When Grace Helbig and My Damn Channel parted ways, it felt like the end of “Daily Grace,” Helbig’s popular daily vlog. But it was just the beginning of bigger things.
At 28, Helbig became a multiplatform entrepreneur, launching her own YouTube channel, It’s Grace, which after six months has 1.8 million subscribers. This led to six-figure deals with St. Ives and Windows phone, the indie feature “Camp Takota,” and now a pitch for a series at E!
Helbig’s winning personality (literally — she won Personality of the Year at the 2013 Streamys) and willingness to take fan suggestions and make herself look goofy are keys to her success.
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“It only takes a handful of embarrassing Tide commercial auditions and empty improv show audiences to realize the power the Internet has to get your voice out to a wider audience,” she says.
Her new Web series, “#heyUSA,” finds Helbig and fellow comic Mamrie Hart traveling the country doing things Twitter followers have suggested, like dog sledding. Helbig is a natural in front of the camera, speaking directly to her followers as she clumsily rides the dog sled for the first time.
“I’ve watched so many people around me search for hobbies to distract them from unfulfilling jobs,” Helbig says. “My career is my play. Why did I even go to college?”
INFLUENCES: Chris Hardwick, Andy Cohen, Bethany Mota, John and Hank Green