If you aren't familiar with JFK, get familiar! They're a comedic team of voices and faces of Asian media pioneering for a minority that is represented far less frequently on Western outlets. They were one of the first popularized and successful Asian youtubers who rose alongside Nigahiga and Wong Fu Productions through the mid 2000's to the present.
They're known for their comedic take on Asian culture, families, gender role reversal and a hell of a lot more (they have almost 5 different youtube channels with a distinct direction, respectively).
Here's one of my personal favorit videos of JKF. During the trend of "Shit _____Says" videos, JKF had the funniest videos that are completely relate able and hilarious. Do you see a parent, uncle or auntie of yours somewhere in the video?
Any who, back to the event. OHR and I had to arrive extra early to secure good seats. Knowing that it was JKF's first time showing in Toronto? It's almost GUARANTEED that hundreds of fans will be flocking to the event.
When we first arrived, it was a few sparse fans seated casually in a hallway. We took a seat by the window and waited for a line to begin forming. OHR gasped and she jokingly told me to turn around...The joke turned into a real shocker, JKF was walking into the building! Geo looked at me and smiled.
I felt as if I have seen a ghost..I forced myself to smile and feared I turned out creepy. Oops.
Fast forward almost an hour later and bam, everyone flocked at once. You may be able to see this, but their are fans lining up IN the revolving door and trailing to the freezing, snowy outside! What dedication!
The hilarious and Ontarian Viner Ray Ligaya as the host for the event, he got the crowd pumped!
Just when I thought they could not get funnier, they're a hundred times more hilarious in real life. I was laughing so hard, I could barely breathe. They talked about the beginning of their video career, struggles in making videos, their upbringings, backgrounds and answers questions from fans.
It was revealed that it was Geo's first time attending to a big event with them! It was adorable and humbling to see how shy she was in a big venue. In JustKiddingNews and other JKF videos, she's more confident and I wouldn't have guessed that she was shy. It was endearing. She disappeared part way through the act and hid behind the podium, letting Bart and Joe take over. We still love you Geo!
Bart and Joe talked about their vastly different upbringing. Joe's parents were both classically trained musicians and expected him to follow their footsteps and encouraged a creative career. Bart's upbringing was more relate-able, as his parents wanted him to have a more stable career. He gave an inspirational speech on following your dreams, emphasizing hard work, and your parents' approval should soon follow.
Then Bart had his Mac out to show the crowd some JKF videos, and a sneak peak to a video to be released the next day. His desktop had a hundred icons overlapping, but one thing stood out.
An audience member screamed, "SHOW CAR F--K INFOMERCIAL!"
Bart laughed and agreed, opening this file and read it in a thick Vietnamese accent, the whole crowd hounding with laughter. Bart explained that he gets inspiration from all places, and the above was a video idea inspired by poor drivers in Chinatown.
Sneak peak of a video that wasn't released until the next day! We all know someone who can not keep a secret, that's the inspiration for this video.
Then it was time to line up for the meet and greet! I'm so relieved that the event was organized so well. They started calling out audience members row by row, so we didn't have to wait in another line up!
We prepared a Canadian gift bag ahead of time to welcome JKF. Legs shaking and bag Toronto Maple Leaf bag in hand, we waited to meet them. My greatest fear was to have an absent conversation with JKF. I knew they're all personable people, but with lots of other fans waiting, I feared we would get the genertic ol' "Thanks for coming" treatment and off we go...no real conversation.
I worried for nothing! OHR and I enjoyed a couple laughs and conversations with Bart, Geo and Joe! It was really, really exciting. Geo said she remembered me from earlier (when I was shocked to see them enter the building and my face drained?!) and said she liked my hair! Completely flattered, I told them OHR actually does my hair and I also returned the compliment as Geo a has pretty badass undercut.
Bart asked OHR about her tattoos and she shared the origins of her body modification. He jokingly tucked at my sleeve, asking me if I had any tattoos. Sadly, I didn't, but I had such a lovely time being part of the conversation. Joe had said he had a question for us, but I was dazed in conversation and I missed it.
I'm so sorry Joe!
I pulled things from the Canadian treat bag to explain what gifts we brought them. I mentioned that there were Kinder Surprises set for each of them, because I knew they were banned in the States. Bart's lid up when I pulled the Kinder Surprises from the bag...JKF had no idea what they were...I was too excited about the treats that I jumped the gun on assuming they knew what Kinder Eggs were! Obviously if the States have a ban against them, they wouldn't know what these treats were? Oops.
|Right to Left|
Ray Ligaya, OHR, Bart, Me, Geo, Joe
It was a surreal experience meeting JKF in person, whenever I watch their videos now I have a moment of, "I had the chance to hang out with them!"
Listening to them talk about how hectic their work schedule was to create great videos for a living made me have a greater appreciation for what they do. It was also really great talking to them on a personal level. Bart was so warm and excitable, Geo was really down to earth and sweet and Joe was so genuine and friendly.
I hope they come back to Toronto soon!