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The Dream Interview

Dream, a popular Minecraft content creator, gained fame through storytelling and editing videos into cinematic stories. He remained mysterious and never showed his face until 2022 when over 40 million people watched his face reveal. However, in 2023, Dream announced that he would be putting the mask back on. He has also embarked on a career in music and signed with Republic Records. Dream's origin story and childhood, as well as his journey to success, were discussed. He emphasized the importance of storytelling and his love for reading young adult dystopian books. Dream's videos aim to entertain and capture moments with friends. He has a vision to have a big impact on the world through his content. Dream's decision to put the mask back on is more about the meaning behind it and inspiring others. The face reveal video had massive anticipation and viewership, but also faced criticism for hyping up the moment. Dream's journey to success involved working at Apple, learning from others on YouTube, and continuously improving his content. He believes in creating his own reality and emphasizes the importance of confidence. Dream's friendship with George and Sapnap has been crucial for their success. The speaker also discussed their experience with fame, the financial struggles they faced growing up, and their support for their family. Dream's involvement in the Dream SMP, a live Minecraft role-playing show, was mentioned. The speaker also talked about their interest in music and storytelling, and their recent foray into the music industry. They signed a record deal with Republic Records and released personal and heartfelt songs. Dream is comfortable with growing fame as long as it helps impact people's lives, but acknowledges the challenges it brings to personal life. The speaker also discussed the dangers of swatting and the need to separate personal and work life. They define success as personal happiness and positive contribution to the world. Dream hinted at the possibility of going on tour in the future and discussed the features of his new mask.


Key Points

(00:00:21) - Dream grew through telling stories on Minecraft and editing videos into cinematic stories (00:00:33) - Dream remained mysterious and never showed his face until 2022 (00:00:48) - Over 40 million people watched Dream's face reveal in 2022 (00:01:05) - Dream announced in 2023 that he's putting the mask back on (00:01:13) - Dream is embarking on a career in music and signed with Republic Records (00:01:30) - Dream talks about his origin story and childhood (00:02:30) - Dream's face was revealed in October 2022 (00:03:18) - Dream started as a faceless creator and the mask became a symbol of inspiration (00:05:00) - Dream decided to put the mask back on to solidify its meaning (00:06:09) - Dream's decision is more about the meaning behind the mask and inspiration for others (00:06:54) - Video spread like wildfire due to catchy headline (00:08:15) - Face reveal was a mix of personal desire and marketing strategy (00:09:00) - Face reveal started with showing face to friends, then expanded to other creators (00:10:43) - Face reveal created FOMO for other creators (00:11:19) - Face reveal video had massive anticipation and viewership (00:12:07) - Criticism of hyping up the moment and appearance (00:12:28) - Fans had varying opinions on appearance (00:13:15) - The video had over 40 million views in a week (00:13:19) - The creator put a lot of effort into revealing their face on their own terms (00:14:07) - The creator's work is centered around entertaining people through storytelling (00:15:31) - The creator's passion for storytelling comes from their love of reading young adult dystopian books (00:16:00) - The creator's Minecraft videos are a way to share their happiness and capture moments with friends (00:16:29) - The creator's vision is to have a big impact on the world through their content (00:17:43) - The creator applied their deep knowledge of storytelling to Minecraft, a popular canvas (00:18:01) - Minecraft's open-ended nature and community focus have kept the creator engaged with the game (00:18:39) - The creator was a book nerd in high school and disliked traditional schooling (00:19:10) - The creator battled with their parents to switch to online school and eventually stopped going to school altogether, leading to an arrest for truancy (00:19:41) - Didn't go to school, got charged with resisting arrest (00:19:47) - Parents called the cops (00:20:04) - Parents regret calling the cops (00:20:11) - Resisting arrest charge was expunged (00:20:23) - Battle with parents fueled creativity (00:21:03) - Used wire from neighbor's plug to