MF 305 : Peter Veunnasack on moving forward with Cobra Kai on Netflix (part 3 of 3)
Note: website visitors can catch the sneak peek of this episode on Wednesday, August 26th. Episode will be available on Apple podcasts, Spotify and all major podcast channels on Thursday, August 27th.
A long journey in content creation and relationship building
As we discussed last week, Cobra Kai sparked a new content creation journey for Peter. What started as a one-off podcast idea to cover the first season blossomed into an entirely new podcast series, YouTube channel, and Facebook group.
Peter laid the groundwork; cultivating relationships with people working on the show, including, the three co-creators, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, and Josh Heald. Peter was able to interview them before the start of the second season last year. He also channeled his enthusiasm and energy to develop a community of devoted fans and to become a Cobra Kai fandom catalyst. He organized the first meet-up in Atlanta last year with several castmembers and along with Brihana Davidson, and another collaborator was the first and to date, the only content creators to visit the sets where Cobra Kai is filmed.
The big news
As we discuss in this week’s episode, Cobra Kai is a bit of an odd phenomenon. It may very well be the best show that simultaneously has many and at the same time not enough people watching it. When it premiered on YouTube premium in 2018, the show made a big splash, defying the odds and the early naysayers. It racked up tens of millions of hits on YouTube premium, quickly becoming its flagship show.
Yet, Cobra Kai remained for all intents and purposes, a niche show. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve texted, posted, and essentially harangued my friends to watch it, and to this day, many aren’t even aware that it’s been out since 2018. Peter agrees, describing it as “criminally under-watched.”
Despite this, Cobra Kai continued to gain incredible momentum after a stellar first and second season. The anticipation was growing as was the fandom. We entered 2020, awaiting what would no doubt be a thrilling ride for season 3.
2020 started with few updates and no trailer for the upcoming season. This, along with being home bound during the pandemic, only fueled speculation about when (and if) the third season would happen.
In late spring, news trickled out from some of the trade publications that YouTube was moving away from scripted content. This only led to more theories about what would happen to Cobra Kai.
Meanwhile, Peter was communicating with the co-creators’ PR team to schedule another interview. The “big three,” as they are affectionately called by many Cobra Kai fans, coordinated with Peter to come on his show, which would be streamed live on YouTube, on Monday, June 22nd.
June 22nd as it turns out is a significant date in Karate Kid history. It happens to be the date that the original Karate Kid film was released in theaters in 1984. On its 36th anniversary, that day would become an equally momentous one for Cobra Kai as it was announced that the show would be moving to Netflix.
Peter and the big three went live that evening to discuss the move, along with two other surprise guests. You can learn more that conversation on this week’s podcast.
Peter’s Cobra Kai wish list
An in-universe cameo: Peter’s dream would be to have a wink and nod shout out on the show. This could be in the form of a walk-on role, a mailman character, or a reference to “Kompanion.”
More interviews with cast and crew: Cobra Kai Kompanion has over 40 interviews with cast and crew, giving fans more content about the show. It’s also a wonderful accomplishment for Peter as a podcaster and content creator; to have engendered the trust of people working in front of and behind the camera. Peter would love to interview even more cast and crew to provide that inside look that fans crave throughout the year.
More fans: At its core, Peter spends his off hours on Kompanion because he loves the show. As a content creator, his goal is to bring awareness and more fans to Cobra Kai. While Peter acknowledges that he may see an uptick in his programming and content, he genuinely wants those eyes and ears on the show itself.
Takeaways from Peter Veunnasack
Over this month, I’ve enjoyed talking with Peter and learning more about his journey as a person and as a content creator. In wrapping up these three episodes, here are some of the biggest takeaways that you can apply in your life to move forward:
Take baby steps: we’re all dealing with the stresses of the current pandemic and the new realities of working and living within it. Peter takes a big risk every day as a USPS mail carrier. As you learned in episode 303, he went from serving his country in the military to serving his community working for the post office. Balancing that with family and other responsibilities isn’t easy. Peter’s mantra is to take “baby steps” to get through the day. This can mean carving out time in your off hours to start a podcast or just taking a break from the news to watch your favorite show.
Start with something you love and build from there: What Peter has built during his off hours is fueled by one thing: a passion for one of his favorite movies, The Karate Kid, and its spinoff Cobra Kai. As you learned last week, what started as an idea for a one-off episode has spawned an incredible content creation journey.
Stay with it and aim high: Peter started with nothing more than a mic, his voice, and his love for the show. Today, he has created robust audio and video content, becoming one of the most prolific content creators for Cobra Kai fandom. He has also cultivated incredible relationships among fellow fans and people who are involved with the show. This was all possible because of the hard work, time, and effort that Peter invested into his passion; all while balancing a demanding day job, family, and other responsibilities.
Watch Cobra Kai: Seasons 1 and 2 debuts tomorrow on Netflix.
The lesson here is if you want to create something then start with what you love, make the time for it, and put in the hard work. Peter is proof positive that it can be done.
Check out my other interviews with Peter
MF 303 : Peter Veunnasack on taking steps to move forward (part 1 of 3)
MF 304 : Peter Veunnasack on moving forward with Cobra Kai Kompanion (part 2 of 3)
Peter’s conversation with Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, and Josh Heald (plus two surprise guests)
Connect with Peter
My Cobra Kai articles
How ‘Cobra Kai’ is kicking butt at storytelling, marketing, and business
Why ‘Cobra Kai’s’ move to Netflix is the perfect sequel
Check out Netflix’s trailer for Cobra Kai with a sneak peek of season 3
What I’m reading / read
Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues – Johnny’s Story by Denton J. Tipton (***)
Books by John
Audiobook narrated by John
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