So before we begin, I want to give a quick update on where I’ve been lately since I haven’t uploaded any new or reuploaded videos or made a new blog post in awhile.

I’ve been busy wrapping up Summer I semester projects as well as working a lot at McD to catch up on bills that I fell behind on those last couple of months when I was unemployed. I feel like I’ve turned a dark corner in my life and that I’m in a much better position than I was at the beginning of the year or even the beginning of the summer. Come Fall semester, I should be much better prepared. Just gotta work on my time management, you know?

Anyway, new and old stuff will be coming soon so stay tuned! Now onto the post!!

 

Getting Started on YouTube Today

I was browsing around my YouTube Subscriptions and came across this video:

When I began YouTube back in 2006, it was a lot harder to get into making videos because you had to have a digital camera since there were no cell phones with video cameras on them at that time (or at least decent ones that weren’t insanely expensive). Now, with a camera on every phone, it’s almost TOO easy to get started making a video for YouTube.

But over this past decade, more and more YouTubers have joined the platform and the upload and production quality has significantly increased. This is both good and bad in that there are some very legit looking videos on YouTube now that could very easily be aired on TV without anyone batting an eye at the production quality, but at the same time, it’s getting more and more intimidating for new YouTubers starting out.

Just know that when everybody starts out, we’re not that good. We suck. We’re awkward on camera and we don’t yet know what we want our channel to be. THIS IS NORMAL. Go back and look at ANY big YouTuber’s first couple of videos and compare them to their videos today and you’ll see a HUGE difference.

Once you get into the groove of making videos, then you can begin to add the cool special FX, intro, green screen, better camera, and all that stuff. All of it is secondary to the video itself, the CONTENT if you will. None of the cool whizbang FX are gonna save an inherently crappy video.

It doesn’t matter what you start off with when you decide to make YouTube videos; what matters is that you start.

TheAndySan


This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post: My Thoughts On What J-Vlogging Should Be.

 

I was talking to one of my friends on Facebook about how the current J-Vlog scene seems so artificial and he was upset that I would imply that the newer YouTubers (he thinks that the new wave of J-Vloggers aren’t J-Vloggers but rather YouTubers who live in Japan and make videos about Japan and talk about Japan. Yeah, doesn’t sound like something a J-Vlogger would ever do /s) are being lazy or cheap in their efforts. I want to make this its own post rather than just add it to my previous one, so let me do some clarification.

 

What?! YouTubers Are Lazy?!!

 

I’m not saying they’re not putting in any effort, quite the opposite.

 

The thing that’s bugging me about how “People Who Are Totally Not J-Vloggers Who Live In Japan And Make YouTube Videos Showing Notable Parts of Japan And Occasionally Making Social Commentary About The Culture of Japan” (yup, totes not J-Vloggers /s) is that their videos are too slickly produced and it creates a distance between the YouTuber and the audience because the YouTuber has made this idealized version of themself that the audience can’t relate to.

 

I feel that as a YouTuber, you have to be 100% yourself, warts and all. When I met up with other YouTubers in Japan, I got a couple comments about how “it really was me” when they finally met me in person, and that made me so happy. As Kurt Bell aka SoftyPapa once said, “The message sent is never the message received” and I was initially afraid that the YouTubers I was meeting would have the wrong impression about me from my videos, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. Speaking of Kurt, he’s a great example of an authentic YouTuber!

 

I know a lot of people were upset that he left Japan and wants nothing to do with making videos about it anymore, but that’s his prerogative. He was upfront about his frustrations and shortcomings living in Japan, so he decided to move back to Cali.

 

If he wanted to be “a YouTuber trying their best to make big videos that will attract an audience”, in order to retain that large audience he gained, he would have either tried to stay in Japan or continued to talk about his time in Japan while in the States, even though he doesn’t want to do it. But he stuck to what he believes in, told everybody what was going on, and explained the refocus of his main channel, and I respect him a lot for that.

 

What About YouTube Shows?! 

