When we first started watching YouTuber Jake Bley’s videos we knew we were watching something special unfold in front of our eyes. It wasn’t necessarily that he was adorable, which he is, or that he was hilarious, which he is, it was just something about him and we couldn’t quite place our finger on it. But we kept watching, and kept watching and kept watching until we became some of his biggest fans. We sent out an email to Jake asking to interview him and he immediately responded saying he would love to be part of our website. Maybe that’s what it is about Jake Bley…he’s just so damn nice!
Describe yourself in five words.
Adventurous, infectious, facetious, ridiculous, and extroverted.
How did you begin making YouTube videos?
It was actually my good friend Tyler Oakley’s idea (you might know of him, haha!). I met Tyler through a friend and Tumblr, and he said to me one day, “you should start making videos!”, and so I did.
What kind of camera and editing software do you use?
Everyone laughs at me because I did not come from a media, production or drama background whatsoever. I use an old version of iMovie and recently got my hands on a Nikon D7000, along with a Go-Pro/Canon powershot for vlogging.
What’s the moment you knew you had made it big on YouTube?
It wasn’t until my first VidCon last year, when I had people coming up to me really excited to meet me. I got a lot more attention than I thought I would, and it finally clicked that this hobby of mine is much bigger than just myself, it’s a community.
Who are your three favorite YouTubers to watch?
I love watching Miles Jai, who I am fortunate enough to call my dear friend, Conor Franta, because he can get it from any angle, and Gigi Gorgeous, because I find her so entertaining and interesting and am also lucky enough to call a friend.
What three opportunities have come from you making your videos?
– The opportunity to change someone’s life. That’s the biggest opportunity I have found and probably the greatest of my life. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.
– Meeting such amazing people. Through YouTube I have had the opportunity to meet the most amazing people in my life. The YouTube community is overflowing with quality people, who I am lucky to call my peers and best friends.
– The opportunity to travel the world and share it with hundred of thousands of people. I don’t take this for granted at all, I know I’m extremely fortunate and I want to share that fortune with the world.
How do you respond to negative comments or hate mail?
It used to bother me a lot, to the point where it would ruin my day. Viewers sometimes don’t realize that we see nearly every comment that is posted. Remember, we are just regular people with an online account and a camera. YouTubers are vulnerable, that’s why it’s such a great medium. But it also means we are susceptible to negative feedback. I now use negative feedback to educate myself and others, and strengthen who I am as a person.
What advice would you give someone wanting to make YouTube videos?
Be yourself! That’s the best advice I can give. Make videos because you want to make them, not because you want to gain something out of it. I still wonder every day why people watch me, I’m just a regular kid living a not so regular life.
What are three misconceptions about YouTubers?
– That we are immune to online bullying. The truth is that some of us are most bullied on the internet.
– We don’t like to be bothered by subscribers or viewers. When in fact, it makes everything we do worthwhile. See me in the street? Come say hi!
– That we don’t notice people. Believe me, if you tweet, comment, like, and all that, I see it. I remember faces (not so great with names).
What is your favorite video you ever made?
My coming out video. It was the first real time I let down my walls and bared my soul on YouTube. Why did I do it? Because I want to make a change, help people. YouTube helped develop who I am today when I was coming out, I want to pass it on.
What are five things about you we wouldn’t know by looking at you?
– That I grew up on a farm in the middle of the country in South Australia.
– I actually work a full time job, consulting businesses on social media (for the moment)
– I struggled with being part of the LGBT community for a long time growing up, before I found my own.
– I was told by a teacher in school that I was highly superficial and had unrealistic goals from life about travel, study and work. I proved him very wrong, didn’t I?!
– YouTube has helped me deal with my own social anxieties, which still exist but are not as prominent.
If you could only listen to three CD’s or artists for the rest of your life, what or who would they be?
– Ellie Goulding, Bright Lights. A CD I could listen to over and over, and never get tired of it.
– Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster. Possibly my favourite album of all time. It resonates with me on a personal level, reminding me of a crucial part of my life, as strange as that is.
– Lana Del Rey, Born To Die. So many songs that remind me of so many memories.
How do you define Sexy?
Confidence. Not to be confused with arrogance, that’s not sexy.
What is the sexiest city? Place to kiss? Celebrity? Song?
City: New York
Place to kiss: Neck
Celebrity: Theo James
Song: Kisses Down Low – Kelly Rowland
Let’s play murder marry fuck: Tyler Oakley, Jack & Finn or Joey Graceffa?
Murder: Joey, sorry babe – but you got some stiff competition.
Marry: Tyler, around each other we just can’t stop laughing and that’s an ideal way to live my life forever.
Fuck: I’m going to assume this is Jacksgap? If so, yes, yes and yes.
What issues are too personal to discuss in your videos?
Currently? My mother’s health issues. It’s just too personal.
Have you ever received any strange fan requests?
Apart from the normal “Marry me Jake comments”, I don’t think so. A fan did request that I put down my vodka I was drinking for a photo – Everyone knows that’s not an option.
What is your favorite book, movie and television show?
Television show: I’m a sucker for reality TV. Top model, Real Housewives, Big Brother, 10 strangers locked in a room full of knives, show it all to me!
Book: The Fault In Our Stars at the moment. It’s the kind of read that can change your life.
Movie: Drop Dead Gorgeous. It’s my humour, 100%. Never gets old.
Where would you like to be in 10 years?
Honestly, I have no idea where I’ll be in 1 year. I just hope that I’m living a happy life, continuing to travel the world doing something that I love.
What are your three simple luxuries?
– Unconditional love
– Free Wifi
– Music, always
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*Images courtesy of Jake Bley