Rikki Poynter is stirring up a storm. Online. On YouTube.
After posting a YouTube called, “Shit Hearing People Say (Things You Don’t Say to Deaf & Hard of Hearing), Rikki Poynter has gather over 20K views. Not only that, but over the course of three years, she has amassed over 4K subscribers. To put it in another context, DeafNewspaper has 4,209 subscribers and has been on YouTube for eight years, yet, Rikki Poynter has 4,360 subscribers and she’s only been on YouTube for three years!
Shit Hearing People Say (Things You Don’t Say to Deaf & Hard of Hearing)
We noticed that her channel is one of the most interactive and debatable channels that discusses deaf and hard of hearing issues. There’s no censorship. And people really share their experiences with Rikki as well. Rikki does have half or less of the “normal amount” of hearing people should have in both ears. We decided this was the perfect time to interview her and find out more about her.
Come on over to the deaf side!
What was the last project you headed up and what was the outcome?
That would be the project I’m working on right now. I’m trying to get content creators on YouTube to start closed captioning their content. The outcome isn’t really what I was hoping it would be so far. In my head, everything is going to be magical and filled with unicorns and people will say yes and start captioning their videos. But in actuality, I’ve gotten more lack of responses than any response. But the responses I have received so far have been positive. One person ended up closed captioning a new video whereas the other three have considered it, but they haven’t actually done the change (yet, hopefully).
Can you describe a time when your work was criticized?
That’s done mostly when hearing people come into the comments section of my deaf and hard of hearing awareness and information videos and try to tell me what’s what even though they have literally no experience in being deaf or hard of hearing. It happened twice in my first DeafAwareness video.
What was the most difficult period in your life and how did you deal with it?
It’s right now, and the past fifteen plus years of my life. It’s the physical abuse I received for seven years and the verbal abuse I’ve been receiving for fifteen plus years. I’ve never dealt with it since I’m still dealing with it. There’s no “fix it” button and I just have to continue to be here, still try to apply for jobs like every other human being, and hope I can get out of the situation.
What are you looking for in terms of career development?
If you asked me this question over a month ago, I’d probably say makeup artist (and actress, but the answer will always be actress no matter what). Now, I don’t really know. Part of me thinks something related to bringing awareness, doing public speaking, would be good but I also really am petrified when it comes to public speaking. What do YouTubers do when they become really well known and get to do tours across the country? Let me in on whatever that is. I wouldn’t complain if makeup artistry was on the side.
How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?
I want to be more knowledgeable about things I wasn’t knowledgeable about before. Hell, I can’t even spell “knowledgeable” on the first try. I want to learn facts about so many things, so many subjects. Especially social issues and stuff. I know a bit about different things, but not a whole lot.
How would you describe your work style?
I work on my couch in pajamas with a cup (… or four) of coffee with Tumblr and YouTube open andCriminal Minds and/or CSI: Miami on TV. I’m so professional and organized. If it’s not being done in my apartment, it’s in the Barnes & Noble cafe that’s air conditioned even during the winter. That is,if there’s a free table on the wall that I can use to plug my laptop into.
Tell us about your proudest achievement.
I made it to over 4,000 subscribers last night. That’s pretty awesome!
Why the change from makeup artist to someone who talks about issues especially on topics of deafness?
Makeup b/vlogging wasn’t making me 100% happy. The beauty community on YouTube isn’t much of a community or a family. It feels too much like a competition. Like who has more subscribers or who has more money to do lots of hauls. And the community was becoming more about hauling than about artistry. I can’t keep up with that. I don’t have the income to keep up with that. And finding a family or friendship in that community is pretty hard. It felt lonely. Plus, speaking about deaf and hard of hearing issues needed to be done more than someone needs to know what new red lipstick to buy.
What do you like to do?
The internet. All the time. I mean, the only things I do in my life are read, be on the laptop andInternet, drink coffee, and make/watch videos.
What are your lifelong dreams?
All I know right now for sure is I want to be in California, preferably Los Angeles or San Francisco.Oh, and to go to VidCon since VidCon is the number one place to talk about accessibility andYouTube. That’d be pretty awesome.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
This is obvious, but Los Angeles and/or San Francisco. And various cities in Taiwan ‘cos I’ve been wanting to go there for so long.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
Move to California and finally make a life of my own. And give my dad money for his own home there too so he can be with his family and not have to worry about money issues so much like he has been his whole life.
If you could choose one superhero power, what would it be and why?
Teleportation ‘cos then I could go anywhere I wanted to go and not worry about how I’m going to get there.