sweater-BALENCIAGA

Chris Olsen

On finding balance in self, coffee, and digital age

Words: Henry Wu @henrykhwu

Talent: Chris Olsen @chrisolsen

Photos: Michael Dirlam @michaelgdirlam

Fashion: Lisa Hoang @lisanhoang

Groom: Ashley Cornett @ashleyceemakeup

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 sides.

Chris Olsen– an actor, a digitial 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 comedic voices on the platform with his sense of humor and as an outspoken mental health advocate.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. First of all, we’d love to learn a bit about you — who is 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.

How has your personal brand grown since you started creating online content?

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.

How do you think you’ve changed personally over the past couple of years?

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.

When was the last time you cried? And what brings you joy?

I cried Last night! I was watching the finale of Stranger Things 4. I think seeing my friends succeed always makes me happy.  

suit-OCEAN REBEL,top-CHARLES & RON, necklace-LOUPN, shoes-GUCCI
pants-OCEAN REBEL, top-CHARLES & RON, necklace-LOUPN, shoes-GUCCI
How do you find your support/community in the digital age?

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.

You’re starring in the upcoming movie-musical 1660 Vine, directed by Patricia McGregor with choreography from Paula Abdul. How would you describe your character Chance One?

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.

How did you approach your character from an acting perspective?

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.

top-VINTAGE AJF LOS ANGELES, pants-MELI, shoes-BAROLLO ITALY

What is something that you are proud of?

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.

What changes would you hope to make to the industry over the next few years?

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.

So... we are seeing a lot of coffee content you have created these past years, what’s your obsession with coffee?

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 2 per day is an absolute necessity and source of joy.

What is your go-to coffee order?

A vanilla iced latte with oat milk.

Our theme for this issue is Beginnings. We see a lot of new development from you, new emotions, and new projects. What can we expect from you in the coming years?

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.

coat-GIVENCHY, pants-AJF LOS ANGELES, necklace-LOUPN, bracelet-CARTIER, LOUPN
pants-AJF LOS ANGELES, necklace-LOUPN, bracelet-CARTIER, LOUPN