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- 08/12/15--04:30: _Watch Marilyn Manso...
- 08/12/15--05:00: _My 12 Most Bizarre ...
- 08/12/15--05:30: _Ground Beef: Reheat...
- 08/12/15--06:00: _Meet Humza Deas, th...
- 08/12/15--06:55: _Tinder's Twitter Ac...
- 08/12/15--07:50: _This Video Gives Us...
- 08/12/15--09:10: _Listen to Chvrches'...
- 08/12/15--09:52: _Thirst Behavior: Me...
- 08/13/15--02:00: _See Tina Fey Play a...
- 08/13/15--03:30: _Hari Nef And Bigfoo...
- 08/13/15--04:50: _It's Min's Fashion ...
- 08/13/15--05:21: _Watch Lana Del Rey'...
- 08/13/15--05:28: _Sesame Street is Co...
- 08/13/15--06:01: _Chelsea Manning Cou...
- 08/13/15--06:19: _Janelle Monáe Led A...
- 08/13/15--08:01: _Parmigiano-Reggiano...
- 08/13/15--08:25: _FKA twigs Drops Her...
- 08/13/15--08:51: _Yasss Teen: Dive In...
- 08/13/15--09:16: _Will Smith is Tryin...
- 08/13/15--09:30: _Twitter Just Expand...
- 08/12/15--05:00: My 12 Most Bizarre Encounters With Celebrities
- 08/12/15--05:30: Ground Beef: Reheating the 50 Cent-Ja Rule Feud
- 08/12/15--06:55: Tinder's Twitter Account Freaked Out On Vanity Fair Last Night
- 08/12/15--09:10: Listen to Chvrches' Super-Synthy New Single "Never Ending Circles"
- 08/12/15--09:52: Thirst Behavior: Meet the Heavy Hitters Of Our Beta Bro Hall of Fame
- 08/13/15--03:30: Hari Nef And Bigfoot Gueststar In The Drums' New Music Video
- 08/13/15--05:21: Watch Lana Del Rey's Explosive New Video for High By the Beach
- 08/13/15--05:28: Sesame Street is Coming to HBO and it's Funny, but also Good News
- 08/13/15--08:01: Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Is Too Classy For Pornhub
- 08/13/15--08:51: Yasss Teen: Dive Into Vine With Dylan Collins
- 08/13/15--09:16: Will Smith is Trying to Reboot The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
[Photo by Sam Deitch/BFA.com]
Celebs are generally delightful beings, but they can also be a tad oddball, especially when they come in contact with someone as nutty as they are -- namely, me. Here are 12 of my zaniest interactions with the rich and famous, whittled down from a whole lot more.
In the '90s, a friend and I were on line for the Nile river ride, a theme-park-like adventure in the Luxor Hotel in splashy, trashy Las Vegas. (Don't laugh. I love that kind of silly attraction.) But suddenly the line wasn't moving because they had to make way for a VIP who was crashing to the front, plus entourage. It was Jacko himself, accompanied by a throng of little kiddies, all hypnotized by his Willie Wonka charisma. Something about it screamed "the queen of de-Nile."
I met the two-time Oscar winner at an event where she was attacking her food like a war tank. I introduced myself and said what publication I wrote for. Shelley started shrieking, "That paper ran a horrible review of my memoir!" I had to bullshit her with choruses of "Oh, so sorry. They have some truly nasty writers," while neglecting to tell her it was yours truly who had penned that review. Awkward!
At the premiere party for Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Bette spotted me across the room and grinningly shouted, "Michael Musto, put me in Details!" I was thrilled that the super-duperstar knew my name and that she also was aware that I wrote for Details. In fact, I was so stunned that I never managed to wake up from that moment and actually put her in Details.
At the height of their '80s fame, the pop/rock duo Hall & Oates wanted to do a book, so a publicist set me up for a meeting with Hall, telling the blue-eyed soul singer that I'd be the perfect writer for this project. But when Hall asked, "What kind of book would you do on us?" I replied that it would be straightforward, informative, and readable, like all the best celebrity memoirs. Alas, he wasn't interested in that, wanting instead to put out some wacky fantasia -- sort of a non-linear scrapbook of weirdness of the type I knew never makes it in this field. I graciously declined, his kiss not on my list.
