Every once in a blue moon, while frequenting a few of my current social media accounts, I will come across a person who knew me from a couple of years ago (during my PEEK internet era), who will casually ask or reminisce about my show "Gettin' By". With every mention of my beloved web series, I am faced with confronting myself about what the heck ever happened with that. Well, now I'm gonna face it head on with an entire post dedicated entirely to the history...MYSTERY and future (darnit I really couldn't think of a word that rhymed with mystery and meant the future) of Gettin' By! For those who have recently discovered all things Bretony, let me take you on a journey to a time long long ago (but not THAT long ago, I'm still sorta young, but long enough)...
Some of my very first memories on this earth just so happened to be me in front of a camera. My mom, whom I take after in many ways, was the co-creator of a public access television show called "New Generation". It was actually a very awesome show all about kids (hence, NEW generation). She started the show when me and my younger sisters were babies, and obviously, we were really cute, so we were featured a lot. My parents also often filmed when we were at home. I would make up shows all the time, and do a bunch of different segments with whoever came over our house. Good times! I never really wanted to be an actress per say, but I did very much enjoy being on camera and a part of the creative process. Fast forward a bit to the era of Youtube. I remember the very first youtube video I ever saw. This was totally not my call, but my boss at the time was very into bum fights (terrible), so he showed me a few videos of that unfortunately. However, the website premise in general had intrigued me. Never before had there been a platform for individuals to upload their own content for others to see online. It was groundbreaking technology! After watching a few of the popular (at the time) channels, specifically a channel by the name of Lil Loca (suuuch a throwback). I decided to scrape up all my pennies for the next few weeks and go out and buy myself a camera! I had already had my old blog going, but I wanted to actually be visible.
On August 25th, 2006 I debuted the series premiere of Gettin' By! And yes, I do feel old as dirt, thank you! Coming up with the premise for my show was quite easy. Around the time of youtube, there was also a large number of reality tv shows popping up everywhere. You'll never guess which one was the major inspiration.... Laguna Beach! I know right? I actually didn't even watch Laguna Beach (I didn't have cable...still don't! I don't even have a tv actually. I should probably get one though... Anywho, ranting). All I knew mostly was the premise; a bunch of well-off teenagers around my age living their fancy life in beautiful, sunny Orange County. I thought to myself, 'Why do people like this show so much? I'm sure most people don't in fact live like this. Sure it's fun to live vicariously through the fabulous lives of people living across the country, but it's not relatable.' I wanted to create a series that showed how fun it could be even without a bunch of fancy things. I wanted to document something closer to the struggles more people ACTUALLY go through but in a light-hearted way. I wanted to express that in a sense, even though we are all Gettin' By in this life, we don't have to glamorize the rich and famous so much because WE can be just as amazing. Or something like that, ya know?
Being one of the first couple hundred people on youtube, I really had an advantage for viewership. I actually remember some of my videos making the most commented or most liked lists that Youtube use to have. All the work that I put into each video (that I put out faithfully every single Thursday for 12 weeks in a row) seemed to be really appreciated by a lot of people. I would get fan messages all the time, and write back to as many as I could. Good times! Season One was pretty much me at work the whole time, but then season two was at my apartment most of the time, and a little more scripted ( I think I had quite my job by then). Around season 3 is when things started to fall apart. Only three episodes were released. Life took quite a turn around this time. My business partner/ videographer/ex at the time was basically dissolved. Everything had to be started over from absolute scratch. On top of that, I got kicked out of my apartment at the time, wasn't in school, and didn't have a job either. I still put out a video whenever I could find a computer or a camera, but it wasn't nearly as consistent (as neither was my life), and it also wasn't under the name of Gettin' By. This was around the time that I made the move to good ole' NYC.
Here in New York, I had a small spin-off series, "When My Bosses Go To Lunch" under a pseudonym. Needless to say, I didn't stick around at that job too often (what can I say, I don't like jobs!). I put out a few Gettin' By New York episodes and one GB California...the last video being October 16, 2012. Everything I've put out after was simply a stand alone video. As you might have noticed, now Youtube is super mega huge. It's changed so much from my first upload. All the gaps that I took between seasons really hurt my view count. In my prime, I'd have thousands of views, easy. The last video I put out currently has 176. I'm no math wiz, but that's just pathetic. Back then, I felt as though people actually wanted to see things from me. There was much less over-saturation of media. Back then, if someone had a youtube channel, it was because they loved making videos and creating content. Now, it seems as though it's more of a calculated business. I don't know guys, I sound super old yet again, but things have changed! At this point, I'm not even sure specifically the direction to take, so I don't take any (as far as the videos are concerned). This doesn't mean I don't still love doing them. If I could sit around and make videos all day, I absolutely would. I suppose the lack of current support spirals into a lack of motivation, which parkours into a complete creative slump. Mix that with all of the millions of new content creators that come out of the woodwork every day, it just leaves me sort of... lost.
Moral of the story here people, consistency is truly key. That is one reason why it's so important for me to do this very blog every single Monday. I must stick to it no matter what! If I fall off just once, who knows how far I'll sink! Even if I grow at the most glacial of paces, I'm still growing. Another moral, never give up on what you love. Even though Gettin' By is at a current standstill, doesn't mean it's gone forever. It may change a bit, it may flourish, it might even merely be the seed to something even bigger and better. I do know this though, it will never be the same as what it was when I first started. For Pete's sake, I'm at a different place in my life altogether, why would it be the same? Every time I watch a new season of Law and Order SVU I think, boooooo Stabler is gone, this season is gonna suck... but nope! Still awesome! Different, but awesome. For those of you who HAVE been around since the Gettin' By days, I really want to thank you. I hope that my journey might bring a bit of inspiration sprinkled with a dash of entertainment. Know that a few simple words of encouragement can DEFINETLY go a long way, so don't be shy to support your friends and others who you think may need it. It could really make all the difference. But first, you have to be able to help YOURSELF folks. YOU have to believe in you. Trust yourself enough to believe that what you put out into the world is good enough. Nothing worth anything ever came easy. And all that other cliche' nonsense, you get the point!
P.s. Yes, I did just get into a Bretony K-hole while researching for this blog. I'm awesome! (Even though I made a lot of my old videos private for embarrassment purposes...perhaps I'll make a few public again. I really am quite hilarious. Maybe I will make a commemorative DVD soon too).
P.p.s. I realize that I do make a lot of excuses (Sue me! We all do!), but in acknowledging this, I really hope that I can do better. I'm sure people have done a lot more with a lot less. I'm very privileged with all of the options that are available to me.
P.p.p.s. I really wanted to have a new video by the time this post came out. Perhaps I will put it up later tonight or tomorrow. Don't let me forget!