By Madison Pena
Blankets, beach chairs and bags of food were scattered throughout the line on Wednesday, Jan. 29 as students put their lives on pause and braved the cold. David Dobrik didn’t take the Kendall Hall stage until 8:30 p.m., but the YouTube Star had students lining up as early as 8 a.m. in hopes of getting front-row seats.
Host Max Falvey (’19), last year’s College Union Board director, didn’t leave any topics off the table. Falvey questioned the YouTube star about everything, from his decision to start vlogging to his famous, short-lived marriage and relationship with his best friend’s mother.
Dobrik, who jumpstarted his online presence on the popular app Vine, has since branched out to YouTube and has amassed over 15 million subscribers.
His content is full of bits, outrageous tricks and even science experiments that he packs into four minute and twenty-one second videos.
“I never thought about it before starting my channel, but it’s really tough to find ways to have fun,” he revealed to the crowd that packed Kendall Hall. “I’m constantly looking for new ways to have fun with my friends and give away money, and after a while it’s hard to find new, creative ways to do that.”
Fans admire that Dobrik is always giving back to deserving people. With the help of his sponsor SeatGeek, he is able to surprise friends and strangers with things like laptops, cars and straightup cash.
When asked about his generosity, Dobrik joked that his motives are self-serving.
“It’s actually very selfish, I do it for the reaction,” he said. “Something about seeing someone’s face when they have wanted something so badly is just the best feeling in the world.”
To the disappointment of many students, Dobrik did not give out any money during his time at the College.
Selfish or not, his videos of giving strangers money and cars has left a big impact on fans, which was proven when they waited outside in the cold for hours on end.
Batool Bokhari, a junior sociology and anthropology double major, waited in line for eight hours to see him live at the College, which she says was completely worthwhile.
“I couldn’t believe that he was coming here,” she said. “I was at the dinner table with my family when I saw CUB post it and I screamed. He’s such a genuinely nice person, and seeing what he does in his videos is amazing.”
While his life may seem picture-perfect online, he opened up about the challenges he faces in his unconventional career.
“People are still so unsure when it comes to YouTube,” he said. “It can be hard for people to take me seriously. People like Jimmy Fallon can just request someone to be on the show and they are on it, but for me to book people for videos, it’s a pain in the ass. I have to really convince them a lot of the time.”
Despite these challenges, Dobrik has continued his rise to stardom and been able to collaborate with megastars like Kylie Jenner and Justin Bieber, as well as branch out into television, podcasts and even animated film.
The question that seems to be on everyone’s mind is how he got his rise to stardom at the age of 23. Dobrik attributes much of his success to following his dad’s tried and true advice.
“Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability,” he said. “Whether you’re a janitor or the CEO, you should always be working as hard as you can — you never know where you could end up.”