YouTube star FouseyTUBE talks video inspiration, important social issues and more!
Meet, FouseyTUBE. FouseyTUBE, also known by his name, Yousef Saleh Erakat, is a Palestinian-American YouTube personality who has taken the YouTube community by storm. With more than 7.4 million subscribers on his YouTube channel alone, it's safe to say he knows a bit about the online community.
As you can see in his Instagram's above, YouTube isn't the only social platform FouseyTUBE is crushing! From Instagram, where he has a following of 776K, his Facebook page which has over 2.2 million likes and his Twitter account which has over 528K followers, FouseyTUBE is a social media machine.
The 25-year-old California native is known for being a prankster, and comedian creating parodies and sketches for his YouTube channel. Last week, FouseyTUBE was in New York City for Stream Con, a three day event for social media stars, and we were lucky enough to ask him some questions!
What inspired you to start making YouTube videos?
When I was a kid, we would just go around my block and shoot videos for hours, just homemade videos, so it was fun. So to just have a platform to upload to is just awesome. Being a theatre arts major, I was really scared I wasn't going to be able to get my foot in the door for acting, which I probably wouldn't have, to be honest.
I would probably be still waiting for a callback, working at Applebee's. I really needed to make something happen on my own instead of waiting for something to happen. So that's why I was like "I am not going to be waiting for the callback, I am going to be the person making the call," so I went and started YouTube and here I am.
What's the weirdest or most bizarre idea that's ever popped into your head that made for an awesome video?
The weirdest one that's come to me was, I didn't know it was illegal at the time, but I took a pizza man hostage in my apartment and like scared him to death, and at the end he got a very large tip. The fact that me ordering pizza one day and then thinking, wait, "why don't I prank one of these guys" was a weird way to get an idea.
Congrats on winning Show of the Year at the Streamy Awards! During your speech, you talked about having bipolar depression and the struggles you've endured with that and how you never gave up. what's one piece of advice you would give to someone with both a mental illness and big dreams?
Look, I am sitting at this table right now, been off my medications for three days, because I forgot it at home and I am totally off today and totally going through it, but I am not letting it win. I'm not in bed right now tweeting and complaining about needing my medicine because a.) the people who I am complaining to don't really understand what I am going through and b.) I can't do that. So it's a constant battle and fight every single day and to just not give up. We know that it's going to pass, we know we'll get through it.
A lot of your experiment videos seem to comment on or at least display the reality of social issues such as texting and driving, bullying and suicide. With such a large social media presence, do you consider it a responsibility of yours to spread these messages?
When I first started, yeah that's the reason I started because I was making so many slapstick comedy videos on YouTube where I was like "Wait, there are so many kids watching me, there's something I can do with this." So that's why in 2013, I did my first experiment video where it was really precedent on YouTube outside of what would you do on TV, so I decided to not dumb it down and do something with meaning and it actually caught on pretty well.
There's nothing you can search now in 2015 that hasn't done, any single cause, so me as a creator, where do I find my integrity, since there is every single person like me trying to fight a cause and you can't fight someone's intention. I don't know how I want to take on a cause now, because I don't want to seem unauthentic.
What do you love most about your fans?
That they support me through the ups and the downs. Even the people who comment every day to tell me how much they don't like me, they're coming back every day, so do like me, it's just a different kind of relationship. I am very, very open with them.
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