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Partners Project

KassemG Exclusive Interview : The Partners Project Ep.5

Monday, January 17, 2011 | No Comments

Shira: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Partners Project. I am with KassemG, and we are in Venice, California.
So were in Venice because this is where you do a lot of your videos.

KassemG: This is my home base, my headquarters. It’s a great place. Like any given moment, you know, you’ve got a kid skateboarding, who’s no older than six. You’ve got a police station right here. You’ve got guys doing heroin and drugs behind the wall, right over here. There are so many things that are happening. Somebody’s getting killed in an alleyway, as we speak.

Shira: It’s a melting pot of culture.

KassemG: I love Venice Beach. It is. It’s the second biggest tourist attraction in California. Did you know that?

Shira: I did not.

KassemG: And number one is Disneyland.

Shira: Wow.

KassemG: But second is Venice Beach, which is a little different than Disneyland.

Shira: So you’re trying to bring second to first maybe.

KassemG: You can’t buy drugs at Disneyland, can you? Unless you know the right people probably.

Shira: Happy drugs. Those are natural.

KassemG: So, yeah, this is Venice. This is my backyard.

Shira: Cool.

KassemG: Welcome. Welcome aboard, Shira.

Shira: Thank you. Thanks for having us, really. We really appreciate this.

KassemG: No problem.

Shira: All right. So let’s get into on how you got started on YouTube, how many years ago.

KassemG: Yeah, it was about three years ago. I just started filming my family, my kids, and my wife. We started doing just daily blogs.

Shira: Oh, really.

KassemG: And I moved from Idaho to California, and it’s just been great ever since.

Shira: Wait that sounds really familiar.

KassemG: Oh, really. Oh, that’s Shay’s life. That’s Shay Carl’s life. I do that all the time. I’m sorry.

Shira: It was a good story.

KassemG: Let’s see. No, no. I do very different things. I’m really into Mac and Apple. I go to electronic shows, and, you know, some people follow me on Twitter. I have over a million some Twitter followers. I love Steve Jobs. He’s so hot.

Shira: Hey, that sounds familiar too.

KassemG: How do you mean?

Shira: I mean, isn’t that like . . .

KassemG: Oh, that’s iJustine.

Shira: Yes, Justine. I see something similar between you two. But I don’t know. I mean, I know your not . . .

KassemG: Oh, yeah, I don’t do those. I do different, yeah, I do stupid videos that nobody watches.

Shira: No. You do funny videos.

KassemG: I’m tearing up.

Shira: I mean you are the comedian of YouTube. Would you say that?

KassemG: I wouldn’t say that. But thank you. I feel very uncomfortable. Like, “the comedian”, there’s lots of funny people. You know who’s really funny?

Shira: Who?

KassemG: Mystery Guitar Man.

Shira: He is.

KassemG: And you wouldn’t expect it from his boring, terrible videos, but he’s a really funny guy.

Shira: Does he inspire you?

KassemG: No. The only people that inspire me are people that aren’t on the Internet. Do you know what I mean?

Shira: And you bring them to the Internet.

KassemG: Yeah. I feel like really talented people are who inspire me.

Shira: So 2006.

KassemG: 2006, October, the YouTube, KassemG was registered, and it changed the Internet forever. I was just doing standup on the weekends.

Shira: Okay.

KassemG: And I was working retail full time. I was doing improv comedy, and it was going terribly. It was all going terribly. And I thought I could never leave this job. I worked for ten years.

Shira: You worked in retail for ten years?

KassemG: Ten years, and I was just so burnt out on it. Then I finally decided to just let go of all that and try giving YouTube a shot.

Shira: Is this someone else’s story, or is this you real?

KassemG: This is my real story. I’m telling you the truth. I’m telling you the truth. I would do standup on the weekend for like in a Chinese restaurant, filled with like 20 people and half of them weren’t there to even see me, let alone see comedy. And I would go home and then I would make a YouTube video, and that would get a lot more views. I thought I can still do comedy, but maybe I’ll just post it online, instead of just disappointing a group of people in a live setting. So that’s what happened, and then I just kept doing that. And then I also studied acting for a little while too, but the comedy is where it started.

Shira: But when you just started on YouTube, did you know other people? How did you know what to do?

