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I’m Not Worthy!

November 14, 2010

This is a topic that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time now, but it is currently fresh in my mind and is magnified by the fact that I am here at YuleCon this weekend and have experienced it even more so.

I typically think that I’m just the Average Joe who just got lucky. I often catch myself thinking that I don’t deserve the notoriety I’ve gained, and that there’s far more talented people than me out there, even solely among Channel Awesome, and it’s a total blessing that I’ve been given the opportunity to work among these individuals. Everybody is so talented, and here I am just constantly scraping for content, hoping I can develop something that’s even remotely entertaining. And for some reason, a small amount of you do indeed keep tabs on the work that I do, and despite the fact that I don’t think even I would watch my own material more than half of the time, I still greatly appreciate the fact that those of you who DO watch me do so and enjoy that. For that, I thank all of you very much.

But I mention these other great web-based producers. I know tons of other people who create Internet content, and like I said, I often feel like I just don’t measure up. But I respect all of them, and these people are all really great people, too, not just great entertainers.

So, I end up at conventions, right? And often times, other Internet-based content producers show up, are invited as guests, whatever. And I REALLY want to spend time with these people. I mean, one might think that it should just be easy. We’ve all broken into Internet production, and so we should just be able to walk up to one another and start up a conversation like that. Well, I’m afraid that, for me, it’s not that easy. I’m a lot like any other socially-inept individual in the anime/gaming community. People often intimidate me. And so, instead of striking up a conversation, I often just stand back thinking, “Man, I should talk. But I can’t. What’s wrong with me?” And so that, for me, happens when I get around other web producers. I’m so intimidated by how fun and talented each of these individuals are that when I think I’m going to walk up to them and talk to them, I clam up, pretend I haven’t even noticed them, and then I just walk on by. Not like I had anywhere else to be, I just find myself walking into a bathroom, looking at myself in the mirror and swearing under my breath.

So, take this weekend, for example, I actually finally build up the guts to just walk up to people who intimidate me just by existing. But even when I’m standing there talking to them, I’m thinking in my head, “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!? These people don’t care about you, and are probably having an internal monologue about just how much they want you to leave!” Well, if these people would rather I leave, they’re too darned cool to tell me, “Go away.” And I don’t know why. They totally should do just that. But they don’t. Sometimes I can’t tell, I sometimes think I can just feel when people didn’t necessarily want me around in the first place, I take a hint, and I take off. But admittedly, I could be way off base, just because I’m that intimidated. I could just be getting scared and running away with my tail between my legs. But I don’t know. For that reason, I wish I knew that I could expect people to tell me to go away when they want me to leave, but people are too nice sometimes.

So you can imagine my mind is blown when some people this weekend not only actually managed to remember who I was but also openly invited me to come spend time with them and continue to hang out and talk. Outwardly, I put on a relatively calm face, but inside, I’m panicking. I’m thinking, “They’re just being nice! They just haven’t told you to go away yet!” I had this opportunity to spend some extra time with at least three people I have nothing but respect for, and while I’m spending time with them, I’m just thinking, “I don’t belong. I so don’t belong among them!” I had to essentially fake my outwardly calm and happy personality. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I WAS indeed very happy and having fun. But I was sitting there in a room with other people who are massively more talented than I am at their own respective arts, and I seriously feel like some kind of leeching tagalong.

I wonder sometimes if I should consider myself a “fan” or not. I mean, I don’t think I fall under the strict category of “fan” with a lot of other producers. Sure, I enjoy their work to an extent, but I honestly don’t watch/listen to everything that everybody does, so I’m only a “fan” to a certain point. Past that, I just think these people are genuinely good people and are people whom I’d like to get to know better just on principle. They’re fun individuals, and if I can gear up my guts to just shove myself into a conversation then maybe I could be having some fun along with them. But, again, I’m terrified of leeching, or being presumed as somebody who’s looking to ride coat tails, or something along those lines. I seriously hope I haven’t given anybody that sort of impression.

I’ve seen people who don’t know me write things like, “She must have this high-and-mighty feeling. She’s minorly Internet famous and DOZENS of people watch her videos! I guarantee, the feeling that she’s getting attention has gone to her head.” Well, I can’t prove the opposite unless you come talk to me, but in personal opinion, I don’t think I’m anything like that at all. The only front I’ll occasionally put up is an extra level of confidence, and fake that I’m totally not afraid of talking to people who impress me. Other than that, I still feel like I’m the odd bird among the flock in this Internet production community.

Okay, there’s still a few hours of this convention left. I’m going to go fake some confidence for just a little while longer.

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. Slatefield permalink
    November 14, 2010 12:46 PM

    You’re a great person Kaylyn, and I believe you’re allowed to be “fans” of your co-worker’s videos and content πŸ™‚ You are admittedly an anime guru on a site with people tied to it as well (Jesu/MasakoX). I think the thing you really need to do is find your own niche within the anime-video content production, and just go for it. You got my support.

