTube mutated from “never gonna happen” to… “screw it, let’s give it the ol’ college try!” Li’l Gripes prides itself on its devotion to both geek culture and the power of aesthetics… It is difficult to make the case that it should not have a visual streaming component, as well.

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WHY YOUTUBE IS HARD

So here we are, 1.1K-and-some-change views later, and YouTube has been… stressful… hella stressful.

There is a good reason why only a select few percolate to the top of the class on the ‘Tube. The recipe for YouTube success is a complicated, layered mixture of hard work, talent and luck…Just as it is in La La Land. That hard work entails a lot (like, buttloads of “a lot”) of time spent on writing, storyboarding, and editing your material outside of the time you simply spend shooting. Every channel attracts its viewers for unique reasons but one common denominator in retaining audiences is the craftsmanship behind each video. Originality and creativity can’t be faked or copied but it also requires dogged devotion and dedication for anyone to use natural-born talents to create cohesive storytelling in a single YouTube. I.e. that translates into hours of preparation (and perspiration insert sweat emoji) and post-production for minutes of finished footage.

“Making it on YouTube seems as much of a pipe dream as making it in Hollywood.”

MOMENTS OF DOUBT AND PANIC

Welp, this is all to say nothing of the internal struggles I’ve had over the past few weeks about the content I choose to release. Turning a camera lens on oneself and having the confidence-slash-hubris (is there a difference, really?) to post it with the expectation of an audience is… bold on anyone’s part.

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In a way, one would have to be narcissistic and/or egomaniacal to have his or her own YouTube channel. Who am I to demand someone else’s time and attention span in such a way? What do I have to offer? How far do I have to go to make it worth everyone’s while? -WHY DOES MY HEAD HURT- Ain’t I a disappointment enough to my parents as it is? Ok, relaaaax… Wait, should I be twerking? Why am I not twerking in a bikini? Wouldn’t that only be fair? I’M HUNGRY AND I NEED INTERNS!!!

…On the plus side, I learned I do have a great/maniacal smile:

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If you enjoy Lil and/or LilGripes.com, please subscribe and give us some calming encouragement! Our episodes will be more and more tightly edited as we continue doing what we do best: bringing sexy geekiness to your phone/tablet/computer screen.

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My Love Note to My Readers

#LILGRIPESLife
~ Lillian Gao

Dear my lovers,

I know LI’L GRIPES has been all over the bulletin board as far as blog topics have gone. From fear of cheeseburgers to date-night makeup to my latest rant on Supergirl… I have sampled the whole buffet. (By the way, my sidebar has the RECENT and OLDER POSTS for you to click around to the topic YOU want to read). —————>

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I started writing this four years ago in my head. I have always known I was a girl with a diversity of passions. I love comic-book movies; I love well-crafted indie films; I love touching, playing with, and putting on makeup; I love sports, specifically mixed martial arts and professional basketball (watching, not participating, sadly); I also love following the latest collections of high-end designer runway wear.

When I finally collected the courage and incentive to launch LI’L GRIPES, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. EVERYTHING. Everything I love and everything I have wanted to say for the past few years but couldn’t organize my thoughts sufficiently enough to do it. I’m throwing my passions at that bulletin board and seeing which ones actually stick i.e. resonate with you, my readers.

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Every writer’s companions: a laptop, a sketchpad, and a dog

LI’L GRIPES, like all projects born out of love, is a never-ending evolution. I’m sure it will shed its skin and evolve a million, billion times before the day’s over. Just know that I do write it with you out there always in mind and welcome any and every constructive piece of criticism!

Much love,

Lil xx