Interview: Gabriel Conte

From the interview archive.

What was the first video idea you ever had, and did you follow through with it?

My first video was probably when I was 8 or 9 years old. My brother, cousin and I had this idea to choreograph a fight scene in my cousin’s living room and have his dad video tape it for us. We filmed it and thought it was the coolest thing anyone had ever done!

You recently not only hit but surpassed 1 million subscribers – congrats! 

Thank you! It was a very cool moment hitting 1 million on YouTube.

How did it feel to hit that milestone? 

Coming from Vine, YouTube was always such a bigger deal to me and a million subscribers just seemed so out of reach. 

What’s the next milestone?

The next milestone would definitely be to begin creating certain types of content and videos that I have a clear vision for in my head; to push myself even more creatively and expand my knowledge in my craft. I’ve learned that these things are far more fulfilling than getting any amount of followers so that’s where I need to set my goals.

You seem to have a great relationship with your wife Jess. How big of a role does she play with regards to your career? 

Life is all about balance. Simply spending quality time with Jess allows for me to get out of a crazy work mentality, which I find myself in so often. If I have too much work to do then I end up not having enough time to spend with her like I should. So just making sure the right balance is there allows for her to play a supportive roll for me and vice versa.

You recently posted a few videos on what success and happiness means to you, how important was it for you to send that message out to your subscribers? Did you feel that it was something your viewers needed to hear?

The message of happiness and success is very important for me to send out to my audience. We live in such a digital world today where so many people find gratification through their phones with likes and followers and views and assuming that success and happiness are found through those types of things. Being someone who has gone through the whole cycle of wanting the followers, views and likes, and getting that to a pretty substantial degree, has given me the realization that none of that matters as much as what is actually happening in your physical world every day.

What advice would you give that young kid who is just starting to experiment with video content and hopes to create an online following as you have?

Practice and create more often. I didn’t really start with creating content full time until I was eighteen or nineteen. If I had started putting in that work through middle and high school, and knew at eighteen years old what I know now about creating, storytelling and filmmaking, I would’ve been so ahead of the game.

You seem to be very open and honest with you subscribers about your life. As an online personality, why in your opinion is it important to be so transparent? 

Being transparent is something so desperately needed in today’s society. Just looking through everyone’s social media the only thing you really seeing are the highlight reels of everyone’s lives. That’s what you have to compare your life to which can cause a lot of harm. For me (and Jess) being as transparent as possible with what actually goes on in our lives hopefully gives a more real view rather than it just being a highlight reel.

In “Draw Your Life” we got to see another side of your artistic talent through a series of drawings. When did you start drawing, and will we be seeing more of that? 

I always used to draw as a young kid and started phasing out of that as I got older. I would attribute that to releasing my creativity through other outlets like music, theatre and filming through middle and high school. I’m sure I’ll draw something else in the future if there is need for it in a project I work on!

You seem to travel a lot, would it be fair to say your job allows you that freedom? What’s the coolest country or city you’ve gone to so far? 

I do travel quite a bit! It might seem like a travel to lots of places but the only countries I’ve actually been to are Australia and the U.S. 

What’s the coolest country or city you’ve gone to so far?

I don’t think I could pick a single location as my all-time favorite, but I would say my favorites are usually on a beach somewhere, and Australia definitely has lots like that!

Is the natural next step for you as both someone that produces videos and acts to direct and produce your own full length feature film? 

I think producing a feature film would be a fantastic thing to do one day! During this season of my life, I am really trying to focus in on exactly what direction I want to take my career in. Creating feature films could definitely be where I go, but I can’t make any promises just yet.

If you weren’t creating videos and acting, what kind of work do you think you’d be involved in today?

I’m not entirely sure what work I would be doing if I weren’t doing what I am now. Chances are I would still be in acting school at FSU!

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