Monthly Archives: December 2007

What the hell is wrong with your face?

The title of this post is a reference to the single most stupid recurring comment I get on my YouTube videos.  The Mr Angry mask seems to really confound some people.  Some people really can’t work out what it is (I’m consistently surprised by how many people think it’s makeup or the markings are drawn directly onto my face) and others can’t wrap their head around why I would wear a mask.

Before I started this blog I made the decision to keep it anonymous (as much as possible).  The IT job market in Melbourne (where I work) is small, conservative and gossipy.  I planned from start to write some fairly outrageous stuff and I figured some people might have trouble separating the character of Mr Angry from the “real” me.

That, and I thought people wouldn’t want to talk to me if they thought they might end up as blog fodder.  And who could blame them?

So it was simpler all around to blog anonymously.  That worked well for a few months then I decided to complicate things by broadening the world of Mr Angry to encompass YouTube.  When I was thinking about how to preserve some level of anonymity while making videos I went back for my college days.

I actually did a theatre degree back in the day (a few more years ago than I care to admit) which covered training in a range of performance styles including traditional Medieval mask work AKA Commedia dell’arte.  While I was in one traditional play, a piece that always stayed with me was one done by another group where they used cheap plastic store-bought masks.  Cutting the lower jaw out of these masks shows the actors’ real mouths and has the effect of making something completely inanimate look incredibly alive.

And so Mr Angry was born.  A cheap translucent mask (the visage is based on the actor Clark Gable for the trivia minded) has the jaw cut out and some angry lines drawn on.  And the rest is some rather confusing history.

All of which is a slightly drawn out way of saying things are changing.  When I organised a gathering for YouTube users in Melbourne I knew my cover would be blown.  I had no intention of wearing the mask to a public gathering and so I knew there would end up being a lot of videos of me without a mask (although not as many as I expected – it seemed like there were only about 20 cameras at the gathering and I thought there would be closer to 100).

So, seeing as I was effectively unmasked I thought I’d make a “coming out” video.  This was an explanation to any longer term viewers who didn’t know my back story as well as an introduction to the thousand or so new subscribers that came my way courtesy of Mr Safety.

Who knows, even the old hands at this blog might learn something new.

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Filed under Video Blogging

More job interview shenanigans

Well, it looks like I might be starting a new job on Monday.  I’ve been going through interviews and now there are two contenders who seem to want me so it’s down to who makes the best offer.

I don’t know if I’m getting mellower (wouldn’t that be a terrible thing?) but the questions seem to be getting less stupid.  Astute readers will know that my pet hate is being asked “what are your weaknesses?”  Why do morons who ask that question think I’m going to honestly tell them something bad about myself?

Anyway, in this round of interviews one highlight stands out.  The interview team were following a smart path as far as I’m concerned.  After establishing my basic competence they spent more time focusing on whether they could stand to be around me rather than obsessing over technical details.

This is a small startup so one technical genius who happens to be an obnoxious fuck-up could destroy the company.  Whereas a decent, intelligent human doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to make a positive contribution to the company.  So we’ve progressed to a fairly relaxed, chatty stage of the interview when the CEO of the startup leans over to me and says (I swear I’m not making this up):

“Tell me about a time when you really fucked something up.”

I like these guys.

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Filed under Work

Back on deck

Almost.

I’m decompressing from the weekend.  Two major events have come to pass.  First, I finally got to meet one of my favourite people on YouTube; Cory Williams AKA MR Safety of SMP Films.  Second was the gathering we organised for YouTube users and viewers to get together in Melbourne is finally over.

The first thing we did when Cory landed was make some videos even though he was jet lagged.  We had fun playing up the stereotype that Americans don’t know anything about Australia.  This one is short and sweet:

This one has a longer set-up but is rapidly becoming the most popular video ever uploaded to my YouTube channel:

Cory’s “endorsement” of me has meant a doubling of my subscriber numbers in a really short time frame which is both weird and incredibly gratifying to someone as vain as me.  Anyway, I’ll round off with my video from the gathering at the weekend.  I’m almost sure I’m going to start writing regularly again tomorrow.

Oh, by the way, don’t watch this video if you’re easily shocked.  I’m not wearing a mask!

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Filed under Video Blogging, YouTube