If you haven't heard of Addison Rae, you likely don't spend a lot of time on TikTok. The 20-year-old has a massive presence on multiple social media platforms, but she's definitely the reigning queen of TikTok with more than 79 million followers.
After winning the heart of millions of social media users, Rae is now expanding her empire and has plenty of projects up her sleeves, including a clean beauty line, a popular podcast with her mother and a budding acting career. The 20-year-old recently finished filming "He's All That," a remake of the 1999 film "She's All That," and she's also attempting to break into the music industry with her first single titled "Obsessed."
In a new interview with Bustle, Rae explained that she's eager to try new things and explore all of her passions.
“The window of opportunity is not always open, and that’s what everyone on my team reminds me: These moments, you really have to take advantage of them,” she said.
Even though she started off as a social media star, Rae is enjoying branching out.
“A lot of times people think that people only do social media, or that it’s their only interest,” she says. “But I think social media is a door that opens up so many opportunities for things in your life.”
Rae was born in Louisiana and started dancing in competitions when she was just 6 years old. In July 2019, she joined TikTok after she graduated high school and then started as a freshman at Louisiana State University that fall.
"I think people do tend to find it hard to take people like me seriously."
She amassed a pretty impressive following during her first semester at college by posting dance videos and started making connections with brands and musicians who wanted her to promote their products and songs.
“It happened really fast,” she said. “I remember in the beginning, people would reach out and be like, ‘Oh, can you do a dance to this song for $20?’ I’d be like, ‘Absolutely!’”
After one semester, Rae dropped out of school and moved to Los Angeles with her family. Her mother, Sheri Easterling, told Bustle she was super supportive of the idea.
“My reaction was probably nothing of the norm (insert laughing) and probably not what most would consider as logical,” she said. “I actually encouraged it ... I was once a young girl myself with a dream and so I just wanted to (give her the opportunities) I wished I had growing up.”
As more people turned to the social media platform during the pandemic, Rae's following grew even more, and by April 2020 she had 10 million followers. Now that she's working on so many project outside the realm of social media, Rae realizes that some people might question if she's actually talented enough to work in so many different fields.
“You know, people in the industry really do appreciate and admire people that take chances and break that boundary between social media and entertainment in general,” she said. “But I will say that, from a public standpoint, I think people do tend to find it hard to take people like me seriously.”
Still, Rae isn't deterred and she's excited to see what her future holds.
“I’m willing to prove how seriously I do take things ... It’s something I’m willing to keep working at and hopefully really proving myself to these people,” she said.