I met Zappa at a nightclub in the early '90s and sat down for a quick, arranged interview, but he never cracked a smile or even looked me in the eye as he answered my questions. I kept trying to make eye contact, but Zappa looked straight ahead, all stony faced, as if I weren't there, the very definition of weirdo.
I had been on shows with Nancy and liked her oomph. After she made a big splash as a crime commentator, I approached her at one of her book parties and asked if she thinks of herself as a pit bull. She looked appalled and stared at me without answering for a long time -- which, you'll see, is a recurring theme in my journalistic career. I guess I had seriously misstepped -- a real crime.
A few years ago, at a luncheon for a movie he was promoting, I was seated across from playwright/actor Shepard for a quick Q&A. I asked him a pretty routine question about how he prepared for his role and found the motivation for it. He looked me over as if surveying a dead rat and said, "You call that a question?"
In the late '80s, Allyson and Ann Miller were promoting a video compilation of their movie musicals. I bluntly asked Allyson if her Depends commercials had introduced her to a whole new generation of people, assuming she'd have no problem talking about this since the ads ran day and night for years. She did a Nancy Grace, giving me a frozen look, before ignoring the question and talking more about the movie musicals. I nearly wet myself.
At a 1988 promo event for a Broadway drama he was in, I started off my chat with Plummer by asking about the beloved Sound of Music, not realizing he absolutely despises that film. (No, it's not one of his "favorite things.") Plummer outdid all the aforementioned celebs in staring me down with utter contempt, obstinately refusing to say a word. He practically launched into a chorus of "So Long, Farewell."
I know SuSu doesn't always trust the press, but I was hurt when, at a press event in the aughts, she spotted me and promptly put her head down, covering her face with her hands, to avoid giving an interview. To her, I was just another dead man walking.
At a luncheon at the turn of the century, I was seated to Moreau's left as she talked to the person on her right about a Marguerite Duras movie she was in. (I was chatting with someone else the whole time, and only half-heard snippets of their conversation.) Well, at one point, the screen goddess leaned into me and coquettishly said, "Why don't you join in our conversation?" I didn't necessarily want to, but I graciously obliged and said, "Oh, OK. So what was it like to play Duras?""NO!!!!" she shrieked, smoke practically billowing from her French nostrils. "We're not talking about that film! We're talking about the one based on the writings of Duras!!!!" She was fuming mad, and it seemed absolutely insane that she was yelling at me, since I was only joining in to be polite and couldn't possibly have known which of her two freaking Duras films she had been talking about. Later, Moreau seemed to realize she'd overstepped, so she batted her lashes and cooed, "Perhaps we should start again?" No dice, babe. (Runner up: Anita Ekberg, but let me not repeat the details of that one again. Way too painful.)
At a movie premiere in the aughts, a publicist asked me if I wanted to interview Hilary Duff. To be nice, I said "Sure. Why not?", utterly faking interest so as not to appear ungrateful. "Wait here," she said, running off to set it up. But two minutes later, the flack crawled back to say, "She won't do it." And I was spared!!!!
Over the past few weeks, we've talked a lot about rap beef, which means it might be time to revisit one of the longest, most drawn-out conflicts in the history of the game, a beef that consumed hip-hop to the point where there were long stories in big magazines about it: the 50 Cent-Ja Rule feud.
October, 1999 -- 50 Cent Releases "Your Life's on the Line"
The first diss track firmly associated with the beef, this was, according to Ja Rule, simply the result of general dislike on the part of 50 Cent -- who has never shied away from a conflict. In Ja Rule's telling (to Louis Farrakhan!), this led to a confrontation/attempted mediation at a show in Atlanta that turned physical: "We got face to face and talked, but it all came to play during the talk. We got mad and went off at the handle quick."
However, 50 Cent claims that, contrary to Ja Rule's account, the beef was originated by the fallout from one of his friends robbing Ja. Afterward, Ja Rule reportedly informed Irv Gotti (founder of his label, Murder Inc.) of the robbery, involving Queens drug kingpin Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff (the unofficial bank behind Murder Inc.) in order to get his jewelry back. (For what it's worth, Ja Rule acknowledges that this incident happened, but claims 50 mostly used it as an excuse.)
March, 2000 -- 50 Cent is Stabbed
50 is attacked at New York studio The Hit Factory by several people involved with Murder Inc., including rapper Black Child, who stabs him. 50 goes to the hospital with a punctured lung.
