Alumnus pursues dreams on new season of popular Netflix show

June 06, 2022

John Franklin playing guitar on a bright orange couch.

“Well light me on fire and call me the Fourth of July, I’m on 'The Circle.'” This was the reaction of John Franklin ’19, MS ’20, the moment he stepped into his room on the popular Netflix show.

“The Circle,” a reality social media competition series, recently released season four, featuring individuals such as TikTok star Josh “Bru” Brubaker, Emma Bunton, Melanie “Mel B” Brown, and one of Quinnipiac’s own John Franklin.

Franklin, who majored in journalism and completed a master's in interactive communications in the School of Communications, began his creator journey at Quinnipiac.

“I started making content when I was at Quinnipiac. I worked for our athletics department making videos for the volleyball team, and I knew it was my passion,” Franklin said.

When Franklin first heard of “The Circle,” he binged season one with his sister. She told him that he would be a perfect fit for the show.

“I kind of shrugged it off, but a year or so later I decided to apply and see what would happen. Next thing I know I’m auditioning for the show and then I’m filming it,” Franklin said. “My biggest motivation was wanting to do something bigger with my life than just a 9-5."

Explaining the complexity of the game, Franklin expressed the challenge of gaining everyone’s trust.

“We all have our own rooms in an apartment building, and we make a profile on a social media platform called 'The Circle.' You can choose to play yourself, or catfish as someone else (like I did),” Franklin said. “Your job is to build alliances and friendships to ultimately become the most trusted person in the game. The catch is that you only speak to each other via DMs — so you only know what people sound like via text.”

Franklin went into “The Circle” catfishing as his mom, Carol.

“My mom and I are insanely close. I think I’ve always been a guy people go to to talk things out; I guess it’s the mom in me! But I knew I could do her justice and have a great time in the process,” Franklin said.

"Quinnipiac allowed me to be a dreamer, and for that I’ll be forever grateful," he said.

Franklin is a standup comedian touring around the country, always looking to meet other Bobcats.

You can follow his journey on Instagram at @_johnfranklin__ and on TikTok at  @johnfranklincomedy.

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