Playlist Live 2019 is two weeks away and we thought you might want to hear from some of our star creators who will be representing the #BBTVFam this year. First up we have EMZOTIC, a former zookeeper with a wild collection of exotic pets. Em has a passion for all animals no matter how big or small or multiped(!) We caught up with Em and her exotic pets to find out how she got started as a creator and where we’ll be able to find her hanging out at Playlist (hint: probably searching for some new animal BFFs).
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did your love of animals come from?
I have always had a huge love for animals in my soul. My love and interest in them is as much a part of me as my hands or heart. As a child I would collect insects in the garden, but as I grew and got bigger, so did the animals I enjoyed finding and interacting with! My parents had a terrible time worrying about which creature I’d bring home to show them next!
How did you get started on YouTube? For people who don’t know your channel, what type of content do you make? How long have you been a YouTuber?
I got started on YouTube about two years ago after I had a hugely stressful and unsuccessful pregnancy. I was in a bad place emotionally and the only thing that helped me to focus was being creative. I was working as an Animal Educator at the time – taking animals into schools and giving talks about them. One day I just decided to do what I did every day in front of a live audience, but instead, do it for the camera, and that’s how EMZOTIC was born.
What do you want your audience to know about becoming a YouTuber? What advice do you have for your fans who want to become a YouTuber?
First of all – forget those nerves! Accept the fact that your first videos are going to make you cringe reeeaaallllly hard, but know that you will rapidly grow and improve as a creator if you’re dedicated and consistent!
The most important tip I can give aspiring creators is to center their channel around something they REALLY love – not just something they feel will be popular. People adore listening to and watching passionate people even if they’re not hugely interested in your subject. I’m not a fan of locomotives, but if I see a YouTuber being excited about talking about trains, I’ll stay and watch! The audience can tell if you’re bored or faking an interest, so be sure to love your channel topic!
You recently announced your launch of the honeycomb Em necklaces for the bees, in collaboration with Ana Luisa. What types other collaborations are you interested in doing?
I’m always interested in animals, people and travel, so any creative recording or collaborations which combine all three is definitely up my street! I love to write as well, so it would be phenomenal to write a series of animal books. I also love helping people overcome their fears of animals, so if any creators want some help with facing their fears of spiders or snakes, hit me up!
For people thinking about getting an exotic pet, what’s the best piece of advice you could give them? In a perfect world, what animals would you want to have as your pets?
It’s cliché, but RESEARCH is key! Not just saving cute pictures of your dream quirky pet, but really looking into the costs of the animals’ purchase, enclosure, electricity, feeding, heat, insurance and veterinary bills associated with the animal. It’s also important to remember that if you see any cute exotic pet clips online, this is usually the owners sharing the rare 10% of fun time they get to spend with their pet. It may look like a dream, but behind most ‘cute’ viral pet videos are months or even years of dedication to that animal, and a lot of dirty work like cleaning out animal mess.
In a perfect world where I could give an animal EVERYTHING it needed to thrive, I’d keep a spotted hyena, the world largest group of ferrets, a bunch of cuttlefish and.. a dog! I need a waggy tail in my life!
We’re so excited to see you at Playlist Live, what are you most excited to do/see in Orlando?
I’m really excited to meet up with my viewers and fans who I call my ‘Creature Crew’. They’re the lifeblood of my channel and I really love interacting with them and asking them for their feedback.
I also love meeting up with creators and talking about the life of a YouTuber. It’s an amazing, but also complicated life which few people can understand unless they’re also living this life. It’s nice to talk with people who understand the ups and downs of content creation. It will also be fun to go searching for animals! The hotel pond at Playlist Live actually has turtles in it if you look closely. I think I might be the only creator who has ever gone pond dipping for reptiles at Playlist!