Tuesday 22 September, 2020

Outta COVID-19: JennBean saves thousands in quarantine with laughter

Jennese Birkett loves to laugh (Photo provided by Jenn)

Jennese Birkett loves to laugh (Photo provided by Jenn)

Some may think that COVID-19 brought the comedian in Jennese Birkett to the fore, but according to her, her Tik Tok personality is her "true self".

The 27-year-old cosmetologist who specialises in hair and makeup also has her own eyelash business called Mystixx Lashes By Jenn, launched in October 2019.


Video caption: Jenn's favourite video that she has done so far.

There is more to Jenn that meets the social media eye. She said that business was going "pretty good until COVID-19 came." That's when boredom settled in and @Jennbean_ on Tik Tok was born. 

With what felt like 40 million restrictions under the COVID-19 Directives every two weeks from March 17, all of which meant no physical contact and hence no cosmetology services, Jenn found herself browsing Tik Tok.

Well-known three months later for her voiceover videos originally on Tik Tok and shared on her Instagram, Jenn sees her videos everywhere on social media, even in people's WhatsApp stories.

Asked about how she got started, she said: "At first, I said that I was not going to download the Tik Tok App but unfortunately two weeks into quarantine I got really bored and this is where it all started.

"I started off creating little funny Tik Tok videos and ended up posting them onto my Instagram stories just for fun, but then I realized that my friends and some of my followers who viewed them were really enjoying them."

Having checked out Tik Tok pages of locals and persons from afar around the globe, she said it was a homegrown influence that really caught her eye and sparked an idea for a new trajectory.

"One day I decided to go about it a bit different and recreate one of my favourite comedians @Dy_Browne, 'The Weather Man' Instagram video.

"I was a bit sceptical at first about posting it onto my Instagram Feed because I thought no one would really like it but I went ahead anyway. In just over 24 hours the video had gone viral and it shocked me, to be honest. Then more and more people started to follow my page daily, commenting and interacting with each video. My followers grew rapidly and I saw this as a great way to gain exposure for my business as well.

"So everything basically fell into place. I was able to enjoy and also challenge myself with these videos, entertain my followers and gain exposure for my businesses all in one. So I would say it was a win-win situation."

With many entertainers worldwide going into depression from being on lockdown, that Jenn's creativity bloomed and blossomed is nothing to scoff at or overlook. She made the best of an unprecedented situation and brought many people out of a slump along the way.

"I continued making the videos every other day just so others can have something to laugh about because people would message me personally to let me know that they enjoy watching my videos."

She said some would DM her to say: "I always make their day and that they are looking forward for my next videos, which I understand because during quarantine time it was really hard on everyone and it felt good to know that I can make someone else’s day despite everything that is going on." 

So with the popularity and followers, did Jenn cocky? Actually no!

"People often tell me I’m very talented and ask me how it feels to be an Instagram celebrity now, but I wouldn’t really call doing Tik Tok videos a talent because to me it is just Tik Tok. I also don’t see myself as an “Instagram celebrity”, I honestly don’t really like that much undue attention, but I will say that I am very creative when it comes to making these videos and I enjoy doing them."

Having lipsynced videos featuring the likes of Bajan Fari, David Denny, even Senator Caswell Franklyn from the Upper House floor speaking about masks, COVID-19 and his dog Snow. She gets requests aplenty and shows her version and the original videos giving credit where due. Jenn has the antics of many of the people she impersonates down pact and she even goes above and beyond with her wardrobe. She has even added gold teeth, deleted teeth, added hair and played up to four characters in one Tik Tok video. Jenn even recreates the scenes with her backgrounds. 

Asked what is her favourite video of all that she has done so far, she said: "My favourite video so far is the very first one I did as 'The Weather Man'."

As the country opens back up and Jenn goes back to work, Loop Lifestyle wanted to know what was the biggest lesson she learnt while making thousands of people laugh through COVID-19.

"I learnt that being your true self brings the best results in you rather than portraying a fake persona for Instagram. People tend to ask you, 'What is Jenn like outside of these Tik Tok videos or outside of this character?' When truly this is me! I like to have fun, act a fool when it’s the time and place to do so and I love a good laugh.

"So, in a nutshell, nothing is really forced, this is all me, what you see is what you get."

And from the Loop Lifestyle team, we truly enjoy what we see and get at Jennbean_ on Tik Tok and Instagram almost daily.


Outta COVID-19: If you know someone or a business that was birthed or changed directions due to the global pandemic, have them DM us on LoopNewsBarbados Instagram or email loopnewsbb@trend.media to be featured on [Straight] Outta COVID-19.

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