Close-up Culture’s James Prestridge caught up with actor Jailen Bates to talk about his new YouTube channel and what else he’s been up to in recent weeks.
Q: You are a few episodes into your new YouTube channel, Every Frickin’ Friday. What interested you about creating content on YouTube and starting this channel?
A: I would say what interested me in creating content on YouTube was the ability to be creative. As an actor, you are often given a script that you follow word for word, so it is awesome to have a platform where you can be yourself and be creative beyond limits. So that is how Every Freakin’ Friday came about.
Q: The most recent episode involved a nerf battle. What plans do you have for the channel and how you want it to grow?
A: When it comes to my YouTube channel I believe growth comes naturally and organically. I will promote my channel and continue to grow my brand but I strive for a channel that is interactive and intimate.
Q: What would be your dream episode on the channel (perhaps involving a special event or guest)?
A: My dream episode on the channel would have Denzel Washington on for a special guest interview. He’s been an inspiration for my acting career, so that would be a serious dream come true if he were to appear on our channel.
Q: You’ve been to Hamilton, a number award ceremonies, and E3 2019 in recent months. How exciting and inspiring is it for you to get to attend these events?
A: I have been truly blessed the last few months. E3 was a truly awesome and such a creative event where people who had a special love for technology were in one room.
I was in New York for two weeks for an intensive on Broadway in which I saw Hamilton, and let me tell you it blew me away – it’s such a great musical. I also saw five other dynamic performances.
I also found time to fly back to LA to present at the Young Artist Awards, which celebrates and recognizes hard work for young performers like myself. It was truly an honor to present.
Q: Speaking of E3, if you could play any video game character – who would it be and why?
A: When I was younger I used to love Ben Ten. It would be so crazy cool to be able to play him on a video game.
Q: As well as your creative pursuits, you are also a strong believer in giving back to the community. Can you tell us about that and why it’s an important part of what you do?
A: Giving back to your community is such a fundamental thing that sadly many overlook. I do my best to help our community not only grow but thrive. Doing this I try to make it to the mission and help out and serve food to the homeless community.
As well as doing that, I love to take part in the mission’s efforts to give less fortunate children toys, food and educational opportunities throughout the year. I believe giving back sets a standard for children and teens like myself to help our community be a better and safer place.
Q: What is next for you?
A: I am currently working to grow my brand and working on my social media presence. I am also working to grow Every Freakin’ Friday so we can have a larger engaged audience.
In addition, I am developing a new untitled musical which am quite excited about. As they say, creating your own content is such a great way to put yourself out in the world.
Title photo by Brandon Tabiolo