“Numa Numa Man”: Behind the Depression

January 14, 2009
By Matthew Shippey, Culver, IN

YouTube celebrities have been called the future of media entertainment. The idea that a person unknown to society can become a world wide internet star overnight is baffling. Never before have unknown individuals been able to rise to the top in such a short amount of time. With YouTube’s availability, everyone has the chance to gain recognition. They simply shoot some film, upload it to the YouTube website, tell their friends, and the word spreads like wildfire. The producer sits and stares as the view count rises, checking it daily. The videos streamed on the website are viewed more consistently and more globally than any station on Television or radio. This fame can be thrilling, enjoyable and euphoric even, but it can also have a devastating affect on the psyche. This was the case for “Numa Numa Man”, who struck internet gold with his video.

“Numa Numa Man,” or Gary Brolsma is one of those stars whose fame proved to have a devastating affect on his reputation and mental state. He created the video “Numa Numa,” which showed him dancing and lip syncing to the obscure Romanian song, "Dragostea Din Tei.” His video was entertaining due to its strange dancing moves: flailing arm movements, exaggerated lip syncing, and wide-open eyes. The video was featured on Newgrounds.com and quickly gained close to two million views. Broslma, it seemed, was headed to the big time. He was soon contacted by “Good Morning America,” and his video was broadcasted on national television on both VH1 and CNN; a realization of a dream for any “superstar wanabe”. The fame came with a high cost, however, and soon it became a nightmare.

Broslma became a recluse; sheltered in his home in New Jersey, he moped around the house, hiding from the public’s eye. Their comments echoing in his head every day: “Hey, you’re that guy from the YouTube video,” and “Can I get your autograph? You’re the fat dancer from that one clip, right?” These became too much for him to bear. There words burned deeper and deeper at his very soul, and he began to lose his grip on reality.

News stations continued to barrage him with requests for appearances, and interviews, but he ignored all of them. His family observed his change in personality, and feared the worst. It is hard to understand what was going on in his mind. It seemed others would have accepted the fame with open arms. This is what Broslma did at first, but after all of the pressure and embarrassment of the media, he began to distaste the exposure. What sent him further into the recesses of his mind was the constant questioning as to his melancholy.

It seems this is the end for Broslma. He was quoted saying, “I want this to end,” and who knows how it will all end. His family tries to connect with him, but he is trapped inside his mind, only leaving his house to work at staples, where he remains a morose individual. It is questionable whether he is still with it in his mind, and his family fears whether or not he cares to live anymore. The fame that he once craved became his downfall. Internet stardom is a bittersweet status to acquire, and it is imperative that one examines cases such as Broslma, before pursuing this fame. Perhaps now that the fame has died down, “Numa Numa Guy” will be able to once again return to his normal self; entertaining his family as he used to; his family, and only his family. There may be hope yet for Broslma, if only a little.

Similar Articles


This article has 1 comment.

freemaw said...
on Apr. 21 2009 at 1:18 am
This is amazing shippey!You are a great and creative writer!You are my hero!


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!