By Abigale Wells (@Abigal44)
Northern New Jersey native Jessie Paege, makes YouTube videos that inspire millions. Jessie was extremely shy growing up – so shy in fact, she felt alienated by her own peers. Jessie began making YouTube videos at just 14 years old. Starting out, no one really paid much attention because they didn’t know what her videos were all about. Jessie didn’t give up. With courage and guts she made her videos what she’d always dreamed they would be and soon became a YouTube sensation like the many she looked up to. Jessie, with a couple of years and hundreds of videos under her belt, now dreams to one day take her talents further into the entertainment industry.
The majority of your YouTube videos show people your life and the way you see things. Do subscribers request the videos you make? If not, how do you develop the concept of each video?
I definitely like to listen to requests, but I also do my own ideas too. I normally get try to take videos that are popular on YouTube and put my own spin on them too. For example, a lot of people do DIY Clothes and I did DIY Band Clothes.
Can you tell us about the process used to develop each video?
First, I think of the video idea. Then, if it’s a DIY, I have to plan and get the supplies. It takes a LONG time, but it’s fun. I never script my videos because then they get super awkward and unnatural. I just take general notes so I don’t end up talking about tacos in a DIY video, which happens anyways to be honest.
What are some of your favorite topics to discuss?
I love talking about the music! I also love talking about fashion and lifestyle, as well as normal things like awkward moments. We also have a ton of inside jokes on my channel about mermaids and club penguin and that appears in almost every video.
You have a very vibrant personality, did the videos help you to express yourself — a self-described shy child?
They definitely did! I never imagined I would have the courage to wear some of the crazy things I do in my videos and other things. I hope my channel portrays the message that being yourself is the best. I’m still pretty shy, but YouTube has helped me so much. Growing up, I had such horrific social anxiety and I had to have an aide with me all the time.
Being shy, you must have been scared to make your first video. Where did you find the courage/inspiration?
I was at a Bethany Mota meet up and it inspired me! The way she is able to touch so many people’s lives with a camera in her room is incredible. She said that she was shy and that YouTube helped her get out of her comfort zone, so I decided to try it, whether I was able to affect one person or hundreds of thousands.
Do you ever get people who are negative towards your videos? If so, how do you deal with the negativity?
I definitely do! Everyone does when they put themselves out there. You have to remember that social media gives you the power to delete and report rude comments for a reason. Also, as long as I know I have supportive subscribers that have my back, I’m fine!
Out of all the videos you have made, in your opinion, which is the one you are most proud of?
I really like the DIY Band Videos and my “If Disney Princesses Went to School”. I love doing crazy fashion themed videos and both of them were totally risky, but so much fun.
Throughout your journey to success, who is the one person that you can say was truly there for you through it all?
My mom! She actually loves it so much that she always wants to go to events with me. She also gets it too! I grew up watching YouTubers and she is such a YouTube fangirl. I think she gets that from me. My best friends, my mom, and I all went to Tyler Oakley’s Slumber Party Tour and cried laughing so hard.
What kept you from giving up when people doubted and ignored you?
There was one point where I almost deleted my channel when my best friends found out. It can be so hard putting yourself out there, especially if you’re super shy and insecure. I think that you have to do YouTube for yourself at that point. I had barely any followers, but I kept doing it because I loved it. You can’t let other people’s opinions shape your life.