Digital maverick and storyteller, Wil Dasovich brings his life to full view; encouraging a renewed and recalibrated revelation that despite all resistance, makes you really, really think.
“I’m tired,” or so reads the title of a stirring and potentially alarming video posted by YouTube maverick, Wil Dasovich a little over a month ago. Now, it isn’t necessarily out of place for these digital superstars to go off the grid every once in a while, preceded by an accompanying video log (a vlog, as the kids say these days), of course. However, it was a little out of character for the Filipino-American YouTuber whose channel has always been about the sunnier, more chipper way of looking at life’s many different facets. But then again, the man wielding the camera at himself is no ordinary internet native.
Clearly worn down and perhaps a little over wrung by life’s penchant for swift swerves that can force one to careen out of an imagined path or ruthlessly gutted by its many curve balls, there is nary a hint of defeat to Wil Dasovich. With an unfiltered honesty overriding a brimming joie de vivre, he continues to walk down the golden stretch of a beach in California, explaining his decision to slow things down. “I’ve been a little overwhelmed lately and we just wanted to take a break,” he says. “Everything’s okay, sometimes you just need time alone in a way. That’s what I’m doing right now. I think that’s something I have come to realize.”
The 3 minute and 28 second video winds down without much fanfare, except of course, a promise to come back soon enough before punctuating the entire thing with a peace sign. Right then and there, we are assured that all will be well, as he did explain to us weeks prior in a conversation that had everyone in the room buzzing—an actual fly included.
“It’s been kind of a whirlwind,” he begins, swatting the fly from his periphery. “You know, it’s been non-stop work, which is something I’m used to and it’s something I love and am passionate about, but I kind of want to take a break. Even if I
battled and went through everything, I was still documenting everything, uploading a video every other day. I think my priority is to sit back and enjoy maybe a couple weeks in some island and just really breathe in and reflect. One of the most important things is taking a break and reflecting or else, life will just go by like that. And I need to keep reminding myself because I am so obsessed with what I do. But I really need to take things slow.”
Come to think of it, he could have upped and left, since he should, at least at this point, concern himself with his total well- being. However, this is a man who would go to great lengths to create unique content and more importantly, connect not just with an audience from a device, but humanity on what will reveal itself to be a wizened point-of-view that transcends spatial limits.
After all, the man we are talking to is a survivor by many, if not, all means.
“Battling cancer was a very, very terrifying thing. And it still is to this day, because I’m considered in remission. So, it’s an ongoing battle and it’s something I am going to have to fight for the next couple of years,” he says, beginning to recount the arduous last year of his life. “But, you know, at the same time, the reason why I decided to document this was because it was something I wasn’t going to run away from. It was probably the worst thing that could ever happen to me, but I wasn’t going to let it bring me down; I was going to use for the greater good. I really had to sit back and think, ‘Why am I vlogging in the first place? What’s the whole purpose of the vlog?’ And at the end of the day, it is to influence way in a positive manner.”
Throwing around the word hope is a little careless these days, especially in a time where feeds and timelines are bombarded
with Thought Catalog clichés and quotes from Goodreads, but Wil Dasovich knows the word only too well. After all, it was what he has and still continues to cling on to this day. “I simply realized that it was an opportunity for me to show that this is something I can get through with a positive mindset and with all the right factors,” he says. “I saw that and I realized that I could help other people going through a similar situation, whether it’s a life-threatening disease, a mental problems or anything in general. No matter how big and small, it is easy to relate when you’re going through something and I wanted to provide hope on how to overcome.”
Make no mistake about it; this isn’t another one of those platitudes that we would normally glaze over or worse, roll our eyes to the farthest regions our sockets will allow to. The grasp of Wil Dasovich on the intangible concept of hope is for what it’s worth, illuminating. Espousing hope at its most primal and essential, it’s being able to show the world, that whatever you are going through in life, in any capacity, you don’t have to be set back by it. You are able to live a normal life. Wait, no. The way we are reared to counter impediments is to go out there and show the world that you can do it and be more than this setback—much like he has done and still continues to do so in the medium and platform he has mastered over the years.
“What made my vlog more different than anyone else is mine is the most personal, the most revealing in terms of what people know about me—my family, my insecurities, my fears,” he offers. “Once you show your vulnerabilities and open up, that’s a very empowering thing, because that’s when you don’t have to be afraid of anything anymore. What holds all of us back as human beings is fear and fear itself. I was terrified of cameras, putting myself out there, and the fear of judgments from other people. The only way to overcome that is to take the fear head on: Pick up the camera and put yourself out for the world to judge you.”
Everyone has his or her story to tell, this much we know in life. Perspectives and points-of-view are integral puzzle pieces to the grander scheme of understanding the intricacies of the human mind and its capacities. You can get something and learn from almost anything and anyone in the ebb and flow of the contemporary paradigm. “Once you realize what state you are in, it just breaks it down to as simple as it gets: Your life isn’t that bad. Going through that, I met a lot of people who were going through problems that were way worse than mine,” he contemplates. “Once people look at their own situation from an outer perspective, it’s easier to realize that life is not bad in simplicity.”
TRULY, ACTUALLY LIVING
In his YouTube channel, Wil Dasovich virtually (and well, almost practically) takes our hand and encourages us to go on an adventure with him, seeing the world through his goggles. Whether it’s food trips in and around the nooks and crannies of the Philippines, successfully attempting to scale the seemingly impenetrable walls of local show business to catch celebrities at their most unguarded or even detailing the harrowing travails of staring cancer in the eye and eventually taming it down, he will want to take us there—which is not only a charm in itself, but it is intrinsically sets himself apart from the noise that bangs down on our collective consciousness on the daily.
“It really changed my life in terms that it motivated me to go out and do more and think more,” he says about setting out to blaze a trail for himself as a vlogger in the Philippines, at least. This effort has seen him go through the initial birthing stage, to struggling to sustain it, and now reaping the rewards in whatever way, shape and form. “You never expect to get this far. I’ve always lived my life without expectations, because when you do, you set yourself up for failure. But even though I never could imagine this, the thing is, I did everything in my power to get to this point. And I planned on getting as far as I could within this industry with what whatever I am doing with vlogging. The truth is, I am just having fun doing what I love.”
“I think that’s the best way to live your life and that’s the biggest themes on my vlog—to not take things so seriously,” he continues. “Because too many people already do and that’s when you veer off from the main point of life, which is to have fun.”
Having fun meant also meant working hard, putting in the hours and dealing with the subsequent challenges and judgments that continue to persist to this very day. But despite it all, he doesn’t let anything shake his core or dampen his spirit. “The greatest thing about it is that you’re making a difference and for me personally, that’s most fulfilling anyone can do with their lives. I think that’s what we as human beings wish to do: To make our mark,” he ratifies. “You’re making a lot of sacrifices—privacy, leaving yourself vulnerable, taking so much criticism every day, which will definitely beat you down—but at the end of the day, you are at least helping one person. It comes down to that way with every entertainer in essence, we do what we do to make other happy and in return, it makes us happy ourselves.”
There is a certain sense of distillation to the way Wil Dasovich converses and perhaps operates beyond the realm of the digital space, a definite far cry from the in-your-face and real-as-can-be brand of storytelling and humor we are accustomed to when we pummel through his consistent delivery of content. Whether it is a side to him that is just coming to full light or an offshoot of his summated experiences, his voice is much more vital in the continuing discourse of humanity. It is a little off-kilter than the philosophers in our worn out textbooks, yes. But it definitely does the same job of making you really think. And isn’t that what the world needs more of these days?
Videography and editing by Salt Bandits