Here are a few things I learned after my opportunistic, penned-and-recorded-in-30-minutes folk tribute to Steven Slater became a mildly viral, CNN-plugged Internet sensation.
LESSON 1: If you have even the slightest notion that your video might go viral, ditch the Youtube handle you came up with when you were 15. Also, wear something other than a massive, shapeless T-shirt. And would it kill you to slap some makeup on?
LESSON 2: The more people who view your video, the more inane comments you will get. Prepare to have your eyeliner (or lack thereof) discussed by complete strangers. If your video can in any way be construed as political, prepare for some seriously sophisticated debates between “liberal cowards” and “mullet-wearing rednecks.” Also, the Chicago Tribune will call you a teenager.
If you are a better person than me, stay off your computer entirely until it all blows over.
LESSON 3: Don’t expect to make any money. If you have multiple videos and kajillions of people are into you, Youtube will throw you a bone by making you a “partner” and putting some ads on your page. One mildly viral video will not accomplish this.
Side note…remember when being famous went hand in hand with being rich? Now it’s like, thousands of people have seen me play music online, however many thousands more have seen me play music on TV, and I still have no full-time job. Bad Internet.
LESSON 5: Swearing will get you more Youtube views, but keeping it clean will get you on CNN. It’s a toss-up.
LESSON 6: Timing is…wait for it…everything. So stop beating yourself up over how many awesome “Slater” rhymes you should’ve used. If you’d waited until after band practice, five other tribute ballads would’ve taken your place.
It’s been a pretty crazy past couple of days. If nothing else, I now have an excuse to get my ass in gear, musically speaking. Especially now that I have my new gold Scotty Moore Epiphone to play with…think I need to make a video of that soon.