UVic alumna Rahat Saini takes her acting skills to TikTok and goes viral

Culture

Saini has found quick success through comedic storytelling

Rahat Saini TikTok
Graphic by Sie Douglas-Fish.

Sibling rivalry, a tale as old as time, is the hallmark of one of Rahat Saini’s most popular TikToks. The camera zooms in and out as Saini recounts a conversation she had with her law student sister about career choices. Like many of Saini’s TikTok’s, the tale struck a chord — over half a million people watched the video. 

Saini turned to TikTok, a popular short-form video app, as a creative outlet during the pandemic. In the last year and a half, she has amassed over 71 thousand followers.  

“That was a surreal moment to know that a million people have watched a video where I had told a little story about my sister,” Saini shares with a laugh.  

Saini is an actor, comedian, content creator, and storyteller. She graduated from UVic in 2020 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre, and a specialization in Acting. She continued her education in acting through the school of McIlroy and Associates and Kot Creative Studios in Vancouver.

At the start of the pandemic, one of Saini’s friends challenged her to join TikTok — they thought if she created enough content, she was bound to go viral with her charisma and humour. 

The challenge was made and Saini set out to make TikToks. After a mere 15 days, her first video went viral, reaching over 100 000 views. Saini now has multiple videos that have reached over half a million views with her most watched video, which is a hilarious take on her own sister’s existential dread, has reached over a staggering one million views.

“My plans for TikTok are to just stay on the app as much as I can and to make videos that make people laugh, hopefully, or to make them feel seen.” 

Saini says she has always loved to entertain and tell stories, so TikTok came somewhat naturally to her.

“I firmly believe in the power of a good story,” Saini said. “I come from a family of storytellers, my mom and dad are both avid storytellers with their own styles. I think there is something about the work I do, whether it is acting or TikTok, it’s all based around story. I think stories are what connects us.”

Saini’s short-scripted videos are hilarious. But their popularity isn’t based on comedy alone. Saini directs her followers towards social causes and draws attention to systemic racism, misogyny, and other topics.

“I’m definitely someone who sees a platform as an opportunity to talk about things that truly matter,” describes Saini.

Her videos have given her a platform and ultimately a way for her and others to connect over current issues and problems that exist in our world today; whether that’s calling out systemic racism or drawing attention to India’s struggle with COVID-19.

“I cannot overstate how important it is to me to be able to reach people who are like me in one way or another and see the world the way I do,” she said. “Whether that is an audience or fellow content-creators.” 

Her TikTok success has also given a boost to her acting career. She continues to make TikToks while working, acting, performing stand-up comedy, and recording her podcast, ‘Okay, Fine I’ll Watch It.’, where she watches a popular film for the first time next to a die-hard fan. Saini is also acting in a local play, Seethered,  through the Victoria Fringe Festival from August 19th-24th. 

Saini left us with a word of advice for people who are interested in becoming  content creators. “I would say, just do it. It’s a cool place and your videos may not reach a lot of people but it’s a fun way to share a part of who you are and I think there is always space for that.”

You can find Saini on TikTok using her handle: @rahottie.