  2. Ryomitsui000 permalink
    November 14, 2010 12:52 PM

    I can understand how you feel there. I’m not famous on the interwebs or anything like that, but that’s how I feel normally. The best advice that has gotten me to work past it is to just say “Screw it, I’ma have a fun time, Self-consciousness be damned!”. It’s ridiculously hard to for me to do that, but it usually turns out really well. Ignorance is bliss and whatnot, so unless they tell you, run with it. Sorry if I sound preachy, wasn’t trying to, but just ta say to keep goin cause I think yer awesome!

  3. November 14, 2010 12:53 PM

    There is a notion known as “being there.” Kaylyn, you have been doing the “being there” thing, in fact, you’ve worked hard at it. In any field, it is called “paying your dues.” You’re doing great!

    • November 14, 2010 12:57 PM

      Thank you, Dad! I love you! ❀

  4. 3llense'g permalink
    November 14, 2010 1:06 PM

    I actually feel the exact same way, especially if I’m in a situation where I’m not familiar with the unspoken (unwriten) rules. Like in London! ^_^

  5. November 14, 2010 1:34 PM

    MG, love your work. I think ..

    … ok, sometimes love your work, sometimes like it. So sue me …

    … I think that the feeling behind it of being just regular folks in the presence of the more talented is one of the things I like.

    Which puts me in a terrible quandry. If I knew the magical incantation to reassure you on that insecurity, would it kill the goose that lays the golden … well, OK, sometimes golden, sometime silver eggs?

    So keep on being self-effacing, just don’t hit yourself in the face in the process. If you think of yourself like a independent citizen journalist, whether or not its highest on the production totem pole, its still definitely got its own merit and its own worth.

    And you never know ~ the person you admire for their art may admire you right back for something they see in your work that you do not see yourself.

    BTW, after you get back, put your stuff in for Crunchyroll’s new thingie:
    http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-676940/showcase-your-videos-on-crunchyroll

  6. Armads permalink
    November 14, 2010 2:06 PM

    All creators feel their work is inferior in the beginning. It’s part of being modest. If an artist doesn’t feel that their work can get better, then they’ll never improve.

    At the same time, don’t lose faith in yourself. No one gets as popular or lasts as long as you have without having talent. You’re a great internet producer and should be proud of what you’ve accomplished.

    Keep the faith, because all of your fans have faith in you.

  7. Grimv9 permalink
    November 14, 2010 2:45 PM

    @Ryomitsuioo You totally just wrote what I was going to say, couldn’t have said it better myself. You are not the only Kaylyn who has this jumping on the roller coaster with everyone else and leeching off of their conversations and what not. I get it. Don’t worry, you are an amazing person and the anime news editorials are really quite interesting to watch. You are worthy.

  8. Trish permalink
    November 14, 2010 2:56 PM

    MarzGurl,

    I’ve been following your work since you first auditioned to be Nostalgia Chick, and I have always really enjoyed what you have accomplished. I always enjoy reading/listening to what you have to say. I also really enjoy that you are real with your fans and are pretty down to earth. Be proud of what you have accomplished, I’m sure it hasn’t been an easy feat. Its also totally normal to doubt yourself and others, we all do it from time to time. Just keep your chin up and have fun πŸ™‚

  9. Squeey permalink
    November 14, 2010 7:07 PM

    Everyone is a fan of someone else.

    Just the other day there was a brief “commercial” on TCM, by Kevin Spacey talking about Jack Lemmon; and how he was a great fan of him and his work; and had, early on in Kevin’s career, an opportunity to work with his idol.

  10. KarmaKamikaze permalink
    November 14, 2010 7:30 PM

    You’ve got a number of people telling you already, but you’ve got a good thing here, Marzgurl. I’m a big fan of your videos, and you’ve got plenty of reason to hang out with the other “internet famous” in my book.

    Though if you need the practice talking to less internet famous people, you could always go to Anime Boston and talk to me. πŸ˜€

    *blatant trying to meet internet reviewers*

  11. November 15, 2010 12:07 AM

    You know what? I think everyone younger than me has totally blown this whole “fan” thing out of proportion. I’m not a fan of any of you people- it is short for fanatic. I’d like to think I have a nice, level headed amount of like for things. I enjoy your videos. My small amount of interaction with you indicates that I would like you, as well. I like many of the people on your board. There are people online whom I like as humans, but whose content doesn’t do a thing for me. It happens.

    You shouldn’t be intimidated by someone just because of their level of success or talent. I really think that everyone deserves respect if they’re accomplishing ANYTHING in the world. You can’t go around with this measuring stick of who is doing better than whom. All any of us can do is keep plugging away at whatever it is we mean to accomplish. You’re only competing with yourself. Also, what the people you meet think of YOU shouldn’t be determined by what they think of your work ANYWAY. This is turning into such a mom speech but. . . if you meet someone who doesn’t want to know you because they have more notoriety than you, then they’re not worth your time. I suspect, though, that if that were what was really going on in their heads, then you wouldn’t be able to describe them as “too nice”, so you probably have less to worry about than you think. The one concern might be that “shy” sometimes comes off as “arrogant” to people who don’t understand people. The only cure for that is practice, which you’re getting.

    I’m not there to read the situation, but I hereby promise: If we’re ever at the same event or otherwise in the same place, I will not invite you anywhere if I don’t want you around, and if I want you to leave for some reason, I will tell you so.

