In March, Brett Schultz, a 26-year-old Brooklyn-based actor and comedian, was on vacation in Nashville, Tenn. to be a groomsman in a friend’s wedding when he felt sick with symptoms of the coronavirus and tested positive for COVID-19. After two weeks of self-isolation in a Nashville Airbnb, his dad drove five hours from Toccoa, Georgia to pick him up and take him to their home.
Schultz was determined to find ways to adapt to his new normal.
“I can continue pressing forward in my career even though everything else is on hold,” Schultz tells Yahoo Life.
The comedian turned to TikTok as a creative way to not only pursue his acting career but also highlight the most relatable moments of quarantining with his parents that he thought many others would be experiencing as well. He asked his parents to participate in the filming of the show with him.
“We are trapped in this place together and because of that, tension rises out of nothing. What better way to portray that than through a reality TV show?” he explains.
Schultz created a TikTok reality show, “Quarantined,” which went viral overnight. His first episode racked up over 11 million views alone since it was first shared on the app on April 29.
In creating this series, Schultz says he found a way to make light of the everyday tensions that may arise in high-stress situations and new ways of living. The lighthearted and entertaining episodes capture exaggerated moments of Schultz’s quarantine life, where he walks a thin line between needing his adult independence, but also appreciating that his mother makes his bed.
Schultz sees his situation as a “win-win,” not only fostering his passion for a career in comedy but also gaining unexpected quality time with his family.
“None of this would have happened if I wouldn't have gotten [coronavirus],” he says. “It’s amazing to think that someone’s worst nightmare is someone else’s opportunity. We’re able to have some valuable time we never would have had.”
Video produced by Jenny Miller
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