Natalie Tran of the Community Channel has been making YouTube videos for years. She has a well-honed video format and a relatable voice, yet she remains unbelievably humble about her presence on the increasingly popular video platform. She kept with the low-key tone while talking to Rhett & Link, making this week’s “Ear Biscuits” distinct from past podcasts.
Having been active on YouTube since 2006, Tran still boasts the second most viewed Australian channel on the platform. She makes weekly videos, and was arguably the first YouTube comedian to harness the split screen format. Her unique brand of vlogging (what she calls “monologues”) interspersed with skits (in which she plays all the characters) has been widely adopted by major names and probably countless fourteen-year-olds on the platform.
Yet, to Rhett & Link’s bemusement, she remains completely humble about her achievements, her work, and her channel.
For instance, she noted, “It breaks my heart that I’m not good enough or patient enough to do any green screening.” Meanwhile, Tran can act expertly opposite herself just by using a 20-cent coin on the floor to mark the missing character. This technique works, in part because Tran has “the ability to speak in the same pace in sentences constantly” and partly because she nods a lot. At first glance, that may not make a lot of sense — but the nodding accounts for the moments when her character may not be looking in the exact direction of her other character, also played by Tran.
One could call these expert machinations, as they came out of not having an expansive production team. Tran’s resourcefulness makes up for one, and she produces most of her work with her partner. She can’t conceive of employing a person responsible for her social media alone. In a sense, this allows Tran to be choosier with her videos.
“I make a lot of videos that don’t go up,” she told Rhett & Link, estimating that “one of every three of four videos doesn’t make it.” Tran suggests that with higher production quality, she would be more inclined to put up all her videos. That’s the difference between paying people to work for you and not. (However, even Rhett & Link admit to scrapping videos that take lots of time, work, and organization — one video they put together involving two days of filming and lots of children too closely resembled work by the Fine Brothers, so they never put it on YouTube.)
Overall, Tran summed up that, though she loves making videos for YouTube, she doesn’t plan on making it her whole life. “YouTube is fun and all,” she explained, “but I try to put it on the side, make sure life is good and stuff first.” She continued, “I know how much effort goes into a YouTube channel and the community…I don’t have that kind of motivation or dedication, so I don’t think I could carry it off.”
Rhett summed this attitude up as simultaneously “refreshing and frustrating.” While it’s great to see someone so focused on and content with life outside of YouTube, it was also hard for Rhett to see someone so talented on the platform act dismissive towards her great work. For more of this one-of-a-kind YouTuber interview, tune into the most recent “Ear Biscuits.”