By: Andrew Bank (Syracuse University)
He is my camp friend, fraternity brother, and former freshman roommate. Now, he’s also a YouTube celebrity.
While I may understand soon-to-be Syracuse University senior Tyler Gildin better than anyone, you may all be getting to know him pretty soon. Gildin’s viral video “Nassau (County) State of Mind” is quickly getting even more hits than most New York Mets opponents and he is ready to capitalize on a spotlight larger than others he’s grown quite used to.
For over three years, the Long Island native has continually improved as an aspiring stand-up comedian. While Gildin started off performing smaller gigs on the S.U. campus, he’s taken his material (which can sometimes make Bob Saget’s look Mr. Rogers-esque) to some of New York’s most prestigious comedy clubs this summer. With a new website (conveniently titled “TylerGildin.com”) and one of the Internet’s hottest viral attractions, it’s clear he’s very serious about being a joker.
Tyler was gracious enough to give me some of his (now, exponentially more valuable) time for an exclusive Campus Socialite interview. With all of his recent YouTube success, I have a feeling it won’t be his last Q& A.
Andrew Bank (AB): What exactly inspired you to make “Nassau (County) State of Mind”?
Tyler Gildin (TG): Honestly, I had listened several times to the actual “Empire State of Mind,” and I had wanted to make a music video for a long time. To do a local song was always a fun idea. I was going to originally do one just about The Five Towns, but I figured, why not expand to all of Nassau County?
AB: You worked with several of your peers on this project. Tell me about each of their unique contributions to the video.
TG: Me and Evan Krumholz each wrote our parts. I covered the South Shore and he covered the North. He was really the energy behind the project and he very persistent on getting it done. Evan’s the one who suggested we go to Nash Prince about the music.
Nash sang the chorus and basically recorded all of it. He made the sound legitimate and was basically the producer. We went to Nash’s house and were able to knock out the recordings in an hour or two. He sent us the MP3 and it sounded that good where we knew we had something.
Everything you see is Cody Milch. One of the biggest reasons the video is a hit is because it’s visually pleasing. Cody bought the necessary equipment and had an artistic eye. He went over all the parts he wanted to tape, and the whole shooting only took four days. He was the main editor on it and he’s very proficient with Final Cut and his HD camera.
We also brought in our friend Keith Gould, who was a filler for every comedic part when we needed another guy. He was the icing on the cake.
AB: Are you surprised by the video’s success?
TG: I expected it to be a hit. We all had confidence in it. Krumholz set a goal for at least 5,000 views in the first week, and we fortunately exceeded that. Now we have over 60,000 and it hasn’t even been three days!
I didn’t realize how technically advanced parents are. They are sending it around through e-mail and Facebook. My parents’ childhood friends even sent my dad an e-mail with the video. They live in Montreal.
AB: How do you think the success of this video will impact your stand-up career?
TG: People can see my name and go to my website. The video can also potentially spur off some new material for me.
Essentially, the video helps all four of us improve our chances of being discovered.
AB: Are you more comfortable performing on stage or in front of a camera?
TG: That depends. In comparison to a sit down interview, I’d rather be on a stage. With a camera like Cody’s, when we’re just filming with us, it’s different. There’s less pressure. You can mess up and do retakes.
At the same time, it’s the live audience that gives you a boost to keep going at it. They are really two different things.
AB: How do you plan on building upon this video’s success?
TG: We are definitely going to want to do more videos, but it’s hard because we all go to different schools. Come Thanksgiving or December break, I wouldn’t be surprised if we release another. It may be hard to top this, but the four of us won’t come back together unless we know we’ll have something good.
Now that I have my own website, I have more of an incentive to continue doing things. I also want to keep using the great resources I have at the Newhouse School in Syracuse.
AB: You’re about to be a college senior. This is a time when many students start feeling a little depressed. For you, however, things must be looking much brighter. What’s going through your head right now?
TG: I am going to Syracuse with a bang right now. I had a great summer and I want to continue this momentum throughout the year, hopefully getting as much ass as I can along the way. That never hurts.
For more info on Tyler and his fellow overnight YouTube celebrities, check out the following sites:
http://www.tylergildin.com (Tyler Gildin, Syracuse University)
http://www.krumlife.com/ (Evan Krumholz, University of Miami)
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nash-Prince/118439820598?ref=ts (Nash Prince, University of Miami)
http://streamfromtheconscienceless.blogspot.com/ (Cody Milch, University of Wilsconsin)
*Andrew Bank is a senior Television, Radio, & Film major at Syracuse University. Visit ANDREWBANK.COM to read more of his work.