Ethan Wacker Gives RAW Interview
RAW: We heard you live in Hawaii!
ETHAN: I do! A lot of the people you see are tourists, but the people who live there--it’s like a tight-knit community. Everybody does fun stuff and everybody knows everyone, so everybody that I knew back there is really nice and supportive of what I’m doing now. I’ve lived there for 10 years. I moved there when I was 4-5 years old.
RAW: And before, you were in Connecticut?
ETHAN: I was born in but moved away from Connecticut when I was 18-months-old to South Korea. I lived there for four years--I love South Korea--and then I moved to Hawaii with my family.
RAW: Tell us how you got into acting.
ETHAN: Really funny story. We were driving to school and for a month, all we heard in the morning were the ads like (talks in high-pitched voice), “Do you want to be on Disney Channel with Selena Gomez, blah blah blah?” I was obsessed with Disney Channel when I was 11-years-old, so I was like, “Yes! Dad, please! Mom, please!” They were like, “No...” but after my sister and I begged them enough, they actually did it. So then we went to this open call, got called back to Los Angeles, went to this convention, met my agent and manager, and they just started sending me out on auditions, and eventually I booked a pilot called Paige and Frankie which eventually turned into Bizaardvark. The pilot was just about them, their family, their lives, and they didn’t have a YouTube (claps) a Vuuuuuuuugle channel called Bizaardvark. I actually played Paige’s little brother, Trey. I was a little bro for a little bit .
RAW: You’ve also done a lot of voice acting. When did you realize that you had a voice for that? A lot of kids your age don’t think about it.
ETHAN: I didn’t! My manager just sent me out for a voice acting audition and they said, “Hey, you have a really raspy, good voice for voice acting.” (whispers) This was way before my voice dropped...a little bit. So this was before then and they were like, “You have a raspy, high voice so it’s good for voice acting!” So then I did Stinky & Dirty. I did a couple episodes of Miles from Tomorrowland.
RAW: Talk about auditioning for Disney Channel's Bizaardvark. It returns for season 3 on July 24th!
ETHAN: Well, as I told you, I did the pilot, but then they kind of transformed the pilot and my character, Trey, was taken out so I had to re-audition for Bernie, so I didn’t get carried over.
RAW: How many callbacks did you have to do?
ETHAN: Three. I sent in a tape, went to L.A., did one [and] this was during the time when I was back in Hawaii, and then I went back [to L.A.] for a meeting with Eric Friedman, Kyle Stegina, and Josh Lehrman who are the writers and the executive producer of the show and they were telling me, “Here's what you need to do for your character,” and then they told me this big guy that was auditioning for Dirk, damn bro, Jake Paul, and they just said Jake. I was a fan of Vine at that point and they just told me Jake so I didn’t know Jake Paul. So when I went to the audition I just saw Jake Paul sitting there and I was like, “Oh--that’s Jake Paul!” (laughs) and this other kid that was auditioning for Bernie was way more of a fan than me so (laughs) Jake was just sitting there and this kid was coming up, “Agh can I get a picture? Follow me on Instagram! Please, oh my God!” so it was funny and then...yeah! I immediately became friends with Jake, he’s a really nice guy. He was very nice and supportive and he helped me build my entire following on social media and he was really supportive throughout that. I still hang out with him, like I’m going to see him next week!
RAW: What did you do when you heard you booked the show?
ETHAN: We went out to Morton’s The Steakhouse which has, like, the best steak on the market… molten lava cake, lemon sorbet, I went to the movies six times; did all my favorite stuff, so it was a very good week.
RAW: What made you decide to start your own personal YouTube channel?
ETHAN: I just really love YouTube. I just uploaded like once every couple months--only when I hung out with Isaac (Presley). And then I saw Jake. The funny thing was, first season, Jake was not going to do YouTube and I was like, “Bro, you gotta do YouTube. I’m telling you, people are blowing up.” He was like, “No, platform is going into decline.” I was like, “I’m telling you, you should do YouTube!” and then he was like, “I-I’ll decide another day,” and then I leave and he starts YouTube. (laughs)
RAW: I wonder where he got that idea.
ETHAN: (laughs) Nah, but it was definitely stemmed by him. I planted a seed when I told him about it, but he said once he saw that the whole platform was coming back up, he started. He made really good content from the get-go which made him so big, and when I saw that I was like... (nodding head) When I started being in Jake’s videos I started getting an influx of people to my [YouTube] channel and my Instagram and I felt like I was doing a disservice not taking advantage of the influx.
RAW: Do you have any love interests at the moment?
ETHAN: I don’t. I feel like I’m in two separate places in equal amounts of time. I don’t know anybody that I would be romantically involved with well enough, and I’m gonna be romantically involved with someone that I like and that I’ve known for a while.
RAW: What would be the perfect girl for you?
ETHAN: A good sense of humor, is willing to try new things, not incredibly taller than me--around the same height (laughs), and that’s about it. As long as you’re cool, I see no reason it couldn’t work.
RAW: Have you ever had to overcome any adversity in your life? And if you have, what did you do to overcome it?
ETHAN: My life has been really good thanks to people supporting me, my parents doing their best to build me up--they’re very supportive people, and putting things in place so that I can succeed. But if I had to say, it’s just leaving all my friends behind [in Hawaii], leaving school, having to start everything new over here knowing nobody. That’s like the hardest thing that I’ve had to do, but even that, I had people supporting me, opportunities, Jake Paul and stuff like that.
RAW: How did you overcome all that stuff when you left [Hawaii]?
ETHAN: There was a time where I didn’t have any friends here [in L.A.]. I was just chilling, watching movies with my mom (laughs), you know, at The Grove. I was just waiting in the apartment that we rented or something, just watching videos all day. Then, once I booked the show all the cast members became friends with each other, and I became friends with Isaak Presley and Michael Campion. I became friends with Isaak through a Disney activity, and Michael Campion through Isaak, so we go airsofting sometimes. You just gotta keep moving! Don’t let the adversity take you down.
RAW: If there was one thing you’d like to be remembered for in this life, what would that one thing be and why?
ETHAN: Adding something good to the world. Whether it’s like a good person as a child, a cure for a disease, or making people happy, saving somebody somehow. That would be a great thing to be remembered for. ᴿᴬᵂ