April, 2000 -- 50 Cent is Shot
Not long after the stabbing incident, 50 Cent is infamously shot nine times. Court documents name McGriff as a suspect. McGriff's criminal activities are also outlined in 50's track "Ghetto Qu'ran," which gives Murder Inc. ammunition to accuse 50 of being a snitch.
50 Cent recovers, and he and Murder Inc. proceed to diss each other over and over and over again. Most of these tracks are forgettable, but the mutual hatred grows. Ja Rule continues to be far more successful than most people remember now, releasing the massively successful, triple-platinumPain is Love. He is livin' it up.
February, 2003 -- 50 Cent Releases Get Rich or Die Tryin'
50 Cent finally releases his proper debut album after getting cosigns from Eminem and Dr. Dre. The massive success of this record, as well as Ja Rule's waning popularity (the release of The Last Temptation represents the beginning of the end, perhaps because of how long he's been in the spotlight trying to claim the top spot), cements 50 Cent's musical victory in the beef, especially through classic diss track "Back Down." (Interesting sidenote: While Ja Rule and 50 Cent are the same age, they weren't seen as musical contemporaries. Ja Rule's extremely successful first record was released back in 1999 and for a solid four years, 50 was the clear underdog in the beef.)
Poor Ja Rule. This album, originally intended as a mixtape, was rushed out by Murder Inc. to decent, but ultimately lacking sales. At the very least, its only single, "Clap Back" was a chart-topping 50 Cent diss.
2003-2011 -- The Conflict Continues, But No One Cares
What are the chances me and 50 same flight same row no problems!!! #Grownmanshit-- Ja Rule (@Ruleyork) November 18, 2013
June, 2014 -- Ja Rule Accuses 50 of Snitching (Again)
Back to the beef! In his book Unruly, Ja Rule claims that 50 Cent "secretly led [the feds] through his recordings for the answers they were looking for." Snitching was a common allegation in the feud (dating back to "Ghetto Qu'ran"), but this puts the accusation on paper instead of wax (or radio waves). 50 Cent's response is primarily to laugh and remember how badly he messed up Murder Inc.
July, 2015 -- 50 Cent and Ja Rule Respond to the Drake-Meek Beef
In the midst of an insane, far less violent rap beef, Meek Mill compares himself and Drake to 50 Cent and Ja Rule. The pair separately weigh in, sparking an ongoing minor social media fight. Here's Ja Rule:
Meanwhile, 50 Cent goes on Hot 104.1 to discuss ghostwriting (he doesn't really care about it). More importantly, the rapper uses his life coaching skills to identify what he perceives as the root of the feud. "I think it's really a Nicki and Drake thing," he says. Preach.
And here we are -- with the two veterans taking potshots at each other on social media while failing to release successful music (and, in Ja Rule's case, doing a TV show on MTV). Is this worth paying attention to in the long term? The first few years of the beef are legitimately fascinating and complicated and evidence of real disdain rather than the typical conflict, which often resembles marketing-as-theater. But bringing it up over and over again, when hard feelings have probably mostly subsided? Well, that's just Ja Rule's Last Temptation.
While most 18-year-olds are finishing up their senior years of high school, starting college and jobs, and worrying about their relationships, Humza Deas is scaling New York City buildings, bridges or subways in pursuit of the ultimate photograph. The teenage photographer, whose work has been featured in New York Magazine, Complex and Buzzfeed, was a prodigious skateboarder until he picked up photography -- a year ago. In that short timespan, he's developed a signature aesthetic of capturing the beauty of NYC from daring vantage points and unconventional perspectives. In-between shoots and serving as an ambassador for Supra's #AlwaysOnTheRun campaign, Deas chatted with us about how he got his start, the challenges of being a young artist and the first time a photo got his adrenaline pumping.
What first sparked your interest in photography?
It was being a skateboarder from New York. Having skated all throughout the city on a daily basis gave me knowledge of scenic locations and how to find them.
How did you develop your aesthetic shooting from such interesting vantage points? What was the first building you scaled or difficult terrain you covered in pursuit of an image?
