We’ve seen your great growth in becoming a TikTok star. How did you get there? Can you pinpoint what led to you going viral?
I think what sets me apart is the stories and characters I create and adapt. I often use special effects make-up, wigs, contact lenses, and lots of different looks. My content crosses multiple categories – acting, dancing, humour, horror of course, etc.
Tell us a little more about you. Who is Emma Norton outside of TikTok?
I just turned 17, and live in Denver, Colorado. My family is from the Northeast, and I lived in Boston during my early years. I’ve always had a creative eye, with a big focus on the arts. I’ve trained and performed both on stage and film – acting, dancing, singing. My parents tell me my passion is to make people feel something deep and relatable through my artistic pursuits.
Which has been your most viral video? Tell us about it.
My most viral video is a 15-second Face-Zoom (up close) with lots of facial expressions in sync with the sound. This video has received 45 Million views. A lot of other TikTok’ers have copied this particular video.
How did you learn to create amazing character make-up?
I started with Halloween (my favourite holiday) and my desire to create a uniquely scary costume vs. wearing typical off-the-shelf costumes or masks. The internet has tons of images. More than anything, I learn from trial and error and my bathroom mirror!
Do you get any help when producing your videos? How do you manage to stage and film all of them?
I have a few talented friends who’ve taken great photos I’ve used. For my videos, I produce everything solo from my home studio. I use various types and colours of lighting – including the super reliable Colorado sun. I think I’ve filmed from every room in my house!
Creating and producing TikToks seems quite fun. Do you have any funny stories or experiences when making your videos?
I have had several unusual things happen to me that involve my followers. One fan created a portrait of me on their carpet using some sort of drawing tool. Another follower created a tattoo of a picture of me on their leg! That really surprised me!
My other story involved a time when my dad unexpectedly barged into the room where I was filming. He saw me and quietly walked across the room, kissed me on top of my head, then walked away. He had no idea my camera was rolling. Rather than start over, I decided to post that video featuring my dad. The video got almost 2 Million views and thousands of sweet comments.
You have more than 600 videos. Where do you find inspiration for new ones?
Beyond stretching my imagination, I get inspiration from a lot of sources – books and stories I’ve read, movies and TV shows, song lyrics, and definitely from my own life experiences. I push myself to create original content, or at least put my personal spin on everything I do.
Credit: Sophia Pelletier Photography @sophiaspicture
Can you tell us a bit about your passion for philanthropic causes?
I am focused on using my platform to put more good into the world. Social activism, mental health, improving the environment and access to basic life necessities like clean water are three areas I care deeply about.
Can you tell us some of the big takeaways you have learned during your growth as a content creator?
I have learned so many lessons! The #1 takeaway is that I will never allow someone else’s perception of my work to negatively impact my self-worth. If I feel proud of the content I’ve created, I can’t be hurt by someone hiding behind a screen hurling hate comments. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from communicating with followers – the vast majority of whom are extremely supportive.
What are your plans for the future? Any exciting projects coming up?
In addition to increasing my efforts to bring good into the world, and working on a new YouTube channel, my goal has always been to pursue a career acting in film and TV.