Craig “Mini Ladd” Thompson is one of the internet’s perennial entertainers, serving not only as a prime example of success in the Youtube space but also of how to utilize that success to give back. When the opportunity arose to interview Thompson via E-mail, I jumped at the chance to find out the secret to his success.
How do you feel you’ve grown as a YouTuber over the years? What’s the video or series of videos you’re most proud of?
You never stop growing, whether it’s on YouTube or in life in general. I made a video on my Mini Ladd channel where I took all the giraffes I received on my stand-up tour which my fans gave me, and I gave them all to the Portland Children’s Hospital through the Portland Ronald McDonald House for Christmas. I’m big into my philanthropy efforts, and that video made me so happy. I knew it wouldn’t perform as well as my other videos, but to me, it doesn’t matter. I’m so proud of my community.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you could give someone who wants to succeed in this space?
For me, the biggest piece of advice that I could give is quite cliché, but it’s consistency. What I mean by that is, you could be making content for years, whether it’s music, YouTube, anything, and you’ll be getting nowhere. Everyone I know who is blown up in their respective fields has wanted to quit 1 million times on the come-up. You need to dig deep and believe in yourself because you’re going to continue to learn and continue to formulate new ideas to create good videos. You could be working for years and not get anywhere, and eventually you might say, “You know what? Screw it. I’m not going to make videos anymore,” and quit. That next week, you could’ve created a video that would’ve blown you up to wherever you want to go, but if you’re not there to make the video, then you’re also not there to reap the benefits. Everyone can do anything. Consistency and patience are your best friends, even though it sucks on the way there.
What’s been the most surprising thing to happen to you as a result of your YouTube career?
The most surprising thing for me is getting Content Creator of the Year in 2019. It’s an honor that I dreamed of for years and something that I’ve pushed hard my entire career, so the fact that it actually came to life still blows my mind to this day, and will continue to blow my mind for the rest of my life. There are so many good YouTubers out there, and for people to recognize what I do in my weird videos is the ultimate honor and something that I am forever grateful for.
I’ve always been big into charity work and giving back to others who need it. Growing up in South East Asia, I was able to see firsthand a lot of the benefits that philanthropic work did, and I told myself from a young age that if I ever came into a position of power that I would use that power for good; so now that my life has ended up the way that it has, I want to do good and I want to be able to use what I have and the tools that I have to do better. Being on the board of directors in the Thirst Project, to me, is one of the most humbling things that I could’ve ever been asked to do, and it’s something that I’m forever going to be proud of. I know there’s a lot of people out there who look up to me, and I want to make sure that their role model is actually a good person that is doing good for the world. I know I have a responsibility and I want to do the best that I can do to make sure this world is the best place it can be even in tough times like it is now.
How has the YouTube space impacted the kind of charity work you do?
I wouldn’t have a platform if it wasn’t for YouTube, so I am forever grateful for everyone who found my little channel and has supported me and stuck with me all these years. I’m planning on doing a stream for the Thirst Project very soon. I was meant to be doing it the weekend of March 22, which is World Water Day, but due to the Coronavirus and people saving up money to save and salvage themselves, I decided to postpone it until the world decided to settle down a little bit.
It would be an understatement to say Content Creator of the Year is a big deal. What does this mean to you, and do you feel you’ve now “leveled up,” in a way?
Being awarded Content Creator of the Year is, for me, the ultimate honor. It’s something that, to me, will never make sense, but is something that I’m extremely proud of; and now that I am in this position, I want to be able to go out there, make better videos, experience life, and just bring the best content that I can do to my fans, whether it’s music, videos, philanthropic efforts, podcasts, anything that this world decides to throw at me, I want to make sure that I can be the best that I can. Not just myself, but the people who watch my space.
What’s the next big goal you’re looking to accomplish in your career?
My original plan in life was to make jingles for commercials. I went to the University of Hartford in 2013 for music production, but then I put that on hold to become a full-time YouTuber seven years ago. Since then, I’ve been slowly chipping away and working at my music, and I think this is the year that I’m finally going to release my music to the world, as much as it scares me. That, as well as podcasts, taking my standup tour “The Demonetized Tour” to Europe and Australia (all depending on how the Coronavirus situation works out), as well as increasing the production value and quality of my videos to make sure that people can continue to enjoy what I do.
We’d like to thank Mr. Thompson for his time and wish him luck in his future endeavors!