A North Jersey college student is hoping to be one of the brighter lights in the TikTok community.
Liam Cassidy first downloaded the video-sharing app during quarantine as a way to pass the time, and began filming his own videos shortly thereafter.
It wasn't long before they starting going viral.
"Everything that happens in my head I try to capitalize on," said Cassidy, a 21-year-old Montville native, and bio major at Seton Hall University.
"I keep a note page in my phone and I just keep adding to it with whatever funny things come in my head."
And later, he translates those ideas into videos.
The most recent video to go viral is one he's been working on for, well, his entire life.
Cassidy's mom has been teaching elementary school in Pompton Plains for nearly 25 years. And of course, every year, she tells her students about her son.
And every year, when Cassidy walks into his mom's classroom to meet her kids, they freak out.
"I walk in and it's like, these kids really think I'm the coolest person on planet earth," Cassidy said with a laugh. "That's a feeling I've known my whole life, and I just finally pulled the trigger on it."
The video -- a re-enactment of the first time Cassidy meets his mom's students -- had more than 107K likes and 927K views as of Tuesday morning.
Cassidy first downloaded TikTok at the beginning of the 2020 quarantine, but says it's since become a serious hobby of his.
"TikTok allows me to tap into a creative side that I otherwise might not be able to access," said Cassidy, whose goal is to become a physical therapist and work with high-profile athletes.
"It gives me another level of meaning, to be honest."
One of the first videos that took off for Cassidy was one he posted last March, when he ran into "Survivor" contestants playing spike ball in Lavalette.
To Cassidy -- a massive "Survivor" fan who hopes to be on the show -- that TikTok meant a lot.
But what means even more to him than showcasing celebreties, he says, he being a force of positivity himself.
"There are lot of people on the app that create characters and put their own spin on certain things," said Cassidy, an RA on campus at SHU. "I see myself just being a relatable character for a younger age group.
"A goal I have is to put out more positive content and keep people going. A lot of videos take off because they hit a different level of complexity and positivity," he said. "I think I can make them in a funny way that will make them catch fire."
His vision for future videos is simple: Comedic and relatable.
"It’s just a great feeling because when you know that what you’re thinking about is appreciated," he said.
"I know I don’t stack up crazy against the others out there but I hope to get there and continuously put out things people like and can relate to."
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