KassemG: Yeah, you know who got me into YouTube, was a gentleman by the name of Cory, Mr. Safety Williams.

Shira: Okay.

KassemG: He got me into YouTube, and people like him and Philip DeFranco, have you heard of him?

Shira: I’ve maybe heard little things. He’s not that big of a guy.

KassemG: No, he’s a big guy. But he also helped me out, and that was the first time I did a California On was for one of Phil’s shows.

Shira: Oh, really.

KassemG: Yeah, and that’s kind of when it started moving a lot more quickly. But in the meantime, I helped start a production company with Shay Carl and Lisa, and now we are making YouTube videos for a living, which is really fun.

Shira: That’s of course called The Station.

KassemG: Yeah, The Station or Maker Studios is the name of the studio that we have. But The Station started as this place where we all kind of came together and made videos and evolved, and now we have a ton of channels and things. The Station is about other people and helping each other networking and trying to make it a place where people can make a living and not have to work retail for ten years.

Shira: It’s okay.

KassemG: It’s terrible. I’m sorry.

Shira: We’re here for you.

KassemG: I know.

Shira: We really are.

KassemG: I know, thank you.

Shira: I told you, you would cry in this interview.

KassemG: I am crying, and it’s not because of the freezing cold air that’s coming at my face right now. It’s not because of that.

Shira: What was the first video that really you feel blew you up?

KassemG: I think it was probably the first California on. I did a California On about Miss California. It’s called “California and Miss California,” and I came here to do it. I borrowed Cory’s camera, and I had my roommate, who didn’t know anything about shooting, shoot it, and you can tell because the whole video, it’s like blown out. And there’s like you can barely tell there’s human’s in the video. But yeah, that got pretty popular, and then I just started doing them almost weekly, which is tough to do, because this place is really hit or miss.

Shira: Yeah.

KassemG: You can get great footage one day, and then not great footage. So when people are like, hey, how come you aren’t posting stuff, it is because I’m lazy, but it’s also because it’s hit or miss out here. I apologize.

Shira: So let’s go through the different types of videos that you have.

KassemG: Yeah, I made California On videos, which are just man on the street videos. I do the series called “Going Deep,” where I interview porn stars, in character, which is really fun.

Shira: Yeah, that’s a fun series. Do they know that your messing with them?

KassemG: I think now they do, but the first one we ever shot, that whole thing just happened, and it wasn’t supposed to be like that. She didn’t know I was going to be like that. There was a lot of apologizing I had to do.

Shira: Oh, okay.

KassemG: But it was funny and that’s what matters. It doesn’t matter who you step on and crush . . .

Shira: Along the way.

KassemG: . . . along the way, but as long as you make funny content.

Shira: Yeah.

KassemG: As long as I’m not the one being stepped on. Yeah, we have a new season of “Going Deep,” which I don’t have a timeline on yet, but it is happening. A lot of people just want to know if it’s happening. It is happening, and I just have to book the right people and do the research.

Shira: Do the work.

KassemG: Yeah, do the work. So I do those, and then there was another series called “Awkward Moments,” which are just small, short little sketches that are just like really short, awkward beat, and then it’s out. Then I just do sketch comedy, which I have a lot more sketch coming out.

Shira: Oh, that’s very cool. So what’s the process that you go through for each of these videos?

KassemG: You know, California On, for one video, it takes maybe two or three trips down here.

Shira: Oh really.

KassemG: For a few hours each time, and then editing takes a couple days on my part. So it is kind of a process, but it’s good because people like them.

Shira: Yeah.

KassemG: And I think they understand the hard work that goes in. Even if it’s not funny, I still had to make all those edits, right, and use my computer and the Internet to upload it.

Shira: They should appreciate that.

KassemG: Say what you will about my videos. At least I know how to do that shit. So we do those, and those take a long time. The sketch comedy takes a while, because now, my whole goal is to bring in a lot of great sketch and comedy writers into the fold.

Shira: Okay. So you’re working with people.

KassemG: Yeah, we have this great sketch group called Good Neighbor, they are some of the funniest guys I’ve ever met. So I’m writing some sketch with them, and we filmed some sketch comedy that we posted a few weeks ago, called “Corporate Song and Dance,” and then we have another one coming out. So we’re just trying to make a lot higher, top tier sort of content. Along with all the other shit that I do. Can I say shit?

