“I’m here at Algonquin College! Make some noise!”
With those words, Jus Reign waved his silver iPhone at the audience, taking a video for his Snapchat that thousands of people would see for the next 24 hours.
Reign’s first performance in Ottawa took place in the Commons Theatre on Feb. 23.
“There was so much love at Algonquin,” said Reign after the show. “This is the first of many visits.”
Reign is a Sikh comedian from Guelph, Ont. He’s a YouTuber with 684,717 subscribers and a social media monster – active on Instagram, Facebook, Vine, Twitter and Snapchat.
Most of his comedy stems from his own experience as a visible minority in Canada. In his videos he satirizes the cultural clash and stereotypes surrounding Punjabi traditions.
“Some of the comments that I enjoy the most are when someone from a different background who’s not even closely related to my culture will come up to me and be like ‘dude we love your videos and one thing that we’ve noticed is that you’re just like us,’” said Jus Reign to the 301 students who showed up to his Q&A session.
The event involved Reign answering questions from Twitter about his recent encounter with the TSA in San Francisco, where he was asked to remove his turban in secondary inspection, as well as his awkward interactions with Canadian singer The Weeknd.
When a member of the audience asked Reign what his advice would be to someone who is trying to make it as an entertainer, Reign shrugged and said “just go for it.”
His parents, both professionals from India, immigrated to Canada with their two sons. Upon arriving they had to work long hours in hard jobs. Reign spoke about the sacrifices that immigrant parents make for their children so they can have a better life, and how the best thing one can do for them is be as happy and successful as possible.
Reign started making videos as a creative outlet, addressing issues of culture from a comedic point of view.
He never expected that his material would be so far-reaching. He’s looking forward to bigger, more scripted projects that have a larger budget – but he can’t talk about that just yet.