I almost would have quit domino in 2007. With 14 years of age, there were other things to do - school was pretty exhausting, but I didn't spend a lot of my freetime on domino either. I was wondering how I could go on and building small projects at home was the biggest I could do. After all, that was all I had done in the eight years I had spent with that hobby now. The number of dominoes I had set up had never even had five digits, but how could it have if all I had was 2 m² of space to build on. I needed something bigger.
That's why I decided to form a domino team - "TPT" - together with my friends Philipp and Tobias. Where did the name come form? Well, it's probably not hard to guess that "TPT" represented the first letters of our names.
We immediately started planning. Our goal was to set up at least 10,000 dominoes, and I had "domino fever" again finally, encouraged by seeing how working together in a group made bigger projects possible. On a different note, it was good to know that someone would slow me down if I came up with gigantic ideas again that were not realistic.
Now we wanted build not just for ourselves, but present our projects to the world. YouTube came to my mind.
In the spring of 2008, I created an account on this video site called YouTube. I had no idea back then what a community would grow there. I did know the videos by FlippyCat, but couldn't anticipate that it would become the main place for domino-builders to share their work and get in contact. Also, I had no clue that YouTube would have such an impact on my life. If I hadn't signed up for the site - calling myself millionendollarboy -, I wouldn't have met the domino-builder that I now work with very much. I'm talking about Alex, also known as Anno or Annodomino.
"Why did you choose that name for your YouTube account?" Another question I'm asked frequently. When they hear it for the first time, people think I'm kidding. But it is what it is now. The day I joined YouTube was Sunday, November 16 of 2008. I remember that so exactly because Friday, November 14 was Domino Day 2008. So on the next day, I watched the movie "Million Dollar Baby", which I found pretty impressive. Sitting in front on the PC on that Sunday, I spontaneously joined YouTube. (When I had woken up that morning, I didn't plan to have a YouTube channel in the evening.) So when it came to giving my channel a username, that movie came into my mind. I replaced "baby" by "boy" and had "milliondollarboy". Unfortunately, that name was already taken, so I added "-en" to "million" (making it the German word for "millions"). Luckily, that channel was still available, and that's how my nickname was born.
It took two months though until I uploaded my first video. A very simple one actually - a shaky camera showing just one domino trick... (Good thing that the video ends after just 8 seconds.) Later, I thought of deleting that video, but decided not to because it has sort of a meaning to my channel, being its first video.
The second one followed soon and showed my biggest field. The same field (surprise, surprise) could be seen at TPT 2009 as well. After what felt like months full of planing, we could finally build up that project. Thanks to my mother having a vernissage in a local hall, we were permitted - on very short notice - to use it for the domino event. So we were building in the middle, surrounded by paintings and the visitors of the vernissage. The three days were really stressful for me because I was constantly worried the visitors might cause damage to our projects and warned them all the time, but luckily no accidents happened.
Shortly afterwards, my channel hit 50 subscribers. I owe that to FlippyCat who put the TPT video into his favourites. Thanks to that, I gained 20 subscribers within a day. My channel grew and grew, the topic for the next TPT was found, and I used to have the bad habit of sharing my ideas with everyone immediately, so I announced the next TPT's theme more or less openly with my 5th Video. ;-)
While all of that happened, I kept looking for other domino-builders. And eventually I found Alex's videos. I liked his domino videos very much, and when I then found out that we were actually born in the same city, I just had to contact him. I remember until today what I wrote to him in the first place: "Hey, cool, I was born in Saarbrücken too!" That's who our friendship started which lasts until today [hi there, this is Anno translating this homepage :D].
Additionally, my amount of dominoes grew to 17,000. We set up all of those in 2009's second TPT - "Star Wars". On that October 31 of 2009, we established a new record once again - but I wanted more, I was looking for new challenges again and found one. On August 16 of 2009, the major domino project of that year was toppled: CDT 2009. One of the members of that team was Alex. It was my clear goal now to become good enough to join CDT one day. Alex and I had been in contact since half a year now, and on December 26, we met in "real life" for the first tim. We immediately got along with each other and spent the whole day setting up dominoes, including an attempt to build the biggest 3D pyramid (the record was 19x19 back then). We failed, but I absolutely wanted to get that record and tried again at home... and more then once: it took 7 attempts in total until I finally managed to finish the pyramid. With about 100,000 views, that video is my second to most watched one.