July 13 was a very good Emmy nominations day for “The Crown.” The Netflix series notched 24 nominations for its fourth season, and is in good shape to take home many of those prizes when the big show rolls around in September. That gives audiences plenty of time to catch up on all the royal drama—but if you don’t feel like watching 40 episodes of prestige television, you could also watch Geri Mayson-Judson’s perfect TikTok and get the gist. Here, “The Crown” impressionist shares where the idea for the viral video came from, and what you can do to follow her lead.
Where did you first get the idea to do this particular video?
Oh, man. I wish there was some sort of magnificent, lightbulb-over-the-head moment where I had this idea, and wrote down a script for this video. Because that would be a lot cooler than the actual story. The real chain of events is that I was bored and trying to entertain myself while I was doing laundry. I was super into “The Crown” at the time and I routinely did these silly impressions to make myself laugh, so I figured that maybe TikTok would also find them funny. It actually sat in my drafts for probably a month or so before I wound up posting it—because I wasn't sure if my impressions were any good!
How did you decide which character to include?
It was pretty much as simple as screen time! The longer these characters were onscreen, the more instances of their quirks I got to observe and imitate. Obviously, I had to include Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill because Claire Foy and John Lithgow breathed such incredible—and often inadvertently hilarious—life into these historical figures. Their performances were as capable and endearing as they were imitable for me.
Each impression is scary spot-on. How did you perfect each one before the video?
'm about to publicly embarrass myself: I literally was so obsessed with “The Crown” and watched so much of it while I was doing college at home (ya know, ’cuz of COVID) that I spoke to myself in a Queen Liz voice, like, 24/7. It was ridiculous. I would just say “feh’mly” to myself about 100 times a day. I spent probably a week of my life unintentionally training my impressions because that posh affectation was stuck in my head. Just being an off-brand Elizabeth, microwaving a burrito in my pajamas between Zoom lectures.
What other sort of preparation did you do prior to actually filming?
It was actually 100% off the cuff, aside from traipsing about my apartment speaking like the queen recreationally. Which is wild, right?
The TikTok now has 139 K likes. Did you anticipate this kind of response?
Nope! Certainly not! It's been so wonderful, though, and I'm stoked that so many people like my silly impressions. It's given me a lot of confidence!
Have any notable folks reached out to you/commented on/engaged with you or the video? Anyone involved with the show?
So far, no! I wish, though. Perhaps someday. (But if any notable folks are reading this right now, my DMs are very much open!)
What do you like about TikTok as a platform to create?
First of all, so many people who make content on TikTok are so fucking funny. That's my favorite thing. But beyond that, there's literally, algorithmically, something for everyone. And you, the content creator, can always find an audience on TikTok. Nothing is too weird or too stupid.
What advice do you have for others who want to create content on TikTok?
Be yourself! Make content that you have fun making. Don't worry about trying to be liked or trying to be famous, or whatever. People love authenticity and can smell bullshit.
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