Via email, FinalBoss reached out to Noah Baron; an actor living in California who made his way up the ladder through video spoofs and skits on Youtube. His channel currently boasts an impressive twenty-five thousand subscribers. Through our back and forth, Noah talked about humble beginnings, fall outs and Hollywood success.
Noah Baron: Long story short, my friend Ross (Willett) and I were tired of spending our money paying for workshops to meet casting directors and agents, hoping to further our acting careers. While watching Fight Club one day, Ross gave me a call said, “dude, what if we made a shot-for-shot trailer of fight club, but about men cuddling with each other“.
I thought it was a brilliant idea and we started on it. We had never produced anything before, but we figured it out. Additionally, we put the project through the actors union (SAG) that allowed me to become eligible to join. This is something that takes most actors years to do, so it was a major plus with the project. That is still one of my favourite videos we made!
FB: You recently released a parody “Guess Who?” thriller trailer, and in the past you did an amazing 50 Shades mash-up with Twister. Are you just a massive fan of film in general? Is that why you got into this trade?
NB: I am a huge, huge fan of television. If I had only one item to take to a deserted island, it would be a television with cable. I just love it. I would say I enjoy television over film, but of course I also love film. I’m not exactly sure what draws me to doing these parody trailers/videos. I think taking a pre-existing project and doing something absurd or juxtaposed to the initial conceit is really funny. I also think fan trailers are something very easily digestible for viewers. We see trailers all the time so when we see a parody/fan trailer, we jump right on board. There is no catching up involved.
I don’t care for fame at all, I just want to be able to make a living making people laugh.
FB: In your response to my email you said that you were surprised to be considered “successful” – is that still something that you’re coming to terms with, success and fame, or, from your own perspective, would you argue that it hasn’t happened yet?
NB: This is so interesting to me. Yes, I would not consider myself successful but it is all in the eye of the beholder. For example, I just shot with a creator yesterday who has over 2 million followers and makes a very good living off of his content, and he still wants to do more. We talked all about what I meant to be successful in this industry. I don’t think I am not successful, I just don’t think I’m at the level yet to call myself successful. I don’t care for fame at all, I just want to be able to make a living off of creating content and making people laugh. Once that happens, I will let you know, and then I will be able to call myself successful!
FB: Obviously I know you most from your Youtube and through creating online sketches. Would you recommend it as a career?
NB: Would I recommend creating original content as a living? No, absolutely not haha. The market is getting more and more saturated by the hour, and it’s getting harder for creators to make a living. That said, I would never discourage anyone from pursuing their passion. I’ve said this time and time again, if you are passionate about something, do it 100% and don’t look back. If you pursue your passion, you will find success. I believe that more than anything.
neither of us handled it very well and quite frankly, it got ugly.
FB: How did your creative partnership with Ross Willett start?
NB: Going back to the Cuddle Club story, we started doing scenes together at an actor’s workshop. We would pay $35 to do a scene in front of a casting director, hoping they would call us into an audition, hoping we would book it. It’s a crazy thing. That call in January of 2011 about Cuddle Club started the whole thing.
FB: I haven’t seen him around in ages (Ross hasn’t appeared in a video on the channel since 2017). Should we be worried? Is he okay?
NB: Haha, you should not be worried about Ross! He is more than okay! To be completely honest, we had a falling out in 2017. He came to me one day and said he no longer wanted to create content together. We weren’t making money doing it and we were constantly overworked. At the time, neither of us handled it very well and quite frankly, it got ugly. Uglier than it needed too.
The good news is that we recently made up. He had been my best friend in Los Angeles for such a long time that it was really hard and weird to lose him. But we are back to being friends! We just went to see Avengers: Endgame together with his lovely fiancée on opening night, and he is coming to my bachelor party and wedding in July!
FB: Fulfilling the actor stereotype, you used to wait tables. Looking back, what’s the thing you hated most about the catering trade?
NB: The politics! When I commit to something, I commit to it 100%. Not everyone has that mentality, especially in a town like Los Angeles for aspiring actors who are serving people for a living. I worked very hard every single day as a waiter, and I never got the credit I deserved. I was stuck hosting for way longer than I should have all due to politics. I would get written up for the most ridiculous reasons.
When I finally quit, it was such a relief. I had no idea how I was going to make a living, but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It has now been four years since I’ve had a job working for other people and it feels amazing.
FB: Does it make you feel even more proud of the journey when you think about that working-class background?
NB: It does, absolutely. I had some financial support from my family growing up and when I first moved to Los Angeles, but not as much as most people I know out here. I have been working consistently since I was 13 years old. So I don’t think that anything was handed to me. I’ve worked very hard my entire life to get to the place where I am now.
FB: You worked with the Coen Brothers on Hail Caesar. How much of a difference does working on a Hollywood film set make from that of a Youtube video?
NB: This is a very interesting question. It is wildly different, and yet the exact same. What I think is so great about creating content is that you get so used to being in front of the camera. A lot of people freeze up when the camera starts rolling. Because I’ve had so many years of experience, I don’t have those nerves/feelings anymore.
I film content weekly, so the added stress of working with some of the biggest actors and filmmakers in the world is still there, but I believe in my abilities to be in front of the camera and get the job done. Working with the Coen brothers, Roger Deakins, Scarlett Johansson and Josh Brolin was the coolest experience of my life thus far. I kept having to tell myself under my breath that I deserved to be there and that these artists were my peers.
FB: Any advice for aspiring actors, creators?
NB: Just what I said earlier, if you are passionate about something, go for it 100%. I think that is the case for any career. If you love to do it, just do it! I truly believe the universe will provide. My advice specifically for actors, find an acting studio and stay sharp! The day you think you have learned everything there is to learn, is the day you die. Not really, but you know what I mean. As far as creators go, learn how to do everything like Ross and I did, conceive ideas, write, shoot, direct, sound, lighting, editing, etc. And just remember do it 100%!
Noah Baron can be followed everywhere! Find him at:
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Jon Holmes is a writer based in the UK. Alongside his work writing for film, he is a multi-accoladed filmmaker in his own right, and also performs. He can be followed on Youtube at Hans HS and on Twitter on @jonnyjonjon1