I can go to my premiere at the Chinese Theatre, and everyone will know me, and everyone will cater to me. And then I'll go to an audition and get rejected left, right and centre. They don't watch my videos, and they don't really know who I am. It is like starting from scratch when it comes to traditional Hollywood.
I got into psychology simply because that's what my sister did, and I grew up in a family that was very, like, 'Follow your sister's footsteps.' I went to the same school she went to, did the same degree she did... really had no interest in it, to be honest.
My partnership with YouTube is one that I really, really treasure and I want to carry through. I mean, I don't just say it because I work with them; I genuinely am a fan of YouTube, so that's where I'd want to see my content.
Growing up, I was always creatively inclined, and when YouTube came about, it was like getting the perfect platform to showcase what I wanted. Personally, I was going through a dark phase in my life, and I decided to make videos and basically go by the adage, 'If you want to cheer up yourself, go cheer up someone else.'
I'm like, 'I think I'm just going to wear what makes me happy,' so I'm just really big on wearing things that reflect my personality, like colorful hats and weird shoes and things that I just think are fun.
I think one of the most beautiful things about YouTube is that it makes the world a smaller place. You realize that we're all different, but we're all the same. And if you think about it, it's a beautiful concept.
If you say, 'I don't want to offend anyone,' then don't get on stage. Just ask yourself, 'Do I think it is right? Do I think it is offensive? And do I think that everyone is okay to hear this? If I truly believe this, then I should go and do this.'
The best way to describe my work is comedy in a very, very real way. I'm not scared to look silly on camera. I take everyday situations we all go through and put a very real twist on it - things people can relate to.
I'm by no means an expert at giving advice on depression, but I would say that a lot of my show is about making the decision to be happy. We all think that happiness is something that just falls into our lap. But it's something you have to really work on.
I don't say no as much as I should. I'm an extreme workaholic. So I can be sick, and I still say yes to anything. When you are the CEO of your own company, editor of your own videos, your own writer ,and you do every role yourself, you have a hard time saying no to opportunities.
I wanted to be a musician. I wanted to be a superstar. I wanted to be on stage. I wanted to perform. I wanted to be in movies. But as you grow up, those dreams kind of fade away, and you're hit with reality, and you're like, 'Oh, not everyone can be Lil' Bow Wow?' Fine.
Sometimes I'll be sitting on Facebook at home and see all these people getting married, having kids, having that life that I was told I should have. And sometimes I feel like I'm doing something wrong. Am I the stupid one here? Am I not doing what I'm supposed to do? And that's also equally as stressful.
If you want to make YouTube your career, you have to accept that it is also a business. I know everyone's like, 'It's my passion, it's my hobby.' And that's fine; I support that. But if you want to make it your career, it does have a business side.
My creative process is a bit manic at times, to be honest. I wake up Monday and Thursday stressed because I don't have a video. I usually - with the exception of maybe a handful of videos - wake up, write the video, shoot the video, edit the video, release the video all in the same day.
Regardless of where life has taken me, I'm always excited to come back to Canada. I will forever be a proud Canadian. In fact, a lot of my success comes from the fact that I come from a diverse place, and that translates into my comedy. I will always be Team Canada.
I think what people like about my channel is that I am not perfect. I always point to my pimple, my bad hair day... people relate to that. They are watching somebody who is exactly like them and talking about things that they experience as well.
There is no casting director; there is no producer monitoring your upload button. Anyone that looks like anyone can upload a video. I think YouTube and the digital space does set a really good example for the rest of the industry in that sense.
When I was coming out of depression, I made one random video. It wasn't funny or anything, but just the idea that people I didn't know were watching it made me feel less alone than I'd felt in a long time.
A majority of my YouTube friends I've made because I made a trip down to California and literally tweeted them saying, 'Hey! Come over - let's shoot something!' And then two strangers will just meet up, talk, and shoot something.
I was the first South Asian female to do comedy videos on YouTube. But at the same time, all races face their barriers, and I've learned through YouTube, if it's not race, it will be sexism, if it's not sexism, it will be homophobia. It will always be something, and all voices should be heard.
I'm my own boss, my own editor, my own shooter, my own writer, everything. This is all stuff I learned through trial and error... failing at a lot of things has taught me how to succeed at them eventually... you roll with the punches.
I still make videos in my bedroom by choice because that's the feel of my comedy, but the opportunity to make longer format content with a production company, with a team that's a bit more elevated in that sense, is really exciting for me because it's not that it's better than what I've already been doing, but it's different.
When I started out the videos, I was dealing with depression, and I wanted to make inspiring videos for others, which would end up inspiring me in turn. I wanted to show the world that it was possible to make a positive switch in life and start over.