Overnight YouTube fame. That’s what happened for Natalie White, better known as Pumachock to gamers and Korean Pop Culture (K-Pop) fans who have been following the Pumashock Instagram page for years.
White shot into the K-Pop limelight through a video she created. “The internet staggered me with sudden access to this world that seemed fantastically distant for so long,” White has said. What she learned along the way and how others can profit from those lessons will be livestreamed today at 5 pm EST/2 pm PST in a webinar from Hey JoJo Productions, during which White will take questions.
Join the Event
Hey JoJo Productions, a San Diego-based children’s theatre, is offering Parentology readers a chance at some of the 100 available spaces for this live, free ZOOM session happening today, (Monday, March 23) at 5 pm EST/2 pm PST. Here’s the link to join in:
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/967875276?pwd=TkFNSDNueXpzbGNGOHd6MGJyRFJVZz09
To whet our appetites, Parentology interviewed White, a.k.a. Pumashockas well as Hey JoJo Productions organizers.
Finding K-Pop Fame
Any successful talent will tell you that fame doesn’t come easily; it takes a lot of hard work.
“Above all, consistency and authenticity are key,” White says. “To build an audience, you have to stay engaged and deliver reliably consistent content. And in order to be consistent, you have to create content you care about. Be authentic, because that will sustain you in the early days when view counts are low.”
Something White wishes she’d known when getting started with YouTube was this: “I’m not special. Unique, yes. But not special. And talent means nothing without hard work.”
How Pumashock Took Korea by Storm
White developed an obsession for Korean pop culture before it hit the mainstream US audience. “I felt more isolated than ever in life,” she recalled of that time when she was living in a San Francisco basement. Fast forward to 2009, when she saw K-Pop cover songs being uploaded to YouTube. She decided to give it a go, wanting to feel more connected to the growing community of K-Pop fans.
Choosing the song “Gee” by SNSD (aka “Girls’ Generation”), White used ProTools to lay her own instrumentals and version of the song. Her YouTube channel exploded with 2.76 million views.
And then a phone call came in from Korea. The gist? “Star King show. You come now!” White recalls of the invitation to be on the popular Korean talent show.
Achieving personal fame hasn’t been White’s sole aim with social media. “I want all this access and connection technology affords us to lead towards better understanding and respect among world cultures. We should learn about each other and dispel stereotypes through technology instead of just appropriating and consuming cultures for our entertainment or profit.”
During her Star King days, White remembers a Post-it Note she came across from a little girl in Korea: “Natalie White. She may not have Korean blood, but she has a Korean heart.”
“That girl gets it,” White said in a speech given at George Washington University about “Hallyu,” which is another term for K=Pop culture. “I hope with all these advances in technology and this access we have now, I hope that it’s that shared spirit that can be amplified through this Hallyu wave.”
The lifelong gamer has recently ventured onto YouTube in a different capacity. “I’ve always been interested in the way music enhances gameplay. So last year, I decided to take the leap and pursue a full-time career in composition for video games (as well as animation and short film). I created a web show to demonstrate my skills and serve as a ‘living’ resume. It has helped me gain visibility and find opportunities to build my portfolio.”
Fans will be able to learn about this new path as well as other tips to success during today’s Zoom session from Hey JoJo Productions. Join the free meeting at 5 pm EST/2 pm PST: https://zoom.us/j/967875276?pwd=TkFNSDNueXpzbGNGOHd6MGJyRFJVZz09
Hey JoJo Productions: The Show Must Go On!
Despite COVID-19, Hey JoJo Productions, a children’s theatre in Solana Beach, California (San Diego County) is ensuring, “The show must go on!”
Theatre Director and Acting Teacher Jolene Dodson Bogard is moving her rehearsals to ZOOM sessions during Stay-at-Home orders. And to keep the energy moving forward, she’s kicking off JoJo Plus, a series of online seminars featuring entertainment luminaries. Already making appearances have been Eddie Carney, musical director of the An American in Paris National Tour, as well as Nicole Rae, Dance Captain of An American In Paris.