This 11-Year-Old Has Vlogged Every Single Day For More Than 3 Years
Presley Alexander from ActOutGames started a daily YouTube vlog when she was 7 years old. Now she's 11 (turning 12 in July), and she still hasn't missed a single day of vlogging.
We first chatted with Presley about her channel nearly three years ago, and in that time she's grown along with her channel, becoming one of the youngest geek culture icons around. We recently caught up with Presley to find out where YouTube has taken her since we spoke to her last and find out what it's really like to document every day of your life.
Sweety High: You've been doing daily vlogs for more than three years now. Has it been tough not to ever miss a day?
Presley Alexander: It can be hard when you're really busy or sick. Once we were out in the Great Sand Dunes over here in Colorado. We were miles away from the nearest place with internet, so what we had to do was drive for an hour to get to a café with internet. It took a couple of hours to upload a really short video that we filmed while we were there. We also broke our camera there, so that was a fun trip.
We've tried every day to put out a video and we haven't missed one yet, even though it can be hard sometimes. But we did find an alligator farm along the way to the café, and we went there on the last day of the trip so it paid off.
SH: What do you think have been the biggest changes to your channel since starting it?
PA: There have been so many. I think the biggest changes are in our tech and my abilities in talking to the camera. When we first started, it was filmed on an iPhone leaning against some books. This was before iPhones had the front-facing camera, so the screen was facing away from us and we had no idea if we were in the shot. I think we even had to re-film a couple of times because it was pointed at the table. I was in my PJs and at the time I had dyed black hair for a cosplay. People used to think my hair was naturally black, but it just hadn't washed out yet. We've had a huge improvement in the quality of our videos. Obviously, we have a lot of quantity, but quality is important, too.
SH: How do you feel that you've grown personally since you started vlogging everyday?
PA: I used to be a very different person. Watching my old videos is insane because my voice was so high. That's one of the thing I immediately notice and can barely get past, because I think I sound like a chipmunk.
I've grown and changed a lot, and part of it is just has to do with getting older. When you're 7, there's still a lot to learn about yourself. I've grown a lot older and I've learned of new things and I've gone to amazing places and experienced amazing cultures. All of that has contributed to making me a very different person today.
SH: Do you feel like it's gotten tougher over time to come up with new daily vlog concepts?
PA: Yeah. There's a lot of stuff we haven't done already, but sometimes you do things again if it's been a while. We've done three "meet my pets" videos because the last ones were filmed when I was little. We still have the same pets, but it's an entirely new video.
We vlog whatever we're doing during the day, so even if we end up going to the same place twice, it's still going to be a different video because we're probably going to do things a little differently. When we're producing original content that we sit down and film, it can definitely be hard to find things we haven't done already, but there are so many things to do that I highly doubt that we'll entirely run out of ideas anytime soon.
SH: Where have been your favorite places to travel?
PA: My international trips to London and Japan are my current favorites. Japan might be my favorite trip I've ever been on because it's such an amazing place. I spoke a little bit of Japanese then, but I speak it a lot better now. It was super nice going out and being able to speak the language I was practicing with actual native speakers. Pocky is also an amazing snack and there's a lot of it there. We had lots of really good Japanese food, which I love. Overall, it was an incredible trip and I really enjoyed it.
SH: What have been some of the most memorable experiences you've had thanks to your vlog?
PA: One of the most memorable things was when we hit 10,000 subscribers. It was such a big deal, because I didn't even think 100 people would subscribe to me when I first started. Now we're getting close to 20,000.
Another memorable thing was when we switched over to having a separate educational channel. That's very important to me, and we've been putting a lot of effort into it. That's definitely been pretty life-changing for me and the channel.
We noticed that there were people who weren't interested in my educational videos and just wanted to see vlogs, and there were others who just wanted to see the educational videos or share them with their kids. We went through a lot of names, but we decided on BiteSizedEDU because it wasn't taken on Twitter. Ever since then, I've been animating and filming videos and working on scripts. We want to have some of the best content we can make on that channel.
