Wednesday, September 3

Not Another Foreigner: An Interview with Sacha Stevenson

PH | JANIS & SARAS


On Sunday, one of my favourite Youtuber had a meet and greet session in a lounge at Senopati. She’s Canadian, but she speaks like a true Indonesian (with the swear words, and urban-dictionary words). She is Sacha Stevenson. Her How To Act Indonesian videos have gotten tons of views, and have made lots of laughter, not only in Indonesia, but also around the globe! Saras and I took a moment at her meet & greet, to actually meet and interview her (and Jason Daniels, who was in the background).

Saras conducted the interview & I conducted the Fast Five.

Saras: What was your first impression of Indonesia?
Sacha: I came to Jakarta first, so I thought, ‘How do people breathe???’ Because, when I first came I used to cover my mouth with large pieces of cloth when I cross the road, because I always find it so polluted. Um, but now I’m used to it, cause after 13 years, now I miss the smell of pollution when I go home to Canada. And when I come off the plane and arrive in Jakarta, I’m like ‘Aaah… Smells like home'. But at first, I would go everywhere with a cloth over my nose. So my first impression was the quality of the air. It kind of sucks. Only in Jakarta, though! Not like in the kampung.

Kampungs are very fresh.
Yeah..

If you’re the president of Indonesia, what would be the first thing you’d fix?
There’s too much to fix!... God what would be the first thing that I would fix… Actually Jason was just talking about dual-citizenship, cause I’m not Indonesian, so I’d probably do the dual-citizenship first. But that’s not fair… Um, if it’s for everybody… Oh God there’s too much to fix.

I would fire people.

Okay…
[Laughs] I don’t know enough about politics, but I don’t really like Pak RT. I’d probably get rid of Pak RT. I mean, why is there a Pak RT?

They don’t really serve a purpose anyway!
Yeah! Everything needs his signature! And it’s kind of annoying, because he’s in your business, and like that. I tried to Google before whether Pak RT is even in the law? I don’t even know if it’s in the law or not… Or maybe it’s just culture, I don’t know. But I would get rid of all those… I mean, like when you want to get a passport, or get married, or even take a poop (!), you need Pak RT’s, and Pak Lurah’s, and Pak this and Pak that’s signature, and I would get rid of that.


What did you think of Prabowo’s complaints to the MK?
I stopped following Prabowo after he lost.

Saras & Jason: [Laughs]
Because he was… My faith in humanity was threatened, so I just decided I would stop paying attention to him, cause it was just getting too ridiculous.

Yeah, and the fact that he backed out, was just…. Pfft.
It’s quite entertaining, actually! Better than a sinetron!

True!
But, after that, it was just getting too far, and I stopped paying attention.

Do you actually watch sinetrons?
Yeah! Totally! They’re funny! If it’s a comedy, I’ll watch that! But just for ten minutes. Just to have a good laugh, or whether my friends are in it [laughs]

Jason: Always good for a laugh!

Sacha: It’s comedy though, not drama. Nothing beats Desperate Housewives.


Sinetron story lines are just too long. But they’re hilarious. Anyway, you’re a teacher right? And English teacher?
I taught for a year!

What methods do you think are effective in teaching English?
I haven’t done this, but I taught myself how to speak Bahasa using the children’s magazine (Bobo Magazine). So learn a language as if you’re a child. Just memorise vocabularies and forget about grammar. I don’t think grammar is really important at the beginning. Just learn how to talk to people, cause language is communication. And just copy the way other people are speaking, and don’t concentrate on the spelling. Just listen.

Do you think teaching is hard?
I don’t think it’s hard, but being a good teacher is probably very hard. Because you have to be entertaining. The younger your students are, the more entertaining you have to be. So I guess it depends on the person.




You’re an interesting person! Okay. So what inspired you to do the HTAI (How To Act Indonesian) sketches?
I started them because I was lazy, but I wanted to do something on Youtube. I used to do parody songs, and other stuff that didn’t have any concept/theme. The parody songs were too hard to do. It took me quite a while to write the music on Garage Band, and I have to get my friends, and we’ll do it together. I wanted to do it once a week, but I can’t maintain it. So I decided to do something simpler, cause I really want to be a Youtuber. I don’t know much about what’s in this world, but I do know about how Indonesians act in their daily life, mostly from the middle-class people. I think they’re quite funny, which is entertaining… I talk to maids and they make me laugh. Not only because they’re funny, but also because of the differences of culture.

Have you ever-encountered disagreements/hate comments with/from your fans/Youtube viewers?
Yeah all the time.

How do you overcome them?
I read the comments, but if it’s really sensitive, I won’t even finish it. If it’s making me feel bad, I’ll just stop reading it. If it’s a really long one, I’ll be like ah males. You know what I mean?

Yeah
But usually I do read all the comments, just not respond the hate comments, well, maybe three or four times back then.

Jason: Yeah, it’s not really a good idea.

Sacha: They actually like it when you respond.

Jason: Gives them power.

Sacha: Yeah! So I’m trying to be myself. If I get too involved in the hate comments, then it’s like I have to change to make other people happy, and God man, they don’t pay my rent. I have to be happy, I only live once. Like, I don’t think they’re going to come to my funeral, anyway. I just have to think about myself, that’s why I’m a Youtuber. Because I want a job that I love, and I can be myself.

Thank you for your time! 


FAST FIVE
Favourite Youtube channel? You Deserve a Drink
Indonesian or Canadian weather? Indonesian
Last video that  made you laugh? I don’t know… But I watched Two and a Half Men on the plane, it was the first time I’ve ever watched it. And it made me laugh pretty hard. I watched every single episode that was on the plane.
Place you would like to visit most? South America, except for Mexico. Cause I’ve been there.
Pet peeve? Ah susah itu ya! Banyak! Umm… When something really bad happens to you, and somebody says ‘Sabar  ya!’

Here are pictures Saras and I took at the meet & greet.






We held two interviews in this event, and this only part I. I'll post part II soon.

3 comments:

  1. hi Andra,,,
    nice blog... itu ada photo saya pas lagi ngasih sketsa ke sacha hhahahah
    thanks.... come visit my blog about sacha and last meet and greet
    http://riesaoranlee.blogspot.com/2014/07/SachaStevenson.html
    http://riesaoranlee.blogspot.com/2014/09/event-sachas-meet-and-greet-blue-fox.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. maaf namanya janis ya,, i thought i was andra

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bahasa Indonesia is easy to learn
    If you interest to learn B.I with native speaker through video call, please click this link :
    http://www.verbalplanet.com/publicviewprofile.asp?tr_id=10033696748&lang=IND

    ReplyDelete

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