Shira: Okay. Got it.

KassemG: Got it.

Shira: What’s your favorite video that you’ve ever done?

KassemG: I don’t do that.

Shira: You don’t do that.

KassemG: I don’t like my videos. I do, out of all the series that I do, I like the Going Deeps, because I have more fun making them.

Shira: Okay.

KassemG: Because it really is as awkward as it looks, but maybe more awkward to actually have that happen live, and the porn stars. And sometimes they get naked, which is always, it’s great, but it’s weird.

Shira: It is awkward when your there in person and that’s happening.

KassemG: Yeah, yeah. Other than that, it’s I like other peoples videos a lot more.

Shira: So who’s videos do you like.

KassemG: I think Good Neighbor is one of the funniest channels on YouTube for sketch, other than that I don’t watch too many. I like Mystery Guitar Man videos. I like Shay Carl vlogs, and of course anything that Miss Hanna Minx does, have you seen those?.

Shira: Yeah, yeah, totally.

KassemG: I think she’s got a lot of talent. I can just watch her videos, just put them on repeat, just watch them for hours, her videos. And that’s about it.

Shira: We’re going to be cutting to that viral while you’re saying that. I know why you said that.

KassemG: Yeah, trying to make it funny.

Shira: Do you have any comedians growing up that you were inspired by and you looked up to?

KassemG: I am not single, so sorry. Yeah, I did have comedians. My parents were really . . . cool, that sounds good. No, I’ll wait till he’s done.

Shira: Is this how they call people? Will you stop?

KassemG: Yeah, there’s something going on.

Shira: We’re in the middle of shooting something. All right. I think it should be fine. So let me ask that again.

KassemG: Yeah.

Shira: For the fifth time. Do you have any comedians that inspired you growing up.

KassemG: I sure did, Shira. When I was younger, my parents, they watched a lot of comedy, as far as being, they were comedians themselves.

Shira: Really?

KassemG: As far as just characters I think.

Shira: Okay.

KassemG: So I learned a lot from them. And then, they would love watching people like Richard Pryor. So as a kid I would just sit there and watch Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Eddie Murphy, any of those people. But currently, I think people like Louie C.K. I get a lot of inspiration from, because he’s just too funny, and he has a show that’s even funnier, and it’s just comedy writing at its finest right now. Watch Louie.

Shira: No, he’s always . . .

KassemG: On FX.

Shira: And he’s also, all his videos on YouTube go viral.

KassemG: Yeah, he’s too funny. I saw him live a few weeks ago, and he’s just, he’s what comedy should be right now. You’re welcome, Louie.

Shira: Look at that.

KassemG: You’re welcome.

Shira: And why is that? What is it about his comedy?

KassemG: He’s just so, he’s got such a point of view about being a dad, but he knows he’s just this average schmuck, and he’s just the every man. He’s an every man comedian. You just relate with everything he says. He talks about how he gets fat, and I obviously relate.

Shira: Well, what’s your point of view?

KassemG: I don’t know. I’m very sarcastic. I’m really good at finding the faults in people. Like really quickly.

Shira: Oh.

KassemG: Like your hair looks terrible today. Like we were talking about it earlier, yeah.

Shira: It’s okay. I’m a strong person.

KassemG: Yeah, sure.

Shira: I’m really strong.

KassemG: No. I’m a very Debbie downer type of person. I look for people’s faults. I like to exploit them, and it’s just based on very deep insecurities that I have as a person. That’s fun.

Shira: Yeah, that’s your way of expressing it.

KassemG: Yeah. So . . .

Shira: Getting through that.

KassemG: . . . I was picked on a lot as a kid, but that’s fine.

Shira: Were you?

KassemG: Well, I was a kid with glasses and I was like a foreign kid with glasses who was goofy. So, you know, living in Southern California, you’re going to learn your sense of humor pretty quickly, because you are just getting picked on every day.

Shira: Sweet, where’s did you, let’s talk about where you grew up.

KassemG: I grew up out here, not in Venice, but in Southern California just like 40 miles north in a town called Newbury Park. I was living there and commuting out here to drive out for auditions and stuff, but then I just said I would rather be closer, and I moved out here a few years ago.

