ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. -- A Virginia public school teacher has amassed more than a million followers on TikTok after posting videos of his uncanny impressions.
Christopher Michael’s impressionsspan the gambit from Jim Carey’s The Mask to Sesame Street’s Elmo.
His love of impersonation started when he was a child watching cartoons. His first character was Donkey from the Shrek movie.
“The true nature of an impression is when you can say what you want. I’ve have seen Jim Carey’s 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' probably a hundred of times,” he explained. “It just flows off the tongue and I love Jim Carey so much. He’s an inspiration."
The 29-year-old has worked for Rockingham County Public Schools for seven years. He currently teaches at East Rockingham High School, which is located about 16 miles east of Harrisonburg.
“I love doing skits. I'm super inspired by shows like 'All That' and 'The Amanda Show' growing up,” Michael told CBS 6 from his classroom on Wednesday.
Michael said he occasionally speaks in different voices during class to keep his students engage.
“I’ll throw voices in every now and then sometimes it’s super surprising. They’ll log into class and I’m like, ‘Hiya pals! Today we are going to make some art work. Let’s get busy!'” Michael said in a spot-on Mikey Mouse voice. “It usually comes naturally.”
He first uploaded his videos to the popular media site after losing a bet during the Summer of 2019. Since then, he’s amassed 1.6 million followers and more than 35 million likes.
Michael said he appreciates the feedback and comments he receives on his videos.
“It’s absolutely wild, but it’s for the fun of it. I’m glad people are watching and enjoying. I love bringing laughter and joy and watching people smile because there’s not enough of that. I'm glad I can provide an outlet for people,” he stated.
He encouraged anyone who would like try impressions to first practice in the mirror.
“Just try to stand in front of the mirror and contort your face a little bit and mimic characters,” he said as he wildly transforms his face. “Not being afraid to try -- that’s what I’m teaching all the time in art. Don't be afraid to try. That’s the number one thing I try to communicate to my students.”