Jordan Doww talks about reaching his dreams, coming out on YouTube and exciting upcoming projects
With YouTube becoming one of the most powerful platforms for people to share their unique talents and interests, many aspiring entertainers are taking to the outlet to showcase their personalities and skills in an effort to make a name for themselves. One such talent, Jordan Doww, has done just that and more. Not only does Jordan utilize social media to reach his professional goals of being an actor and entertainer, but he also uses it to share his personal story in the hopes of connecting with and inspiring people around the world.
Jordan's isn't your romanticized rise to fame story. When he first left his home in Michigan to take on the full force of Los Angeles, he found himself working multiple jobs at all hours just to stay financially afloat. He didn't walk into a casting call and become an instant celebrity. Instead, he proved that hard work, patience and unwavering determination is the most rewarding recipe to achieving one's goals.
Of course, success is only sweet when the person achieving it feels a sense of belonging and confidence. As Jordan strived to make a name for himself in the entertainment industry, he struggled to open up about his identity and sexuality. In an effort to connect with others who might be enduring similar struggles and to finally show his fans a part of himself that he'd kept under wraps, Jordan came out as gay in a powerful YouTube video. While hitting that upload button was perhaps the most nerve-wracking moment in Jordan's life, the outpouring of love and support in the video's aftermath made Jordan realize just how influential he's becoming.
We were lucky enough to sit down and chat with Jordan about his anxiety leading up to the coming out video, the relief that accompanied putting it out there, the obstacles and adventures he endured to get to this point in his career and his exciting upcoming projects.
What made you decide to start making your YouTube videos?
I'd been on YouTubes since the sixth grade. I always made home movies and was obsessed with having people laugh at what I was saying. I eventually stopped doing it, but my dream was always to be on SNL. Then, I teamed up with one of my best friends and we made a comedy sketch channel. That eventually died down too. Once I started on Vine and that platform came out, I went so hard on that. Once that picked up, I realized that my comedy could actually be something. It was so easy on the Internet to reach people like that. It made me really want to start getting away from 6-second videos and make some longer videos. I love my new YouTube channel now, I'm so obsessed.
Do you think your major social media presence helps you with your acting pursuits?
I live in L.A. right now but I'm from Michigan. I had used Vine and YouTube in Michigan but my dream was to live in L.A. and become an actor. Acting was always my thing ever since I was very young. I moved to L.A. on a whim. I did an internship and never went back home. The internship was my attempt to get my feet wet in the acting industry. But social media has definitely helped because, in this past year especially, a lot of casting directors are looking for that type of talent because it's so much easier for them to get their content out there. It's all about collaboration. I sort of wanted to be either the first YouTuber who became a big time actor or the first actor who was also a YouTuber. They definitely play into each other.
I know that you endured many struggles after you moved out to California to pursue your dream of acting, what kept you going after that dream even on the toughest days? How did you motivate yourself not to give up?
Lots of emotional phone calls back home! There were definitely days when I thought it was the end of my journey and that I'd be heading back home. But I'm super picky and, despite being a very positive person, I'm never completely fulfilled. When I reach an achievement, I'm asking myself when I get can to the next level. I'm always trying to climb up these stairs of success. I don't know where my dreams end and I just want to be that guy who does everything. There are a lot of bumps in the road, but I kind of like that I hit those bumps. I know that it didn't just come easily to me and that I really had to work to get where I am.
Obviously your coming out video was so inspirational to many people and was hopefully an extremely rewarding experience for you. How did you feel and what went through your mind the minute you hit that upload button?
I wasn't eating for a week. I had just told my mom the day before and I told my dad the minute it uploaded. It was just a tsunami of emotions and fear but also relief and happiness. It was a bunch of everything. But it literally took only 30 minutes for me to realize it was the best decision I ever made. I felt so much more comfortable, relieved and alive. It was great. It was a really emotional week leading up to it though. It was probably the most stressful and hectic week of my life.
I'm sure you got so much response from that video. Was there any particular response you received that especially moved you or made you realize what an impact that video was having on people?
Ryan Seacrest shared it, Hollywire shared it, MTV shared it...all of these big people shared it. But the ones that hit home for me and really meant a lot were fans who personally emailed my manager or tried to contact my personal email and just wrote paragraphs and paragraphs saying things like "Your video inspired me to come out to my family" and "You're such an inspiration." Those are the ones that get me emotional and make me realize that I'm using my power for something good. Those are the ones that really kept me going. MTV also provided me with a space to share my story further and expand on the video, which made me feel much more comfortable. I got to write out my entire life story. For people to read every detail that I experienced meant a lot to me. To think that people read that and get inspiration and help from it is surreal and so cool.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
I would hope to be making a lot more videos. I'd love to start directing my own videos or potentially doing something on TV like acting or hosting. It's such a hard question! Writing the MTV article made me like the idea of writing a book. I never loved writing, but when it's what you know best, I'm very passionate about writing and conveying messages. So maybe a book could happen down the road.
Do you have any new projects or videos in the works for fans to get excited about?
I'm working with the same company that helped me with my coming out video. That video was about how I'm human and we're all human and we're all different but the same at the same time. This next video is about life in general and becoming who you are. It's about stepping out of your shell and showing the world what you have to offer. I also have projects coming up with Clever TV that will be out soon!
Click through this slideshow to see more great pics of Jordan:
Watch this video to learn about the NoH8 campaign, which supports equality, and the many stars, including Jordan, who have shown support of it:
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