Less is more when it comes to a perfect impersonation. The adage certainly holds true for TikTok creator Emily Uribe, whose videos wherein she enacts celebrity talk show interviews are as precise as they are minimal. Here, Uribe talks about her inspiration for the videos (which have more than 100,000 likes), celebrities that have reached out—hi, Lizzo!—and her advice for content creators out there looking to make a splash.
Where did the idea for the Jimmy Fallon interview parody come from?
The idea for the Jimmy Fallon interview parody isn’t something that is new, at least in my opinion. From the responses to the video, it seems it’s something a lot of people do while getting ready, or driving alone in their car. I think what makes it this “trend” is the fact that now it’s being recorded. It fulfills a fantasy, and that’s what I’m doing for myself. Growing up, I would watch these late night shows and dream of having the opportunity to sit on these golden couches. Now, I just pretend I do and enjoy the ride!
It’s so accurate because you don’t do too much. How did you develop this “character”?
The essence of these celebrities is they’re just people with these abnormal jobs and experiences, but somehow, as fans and watchers, we forget that they do “normal” things. Obviously we know they’re human, but as a collective, it’s easy to forget that they do things outside of their acting roles. With that said, I take experiences from my normal life as a student and service worker, and tweak them to fit an A-list actor narrative. It’s the simple observations, like when they move in their chair, sip their water, their hand movements, mouth movements. The videos themselves don’t have much to them, but the viewers notice the simple things.
What other sort of preparation did you do prior to actually filming? Did you write out a script?
It really depends on the day and what ideas I want to do. If I need to have a certain prop or actual editing of the video, I have to take that into consideration. The ones that have little to nothing to them in terms of preparation seem to do the best. And that’s what’s so fun; it’s all improv. I always have a certain topic or concept I want to focus on, but nothing is scripted. I think the only thing I have “scripted” are certain one-liners, and I’ll base some videos around that. I always play around with ideas in my head and make sure to keep them in my notes app. That app is the reason my phone is always hot—I’m always on it seeing if I’ve done a certain idea already.
The TikTok now has 116K likes. Did you anticipate this kind of response?
I don’t anticipate much. I always want to be surprised once I post them and see what the viewers think. I feel if I start to look at numbers, it won’t be fun anymore. In the industry I want to be in, I have to always be hungry for it. It should always matter how well something does, but that’s not fulfilling enough for me. One video did well, that’s great, but I’m always seeing what the people who watch them want next. What they say is more important than any number! Filming them is incredibly fun, so I’m never worried about the next viral moment. As long as I enjoy and evolve with the videos, I know I’m happy.
Have any notable folks reached out to you/commented on/engaged with you, either about this video or any of your other content? Anyone involved with Fallon?
Lizzo interacted with one of my interview videos and I lost it. I filmed a small thank you video saying, “Oh, I love you, where’s the music?” And then cried immediately after. Again, these celebrities seeing a video of mine, like, this is something I never think happens. One of the coolest things is Cierra Ramirez actually follows me, and she’s one of my young adult heros. As I was growing up, seeing her play Mariana on “The Fosters” was so cool because she was a Latina on TV, exactly what I wanted to be at the time—and still want to be! Overall, the people I’ve been able to meet through the app have been amazing, and the community is great. As for Fallon, I don’t think he or his team have seen them. But, all in due time. I am so grateful for the response as it is, and if he or his team were to see it, I think that would be the cherry on top.
What do you like about TikTok as a platform to create?
Short form content is very fun and it’s allowed me to find a niche that I enjoy without having too many strings attached. In comparison to YouTube, I feel TikTok is less of a “responsibility” and more of a fun hobby. For me personally, once it starts to feel like I’m overwhelming myself, I have to back away and see what the problem is. It’s more of a me thing when that happens but with short form content, you need to learn to take breaks every now and then, too.
What advice do you have for others who want to create content on TikTok?
Learn to take breaks. It can be exhausting and even if you just post videos about your life, or things you do, you should never feel like you have to post something just because it’s “what you’ve gotten used to.” My biggest take away from Tiktok as a whole is that if you do too much of one thing, it can burn you out. I myself am a very passionate person and I still have to work on putting that passion away sometimes just so I can breathe for a bit. And I really hope people remember that anyone can post on TikTok—there are no limits and there's a niche for anything and people from all different walks of life. I have friends who did not care for the app, but then discovered content they actually enjoyed, and now they have fun with it. It’s all about tweaking the app's algorithm to work for you. It’s all in moderation, taking it all one day at a time.
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