Nate ClarkArchived Posts

Why I Took a Break from YouTube

Where to start?

This past year has been intense for many reasons, both positive and negative. I hate to be the guy who makes excuses, but a lot changed this past year and I’ve had a difficult time prioritizing projects and keeping focused on the many things I want to accomplish. I suppose this post is intended for the people who subscribed to my channel on YouTube and for those who supported my efforts when I first started to post videos, so I’ll start there.

CAVEAT: I’m not one to put it all out there, and this post will undoubtedly be equal parts scattered and sincere. It will probably not be funny at all. If any humor comes out it is unintentional and merely a function of the innate comedic genius that pours out of me spontaneously. However, that’s unlikely.

First of all, I’m sorry I sort of gave up on YouTube for a while. I’m going to do everything I can to start filming videos again – not for just for you, but for me. Because I need to get stuff off of my chest on a weekly basis or I will explode.

But here’s why it’s been a while…

For those of you who don’t know my story, I’m an L.A. based comedian/writer and I also own a small digital design & production company. Ever since college, I’ve scraped together a living by working on a lot of different projects simultaneously… partly because I need the combined income from various sources to make ends meet, and partly because I’m excited about a lot of things and I have a very short attention span. I’ve been employed simultaneously as an actor, designer, motion graphics guy, copywriter, voice over artist, and singer for almost ten years. I also perform regularly at several L.A. improv and sketch comedy theaters… work that pays exactly $0 but is very, very rewarding in other ways. I love what I do and I am fortunate enough to see a lot of opportunities.

I’m not complaining about all this work at all. I just want to point out that I have a lot going on outside of YouTube… including other people who count on me for a wide variety of jobs. The past 12 months have provided me with some awesome opportunities and also some intense challenges. Here’s a brief list of some of the more notable occurrences, in more or less chronological order. Yeah, it’s a list of excuses, but hopefully you’ll see where I’m coming from.

  • Last summer, my partner and I suffered a major loss when his brother passed away tragically while he was house/dog sitting for us. He was a super guy and the experience of losing him in such a shitty way caused me to re-evaluate a lot of my priorities. (We miss you, buddy, and I wish you were here to help me film videos in the garage.)
  • At the time, I was performing a comedic one-man show I’d written about about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and coming to terms with being bi-sexual. I re-evaluated that effort and stopped performing the show.
  • Also at the same time, I was working on a 1/2-hour comedy pilot script called Granted. I decided to make that script the best it could be, and I focused on that above everything else.
  • Shortly thereafter, I Towed Joey Graceffa’s Car and all of the sudden I felt obligated to turn my YouTube channel into… something. I got a lot of advice from a lot of people – mostly Hollywood types – who ultimately discouraged me from paying too much attention to my YouTube channel in favor of more lucrative opportunities. I regret listening to them.
  • In January, I was accepted into the Fox Writers Intensive. It’s a terrific program offered by the Fox television network and intended to develop the voices of promising new TV writers. We met twice a week to receive notes on our submitted scripts (mine being Granted… I was glad that I took the time to make it better) and also to develop new scripts with the network. I wrote another original pilot in 3 months, which is kinda fast…
  • My partner and I wrote Somewhere in Palm Springs and recorded the audio with friends. It’s very different from my usual comedy and we knew it wouldn’t be a big hit on YouTube, but I’m proud of it. Funny people seem to get it, and it is leading to other opportunities for me.

And that brings me to now. There is plenty of other stuff I’m leaving out, but hopefully you get the idea. I’ve had a lot going on this year. When I finished the Fox program I expected to be staffed as a writer on a sitcom almost immediately. (I would really like to be staffed on the right show so I can learn the process more closely from an experienced, funny group of people who are further along in their career than I am. There is always lots to learn.) Unfortunately, there haven’t been any openings on shows yet, so for the time being I am floating.

However, after spending a few months working on the television side of the business, I have come to one really big realization: YouTube presents a tremendous opportunity for me to write, create, produce and perform my own stuff… whatever I want. I don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to do that.

So, I’ve been taking classes at the YouTube Space LA – learning new cameras and editing techniques – and I’m committed to making my channel great. That doesn’t mean I’m going to be churning out crap just for the sake of views and likes.  I know there are a lot of people out there who are interested in good content – or, at least, the content I am interested in making – and I owe it to myself to follow that path.

It’ll be a mix of stand-up, commentary, sketch and musical comedy and who knows what else. Whatever the hell I want, basically. I assume that you are interested in that, because you just spent the past several minutes reading this rambling nonsense… so… THANKS!

Next chapter starts now. Here’s to making the internet a safer place for people who want to park their car in their own damn driveway.

Nate Clark

Nate Clark is a comedian, writer, film director and musician currently living in West Hollywood, CA. He performs at the Upright Citizens Brigade as part of the Quick & Funny Musicals company.