Quarantine with Kurt Tocci
“Smile Squad is a lifestyle,” Kurt explained. “[It’s] a positive movement created to bring light-hearted content into the world and bring people together, [because] we are all human, and we can all smile.”
Tocci noticed that his numbers were beginning to grow over the last year, especially with Smile Squad. However, things started to explode earlier in 2020 when he uploaded his parodies about Disney Characters in Quarantine. In less than a week, Tocci said that the video pulled in 77 million views, had 1.7 million shares and he gained 400 000 followers (across all platforms)! Many people who had not heard of him before became instant fans. (Some of them even commented that they wanted to be his neighbour!) Suddenly, an illusion was created that he was an “overnight success”.
“It's been a long road! Kurt continued. “People don't realize the years of work that goes into perfecting your craft and how much time and energy goes into even one video, and even after that one video that finally gets you there --even then-- you have only just begun! It's an amazing feeling, and although it may seem ‘overnight’ to those who just find me, it makes that long road worth it to have it lead them to finding my content.”
While most of the world has been in self-isolation due to COVID-19, Kurt’s time in quarantine appears to be a blessing in disguise: “COVID hasn’t really affected my work much. I film most of the stuff in my home so it was almost the best possible scenario. Quarantine just offered up that many more ideas, so I made lemonade out of limes…. Coming up with ideas isn’t too difficult. I’m always thinking of new ideas. As far as everything going on, I just try to live each day as best I can, putting my all into every video, because I know it will offer a short escape to those going through a tough time.” Although countless people in the entertainment industry have been hit hard by the economic impact of the virus, Tocci said the easiest way for people to support him is to “watch my content, have a laugh, and share with a friend.”
Regarding his future goals, surprisingly, Kurt claimed not to have any. “I try not to set goals. I just love to do what I do. I'm fully content with right where I am. I would love to grow my audience as big as I can, but I’m grateful for every milestone I reach.” He added that it is “hard to pick a favourite” out of all of his videos. “They are all my favourite because they are all unique in their own ways!”
Finally, Kurt Tocci offered the following advice for anyone wishing to follow in his footsteps: “If you want to create content, do it. But do it because you want to, and because you love it! Don’t do it for the likes, or the follows, or the views. Life is about doing what you love to do, and other people will recognize that. Things take time. I have been building my name and making content for over 10 years, and things are just now happening. But I never quit, never gave up, or compared myself to others, or expected to be famous. I do this because I love to do it. Be consistent with posting. Engage with those who follow you and take the time to watch your content…. Above all, always be yourself."
Photo courtesy of Kurt Tocci.
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