Andrea Russett is almost old enough to legally buy herself a drink (she’ll turn 21 on June 27). And if her wishes are granted, she’ll be raising a glass to toast landing roles in TV and films.
Born and raised in Indiana, Russett once wanted to be a tattoo artist — or interior designer. Instead, she became a self-taught comedian, populating her weekly YouTube show with unfiltered riffs, random musings, makeup tutorials, and slice-of-life segments (peppered with the occasional four-letter word and belch). Like other digital celebs, she’s basically the star of a one-woman reality show.
“It’s crazy how lucky I am to have as my job being myself,” she says. “I would say my personality on YouTube is pretty similar to who I really am.” Here’s how she describes her brand: down to earth, outgoing, strong, independent, and “OK with being different.”
This year Russett is focused on auditioning and “getting my acting skills the best they can be” to break into television and movies. “I do enjoy YouTube — I like being myself. But I really, really love playing a character.”
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Her dream gig? Being a cast member on “Saturday Night Live.”
Russett started posting videos to YouTube in 2008, when she was 13 (teen that she was, she chose “GETTOxFABxFOREVER” as the name for her channel). “When I first did my first-ever music video, it was for a contest to meet Justin Bieber,” she says, adding: “I didn’t win.”
Today she has more than 2.5 million YouTube followers, and continues to be one of the fastest-growing female creators on the platform. Her social-media status earned her a part opposite Cameron Dallas in AwesomenessTV’s “Expelled” in 2014, and she’ll next appear this summer in the 20th Century Fox comedy “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” starring Zac Efron and Adam DeVine.
She also starred in “Sickhouse,” a feature-length thriller released on Vimeo earlier this month that was compiled from 10-second video snippets posted to Snapchat.
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Russett admits there’s a price to pay for being one click away from millions of eyeballs. These days, she pauses before she posts something online. She says, “I think, ‘Could this ever be taken in the wrong way?’ The internet is crazy. People take little snippets and twist them.”
The hardest part of her working life is writer’s block. “Sometimes it’s hard to think of original ideas,” she says.