Today we have a special guest, Sam Aotaki. A foreign name to most, she's been making a name for herself in the modeling industry as well as being featured in a Snoop Dogg video, everyone's favorite West Coast OG.
Most recently appearing in Korean rapper Dumbfoundead's "Are We There Yet?" video, I thought I'd get in touch to see what people outside of the gaming realm think of our generation's technology. In this piece, Sam talks life, career, future, and gives us her thoughts on the plague of social networking that surrounds us today. Sit back, relax, and enjoy! Be sure to check out the links at the bottom for videos and whatnot discussed in this interview.
Sam it's so cool interviewing you, how have you been as of late?
I've been well! Just been busy doing photo shoots and some short film shoots, but it's been fun so it's all good!
So you're an aspiring model in California. Give us a little bit of background information on what sort of inspired you to become a model.
Well actually this all started because I wanted a Macbook. My mom told me that I needed to pay for it myself so I was thinking in my head "What am I good at? Being in photos!" So since then I threw myself in the modeling industry and I ended up loving it. It's really cool because I got into Alternative modeling so I get to do really edgy and different stuff and I don't have to follow the status quo of being tall and super skinny and no tattoos and having long brown hair.
Talking about inspiration, who would you say would be your greatest inspiration in life?
I'm going to be cliché here and say my mom. Even though I give her a hard time sometimes I still really look up to her. She pretty much built herself from the ground up and is now very successful in what she does and that's what I admire. I also admire other women in the entertainment industry like Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Audrey Kitching, Raquel Reed, Nicki Minaj, etc.
"In for the Kill" by Jay Ahn
How would you describe life in California for those of us not fortunate enough to experience it first-hand?
I personally love it. I would never leave. I think a lot of people who live here don't see it for the amazing place that it is for some reason, but I think it's a great place to live. There is so much diversity here, so much to do, and you can always go on some sort of adventure in LA. It's just a place where you can drive 20 minutes one way and get cheap delicious Mexican food in East LA and then drive another 20 minutes to Rodeo Drive and gag at how expensive everything is.
It's sort of funny to think of how far technology has come along with the gaming scene. With social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, how do you think this benefits our generation today? How far do you think this "connection between people" can take us in the near and far future?
I think it benefits us all in way that it is easier to get to know one another and more people that you would never even dream that existed. Through the internet I have even made some lifetime friends that are very close to me now and I really like that I can have a close friend in Canada and a close friend in London and I feel like if social networking didn't exist I would have never met these people. Also I think this "connection between people" can take us very far. I think if you know how to network correctly it could be great for anyone's life and career and just help in people's well being and I think the internet has really helped people live their dream also.
Sort of tying in to social networking, how did these opportunities come up where you were able to work with people such as Snoop Dogg and Dumbfoundead? Give us a bit of a background on how that came up.
Well Robby Starbuck, who was the director for the Snoop Dogg video found me on a modeling site called Model Mayhem and he just messaged me to come down and be in the video and we all got to chill with Snoop Dogg and Ian Carey and Bobby Anthony that night so it was really fun. For Dumb's video, I had shot with Jay Ahn aka J6 who is a photographer who I've become friends with actually, called me and was like "can you do this video for me?" and I was like "yeah!" so I went down to K-Town (Korea Town) and met Dumb there and filmed the video.
Credit to Bentprism Photography for this pic.
Coming back to how media really surrounds us, you're a victim of the YouTube bug, posting a few videos and whatnot, about just some things you wanted to tell the public or maybe a few tips on how to wave the makeup brushes around to make your eyes look nicer for a night out on the town. You've done a few dance videos in the last year or two as well. Again, is this just part of the tidal wave our generation is riding (most definitely in a positive way), as we are the very first to experience this stuff?
Yes, at least I think so. It's so addicting to just upload a video on YouTube. I don't even know why! Well actually I think low-key everyone who posts a video on YouTube is thinking "oh maybe this can be the next big hit!" but even if they're not it's a really easy way to get a word out or just share things and talents and work with people.
Sometimes our parents or elders sort of laugh at how unappreciative this generation is of the technology. Back then, they were worried about sending messages to each other through the mail, as E-Mail wasn't even a word. Nowadays, kids and adults alike cry when their internet connection isn't the speed of light. Do you think this could cause a problem in the future as far as just general expectations of people, despite being sort of expected?
I think it is a problem. I feel like some people don't know what to do with themselves if the internet goes out or their phone dies (I must admit I am one of those people). I just hope that there isn't some alien invasion one day and all the electricity would go out. that would be like the apocalypse. The internet plays a different role in all of our lives, but we all have to admit it's a pretty big one and I just hope that our human race doesn't get too sucked into the internet realm.
Where do you see these social networking sites I mentioned earlier in a few years? Do you think something bigger and better than "social networking" will come up, or will these sites just explode and overtake the internet?
My mom keeps telling me that Facebook is going to end up like MySpace and just wither and die out, but I don't think so. I think the social networking sites that are big today are so big that it would be really hard to take them down. Something crazy good would have to come along.
The E-Sports industry isn't the easiest world to work in or get along with people by any means, and I'm almost positive that the music industry, along with the modeling world. Has there been anything that has really tested your patience with the career and path you've decided to take that made you think "Maybe this isn't what I want to do." or something of the like?
Oh for sure. I think any career has that some boundaries that you need to knock down. With modeling it's been a constant fight with my height, my tattoos, my hair, etc. I'm just very different and (this may sound conceited) but I'm really grateful I have an "okay" face and somewhat proportioned body to get me through. I think the more I've figured out how to work around the boundaries, the more I've liked modeling.
I want this shirt.
Alright now for what we've been waiting for -- you're awesome feature in Dumbfoundead's video, "Are We There Yet?". Before we go into it further, tell us how awesome it was working with Jonathan, and how that even came up!
Alright, alright... embarrassing moment time from Sam Aotaki: I didn't know who he was before I met him! I know, I know, I'm horrible because he's so amazing! But I guess it was a good thing in the light of the video so I wasn't acting all star struck the whole time. Either way, like I said before, Jay Ahn, the director of the video called me asking me if wanted to be in this video and I did so I went down to K-Town and filmed.
Since we rarely get an opportunity like this, let's talk briefly about the filming. Give us some cool stories about how the filming went, or any cool places you visited during filming.
We filmed in front of the Wilton, it was a bit awkward at first because we had to act all cute and lovey-dovey but we had just met. as filming went on though it got more relaxed and we got to know each other better so it was fun. A lot of the footage of us together got cut from the video, but it's okay, a lot of my girl friends still get really jealous when I say that I got to hold hands with Dumb. After filming we just kind of hung out and went to dinner at this restaurant/cafe place in K-Town and ate and chilled there and then they were off to go do more filming in Ontario for the video!
Any possibility we'll be seeing you in future videos with Mr. Park at all, or any videos we can look forward to seeing you in soon?
I'm not sure yet! Hopefully you'll see me again in another one of his videos. Also: yes, you will be seeing me in a few videos coming up actually! Not as big as Dumbfoundead's, but I'm going to be in my friend's short film, I filmed two music videos for various artists which will be released soon and also a video that my friend Walker Bunting, who is a photographer filmed, so good stuff! Keep on the look out and I'll be sure to let everyone know when they release.