Kian Lawley and JC Caylen have been making videos for eight years; an eternity in the YouTube world. They met online in 2011. Caylen laughed and said, “Originally Kian was a fan of mine. I was making cool videos and he was doing TikTok videos, before TikTok, and we just became friends.”
They both moved to LA, soon after, with almost nothing to their names. Lawley had to borrow money from his little sister in order to pay rent. Caylen remembered, “There were four of us living in a one bedroom apartment. Two guys slept in the bedroom and we slept on the couches.”
Despite their humble surroundings, they were laser focused on their goal of becoming successful YouTubers. Lawley said, “We would literally film every second of every day. We’d vlog and then we’d come home and film another video. We’d edit in the kitchen and then repeat.”
During that time, they were also members of the popular YouTube group, O2L, which included: Ricky Dillon, Trevor Moran, Connor Franta and Sam Pottorff. Caylen said, “We were all so young, so we really didn’t even know what was happening. It was big. We had a lot of people who followed us. But it was nice. We were like a family. It was really fun.”
After the group broke up, they focused on their new channel: Kian And JC. They had an older demo, which gave them a chance to do more adult humor. Lawley said, “We’re growing up but our fans are too. We recently met a fan, who was 20 or 21, and we asked her how long she’s been watching and she said, ‘Since I was 11.’ That’s crazy!”
They also pursued some acting roles around this time. Caylen didn’t enjoy the process but Lawley loved it and stuck with it. He recently filmed a movie in Finland.
That’s where the idea of Reality House came from.
Caylen said, “He booked a gig in Finland and he was going to be gone for two and a half months. And we’re used to uploading every week; three times a week. We could pre-film but that wouldn’t work because we’d need to shoot 30 videos. So, we wanted to come up with something that we could film for a week and get ten weeks of content out of it. So we came up with Reality House.”
Reality House is a YouTube series about 13 YouTubers, who live in a house, and compete in challenges. The last person to leave wins $25,000.
Lawley said, “We came up with the idea, and thought about it all night, and then put it on Twitter. We got our people, booked a house, filmed it all in one day and spit it out.”
Caylen said, “From the moment we came up with the idea, to when we handed our editor all of the video, was one week.”
They took a huge risk because they paid for all of this themselves; including the $25,000 prize money. Once they started filming, Seat Geek offered to sponsor the series.
They are currently filming Season 2. Lawley said, “I think it’s already bigger and better. We’ve got a Winnebago. We’ve got a bigger and better house. We have more contestants and more challenges. I’m really excited about this one.”
This season includes some of the biggest YouTubers on the planet, including: Trisha Paytas, Teala Dunn, Manny MUA, Elijah Daniel, Andrea Russett and Sarah Baska.
Reality House Season 2 will be airing next year on the Kian and JC YouTube channel.