Interview With Krista Orejudos

Krista Orejudos is an aspiring Filipinx podcaster. During quarantine, she took the time to fully produce her own show called “What’s On Krista’s Mind” where she does her best to be vulnerable with herself and with the guests she invites – from raising awareness to addressing societal issues, having intimate conversations to exploring cultural identity, she does it all. She thinks of podcasting as an underrated medium for anyone who enjoys talking, and another form of creativity and activism. She dreams of someday becoming the next Joe Rogan!

Emma: Please introduce yourself!

Krista: My name is Krista Orejudos! I’m a high school senior so I graduate, in like six months. I’m Filipino-American, and I was born and raised in Kent, Washington.

Emma: Awesome! How did you know that you wanted to start a podcast?

Krista: With podcasting, I feel like I’ve had this idea for two years now, because I just love to talk; every call that I have with friends or family feels like a podcast, just without the recorded aspect. I think I just needed that push in quarantine, when it was getting boring. I even took a podcasting class my fall quarter, why not. I finally did it, and then I thought, “Wow, it’s much easier than I thought”. However, it’s also very challenging in different ways, since everything was run by me. Overall, I really enjoy podcasting, and I’m glad I decided to pursue it after having it marinate in my mind for two years.

Emma: What’s special to you about podcasting as a medium or a form of communication?

Krista: I think podcasting is so underrated, and for platforms such as YouTube, it’s different because you have to have some special skills with editing, and then you have to be a very extroverted person. Whereas for podcasting, you choose if you want to show your face or not; it’s more accessible and it’s easy too, because people can listen to an episode fully, or not! It’s for conversations, for anyone that enjoys talking.

Emma: Which would you say is the most meaningful episode you’ve recorded, and why?

Krista: My most meaningful episode has to be the 7-8 minute episode (Episode 5) I did on the typhoons in the Philippines, because that one was dedicated to a cause and discussed ways to help. That one just hit home differently, because while my other episodes are more lighthearted, with me and my friends talking, I recorded this one on my own, and I dedicated the proceeds from plays for that episode as a donation for the victims of the typhoons. I was really surprised to see how much money I raised, because I raised around $142! I saw that people actually listen, and I was really proud of myself. That was my moment of “Wow, I think I can do this”.

Emma: Growth on Spotify, or Audible, or a lot of different platforms can be difficult – what helps motivate you?

Krista: Along the way, I’ve had a very supportive network. When I originally announced my podcast, in October, it was on my close friends story on Instagram. I did it at night, so I thought, “Oh, everyone’s asleep, it doesn’t really matter”. The amount of support I got the next morning was so cool; I had so many of my friends tell me, “OMG I listened to you at 1 AM!” After that, I started to actually push and promote, because at first it was more of, “Hey guys, I have a podcast, you can go check it out”, but now it’s “Hey, I have a podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and any other audio platform”. It’s the same for YouTube where I encourage people to subscribe, like the episode, and maybe comment on what was cool or meaningful to them. I try to add different calls to action, like in Episode Five for the typhoons, my suggestion was for listeners to send that episode link to another person to keep the chain of awareness going.

Emma: With numerous stereotypes of Asians as silently successful or submissive and quiet, there can sometimes seem to be an overwhelming effort to drown our voices out. Would you say you’ve had experience with that or that the production of a podcast has been more difficult with those assumptions?

Krista: Everyone is trying to do their own form of social media, or activism, especially with the BLM movement. There’s so much, it can be overwhelming, and it can drown out certain people’s voices, but I think for me with podcasting, I haven’t experienced that lately. Thankfully, I haven’t had anyone come for me for saying something wrong either, because I always make it a point to research and to present the right information, and if I didn’t do that, it’s my responsibility to be honest and take down that episode if I had to, or possibly make a public service announcement. There’s so much fake news, and I don’t want to add to that.

Emma: You mentioned cultural identity, how would you say that’s intertwined with your work?

Krista: For my podcasting class, my first four episodes were all Filipino-American based because it was October. If you didn’t know, October is Filipino American Heritage Month (FAHM)! Because I’m Filipino-American, I feel like I’m more American than I can be Filipino, which can make me sad because I understand my language, but when it comes to speaking it, it sounds very American, and I cringe at myself for not knowing. For FAHM, I did an episode on Filipino-American history, and I also did an interview with my grandma about her journey and immigration to America. I learned so much regarding how the immigration process works, and then how during that time, a lot of Filipino-Americans wanted to come over to have that American dream too, and it caused many immigration waves. Lastly, I did the typhoons. I’m using podcasting as my own way of quote unquote activism or just boosting the Filipino-American community, because as we’re Southeast Asians, it’s very hard to have that representation, particularly for darker skinned Asians. That’s something I will definitely promote more in the future, especially in May, for Asian Pacific Heritage Month.

Emma: Do you have any inspirational figures that you look up to in the podcasting world or specific podcasts that you would recommend?

Krista: I have always listened to David So comedy, and his podcast is Genius Brain, and when people think of it, they’re like, “Oh, he’s probably a know-it-all or something”, but because he’s such a troll and a comedian he always does things like that. I’ve always looked up to him; he’s the reason why I wanted to start podcasting. I mean, Joe Rogan, who doesn’t like him; he’s probably the hottest podcaster right now, but he focuses more on politics and he is not afraid to test the boundary of what is right and wrong. He’s really controversial, and that’s why he’s number one, but my favorites are smaller podcasters, specifically David So, or Stephanie Soo with Rotten Mango. Both of them are very different, because Genius Brain is more lifestyle and gives a lot of wise advice, and then Rotten Mango does true crime documentaries. True crime has been such a big, big thing right now too. I don’t know why, but I find myself liking it too; it’s just so interesting.

Emma: Thanks!

Edited by Michelle Nishidera

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