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Being Fab with  Michael Judson Berry

Being Fab with Michael Judson Berry

Photographer Ryan Baker               @ouchmagazineny exclusive interview

 

How has tik tok changed your life? 
I’m not particularly tech-savvy or exactly erudite when it comes to pop culture, so I never thought I would say this, but TikTok has indeed changed my life.  I’ve been an actor and have done improv for years, but I never had the confidence to write my own scripts.  Something about being in lockdown forced me to take a “f*%ck-it pill” and just try it.  I never expected QuaranTeaTime to be a success on TikTok, especially because I primarily just do monologues and sketches, but somehow it has!  Now over 100 episodes of TeaTime later, I have so much more self-confidence and self-assurance than I ever had before.  Creating something that is meaningful to me and seems to have a positive impact during such a dark time is an incredible feeling.  I have a new sense of purpose and am definitely walking much taller these days.  
  
Were you also on youtube or other social media platforms and how did this differ from your success on Tik Tok? 
When we went into lockdown, I mostly just used Instagram, so that’s where I first started posting QuaranTeaTime.  Eventually, I started posting on YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok as well.  The difference between TikTok and those other platforms is that a TikTok video can only 59 seconds long.  I sometimes struggle with editing and I am not exactly known for being a succinct person, so it’s kind of a fun challenge to take my 2-minute Instagram video and cut it down to 58 seconds.  It forces me to really get picky with what the “heart” of the video is.  

 


  
What's the end game? Do you want to become out of all the fame once you're tired of social media? 
Oh, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of social media.  I have a very short attention span, so I’m just the right personality type for things like Instagram and TikTok. That being said, I’ve grown to really love writing jokes and sketches.  I would love it if this all leads to work writing and performing on SNL, or a similar style show, or writing for a sitcom or something like The Daily Show.  I know that’s reaching for the stars, but hey, why not dream big?  You never know!  
  
How many takes do you have before you know your posts are right? 
It really depends on the video.  There are some that I get right in a couple of takes, then there are ones that take hours.   I normally write out a script ahead of time but then riff a bit when I’m actually filming…sometimes my best jokes just come to me in the moment.  In those cases, I’ll do a few different versions.  Once I’m done, I watch them all again and post whichever version genuinely makes me laugh.  I will say, though, the longer I do this, the more persnickety I become.  
   
What advice can you give others who have not started a tik tok or youtube account that are creators? 
It sounds so cliché, but don’t be afraid to be yourself and create content that genuinely brings you joy!  When I look at creators, I’m drawn to people who aren’t simply trying to mimic the latest trend, they’re people who are making things that ring true for them.  I think you can tell when someone loves what they’re doing…you can feel it, the joy transcends the phone or computer screen. So, I’d say embrace what makes you an individual, find your voice, and use it to say something that is meaningful for you.  No matter how many views or followers you have, if you say what’s in your heart, then that’s something to celebrate and be proud of.  

 

Were you also on youtube or other social media platforms and how did this differ from your success on Tik Tok? 
When we went into lockdown, I mostly just used Instagram, so that’s where I first started posting QuaranTeaTime.  Eventually, I started posting on YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok as well.  The difference between TikTok and those other platforms is that a TikTok video can only 59 seconds long. I sometimes struggle with editing and I am not exactly known for being a succinct person, so it’s kind of a fun challenge to take my 2-minute Instagram video and cut it down to 58 seconds.  It forces me to really get picky with what the “heart” of the video is.  
  

 

 


What's the end game? Do you want to become out of all the fame once you're tired of social media? 
Oh, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of social media.  I have a very short attention span, so I’m just the right personality type for things like Instagram and TikTok. That being said, I’ve grown to really love writing jokes and sketches.  I would love it if this all leads to work writing and performing on SNL, or a similar style show, or writing for a sitcom or something like The Daily Show.  I know that’s reaching for the stars, but hey, why not dream big?  You never know!  
  
How many takes do you have before you know your posts are right? 
It really depends on the video.  There are some that I get right in a couple of takes, then there are ones that take hours.   I normally write out a script ahead of time but then riff a bit when I’m actually filming…sometimes my best jokes just come to me in the moment.  In those cases, I’ll do a few different versions.  Once I’m done, I watch them all again and post whichever version genuinely makes me laugh.  I will say, though, the longer I do this, the more persnickety I become.  
   
What advice can you give others who have not started a tik tok or youtube account that are creators? 
It sounds so cliché, but don’t be afraid to be yourself and create content that genuinely brings you joy!  When I look at creators, I’m drawn to people who aren’t simply trying to mimic the latest trend, they’re people who are making things that ring true for them.  I think you can tell when someone loves what they’re doing…you can feel it, the joy transcends the phone or computer screen. So, I’d say embrace what makes you an individual, find your voice, and use it to say something that is meaningful for you.  No matter how many views or followers you have, if you say what’s in your heart, then that’s something to celebrate and be proud of.  

 

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