There was a time where I reached a breaking point in my hobby, which was taking photos on my iPhone 4. I wasn't doing anything that I was proud of, so I went on the internet in search of inspiration. I came across a video of 2 men climbing a tower in another country. I thought wow, look at the amazing perspective they are getting on that city. I've never seen New York like that... Realizing that sparked a brilliant idea in my head. A couple days after this idea I had climbed to the top of the Williamsburg bridge in broad daylight in pursuit of the perfect aerial photo. The thrill of being so high up had adrenaline pumping through my blood so fast that all of the images I took ended up being blurry. What a great adventure that was.
As a young artist, what has been the biggest challenges you've faced in pursuing your career?
Being a young artist, people often didn't take me seriously -- they still don't sometimes. One of the first big challenges I had to face was dealing with other artists who didn't appreciate my work or saw me as a threat. I received death threats and people hated me for something I had nothing to do with -- some incident on the Brooklyn bridge involving the American flags being swamped out. That had New York against me for a little while. Some other issues were trying to get businesses to pay me a fair rate for my work. They assumed they didn't have to because of my age.
Where are your favorite places to shoot in NYC?
Some of my favorite places to shoot in New York are Roosevelt Island and Williamsburg. They offer incredible views of the city and its people.
What has been the best advice you've received?
The best piece of advice I ever received? It would have to be "your friends show you who you are, if you're around negative people. You will become negative yourself."
What advice would you give another young person wanting to get started in photography?
You have to work with what you got because maybe it's all you get.
Upload a photo or video showing off your creative fixation to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the tags with #AlwaysOnTheRun and @SupraFootwear for the chance to receive a pair of the new Noiz runner. For more info on the contest, visit SupraFootwear.com.
Tinder is so successful that it's become a shorthand for dating apps -- technological marvels that, depending on your perspective (or relationship status) are either the best thing to ever happen to human connection, or the devil. Vanity Fair's Nancy Jo Sales appears to think the latter, laying out a case for the app as the precursor of a "dating apocalypse."
Tinder did not take too kindly to that suggestion, or to the amount of play the story is getting (because alarmist writing about "hookup culture," no matter how many times it gets shut down, is always a good way to get people to pay attention to you). Last night, the company's corporate account went on a bit of a... um... bender, starting with some rather public protestation that Sales didn't call.
Some of these tweets are sad "suggestions" for the story that are essentially claiming that Tinder's public profile isn't representative of who it really is on the inside, you know?
Next time reach out to us first @nancyjosales... that's what journalists typically do.-- Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
Some of them are kind of childish and indicative of a super-inflated sense of importance for a company that has found a more effective way for people to get laid.
You could have talked about how everyone on Tinder is authenticated through Facebook. And how we show users the friends they have in common.-- Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
The saddest thing about Tinder's meltdown is that they actually have a point, in some respects -- Sales' story is a clear example of confirmation bias, cherrypicking individual stories to try to uphold the narrative she already wanted to convey.
We love ALL of these #SwipedRight stories. Tinder is simply how people meet.-- Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
In addition to functioning as a prime example of how to use emoji in snarky comments, this tweet is, in essence, correct. The actual data surrounding Tinder and dating does not supporting anything nearly as distressing as the picture Sales tries to paint -- even if it doesn't actually have, say, North Korean users, Tinder is still not the end of the world as we know it. So why did this whole fight start? I guess it's just hard to make your profile stand out these days.
It's disappointing that @VanityFair thought that the tiny number of people you found for your article represent our entire global userbase 😏-- Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
Chvrches are back with another single off their upcoming September album Every Open Eye, and it's every much the soaring, synthy jam to start your homestretch to the weekend, with Lauren Mayberry sounding as awesome as ever. Watch the lyric video above.
I dunno guys, I like The Divine Comedy as much as the next person who had to read it in college but remember that he met Beatrice -- the woman he supposedly loved, and who serves as his divine benefactor throughout his supernatural travels -- when he was nine years-old, and decided, for no real reason, to love her for ever and ever. Some sources claim he only met her one other time, in passing, before her death. (The above painting depicts that encounter, and look how creepy he is!) And he still wrote all this poetry with her as the partial inspiration. Chill, bro.
Perhaps the saddest of our Founding Fathers (behind generally insane, awesome historical figure Aaron Burr), the namesake of gerrymandering had kind of a rough time of it. He ran for governor in Massachusetts a bunch of times, finally won -- and then had to be the guy who allowed partisan redistricting to become a perpetual cold sore on the mouth of democracy. (He didn't like it, but he did sign it.) Also, after he finally got to finish being governor, he asked James Madison for a job (and became vice president, the most beta of government positions) because he didn't have a lot of money. Woof.