SH: How have conventions become a bigger part of your life since you started vlogging?
PA: Conventions are amazing. It's so cool to meet other people that are in the same fandoms and have the same mindset as you. There are some cons, like Anime Con, where we can just go and hang out with our con friends. We know almost all the regular con-goers here in Colorado, so it's great to be able to hang out with friends when we go to smaller conventions here.
There are also really great giant cons, which are usually YouTube-themed, and then there's Salt Like City Comic-Con which is huge. I really love going to cons and I'm glad that YouTube allows me to go to more of them. It's cool to be able to expand our con circuit and go all around the country to experience so many different things.
SH: Tell us about your cosplaying.
PA: The work and effort that goes into it depends a lot on the character you're cosplaying, because for some outfits you can go out and buy a bunch of clothes and you look like the character, but there are some things we have to make. My dad sews, and I'm learning how to.
We create a majority of our pieces for cosplay, making jackets and pants. One of my favorites is The Nightmare from Doctor Who. She wears this highwayman outfit, and almost every part of that outfit—maybe even every single part besides the fake musket—is made by us. So much effort goes into that and it really shows.
There are also a lot of really easy-to-wear cosplays that are really just a jacket and some pants because the character dresses super casually. My current favorite cosplay to wear is Pidge from Voltron: Legendary Defender because she has glasses and it's one of the only cosplays I can see in.
SH: Why is it so important for you to share your fandoms with the world?
PA: It's super cool to be able to talk with someone else about this super cool thing that you've found. There are some painfully tiny fandoms with like four people in them, but if you meet one of those four people it's really incredible because you get to bond over all the little things you've noticed in the show.
For giant fandoms, you're surrounded by people who love the same things as you. It all boils down to behavioral zoology, which is one of my favorite subjects. We want to be around people that are like us and we don't want to be around people that might not like us because we're different from them. It makes you feel safe and happy and like you're a part of something bigger.
SH: Do you have any advice for someone who might be nervous about going to their first convention?
PA: Conning is amazing, but I recommend going to a small one first. Do not go to San Diego Comic-Con as your first one. Go to a small, local con without so many people and ease your way up.
The first con I went to was one called Nan Desu Kan here in Colorado and it was pretty small in its early years. There weren't too many people there and it was great for my first one. Then we started climbing the ladder and going to bigger and bigger and bigger cons.
Secondly, you definitely don't have to cosplay. Just go in your street clothes and hang out. A few of the smaller cons, like one here called Colorado Anime Fest, even have quiet rooms where you can sit if you're getting a little bit overwhelmed. So find a small con and go for it. If it's not your thing, it's not your thing, but if you enjoy it, you can start adding more and more onto your circuit of cons you go every year. It's just a matter of getting out and doing it.
SH: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to start their own vlog?
PA: Like the con thing, just start and keep going. My dad likes to say that if you want to make really, really good things, you need to make a lot of really, really bad things, first. Your first videos aren't going to be the best videos on YouTube, but if you keep going and keep making more videos then your content will get a lot better and people will start watching you and you'll get so much better.
You don't have to start vlogging everyday if that sounds too daunting to you. You can start posting whatever you want. There's something called VEDA, which is Vlog Everyday in August, but they also do it in April. Maybe you can post videos weekly or whenever you feel like it, and when August comes around, you can vlog every day to start easing into it. If you really enjoy it, you can keep going like I did.
SH: Anything exciting coming up?
We're going to try our best to get Dan and Phil at least every year because I'm a really big fan of them. I want to get to a point where I see them in person fairly often, which has happened because I've gone to a couple of YouTube cons with them a few times. I've even cosplayed as one of the characters from the video games they play, and I have another cosplay planned. VidCon is one of my favorite cons I've ever been to because it's such a positive place and there are so many people there with a mindset similar to mine.
Want to start sharing videos, but not sure about the daily vlog route? Click HERE to read our interview with gaming streamer Lomadia to find out how she does it.