 

I know some people might be thinking, “But Andy! What about the people on YouTube shows? Are the characters on these shows not real YouTubers?!”

 

There’s certainly a place for characters on YouTube, but you have to be upfront with your audience that this is a character you’re performing and not who you really are. Otherwise people are going to get the wrong idea about you and not take what you have to say seriously when you do try to be authentic.

 

What Are Your Thoughts On What YouTubers Should Be?

 

I’d like to know what you guys think about this! Let me know in the comments below!

 

TheAndySan


It’s been a week since I made a post, but I’ve been very busy with work and school so it’s hard to find the right time and creative headspace to sit down and write something. Until today! 😀

 

There’s been something that I wanted to talk to you guys about, but I didn’t quite know how to approach it. I still don’t, but I’m gonna give it a shot anyway.

 

I’d like to talk about what I think J-Vlogging (Japan Video Logging) should be about (hence the title).

 

I’m sad that the community lately has been largely focused more on the inner drama between a couple people (who they are changes with the weather it seems, so no use in naming names), going to well-known spots in Tokyo making Travel Channel-like videos, and making the occasional “Is Japan Racist?” video (this doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but it still happens more than it should).

 

I’ve been a member of the community since its inception at the beginning of YouTube. I’ve seen lots of great J-Vloggers come and go, I’ve seen the community at its zenith, and I’ve seen it split off into the different subgenres of J-Vlogging that we see today.

 

I’d like to think that during my first time in Japan from 2013-2015, the AndyJapandy series was an authentic POV of my stay there. I was very hesitant on using B-Roll and doing voice-over for that stuff like I’ve seen so many other channels do because I feared that it’ll come off as pretentious and I’ll lose that connection with the people that watch. I also didn’t want to come off as a subject matter expert who knows every little thing about Japan because while I do know a lot about Japan, there’s still much I don’t know. However, I want to share what I do know and share my experiences without just making it a blank slate for anyone to insert themselves into to experience Japan vicariously. To me, it’s very personal.

 

Not sure if any of this made sense, but that’s just my feelings towards J-Vlogging; it should be about YOUR experiences in Japan and not a Travel Channel show about notable spots in Japan. You can show off those spots, but remember that it’s about YOUR experience there first and foremost.

 

If there are any J-Vloggers out there reading this, it’s not a dig on you guys; these are just, well, my own thoughts and opinions on J-Vlogging and you’re more than free to agree or disagree with me.

 

On that note, I’d also like to open the floor to you guys. Tell me what you think about the J-Vlogging community today. Is the TV show-esque voice over of B-roll footage what people like more than the original vlogging style of face in front of the camera and then voice behind the camera focusing on the scene? Or are those styles simply just different instead of one being better than the other? Just remember to be civil in the comments; no need to start a flame war here 😀

 

TheAndySan


So I just got back from school today after talking to my VA coordinator, and it turns out that my Post 9/11 GI Bill won’t cover study abroad costs or even the courses offered there. If I were to do the study abroad, the funding would have to come out of scholarships, grants, and out-of-pocket.

 

This is both good and bad in that while I can’t use the GI Bill at all during the study abroad, I will be able to resume using it when I come back. It’ll suck not having a monthly source of income from BAH while abroad, but I do have plans on applying for scholarships to help fund my stay in Japan.

 

In addition to scholarships, I’m also looking into other ways of funding such as GoFundMe. It’s still very early to announce my GoFundMe campaign because I need to look up what scholarships are available to me and the expenses incurred from studying abroad. That way, I can list a breakdown of everything so you’ll know exactly what you’re funding instead of me just putting up “Hey! I wanna go 2 Japan! Halp meee!”.

 

After work tonight, I’m going to email the study abroad coordinator for more info and to figure out where to go from here. I’m not considering the inability to use my GI Bill abroad as a solid NO for going back to Japan, but rather an extra roadblock for me to overcome. Once I get more info about scholarships and other means of funding, then I can establish a plan for getting back out there again.

 

Well, I have work soon so I’m gonna get ready. Bye guys!