Shira: What does your family do.

KassemG: Let’s see. I have a younger brother. He’s hilarious, and he’s tall and he’s really good at playing Halo and Call of Duty. Sorry, sorry Omar. My parents live in Hawaii, and my mom takes it easy and paints, and my dad works in the hotel business. And that’s a fun place to visit sometimes, Hawaii.

Shira: Yeah, that’s pretty cool.

KassemG: You ever been?

Shira: Yeah, I love Hawaii.

KassemG: Yeah, I really enjoy Hawaii. I enjoy the people there, but I don’t think I could ever live there. It seems a little too laid back for me, and I like to be able to be busy and be in a busy place where there are people.

Shira: What do your parents think of what you do?

KassemG: They’re very supportive, now that they know that there’s a career in it.

Shira: Yeah.

KassemG: When I first started doing standup and comedy and stuff like that, they were a little hesitant, because, you know, they have a strong belief in education.

Shira: Okay.

KassemG: So I was enrolled in community college, but I was just taking classes just to take classes, like a lot of people do. I think I took every class at community college that they had, until I took a theater class and then an improv class, and it just snowballed. I just got into it, and then started taking formal acting classes in L.A. and doing standup. It was just I couldn’t get enough of it. I still can’t. I’m very thirsty for comedy and drama.

Shira: Oh, you like drama?

KassemG: Yeah. Right. Don’t I?

Shira: Yeah.

KassemG: Yeah, I do.

Shira: Yeah, obviously you do a lot of comedy stuff.

KassemG: I think sometimes that I’m really into studying people, like I really like looking at people. I’ll just watch shows like “Hoarders” and “Intervention” because it’s like these people are at like their rock bottom, and I like seeing that emotion and I like seeing how that stuff gets played out. Then to me, I can make it funny later, but I just need to see people’s lives like that.

Shira: Oh, wow. That’s deep.

KassemG: It feeds me. People’s low point feeds me.

Shira: As a comedian, do you write a lot of notes on jokes, or is it kind of like you go with the flow? Do you have a skit? What’s your process in terms of your creative process?

KassemG: Yeah. It’s basically if I ever come up with an idea, it’s usually in the shower. Do you ever do that? The shower’s a great place to just think.

Shira: Hmm, yeah.

KassemG: Because you don’t have to worry because you’re naked. But you don’t have to worry about anyone coming in, so you feel very secure in there.

Shira: Raw and real, untouched.

KassemG: Yeah. And, you know the hot air and the steam, and just looking down all the time. It just puts me in a funny comedy head space.

Shira: That makes sense.

KassemG: I’ll always think of jokes in the shower, or while I’m out. But then I’m never near a computer, so I have to either write them down or put them in my iPhone. And then when I’ll be like, I need a joke, I’ll look in my iPhone and I’ll be like, “That’s not funny.”

Shira: You look back at it.

KassemG: And that’s why I don’t put videos up.

Shira: Can we talk about camera, like let’s talk about technical stuff for just like insiders. Cameras and editing equipment.

KassemG: Yeah. Let’s see, as technical as I can get, now, we shoot “California On” on a Sony Z1U. It’s an old DVHD camera, Sony’s first HD camera. It uses DV tapes.

Shira: Yeah.

KassemG: But we do that because I like to keep the tapes, I’m scared of losing it. But that doesn’t work anymore, so we’re shooting it on an HVX Panasonic, HVX 200 or whatever the model is. Then everything else we shoot on a 5D Canon or a 7D, but we also just ordered the new Panasonic AF100 camera, which is their brand new, kind of competitor to the 5D. And that’s it. That’s what we shoot on. Then as far as our sound goes, we just have a Sennheiser mic that I do the “California On” on the mic, and everything else we either lav or boom.

Shira: Now what about editing?

KassemG: Editing, Final Cut Pro.

Shira: Yeah.

KassemG: On a MacBook Pro or a Mac tower computer. That’s all we run at the office, and that’s what I have at home.

Shira: What advice do you give people in terms of starting out?

KassemG: Oh, man, I don’t know. I just was asked that question in another interview, and I think . . .