charge laptop secretly (00:21:20) - Had two close friends growing up, mostly isolated in high school (00:22:31) - Went through depression and battled with parents (00:22:59) - Realized need to be an adult and work within the rules (00:23:26) - Graduated early and obtained tech certifications (00:23:49) - Learned networking, hardware, software, and Java programming (00:24:19) - Dad and grandpa had a tech background (00:25:10) - Everyone expected a tech-related job, but had different plans (00:25:28) - Started YouTube channel with an interesting story (00:25:40) - Worked at Apple, used certifications (00:25:48) - Worked at AppleCare, highest level of support (00:26:00) - Learned how people think, fixed a person not just a problem (00:26:38) - Apple support is one of the best (00:27:04) - Saved $20,000, quit job for YouTube (00:27:31) - Analyzed YouTube videos, learned from others (00:29:07) - Small details add up, need good content (00:29:23) - Confident to start YouTube, borrowed money from friend (00:30:27) - First paycheck saved from going back to Apple (00:31:42) - Reflects on how people make fun of his old music lyrics and how he cringes at them now. (00:31:58) - Talks about how writing and gaming are escapes for him and allow him to create his own world. (00:33:11) - Shares that writing and gaming helped him cope with depression during his teenage years. (00:34:05) - Expresses how important the internet and gaming were to him as an escape from sadness. (00:34:39) - Describes how his addiction to the internet and gaming improved his life in the long run. (00:35:16) - Talks about how he learned to appreciate his past sadness and how it made him happier now. (00:35:33) - Discusses the realization that he is in control of his own life and can create his own reality. (00:36:00) - Recalls his confident mindset as a teenager and how he believed in himself and his abilities. (00:37:29) - Emphasizes the importance of believing in oneself and creating one's own reality. (00:37:38) - Recognizes his creative intelligence and ability to connect with people. (00:38:04) - Importance of confidence in interviews (00:38:10) - Ability to convince and admit when unsure (00:38:24) - Underqualified but impressed during Apple interview (00:38:39) - Honesty and confidence in first YouTube video (00:39:00) - Different phases of YouTube content creation (00:39:28) - Learning from past mistakes and rebranding (00:40:26) - Importance of doing something different or better (00:42:19) - Choosing the name "dream" for uniqueness and personal connection (00:43:05) - Creating own reality through branding and concept (00:43:38) - Similarity to Apple's choice of name for accessibility (00:44:10) - Steve Jobs' idea of picking an accessible name (00:44:29) - Roommates George and Sapnap had different names before (00:44:38) - Dream approached George and Sapnap with a plan (00:45:13) - Rules for choosing names: short, simple, no misspellings, meaningful (00:45:19) - Sapnap's name came from flipping his old username (00:45:29) - George's name came from "Sir George" (00:47:06) - Dream emphasized the importance of friendship and staying together (00:47:17) - There is no right blueprint for success, but there are strategies to increase chances (00:48:30) - Dream and Sapnap's friendship is crucial for their success (00:49:08) - Dream believes their success is a combination of luck, preparation, and opportunity (00:50:12) - The quick success was due to the COVID-19 pandemic and people being indoors (00:50:27) - Dream's journey from 1 million to 20 million subscribers in 500 days (00:51:01) - Dream's quick transition to fame and being recognized in public (00:51:16) - Dream's experience of being a faceless celebrity (00:51:34) - Dream's paranoia about being recognized but not approached (00:52:28) - Dream's adjustment to fame and acceptance of being recognized in public (00:54:11) - Dream's growth on YouTube by continuously improving and trying new things (00:55:26) - Dream's passion and genuine enjoyment in creating videos (00:56:04) - Dream's focus on adding meaning and uniqueness to his videos, such as the concept of Manhunt (00:56:43) - The goal of the game is to complete it quickly, while someone tries to kill you and slow you down. (00:57:09) - The first Manhunt video did well, and the potential was realized. (00:57:18) - Editing and music made the video more intense and interesting. (00:57:48) - Editing involved cutting and rearranging footage to create suspense. (00:58:27) - The concept of two people trying to stop the player was introduced, adding more interest. (00:59:04) - The consistent thumbnail with two people and one person below helped attract viewers. (01:00:08) - There was never a moment of feeling