Content Creator/Comedian on Tiktok
Ever felt like you had some really odd dreams, that you just needed to tell your friends, your partner, or your kids when you woke up? Have you thought about lambs jumping overhead, landing on the moon, or marrying a couple of cacti? No dream is ever too obscure because after all, it’s just a dream. Sometimes our dreams can become reality and when shared, it’s like,...HUH?!! What did you say? Nothing seems to surprise me anymore with the magnitude of outlets we have for expressive freedom. Our reach has become pretty wide and our creativity is constantly being surpassed by new waves of communication. Take the platform TikTok for instance. A social media app that people use to create a variety of short-form videos, all of which have to be under one minute. It’s basically a free for all, for everything and anything. People share their successes and failures, from dancing to eating, singing, comedy, and tutorials on basically anything you can think of. Since the pandemic, it’s skyrocketed making a huge impact on the way we both use and look at social media and the world.
So you might still be thinking about what I had said. Lambs, the moon, and yes, marrying a couple of cacti. A rising comedian by the name of Christine Snapps has made this vision a reality. She did in fact marry a couple of cacti named Alloy and Vera Snapps. One night she went out and purchased a cactus, mainly based on her wonderment of them. She was impartial, didn’t really know what to think, with their prickly surface and water-deprived lives.
Having been an inspiring comedian and tv/film writer since high school, she always dabbled in short film and comedy skits. Her public video journey began with the app called Snap Chat some years ago. At the time she just shared with her social media circles; family, friends, and some random people likely twice removed. It was a fun hobby for her.
In November of 2019 she signed up for a TikTok account and started exploring. (Nothing too crazy, just uploading some comedy videos and trying to read the algorithms of people’s interest.) After a few months, more and more people started to follow her, and then there was the day she brought home Alloy, a cactus. Little did she know that her life would change forever. You never know who is going to come along and just flip your world upside down! Snapps posted a comedy skit of Alloy and herself on their initial day together.
“When I bought a cactus as part of a late night shopping trip, made a video about it, and put it online (TikTok) I never thought the video would go viral - let alone kickstart a career for me as a content creator. Overnight millions of people had seen me in my bathroom talking to my plant and I've been creating content ever since.”
It is hilarious and, well you just need to watch it yourselves...but it shows Snapps talking with the audience, saying she went to Walmart and got a cactus, then conversing with the cactus trying to come up with it’s first name. You can’t not laugh. Within a week her video went viral with over 1 million views. Yes, I did say that….within days, she had one million views and now that same video is nearing 7 million.
“So many things have come from that one video, I mean everything.”
Snapps was a bit in shock, as any of us would be. She recalls thinking, Is this really happening, am I in the big leagues now? One day you’re just clicking away on social media, posting some of your skits, aspiring to be a comedian, and then suddenly you are recognized, by millions around the world. It’s hard not to question this and try to figure out what it is that people are attracted to about your work. Snapps quickly started producing more videos as she recognized it as a way to grow her career. A friend of hers gave some advice, “If everyone is going to be home on their phones, you need to grab their attention.”
Her approach to breaking into the comedy industry was a bit more traditional before Alloy came into the picture. She was given this platform that had the ability to reach so many people, how could she not utilize it. Snapps said, “It’s almost like you want to strike while the iron is hot.” Social media is so tricky and finicky.
“The internet is very fickle. At any point people can be like, ‘And we’re done’.”
Social media trends are constantly evolving and shifting. It’s important to be open, have the ability to be pivotal, and to continually produce new content. Since that first video went viral she has created a variety of pieces in efforts to develop her characters and test the boundaries of her skills. This as you can imagine is a full-time job. She does the editing, writing, creates characters, set design, adds sounds... literally all of it.
Snapps also works at a dog day care, so she is working away both day and night. In a short amount of time, she has produced countless videos, a youtube channel, a newsletter, an Instagram account...so many things!
“I have a whole new appreciation for people that are trying to build a brand around yourself, not a company...yourself.”
Recently, she launched a merchandise line with the slogan, “My bun is large and in charge and I'M CRUSHING IT.” (We at Moxxi particularly love this.) The phrase derives from her approach towards her work. She focuses on the comedy content and not on appearances. For her, it’s most important to draw people’s attention with her comedy and words, the actual subject matter. She hopes people focus more on what she is saying and her physicality which is her expressive movement of her body in relations to the context of the piece, not for vanity purposes. Most of Snapps viewers are women and she pays tribute to how everyday, all women go beyond their capabilities. That women are strong, no matter how real their struggle may be. Yes, your bun may be large, it may be sloppy but you are in CHARGE and each and every woman can get out there and CRUSH IT.
“The whole merch line is a metaphor for being like, ‘I’m trying to get shit done, I don’t have the time to focus on what I look like, i’m just doing it.”