Shira: So this is a unique question?

KassemG: This is a terrible question. Try harder next time. But it really comes down to making something that you think is funny and not doing it to try to become an Internet celebrity or something like that or e-important, e-portant as I like to say. I just made that up.

Shira: That’s a new one.

KassemG: I’m e-portant. In real life, I’m not.

Shira: You just made web history with a new word.

KassemG: Please subscribe to me. So its about making stuff that you think is original funny and not trying to please anyone. And eventually, if it is good, it will catch on.

Shira: Well, how do you get it to catch on though?

KassemG: You know what’s really good and really handy for this YouTube world is going to these events where these YouTube stars, you know, people want to come see them.

Shira: Well, the community does.

KassemG: Yeah, I’m just kidding. They want to come see us. They do. They want to come see us, and then they meet other people and they meet YouTubers. It’s all networking, because I can probably chalk up all my success to just knowing the right people. If I really wanted to and if I was being honest. But since I’m really vain, and like into myself, let’s say it’s my hard work and my comedy and how funny I am.

Shira: That makes sense.

KassemG: You got that. All right. But yeah, that’s it. It’s pretty much engaging with people on the Internet, and don’t be a troll. Why? But there are some really funny trolls I guess.

Shira: There are branded trolls. They make a good living out of it.

KassemG: You know who my favorite troll is?

Shira: Who?

KassemG: Mr. Doody Head. He is a doody head.

Shira: It’s a catchy name.

KassemG: Yeah, and he’s one of my favorite trolls.

Shira: In terms of, though, continuing to engage with your audience . . .

KassemG: Yeah, I think, you know, a lot people now do these viewer response shows, which to tell you the truth, I never thought was a great idea. But I did one. I do it on my second channel. It’s a show called “Ask Kassem” or it could be called “As Kassem,” whichever one you like.

Shira: It’s really creative.

KassemG: Yeah, where I just answer twitter, Facebook questions, and stuff like that with like a crazy green screen background.

Shira: Okay.

KassemG: And I think it was just a funny little spin on the people’s other vlog shows that are like that.

Shira: But it worked?

KassemG: It worked, yeah. One of my editors said, “Hey check this out.” It was funny and it had all the extras. I’m like, “Let’s do that.”

Shira: Yeah.

KassemG: Yeah, so that’s what we do to engage with the community, and I think it’s totally important, because that’s what separates us from people on films and TV and stuff like that. You can actually connect with your audience, which is great. Somebody could send me a naked picture to my e-mail anytime they want. A woman can send me naked pictures of herself and I will receive it.

Shira: That’s access.

KassemG: In my e-mail. It’s Kassemgcomedy@gmail.com. They can send nude pictures there.

Shira: Where do you see this going, and then you said you can’t do all that stuff on TV or film, like actors, but you started out in that world, so what do you think?

KassemG: Yeah. No, I think we can do all that stuff. That’s the beauty of it.

Shira: So you were saying how actors and you know the traditional media world don’t really do that interaction.

KassemG: Yeah, it’s tough to have that interaction with people that are traditional celebrities or actors, entertainers, and comedians. But I guess with Twitter and Facebook, it’s made it a lot easier, but still there’s a whole other component that we do talking directly to that audience that a lot of those people don’t do. This always happens. I feel like we shouldn’t separate actors from YouTubers, because essentially, I’m an actor.

Shira: You’re all artists.

KassemG: We’re all artists, and we just happen to have a fan base on the Internet. So I think it’s the same thing. We just might be a little bit more ahead of the curve, and you know the goal is to be able to make our own movies and write our own TV show pilots and make it on our own and distribute it on our own. I think people like Fred, if you like Fred or not, he’s still did something that nobody else had done and proved that we can have a viewership wherever we want. Whether you like Fred or not, he did something nobody else could do, which was prove that you can make your viewership happen anywhere, whether it’s on the Internet or on TV or whatnot. People will watch you if they like you.

Shira: So even though you have an audience that’s bigger than some shows and some kind of traditional actors, do people still discredit all this stuff?

