For the first time, the cancer-fighting Alcides E. Rosaura Diniz Foundation hosted a gala at the Astorian. Ana Paola Diniz, who lost her father Alcides to Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2006, praised MD Anderson, the night’s beneficiary, for its dedication. … Meanwhile, Catholic Charities’ “happy”-themed 75th annual Spirit of Charity event did indeed bring smiles to many faces. The evening, held at the Marriott Marquis, raised $1 million. … This year’s Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award dinner honored President George W. Bush for his lifelong commitment to service and country. The total till doubled the previous record, coming in at $4.2 million. … In addition to celebrating the induction of five new members of the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, the Lone Star Flight Museum’s Flights of Fancy event garnered $700K for the museum. … And the 30th annual Goodwill Gala was the organization’s most successful ever, with more than 400 black-tie-clad guests — including Simone Biles and her family, guests of board member Leisa Holland Nelson — partying for a cause at the River Oaks Country Club.
HOUSTON ONLINE PERSONALITY Nathan Graham, 24, has landed on Forbes’ new list of the highest paid content creators on YouTube.
The business-world bible reports that Graham, whose series is branded as Unspeakable, pulled in $28.5 million last year thanks to the sale of his back catalog of over 600 unapologetically madcap videos to Spotter, one of the largest owners of YouTube content. Graham ranks number five on the roster, which also includes at number seven 10-year-old Houstonian Ryan Kaji, who’s been reviewing toys on his Ryan’s World channel to great fanfare since he was a toddler.
More than 30 million people subscribe to his multiple YouTube channels, Forbes says of Graham, noting that “he does things like fill a room with live alligators” online.
Graham, who is also an emerging entrepreneur in the city’s big-money car-enthusiast arena, began his career as a YouTuber in 2012 as a Kingwood teenager, posting videos of himself playing the popular video game Minecraft. He soon moved on to longer, more elaborately produced videos where he and a few buds keep themselves and viewers amused with non-lethal pranks, challenges and games.
“We try to stay PG-friendly,” says Graham, whose audience is mainly made up of kids under age 16, a demographic he connected with in the early Minecraft days. Laughter is contagious, and there is a wholesome comradery between Graham and his bros (and some gals) that, to many, is a lot more fun to watch than a bunch of knuckleheads trying to seriously injure themselves.
“They’re so loyal,” says Graham, “and they love and interact with the content. Sometimes, when you go to an older audience, it’s harder to get their attention.” (With that “older” market in mind, several Unspeakable videos feature more grown-up, please-don’t-try-this-at-home-kids challenges, such as trying to escape out of a prison of 100 layers of cardboard. Pro tip: Use a chainsaw!)
“I’m still learning new stuff every single day,” says Graham of Unspeakable’s success, which, since its humble beginnings as a one-man-show, now involves a large, talented team to ensure subscribers remain engaged and blissfully unaware of the daunting amount of preparation each video requires.
“It’s really important to go out and learn, fail, adapt, and just learn the process,” says Graham. “Because that is going to teach you how to be a creator. And not just a good creator, but a good businessperson.”
The online sensation was raised in Kingwood, where he still lives and operates.
Graham is parlaying his wild success on YouTube into a new exotic-cars venture in Houston.
Graham engages in colorful, 'PG-rated' antics on his multimillion-dollar 'Unspeakable' YouTube series.
More 'Unspeakable' fun and games with buddies (photo from @unspeakable on Instagram)
The young entrepreneur's 0-60 exotic car shop, storage facility and social space is under construction now near Bush International Airport. His new 0-60 YouTube channel launched this week.
Meanwhile, Graham’s lifelong passion for cars is the inspiration for his new bricks-and-mortar venture: 0-60 Society.
Upon discovering there were few facilities in Houston to store luxury automobiles, Graham, who owns two supercars, simply decided to build one himself, near George Bush International Airport. Currently under construction, 0-60 will provide state-of-the-art storage for exotic and antique cars, as well office space for work and areas for parties and special events. Other amenities will include a virtual putting green and a VR car-racing experience.
A separate building for auto customization will be dubbed 0-60 Customs. “Anything you dream you want to do with your car, we will do our absolute hardest to make it happen,” says Graham, who anticipates 0-60 will be completed by fall or sooner.
Just days ago, Graham launched a new YouTube channel to delve deeper into cars and promote 0-60 Customs, which he describes as “16,000 square feet of exotic-car customization glory.” On the channel, Graham promises “drag races, car reviews, pranks, challenges,” adding, “I’m so excited to launch this project.”
SILVER STREET STUDIOS has arguably never been so silver, as hundreds of guests (many clad in “space-chic” attire) turned out to celebrate the launch of The Infinite, an outer-space-themed multi-sensory installation that landed in H-Town in late December.
A blue carpet led partygoers from the entrance to the bar, naturally, before they could virtually climb aboard the International Space Station. (True Anomaly Brewery poured craft beers, while Gentle Ben Vodka shook up the evening’s signature cocktail, dubbed the Space Rodeo.) Throughout the 60-minute experience, participants can explore the ISS and interact with art, sound, lights and even scents, all while immersing themselves in 360-degree virtual-reality footage shot aboard and outside of the ISS.
Among those in attendance were astronauts, NASA officials, artists and musicians, city leaders and familiar philanthropic faces: Lynn Wyatt, Kam Franklin, Brian Ching, Jon Deal, David Gow and Ursaline Hamilton were all spotted on The Infinite journey.
The 12,500-square-foot exhibition, open through Feb. 20, is an extension of the Emmy-winning interactive series Space Explorers: The ISS Experience, a multiplatform production filmed by and documenting the lives of astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Christina Koch and Anne McClain, resident flight engineers who appear in the series, generously shared their stories and chatted with guests throughout the evening.
Serafina Lalany, Alex De la Fuente
Brian Ching, Lindsay Yates
Matthew Moncivais, Robert Koch
CoCo Dominguez, Miya Shay
Mark Sullivan, Ursaline Hamilton
Davis Sheffield, Gabi Schlegel
Derrick Shore, Brandon Bourque
Felix Lajeunesse, Stephane Rituit, Phoebe Greenberg
George and Michelle Leal Farrah
Christina Koch, Anne McClain