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Corey Vidal, Canadian YouTuber, On Life After Your First Viral Video

Corey Vidal has lived off his YouTube earnings since 2008.

10/16/2017 16:36 EDT | Updated 10/18/2017 16:00 EDT

Corey Vidal remembers the moment his life changed overnight.

It started with a camera and his love for "Star Wars." It's now a professional gig creating YouTube videos.

"That was the original inspiration. I wanted to be a Jedi. I wanted to make fan films. I wanted a lightsaber," recalls Vidal, reflecting on his earliest videos with high school friends as they dressed in robes, swinging around fake swords.

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But the Toronto YouTuber's big break didn't have anything to do with blowing up the Death Star or deflecting blaster bolts.

"There was this specific moment that changed everything. I made this one video called 'Star Wars A Cappella (John Williams Is The Man).' I just recorded it on my webcam. It's just me in front of a white wall, lip syncing to an a cappella song about 'Star Wars,'" said Vidal.

He remembers the video getting tonnes of views on the first day. Then the phone calls came. Then the media requests. He had gone viral.

Today, the video is nine years old and has over 21.6 million views. And Vidal is still making such videos thanks to the YouTube community.

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"Without the community aspect of YouTube, that would have been it. I would have been a one-hit wonder, it would have been this cool thing for a couple of months. And then I would have gone on with my life."

Vidal is still active in Canada's online video community, running Buffer Festival — think Toronto International Film Festival, but for YouTube videos.

For more on how he finds time to make videos and run an annual film festival, or if you're looking for advice on how to make it as an entrepreneur, check out the video above.