KassemG: Yeah, people do. It’s just a matter of time, because it’s so new. Charles Trippy’s slogan is called Internet killed television, and I think it’s very close to that. I don’t know if we’ll kill TV, but there will definitely be a merging. There already is, you know, things like Google TV and all of those things that are trying to meld the two worlds together. I think that’ll only happen. As YouTubers, more people become Internet people, who are more talented, you’ll just start to see a lot more stuff, and it’ll eventually be to the point where your favorite shows might be on the Internet only. So that’s what excites me. It’s kind of like this new revolution that we’re all apart of, and everyone is a part of it, anyone that watches Internet videos or has a favorite person that they like to watch. It’s great.

Shira: You’ve done a lot of collaborations, right?

KassemG: Yeah. That you could say. Part of making it on the Internet is working with a lot of people. So that is definitely essential.

Shira: What are you favorites?

KassemG: My favorite people to work with?

Shira: Yeah.

KassemG: I love working with Shay. A lot of people don’t know this about Shay, but he’s a great actor and improviser, and he’s just one of my best friends. He’s so funny. I’m just kidding, I hate him. He’s ridiculous.

Shira: I felt the hate in that.

KassemG: So untalented.

Shira: Wait, you also got to do something with Jane Lynch, which was pretty cool.

KassemG: Oh, yeah. I got to make an Internet video with Jane Lynch, who I love, and to be honest I don’t watch “Glee” and I didn’t tell her that. But I’m a big fan of her roles in Christopher Guest’s movies and in her recent Patel stuff. So, she was incredibly nice, a great improviser as well, and just a true professional. That was really cool, because until that moment, that was my first time really working with somebody, from the traditional world.

Shira: Were you nervous?

KassemG: I was nervous, yeah. But I think that’s good because it kept me sharp, and I think the video was great.

Shira: We have some fan questions, but I wanted to, so little things that I saw in the comments, when we asked fans. Why do you wear wolf shirts? You always give the same answer, but I need another answer.

KassemG: What’s my same answer?

Shira: Why not?

KassemG: That I just. Oh, why not? Yeah, why not? The wolf shirt thing I guess was I like wolves, I always have.

Shira: Yeah.

KassemG: And then I had a shirt that I wore, and I thought I could just wear it, in my second “California On” video. The very first “California On” video, no wolf shirt. But the second one I did, and I remember reading in the comments and being like all anyone is talking about is the shirt I’m wearing. I’m like all right. So I just bought another wolf shirt, and then I bought another one, and another one, and then I just kept buying wolf shirts.

Shira: How many wolf shirts do you have?

KassemG: I think I have 20. There’s not too many. I mean they outnumber my regular clothes now.

Shira: How do you find wolf shirts?

KassemG: So in my laundry, like my laundry right now, I have to do it, these are the only shirts I wear.

Shira: Oh, wow.

KassemG: Normally, I don’t always wear wolf shirts you guys. I’m a human being. But I do like wolves. They’re cool.

Shira: Yes.

KassemG: I have a wolf statue at the office.

Shira: Really.

KassemG: Yeah, his name is Gary, and I put Gary in one of my videos and he’s excited about that.

Shira: He’s your sidekick. And glasses? You are . . .

KassemG: Yeah.

Shira: This is part of your look.

KassemG: These glasses mean a lot to me, because when I first got them, two years ago, everyone talked about how stupid I looked in them. I was like okay, but I still wore them. Then they just became a part of my face, and now people love them. So take that people who said that I look stupid, even though I still do.

Shira: In a great way.

Shira: Another question people have is where are you from in terms of your background?

KassemG: Why? What do I look like? What do I look like Shira?

Shira: I don’t know. I don’t generalize.

KassemG: Yeah. Okay. Well played. I’m half Egyptian, half Jordanian.

Shira: Oh.

KassemG: One hundred percent awesome. Yeah, my mom’s full Egyptian, my dad’s full Jordanian. And that’s, you know, the reason for many things, like my big nose and my skin color and my just general weirdness. Like this moment we’re having right now, it’s really because of that.

Shira: So we have some user questions. SilDavi444 wants to ask if your ever scared of people beating you up when you do those questions for “California On.”