Like many of the most important thinkers of the Western canon, Kierkegaard was terrible at life. Deeply in love with Regine Olsen, Kierkegaard proposed marriage to her -- so far, so good -- but then broke off the engagement because of his "melancholy" or something, and made a huge deal out of the fact that he had denied himself a shot at happiness so he could write more philosophy.
Kierkegaard became a source of gossip in his native Copenhagen, where people claimed he had seduced Olsen and abandoned her. And while that wasn't quite what happened, he did eventually write an entire semi-fictionalized work of philosophy about the incident. He was something much worse than a wantonly cruel rake... an overly sensitive lame.
So Jerry Seinfeld's early comic persona is, if not as nebbish-y as George Costanza, still very much the product of accumulated minor grievances and confusion ("what's the deal with"). But since he became famous and successful enough to never need to work on another joke in his life, Seinfeld has settled into screaming at women for dinging one of his many, many Porsches, complaining about women and people of color complaining about bad jokes, and laboring over each and every honey-combed frame of Bee Movie. Also, he dated a 17-year-old girl when he was in his 30s and literally compared it to babysitting in an interview with Playboy, of all places. Gross.
And here you thought Lana Del Rey's videos were all super-eight footage and instagram filters and swimming pools. Watch LDR fire a bazooka at some paparazzi and channel new heights of "IDGAF" disaffection in her amazing new video for "High by the Beach." P.S. We want that coffee pot.
In a programming move that comes somewhat out of left field (as well as a very confusing intersection of your childhood TV-viewing habits), Sesame Workshop has announced a five-year partnership with HBO, in which episodes of Sesame Street will premiere on the network and its associated streaming services, then become available to long-term home PBS for free after nine months. Yes, Sesame Street will now air first on HBO -- the HBO that currently airs Game of Thrones, True Detective, and is in the process of making a dramatic series about twin porn moguls played by James Franco.
Let's ignore, for a moment, all of the easy jokes we could make about, say, Big Bird being The Yellow King, crossovers with The Wire, or anything related to Jon Snow -- at first glance, this seems like a really, really good idea. For all that its current lineup is kind of... well... tepid (sorry, Ballers), HBO has made quite a number of exciting moves to consolidate and fund talented people in the last few months -- snatching Bill Simmons from ESPN, maybe making a Deadwood movie (which, okay, sure, whatever), and now inking this deal with Sesame Workshop.
And the network seems likely to use its preexisting clout to figure out ways it can function as kind of like a streaming service, but better. ("It's not Netflix, it's HBO" you could imagine executives saying.) Think of it like Last Week Tonight -- how many people watch full episodes when they air? Not that many people compared to the numbers actually going back and watching the clips online, but HBO's backing, and association with the show, allow it to also dole out lots of web-specific stuff, and keep making a funny and relevant show. Thank your local HBO subscriber, and then politely ask them if you can hop on their HBOGo account.
Okay, now you can go back to your "LOL, what if Looking but with Bert and Ernie" jokes.
You don't want to get on the Parmigiano-Reggiano Consortium's bad side. Unfortunately for Pornhub, an ad for its $9.99/month premium subscription service has garnered the wrath of the group dedicated to defending the Italian "king of cheeses." Or, should I say, "the Pornhub Premium of cheeses," as the porn site's video describes it, capturing what we're all thinking when we browse the dairy aisle.
The consortium didn't appreciate the comparison, which it called "not only distasteful and unacceptable, but offensive for our producers and their work" in a statement. Lawyers are currently investigating whether the group can pursue any legal action.
That's what you get for "making a profit from the exploitation of the fame gained by Parmigiano-Reggiano."
Watch the offending ad above.
The upcoming generation of teens is full of kids who are stars to each other, but inhabit practically a different social universe from adults. They're building their own social media followings on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, you name it -- but to what end? For the olds among us: who are these teens, and how can we be as cool as them? Get to know the most fascinating teens on the internet in our feature, Yasss Teen.
Over the course of his four-year career, Vine star Dylan Collins has lead a semi-successful online campaign for president of Brazil, traded barbs on Twitter with Tyler Oakley, and been invited to hang out with Riff Raff. But, most notably, he is the star of The Gringo Vine, which took off in April of this year and inspired hundreds of knockoffs and even more hate in the comments under his Vines.
