ASHLAND An Ashland teen is taking lip synching to a new level.
Dustin Bryant’s video work on TikTok is making him money and won him a spot on the Boys of Summer tour.
TikTok is an app for creating and sharing short videos. Bryant, the son of Charles and Dusty McCall, said his videos last about 10 seconds and include him lip synching.
“You can pair with popular songs and go worldwide or you can create comedy skits,” Bryant explained.
He said his ideas just come to him. He likes to record along the Ohio River and sometimes at the old Russell YMCA building.
TikTok pays Bryant, a junior at Ironton High School, for his work.
“On a good day, I would make, on a two-hour live stream, $150 to $200, just sitting there and talking to fans,” he said, noting once you’ve established about 1,000 followers and start interacting with fans, those fans can give you “gifts” that can be transformed into money you can redeem through PayPal.
Bryant has been making and posting videos for about three years; his mother knew it, but didn’t know the extent of his success.
“In February, he said, ‘Mom, I need to go to PlayList,’” McCall said, noting she soon learned the Orlando-based event is a three-day convention allowing creators and their fans, professionals and brands to celebrate online video, social media and the communities around them. There are music performers, meet and greets, workshop, games and other events. There also is the opportunity to advance.
“It’s like another world,” McCall said. “The kids run all day. Everybody is like this,” she said, holding up her phone. “I called my husband and said, ‘This is a really big deal. I didn’t realize what a big deal it is.’”
Before being asked to join the tour, Bryant became verified by TikTok, which means the app acknowledged his good content and large number of followers. He has nearly 400,000 followers and averages 2,200 new followers every day.
While in Orlando, he signed with Henson Management in Orlando and was offered a contract to be a part of the third annual Boys of Summer tour, which takes creators across the United States to meet fans. Between July 9 and Aug. 11, Bryant will visit 18 cities, from Los Angeles to Boston. He said he’s most looking forward to one city in particular.
“Los Angeles, because that’s where I want to end up after high school,” Bryant said, adding he hopes to branch out into videos for YouTube.
In all, 38 creators and social media influencers will be on the tour and each show is likely to draw 600 fans — Bryant likely will see 13,000 supporters on the tour. And there will be girls on the tour, too, despite the name, Mario Ayuso-Henson of Henson Management, said.
“When the tour started, it was just boys, but as time passed, girls started joining the lineup,” he said.
Bryant said he and his manager have talked about what he will do on the tour and he plans to do a question-and-answer session.
“I feel like it will be an experience,” he said. “I’ll be nervous, but I think after the first or second show, I’ll get used to it and enjoy it.”
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