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Monday, December 5, 2022

During Axel Webber’s denial from Juilliard, the Internet stepped in to help him

When Axel Webber tweeted a TikTok on Monday morning to inform his followers that he’d finished an audition for the Juilliard School’s undergraduate theatre department on Zoom the day before, it went viral. Webber is a 22-year-old from Cumming, Georgia, a little town outside of Atlanta. Mr. Webber had been using the platform for the last month to speak about his ambitions of attending the famed and very difficult theatre school, as well as the gruelling audition that was necessary as part of the admissions process.

When the decision from Juilliard was announced, Mr. Webber immediately opened up the message on his computer and read it out to his TikTok audience of 2.4 million followers, which included his wife and children. It was a resounding no. Mr. Webber seemed to be dejected. “In order to continue acting, we’ll have to discover a new method of doing things.” “Thank you for following along on the adventure,” he remarked. For the sake of this piece, a spokeswoman for Juilliard refused to comment on Mr. Webber’s admission.

Mr. Webber grew up in Georgia, where he was homeschooled with his four siblings and went on to obtain his college degree online. Later, he did various jobs around town until relocating to Pontiac, Michigan, early this year to pursue a career as a real estate underwriter, where he was able to save money by staying with his aunt and uncle. Mr. Webber came in New York City in late November 2021, bringing his funds with him in order to chase his aspirations for the first time. What he truly wanted to do was put his words into action.

He saw a modest, 95-square-foot studio apartment in the East Village on Facebook Marketplace for under $1,200 a month, and he decided to move in. In spite of small difficulties like as having to use a public restroom in the corridor and not having a place to keep most of his goods, he didn’t mind living out of his vehicle — a 2000 Volvo — for several weeks in a Walmart parking lot in New Jersey during November.

A bouncer job at a pirate-themed restaurant not far away paid $18 an hour, and he joined the ranks of hundreds of other young people who had migrated to the city in an attempt to make it on their own seeking better opportunities. According to Mr. Webber, “everything in my residence was purchased and paid for by me.” “Just the other day, my parents informed me that I had been removed from their phone plan.”

Mr. Webber began documenting his adventures on TikTok in early December and continued until the end of the month. On December 15, a video he uploaded about living in the “smallest flat in Manhattan” went viral after it was shared on social media. He offered visitors a tour of the cramped quarters and described how he managed to live in the centre of the city on a shoestring income. He continued to upload videos of himself purchasing inexpensive meals from street vendors and waited for the laundry he had lugged down the street to be picked up. Throughout the month, he drew more and more attention to himself as time went on.

In the comments section, fans encouraged him to keep going. By the beginning of January, he had accumulated more than 2 million followers, many of whom were important content providers themselves. “Best of luck! “You are tough, you are brilliant, and you are humorous,” remarked Caitlin Doran, a TikTok creator who has more than 4.1 million followers on her platform.

However, the more popular he got on Monday, the more critics, including Mr. Harris, started to cast doubt on his spectacular ascent, prompting him to resign. Mr. Webber had attended an NFT launch party in Los Angeles last week, where he was pictured with another Hype House member, Vinnie Hacker, who had posted a response video to Mr. Petrou’s with an encouraging message, and online sleuths discovered that Mr. Webber had attended the party with another Hype House member, Thomas Petrou.

Mr. Petrou has verified that Mr. Webber is not a member of the Hype House and has never been associated with the organisation in any way. Mr. Webber, on the other hand, is already represented by Diomi Cordero, a talent manager based in Los Angeles who brought Mr. Webber to the NFT party and also represents Angus Cloud, an actor who appears on the television show “Euphoria,” to the party. He is a co-producer of the programme, which he also hosts.

Mr. Webber claims that he has a lease that will last through October and that he will not be leaving New York City anytime soon. A contract with The Society, a modelling agency, was signed by Mr. Webber on Tuesday in the late afternoon. He’s now putting his funds into improving his equipment from the iPhone 7, which he’s presently using to shoot material, and he intends to cooperate with other content makers in the future using his savings.

“When I first arrived in the city, I felt completely alone,” he stated. “Now I get to stroll down the street, and every now and then someone will bump into me and say, ‘Hey! ‘You’re the man from TikTok,’ or ‘You’re the guy with the little abode,’ or any variation of these phrases. It gives me the impression that I have some pals in a huge metropolis with millions of people.”

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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