Interviews with Joseph Vincent and Andrew Garcia

Driven, Winnipeg’s aftermarket car show, was held at the RBC Convention Centre on July 13, 2013. I was lucky enough to go to the show to ogle at the beautiful cars, watch performances by local talents, and spend a few minutes with Joseph Vincent and Andrew Garcia. This is the interview.

group photo

Andrew Garcia, Ron Cantiveros of Filipino Journal, me, and Joseph Vincent

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Joseph Vincent and Andrew Garcia in Winnipeg

By Lora Quitane

YouTube artists Joseph Vincent and Andrew Garcia performed at Driven on July 13, Saturday. It’s their first-time in Winnipeg and Filipino Journal had a chance to speak to them.

Andrew Garcia is a YouTube artist and an American Idol Season 9 finalist. After Idol, he continued making collaborations with other YouTube artists. He is a member of YTF Legacy (Yesterday, Today, Forever) with Ryan Higa, Chester See, Victor Kim, D-Trix, and JR Aquino.

What made you join American Idol?

Before Idol, I did YouTube videos and the response was really good. My cousin told me to try a bigger scale. I wasn’t sure because I just wanted to do this for fun. He hit me up the night before the trials and told me to audition for American Idol. My friend was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going there tomorrow, do you want to come with me?’ and everything just worked out. I was like, ‘I had to do it.’ It’s like there was a path provided for me. So I did and it worked out great. I got a great deal of exposure and beautiful fans that keep supporting so I’m glad I did it.

Any advice to those who want to pursue their dreams?

If you love it, just do it. You’ll always go through something no matter what. As long as you have a little push and support, you could go a long way.

Any tours or new projects you’re working on?

I’m doing a west coast tour with Travis Garland. YouTuber Josh Golden and I are making the song that I sang [at the event]. Dumbfoundead and I are talking about doing another collab. I also want to do another collab with Joseph Vincent because I love him.

When is your Turbulence album coming out?

I reached a speed bump with that. The producer that I was working with was just swamped with his regular job. I’m not gonna take him away from making money and make it out of his living so I told him to do what he gotta do and I’ll figure out a way and now I’m working hard to get my album out.

What can you say about Winnipeg fans?

Fans are cool. I love them. And there are so many women out here. You guys are so beautiful here, I mean, what is going on? Winnipeg, I love you.

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Joseph Vincent Encarnacion became popular from his YouTube videos. He has gone a long way from posting videos in 2008. He still makes videos in his bedroom; the difference is that his channel now has 350,000 plus subscribers with over 50 million views on YouTube. His first album, Blue Skies, was released in October 2012.

Who inspired you to start singing?

My dad got me my guitar when I was 15. He was the one who directed me to YouTube. He showed it to me and said, ‘If you wanna do this for a living, it’s a start.’ So I said, ‘Yeah, maybe.’ I wasn’t sure because I just got to college and I was trying to transition from high school to college at that time. So I posted a couple of videos, got a good response, and I just kept doing it for fun. And now, I’m in Winnipeg, playing a show.

How did you find the audience response?

It was awesome. I always get nervous before a show regardless of how long I’ve been doing it. It’s my first time here in Winnipeg and the fact that everyone was attentive, listening, and cheering was awesome.

You visited the Philippines in February for the Bayani Tour. How was it?

Gawad Kalinga and Seafood City put the whole tour together to bring Asian Americans back to the homeland. We grew up in America and we kind of lose sight of where we come from and it was eye-opening for me. If my parents didn’t move to America, my life would be insane. It would be so different. It made me thankful for what I have and thankful for what they’re doing.

Did you try balut?

No. AJ (Rafael) did though. He’s like, ‘Come on, do it!’, and I was like, ‘I can’t.’ I probably could eat the egg part, but the bird part, I don’t know. Maybe. I was just nauseous that day. Next time. But I had Jollibee—burger steak for days. It was delicious. And a lot of chicken tocino.

When is your next album coming out?

I’m working on a 5-song EP right now. I’m trying to think about what to call the EP and just waiting for the right time to start going into recording it—mostly pre-production stuff.

When are you coming back to Winnipeg?

I don’t know. When are you guys gonna have me back?

Crowdfunding: Do they work?

Yes and no.

Nowadays, there’s an option that filmmakers can use if they want to produce a film: ask fans and supporters for donations. Sometimes this venture works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Exhibit A. The Veronica Mars Movie. I’m not a Marshmallow, but because I spend too much time on the Internet, I’m slowly joining the fandom. When the show abruptly ended in 2007 in its third season, fans wanted more. And they got it. Summer last year, creator Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell aka VM proposed a Kickstarter campaign to fund the Veronica Mars movie. The campaign ran for 30 days (from March 13th to April 12th, 2013). And in 30 days, the campaign received a total of $5,702,153 pledges from 91,585 backers/supporters. Can you imagine? 5. Million. In. 30. Days. Rob’s goal was 2 million, but the fans completely went all-out to support their beloved fandom. Isn’t that amazing? It’s insane how Marshmallows were able to come up with 5 million dollars to watch LoVe Veronica on the big screen. And to think, The CW cancelled the show despite the good ratings. This Kickstarter project proved that Marshmallows are incredible people.

Veronica Mars campaign

Exhibit B. Wong Fu Productions’ first feature film. March 18th was the last day of their 40-day Indiegogo campaign. Their goal was to reach $200,000 but the backers pledged a total of $358,278. I’m not biased, but I think Wong Fu really deserves the support because they’ve been making quality videos on YouTube since 2008.

Wong Fu Productions campaign

These two are just examples of why crowdfunding is a good resource for feature films or any project where backers could support your cause. But, it’s not easy. Veronica Mars ran for three years so it had a following. It was also cancelled abruptly, so the team and the fans wanted more — kind of like to put closure on the characters. Personally, if I was following the show and they suddenly cancel it, I would be pissed. On the other hand, Wong Fu Productions is already an established production company. Their YouTube channel has one of the best contents in terms of video quality. They have an online merchandise store where they sell “awkward animals” plushies and accessories.

Veronica Mars and Wong Fu Productions already had a following before they started the campaign that’s why they reached their goal. Or they went way over their goal. That’s the main reason why they succeeded. Oh, and because their fans/supporters are amazing.

So that’s really all you need. Supporters/amazing fans who has been there for you from the beginning. And a worthy, quality content or concept.

Photography assignment #1

I’m taking a photography course as one of my electives this semester. The first assignment was to take two photos: still life and headshot. I used my trusty Nikon Coolpix P7700 for the assignment. It took me almost an hour to complete the two photos. The assignment was due Thursday noon and I took the photos on Wednesday.

Still life photo: It only took me a second for inspiration to hit me. I was at home, looking at my surroundings, and figuring out how to stage the photo. When something clicked in my mind — I immediately grabbed my Instax mini 7s and put it on the TV glass stand. Why a TV stand? I love reflections shots, so I took advantage of our TV glass stand and the natural light (it was after 2 p.m.) from the window.

Still life

Headshot photo: It was 3:30 p.m., and I was on the bus figuring out how to stage the headshot photo. As I was walking in the skywalk to work, I stopped for a second and looked around me. It was almost 4 p.m., the sun was going down, the sun’s light was reflecting on a building which reflected on the windows of the skywalk. It was beautiful. I didn’t really care about the people who were walking around me — for me that was THE moment — so I looked around and smiled. At work, I asked my coworker to go with me to take her picture. I had to do it right away because I didn’t want to miss the light.

Headshot