Three Perham friends drive across the country to find YouTube star

It all started with one tweet. On April 11, Josh Jeziorski decided to tweet and, if YouTube star David Dobrik "liked" the tweet, Jeziorski and two friends would hop in a van and drive from Minnesota to LA to meet him. Dobrik is known for his vide...

From left: Anthony Reese, Drew Birkeland and Josh Jeziorski pose for a picture with the van they drove to Los Angeles. They drove to LA intending to meet YouTube star David Dobrik. (Carter Jones/ FOCUS)

It all started with one tweet.

On April 11, Josh Jeziorski decided to tweet and, if YouTube star David Dobrik "liked" the tweet, Jeziorski and two friends would hop in a van and drive from Minnesota to LA to meet him.

Dobrik is known for his video blogs and comedy sketches that have earned him more than 12 million subscribers and over 4.5 billion total video views.

While anyone in the world can upload videos to YouTube, a small handful of creators have become world famous celebrities in different insular communities, ranging from technology reviewers to pranksters to video gamers.

Through regular vlog uploads and social media posts, Dobrik's fans feel a close connection to his life events and friendships.


Jeziorski, along with Anthony Reese and Drew Birkeland, call Dobrik a role model, molding their own YouTube channel "JAR Squad" after him.

Jeziorski was watching Dobrik's videos with Reese and Birkeland when it occurred to them, "how cool would it be to meet him?" Jeziorski recalled.

As hoped, Dobrik "liked" the tweet soon after Jeziorski sent it, and the plan to drive to Los Angeles was formulated.

"We stuck to our word and saddled up," Jeziorski said in a phone interview last month from Jackpot, Nev., during their trek back home to Perham.

After a few seats were taken out of Birkeland's minivan to accommodate a mattress, the trio set its sight west and left on Friday, June 19.

During the 30-hour trip to Los Angeles, Jeziorski frequently posted pictures online to update Dobrik on their progress.

Even though they never actually had a conversation with Dobrik-let alone made plans-the guys felt like he knew who they were, because of Dobrik's likes and comments on their social media posts.

"He knew we were coming," Jeziorski said. "And by liking them, (we thought) we actually might have a chance."


To keep the trip moving briskly, the guys slept in a Walmart parking lot in Grand Junction, Colo., and just inside the California state line in a Denny's parking lot.

Once in LA, Jeziorski, Birkeland and Reese constantly scanned Dobrik's social media feeds, looking for any clue as to his whereabouts.

The closest they came was running into Dobrik's friend on Hollywood Boulevard.

"Wait, aren't you guys from Minnesota? David was showing us all your posts," Jeziorski remembers him saying.

The three couldn't believe Dobrik was actually paying attention to them-but didn't extend an invitation to hang out.

After two days of searching, they learned Dobrik was on his way to New York City, and any chance of a meeting was gone.

"We were super, super disappointed," Jeziorski said.

Reese said no matter the outcome, they were still going on the trip, but it's still sad they didn't meet Dobrik.


"If it wasn't for him liking that tweet, we wouldn't have made all these memories," Reese said.

Jeziorski called it truly amazing when they rolled into Los Angeles for the first time.

"Wow, we actually did this," he remembers thinking. "Pictures don't mean anything, it's the fact it's right there in front of you."

Even though they didn't meet Dobrik, Jeziorski said the trip was a great experience to learn some life lessons along the way, such as that every state west of Minnesota has progressively worse drivers and it's important to know how far away the next gas station is.

"I feel like we can drive anywhere," Jeziorski said.

On the way home, Jeziorski pulled into a motel with $40 rooms, vowing to never sleep in the van again.

"It's been quite a ride," Jeziorski said from the border of Nevada and Idaho. "We've kept the van clean, but it's not looking good at the moment."

After 10 days, the JAR Squad safely returned to Perham.

Jeziorski said the boys plan on vlogging and making people laugh throughout the summer, but hasn't ruled out making a trip to Canada.

Jeziorski will attend Bemidji State in the fall, while Reese is heading to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Birkeland is entering his senior year at Perham High School.

Anthony Reese holds Drew Birkeland on his shoulders next to Josh Jeziorski on the California border. The three drove to Los Angeles to meet YouTube star David Dobrik. (submitted)

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