No vlogger will tell admit that they want “instant fame” but secretly we all wish we did…to an extent. I launched The Dream Series back in 2012 shortly after graduating from UCLA and I quickly realized that the real world sucked! I was struggling to find my way in a city of over four million people. Being a trained dancer of 15 years, I also knew that route was not going to lend me to the financial success I truly wanted. Now things are definitely changing and have been in the past few years for dancers, but I was honestly worn out. From the age of five, I was in ballet, jazz, and hip hop class several times a week. My mom wasn’t quite a “dance mom.” She was what I would call a fanatic. And it took it’s toll on me by the time I entered adulthood. So here I was a recent graduate from UCLA with no idea what I was going to do with my life. I knew I wanted to remain in the arts but navigating the Entertainment Industry was a whole nother thing. After many sleepless nights doing research on agents, managers, acting class, etc, I realized that my calling was in Hosting or Presenting. By this time I had already begun training with various coaches in LA and was even working in live events as a Presenter for General Motors. I knew I had a gift. The question was, how do I use it?
I logged into my Chase account online one afternoon and low and behold there was a grand total of $7! Pursuing a career in the Entertainment Industry had clearly already taken a toll on my finances especially considering I had no clue what I was even doing. I was inspired. It can’t get much worse than this I thought. So I told myself, “Hey let’s start a vlog!” I realized that there were not many millennials really talking about how to navigate life after college, or life in general. Our society operates with a “figure it out mentality” that causes many people unnecessary pain, suffering, and struggling. What I wanted to do was reverse that thinking and provide hope and inspiration that dreams, no matter what they are, can come true. The Dream Series was born! I was ready to start making videos and release them on YouTube. I was SURE the videos would be a hit and I would gain the necessary traction to get exposure and build an audience. WRONG! Boy did I struggle. The idea was solid. The content was genuine. And the creator was passionate. But where was the handbook on how to have success on YouTube? Or better yet, any vlog period. Within a couple of months making videos, I hired a small team of interns. I had no money. What I had was a vision. Nobody on my team really knew YouTube but we came together to try and figure it out. Well unfortunately the story doesn’t end well here. No bridges were burned. There was just simply no money. And people like to be paid. The team slowly drifted away after two or three months.
I was back to where I started. Or at least that’s how I felt. I learned that YouTube was not as easy as it looked. And this vlog thing would take serious hard work and realistically could easily turn into a full time job. I didn’t have that kind of time so I took a break. I took a break to make money. Back to auto shows presenting on cars again…
Miserable I was talking about a product I really could care less about. Thankful I was however, to make some money. I can confidently say I had way more than $7 in my account. Woohoo. Dionna was back in the game. But wait. What about The Dream Series? One and half years went by and I didn’t touch the vlog until the end of 2013. A good friend of mine offered to help me for free. He got a hold of a Canon 5D and we just started shooting! We made a small set out of my living room and shot 10 videos over the course of a couple of days. I was alive again. Inspiring people to pursue their dreams and really go for it. I was less worried about YouTube and more concerned about content. My friend even cut me a small teaser I could use to promote the vlog too. It was amazing and I was happy again…except the question still arose, how do I really use this gift? How do I get the exposure I need to really make an impact with this content? Nothing happened with the videos. I didn’t even release all of them because I grew increasingly frustrated over time when I saw nobody was really looking at my videos. What was I doing wrong? How could I make it better? Where do I need to be releasing these videos for optimal exposure? Another year went by and it is now 2015. I said “Bye Felicia” to auto shows and hello to my Dream! I decided that there was no use running away from what I was put on this earth to do. I made a pact at the end of winter to start making these videos consistently NO MATTER WHAT. I made things simple. I cut the whole living room set out of it. Cut the fancy camera and lighting out of it. And said hello to my handy dandy iPhone 5 camera. Best move I’ve made yet. I was motivated this time. I made a promise to myself and I had a vision. I didn’t know how it was going to unfold but I was going for it anyway. I decided to use Facebook as the mother hub for my vlog. Facebook Analytics allows you to track your viewership, audience demographic, and overall video performance. Facebook to me is the next social media video distribution outlet. I can track my videos, pay for a boost if needed, and get real responses on my content. I’ve had multiple people in my network send me personal notes thanking me for releasing conscious and uplifting videos. Many say there isn’t enough of this out there and they find my short videos helpful. Some call them a “boost of positivity.” I finally feel like I am aligning with my calling, my purpose….my gift.
The Dream Series caught the eye of a friend in New York who owns a digital marketing company. He had an honest conversation with me about the vlog and where it was headed. He said, “Dionna why don’t you just launch a small campaign to see who really believes in the content. It couldn’t hurt. And it will show you what you need to move forward with your vlog.” Initially I was afraid because in my mind, I had already hit so many roadblocks with the vlog. How do I know this will work? Something in me said, just do it. I decided to launch an Indiegogo Campaign just two and half weeks ago to take this vlog to the next level. I am raising $2500 to completely revamp the platform. To make everything completely optimized for viewership and to hopefully attract a much larger audience…a global audience. The Dream Series is about truly inspiring dreams. Inspiring risk. It is about creating a global community around the world of dream makers. People who have a dream and who go for it no matter what. No matter how many times they may fail. It’s simply about inspiring people to take action and manifest the life of their dreams.
The journey is the journey. It is the most precious thing you have over anything in this world. The destination is grand and will surely bring satisfaction and the utmost feeling of accomplishment. But the journey is one you will remember and cherish for the rest of your life. Your ability to hope. Your ability to believe. Your ability to dream. There is no price for that. I ask for your help. Help me inspire you. Unlock the door to light and allow your own gifts to shine through. Believe that any dream you have is capable of coming true. Remember you are valuable. Remember you are worthy. Remember that you are a Dream Maker. Spread the word about The Dream Series. Be apart of a global movement of change. Change that will inspire millions to live the life of their dreams NOW.
The Dream Series on Indiegogo: http://igg.me/at/89sKKsFzYoI/x/48325