SURREY â€” If you were recently chased through Bear Creek Park by a Sasquatch, chances are you were part of a hoax filmed by Surreyâ€™s YouTube prankster who goes by the name Ace Journey.
The Surrey resident, whose real name is Harry (he asked not to be identified by his last name), is a recent graduate of SFUâ€™s criminology program and, in his spare time, he likes to film pranks and hoaxes for his YouTube channel, which recently surpassed 14,000 subscribers.
â€œItâ€™s a creative outlet, itâ€™s just something that I do thatâ€™s fun,â€ Harry told the Now.
Though the prankster now has a sizeable following and is even making a little money from the gag gig, he holds a nine-to-five in a not-so-funny industry and says his channel isnâ€™t necessarily a career.
â€œIts fun, thatâ€™s the main reason I do it,â€ he said. â€œThe other reason I do it is that its one of the only things in my life that keeps me in the moment. When youâ€™re going to school or at work, sometimes you kind of think about other things. When Iâ€™m doing my pranks, thatâ€™s the only time where Iâ€™m in the moment and Iâ€™m just focused on that.â€
You might recognize Ace Journey from his recent videos where he stalked shoppers at the King George Boulevard Superstore; or the one when he walked up to people filling up at a Surrey Shell station and paid for their gas; and then there was the innocently flirtatious prank where he feigned spotting a spider on female studentsâ€™ collars and instead produced a rose.
â€œI started making videos a little over a year ago,â€ Harry said, noting that the quick jump in subscribers came from two different shares on viral video Facebook pages.
â€œI started watching YouTube videos and Iâ€™d see other pranksters and I was like, â€˜You know what? I can totally do this.â€™â€
Harry saw a lack of pranksters around the Lower Mainland and decided to make his mark.
â€œI got good feedback so I kept doing it. Eventually, a viral Facebook page called World Star Hip Hop started playing a few of my videosâ€¦. Then I made my gas station one and another viral Facebook page called Epic Vines posted it,â€ he said.
Because of those viral posts, Harry is now able to make enough money to pay his phone bill, whereas up to one year ago, he was losing out on cash by renting mics, zoom lenses and hiring cameramen.
â€œIt could be (a career) if it keeps growing,â€ the prankster said.
His other pranks include â€œCaptain Obviousâ€ â€“ where he walks around making not-so-astute observations in a sailorâ€™s cap; another where he eats obnoxiously next to students studying in a library; and more as he breaks up with total strangers.
Ace Journeyâ€™s channel subscription numbers could jump once again after his Christmas-themed prank collaboration with Model Pranksters TV (who has more than 500,000 subscribers) comes out later this year.
But on that front, heâ€™s coy. Viewers will just have to tune into his channel to find out what happens with that prank.