Amidst the challenging days of the Covid lockdown, Chaya found herself confined at home with a baby and a newborn. In search of an outlet for her creativity and energy, she launched her Instagram page. Through this platform, she injects lighthearted fun and humor into the daily grind, showcasing her talent for impersonations and her ability to embody various characters. Her content revolves around finding comedy in the ordinary intricacies of life, be it related to motherhood, parenthood, womanhood, or any relatable aspect of existence.
1. Can you share a bit about your upbringing in an orthodox Jewish family and how it influenced your perspective on life?
I grew up in an ultra orthodox home. My Father’s family survived the Holocaust and came from Poland, and my Mother’s family came from Morocco and later immigrated to Montreal, Canada. It was interesting growing up with the dichotomy of an eastern european parent versus a Sefardi one, both ultra religious but in different respects. I think the main influence orthodoxy has on my own perspective on life is the importance of family and tradition. I truly believe that religion brings family closer together through Sabbath, Holidays, and community life.
2. Moving from Los Angeles to London must have been quite a change. How did your international move impact your comedic approach and content creation?
Oh my goodness, this is such a great question. Majority of my content from my earlier days was sharing the polarizing differences between Americans and Brits- I mean can there be a greater contrast? I found the differentiation particularly between LA and British Women so amusing! The cultural differences are endless- there is so much to work with!
3. Tell us about the moment you met your British husband on a dating app. How did your cross- cultural relationship shape your content and experiences?
I initially signed up to a dating app strictly for male attention. Yes I said it! I wasn’t particularly interested in dating anyone I’ve met thru an app. It was purely to stroke my own ego and see how many matches I can get! Marcus is actually the first (and last) person I responded to on the app, probably because he said he was 35 (he wasn’t, he was 40), and that he was modern orthodox (he wasn’t, he was not religious at all), and that he was a Hot Brit (which he was!)
4. Balancing motherhood with comedy can be challenging. How did you find the inspiration to start your Instagram page during the Covid lockdown?
I think the challenges of motherhood is what my followers find most relatable! The key was making it humorous so people felt less sorry for themselves, and more empathetic, knowing we are all on the same boat! Having a newborn and a 16 month old in covid lockdown was one of the loneliest and most chaotic moments of my entire life, majority of my anxiety today stems from that time! Having this creative outlet, to engage, share, and laugh with other humans helped me in more ways than you will ever know!
5. Your Instagram page is known for its light-hearted humor and relatable content. What’s your creative process like when brainstorming new ideas for your posts?
I would say 9/10 of my reels are inspired by true life events! Humor is in the exaggeration of the relatable.
6. Impersonations and character sketches seem to be a major part of your content. How do you prepare for and embody these characters in your videos?
I love impersonations! There is such a fine line when it comes to character sketches because you want to make sure that the person you are playing finds it humorous and not offensive! Thank goodness 95% of the people I’ve played, truly enjoyed it, and I’ve even cultivated friendships from it! I suppose you have to find those “things” that make them identifiable, where if someone was to watch the reel, they would know instantly who I am playing without me having to say! Anything from the usual clothes they wear, the expressions they always use, the cup they always drink from- small nuances!
7. The nuances of life, motherhood, and parenthood often feature in your comedy. How do you navigate turning everyday situations into comedic gold?
The key is to not take life too seriously! You are not the first wife, or mother to ever exist! Millions of women have done it before you and will continue to do it after you! So once you remove the “exclusivity” of it all, you will find it less daunting and more funny!
8. Comedy can sometimes border on sensitive topics. How do you strike a balance between humor and ensuring your content remains respectful and inclusive?
This goes back to the previous question about impersonations, where I probably straddle between that “line” the most! My rule in general, is that I don’t do character sketches on people I don’t love. I find that if it comes from a place of love, and inspiration, it will come off endearing and not hurtful. I’ve had a few influencers whom I am not particularly fond of ask me to impersonate them, and I declined, because I don’t ever want to cross over where it comes off distasteful!
9. With over 61k followers, you’ve built a significant online community. How do you engage with your audience and maintain a genuine connection?
It is SO DIFFICULT! My biggest struggle, which I’ve been quite open about, is engaging in my DM’s. When I had less than 1,000 followers it was so easy for me to really converse and connect with my people! Now I badly want to, but it’s nearly impossible! I absolutely love my DM’s (most of them, or at least the nice ones), and I wish I can respond to everyone at length, but sometimes the most I can do to manage my time is to give it a heart, or a life- just to show “I see you, and I appreciate you!”
10. Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for your online presence? Do you have any plans to expand your content beyond Instagram?
This page has already far exceeded my expectations! I started this account as a distraction, and as a creative outlet for myself! I never imagined it would amount to what it is today! I am so humbled on a daily basis by the messages I receive of love and adoration. It fuels me and inspires me to create more, and share more! Who knows! Maybe one day Chaya of London will become a Brand or a Household name! The sky is the limit!