YouTuber Tyler Oakley talks about ‘Snervous’ movie
Raisedin Michigan,cheap oakleys for sale elevatedto stardom by hisWeb fans, Tyler Oakley is ready for his closeup on a platform other than his online kingdom.The 26 year old YouTube sensation he’s nearlyreached 8 million YouTube subscribers is the subject of “Snervous,”an upcoming documentary that will have a sneak peek screeningonThursday night at .Directed by Amy Rice, the movie follows Oakley on his popular”Slumber Party” tour, a live showthat hedescribed to Details magazine as “Pee Wee Herman meets Ellen DeGeneres hosted by me in a onesie.” The filmdebuts digitally Friday.It’s all part of a very big year for Oakley, whoopens up about his life in his 2015 best selling book “Binge” and will behitting the small screen in February as a competitoron CBS’s “Amazing Race.”The Jackson native, Okemos High gradand Michigan State University alum talked by phone to the Free Press on Wednesday about his many roles as online mega celebrity, LGBT advocate, interviewer ofMichelle Obama, onesie collectorand former Arby’s employee.QUESTION: What was the most difficult part of giving up control for “Snervous”? This time, you’re the subject, not the creator.ANSWER:I guess the fear of being misinterpreted. It’s always been a fear but when you give up control it’s, like, multiplied. I didn’t really know what to expect and I didn’t really know about the process. But I had to trust that, OK, if I’m going to do this, I can’t do it halfway. I have to give full control. I have to trust whoever’s doing it to understand me and to get that point across in the full documentary. At the beginning, it was terrifying because I just felt so under a microscope, whereas before, I choose how the microscope looks at me. When I first saw (the movie), it was like, 80%of it I would have never included. . (But then) I was like,you know what, this is what it’s all about.Q: This is a documentary about your life, but who do you think should play Tyler Oakley in thefeature version?A: Oh my gosh, hopefully, that person isn’t even an actor yet because the movie will be made years and years and decades from now. I wouldn’t even know who they’d be. They’re probably in middle school right now. By the time I’m old enough to have a movie made about me, then I’ll decide. Not now.Q: Do you ever think about how growing up in Jackson, Mich., instead of New York or Los Angeles has shaped who you are today?A: For sure. Growing up in the Midwest made me exactly who I am. When I moved to San Francisco, I felt so Midwest and so different. Growing up in Michigan made me really appreciate family and the importance of the people in your life and taking things at your own pace. Hopefully,what I’ve gotten from growing up in Michigan was retainingthat mentality of, I guess, being more human. . If I weren’t from Michigan, I don’t know who I’d be, because it reminds me to be connected to people on intimate levels instead of just doing work.Q:You describe in the bookcrashingyour car outside OkemosHigh Schoolwhile wearing your uniform for working atArby’sand being watched by tons ofclassmates. Has anything been more embarrassing than that?A: That was definitely an all time low. That was terrible! (Laughs). It was out of a movie, it was so bad. But yes, I’ve had more embarrassing things since then. I think that set me up for a lifetime of embarrassment. . Now when something bad like that happens, I think, “Oh, I can put that in the next book, or I can make a video about it or talk about it in a podcast.” When things go terribly wrong, I’m like, “Content! I can at least use this.” Whereas before it was,”‘Wow, there’s the end of my life.”Q: You’re a Michigan State alum and started uploading your videos there in 2007. Can you remember your happy places on campus?A: I spent a lot of time in the library. I spent a lot of time at Wells Hall, I would always go to movies there. A lotof time exploring every cafeteria, because I was so into going to every single one and figuring out which was my favorite. in Wilson Hall, and that was all four years, so I literally spent all my life at Wilson Hall. The stadium, of course. I was telemarketer connected to the stadium. I would also go to the Rivfor Burgerama. Do you have one that’s a sentimental favorite?A: I think my favorite one was the one I wore to the last “Slumber Party” stop and that was the original onesie. It looks like a dragon or something and it’s green. It was the first onesie I ever had. Having that onesie and doing a livestream skit in my living room is what inspired the theme of the entire year. And from there, then I bought 40 more.Q: You’ve interviewed many famous people, including first lady Michelle Obama about her Reach Higher education campaign. Wasshe fabulous or extremely fabulous?A: She’s extremely fabulous. No matter who it is, you just hope they’re nice and it’s a positive experience. When it’s somebody that huge and influential, they could be all business, and that’s just fine. But she was so personable and was very present. I’ll never forget how she remembered my name. It felt like she was there with me, not just there doing a bunch of interviews. She was incredible.Q: You’re an advocate for LGBT causes and reach out especially to LGBT teens. Are you optimistic about where we are at today?A: I feel so optimistic. It’s not necessarily because of what’s happening in the world right now. It’s more so because I feel really connected to LGBTQ youth, who are leaders in their own communities. One thing I do right now isI’m on the board of the Trevor Project. They are the leading organization for crisis and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. One of my responsibilities is working with their youth advisory council. It’sa small group of youth leaders from all around the country who are single handedly changing what’s happening where they live. I feel so encouraged and positive about the future, because the future is in good hands.A: I don’t know! If you were to ask me last year what I was going to do this year, I would have had literally no clue. The book wasn’t even finished yet. The movie wasn’t a thought yet. “The Amazing Race” for sure wasn’t even on my radar. Every year, I end the year by making a videocalled 100 things I did in whatever year that was. I finish editing the video every year and I’m like,how will next year even compare? Then lo and behold, it goes above and beyond. When I think about 2016, I just trust I will do what I love and hopefully the people thatsupport me will also love it. Hopefully it’s new things that bring me out of my comfort zone, because that’s been the most fun this year.