There are so many social media influencers out there today, from James Charles to Jeffree Star to The Dolan Twins, so many in fact that you can easily forget about some.
However, one influencer who’s worth mentioning is Sean O’Donnell, one of the original influencers who’s been in the industry for a couple years now. The New York influencer was recently visiting LA where we got the chance to chat with him about his 2020 goals, creating videos and more.
How are you enjoying your stay in LA?
I love LA. I lived here for five years and moved back to New York two years ago, like you said I’m spoiled by the weather here. Every time I get to come here it’s a little bit of a treat, especially when it’s snowing in Boston and New York right now.
Why did you decided to move back to New York?
Simply I spent enough time here and the entertainment industry and it can be the not most enjoyable of places. I worked until a point and said I can do a lot of this over in New York. I do self tapes and auditions in New York and whenever I actually need to come here and work, I just come here and work.
What about LA makes you think it’s a good place to start off in the industry?
It’s phenomenal. It’s quite literally the entertainment creative capital of the world, you don’t have more of a condense population of creative people anywhere, maybe New York City but that’s a little more suit and tie business than it is out here for obvious reasons. I moved out here and I didn’t know a single soul, my parents gave me a one way ticket for High School Graduation as a surprise, I didn’t know and the first couple months were very feel it out, lonely and all that stuff. Once I met a couple people, especially through social media, it’s so easy to meet anyone these days, I could call maybe 100 different people and ask if they want to create a video. Most people are just transplants from somewhere else so everyone is trying to look for people and a group of people to be with.
For people who don’t know you, explain what you do.
It’s something I still struggle with and I have to do it frequently but the easy way to go about it is to say I work in social media in the influencer space, I’ve worked with brands, all that lovely stuff because I have a following and a couple million and that’s great, sure. I have that aspect of my life but I’m also very nervous because you never know when that’s going to stop, so I do a couple other things as well just to be safe, but the vast majority of my life is in the social media world, it’s a very interesting place, people listen to everything you say all day everyday, it’s weird.
How do you keep your mind clear in the industry?
Have a phenomenal family, very fortunate to have them. Even my best friends, my brother, my sister, they all keep me very grounded. I remember when I booked my first movie ever, it was a lead in the movie, big deal and I was very excited and I called my mother first and then my father and then I called my brother Jack and explained it to him and he was like “yeah, well you’re still a little B**ch.” So I was just like ahh thank you, this is exactly what I needed right here right now, but it’s in a joking matter but it’s exactly why I have a good head on my shoulders because I keep those people around me. You see a lot of it in LA, where people are like “omg you’re the greatest thing” and it’s endless and it’s easy to get lost in that unless you have good people around you, which very luckily I do.
You’re also into photography, what kind of cameras do you use?
I use all canon equipment, just got locked into that world and once you buy one camera and those are the lenses you use, you’re just stuck there. I have my big boy DSLR, my Canon 60 mark 2, which I love and that’s what I use everyday to take pictures for my own social media, I have a little smaller canon po m 5, which is more portable and I can sneak it into places more and then I have a tiny g7x, which is the vlogging camera and that fits in my pocket and wherever people are like you can’t bring a camera in, I get it in there somehow.
Do you have a favorite landscape to shoot in?
I’m a huge sunset, water photography guy. I grew up on the water out in Long Island, not too far from Boston, so I grew up boating and doing all that stuff and to me, the water is my happy place, I have to live close to the water or else I feel really trapped and weird, so anything that has to do with water and then sunsets because I’ve never seen the same one twice, it’s always a very calming thing for me.
You post a lot of videos on You Tube, vlog style, do you have a favorite video you created?
I made a video the day I was leaving Los Angeles to move back to New York, my sister was living with me at the time and she graduated college and because I was moving, she had to move. So my sister and I just skipped about Los Angeles for a day and just did a bunch of stuff, went to the pier and played in the arcade on the pier, it was just a really good day with my sister. The reason I started taking photos to begin with and then started recording everything was because my mom has this trunk as every mom does, just has a trunk of things from like 10,000 years ago and my mom has this one trunk of physical pictures that I can’t imagine how many there are. I always loved being able to go through that, seeing my grandparents or me on my first birthday and I’ve always wanted to replicate that and I’m happy that I have those memories on footage with my sister on that day because it was just a great day, so that’s probably one of my favorites.
What goes into creating your videos? Do you think about it a lot?
I wish I thought about it more, I wish I was a little more organized about it. I try not to be very meticulous about it because then I feel like that comes across a little too calculated. I’m pretty much “let’s see what we can get.” Also, a big thing I’m scared of is I don’t want to do things just for a video to make it seem “Oh my gosh, look at his exciting life,” if I don’t have video content, I don’t have video content because I’ve been doing work in my room for the last few days. I look at other content people make because I’m sitting in a bath tub with cheese balls answering questions, like I couldn’t do that, my brother would absolutely clock me. I keep it pretty genuine.
Are there any types of videos that you want to create?
Music is a huge aspect of my life and I can’t wait to create a couple videos with a few friends of mine. We make music and do new stuff and record that whole process from start to finish of making a full song and seeing how it goes. So, I’m excited to do that this year.
What instrument do you play?
I play a couple. My most played instrument is the violin, I’ve played violin for eight years. There was a girl that I had a crush on in the first grade and she played the viola and I didn’t want to sit too close so I chose the violin and nothing came of it and here I am eight years later and nothing came of it. So, I play the violin, the piano, the guitar and the drums. You can really play anything on a keyboard these days and hook it up to a computer and it will play any instrument, so kind of cheating but traditionally I can play those four.
What type of music are you hoping to create with your friends?
I want to make a bunch of different styles of music. It’s more of a very relaxed, coffee shop relaxed music sort of. Sort of Space House, is a very good reference for the type of music I’m hoping to create this year with friends of mine. Very relaxed, you can sit down and read a book outside.
What’s your New Years Resolution?
I’ve had the same resolution for the last four years and maybe this year it will come true but it is to be more social. I keep to myself a lot, I don’t really socialize with people, which is terribly counter intuitive to what people think my life is like because of my social media presence. I defintely live in my own space.
Make sure you follow along with Sean O’Donnell on Instagram by following him on his account below!