I always had faith Taylor Caniff might turn it around.
Last night Taylor announced through a YouTube video that he is going to be making a cross country tour of free meet and greets. “It didn’t feel right charging you guys to meet me,” he said in the video. “There shouldn’t be businesses made from meet and greets. And even though I have nearly 2 million followers, I know we can do this for free.” The video spans in seven minutes and is an insightful look at what might be going through anyone’s mind who is suddenly catapulted into internet fame. “I guess you could say I became really arrogant,” he mused at one point during the video. “I think I got really caught up in what you would call ‘internet fame.’ And I feel really bad about that.”
The goal of the RV Project is to essentially rectify the wrong done by Magcon. Taylor plans to drive through the entire United States and stop in any city he can for impromptu meet and greets. They’ll be done at malls, parks, parking lots–anywhere. The goal is to meet and connect with as many fans as possible, without a price tag.
It’s a refreshing concept, but perhaps more refreshing is an “internet celebrity” who is finally becoming aware of his overwhelming influence. I think people really underestimate Taylor, I certainly did, but this video and project have made me reconsider my stance on him. There’s something very ernest in attempting to understand the peculiarity of meet and greets. That’s not to say many before haven’t noticed this, but it’s nice to have someone with such a large, young fanbase try to comment on it. And then do something about it.
I never expected Taylor Caniff to be the first one to insightfully look back at Magcon and begin to piece together what he was just apart of. Truth be told, I don’t think anyone could be plucked from complete obscurity, placed in an environment where thousands of girls are paying to interact with you and not lose your mind a little bit. It seems like the RV Project is Taylor’s attempt to get back to the basics of fan and creator connections. “I was not happy during Magcon,” Taylor reflected. “I was having the time of my life, but at the same time… It just didn’t feel right. Maybe it’s their position [ie the rest of the boys from Magcon] to charge people for meet and greets. But it’s just not what I want to do.”
I’m going to have to agree with Taylor that charging people to meet someone is a little odd to me. I’ve done meet and greets in the past and there is a LARGE amount of red tape. You’re never made to feel like you are as important or on the same level as the person you’re meeting. And to me, that is a bit dehumanizing. A meet and greet does not mean you are actually sitting down and having a conversation with the celebrity. It’s a business built to push people through lines for a large amount of money.
What we have to remember with these “internet stars” is that most of them are completely unprepared for the fame they are experiencing. There is no media grooming or how-to class in pleasing thousands of screaming fans. Most of these creators are learning on the fly, and are sometimes making huge mistakes along the way. So cheers to Taylor for trying something genuine that doesn’t make him any money. I’m excited to see where it takes him.