‘I ate a pretzel on TikTok, now I am a star’

 

When Lakota Johnson filmed himself eating a pretzel - he didn't realise his life was about to change.

Since posting this "random" TikTok video in February 2019, the now teen actor and model has filmed more than 400 comedic videos and gained a cult following of 1.8 million fans on the Chinese video-sharing app.

"I originally got on TikTok as a joke but now it has turned into something so much bigger," the 18-year-old laughs.

"I started filming a few random videos that were on trend but one day I decided to do something different.

Tik Tok sensation and actor Lakota Johnson. Picture: Tertius Pickard
Tik Tok sensation and actor Lakota Johnson. Picture: Tertius Pickard

"After getting my teeth whitened at the dentist, I set up my camera and zoomed in on my face eating a pretzel in slow motion and people really liked it. That random video now has 4.5 million views - it's crazy.

Lakota Johnson filmed himself eating a pretzel on TikTok – video now has 4.5 million views.
Lakota Johnson filmed himself eating a pretzel on TikTok – video now has 4.5 million views.

The 2018 Palm Beach Currumbin graduate is now a professional clothes hanger for Jay Jays, Footlocker, City Beach and Universal and an actor, recently guest starring on US Netflix TV comedy #blackAF in Fiji.

With a taste of stardom, the Coast teen and his 22-year-old sister Sierra, who has big-screen dreams of her own, moved to Santa Monica earlier this year.

But thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the duo had to make the heartbreaking journey back to Australia in March.

"We were at acting school in LA and madly auditioning for some decent roles," he tells Gold Coast Eye.

The 2018 Palm Beach Currumbin graduate is now a professional clothes hanger and actor.
The 2018 Palm Beach Currumbin graduate is now a professional clothes hanger and actor.

"I was enjoying it so much, it was a bit overwhelming, but I just made the most of every audition.

"Unexpectedly, I started getting my first call backs and producer sessions for lead roles on new shows but as soon as everything started to go good - COVID-19 hit and every production shutdown."

Lakota says lying low at his Reedy Creek family home was a blessing in disguise.

"I am now really happy and this situation has been the perfect opportunity to take a breather and get some auditions going in Australia," he says.

"I never thought I would say this, but there is far more opportunities for modelling, and the film and TV industry in Australia right now than there in the US.

“The Gold Coast is like nowhere else on earth,” Lakota says. Picture: Tertius Pickard
“The Gold Coast is like nowhere else on earth,” Lakota says. Picture: Tertius Pickard

"There is really no point me being in LA right now and I hope I can land something in Australia so I can stay.

"I love being home with my parents and the luxuries of F45 and picnics on Burleigh Hill.

"The Gold Coast is like nowhere else on earth - we are so spoiled."

Before falling into the limelight, Lakota spent every waking hour playing soccer and basketball.

"I have played sport since I have been four years old, hence why I loved my time at Palm Beach Currumbin High so much. I did bit of modelling in Year 11 just for fun but then TikTok happened.

“Before my eyes life changed — I signed with agents and the rest is history,” Lakota says.
“Before my eyes life changed — I signed with agents and the rest is history,” Lakota says.

"Before my eyes life changed - I signed with agents and the rest is history."

Lakota says his experience is evidence anyone can be a TikTok star.

"I was just a guy who played sport and did a little bit of modelling but never thought this would happen," he laughs.

"After posting a few random videos I had a million followers - I still can't believe it.

"It opened doors to a whole new world that I never expected.

"At the end of the day - it's the perfect example that Tik Tok is for everyone.

His advice to anyone considering posting on TikTok, with or without a pretzel, is to "just do it because you never know what might happen."

Originally published as 'I ate a pretzel on TikTok, now I am a star'


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