7 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.
Michael Judson Berry began his acting career at the age of six by playing a prince in a local production of The King and I. He then received a BFA in Theater Arts from Boston University and an MA in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. He toured the country on the National Tour of Monty Python's Spamalot, worked in casting agencies in Los Angeles and New York, and made a feature film. Regardless of the task, Berry isn't afraid to take risks – even if it's uncomfortable.
During the Covid quarantine, Berry again stepped out of his comfort zone and brought his comedic acting skills to TikTok to bring joy to people all over the world. His impressions of Catherine O'Hara's Schitt’s Creek character have gone viral, garnering millions of views on social media, and receiving praise from O’Hara himself.
Talking to Jessica Abo to reflect on the past year, Berry shared his five tips for anyone who might question their skills or talent.
Jessica Abo: Michael, tell us about your career.
Michael Judson Berry: I'm an actor. I started acting when I was six. I had a little moment that got a big laugh and I've been addicted ever since. As a kid, I started acting locally and then went to the theater at Boston University. After that, I also got into casting, television and film.
Tell us how COVID got you switched on.
Berry: When we shut down I was looking for creative outlets and a lot of my friends are comedians, writers and improvisers and they all started doing web series and making videos on TikTok. I thought, well, let me try. My roommate and I did this little Instagram impersonation challenge that we did Moira and David and people really thought it was fun. So I just got the idea what if Moira Rose from Schitt & # 39; s Creek had a cup of tea every few days and just checked in and gave you her perspective on the pandemic.
I've now done almost 100 episodes of "QuaranTeaTime with Moira Rose" and learned how TikTok works. I learned how IGTV works. I learned to write, direct, edit and shoot my own videos. It was a huge, amazing learning experience that would never have happened otherwise.
When did you realize you could do this amazing imitation of moira?
Berry: I don't remember a set time how I was, oh, I can do that. I just always had an ear for voices. Growing up I loved Robin Williams and Monty Python, as well as The Carol Burnett Show and Mel Brooks. I always grew up imitating great comedians. It probably drove my family crazy at the dining table. But now it's practical.
It was always just some kind of parody in my brain that somehow seems to be in line with what Catherine O'Hara did. I remember my mom texting me and saying, “Michael, if you do this and people see you, make sure you keep every video very positive because that's what we need right now – an uplifting one Voice. ”
And then another friend reached out and said, "If that's what you want to do, brush your wig." Now I have up to 25 wigs that I brush. Each episode is about something I think we all feel and try to have an uplifting, positive impact on.
Michael, so many people try to adapt in our ever-changing world. What advice do you have for the people out there with imposter syndrome?
Berry: I definitely know that feeling very well as someone who uses a lot of social media now and was very nervous about doing it and very reluctant to do it because I thought: who is going to want to see me? But I finally got the courage to just say, Well, I'll just try. We're in a pandemic, what have I to lose? So, I think this is the first thing to just get over the fear of failure and just try to trust yourself and say I can do this and I am worth it so I will post it there.
When you are finding your own voice, your true voice is vital. I know with myself that there are a lot of trends and things that a lot of people do that just don't really match who I am or what I do. Part of the reason I succeeded is because I found a tone and voice that suited me. That's very honest with how I feel. And I stuck with it.
Set achievable goals, know and respect your limits, and be kind to yourself. I know if I don't have the mind to make a video that day, I won't because of it won't be the best quality. And you just have to be kind and respect yourself when setting these goals.
Challenge yourself In every episode I do, I try something different. I sing a song. I give the impression of a celebrity I've never made before. And there is something very exciting about it. Every time I do this, I am learning and becoming more and more confident. While it's always just a little nerve wracking, it's fun and exciting to really push those limits.
When you do something like improvisation, you can expand on many of these other four things. You shirk, you try creepy things, but in those moments when the scene goes faster than your brain can think, you find your voice and you find your humor. And I think I personally have and I know a lot of people who have gained so much confidence from things like improvisation because it forces you to really trust your gut and trust your voice, which I think is very, very valuable Everyone, no matter what job you are in.
That's good advice. What's next for you
Berry: I mostly did pre-shutdown drama and drama is definitely not playing right now. The challenge that I am facing right now and that I am very bad at and that I am learning to be good at is to honestly live in the moment and enjoy that moment while I have it and make the most of it Wait while I have it and just look forward to what may be next.
Related Topics: How This Company Disrupts Content Consumption