Back on April 6th (that seems forever now, but it was only four months ago), I wrote an article Making Money with the Internet is a Real Business!
The article was about my 9 year-old’s fascination with YouTuber, Dan TDM. At the end of the article I reported how I had bought us tickets to see his live show.
I couldn’t believe I spent $150 to take a kid to see some YouTube guy. Well, now that the show has come and gone, I figured it’s time for an update.
Surprise! You’re Going to Dan TDM Live!
We held back announcing the tickets to the boy until they arrived in the mail. When my girlfriend and I shared the news with him by showing him the tickets, his mouth dropped and he covered his face. He didn’t quite know what to say. He was flabbergasted.
For a moment, we thought he didn’t understand what was happening. We asked him if he knew what the tickets meant. He nodded and said, “Yes.”
My girlfriend and I looked at each other, a little stunned. We thought there would have been a monumental freak out. This is the rock star in my 9 year-old’s world, but he was taking it surprisingly well. Almost Stoic.
As we talked about the show with him, there was a knock at the front door. The boy’s best friend had shown up from down the street. He ran to the door, threw it open and shouted, “I’m going to Dan TDM!” He jumped up and down and yelled it again.
There was the freak out we had expected.
For the next several minutes, he excitedly talked with his buddy about the show. His speech was rapid and mostly incoherent to a parent’s ears. However, his friend seemed to understand him and they prattled on. Then they ran downstairs to watch some Dan TDM videos.
My girlfriend and I shrugged.
The Big Day
When July 22nd finally rolled around, I didn’t know who was more excited, me or the boy. By now, I had learned more about the blogging world, social media, search engine optimization and the monetization of the internet.
Dan TDM was now a freakin’ rock star to me as well.
I mean, I really didn’t care about his actual video game reviews. Instead, I cared about how he delivered them. Watching what the guy did, I was sure he was a marketing genius.
I excitedly woke the boy up early in the morning. “Are you ready to go?”
He lifted his head from his pillow. “Now?”
“No. It’s starts in seven hours, but are you ready?”
His head dropped back to the pillow and he rolled over.
When he finally pulled himself from bed, his excitement grew and the countdown was on.
He was going to dye his hair blue prior to the show. My girlfriend and the boy got started only to find out that the dye they used turned his scalp and the area of skin around his head blue, but not his hair. Time for Plan B.
He had to jump in the bath for an emergency shower. Now, realize he already had a shower the previous night. Two showers in a twelve-hour period is enough to make a 9 year-old’s head explode.
When he got out, mom was prepared. She had thought ahead and bought a can of blue hairspray, “just in case.” Hair insurance, as she called it.
She went into action and his hair came out awesome. He was a blue-haired wonder, ready for action.
We grabbed the tickets and took off for the show.
The line for the concert wound around the block. It was ridiculous. Parents with kids were everywhere. There were even teenagers in line to see Dan TDM.
When I purchased the tickets, there were special “meet and greet” tickets for over $300/each. At the time, I wondered who would, or could, pay that much to see Dan TDM.
Then I saw people in line who had attended the early meet and greet. They had some additional swag, got an opportunity to meet Dan and were back in line prior to the show. It’s a bit judgmental to say this, but they sure didn’t look like they could swing $300 per person. I kept thinking how many of them had to put this on credit to afford the performance let alone the extra time.
Once we got inside, I offered the boy an opportunity to get something from the show. Of course, he wanted the $35 baseball hat. I couldn’t believe how much they were getting for a hat. In my life, I’ve never paid $35 for a baseball hat. I did for the boy, though.
He also wanted to buy a $5 keyring but spent money he’d earned to pay for it.
The kid was so excited after that. He kept playing with that hat, like he couldn’t believe he was actually wearing it. He’d take it off and look at, then put it back on.
The show started and it was great.
I’d love to tell you about it, but Dan asked those in attendance to keep it secret and I totally respect that. Though he’s finished his tour in the U.S., he’s going onto other countries now.
So, I’m not going to tell you about the show, but I will share a few cool lessons I took away from it.
Dan repeatedly thanked his fans in attendance. He said if it wasn’t for them, he wouldn’t be there on stage and he wouldn’t have the life he has today. Dan seemed truly appreciative of those who have followed him. He knows the value they bring to his life.
Face Your Fears
During a part of the show, Dan talked about facing his fears. I’m not sure how many of the kids heard that, but it’s a message that can’t be said to them enough. Life is full of challenges and it will be even more difficult if we’re not willing to face our fears.
Success Takes Time
His following and success took time to build. He started a Pokemon channel first and a couple years later, started the The Diamond Minecart channel. He’s 25 now and has been at this for seven years. That’s easy to forget when all the talk is about his 15,000,000+ followers, his world tour and his success. However, it all started one day with a single video and a great deal of persistence. He kept at it and it paid off. I really admire him for that.
After the show, as we walked to the car, a grizzled biker with long-hair and a beard walked towards us. As he passed, the biker growled, “Nice hair.”
The boy cheerfully said, “Thanks.”
I glanced at the boy and said, “I think he was talking to me.”
The kid eyed my short, salt and pepper cut, laughed and said, “Unlikely.”
At home, the boy leaned back against the couch, happily telling mom about the story of the show. He retold the story in every detail. Mom listened intently, as she does to his stories, smiling with each new aspect.
When he finally lifted his head, mom’s eyes were big as saucers. The blue hairspray had left a large mark on the white leather couch. She hopped up and went into action again, quickly removing the stain.
Then she pointed at the bathroom. “You need to take a shower and wash that out of your hair.”
The boy looked stunned. “I already took a shower today. And one last night, too.”
“You are not staining any more furniture or your bedding.” Her tone was final. “Move it, mister,” she said.
The kid marched into the bathroom, defeated by his blue hair.
Three showers in less than one day is a horrible punishment in a kid’s world.
It served him right for the crack about my hair.