An aspiring news reporter, Clancy Burke professes her true love of journalism stems from her interest in people. She is a keen listener, and seeks to set a positive example. Clancy is a senior broadcast journalism major from Nassau County, Long Island, N.Y. An extroverted introvert, her mind is always revving. She gets up each morning at 7 a.m. to write out the day’s duties on a whiteboard; boredom is not on her agenda.
“I always need to be moving,” she emphasizes, her azure eyes widening. “Over the summer when I was little, my friends were in camps, sports and just so busy and I thought to myself, ‘I need to do something.’” Clancy found that “something” in the form of an eponymous YouTube channel, Clancy Burke, where she currently boasts 173,591 subscribers. Her mission is straightforward: “I want to make people feel good, to help others,” although she protests, “It sounds so cliché, but I truly have always been inspired to help people. I’ve always been so infatuated with that.” Her nearly 500 videos to date prove just that.
Clancy began her on-camera career when she was a budding freshman in high school. Catching the first wave of YouTubers, she dove headfirst into the unknown. An eager member of a new generation pricked with a knack for social media, Clancy had very few YouTubers to look up to. “I fell in love with it, like how people have stamp collections? It’s an obsession.”
She admits that at first she was worried to tell her family, especially when her brother Neil found her out. “There was this journal entry I wrote down the day he [Neil] tattled to my mom. I was so embarrassed. But she stuck up for me, even though we didn’t talk about it for months afterwards.”
Clancy’s parents have remained a constant throughout her upbringing. “My dad is from Ireland. I didn’t realize I said things weird like ‘that’s daft’ until I understood Americans don’t use that phrasing.” She proclaims she wouldn’t be the person she is today without her mother’s rules and guidance, “She instilled a certain consistency in me, so I have these morals and values. She taught me to be myself and it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks.”
If one were to backtrack through Clancy’s channel, a change should be noted. She reflects that when she first got her breakthrough posting amongst YouTube’s beauty community, her main focus was personal appearance with heavy emphasis on makeup and hair. Now, she solely promotes self-love and appreciation. “The message comes from within, it is the most powerful self help guide. As I got older I realized there’s more to life that looks, makeup doesn’t change the world, but how you project yourself, what confidence you have—that has potential.”
“If you look at the world today, who are our role models? Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner? They are self-obsessed and that’s toxic. That’s not what I focus on.” Clancy also records vlogs under her channel Daily Clancy, a separate hub sporting 8,879 loyal fans. “They love the realness; the authenticity. When it comes down to it, I am my own product. I have to retain that credibility with my fans. If I’m not the same person as when I was 14, what does that say about my character to my audience.”
The biggest thing that drives her is ensuring a positive end result and facilitating a connection with people all over the world. Determined, she does not want to let others down. She admits her greatest test is when she starts to question what people think of her. “Of course I’m nervous and I think, ‘Oh will people like this?’ and if I think about it, I’ll mess up.”
Clancy writes every day, and she even has a self-published novel, “Girls, Gloss, and Gossip Galore,” that she released when she was 12. She is currently working on a novel but does not plan on publishing it, as she shudders remembering her first experience as an authoress. “Everyone made fun of me, let’s keep it at that.”
Clancy is a consistent news anchor for Marist College Television, MCTV, and co-hosts another show, “Around the Rotunda,” a broadcast modeled after The View. She also co-hosts a show for the Admissions Office, “Word on the River.”
While she discloses her obvious lack of downtime, it is all worth it in the end. “My grades, my extracurriculars, my YouTube channel, and then socialization—that’s my order of priority. I have to excel first and foremost.”