Q1: How did you two start out on YouTube?
J&J: Joel has always been a watcher of YouTube, but not a creator until this year. He wanted to start a YouTube channel just to learn what it's like from the inside out. It seemed like a good fit with our love of MtG to start a channel relevant to that!
Q2: In creating this YouTube channel, what would you say your greatest challenges have been? How could others learn from them?
J&J: Greatest challenge is essentially the greatest challenge for starting anything: knowing nothing beforehand and possibly getting bogged down in too much planning. My advice to anyone starting anything, a creative pursuit or business or hobby or whatever, is just START DOING IT. Read enough from blogs, books, or watch a YouTube video to give you a basic understanding and then GO. Learning through experience is 1000 times more valuable than "getting ready" or "waiting for your great idea."
Start a channel for ANYTHING if you want to start a channel. You'll learn SO much and when you get your great idea, you'll be ready to execute. You won't have to worry about losing time to learning how to cut, add transitions, optimize audio, or any basic foundation stuff (in the case of a YouTube channel).
There's a business quote I like to keep in mind, "if you launched without errors, you waited too long."
Just do it. Like Shia says. “Just do it! Don’t let your dreams be dreams!”
Best advice a somewhat unhinged celebrity has ever given. ;)
Honestly, I'll tell you and your viewers to go back and watch our very first video and then our most recent video. I leave it online for this exact conversation.
I go back and watch it periodically, when I can handle the cringe. Haha
ElspethFTW: Exactly, you just have to start doing. Everyone is going to screw up along the way, but if you overplan, then it may never get started!
Q3: How did the partnership with Quiet Speculation come about?
J&J: Chaz from their team reached out and let us know they were expanding their content offerings and asked if we wanted to create a weekly show with a finance focus ala Last Week Tonight or the Daily Show
It came from Twitter networking, most practically. For people looking for actionable tips :) we had done a few financial episodes (Jake is really interested in that side of the game) so it seemed like a good fit! Especially since they wanted a more comedic tone that differs from their podcast, which they were already doing
ElspethFTW: That's cool! Unfortunately I don't have a Quiet Speculation subscription so I haven't been able to see anything from that. But I'm glad it's working out for you guys! And Twitter networking definitely works.
Q4: You guys do a little bit of everything on your channel, which is great. How do you keep it fresh, especially when you’re doing comedy with MtG?
J&J: No, we just try to come from an honest place. YouTube is where disingenuous creators go to die. Our biggest aim is to make each other laugh and we assume past that, we'll make other people laugh.
ElspethFTW: Keepin’ it real! :)
Q5: And my favorite question to ask, if you could change one (or more, really) things about Magic, what would it/they be?
Jake: I would have learned to play in ‘93, when I was a wee lad, and got hooked early, that way I would be sitting on a bunch of power.
ElspethFTW: I had a chance to get into the game back in 1995 or so. If I had, I’d probably have a pile of Reserved List cards myself! But I had another chance when dual lands were still like $25 each. Hindsight is 20/20 :D
Joel: I would change up the story. I understand having a common core group of characters but I really think we could skip sets of them and catch back up. Maybe a villains storyline.
ElspethFTW: I love the idea of following villains. Those tend to be really compelling stories for me. My solution would be to have a cast but focus on one or two characters per block. I like that Ixalan came back to Vraska - she’s a lot more popular than I think some people realized. It’s good to have familiar characters, but it doesn’t have to be the same five all the time and I think that’s where Wizards has been taking it too far.
Also, Elspeth WILL RETURN from the Underworld and get her revenge on Heliod as a white/black Planeswalker that will be the next Jace, the Mind Sculptor and get banned in Standard :D
Before we wrap up, is there anything else you'd guys like me to ask, or something else to say before we crack a few beers and call it a day? (Rhyming not intentional)
J&J: Yeah, the "Jace is in everything" meme notwithstanding, I've enjoyed Ixalan so far. And I really thought Amonkhet/Hour of Devastation was a homerun. To me that one was strangely less focused on the Gatewatch and more focused on the betrayal of the plane by Bolas. Seeing the citizens and gods slowly realize they had been tricked and the fallout from that was great. Dramatic irony! Always good storytelling.
ElspethFTW: They did a great job with Amonkhet. It was an excellent piece of worldbuilding.
J&J: Really appreciate everything you do for the community and wish you the best. MtG has really found itself community-wise over the last two years and we both hope it just keeps growing. Really looking forward to what next year holds with it being the 25th anniversary and a return to dominaria. Then we have arena on the horizon that will finally push the game into the 20th century!
Yes, I said 20th.
ElspethFTW: Hopefully, we can push it into the 21st at some point soon :D Take care you guys and keep up the great work!
** Disclaimer: I was compensated in absolutely no form for this interview. It was done purely for the good of the Magic the Gathering community and the goodness of my own heart ;)