A native of Jackson, Tennessee, Collins is a rising junior in pre-medicine at Union University in his hometown. We spoke with him over the phone about his Brazilian fans, Vine beef, and turning 20. [This interviewed has been lightly condensed and edited for clarity.]
You started making YouTube videos when you were younger, to promote yourself as an actor. Is that when you started putting yourself on the internet and making a social media presence?
Yeah, my social media presence started whenever I was doing the YouTube videos. But I actually had, a couple years before that, tried out for a talent agency called The It Factor for a Disney Channel show called A.N.T. Farm. I don't know if you've ever heard of that show. I believe Jake Short is the actor in it. But I actually won the competition.
Unfortunately, my mother was kind of like, "Yeah, let's go to this audition, let's see how you do," but she wasn't expecting me to actually win the thing, I guess. I won the audition and I made it to the second round, and I went and auditioned for the second round, and got it, too. For the third round, they told us that they were gonna fly us out to California and, unfortunately my mother wasn't a big fan of actually going through with the flying out part, because she didn't want to move away.
I'm sorry to hear that stopped your chances for the show.
Yeah, it was a disappointment, but my mom was more aimed towards school, and said that I need to work harder in school and keep up responsibilities. But it never stopped me. After that I kept going.
What was your reaction to your mom not letting you be on the show? Did you just start putting yourself online?
Yeah. As soon as I figured out that it was not for my mother -- I wasn't rebelling against her, but I wanted to put myself out there. I said, "You know, if I got it to make it to this TV show, I can do it." And I started posting the YouTube videos. I made a Twitter, and a Facebook, and all these different apps. And I started exposing, and just kind of doing different things, and that's where the story starts.
When did your accounts start to grow?
I would say, around 2013 or 2014 is whenever I really shot off on Twitter. It was actually only a couple months ago, whenever my Vine blew up. It went viral.
Because of the gringo vine?
Yeah, it was the gringo vine. There's actually a story behind that, it wasn't just me randomly sitting up there saying I was a gringo. I became famous in Brazil. I'm not sure exactly how that happened, I just randomly became huge in Brazil. I campaigned what was called "Dylan Collins for President," because their government was failing. The president was Dilma [Rousseff], I believe? I thought it was a brilliant idea, "Dylan Collins for President."
It was a joke between me and all the Brazilians, and it started gaining a lot of popularity. Just, a lot. One of their biggest TV programs, Programa Pânico, started airing "Dylan Collins for President" on their actual TV shows. I started getting all these different tour offers, like The Gringo Tour, because "gringo" is like, the white boy or from a different area, from America.
tchau Dilma 😂 kkkkkkk #DylanCollinsForPresident-- Dylan Collins (@DylanCollins95) March 15, 2015
[Ed note: The "government failure" he refers to was actually a series of mass protests and riots against President Dilma Rousseff, sparked by a corruption scandal at the state oil company, led mostly by white, middle-class youth. His fake presidential campaign really was, briefly, successful: it trended third nationally in Brazil, under two anti-Dilma hashtags. We weren't able to find the clip from Programa Pânico; we'll update when we do.]
I made the gringo vine, and Americans saw it, I guess. And Americans, of course, were like, "What is this for?" They didn't understand that I was actually presenting for another country at the time. It kind of blew up in America, and everyone was like, "Who's that gringo? What's a gringo?"
Did the gringo line come from Brazilian fans calling you that?
Yeah, everyone started calling me gringo, Dylan the gringo, then they said they want a gringo tour. So I was like, "My name's Dylan Collins, and I'm a gringo." I just did it to be funny for the Brazilians, and then it ended up being funny for six million people.
Do you remember what on Twitter started getting you a lot of followers, before the Vine thing happened?
Before the Vine thing happened, I was friends with Austin Mahone, who's a singer. It was before he had gotten big, and I started attending the Teen Hoot, which is an event in Nashville, with him and a couple other artists. I started having little meet and greets and stuff like that. I started having different clothing, like the Barnabas clothing, a few other clothing offers. From there, promotions with different artists, just by hanging out with them. I helped Yo Gotti, a rapper, film his [currently unreleased] music video. Him and Starlito, out of Memphis.
How much time a day do you have to put into your social media presence?