KassemG: No, sometimes yes, because when we put up the videos and it looks like looks oh look how much fun. It looks like he was in trouble there, but it was just a set-up thing. No, these people who are out here are on drugs, and some of them are insane and I do sometimes worry about it, not too much. But sometimes, I’m always checking because who knows, if I said something to somebody in one video and they saw it online, they had friends say oh that guy made fun of you online, and I’m afraid that person’s going to come and try and find me and hunt me down and kill me on the boardwalk.

Shira: Wow.

KassemG: But that’s just perks of the job.

Shira: You said people recognize you though here.

KassemG: Yeah, even though nobody did on the way here. So I guess I’m a liar. No, sometimes people do.

Shira: Yeah.

KassemG: Some people know who I am, Shira.

Shira: I know. It’s okay.

KassemG: It’s cool when I’m interviewing somebody and then some guy walks by and goes, “Hey you.” But like I didn’t even hear what he said or understand it, but he ruined my interview, which was good.

Shira: Okay.

KassemG: Yeah, but it’s kind of cool. I like when people come say hi, because I’m really awkward and they’re really awkward, and its just like the most awkward moment two people can have.

Shira: It makes it a great moment.

KassemG: Yeah. I live for those, and I’m glad to have them in my life.

Shira: Have you ever gotten punched in the face or hurt at all?

KassemG: No. It’s come close a couple of times. There was moment that was made famous in “Street Music,” where there was guy who called me a douche bag, and I think, he tried to pretend like he wanted to fight us. But I’m pretty sure we knew that he wouldn’t, and he ended up just getting pissed and walking away. But it’s come close a couple times.

Shira: All right. So where do you see this all going?

KassemG: You know I think what we previously talked about with it becoming a place where it is a direct competitor with film and TV. I hate to be a competitor. I would just rather have the worlds merge closer together, but you’ll see a lot more higher end content and more people are just going to watch programming, original programming on the Internet maybe on their TV or maybe on their laptops. But it’s going to be that place, and hopefully we will be the ones that are kind of at the tip of the spear as people say.

Shira: Oh fancy.

KassemG: Yeah, I think I’m going to go out on that note. Yeah, I am really excited. Every day is kind of like a new . . . you never really know what’s going to happen. It’s all uncharted territory. It’s like Lewis and Clark. You know what they did. The whole Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson history and all that. That’s kind of what we are doing.

Shira: You are creating history one video at a time.

KassemG: We are killing Indians, and then we are also making copy videos.

Shira: What are your goals? What do you want to do?

KassemG: I don’t know. I just want to keep being successful in the media. I definitely this year want to start doing standup again. I want to just make some great content for people. I don’t know if I have anything specific other than that. But just to not have to work a retail job anymore.

Shira: You want to be on people’s TV.

KassemG: I want to be on your TV.

Shira: You talked about scheduling, how some people do schedules. You don’t really do a schedule.

KassemG: Yeah, I think scheduling if you’re a person putting up content on the Internet, scheduling is very important. However, I don’t operate that way because I feel like if I’m trying to hit a deadline, the quality of the video might be not as good as I would hope it to be. But I’m going to work on that for people. I swear. I’m going to try and maybe work two days a week this year as opposed to the one.

Shira: How many videos do you put out a week then? You’re only in one video a week.

KassemG: Usually, it’s like one a week.

Shira: Okay.

KassemG: It’s definitely one a week on my second channel. But I haven’t put up a video on my main channel in a while, but I will very soon. I have some stuff going up. But it is one every week or two on my main channel.

Shira: Keep them waiting.

KassemG: I like to keep people waiting. Keep myself stressed out. That’s how I like to live my life.

Shira: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would you want to work with?

KassemG: Daniel Day-Lewis.

Shira: Why?

KassemG: He’s my favorite actor. Him, Gary Oldman, people like this. I think they’re the greatest living actors in our day. Since I’m so passionate about that sort of thing, because I just said I was, and that proves it. I would love to just be in the same room as Daniel Day-Lewis. I was thinking about making a video that was just like me to Daniel and putting it on my channel.

Shira: You should do that.

KassemG: Just like professing my love for him. Do you think that would be a good idea?

Shira: Maybe he will notice.

KassemG: I don’t even know if he has Internet. Like right now, he’s becoming Abraham Lincoln for his next movie role, and he’s probably just in a log cabin somewhere stroking is top hat. Call me Daniel, please.

Shira: Have your people call his.

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