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Identity

The fact of being who a person is. A person can choose who to be and define a unique identity. Who you think you are, is who you are. Subconsciously, you carry yourself as the person other people view you as. I am Ander Perez, but my identity is Doof.

On July 14th, 2016, I picked up a video camera and filmed myself saying the words I would then echo for months to come, “Good morning everybody.” I recorded myself driving, eating, and conversing. I recorded everything that happened during the day. When I came home that night I immediately slammed all the footage into my laptop. I was in awe of how amazing it felt to view my life from the perspective of a camera. I viewed this as much more than just a video of me. It was me performing. It was me keeping my friends and family connected. It was me making memories to last a lifetime. It was the beginning of a journey and my goal was to capture every moment of my life worth capturing. I called these days Doof Days because my nickname is Doof.

During the rest of the summer, I recorded every other day. I would stay up until around 5 in the morning editing my movies to post on YouTube the day after recording. I received much support from my friends, family, and YouTube enthusiasts who watched my videos and encouraged me to continue. Unfortunately, after a month of recording, I became extremely sick with strep throat and couldn’t record for a week. I realized I would not be able to continue the long days of recording and editing. My body’s response to the many sleepless nights propelled me into changing my habits. Instead of staying up late, I started waking up early the day after recording to edit my movies. This worked like a charm, none of the sleepless nights, and all the joy of capturing my life.

Approaching the start of my senior year of high school, I had some major obstacles to overcome. The first obstacle was the problem of confidence: to disregard all the watching eyes while talking into a camera in the middle of school. The second obstacle was to find the time to edit all the movies I planned to make while taking college courses and honors classes. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do well in school, participate in extracurricular activities, have a social life and continue making Doof Day movies. I worked hard to find a balance in all of those things. My determination to record my memories paid off and now I have all my movies to show for it.

I hope that the journey I started on July 14th will be ongoing throughout the rest of my life. My goal is to record what happens to me every day. But it’s not just about capturing my life on camera, because that’s easy to do. It’s about doing something with what I capture too. I turn every day into a 10 minute movie that documents what I did that day. Every day is different; every movie is unique. For the past 100 days, I have made over 50 movies of my life and I am beyond proud of all of them. Doof Days keeps my friends and family connected, and it lets me do what I love, every day of my life: perform.