Instagram influencer Chris Baris never dreamed he would pursue social media as a career.
In our interview we look closely to his journey. From the second smallest country Louxembourg to Los Angeles.
You are an influencer, model and an aspiring actor.
Q:Have you always dreamt of a life in front of a camera?
I used to play professional soccer in Europe as a kid, but gave up on that dream.
When I was 16 years old, I was in school and I didn’t really know what to do. My sister came up to me one day and asked me “What do you want to do in life?”
I told her I have no clue. I’m just going to play PlayStation and just be with my girlfriend.
Q: She was not very happy to recieve this kind of answer, what happened?
A week went by and my sister and I started arguing.
At that time my sister owned a production company in Luxembourg and she was a producer for movies and films. When she worked, I often sat backstage and watch her doing her job or helped her out by holding a camera or the lights. Deep inside I always had a passion for it, but I never thought that I could turn this into a career.
I finally told her I always had a dream of becoming an actor. She was finally relieved and said great we can work with that. We have to move to LA and get your career started.
Everyone in my school my family and friends and even my ex girlfriend were against me and didn’t want me to move to LA. So I broke up with my ex girlfriend at that time and told my parents I would make it and flew with my sister to LA.
Q: It takes a courage to move across the world and start a new life. How did you move forward?
I took summer jobs, even during holidays to save money. I became frustrated thinking about having a 9-5 job, and when my sister told me to man up and follow my dream, the whole journey have started. After I graduated, nothing could stopped me.
First, we went just for couple of weeks to envison the city, try it out and see how we feel. We fell in love instantly. The weather, the people, the food the overall experience was different and we loved it. Next year we arrived to LA together with my sister. Because my mother is American and Filipino, I have a double citizenship. Therefore I had no visa problem.
Q: Living in the city of Angels is very expensive. What was your plan to survive the beginning times until you get discovered?
When I landed I applied for a Abercrombie&Fitch model gig, and did not think I would even be considered. To my surprise they called my back in couple days and I got hired. The campaign ran for 6 months. I am thankful for the opportunity. However I felt like I wanted to do something else. My sister being in the scene for a quiet some time advised me to start being visible online. To start getting followers that way first.
Q: Tell us about your social media approach? How did you first get started?
I first started vlogging on my youtube channel in 2016 and rapidly accumulated more than 10,000 subscribers in less than six months. Before I shot my first commercial, my sister told me to take my camera with me and just VLOG everything that happens behind the scenes. I took videos about lifestyle, fitness, traveling…etc and people watched it and liked it more and more.
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I am sure our readers would love to know the whole process.
Q: In your opinion what makes vlog interesting? How do you keep it entertaining?
In my opinion the most interesting part about vlogs is not the vlogs itself but the part where you experience to talk in front of the camera in public and overcome the fear of being judged by others in public. I was really struggling with that part when I first started and made so many mistakes because I didn’t know how to act naturally in front of the camera. With a lot of hard work and training from my sister I finally managed and vlogging became more fun.
In order to keep it entertaining my sister and I had to come up with different ideas in order for the vlogs to not be boring. The best part about it that was that my sister is really good at editing since she has a production company and has very creative eyes kn how to transition and make the vlogs structured and entertaining.
Q: Where does the inspiration come from? How do you create your content?
The inspiration comes from wanting to teach your audience something new show them things they might not have known before and make their day a better day, that’s where my inspiration comes from.
Before I even started vlogging my day I talked with my sister first and we planned how and what I should film throughout the day and what I should say. This was a crucial part of the vlog since I had to know exactly what to say and do in order for the vlogs to make sense for the editing process. If I were just to randomly film my whole day without a plan my vlogs wouldn’t be as entertaining and structured and wouldn’t have been so good in quality.
Q: Your ultimate goal is to become an actor. What was your plan when it comes to etting signed by an agency, which is a must to have make it on the screen in LA .
Vlogging basically made me advertise myself and be more visible. Because of my channel and later my instagram having high numbers my first agency contacted me to represent me. And later I signed with another bigger agency called Esprit which I am currently still with. ( With no experience in acting)
Q: Are you taking acting classes now? If so, do you find them helpful?
I do take acting classes. I started training in acting classes as soon as I got signed with my agency. My current acting coach is the same acting coach of Henry Cavill AKA Superman.
Q: Are there any obstacles you encounter when it comes to castings in LA?
I almost became the red power ranger for this years Nickelodeon TV show I did a four month casting process and got all the way until the final casting with the producers but ended up not getting it because I’m too tall… lol
Q: LA is a city of opportunity, but on the other hand very competetive, and people loosing their integrity. How do you keep your head down from distractions. LA is full of them. What keeps you focused ?
What keeps me down to earth is the fact that I live with my sister and we have this special bond. My sister Jane Fersen is not just my sister but she’s also managing my career. She’s always there to keep me in check 24/7. And the fact that she’s my sister I know I can trust her 100% and she only wants the best for me since she’s family.
Q: What role does your sister currently play in your life?
Growing up side by side, sometimes even litterally behind my sisters back, I always looked up to her. She is my mentor, she manages my social media and also my acting and modeling career, She took my instagram under control. I appreciate her a lot being there for me. We help each other. Jane has her own business and helps me out. She shaped me to who I am today. „Behind a great man is a great woman“. It is my sister in my case! So blessed to have her by my side. It is important to me I trust the people I work with.
Q: Do you like collaborating with people?
I absolutely love collaborating with other influencers! It’s so much fun getting to know knew people and them becoming friends. I have collaborated this year alone already with the biggest influencers in the world such as Lele Pons, Hannah Stocking, Twan, Spence, Adin, Johannes Bartl, Amanda Cerny, Hana Giraldo just to name a few.
Q: What are your upcoming projects that we all can see you in?
I got an opportunity to be the first Asian- American on the cover of the Obvious magazine, and you can also see me in a movie for the first time in 2019! I will play in a movie called “I’m Not Afraid” which is a horror-drama thriller.
Q: Where do you see yourself in couple of years when it comes to your career?
In a couple years I see myself being way bigger on social media and being in big movie and tv shows. That’s my ultimate dream and will fight for it until the end.
We wish you all the best, and are excited seeing your career grow.
If you want, follow Chris and his daily stories on his instagram and stay up-to date with his life.