Once upon a time, social media was all about polished, glamorous snapshots of our lives, but now many digital creators focus on showing their unique and authentic selves.
Chris Olsen—an actor, a digital creator, and a proud member of both the AAPI and LGBTQ+ communities who rose to fame in 2020 after joining TikTok, is the perfect example. He quickly became one of the most celebrated voices on the platform with his sense of humor and as an outspoken mental health advocate.
Chris Olsen: I am a content creator, actor, singer, and over-emotional human who loves sharing himself on the internet to relate to other people.
CO: I started creating content with my boyfriend at the time. Once that relationship ended, I had to pivot towards just sharing parts of myself. This includes letting my comedic and fun sides shine, but also showing the struggles that I go through day to day as someone who is sober and has struggled with mental health my whole life.
CO: I’ve become much more driven in my professional life. There was a time when I was ready to give up on my dreams of becoming a performer, but once I started authentically sharing myself online and getting rewarded for that, I found that there was so much value in truth and connection with others. That realization has motivated me to continue doing so to demonstrate to people that they’re not alone. I’m so excited to see where this journey takes me.
CO: I cried last night! I was watching the finale of Stranger Things 4. I think seeing my friends succeed always makes me happy.
CO: TikTok is a magical social media form. Unlike some of the other apps, you can get a read on someone’s personality very quickly through their video content. So making friends from the app has proven to be very easy. I think it’s important to have a good balance of friends from TikTok who can relate to my struggles from being in the online space, as well as friends who have known me for years who keep me grounded offline.
CO: Chance One is a content creator who has been in the game for years and knows what he must do to stay in the spotlight. He is slightly ruthless, very selfish, and will do whatever it takes to succeed, which proves to cause some issues throughout the story. I will say it was very fun to play someone slightly villainous.
CO: I was able to draw some experiences from my current life as a content creator, but I basically imagined him as the worst, most conceited version of myself and went from there. At the same time, you can’t play a character who you as a person hate. So, I had to find a lot of truth in his choices as well and know that much of what he does is out of fear of losing relevance and external validation.
CO: The platform I have built and a community of followers who, I think, are the most positive group of people in the world. I am so lucky to rarely have to deal with hate, and I hope through my videos that I am able to give back to my followers what they give to me every day in my comments, DMs and kind words in person.
CO: The industry should continue to uplift more diverse voices through opportunities, monetary and otherwise. There is a large pay gap in the influencer market, as there is in most industries, but there can be a large discrepancy between the way a cis, straight, white creator is paid versus a minority creator. That needs to change.
CO: I honestly don’t know. I think I started drinking coffee every day in college, but I don’t really remember doing it before that. Regardless, once it began, I never stopped. Now, having two per day is an absolute necessity and source of joy.
CO: A vanilla iced latte with oat milk.
CO: I am coming out with my own coffee brand within the next year which I am very excited about, but I’m more excited about what I don’t know is going to happen yet. If you asked me two and a half years ago to predict what my life would be like now, it would look nothing like the life I have today; so, I can’t wait to see what is to come.