  12. Desmond permalink
    November 15, 2010 2:53 AM

    I completely understand what you mean. Okay, nobody knows me, nor does anyone seem to have interest in what I do, but… let’s just say that recently I too came across some (dare I say) internet celebrity. Whatever little courage I had, I used it to actually approach and talk to her. But that lasted less than a minute, probably because I didn’t want to be a bother to her either. And although I now have her on my friends list on youtube, I’m not sure if we can be considered as such. Anyway, reading this from you, it makes me think that… well, in a hypothetically situation where you and I were to meet, I’m sure we’d have some interesting things to talk about, but if both of us thought we’re a bother to one another, that may become something of a problem. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure I should write this. So why am I?

  13. November 15, 2010 3:28 AM

    Kaylyn, I want to personally thank you for hanging out with me this weekend at Yulecon. I apologize for talking so damned much, but it means a lot to me that you’d sit and have a conversation for hours on end. Anytime I’m at a convention and you wanna hang out, you let me know, and I’ll be there like shareware.

    ~”Solid” Jake

  14. November 16, 2010 4:28 PM

    You are so totally worthy. You must be doing something right if you can make a career out of these videos, right? I know I enjoy your shows even when I don’t agree with you. It may not be fall-down hilarious like Atop the Fourth Wall or The Spoony Experiment, but it is interesting and informative.

    I’m just a two-bit commentator and I would totally hang out with you at a con, if I had the nerve to approach you. (Or anybody else, really.) I don’t know who you hung out with, but you’re on Channel Awesome. They should totally want you there. πŸ™‚

  15. Nik permalink
    November 16, 2010 7:23 PM

    Well, indeed you are not worthy, your “content” is pretty much you reading news from ANN without adding nothing to the mix, now even the shitty show of MasakoX is better than yours(yeah the guy who put naruto in a top ten). But at least i am glad that you know that, maybe there is still hope for you, try to make something that require actual work behind don’t need to be funny(that you are not sadly) but be informative without just reading articles.

    • November 16, 2010 8:29 PM

      That’s cold, dude. How does that make her not “worthy” of hanging out with other internet personalities? She earned her spot on TGWTG somehow, you know.

    • November 17, 2010 3:47 PM

      Sometimes it is about how news is packaged, rather than if it is original or not.

      Sure I could read ANN or Japanimator.. but I actually prefer to not get overloaded with the sheer quantity of information out there. I like to hear what actually mattered to someone, sometimes I just am far too tired of reading.

      (Heck I get nearly 1000+ articles in Google reader a day, Lord forbid I skip a day!)

      Phillip DeFranco (PhillyD on youtube) regularly gets 300K+ views per video when all he does is talk about a few random stories on the news, regurgitating them in a video medium, I pretty sure that he just reads the feeds I do, (like Engadget, KitGuru, Kotaku….).

  16. November 16, 2010 9:21 PM

    “I typically think that I’m just the Average Joe who just got lucky.”

    You make your own luck.

  17. Josh permalink
    November 16, 2010 11:01 PM

    Yea I know what you mean about being afraid to strike up a conversation with those who you admire. I was going to a High On Fire show at a club and right when I get there the lead singer was standing outside and having a smoke. Not only that he was affably chatting with fans! I wanted to say something but I just couldn’t out of nervousness.

  18. November 17, 2010 3:35 PM

    When I was at DragonCON 2008 I met Margret Weis in an Elevator alone.

    She wrote the DeathGate cycle, a book series I never finished but enjoyed reading, she also happens to be one of the founding authors of the entire Dragonlance universe., of which I have read many books.

    I felt so stupid, not because I knew who she was, but because I didn’t realize it to the last moment. I kept thinking, “who is this person?? I recognize the face but I don’t want to stare awkwardly at her nametag… maybe I can just glance… Weis.. weis… I know that name..”

    I spun on my heels as I left the elevator, the only words I could force out were, ” Deathgate Cycle?!” Before the doors closed on the elevator and her grinning face. The awkwardness of it all made me forget that I hadn’t even gotten off at my floor.

    I regret not having the courage to read her nametag sooner, much more the inability to form words like a normal human being, or just start up an informal conversation.

    I often find myself too afraid to start up conversations, I will see somebody in Borders Bookstore reading in the Manga section, or over near the RPG manuals and think to myself, “at last! a friend whom I can invite to boardgaming!” though I just end up creepily glaring at them from four rows over, nursing my confidence with a mocha.

    Why can’t I just say, “Is that Majeh? I didn’t realize TokyoPop had an English translation, heh I’ve had to rely on the flaky scanlations….” And so on. I even play them out in my head, but always come to the conclusion that they must have just been browsing, and were not actually serious about my interests.

    But hey, y’kno what? I met Margret Weis face to face in an elevator entirely by chance, and at least that I can be proud of.

  19. Edvin permalink
    November 29, 2010 4:13 PM

    You are what you are, all what I can see from your work, that you are having much fun with it and that is all what you need. People will always talk but as long as you have fun everything is easier and it does not matter who deserves what πŸ™‚

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