Christian Leave: Freshman Gains National Attention Through Vine


Freshman Christian Akridge answers questions at the Pressplay event in Philadelphia Nov. 8. Akridge started using the Vine app in August and quickly gained the attention of other Vine users. He now tours with other social media celebrities.

Christian and his friends were walking to the Starbucks across the street from their hotel when a couple of girls stopped them.

“Hey! Can we get a picture with you?”

He thought they were talking to his friends because they were more popularly known on the Vine app.

“No no no, you!”

After a couple pictures, he started writing his signature for them, even on a couple of their foreheads.

Freshman Christian Akridge, more commonly know on Vine as Christian Leave, has had the app for a while but started making his own vines only three months ago. He tagged a popular viner in his first post and that person saw, and re-vined it. After that, it received a response of 1,000 re-vines.

With that a surprise career was born.

“They all just responded really quickly and just blew up all at the same time.” Akridge said.

Over a three-month period, he gained 100,000 followers and is rapidly gaining a bigger audience every day. Along with this attention, he has made many friends through this social network that are also very well known on the app. One of them is Jack Dail.

“About two weeks ago, Jack Dail followed me on Vine and we became friends and started texting about stuff,” Akridge said. “He told me he was on this tour called Pressplay and said he could get me on it.”

Over a two day period of talking with Jack Dail’s manager, Christian was set to head to Philadelphia for Pressplay. After getting off his plane ride, Christian met up with his Internet friends for the event.

“I didn’t believe this whole thing was happening until I got off the plane, into the hotel, at 11:40 at night,” he said.

Pressplay lasts 6 hours and goes from 10:30 a.m. to about 5 pm. Fans are able to do a meet and greet to hang out with the people they came to see 30 minutes before the show. Then, there is a 3 hour portion where the people of Pressplay will get up on stage and sing or talk to the fans.

“[During the meet and greet], I didn’t think anyone was gonna know me cause I’m smaller and I didn’t know what to do.”

Most of his friends already had lines of fans wanting to meet them and at the time, Christian only had about four people come to meet him. Then, Viner Cody Johns started talking to Christian and told him that he looked like he knew what he was doing even for his first meet and greet.

“Five minutes later, I grew a line and it got bigger and bigger and I think I was one of the biggest lines there, it was crazy,” Akridge said.

As for Christian’s parents, they are very supportive and proud of him. With more tour opportunities coming up, Christians says his parents have to think about all the money that is coming into play to make this possible.

“My dad is at a business point of stance right now and he’s really excited about it and he’s just trying to get everything worked out,” Akridge said.

Christian says that he is very thankful for all of his fans and loves them very much. Although, the attention gets overwhelming at times, Christian wants to make sure that he isn’t conceited about it and wants to stay humble.

“It’s just crazy,” Christian said. “I’m so thankful for all of it and I’m just thanking God every single day.”