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How to Make it In America: Worst Take with Quincy Carrier

By Chris McBride

Youngstown State University graduate, and former actor turned YouTube sports commentator, wanted to do more than talk about this dream. He wanted to speak it into existence.

For Carrier his dream of being an actor traces all the way back to his time at  Maple Heights High School in Cleveland.

Initially the only thing on his mind was securing a spot on the school’s baseball team — a short-lived venture that was derailed before it could begin due to poor academics intruding on that idea.

“When I was 16 years old, I had let my GPA slip below a 1.7 which made me ineligible for baseball that spring,” he said. With nothing but a lot of sitting around to look forward to and plenty of time on his hands, Carrier was presented with an opportunity.

A  little encouragement from a friend led Carrier to the Maple Heights Auditorium.

His friend was, at the time, working on painting sets for an upcoming play and wanted Carrier to sit in on rehearsals to watch.

“My friend Savon Gibson was writing and directing the school play that semester,” Carrier said, though he wasn’t looking to recite lines in the spotlight just yet.

“I had thought of theater at that point as just Shakespeare and tights. I wanted to get involved but was timid to,” he said.

What wasn’t lost in his skepticism, though, was his excitement from just watching the actors perform. “It made me want to act,” Carrier said.

Then out of nowhere as Carrier described, the director [Gibson] halted the rehearsal. He scanned the auditorium in search of an actor missing for a particular scene. Eventually his eyes settled on Carrier.

“Savon looked at me and said, ‘Hey can you read for this scene?’ I jumped out of my seat and said yes, seconds before someone else begged to do it,” Carrier said, adding that he beat another eager audience member to the opportunity.

What stuck with Carrier about the play was the deep racial connotations behind Gibson’s play as a part-black, part-Asian man himself.

“It was a about what high school is really like for inner city black youth. It had scenes about teen pregnancy, jail, gang violence and so many more of the serious real issues black inner city kids deal with,” Carrier said.

With the script in hand, Carrier took the opportunity from there.

“I remember the emotions shooting out of me like Mentos in Pepsi. That’s when I caught the acting bug,” he described, carrying that emotion all the way to Youngstown.

A Man, a Four-Year Plan

In four years studying Telecommunications at Youngstown State University and featuring in several plays, Carrier methodically planned his future move.

“Everything was calculated,” Carrier said. He’d spend countless hours mapping out the details down to the best month to go about apartment hunting in Los Angeles.

He did everything from building his credit score to saving more than 80 percent of his paychecks, always armed with his goals in mind.

‘No More Parties in Cleveland’

After graduating in 2017, Carrier stuffed his life into a low mileage ’07 Ford Focus and headed toward his ambition — a move that was met with support from Carrier’s father despite his slight reserves about his son living on his own in such a cutthroat industry.

“My dad had always been supportive of me, so was my mom before she passed in 2015 of my junior year of college,” said Carrier. “He’s scared I moved out here, and as a parent, I see how he sees it though he never discouraged me.”

Even the drive was planned, as it gave Carrier the time he needed to reflect.

“I thought it’d be cool to make it a road trip because I haven’t gotten to see a lot of stuff in the states,” he said adding, “I drove to Chicago, I went to visit my grandma in Las Vegas and hung out. It was about having time to decompress and get my mind right.”

He described some of his memories of the drive. “Iowa was just flat and empty, which was nice so I got a lot driving done without having to stop for gas.” Carrier said. “Colorado, on the other hand, was like driving through a highway made of just Cedar Point roller coasters which was terrifying and wasted a ton of gas.”

Not everything stuck to the script for Carrier, as he also shared some of his not-so-good moments on the road.

“I locked myself outta the car three times,” he recalled. “The most memorable though was in Utah because this area of Utah didn’t have AAA.”

“As a black man, in an area seemingly absent of black people, the ideal of calling the cops to help me break into my car didn’t seem like a great option,” Carrie says.

