I’m excited to report that I am now back in Austin after an incredible five years in Los Angeles. I’ve had many people asking me why we decided to move and what it was like to undertake such a massive move during these crazy times.
In many ways, early 2020 was the first time I felt like we had FINALLY gotten our lives together, and things were working for us in California. The time we spent there was great - dreamlike in many ways - but it took some time to get things figured out. We had finally reached a point where we were feeling stable. We loved our neighborhood, our son’s school situation was great, and we had built a close network of friends. I still flew back to Austin regularly to work with the Yoga With Adriene on production, but the rest of the team was remote, and it was working great.
My last trip to Austin was in January. That was the first time I remember hearing about something called “Coronavirus.” Grant (our editor) and I were traveling...
For the past 5 years, Yoga With Adriene has published daily videos in January. This started in 2015 with our first 30 Days of Yoga series. When we hatched the idea, YWA was still just a two-person company with Adriene and I doing everything.
Back then, the channel wasn’t growing very fast. I think we still had less than 100,000 subscribers. The response to the videos was great, but the audience was small. I thought that a daily yoga series in January could change all that. Especially, if we put in the extra work to promote it. We had a loyal audience, we just needed something really cool (and free) that they could tell their friends about. It might just be a shot-in-the-arm for the channel.
Once we started production, we quickly realized we had bitten off a lot more than we could chew. 30 videos is a lot more than it sounds like when it is just an idea on paper. After a few days of production with just me running two cameras, we hired an additional camera person for the...
I’ve been using Wordpress on-and-off for almost 10 years now. Unfortunately, most of this hasn’t been on my own website but for business-related projects.
Wordpress was the tool that I used to dig myself out of the hole I was in after The Spider Babies project collapsed. I had no job and my bank account was down to zero. The economy was tanking and jobs were scarce. This environment coupled with my unconventional job history wasn’t landing me any interviews.
I couldn’t even get Starbucks to return my calls.
With an empty bank account and zero job prospects, I ended up leaving Austin and moving in with my mom while I sorted things out. I decided that learning “internet stuff” was my best shot at getting a job. So I signed up for a free trial of a membership site called The Keyword Academy (which is no longer around) and learned everything I could about making money online - primarily through SEO optimized niche sites that were monetized through...
It's late on a Saturday night and I'm writing this while I have a little downtime on the set of an independent movie I'm helping out on. This is another movie directed by my friend Paul Osborne and I think it has the potential to be really great.
This is the same crew I worked with on Cruel Hearts after first moving to LA and it's great to get back together with everybody again. I don't have major responsibilities on this one, I'm really just helping out however I can - which explains why I have the time to sit around and type this while the rest of the crew works through a small but tedious scene.
After a very stressful and disappointing 2018, this year already feels like a fresh start. Creativity is flowing again and I'm staying to think about new projects and other weird things I'm interested in exploring.
I've also been thinking a lot about websites and blogs - and what role they play now that Facebook (and social media in general) has essentially taken over the internet.
Things have been a little quiet here since the launch of YouTube Black Book. That’s because I have been on “paternity leave.”
On October 28th, we welcomed our first child – Flint Dryden Sharpe – to the world. He is a healthy and happy little guy and aside from sleep deprivation, the whole experience has been amazing.
For the most part, Hilah and I have both been camped out at home. Our days have pretty much consisted of: staring at the baby, changing diapers, binge watching TV shows, taking long walks in the neighborhood and drinking occasional margaritas on the back deck while Flint takes his afternoon nap.
We’ve also welcomed a lot of visitors over to meet Flint for the first time – including a lot of friends we haven’t seen in far too long. It’s been great to catch up and get reacquainted. But, when the conversation eventually turns to how we’re spending our time these days and the fact that...
Yesterday afternoon I shut down my iMac, flipped the switch on a fluorescent light and – for the last time – walked out of the cubicle where I had spent most of my working hours for the last 3 and half years.
I don’t have a big dramatic “Take This Job and Shove It” story to tell. I’m one of the lucky few who actually liked their day job. I had great supervisors, awesome people to work with, plenty of freedom to experiment, a decent salary and killer benefits. To top it all off, this was a state job which means I would have had to really screw up to ever get fired.
Once you get a job like this, you tend to stick around until retirement… if you’re smart anyway.
But I am a restless entrepreneurial spirit. As soon as I landed solid full-time employment, I immediately began working on side projects. Some of them brought in some decent money. Some of them were total failures. All of them were valuable learning...
We spent the New Years holiday on the beach at Port Aransas.
This was my first visit to the “Texas Riviera” and even though the weather was cool and mostly overcast, it did not disappoint. It may sound like a strange choice for a vacation destination, but we needed to get the hell out of town. We found a great condo with a kitchen right on the beach. And it was dog-friendly so we didn’t have to leave Daisy at home.
It was a very low-key few days – a rarity for us. We spent most of the time like total nerds – writing screenplays on the deck while drinking margaritas. We ate a lot of seafood and made a wicked beach fire, but spent New Year's Eve itself watching TV with the dog. In fact, this is the first New Years Day I can remember that I wasn’t totally hung over. It was actually pretty awesome.
For me the trip was a complete mental “re-boot.”
2011 was a roller-coaster of a year filled with lots of emotional highs and lows, a...
I guess it’s kind of customary for people to write a year-end wrap-up. I’ll do my best, but 2009 was an incredibly strange year for me. I feel like I accumulated at least 5 years worth of life experience in the past 12 months.
The first few months of the year were spent on pre-production for The Spider Babies. Script polishes, storyboards, schedules, costume design, casting, production design, location scouting, etc. Regardless of how things eventually turned out, I remain incredibly proud of the team we were able to put together for this project. The cast, crew and creative team were all top-notch. It was truly my dream team.
However, early in the year we began suffering a series of setbacks that started with our leading man getting hit by a car and culminated in losing the warehouse where we were going to build all the sets a few...