EXCLUSIVE: Mini-AOC’s Dad Talks About The Hilarious Videos Blowing Up The Internet
You know her as Mini-AOC.
She’s Ava Martinez of Lake Forest, Ca., and her videos making fun (in a light way) of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) are exploding on social media.
The Gateway Pundit talked to her stepfather, Salvatore Schachter, about Ava — who’s only 8! — and the genesis of the hilarious videos.
TGP: How did the idea to have your 8-year-old daughter, Ava, impersonate Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez come about? Ava really DOES look like her!
SALVATORE: I noticed a resemblance between Ava and AOC but we’re obviously biased and think Ava is beautiful and so intelligent. It’s when I heard AOC speak that I noted the similar mannerisms, tone and lingo the 29-year-old congresswoman shares with our 8-year-old daughter. I dismissed it as my personal opinion until my brother and Ava were teasing each other back and forth (she pokes fun at everyone and gets a kick out of it until one day he responded calling her Little AOC) that’s when it occurred to me that I wasn’t the only one who noticed the resemblance. Since Ava loves to perform and entertain we asked her if she would like to act in a skit where she could share her talent on social media. She was excited to do so and it really showed in the first video and she was even more thrilled by the reaction to it.
TGP: What kind of work did Ava do to prepare for playing, like, you know, AOC? She nails the congresswoman’s valley-girl speak, like, totally.
SALVATORE: The only preparation she does is to memorize all of what she is going to say which is incredible to me that she can even do that. She’s so amazing at it and it comes so natural to her. The rest is just Ava being Ava. She’s animated and energetic and it’s actually somewhat a combination of coincidence and purpose that Ava and AOC speak and gesture so similarly.
TGP: Is this a group family effort? Who writes the videos?
SALVATORE: Yes, very much so a family effort. I write the skits and Ava’s mom, who has a great sense of humor, directs the skits and helps write them while my brother adds some punchlines as well. Ava will improvise some of the lines, interjecting and removing some to make them her own, and it comes out much better than how it’s originally written. Ava’s brothers and sister help her rehearse and enjoy watching her perform.
TGP: Does Ava understand the words she’s saying? Does she follow politics now that she’s talking about it regularly?
SALVATORE: No, Ava’s just a sweet, adorable 8-year-old girl who happens to be a very talented performer and has no interest in politics at all like most kids her age. She loves to sing, dance, cheer, and really enjoys joking and acting and that’s why these videos have been so much fun because she just loves to entertain and make people laugh.
TGP: What does Ava like to do in her spare time?
SALVATORE: She loves to read and finishes several chapter books per week. She would finish even more if we weren’t running out of books between trips to the library. She loves to dance and showing off her moves on Musically/Tic Tok. She competes in cheer for OC All-Stars and she’s just a natural and in her element during their routines. She also works very hard at it. She loves to sing and joke with her siblings and friends. She loves helping take care of her little brother and being a doting big sister.
TGP: Ocasio-Cortez said last year that Democrats want to “take back all three chambers of Congress — Uh, rather all three chambers of government: the presidency, the Senate, and the House.” Without prompting, does Ava know what the three branches of government are?
SALVATORE: No, she doesn’t know the three branches of government but, then again, there’s at least one person in Congress who doesn’t either. Ava is extremely intelligent and we’re beyond proud of her excellent grades, work habits and thirst for knowledge.
TGP: You wrote on Twitter that some people have been “negative, about a sweet, little girl being praised for entertaining & performing, for no other reason than who the subject was.” Have you received hate mail and other derogatory messages?
SALVATORE: Yes, some very derogatory messages with some aimed at her and others directed at us. However, the vast majority of comments were complimentary and full of praise but we were surprised at the level of animosity by the negative comments hurled at a video meant to be funny and entertaining. It was quite shocking the lengths people would go to defend a member congress simply because of the letter next to her name. As long as Ava is having a blast though, the comments really fall on deaf ears.