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Meet the TikTokers Taking Their Acting Talent to Global Audiences Beyond Boundaries of Suburban Life

From comedic skits to culinary adventures, these content creators have harnessed the power of TikTok to build thriving businesses and reach global audiences
Cover Image Source: Pixabay | Geralt
Cover Image Source: Pixabay | Geralt

Social media may have started off as a way to connect with family, friends or new people across the globe, but talented individuals found an audience on platforms such as TikTok, which they are now monetizing. Beyond short music videos, users on the platforms have also displayed a preference for videos on politics, finance, and food, or just short comic skits that they find relatable. While some use social media to expand existing businesses, make some cash on the side, or boost career prospects, many have turned content creation into their full time careers.

One such success story is Joe Mele, a 24-year-old from the East End with a staggering 27 million followers. Mele dropped out of Binghamton University to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time content creator on TikTok. Collaborating with his retired father, Frank, Mele creates family-friendly comedy skits that resonate with a massive audience.

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A post shared by Joe Mele (@mmmjoemele)


Another such success story is that of Becca Bastos, a 27-year-old from Mineola, has used TikTok as a platform to showcase her acting talents. With 2 million followers, she brings to life a diverse cast of characters, from Long Island moms to quirky aunts and old women. Bastos finds empowerment in entertaining millions with her creations and has successfully transitioned from her job as a nanny to supporting herself through TikTok monetization. Her newfound success even allowed her to relocate to Los Angeles to pursue acting with improv classes and auditions.

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A post shared by Becca Bastos (@beccabastos)


But it's not just about acting for Suha Syed, a 24-year-old from Jericho, TikTok became an unexpected outlet during the pandemic. With 85,000 followers, Syed follows trends and uses her platform to dispel stereotypes, embracing her identity as a visible Muslim who wears a hijab. Through her outspoken and engaging content, Syed aims to reshape perceptions and raise awareness about issues that matter to her.

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A post shared by Suha 🫶🏼 (@simply_suha)


Then there's Danielle Sepsy, who leveraged her appearance on an HBO Max cooking competition to catapult herself into TikTok stardom. Known for comically imitating Long Island mothers, Sepsy's videos resonated with a broader audience, helping her grow her business and secure brand partnerships.

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A post shared by Chef Danielle Sepsy (@chefdaniellesepsy)


Beyond actors, there are the likes of Nicholas Russo, an 18-year-old from Amityville who took a unique approach to TikTok by testing and reviewing local bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches. With 10,000 followers, Russo became a recognizable face in Long Island delis. Despite currently being on hiatus due to college commitments, Russo's videos not only entertain but also provide insights into the local food scene.

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A post shared by Nick Russo (@thebecguyli)


Speaking of transcending boundaries, Rohan Murphy, a 39-year-old from East Islip, found a different purpose on TikTok using the platform to amplify his motivational speaking career. Born with a unique physical condition, Murphy shares his inspiring story of overcoming adversity with his 9,000 followers. His TikTok presence serves as a promotional tool, allowing him to connect with schools and organizations across the country for speaking engagements.

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A post shared by Rohan Murphy (@rohanmurphy)


These Long Islanders showcase the diverse ways in which TikTok can be harnessed for career growth. From comedy to culinary critique and motivational speaking, TikTok's versatility has proven instrumental in turning dreams into reality for these content creators. As they continue to amass followers and redefine success in the digital age, the impact of TikTok on traditional career paths becomes increasingly evident.