 

TheAndySan


My financial situation is really wearing on me. It sucks not being able to do anything. Sure I could go out and walk around town, but it’s just a barrage of stuff that I can’t buy, and that’s depressing. Not that I want to buy a lot of things, but it’s nice to know I can if I want to.

I don’t really feel sad about it since I’ll be getting paid in a week, but I’m not happy either. As the title says, I feel deflated; a real lack of energy.

I’ve also been cutting back my coffee consumption to just 1 cup a day instead of 2 in order to save on coffee and to better sleep at night. Despite those benefits (I’ve been sleeping really good lately), my mind has been feeling really sluggish and doing anything seems to be an ordeal.

 

Back To Japan In 2017?!

In happier news, I’ve been looking into study abroad programs in Japan offered at WMU and I’ve found one that I really like; the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU) in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture. It is a very scenic area with Hikone Castle and Lake Biwa very close by, and it’s only a 45-90 minute train ride to Kyoto, Osaka, and Nagoya, so there’s plenty to do and see! It’s gonna be about a year or two before I’m eligible for the program as I’m still a freshman and need to bump up my GPA a bit more. It should be good come 2017, but my rental contract doesn’t expire until April 2017 so I’ll have to stay here until then at least. Thankfully, the program seems flexible enough for me to start in the fall of 2017, but I need to talk to the program coordinator to see about expenses and if the Post 9/11 GI Bill will still cover me while in Japan. From what I’ve read, it should; but it’s best to make sure.

Also, just a little side note here, but if I do end up going back to Japan in 2017, it’ll coincide with the 10 year anniversary of Rodger Swan’s Tokyo Swan series, which started on September 19th 2007! It’s funny because we’re both J-vloggers and from WMU, although Rodger went to Keio in Tokyo.

I talked about the program and how excited I was to be possibly coming back to Japan, but a lot of my friends pointed out the amount of money that I need to get over there. It’s gonna take some time and I’ll have to sell a lot of my things to help cover the initial expenses. Thankfully from what I’ve read, as long as I’m still a full-time student I can also collect BAH even in Japan! I’m not sure what the dorm costs will be out there, but my expenses should be significantly lower once I get myself situated. I also still have my Japanese cell phone from when I was in Yokosuka, so I could get it reactivated at Softbank while I’m in Japan, so that’s one less thing to buy.

 

Gonna Watch Some Anime, BRB

Well, I’m gonna watch some good ol’ anime to relax tonight. I’m thinking first season of Genshiken (the best IMO) and then maybe finish up where I left off with the second season if there’s time. See ya guys!!

 

TheAndySan


…and it was only $18! What’s a guy to do with that? Why, buy a 4.5 pound (2 kg) bag of chicken nuggets of course! Hey guys, Andy here in the wee hours of the night!

In super awesome news, I just passed 300 followers on Instagram! Thanks so much, everybody! I know I don’t post as many pictures there as I used to when I was in Japan, but I’m so grateful for the support!

Watchin’ Teh Animuus

Lately, I’ve been getting back into anime. I really like to find older series because it was before the moe boom in the 00s, which got tiring to watch all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed most of those moe series, but when that’s the only thing being made, it gets boring and you begin to notice the cookie-cutter anime-by-numbers approach these series like to do. Oh, that’s the glasses one. That’s the normal one, That’s the clumsy one. That’s the one with the tig ol’ biddies. That’s the one who’s flat-chested. It became so easy to spot, and sadly, they didn’t get much character development beyond their one-note fetishes that they’re marketed to the super-obsessive Japanese otaku for in hopes of paying $80 for a DVD or Blu-Ray with maybe 3 episodes on it. I guess all that illegal totes legit downloading from back in the day before Crunchyroll and Hulu were a thing caught up to us somehow, huh? /rant

YouTube Schedule Mess-Up

I want to apologize for messing up the YouTube upload schedule this week. I totally forgot to schedule the videos for this week, which is why you only got the May 2016 Update PART DEUX and one reupload. I’ve since fixed the schedule for this week, and reuploads will be out once a day everyday at 10AM EST for the time being. If you guys are okay with that time slot, I’ll stick with it for now. If not, let me know.

