Profile: A conversation with renowned Millenial Filmmaker and Aspiring Merch Seller; Michael Jay

Interview and write up by Helen Hunt (not that one).

As a 37 year old writer who is recently divorced and not quite over it, I remember the moment when one Tuesday night at 2am, I fell — emotions first — into a YouTube wormhole. In case you are not familiar with new-age colloquialisms, urban dictionary defines a YouTube wormhole as “The state one’s in when they’re attempting to watch only one video on YouTube, but one video turns into two, which leads to 20, 30 or even more…”

For the purpose of this article, I have recorded my YouTube video viewing activity which lead me to our rising star profile. The list provided is not a reflection of an ordinary Tuesday evening for me, I am just very recently divorced.

Helen Hunt’s (not that one) viewing activity:

How To Make White Wine,
How To Make White Wine Perfume,
How To Make White Wine From Tears From White Wine,
Best of Helen Hunt Compilation, 
Helen Hunt — Twister Audition Tape FULL, 
Mel Gibson Worst On-Set Meltdowns, 
Cat’s Licking Frogs — Hilarious!
Kitten Heels Fashion Review, 
Dating In Your 40’s, 
How To Make Smooth Custard, 
The Vegan Cat Food Diet, 
Shania Twain live in Chicago, 
Eric Clapton — Wonderful Tonight Live at Madison Square Garden’s Tim Horton’s, 
Shamu — We Miss You Compilation, 
Sixth Sense Gag reel, 
Susan Sarandon’s Surong Secrets 2007, 
Grow Your Own Journal, 
17 Uses for Cucumbers, 
Led Zeppelin Tribute Band Led Pencil — Stairway To Shaven’ Live in Milwaukee Mall, 
Magican Tricks Gone Wrong, 
Harry Potter Conspiracy theories EXPLAINED, 
Plastic Surgeon Secrets 2004, 
Michael Jackson Funeral (4 hour live FULL), 
Michael Buble live in Trader Joe’s — Toronto NYE 2009, 
Michael Jay Fails.

Before I knew it, I had skipped fourteen full working days as a Senior Writer at a top London-based digital agency, I hadn’t changed out of my oversized cardigan and I hadn’t fed my oversized cat, Cardigan.

I subsequently then took a brief trip to A&E because I am convinced a broken heart should be considered a genuine medical condition.

Stumbling across Michael Jay’s YouTube Channel however, was all the medicine any doctor could prescribe for anyone who is going through a tough time. Being truly inspired by his lack of commitment to putting out content, but still maintaining a ‘nice try’ mentality to his dedicated 384 subscribers, I contacted Michael Jay for a conversational profile, as I am convinced he holds some juicy influencer secrets.

HH: Michael, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me, I’m going to jump right in to this as I am recently divorced. What inspires you?

MJ: Thanks for reaching out Helen Hunt, I have to say that once I got over the initial disappointment that I am not meeting a true childhood icon of mine and global superstar, it was so thrilling to hear from you.

HH: Mmm…Yes

MJ: I’m inspired by a lot of differentiating moments and objects, people places and performances, as well as art forms and social norms. I’m forever inspired, sometime’s I am inspired by being inspired.

HH: Thank you what a completely inane answer. How have you balanced keeping up with your busy schedule of one video every 8 months with all your other commitments?

MJ: I am first and foremost a full-time Millenial, so alot of my time is spent waiting for my dreams and aspirations to fall onto my lap. A lot of my energy is also spent on repeatedly reminding myself that I am talented, without actually acting on this, or creating anything in particular.

HH: Well whatever you are doing seems to be working for you. Describe to our readers some of your aspirations and why dreaming small is underrated.

MJ: Thanks I’m certainly feeling like I am at a point in my life where I have set the bar so ridicuously high, that any other type of success is dwarfed in comparison. In the past, I set the bar at putting out content on a weekly basis. This is something most — if not all — content creators swear by; consistency. But here’s the thing, I am not any other content creator. I’m Michael Jay. So I flipped it on it’s head. I started not putting out content.

HH: Inspiring. You are very much a Salmon of the YouTube community.

MJ: Absolutely. I’ve coined the term “Upstreaming”

HH: Yes, I was hoping you’d connect the Salmon reference. I would like to talk about your big plans for opening your first Merchandise Online Store, or MOS as coined by industry nobodies to save time in client meetings. Can you explain this new phrase to our readers? As I am recently divorced.

MJ: Yes. Upstreaming is a term that refers to creators like me. Inspired by exclusivity, hype and marketing campaigns of personalities like Kanye West, Casey Neistat, and Jessica Simpson’s dog. Acting on this, I have invested in a pop-up merch store in Shoreditch, London for one day only, selling one T-shirt in one size, that doesn’t fit all. Available in my new Merch store in March. Readers should also know I am hosting the very first #MerchMarch, where I lead potential followers from the nearest underground station, to my pop-up Merch shop, in March.

“Success is not something you expect. You have to — at the very most — open your MacBook Pro and get a friend to take photos for your social media presence” — Michael Jay

HH: This is incredible. It makes complete sense to me that you would implement this strategy; if it works for some of the most established, hard-working, influential celebrities in the world, then of course it would work for you. Especially given that you have such a successful foundation and archive of footage.

MJ: Yes thank you.

HH: At present, how many videos do you have?

MJ: That’s a tricky question. Let me think. The last time I checked there was eleven? Wait — specically this year?

HH: Sure.

MJ: Yes, eleven.

HH: Wow. How many videos in total then? Not just this year?

MJ: Eleven.

HH: Fantastic.

MJ: Thank you.

It was at this point we both laughed and finished our latte’s. The rain on the window of this quirky cafe in the heart of London reminded us that there is an entire world out there and that I am recently divorced. We chatted some more about social media and how Michael wanted to agree the latte was expensed to my agency. As we both stood on the corner of the street, about to go our separate ways, I asked Michael for a quote that he lives his life by.

Dreams can come true
Look at me babe I’m with you
You know you gotta have hope
You know you gotta be strong — Gabrielle (1993)

Michael Jay is available at:
Instagram: @the_michaeljay

Helen Hunt is a Senior Writer at Kensington & Kensington, a London-based Global Advertising Agency.*

*Updated since published article: Helen has recently been charged with plotting to assassinate the reputation of her ex-husband Mel Gibson (not that one).**

**Updated since update since published article: Upon being found “not-guilty but incredibly lonely” by The Right Honourable The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Chief Yuhav Tabbikidding, Helen’s career has gone from strength to ‘just getting by’. Helen is currently taking a break from the advertising industry and is launching a series of Bio-Yogurts for lactose intolerant cats.

“I’m doing things too” — Michael Jay
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