rich, as the focus was on maintaining success. (01:00:46) - Dream still edits every video on his main channel, but has started hiring editors for other channels. (01:01:14) - Dream and George coded plugins and did other tasks themselves, giving them an advantage. (01:02:00) - Initially, the money came from AdSense, but later merch and Patreon became revenue streams. (01:02:48) - One of the biggest revenue streams for the speaker was AdSense. (01:03:01) - The speaker received a million-dollar AdSense check in one month. (01:03:11) - The speaker's family had middle-class financial struggles during the recession. (01:04:01) - The speaker had to work for everything they wanted as a child. (01:04:09) - The speaker gave $50,000 to their family to help them and feel secure. (01:05:00) - The speaker paid off their grandparents' house to help them. (01:06:08) - The speaker's family is supportive and proud of their success. (01:07:19) - The speaker has interacted with fans in person and it changed their perspective on their popularity. (01:07:43) - The Dream SMP is a live Minecraft role-playing show on Twitch. (01:08:59) - The Dream SMP allowed viewers to choose which character's perspective to watch. (01:09:15) - The speaker believes their genuine and relatable personality is why their audience found them. (01:09:30) - Talks about parasocial relationships and treating fans as people (01:10:00) - Shares personal experience as a fan of sports (01:10:30) - Discusses the USB stick with personal content for fans (01:11:30) - Explains the idea behind the USB stick and the criticism received (01:13:00) - Compares the USB stick to collecting memorabilia as a fan (01:13:50) - Talks about his interest in music and storytelling (01:15:30) - Explains how music became an outlet for expressing emotions and stories (01:16:10) - VOD and retention bits are important in condensing a story (01:16:18) - Taking music seriously and treating it like a job (01:16:40) - Signed a record deal with Republic Records (01:17:09) - Spent two years learning about music and the industry (01:17:32) - Putting out more music and stepping into the music world (01:18:23) - The mask is unrelated to the music career (01:18:32) - Music is a viable option for creators with a large audience (01:19:06) - Never had the thought of making music just because of popularity (01:19:26) - Released music without much promotion (01:19:56) - Took time to improve and learn about music before stepping into the industry (01:20:37) - Musical inspirations are artists who tell powerful stories through their music (01:22:09) - Cried during a fight with mom (01:22:12) - Inspired by singers who put heart into their music (01:22:19) - Wants to encapsulate stories in music (01:22:30) - Wants to reach a different audience through music (01:22:52) - Loves "Mask" because it was personal and heartfelt (01:23:21) - Most recent song is called "Until I End Up Dead" (01:23:31) - Inspired by the passing of a friend and a similar childhood experience (01:26:05) - Realized the importance of appreciating loved ones (01:26:18) - Song is about vulnerability and living life to the fullest (01:27:22) - Fundraiser for the Sarcoma Foundation (01:28:31) - Doesn't regret the face reveal, feels freer now (01:29:00) - Comfortable with growing fame as long as it helps impact people's lives (01:29:21) - Fame can come at the price of being slightly more annoying in public places like Walmart. (01:29:29) - The speaker rarely needs security, except for big events. (01:30:02) - The speaker and their family have been swatted before, which is dangerous and has resulted in deaths and harm to pets. (01:31:00) - The speaker received a text from someone claiming to be the FBI, which turned out to be a false threat. (01:32:00) - Swatting is a dangerous prank where someone calls the police with a fake threat, often targeting streamers. (01:32:34) - The speaker has come to accept that danger and swatting are part of being famous, but it shouldn't be. (01:33:43) - The speaker deleted some IRL content, like face reveal videos, not because of swatting, but to solidify their identity as "Dream." (01:35:02) - Fame complicates personal life, including dating and friendships. (01:35:42) - Separating personal and work life is challenging for creators in the Limelight (01:36:05) - Success is defined by personal happiness and positive contribution to the world (01:37:03) - Success cannot be solely measured by numbers or subscribers (01:38:19) - Dream discusses his new mask and its features (01:40:18) - Dream talks about the blind spots and attachments of the mask (01:41:29) - Dream hints at the possibility of going on tour in the future

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