Re-introducing QPark, who many of you know as a viral Vine and Instagram celebrity. As one of the most popular Viners on the planet, Park's 6-second vines and 15-second Instagram videos receive millions of plays. The reason? They're hilariously exaggerated and goofy representations of real life, evoking responses that range from, "LOL WTF," to "That's so me."
allkpop Buzz recently had the opportunity for a Q&A with QPark on his success as an internet star. In the interview, QPark shared with us his Vine story, his favorite K-Pop artists, and his stance on Korean-American representation in American media. Check it out!
SEE ALSO: Meet QPark, a viral Viner who gets me
What made you decide to become a Vine comedian?
"When I first started making vines, I just wanted to make videos that were entertaining to people. I didn't set out to be a comedian at all and still don't consider myself one. If I ever did stand up comedy, the audience would probably puke. Earlier on, I was making all types of videos, like stop motion with a more artistic vibe. Over time, my audience kept asking for more of the comedic videos [so I delivered]."
QPark's take on Aladdin:
Your vines are hilarious because they're creative yet true to life. How do you come up with your ideas?
"There is really no formal process I go through. Sometimes I just observe what's going on around me during the day or conversations people have on the subway. Other times, I'll be going for a long run and some good ideas will just pop into my head. Some people say they do their best thinking while they poop. I don't think I have one intelligent thought during those times."
QPark's take on carpet alarm clocks:
In many of your Vines you act out in public places and receive a lot of confused looks. It's hilarious for your Vine audience, but do you ever get embarrassed while filming?
"When I first started doing things in public, I used to get nervous and embarrassed. Nowadays, it's like second nature. But even now if I think too much about how people are going to react, I can feel the nerves build. In those situations, it's best to just jump into the cold water and kill those nerves as quickly as possible. I see those videos as opportunities to test my character and to push the boundaries of my nerves. You only live once right?"
QPark's take on TGIF:
On top of being a Viner, you also own a Korean BBQ restaurant. What made you decide to start your own restaurant and where can we find it?
"I actually just sold that restaurant this past January. I've been involved in the restaurant business since I left my job at Wall Street. On top of just really enjoying food (without exercise and a good metabolism, I'd probably be 400 lbs), I think food is such an important part of our bond as human beings. It's one of the few things we do multiple times a day, every single day of our lives, and we still love doing it. To be able to provide that to people and to provide a meeting place, conversation, or any other positive experience is what I enjoy most about having restaurants."
QPark's take on true love:
Are you a K-Pop fan? Any favorite K-Pop singers/rappers/groups?
"I definitely started as an old school K-Pop fan. I was down with Seo Taiji from way back! I have a huge old school K-Pop CD collection: Roo'ra, H.O.T, Jinusean, Noise, Solid, etc. OLD SCHOOL FOR REAL, HAHA. Of the more recent stuff, I think Girls' Generation, G-Dragon, and Big Bang are cool. But I really have a soft spot for the K-Pop ballads. Like a lot of Koreans, I'm a sucker for drama and romance lol."
QPark's take on K-Pop:
Korean-Americans are rarely represented in the American media. As one of the most popular Viners out there, what are your thoughts on Korean-American representation and how do you think you contribute?
"One of my biggest motivations is to change the perception of Korean-Americans, and all Asians for that matter, in American media. The portrayal of Asian-American men needs to seriously change!! There is not nearly enough representation, and when there is, far too often, it is [based on] a stereotypical 'ching-chong', androgynous stereotype--a stereotype that has been around for so many decades and hasn't changed. I want to see more leading Korean-American men that get the girl in the end. Not just some kung fu guy who has a girl sidekick.
I do see progress being made, but unfortunately, I also see things happening that take us back several steps. Even on Vine, so many Asians totally degrade themselves to Asian stereotypes. It's an easy way to get "likes" and views and some cheap laughs, but at a real social cost. At a time when American audiences see leading Asian men less than any other ethnicity, not wasting those moments on stereotypes counts more than with most other races.
On the flip side, playing on certain stereotypes like having strict Asian parents I can deal with, because I can really feel that one haha! When I was younger, my mom beat the crap out of me with her 'meh-meh' (spanking) stick.
Anyway, my point is, as easy as it is for me to put on an Asian accent and squint my eyes really tight for some laughs, I just try my best to give the American media a fresh look at Koreans and Asian-Americans. I try to represent my people."
QPark's take on being a ninja: