I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessie Paege, who has her own YouTube channel that discusses various topics like beauty, fashion, DIY and lifestyle. She has over 370,000 subscribers and over a million total views on her channel which isn’t too shabby for a 16-year-old. The teenage YouTube sensation’s interview was honest and inspirational. Read it below.
What was it like growing up in Northern New Jersey?
The entertainment industry isn’t very prominent in New Jersey, so it’s been interesting. Especially, when you go to LA it’s so different and everywhere. In New Jersey, when you do YouTube videos, people aren’t used to it and don’t understand it as much. You can’t find many people to relate to.
Tell us about your YouTube inspiration, Bethany Mota, and how she has inspired you.
I’m very shy and she is too. That’s partly why I started my channel. Growing up, I didn’t really talk to anyone besides my mom. Bethany used YouTube as an outlet and it made her branch out and she became more outgoing. It was an outlet to express herself without having to be in front of people and be in front of the camera where she could communicate with people. I liked that aspect of it where I can communicate with people without having to leave my house. She’s very genuine and that’s why I subscribed to her. I liked her connection with her subscribers as if they are her friends.
How do you come up with the ideas of your videos?
It depends. I can be sitting in my car listening to music and staring at the window and it will come to me. I could be in really weird places like the shower. I watch other YouTubers and get inspiration from them. I like to take inspiration from them and put in my own ideas and twist so it’s not the same. My videos started off being very inspired by Bethany, but now I am inspired by people of different routes. Even from a TV show sometimes.
What are the themes of your videos?
The overall message is that it’s okay to be yourself. For example, I like to do videos about “Things only awkward people understand” and also be totally genuine and share some things super embarrassing. Even with the fashion portion of it, I express myself and I don’t care about what other people think. I have my own crazy style.
What is your favorite part of creating videos for your audience?
I like the editing and filming. I would say more than that is when I finally think of a really cool idea and take notes about how it’s going to play out.
How do you film and edit your videos?
It probably seems like it’s super professional like I have a videographer, but most of the time it’s my mom and me sneaking around and going to random parking lots. (laughs). We obviously don’t have a set or anything (laughs). For editing, I use Final Cut Pro which is an app from the Apple Store. I definitely taught myself how to edit which was hard and frustrating at first, but I got it. A lot of the times I film myself when I’m sitting down. Sometimes my friends will film me or my brother. It depends.
You describe yourself as quiet and shy. How are you able to be so confident in your videos?
I’m quiet and shy with strangers, definitely, but when I’m with my best friends I’m crazy and all over the place. When I’m on my channel, it’s like I’m talking to my best friends and I try to be very genuine as I would with them. It’s me and it’s not an alter ego.
You have played the electric guitar for six years. Do you perform for people?
No, I’m too shy to perform for anyone. (laughs). Just the other day, my mom recorded me playing the guitar and she told me to post it on Twitter and I only posted two seconds of it and I was freaking out! But, I would not post anymore. I mentioned on my channel that I play the guitar, but I have never played on my channel. Maybe I will in the future, I don’t know.
I read that you want to explore other avenues of the entertainment industry. What else do you want to do in the entertainment industry?
I’ve always really liked acting. I was Gabriella from High School Musical in a school play and I stopped it because I was super shy and it was out of my comfort zone. But, I’d like to do it and I feel a lot more comfortable in front of the camera like film acting, especially with YouTube.
What type of audience are your videos geared to? Are they for all ages and both genders?
Yes, definitely. Half of my viewers are a little bit younger than me and half of my viewers are a littler bit older than me and a lot of them are around the same age. It’s a good mix. I definitely have a low percentage of 60 year olds, but that’s for like all of YouTube. (laughs).
What social media platforms do you use to post your videos?
YouTube. I post a little bit to Facebook sometimes. Snapchat, Instagram. A little bit everywhere.
I read that you feel alienated at school because you create videos. That is hard to deal with as a teenager. What makes you continue to make videos despite not fitting in at school?
It’s definitely hard, but when you meet the subscribers it’s all worth it in the end. Just being able to put faces to the numbers and see that you actually touch people’s lives. People are like, “Oh. I feel like we are long-lost best friends. We have so much in common.” That feels amazing to me because I’m not able to connect with a lot of people at school, but it’s crazy that I’m able to connect with all these people on the Internet and all around the world.
I noticed that your videos often compare two different topics such as childhood vs high school morning routine. Do these topics stem from your own life experiences?
Definitely. Sometimes they are a bit comedic and sometimes they are a bit more serious. I also like to exaggerate things in those videos to get the point across, but it’s always from personal experience.
What is one thing you want the social media world to know about you?
I’m definitely not confident all the time and that’s okay. But, it doesn’t mean you should feel horrible about yourself. I’m not always happy and I’m not always feeling great, but I just like to show my viewers myself when I’m happy because that’s what makes me happy and they make me happy.
Have you ever communicated with the YouTuber, Bethany Mota? If not, what would you say to her?
I actually went to her Meetup a long time ago before I even had my own channel. We barely talked because we were both too shy. If I could talk to her now, I would probably say thank you for inspiring me and you are a great role model for young girls. And I hope that I’m also a good role model too because I just love your message.
Check out Jessie Paege’s YouTube Channel link below: