Penn State’s Student Programming Association (SPA) hosted YouTube star David Dobrik for a virtual Q&A session Monday night.
The creator discussed everything from what it’s like working in the entertainment industry, TikTok, his go-to meal at Portillo’s in Chicago, and who he would bring with him in his trademark Tesla.
Dobrik rose to fame on Vine and then moved to YouTube where his popularity skyrocketed. He’s known for his comedic videos, including those with the “Vlog Squad,” as well as for his kind acts and outrageous giveaways.
The Q&A session began with Dobrik talking about what it’s like to be a content creator with event moderator, Sydney Asencio, a Penn State student who captures her life on YouTube for an audience of more than 600,000 subscribers.
He spoke about his love and passion for creating content and how that fuels him to work harder in the industry.
“Before you do anything, make sure you’re doing it for the right reason,” Dobrik said. “Become an influencer because you love creating stuff.”
Dobrik named six different people he would want to bring on a ride. The combination included Tesla creator Elon Musk, his high school English teacher, Abe Lincoln, Robert Downey Jr., Leonardo DiCaprio, and Ariana Grande.
The impact and happiness that Dobrik feels after doing giveaways for his followers inspires him to keep doing more. As a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient (DACA), Dobrik discussed how one of the most memorable giveaways he’s done was when the winner was also a DACA recipient he randomly met in Texas.
“That’s what I miss most about vlogging,” Dobrik said. “Being able to interact with strangers and making a memory with a stranger is the coolest thing.”
Due to the coronavirus, Dobrik has not filmed any of his notorious four-minute and 21-second long vlogs recently. The time, Dobrik discussed, is intentional, as he always tries to make four-minute and 20-second long videos, but YouTube rounds up the time.
“The vlogs are like a trailer of my day. It’s just the best parts of my day and that’s all you get,” Dobrik said. “If you were to cut the movie “Titanic” down to a four-minute video, you could turn it into a comedy.”
Dobrik, his assistants, and Asencio turned to the topic of Tik Tok, debating on whether Tik Tok was better than YouTube.
“There’s no better place to get on your phone when you have ten minutes to kill than Tik Tok,” Dobrik said. He noted that on YouTube, however, there is an opportunity to be much more creative.
Other topics Dobrik discussed were his experience deciding to not go to college, and the advice he would give to his 18-year-old self.
“I got to miss out on college because I got a cool job in the entertainment world and I was like, ‘I fucking love this.’ There is not a single thing I am missing in college,’” Dobrik said.
However, Dobrik warned other to not drop out unless they had a big passion and specific reason to do so.
Speaking to his 18-year-old self, Dobrik said everything happens for a reason. Dobrik spoke on how in his career, he’s been able to meet some unique people who have become his best friends.
“I don’t think the people are like me,” Dobrik said. “I think I am like the people. I feel like I’m a product of all my friends put together, I’m all their personalities in one.”
Dobrik later shared that he would prefer Domino’s Pizza over any other kind, including authentic pizza straight from Italy.
“There’s a reason Dominos is so big. It’s because they perfected the pizza recipe,” Dobrik said. “There’s something about it that’s so magical that makes you want more.”
Fans encouraged Dobrik to attend a Penn State football game, where he could compare his beloved Domino’s pizza to a Beaver Stadium pizza cone.
“Anything that you can eat standing I love. I’m a fan of being vertical and consuming things,” Dobrik said about eating the fan food in the bleachers.
Dobrik shared he would love to come to Penn State at some point, especially given the cancellation of his in-person lecture in March because of the coronavirus. Perhaps next year Dobrik will be sneaking into the student section, pizza cone, and chicken basket in hand.