Maine Observer: CrankGameplays’ newest (and oldest) fan
Due to a scheduling conflict, my 19 year old daughter gave me her VIP1 ticket to see Ethan Nestor of CrankGameplays at his recent appearance at the State Theater in Portland. At 54, I’m beyond the typical 25-year-old artist demographic (especially since my adult children continually have to help their “elderly” mother navigate technology). The room was filled with brightly colored hair and asymmetrical styles, multiple body art or piercings and vivid androgyny, all on young people in their 20s or older. In my plain jeans, T-shirt, and graying brown hair, I received curious looks from those around me, all wondering where the teenager was who must surely be accompanying this relative.
My youngest daughter and I watched a lot of Ethan’s videos, but I was surprised by the intensity of the April 15 show. It was like an autobiographical documentary musical, behind the scenes, with audience participation. He created a very special performance without precedent. His goals – to create something he’s proud of and to give back to all of his viewers who helped him get to where he is today – have been achieved. Many viewers are striving to become a popular YouTuber like Mr. Nestor, and he showed his encouragement and support for their efforts, asking others in the state to help build the confidence of one of them. between them, who I believe was called Cadence. .
His insistence on not allowing “bootleg” recording during the show seemed to be honored as the performer asked all of us to be honest. While many viewers strive to create their own YouTube presence, they likely respected her request as they would like her to be respected for their own material. As we haven’t seen any segments aired so far, this instruction seems effective and made the live presence even better. There were no spoilers or preconceived expectations, so it was all fresh, even though he’d played this storyline in a dozen cities before. We’ve all been focused on enjoying it as it goes – following Mr. Nestor’s intent with this show, which he summed up in a previous interview: “Live now and enjoy it all.”
CrankGameplays’ return to Portland, with its emotional thanks to its hometown, was touching to see. Grandpa, Mum and Dad were highlighted when Ethan jumped off the stage and a spotlight followed him as he hugged them. We all could see a man returning home to Maine “from afar” as a proven success story to inspire us all.
I brought this positive energy to the Bangor airport to pick up my aforementioned daughter, and told her all about the show on our drive back to Stockton Springs. She was sad to have missed it and wished I could audio record it, so she could have experienced some of it; I told him that an audio recording wouldn’t have conveyed the intention correctly anyway.
The 300+ miles I rode that day was well worth being there, and personally, I am humbled to honor his gift of encouragement by writing this review and submitting it. Well done Ethan!
Bill Nemitz: Thanks Maine. I think I’ll go home now.