My Journey Has Just Begun and I Have a Long, Long Way to Go - Shivangi Raina

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1. Tell us about your background and journey.

Well, ever since I can remember, we’ve never stayed at one place for long. My Father is in the army so we moved around a lot. That meant new schools, new people, new friends and brand new beginnings, every two years; sometimes sooner. 
It made me a social person, and a good conversationalist, and taught me how to gel with different kinds of people. 

I will graduate as a trained Veterinarian by next year, but I guess I always had a knack for comedy; I (loved, and) had alternative, or anecdotal or even deadpan humor, even before I knew these styles existed. Once I decided that I want to put my jokes out in the world, I started doing some more thorough research about the types of comedies people are into, and where exactly I fit in them. My journey has just begun and I have a long, long way to go.

2. When did you first decide that you wanted to create content and how did you start?

I think I have this lock down to thank for my channel, because I would’ve never started it if I wasn’t this idle and work-free. The starting is honestly a very funny story. I was just sitting with my phone one evening (like all other evenings), and suddenly had this idea of a prank kind of video on how you can plump your lips. And when I made that 50-something second video, I showed it to my family and they all laughed a lot, and soon enough we had this brilliant idea of posting it on YouTube. 

Basically, my first video only had views and likes from my near and dear ones, but when I got a good response from my first video, I was immensely encouraged and decided to carry on. My public Instagram handle was created much later, essentially to gain more public eye, but now I regularly post a lot of short and funny, low-effort videos and “reels” there too, along with posting videos on YouTube.

3. Is YouTube content creation a financially sustainable career?

For budding artists like me? No, not at all. I have yet not started monetizing on my videos because I am very new to this and don’t want to take major leaps when I am not sure if I am ready. But when you grow enough, with adequate people following you, and you are completely consumed by it, I think it is much more than sustainable. 

Right now I am yet to finish my undergrad in veterinary medicine; I may not be able to devote as much time as a full time influencer should once the lock down ends, because my course is very demanding and hectic. I can’t have the best of both worlds just yet, and I’m still undecided and in a dilemma regarding my primary field of choice- Doctor or YouTuber.

4. Who is your favorite creator and why?

I think hands down my favorite creator is Ryan Higa, a Hawaiian YouTuber, with the channel name NigaHiga. A close second would be Lilly Singh (also known as Superwoman). I am inspired by them and their devotion. As creators too, they are all I want to be. 
They are real, genuine and authentic and they get rewarded for their unapologetic genuineness. I think that’s what people relate with the most. And also, they both keep making their own music videos and I’d like to do that too with my sister some day. (I’m a trained classical singer; I really feel this skill should be put to use somewhere apart from informal gatherings where random people ask me and my sister to sing Bollywood songs haha)

5. How and where do you find inspiration to churn out content?

I have a very fun, jovial and happy little family. I get my sense of humor from both my parents, and in our house, we can never have a serious conversation which lasts for more than 10 minutes. Someone or the other always ends up thinking of something funny to say, and then we can’t keep it in. So my content is mostly inspiration I draw from my daily life and daily conversations we have at the dining table itself. Every meal-time gives me enough content to cover me for a week. Also, while making videos my sister helps me a lot with filtering and adding good content so I have her to thank too for helping me out so much.

6. What does your typical day look like?

A typical day for me during this lock down period is a very untypical day for most of the people. My college routine is pretty mundane and ordinary. But these days, my father wakes me up early in the morning and we both go out for a 4-5 km run almost every day (no matter how much I protest against it). Then we come back by 7 am and my mother, father and I have a bowl of fruits. Then my father leaves for office after breakfast and my sister wakes up and goes on about her own routine, and I attend whatever online classes I have for the day. 

By then I’m pretty tired so I dose off till lunch time. After lunch, I get activated. I write some things which might make for good content, watch successful people’s videos to see where I lack and what I’m doing right, and look up informational videos on how I can get better as I am fairly new to this field and I am always looking for ways to improve. By 6 pm or so, I start making Instagram “reels” or videos and work on my YouTube videos till dinnertime and after. I go to sleep by about 1 am with my sister.

7. Which is your favorite book and why?

It’s been ages since I’ve read an actual, serious book/ novel. I have enough heavy-weight books in my course and all I do is light reading to give my brain and eyes a well-deserving break. But I always love reading encyclopedias; ever since I was a little girl I used to get encyclopedias from the library and only read those. 

My obsession was so much that my mother used to force me to return them to the library sometimes and get an Enid Blyton or something in exchange, but my first love has always been encyclopedias, especially animal encyclopedias. There was a point of time when I was an animal trivia queen, I could surprise anyone with my vast knowledge-base; even people 5 times my age would get astonished. 

My mom says getting encyclopedias was just a way out for me so that I didn’t read big novels but I can assure you, the encyclopedias weren’t thin either. I used to finish off whole books in a day or two, I was just so fascinated by everything in them, from molecules to stars to dinosaurs to fossils and early humans to life as we know today. It has always been so fascinating to read such things.

8. What piece of advice would you like to give to future and aspiring creators?

In my present state, I am still spreading my wings and metamorphosing. But my suggestion to would-be creators is to make a schedule and stick to it; regardless of whether you’re getting immediate results or not. Understand patterns, analyze your mistakes and successes, and understand yourself and your audience. There will always be ups and downs, but don’t get stuck in the downs and don’t fall from the peaks. Ground yourself, make a schedule and stick to it; regardless of whether you’re getting immediate results or not. Results will come to you, eventually. Lost time, unfortunately, won’t.

Interview by - Sanjana Jain
My Journey Has Just Begun and I Have a Long, Long Way to Go - Shivangi Raina My Journey Has Just Begun and I Have a Long, Long Way to Go - Shivangi Raina Reviewed by Sanjana Jain on August 02, 2020 Rating: 5

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