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A talk with TikTok sensation Avi “avi.characters” Agarwal

Quarantine has been a strange time for many all over the world. Every day feels the same, and hours go by just sitting and staring at your phone. Scrolling through TikTok, one of 2020’s hottest social media trends and one of the world’s largest social networks, has become a go-to-pastime for many stuck at home. Esteemed Actor Avi Agarwal has used his time off set to capitalize on this trend, building up his massively successful page and building up over 40 million views on his highly original videos.

Agarwal began posting on TikTok in October of last year. At the time, he was a well-known actor, having starred in the award-winning film Loose Ends, for which he won the Best Male Actor, at the Hollywood Boulevard Film Festival, as well as the star-studded movie Turnover, and national commercial campaigns for major brands like iHOP, Amazon Prime, and ING Direct. However, always looking to build up his acting resume, he decided to learn magic and take classes on how to be a magician. He quickly took to the hobby, and when a friend suggested he post some tricks online on TikTok, Agarwal decided the growing app would be a fun experiment. Never did he expect to blow up like he has today.

“I do these videos because it really tests my creativity. A video has to be entertaining to go viral, and I like creating that. When you are having fun making videos, people are having fun watching your videos. I have a lot of amusing banter with my friends and family while creating videos on magic, harmless pranks and satisfying videos which are pleasing to a viewer. Not every video you make will go viral. People starting out should focus on enjoying themselves, not the result,” said Agarwal.

After making videos for his own entertainment for a couple of months, Agarwal made a TikTok of a magic trick using red solo cups and potatoes. It was a trick he practiced for only half an hour when he decided to film it. Within 19 hours of posting, the video had amassed 5 million views. On the second day, 11 million. Currently, it has over 42.1 million views.

Overnight, Agarwal became a TikTok sensation, but he worried that he may have been a “one TikTok hit wonder” as many on the app do. Shortly afterwards, however, he made another video doing a magic trick where he lifted a glass with a balloon. The TikTok once again got over 42 million views and is currently his most popular video. He has now posted over 200 videos, with 474.2 thousand followers from all over the world, and over 4.3 million likes.

“Having a few viral videos has definitely helped me build a following. After I was doing well on TikTok, it was easy to approach people and collaborate with other famous TikTokers. For instance, I collaborated with @thecardguy (Evan), who was one of the top creators of magic videos on the app. I also acted in my friends’ videos and we just started having fun with it. Being seen on screen constantly helped the users of the app get familiar with me and end up following me to see more of the quality content,” Agarwal described.

Despite having such a wildly successful TikTok, Agarwal has not lost sight of his acting career. In fact, he finds using the app has helped broaden his acting resume. Because of his social media success, he has been approached for brand endorsements and commercial opportunities. He has found he has even more exposure because of TikTok.

On top of this, Agarwal finds that, during this pandemic when sets have been shut down during quarantine, putting videos on TikTok has allowed him to continue to practice his craft. He is now in front of a camera 24/7, generating content for the entire world on a daily basis. As someone that never really used social media previously, it has now changed his life.

“I have always been so focused on making movies and acting in them, I never realized social media is another place to share your talent and connect with people. You can put a smile on their faces and brighten their day,” he concluded.

Don’t miss out on following Agarwal’s TikTok @avi.characters.

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