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Shira: Hey, Shira Lazar, coming to you from VidCon with MysteryGuitarMan! Oh my God, you're so mysterious!

Joe: No, I'm not, stop it.

Shira: You wanna take off your glasses?

Joe: It's not gonna happen.

Shira: Just like, that's the look.

Joe: It's--I accidentally super-glued them on yesterday, so. I'm not going to be able to take them off, otherwise, it'll hurt.

Shira: Oh, okay, we don't wanna--we don't want you to be hurt here.

Joe: Yeah, of course not.

Shira: So, we are talking about how things really have just like, grown so much recently. Tell people, you know, share your story and then what do you think has sparked that recently?

Joe: Well, like what made my videos popular, yeah. I think adding the consistency to my videos, 'cause I actually do a video just like, whenever, you know, so I started doing them every Thursday and then every Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I think people, you know, start coming back, you know, and also I think music is a huge, important thing, you know, you can be from West Hollywood or you can be from Namibia and you can enjoy music all the same, you know?

Shira: Yeah. What are your videos about? What goes behind them?

Joe: I do a lot of editing, a lot of like, stop-motion and a lot of like, compositing, like, green screen kinda tricks, you know, just cool like, film-making kind of things, you know?

Shira: And how did you get started though on YouTube, like, why did you wanna come here and start doing that?

Joe: On YouTube, I got started because it was kinda like everybody else, you know, just shooting videos with their cell phones, you know, crappy little videos with their friends, and I saw a program called Windows Movie Maker once, and I was like, I'm gonna learn this, you know? And I learned it and then I moved on from Sony Vegas and then Final Cut Pro so, you know, just learning, picking it up little by little.

Shira: And what about the name? MysteryGuitarMan, where d--is there a story behind that?

Joe: Yeah, I think I just tried like, GuitarDude and that was taken, like, MrGuitar, and that was taken, like MysteryGuitar, that was taken, MysteryGuitarDude, that was too long, MysteryGuitarMan, I finally got it, it was like three o'clock in the morning, I don't really remember why.

Shira: And now do you, like, you know, get your real name mistaken with that name, I mean, do you just go by MysteryGuitarMan now?

Joe: You know, I just--whenever someone says MGM, I look, yo know? Or MysteryGuitarMan. Or Joe, or Joe Penna, you know, I look, so.

Shira: It just becomes more who you are. 

Joe: Yeah, it's like an exaggerated version of myself, you know?

Shira: So how's VidCon? You were saying how everyone was stopping you and it's just mad?

Joe: Yeah, yeah, it's kinda crazy, you know, 'cause you're trying to walk around then all of a sudden, there's like 30 people around you, and people are like, ohh, I came here from Dubai to see you, and I came from England just to see you, and it's, you know, it adds legitimacy to what we're doing, you know, kinda drives you to keep going, to not be lazy with your videos, so.

Shira: Good, I was actually asking a lot of people that, just bring you here, about in terms of bringing legitimacy to all the stuff, because people look at YouTube sometimes or online video and they're like, oh, yes, that online video thing, but--

Joe: Just kids with their cats and stuff like that, yeah, it's not--

Shira: Yeah, let's talk about that. It's not just that, there is a business behind it.

Joe: Yeah, a lot of people think that, you know, YouTube, a lot of times I just hear, you know, "Oh, what do you do for a living?" and I'm like, "I do YouTube," "Oh, that's great," and then they walk away, you know. No, but YouTube, it's so many wonderful, wonderful artists, you know, doing amazing work, like David Choi and Dave Days and amazing people doing amazing work, so you know, I'm glad that I can help, you know, change the perception of YouTube a little bit, you know.

Shira: And what tips can you give people who want to, you know, follow in your footsteps?

Joe: Well, I think adding consistency to your channel, you know, picking a day and telling people, you know, like, I'm putting up a video every whatever, you know, sometimes you can't do every Thursday or every Tuesday or every like once a week, but you know, like, at least, you know, do 'em consistently. Don't--if you have, like, a viral video, you know, don't just look at the comments, you know, start working on your next one. You know, it's, um, otherwise, you're just gonna be forgotten, you know, so you gotta keep working on it over and over and over again.

Shira: What's next for you, besides us hanging out in WeHo?

Joe: In WeHo. WeHo! From the West Side. No, I'm not black enough to say that. What's next for me, I think that--after YouTube, you mean?

Shira: I don't know, in general, like, what are you looking forward to? Like, once--now you have all this stuff, so what's the next step?

Joe: Okay, well, I think that I'm gonna stay on YouTube as long as I can, you know, because I love doing YouTube because it's 100% my creativity and I can do videos with phone books and parking meters and I have, you know, and it's whatever I wanna do, I get to do on YouTube, you don't have clients to listen to, you don't have anything to listen to, but I know that I'm not gonna be 85 and still going, "Hey guys, MysteryGuitarMan here," you know?

Shira: You never know.

Joe: We'll see, we'll see. I hope so, but if that doesn't happen, I do have the--I'm starting to direct more music videos, more commercials, I just directed a commercial for McDonald's and Coca Cola, national commercial, yeah.

Shira: Really? High five.

Joe: Thank you. I got picked as like, the top 10 guys in the Cannes festival advertising the film festival and the director, so it's been working out, and I think eventually, you know, I'll move on to doing that kind of stuff, too.

Shira: That is so great to hear, thank you so much. Nice to see you. Alright, we'll see you soon, bye.