Snapps recognizes she deserves the attention she is getting and wants to make sure people know she is more than just one video; more than just a cactus lady. Snapps told us,
“You have to present yourself in a way that people are scared to approach you with bullshit.”
She has not been afraid to put herself out there and ask questions. Learn who her community is. The social media lifestyle of the do’s and don'ts has been a huge learning lesson for her. Lot’s of jobs come with training and tutorials but not for content creators. There really isn’t much out there. Snapps does have a manager who gives her a lot of advice. She says some days the job can feel really defeating.
“You have to be one percent more a fan of yourself because you're always gonna be your biggest critic. You live in your own head.”
Snapps says she is one person more her biggest fan than her biggest critic because if it was the other way around, she would never post. Noone else criticizes the videos like she does. This is what gives her confidence. If she isn’t happy with something, she will make it better. Her own judgements push her to better understand and comprehend her creativity. This genuine approach and her charismatic personality is inspiring. It’s so honest. Not everyone is this open with themselves and others. She says you have to like what you’re projecting. You can’t expect other people to like it if you don’t.
“If I can make a career out of this I’m not gonna let anyone turn around and be like you really could have turned that into something. It’s like no...I did and I am. AND every day that’s the goal!”
In December of 2017, Snapps graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a degree in Radio, TV and Film while aspiring to be a comedy scriptwriter. While excelling both in her education and in extracurricular activities, she was especially active in radio and was the campus TV promotions director creating and hosting several short films. After graduating she made the move back to her hometown, in the Chicago suburbs while most of the alum fled to Los Angeles. Always being inspired by the Chicagoan hard work ethic and having a heart full of pride for the midwest she went to pursue her career in Chicago.
For the past three years, she has been working at a dog daycare facility and although she likes and appreciates the job she has experienced feelings of defeat. Snapps had stopped producing videos and wasn’t happy. She was stuck in a routine. The 9-5 cycle was weighing her down and although she is grateful, living at her parent’s house comes with its own set of challenges. She is a very independent person. It has been a hard few years. Money was tight and she felt stuck, like she had nowhere to go. Life became mundane and so did her creativity, it had become stagnant. She had no desire to create anymore.
“I felt like a part of me was dormant, the creative side of me had gone to sleep but once TikTok started to happen it woke up.”
This is a hard time for anyone. Your whole life up until graduation was focused on school, whether it be high school or college. It’s all you know. Then to go out in the world and translate your skills... it can be very taxing and a total mind twist. When she started following others on TikTok, she began to feel inspired. Snapps watched so many people start with nothing and use it as a platform to start businesses, become noticed, and even famous for that matter. Anyone can go on TikTok, with no money and put themselves on to the world. In ways it made her wake up, she could familiarize herself with these people, they were just like her, living typical civilian lives. It gave her confidence, it was mentally stimulating.
“I’ve seen so many people create a platform out of nothing on Tik Tok, including myself, I mean how could you not be inspired. IT'S AMAZING!”
Inspiration uplifts us, enables us to generate new ideas, and believe that things are possible. It’s interesting that what one may do will inspire others around them to do the same. The same platform that gave Snapps the boost of courage she needed is now where her successes are being shared. It’s funny how that works. Snapps has so much respect for blue-collar workers, as they work so hard. She makes her videos for the people, people like her, she wants everyone to have a daily reminder to laugh.
“This year has proven to me that sky’s the limit, maybe beyond!”
She is working hard to develop creative content and grow her career. For now, living at home has its perks. It has enabled her to have space and time to create. Most of what she makes, she does on her own but she is so grateful to have the enthusiasm and aid from her family. They help with set design and building of her props. When she first hit about 400,000 followers, she told her parents that she was, ‘Kind of known and on this thing, called TikTok.’ They were confused but understood the magnitude of what it meant. They have continued to be 100% supportive and had basically said, “Ok, so where do we go from here, what do we do now and how can we help?” Snapps is so thankful for the support from her family. It motivates her knowing that they see her working hard, and for herself.
“If I have control over it i'm gonna make it a success. Im gonna make it as big and as strong and as successful as I can.”
Now Snapps is figuring out ways to have a consistent income as a content creator. The industry is unstable, making it hard to make a living. For an outsider looking in, it’s easy to think that influencers and content creators make a lot of money but in reality, it’s not true. One week you could make a bunch, and then it’s completely dry for a month. Hopefully her merch line and branding will help bring stability. Snapps says first and foremost she just needs to keep putting herself out there with new creative content. Companies have reached out with some ideas and there may be a few collaborative projects in the books. She is always working towards her dream of being a scriptwriter. With all the content she already has, she is thinking about starting a Podcast and would love to have a TV series. For now, she is keeping all options open and making sure to move in a forward direction.
“I'm just trying to carve out my own space in the creative world and be like if I can make it here, a stable income and a career, that's fine.”