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Meet JCal, the NYC TikTok comedian who’s deadass about acting

Justin Calderon, better known as NYC TikTok comedian JCal is offering us funny videos that capture the essence of what many may not understand: street life in New York City.

The Queens native is no newbie to online comedy. JCal began filming videos six years ago, but the internet wasn’t his immediate inspiration. It was his film and literature class in his high school, Bryant High School.

His final project for the class was to create a short movie that followed a script and a plot. He gathered his friends for the project and they added their own twist.

We just went on and did it without a script. I was the only actor. They just recorded and edited. Everybody loved it. When [my classmates and teacher] found out we did it without a script, they were like, holy shit! We got a perfect score.

The internet becomes his home

However, JCal’s video-making career didn’t start there. It wasn’t until his second year of college at Queensboro Community College where he made an Instagram account.

He came across fellow NYC Instagram comedian @lowkeymar_, an internet personality, and artist who served as a source of inspiration.


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AHHHHHHHH 😣🤦🏾‍♂️ #ItsDaGrabba

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“I came across this dude named Lowkey Mar and he was making a whole bunch of funny videos…I was like, I could do this, this doesn’t look too hard at all now, you know?”

JCal continued:

“I downloaded some editing apps and I started making some videos. They weren’t all that good in the beginning but I had fun doing it.”

A few years later, a new platform came about, TikTok, which had a unique feature: the green screen.

When JCal discovered he can virtually be anywhere he wanted in the comfort of his apartment during a pandemic, he got very creative.


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When she forgets to mention she lives in the projects… 😂😂 #jcaldoesit

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His first TikTok video depicts a man (played by JCal) who awaits his date, Jessica, in front of housing projects. Real New Yorkers know that visiting an unknown hood, especially the projects, may call for danger.

While JCal nervously waits for Jessica to come downstairs, he is approached by a few men from the neighborhood.

During the confrontation, it is discovered that JCal is awaiting Gunna’s (one of the recurring characters in his videos) girlfriend, which ends up in a shooting. JCal getting shot towards the end of his videos is also a recurring theme.

Numbers don’t lie

This video garnered over 500,000 views on TikTok. It’s received over 6,900 retweets and comments, along with 15,700 likes. It did numbers on Instagram, too. The video is currently at 26,369 views.

Despite their success, not all of JCal’s videos take place in the projects. One popular skit was when he acted as a mailman during a blizzard.

To make matters worse, citizens aggressively confronted him about their W2 forms.


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And of course my favorite video of 2018 😂😂😂

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The Queens native’s creative process is arguably simple; he already has the talent so it’s just a matter of putting everything together.

He utilizes the Notes app on his phone to jot down ideas. On other days, he thinks of the video’s storyline right before he starts filming.

He then Googles a photo of the scenery where he wants it to take place and begins the editing process. “When I was watching everyone else’s green screen, I’m like, damn, I need to find something that nobody’s done yet,” said JCal.

“I just want to be the first one to do something for once. The original first three videos I was gonna do was some corny shit–on the beach, running with my shirt off, like I’m Baywatch. But then I’m like, nah, I can’t go out like this.”

He continued,

I was sitting in my room and I’m like…I live in the projects. My mind then went to work and I just created the scenarios that I know people could relate to, so I tried it. And you know, it went off.

From production to perfection

While the production behind JCal’s videos might appear effortless, the comedian admits he does about 30 takes before the final product.

He dubs himself a perfectionist but understands that things will never be perfect, just as perfect as they can be.


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When you get caught telling fake stories…😂😂 #jcaldoesit

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If you’re a fan of JCal’s videos, you definitely know about Devonta. But to know Devonta, you have to trace it back to Mr. Jordan.

JCal says Mr.Jordan was the initial character that had many similarities to Devonta: a trap or die mentality, knows the streets very well, and always carries a gun.


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Getting dragged into other people’s beef be like… 😂

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Tough love has no face

Devonta, whose real name is Preston Billingsly, is a very aggressive character who does not take no for an answer. Although we nor JCal knows what he looks like, we know how strong his presence is.

His voice is the only thing heard in the videos, along with the other voices–JCal is basically a one-man show, and that’s what makes his content unique.

When asked by others what does Devonta look like, JCal responded with,

“In my head, when I look at Devonta, it’s a buff ass dude that’s like 6’5″, and just came home from jail. But there’s no face to him, like he has no head. He just has shoulders and a body…He’ll do anything. He don’t give a fuck about life.”


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Snitches in court be like… 😂😂 #jcaldoesit

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Devonta and JCal have a very interesting relationship. From the outside looking in, it appears that Devonta is always bullying JCal. However, JCal feels Devonta has a soft spot for him.

“He does all this out of love.”

If you thought the other voices in JCal’s video were other people, you are mistaken. The comedian himself does all the voices, and if you watch his videos, you’d realize how great he is at it. The voices are all very different, yet fitting.

Hollywood, baby

Ultimately, the TikTok comedian hopes to extend his talents beyond apps–he wants to become an actor.

“I want to be in movies. I feel like by doing these videos, I can keep my acting warm…I’ve also been trying to go to auditions. I haven’t really gotten any, but that’s why I still do this. Maybe the right eyes will see it.”

Numbers don’t lie when it comes to his videos, but the Woodside resident still feels he has not reached his pinnacle.

“I never feel like I made it. You know, this is not what I want to do. I could have a million followers, but I’m still not where I want to be. I want to be on the big screen. I don’t want to be doing Instagram videos my whole life. So, this is just a platform to try to get me where I really want to go.”

The NYC TikTok comedian is one to adapt as things keep changing, so it’s only a matter of time before he secures a big role.

He admits that the continuous support of others is what incentivizes him to work harder. Another one of JCal’s objectives is to make his videos relatable to people outside of the Big Apple.

“Think about the people who live in California, they can’t relate to this. One of my goals is to go to every state, stay there for a few weeks, and just see how they live, so I can make a relatable video to that state.”

JCal brings a lot to the acting table. So, directors, if you are seeking new talent, holla at Justin Calderon from Woodside, Queens.