Also, I’m working on the last 3 episodes of my Go! Go! Nippon playthrough on AndyCade, which will be released when they’re complete. I had to shift some things around due to work, getting homework done, and stuff like that. I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted on that so you’ll know when they’re coming out.

Back To The Animuus

Well guys, I’m off to start watching Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 tonight. Dunno how many episodes I can get through before bed, but we’ll see. Good night!

TheAndySan


Tonight, I decided to finish up Denpa Kyoushi (Ultimate Otaku Teacher) on Hulu. It was a fun little series that I relaxed to on my couch. Next up tomorrow will be Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, as recommended the other day by TkyoSam.

I’ve really been enjoying watching anime lately. It’s been filling me with all kinds of nostalgia and memories flood back whenever I watch a particular series or hear their OP/ED song. Yeah, dorky I know, but it’s what I like 😀

Something I’ve noticed with my creativity is that it has its ebbs and flows. When I’m stuck or burnt out, I usually just chill out for awhile and it’ll come back again. I can feel it coming back to me again, but I’m not at 100% yet.  These random late-night blog posts I feel are helping me get back in the groove again too.

Well, I’m gonna head off to bed, so take care guys!

TheAndySan


Stop…look and watch! Ready yet? Get set! It’s TheAaaaaaaandySan! Okay, dunno where I was going with that, but hey, here I am with another blog post!

 

As the title implies, I got done taking a great bath, with Epsom salts which helps with muscle aches and helps me feel so much more relaxed! I was even in there for a good 40 minutes before I realizing how long I was in for, haha!!

 

Update To The Upcoming Update

 

Anywho, seeing as I’m sure that you guys didn’t come here to learn about my bathing habits, I wanted to let you know that in an upcoming video, I say that I’m going on hiatus from making new videos for awhile. I should clarify that I meant on a regular basis. I still want to make a couple of videos here and there, but it won’t be anything super-scheduled. I mean, I’ll let you guys know when they’re coming out on Twitter a day or two in advance, but that’s about it scheduling-wise.

 

I asked you guys what questions you’d like me to answer on an upcoming episode of Life After Navy, and you certainly didn’t disappoint! I have a couple really good ones that I want to get out there on YouTube soon!

 

I was also thinking about a One Cuppa Japan-esque series where I talk about something on my way to school. The idea is that I’d turn the GoPro to face me while I talk, and I’d talk about something for about 15-20 minutes. Is that something you guys would be interested in for future videos? Let me know!

 

Let’s Life

 

I decided recently to cut back my coffee consumption to just one cup a day (which is where I got the idea for a series similar to OCJ) and so far, the benefits outweigh the negatives. I sleep all the way through the night more often now, and my body doesn’t feel all twitchy when I lay down. The downside is that I’m not as sharp as I was when I was all hopped up, but hopefully that changes with having more restful sleep and my body getting used to operating on less caffeine. I don’t think I’ll quit coffee entirely as there are also good health benefits to drinking dark coffee, but since I don’t have to keep my head on a swivel all the time like I was when I was in the Navy, I don’t mind cutting back a little.

 

Once my current money situation settles down, AKA I get some paychecks my way, I want to shift back to healthier food. One of the things that I notice when I eat all this cheap college food is how tired I am during the day. Around noon or 1pm, I’m ready to take a post-lunch nap! I think as I get older, all these unhealthy habits start to catch up to me. I’m also gonna look into getting a conversion stand for my bike so I can bike for exercise even when the weather isn’t so good.

 

Turning In

 

Anyway, I think that’s it for me tonight. Gonna get some Zs and start my Sunday fresh! I have some housework/laundry to do in the morning. Night!

 

TheAndySan


Hi. Hello. It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

 

Taking A Break From Videos (Kinda)

 

I’m looking for new ideas for revamping my blog. It’s been such an ongoing thing for me, and lately I’ve been drawn back into writing again.

