The Chameleon: Ryan Higa

This is part of our cover series on Asian American YouTube stars. Check out our recent profiles on Wong Fu Productions, Dumbfoundead, Megan Lee and David Choi

actor, writer, comedian

Call him Ryan, R-Dizzle, Regina…or “Boob,” the accent-heavy ninja named Bob who can’t pronounce his own name. He responds to all—he talks to all—and he is all: the ultimate package. In a world where superpowers exist, he’d probably play some form of a shape-shifter, whose charm would be making mankind of all ages roll on the floor laughing. In the real world, Higa, 20, is the number one subscribed YouTube star. His infinitely popular three-to-five-minute skits that range from comedy to satire to opinionated rants garner over 1 million views. A couple years ago, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas student faced his ultimate test scenario yet: realizing his love for film. “When I started college, I was in nuclear medicine, but I’ve always wanted to act and do film,” says the now-film major, who was raised in Hawaii. “It’s really hard and not a stable job, but YouTube gave me courage and reassurance. It’s changed my entire career.”
By Julie Ma
Photographed by Eric Sueyoshi in Pasadena, California.

Check out a video by Ryan after the jump!