If you recently saw a man driving around downtown in a children’s hot pink Mini Cooper, you don’t need to get your eyes checked. The life-sized Mario was actually Yaya, a self-proclaimed “action man” from Montreal.
“I’m just bringing some action with some comedy,” he told Global News.
The 24-year-old grew up filming and creating videos of himself snowboarding, biking and doing parkour. Two years ago he pulled three ligaments in his knee, sidelining him from doing tricks, so he started to make funny videos.
“After my knee got better I just continued making the videos and here we are,” he said.
Known on social media as Parkour Porpoise, he’s gone viral over the past few months. He has over 59,000 followers on Instagram and a few thousand more on TikTok, where he’s amassed millions of likes.
“I took the videos that I had and I started uploading them to TikTok and I grew like ten thousand followers in the first four days.”
In Yaya’s most recent video, he’s rolling down Peel Street in an office chair with wheels, sitting at a desk covered in office supplies on skateboards.
The social media sensation finds inspiration from various things, but for that scene he found it in the trash.
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“I found this rolling chair in the garbage and I know that it’s not safe during corona so I put on my mask and gloves and thought I could probably use it for a video.”
Aside from a friend filming the videos, it’s really a one-man show. He said each video varies in the time it takes to produce, but he’s focused his efforts on it full-time.
“I’m just happy when I have an idea and I’m able to pull it off the way I saw it in my head, that’s gold for me.”
While the Parkour Porpoise said he loves seeing the positive response to his videos, he doesn’t encourage others to copy the tricks.
“The last thing I want to do is influence anyone to do what I’m doing because obviously it’s kind of dangerous there’s risk to it.”
Yaya, however, does want his audience to live their lives to the fullest, telling them to “get out of your comfort zone, go do something, something interesting.”
He admitted there are a few business deals on the table, but for now he’s focused on growing his platform so he can continue to create the videos he has fun making.