 

I think that I need to take a break from videos for a bit because whenever I sit down to make one lately, I’m not happy with it. I am going to, however, make an update video telling you guys more about it and to list some changes that are gonna happen to TheAndySan channel.

 

Changes To The Video Schedule

 

Changes like putting AndyCade on hiatus. I’ve been debating on whether or not to continue the series since working on it has helped me become a better editor and I’ve become especially more familiar with audio editing because of my work on AndyCade. But as it stands now, it’s very time consuming of a project and I’m not super-into video games (I’m a casual player) so it’s best to put it on the shelf as a regular program. Does this mean that I’ll never ever do AndyCade again? No. I’d like to bring it back as an occasional series, but for now, it’s not going to be done on a regular basis. I’m going to finish out my upcoming game (debuting tomorrow BTW) and that’ll be it for now.

 

I’m still gonna do the reuploads so that there’s regular content on the channel, but those will be reduced to just one episode a day every day. I haven’t determined a time slot for it yet, but I’m looking into late morning/early afternoon EST. New videos (when made) will be on a couple hours before the reupload, and I’ll announce when a new video’s coming out on Twitter so be sure to follow me there!

 

Problems

 

I’ve been too focused on growing my YouTube channel that it’s taken the joy out of making videos for you guys, and that’s not something that I want to happen. Financial/unemployment problems also leaked onto everything including my grades in college this past semester and my general attitude online and off. I became bitter, pining for when I was in Japan doing cool things regularly.

I would watch all these great up-and-coming YouTubers, who I started to follow when they only had a couple hundred subs or even less, surpass me in subs and although I was super-happy for them to get the success they deserved, I was also really jealous.

 

“Why couldn’t I get those subs too? What’s wrong with my videos? Is the lighting bad? Is the sound bad? Did I ramble on too long? Did I say ‘umm’ and ‘ahh’ and ‘you know’ too much?”

“What’s wrong with my videos?”

“What’s wrong with me?…”

 

It was this mentality that paralyzed me and deadened my creativity. My videos suffered, and it became a vicious cycle of anger and self-loathing.

 

Back To Blogging Basics

 

So because of all of this, I decided it was time for me to get back to my blogging roots; where this whole thing started, even before YouTube.

 

I originally started blogging way back in 2005 because I wanted to stay connected to my best friend when he went off to college. He started blogging on Xanga because some of his college friends (who later became my friends too) were doing it and wanted him to do it too. I randomly came across his blog one day and decided to create my own account so I could start blogging too.

 

I became enamored with the concept of connecting with not only my own IRL friends, but with others from all walks of life and from all corners of the world. So my blogging grew from just keeping in touch with my best friend in college, to expressing myself and connecting with others. YouTube then became another platform of that philosophy of worldwide connection. At first, I made videos occasionally because I didn’t have my own camera (back before all phones came with a halfway decent one) and I also didn’t understand how to edit stuff. My mannerisms in those early videos weren’t the best either, and it’s hard to watch some of them now. But, I kept them up to show my progression as a YouTuber and as a person. When I joined the US Navy in 2010, I started to get more confident in my approach to video making, and thus my videos improved. I also bought new equipment to improve the quality of the videos as well since YouTube had, at that time, just made uploading HD videos possible.

 

The more and more I did YouTube, the less I did traditional text-based blogging, and I later stopped updating my blog altogether.

 

The Future of TheAndySan.com

 

I don’t have a plan or a schedule for when new blog posts will be coming out, and I think that’s for the best since working to feed The Content Monster will inevitably make the quality suffer as I try to scramble to put something together on a scheduled basis. But do expect more blog posts than the occasional once-every-three-months comeback post. 😀

 

I’m also gonna work from time to time on the look of the site as well as update for newer videos and things like that, so there may be times where you get a frequent amount of “new” posts. Just putting that out there.

 

For now, I’m gonna take a nap, then work on an update video for YouTube to let everyone there know what’s going on.

 

See ya soon!

 

TheAndySan