“It made me really happy in that moment, like, ‘Oh, this is my favorite song and my favorite accessory,’” said Lawrence, 17, as he sat inside a dark room in his father’s DUMBO apartment. “I totally stole the theme for what I’m going to do with my life.”
For Lawrence, as for millions of others, part of its appeal is its simplicity. In 5 minutes and 10 seconds, the song, “TikTok,” tells the story of TikTok — a platform that’s fast becoming the largest dedicated social media platform for teens and millennials.
The video showed Lawrence marching in a, sometimes goofy, sometimes poignant march while the song played in the background. Each video comment showcased a new twist in the product he was selling, a red and black mesh-vest designed to make men look like they were wearing their hair styled into a giant bow.
“When you see kids at my age posting different bands on their accounts to try to recreating their outfits from their dreams, I’m like, ‘That’s me!’” Lawrence said. “Maybe my idea will bring somebody else joy and help somebody else.”
For Lawrence, who wrote, directed and produced the whole thing, the artistic outlet has brought many long-held dreams to life.
In the near future, he hopes to work with his friends to write, direct and shoot more films. Right now, he’s not afraid to lay down lines and shoot them with genuine enthusiasm. It’s a step he’s made possible thanks to the relationships he’s built through his TikTok videos, a platform he said is ideal for creating something like his first video. It was created in the background of a student photo shoot after a friend gave him his phone.
“I thought, I need to do something with this,” he said. “My phone was still really old and it was starting to die. The camera app was broken. I thought, that’s mine. I have to put together a new video.”
Though often praised by parents for his uncanny eye for detail, Lawrence admitted that he sometimes checks on his TikTok videos when he’s in class. Though Lawrence hasn’t done it in a while, he readily acknowledges that he seems to enjoy what he’s doing on the platform, “just like every other kid on there.”
Indeed, Lawrence seems to always think of an instant source of creative inspiration.
“I think everyone has an inspiration they have to share that is common to all of them,” he said. “I don’t take it seriously or to the level that everyone else does.”