Over 2,000 miles, sometimes eight hours of driving squeezed into a day and a few nights in motels led to him finally touching down in LA.

A feat a few years in the making, he credits good planning and timing.

“Some people think they’re gonna come out here, stay with their friends for a few days. It doesn’t really work like that if you don’t have the money to back yourself up,” said Carrier.

The challenge of making it in LA requires a constant grind, even when you’re not working long hours on set.

Outside of acting, Carrier picked up several small jobs to keep food on his plate and maintain the rent of a studio apartment. He worked for Lyft, Target and Starbucks in Calabasas.

Carrier even secured a minor role in a movie directed by filmmaker Chris Stokes. “It was 18-hour days, I don’t think I left till 2 a.m. in the morning on some days,”

Keeping with his sports roots he compares it to being like baseketball. “It’s like someone playing high school basketball versus playing in the NBA. It’s the same but a bigger production — more people, more lights.”

After that movie Carrier worked on a short-lived web series. His acting career eventually dissipated as he focused on other ventures.

“I’ve been focusing on YouTube more because I’ve found more success,” he said. “My channel started picking up steam and generating revenue so I’m able to put my energy into that.”

‘Worst Take’ with Quincy Carrier

Carrier has since rebranded himself as a sports commentator.

Back in Cleveland since September 2018, he’s since started his YouTube series, “Worst Take.”

It was a choice that felt natural for him.

“I go by my gut,” he said. “Internally it felt like that’s where the world was pushing me. This is what I was supposed to be doing. When you’re contemplating on making it, you have those conversations with yourself.”

Even his first popular video came about on a whim, kickstarting his new career path, “I was watching a Colin Cowherd video and everything he said I disagreed with so I wanted to make a video response.” he remembers.

30,000 views later, he stuck with his gut building his audience to well over 5,000 subscribers.

“I’m used to putting out work and maybe getting three or four people to respond. Now I put out something and get 200-300 comments, negative or positive.” Carrier said.

Building an audience has been a “surreal experience” he described.

“You don’t really know your show has that much popularity. At times it just hits you,” he said. One moment stood out to him. “I was at a Hot Head in Cleveland when a guy stopped me and told he loved my videos.”

He quickly made a fan of on-again, off-again sports commentator and Browns superfan Michael Killi. “Quincy’s channel was a big inspiration,” Killi said, having discovered Carrier from a subreddit posting of his Cowherd video.

Killi added, “I’m a huge fan of what he does and the content he produces.  Seeing him find success and build an audience showed me that there’s demand for fan-based Browns commentary and the Browns fans that are consuming it are really positive about the content.”

For the people who came up around him, like Bennet Ware who met Carrier while watching a Steelers-Bengals game in the dorms, it wasn’t much of a surprise to see this shift as much as it was a seemingly natural progression.

They spent many of their days at YSU debating and talking sports among friends.

“It was usually me and him versus everyone else because most of everyone else were Steelers fans,” he said. “Me and him had the sadness of being Jets and Browns fans. So he kind of got me, I kind of got him.”

“He was always informed about his teams and even others teams, he’d be more informed about your team than you,” Bennet recalled.

In reminiscing about Carrier’s sports knowledge, he also noted how Carrier sometimes used to use that knack for researching teams to terrorize the opposing benches at YSU football games.

“I remember him calling out numbers, calling out backgrounds,” Bennett, said laughing. “He’d be in the dorms doing research on the teams. It’s was like he was one of the players.”

Carrier continues that effort in his work when crafting his videos. “I try to make sure if I throw out a stat or a comparison based on certain statistics, I look at it thoroughly. It’s not just something I cut out a bunch of details to make my point. I make my point the simplest way possible to have a lot to base it on.”

Moving forward, Bennet believes Carrier is on the right path saying, “He’s got enough of a plan to where he can do it.”

Looking back on acting, it’s something Carrier sees as a hobby. For now Carrier is heavily focused on furthering his YouTube career.