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Q&A: David So

Q&A: David So

David So is a Korean American YouTuber and comedian who has dabbled in several areas ranging from food to music to film. So spoke at the the University of Florida’s Asian Kaleidoscope Month’s Opening Ceremony. He shared his experiences, but not without cracking a few jokes along the way.  

Sparks: What’s it like being an Asian American in comedy?

David So: I don’t really think too much about it. I think comedy is one of those things that I don’t really think about in terms of ethnicity or anything else really. I think the whole concept of everybody else thinking about what it’s like to be Asian American doing things. I never thought about that. I just did what I wanted to do. I think it’s just a hot topic thing going around now where a lot of people who have may have been in the entertainment for a long time feel super oppressed especially in terms of acting, writing and stuff in the entertainment field. I never really felt like that.  I never really felt like I put my culture on my back and carrying it forward. It was more like I create content and my culture is expressing the content I create. So that’s how I always felt about it.

 

Sparks: Did you ever feel like you weren’t “Asian enough” growing up?

DS: Probably not. Sacramento is a very diverse. I think when I was in sociology (his major) at the time, it might be different now, but Sacramento was one of the most diverse places in the world in terms of cultures, languages, and everything else like that. In my school, everybody was Asian, Black or Mexican. That was the environment that I grew up in so that was a little different.

 

Sparks: Did your major in sociology inspire your comedy?

DS: For sure. I wouldn’t even have known about YouTube if it weren’t for my sociology class. That’s what I think college is great for. It’s hard because when you’re here, you kind of do everything like it’s homework. You live life like it’s homework. You just want to get it out the way, but college is all about getting experiences. That’s why I always tell people, ‘yo, go out, go date, go do everything’. College was a really good time from me. Some people say,  ‘oh,  you didn’t need college,’  but that’s not true. If I didn’t go to college I wouldn’t have figured out what I wanted to do. That’s what college is for me.

 

Sparks: What inspires your videos?

DS: At this point, I’m just doing whatever makes me happy. Me doing vlogs, it’s not something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to make films, and I wanted to go into producing better content and doing sketch, but the platform changed a little bit and people wanted to see vlogging and my opinion so I continued to do it for people who want to see it. Other than that, like I said, my driving force is people who watch it.

 

Sparks: How do you use your channel as a platform for Asian Americans?

DS: If I am somebody who is connected culturally to things that happen in the community, I’m going to speak up about it. I don’t know if that’s my M.O. perse. For example the Alexander Wallace video, that’s wasn’t a thing where I thought, ‘I gotta speak up for Asians’.  No, it was more like this is funny, this woman is racist and I’m going to say something.  I think, because I wasn’t born here, I’m fluent in Korean. I only speak Korean to my parents. My culture is something that I hold very dear to me. No matter what I do, it’s in there. Even my style of comedy is very Korean, very slapstick Korean.

 

Sparks: What did you think of UF?

DS: It’s hot. The campus is great. It’s different from L.A. because you have a lot of trees and everything else, but the campus is awesome. I just can’t get used to this heat. This heat is going to kill me.

 

Sparks: Any future activities?

DS: This year.  I’m going to be focusing back on my channel, Go For Broke (His clothing line), and other food things.  This year, my channel has been all over the place, and the only reason why is because I personally got really bored. I was just doing the same thing over and over which is OK. I just wanted a year just to do whatever I wanted. I mentioned PopArt, which is going to be a gelato popsicle. I love food so I always wanted to dabble in that too. We’ll be doing that and GoForBroke and go back to my channel. Then I’ll be focusing back on vlogs. It’s just that I’ve been busy with the film. Once the film is done, it’s time to go back to what I normally do. And I’ll be working on some other bigger projects too. I’m planning to work with a few other companies to start some new series.

 

Sparks: Is there anything you want to say to young Asian Americans?

DS: For Asian Americans, I feel like a lot of the time, we live for other people whether it’s your parents or somebody else’s expectations of what they want you to do. If you continue to do that and live like that along those lines, I think you’ll end up being very unhappy because that’s what happens to a lot of people I know and personal friends. They were straight A students, and they did all this other stuff and then once they have their careers where ‘I’m making good money and I have a house but for some reason I’m not happy’. That’s because you pursued goals that weren’t your own, they were somebody else’s. You fulfilled their dreams but what about yours? At the end of the day you look at your parents and say, ‘I did everything you want, why am I not happy’ and that’s the reason. So, I think we’re scared to disappoint people. It’s not like I don’t think about what my parents want, but I have to think about what they want from a macro perspective. What they want for for me is to not struggle and live a good life; however, I have to do it within my own means. I can’t do it in they way they want me to because, when they’re gone then I’m stuck by myself and my life choices.  

 

Featured image by Zachariah Chou.