SCRIPT: I tried to become TikTok famous in 5 days [May 18, 2020]

  • An SCMP reporter took on some viral challenges that are trending on the online video platform
  • If you need extra help with this week's story, you can read the script
Doris Wai |

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[1] Jessica Novia: Hi, this is Jessica. I am a reporter at Goldthread. Like what most of you might have experienced over the past few weeks, I’ve been stuck at home practising social distancing. And one thing that’s been helping me get through these trying times is TikTok.

[2] Jessica Novia: It’s been helping people all over the world get through the boredom of working from home. Social distancing TikToks. It’s a thing now. But when it comes to TikTok challenges, getting really good at them takes a huge amount of practice. So I decided to use my social isolation time to pour my heart and soul into becoming a TikTok star. Yes, you heard me.

[3] Text on screen: Five days of TikTok

[4] Jessica Novia: I’m going to try a new TikTok challenge every single day for five days.

[5] Text on screen: Day one. Dance challenge

[6] Jessica Novia: I wanted to start with something easy, so I decided to do a dance challenge. There are so many dance challenges on TikTok. This is the app that gave us The Woah, The Git Up, and The Obsessed by Mariah Carey. But for someone who can’t dance, it’s all very daunting. They all look like professional dancers. I picked the Dua Lipa challenge because honestly, it looked the least complicated.

[7] Jessica Novia: The very first time I tried it, you can see me scanning the back of my brain, trying to remember the moves. It wasn’t going anywhere, so I decided to find a dance tutorial online to see whether I could get more help. That really helped. And after trying it again like 50 times, I think I got it. It was pretty fun and also a pretty good workout because I was on my feet, jumping around for like three hours. I think I’d give myself three out of five. One point for effort, one point for kind of remembering the dance moves, another for, like, remembering to do the shimmy. I’d give it a three out of five.

[8] Text on screen: Day two. Pose challenge

[9] Jessica Novia: For this challenge, you have to find items in your house and recreate iconic poses. It’s all about being creative with whatever you have and nailing those facial expressions. So I decided I wanted to do some scenes from Yanxi Palace, the best Chinese drama ever, and their expressions are so good.

[10] Jessica Novia: Luckily, because of a previous shoot, I actually had a glue gun and some leftover cloth. So I decided to recreate the regal outfit. I noticed that her collar kind of looked like two masks sticking out. So I decided to use that as well since I had some masks. I did not waste the masks. I reused the masks. Don’t @ me in the comments for wasting masks at a time like this. The pointing pose was really challenging because where in the world was I going to find a crown? And a gold one at that. And then I thought, okay, you know what’s really valuable these days? Toilet paper. I think I was pretty creative, so I give myself five out of five stars.

[11] Text on screen: Day three. The movie poster challenge

[12] Jessica Novia: So I actually first saw this video not on TikTok but on Kuaishou, which is an alternative to TikTok in China. This guy, he was stuck under lockdown, and he recreated iconic Chinese posters using whatever ingredients that he found at home. I thought it was so cool, so I decided to do something similar. I noticed this James Bond poster outside my house. Obviously, I haven’t seen the movie yet because the cinemas are all closed. I had an aroma diffuser, so I used it to create fog. And I used my ring light to create a mysterious effect. I don’t know. It didn’t really work out. Maybe it was my angling or something. It just didn’t look as cool as what I had planned out in my head. If you have any tips for how to light, please leave it in the comments. I would love to know. I give myself two out of five stars.

[13] Text on screen: Day 4. The Chinese tongue twister challenge.

[14] Jessica Novia: My boss Daisy made me do it, and I was telling her I can’t because I can’t read traditional Chinese. How am I going to attempt this challenge without failing miserably?  Zero out of five stars. I can’t even do it. I can’t, I can’t.

[15] Text on screen: Day 5. Cloud Rave

[16] Jessica Novia: Going out and clubbing with hundreds of people, jam-packed together like a can of sardines. Forget it. Not in the time of coronavirus. Luckily, there’s a thing called Cloud Rave. This is so cool. The DJ, he livestreams from his own house, and you can join in without even leaving your own room. Clubbing is all about getting the vibe. The music, the lights, showing off your best dance moves. I dressed up! It just didn’t feel right to be raving in my sweatpants. And it was really fun.

[17] Jessica Novia: I give this challenge a five out of five. I think this is my favourite challenge so far, just because I thought it was so creative and it was really fun to kind of just dance away your troubles just even for a little bit. Admittedly, I came into this challenge without any knowledge of TikTok, and I didn’t really understand why so many people were into it. But after a week of doing it, I kind of understand why so many people are finding so solace in it. It’s just a really, really fun way to pass the time.