Be That Person

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The story behind the video.

I am completely overwhelmed and humbled by the reaction to this video.As I write this post, it has amassed over 2 million views Facebook and thousands of comments, messages and emails. I thought it was time to share the story behind this viral video for those interested.

***This video has already garnered nearly 100 million views***

I recently had the pleasure of being part of YouTube Next Up. As part of my award, I was invited to YouTube Space LA for a week of Film School Bootcamp. We were going to shoot a video there, but there was no kitchen available. I don’t know what I could do without a kitchen. That’s when reviews happen. It didn’t hurt my feelings and it didn’t surprise me. Over the years, many people have commented on my gray hair, and I’ve never been shy about sharing my reasons. I decided to answer the nasty commenters and share the comments and answers on my personal Facebook page. The response from my friends and family has been overwhelming. At that moment, I knew what my video project would be.

This video was shot at YouTube Space LA with the assistance of four amazing people (Jay Chou, james, jerry, and my mentor Julie). I’m not sure I’ll post this anywhere, but take it as an opportunity to experiment with filmmaking and storytelling. I have a script and try to shoot it. My amazing friend Jerry told me I needed to get a shot of me coming from my heart. There I was in a dark room with blinding lights. I couldn’t see anyone, just a glint of light from the camera lens. I speak to the camera, to an unknown audience, but mostly to myself. This is what you see above.

On weekends we screened our project on cinema screens with about 35 people as an audience. When mine appeared on the screen, I held my breath wondering what everyone’s reaction would be. I feel so naked and vulnerable. Everything is so original. I didn’t know I could hold my breath for three and a half minutes! The response from my fellow YouTube creators has been overwhelming. They were very encouraging and asked me to post it. It took me days to actually share it on my YouTube channel. I finally decided to share it on Facebook too at the last minute. I’m raising money for some friends who have adopted babies and all the traffic to my blog is being donated to them. I thought the video might drive them more traffic. I had no idea that the video would end up being viewed by millions of people.

The response was humbling. I get comments, messages and support emails every few seconds. I make it a point to read every single story because I want to make sure every one gets heard. I don’t know if I will be able to respond to them all, and I apologize. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. I have been reading all of your words at the kitchen table for the past few days. I cried with you. I laughed with you. The whole experience has been very enriching for me.

People created a hashtag (#bethatperson) and the message of self-love was spreading. The BBC wrote a article Regarding the video, people are campaigning to get to The Ellen DeGeneres Show. I don’t even know what to say. I am at a loss. How do you deal with accidentally creating such a movement? Of course I don’t know! All I know is that this experience moved me deeply and changed me forever. Thanks. That’s all I know.

A small note: To the many who sincerely wish to help with my medical condition: Thank you for your concern. I am currently very happy with my current treatment and am not interested in much of the medical advice I have received.