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Rising Stars: YouTuber has prevailed over obstacles to become Internet sensation

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Shane Dawson wears one his hoodies while drinking coffee.

Victoria Hernandez, Rising Stars columnist

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One of the “OGs” (original gangsters) of YouTube, Shane Dawson, whose real last name is Yaw, has kept a longstanding career on the ever-changing video-sharing website YouTube since 2008. Over the 10 years that he’s been on YouTube has accumulated over 16,320,260-plus subscribers and 4,138,933,812-plus views in all of his videos.

In high school, Dawson was obese and had a troubling family life with a physically abusive father. While he was in high school, Dawson always had a love for filmmaking and editing. He would create short films with the help of his high school friends. Soon he realized he wanted to pursue a career in acting and directing. This motivation helped him lose 150 pounds and pushed him to start posting comedy skits on YouTube with various characters he had come up with.

It was perfect, it was exactly what I’ve been praying for.”

— Shane Dawson

Dawson eventually graduated high school and got a job at Jenny Craig, which is a weight loss program company, with his mom and brother. He had made this video with his family and a few fellow workers’. The Jenny Craig company saw the video and fired everyone who was part of the video. Since his family had no job, they were about to lose their apartment and they thought they were going to be homeless until Shane Dawson got a call from YouTube offering a  life-changing opportunity.

“So for the next few months, me and my family were out of jobs, we were about to lose our apartment. Just when I thought about giving up, I get a phone call from YouTube. They ask me if I want to be a partner which meant I could turn my hobby into a real job. It was perfect, it was exactly what I’ve been praying for and every day since, I thank God for letting me wear wigs. Eventually, I was able to move my family to Hollywood. I was getting a bunch of views on YouTube, I was getting meetings with lots of Hollywood people, and I was working on my first TV show until everything went bad,” Dawson said in his now-deleted 2013 “Draw My Life” video.

On May 4, 2010, Shane Dawson’s grandma died. When the passing of his grandma happened, he had felt like nothing mattered.

“I knew it was coming but I didn’t take it so I felt like nothing mattered anymore. Not YouTube, not Hollywood, not anything. Kind of felt like a part of me died. It took me a long time to get back on track but thinking about all the kids who are watching my videos made me realize that I can’t give up. I was born for this and if anyone can relate to these abused, suicidal, less fortunate, confused, abandoned kids on the Internet, it was me,” Dawson also said in his deleted 2013 ‘Draw My Life’ video.

In the beginning, he had 2 channels on YouTube: “Shane Dawson TV” and “shane.” Both of his channels combined have accumulated 25,051,990-plus subscribers and 5,344,922,599-plus views. On his “Shane Dawson TV” channel, he posts film shorts about his childhood, music videos, spoof (an imitation of a film) videos, and parodies of popular music videos.

On his “shane” channel, which has changed a lot, he would post vlogs (video blogs) then began posting challenges and have collaborations with fellow YouTubers. Dawson then started regularly posting videos about himself eating/trying food, watching challenges, DIY videos, conspiracy theories, and much more. He posted those types of videos for several months until he got the opportunity to do something different on his channel.

Shane Dawson never had a “normal” childhood. He had an abusive father and it changed him. He was obese but managed to lose weight. He made a living from YouTube and it changed him. He didn’t want to make videos about his viewers seeing him eat food every week. He didn’t want to make videos that he wasn’t proud of. While he was feeling uninspired, he was introduced to someone who made him feel inspired once again make bigger and better videos. That was Andrew Siwiski. He soon realized what videos he wanted to make.

Shane Dawson’s content is truly something that is special and unique in its own way.”

— Victoria Hernandez

For the past year, Dawson has made several series over the course of 9 months. One of the first “new” videos that he’s done is about his father which lasted over the span of three videos. He filmed and edited all those three videos which have gained 17,516,425-plus million views combined. He opened up about his father and more about his family life when he was younger. In the videos, he explained that he wanted to have a relationship with his father that he never had when he was younger, which he accomplished in those videos. Afterward, Shane deleted his “Draw My Life” video after reaching out to his father and realizing he didn’t see his father the way he did before.

The latest series is about fellow YouTuber and makeup guru Jeffree Star, with which needs five videos to give a more in-depth look into one of the most controversial YouTubers. In the videos, Star gave Shane Dawson a “Jeffree Star” makeover and lived like Jeffree Star for an entire day. All five videos have accumulated over 83,855,458-plus million views.

I have been watching Shane Dawson for many years, and I have always loved his content: the vlogs, music videos, the short films, his films, and his new videos. Although it is not daily or weekly compared to other YouTubers, his content is really worth the wait. As a viewer, you can see the time and passion he has for his videos and how much he cares for them.

On his social media, he has posted pictures and videos of him and his editor/cameraman, Siwiski, trying to edit quickly so his viewers can see his content. They have made series that really go above and beyond storytelling and become more than just videos. They have made people laugh, cry, scared, etc., while watching his videos. I would rather wait for his numerous “parter” episodes than just a regular YouTube video.

Shane Dawson’s content is truly something that is special and unique in its own way.

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Rising Stars: YouTuber has prevailed over obstacles to become Internet sensation