An enterprising local YouTuber chases her bliss one red carpet interview at a time
Story By Shanee Edwards | Photos by Yising Kao
As a kid, Playa Vista resident Eva Amantea preferred to spend her time playing games and making crafts. She couldn’t understand why people would spend their time in front of a TV. That changed the summer before eighth grade, when she discovered Disney Channel shows like “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” and “Shake It Up.” She was hooked. And lucky for Amantea, her aunt had a connection to “Shake It Up.”
“I got to go to a taping of that show,” Amantea recalls, “and I thought it was the coolest thing ever — I got to miss half a day of school and go backstage. I was on cloud nine for a year after.”
There was something about interfacing with her favorite celebrities that filled her with joy. So when Amantea heard that one of the actors from the “Twilight” movies was appearing at a charity event for the ASPCA, she knew she had to be there.
Living in San Diego at the time, she didn’t think her mother would drive her to the event (Amantea was just 14). So she got creative. After sending an email to the organizers asking to do interviews on the red carpet (“from my Gmail account I got in third grade,” she says), Amantea hit a stroke of luck. Though she lacked any professional experience, the PR company was short an interviewer and needed someone to fill in. They gave her a list of questions and, though she was incredibly nervous, her hosting career was born.
Amantea then began interviewing anyone who was game, including kids from her high school. She put the videos up on YouTube and began to gain momentum.
Seven years later, her YouTube channel “On the Spot Interviews” has more than 14,000 subscribers. Her list of celebrity interviews has grown exponentially. She attended Comic Con in San Diego in July, where she discovered that disappointments are not always obstacles.
“‘Riverdale’ is one of my favorite shows, and I was so sad when I wasn’t invited to the press junket. I felt like my career as a host had been invalidated. But later I realized that if I had gone to that, I would have missed an exclusive interview with one of my favorite people, Brian Quinn [known as Q] from ‘Impractical Jokers.’ He wasn’t feeling well, but he made time for me and invited me to one of his shows. It was amazing.”
Amantea is about to enter her senior year at Loyola Marymount University, where she’s majoring in communications with a minor in journalism, and she’s well aware of the realities of trying to make a living as a YouTuber.
“Unless I become the next Ryan Seacrest,” she says, “it just doesn’t pay the bills. I’m not set on doing it full-time. I’m realistic.”
Her other passion is health care — “especially clear health communication, which is an umbrella term for health literacy and patient-provider interaction,” she says.
She’s thinking of getting a master’s degree in health care or integrated marketing with the goal of working for a company that pairs celebrities with different health causes. But even if she ends up with a regular 9-to-5 job, she says she’ll keep doing celebrity interviews.
“If you call me up and say there’s an event at 6 p.m. with Justin Bieber, I’ll grab my camera, put my makeup on in the back of the Uber and meet you there.”