I would definitely say, probably two to three hours, if I'm not coming up with a new idea, such as a new vine, or a YouTube video. On those days, it takes the entire day to basically dedicate and come up with different ideas. You gotta find engaging stuff. You gotta be original, that's my thing. You always need to be original and that's kind of what some of my vines are about. Not being able to do the TV show pushed me to keep trying and keep trying. But it also showed me that, if I could do it, then so could everyone else. So it encouraged me to push towards encouraging other people. So many people say, "How do you make the vines?" I can't tell them anything besides, "Be yourself."
Does it bother you online when you see big popular accounts recycling material or stealing jokes?
No, the only thing that really bothers me is a lot of the big MagCon, the bigger people. I used to be helping them and they actually tweeted out my videos, and exposed me across social media. A lot of their followers were kind of just dissing me out. I have a sandwich vine, it's like, "Sorry, I fell asleep while I was waiting on you to go make me a sandwich." They were tweeting [negatively] about it, and that was the only thing that got to me. But it was publicity, that's the way I look at that.
I noticed you got some negative feedback on that vine from Tyler Oakley and Andrea Russett, in specific. Did that have an impact on you aside from publicity? How did you feel about their criticism?
I wasn't actually even sure who they were, at the time. I kind of looked them up a little bit more, and I started remembering about Tyler Oakley -- he came out, not too long ago. I just remembered what he had been through.
One thing I never did is I never went on anyone's social media site, ever, through all of my posts, and criticized anyone else. So to me, it was a little bit saddening to see how another artist or someone else in the entertainment industry to do that. But it didn't stop me. It encouraged me to keep going.
I kinda joked back with them on social media, like, "You're right, I'm cancelling all my tours."But overall, it kind of encouraged me. It showed me that, hey, all of these people are working together and they're trying to do one thing, and they're all in it together. It's like they're all this one big bunch. But hey -- I'm going viral without any of them. They're all working together to be viral.
I've been reading about all these vine stars that live in L.A., coincidentally on Vine Street, and making all these videos together and living together. Would that be something interesting to you, living with other internet stars and working together with them?
I see myself as more independent. I wouldn't mind doing different collabs, but I definitely wouldn't want to be referenced to always being connected, like the MagCon group. I'm not hating on the MagCon group, it's very successful. But for me, I would be more independent. Just to show individuality, show how everyone can be different, and keep it more of that level.
Do you have a goal that you want to accomplish with your presence?
Well, in school, I'm studying pre-medicine. It's my third year of pre-medicine. [Working as an entertainer] isn't necessarily something I'm working towards. I'm not working every day to try and become something. But I started noticing, if I said, "Hey everyone, go buy this coffee," everyone would tweet back pictures of them buying that specific type of coffee. And it showed me how much influence I really have on social media. Sometimes it can be a little scary; I could be like, "I'm at this place, getting this," and the next time someone else is there, they're taking pictures: "Look where I am." I'm just like, I didn't know it was that big of a deal. I was just Snapchatting a picture.
I don't really have an overall goal. I guess it's just to influence everyone, hopefully correctly. I like helping people, like different upcoming people, on YouNow or different sites like that, I try to help them and promote them. The first thing someone says to me if they're upcoming: "Can I have a shoutout? Can I have a shoutout?" And to me, it doesn't bother me. I love helping out other people like that.
How do your parents feel about your social media presence now?
They definitely think it's interesting, and they find it quite funny. They're kind of in the same situation of asking, "What do I want out of it?" They're asking if I'm wanting, basically, if I'm gonna move away and try and go do something with it, or if I'm gonna stick to the plan with what I'm doing. They support me, though, 100 percent.
I don't know if you've noticed, but on Vine I get a lot of hate, randomly. I don't know exactly it all started that way. I guess with the gringo vine. My parents ask me how I deal with it. They tell me, "I would not be able to read those Vine comments, how do you keep doing it?" And I just tell them, "It doesn't matter." I'm just continuing to do what I'm doing and wherever it leads, it leads.
Is the Vine hate mostly targeted at the gringo line?
It started on the gringo line, and it moved. It's a lot of negative comments all across. It's kind of like, my Twitter is all about more of me, and being able to influence people better, and the Vine is more of like, everyone's seen the gringo vine and they're like, "Who is this kid? Is he another MagCon guy?" Trying to figure me out. Even my "Be yourself" vine, one of my most popular, even that gets hate.
Not all hate, there's a lot of people who support it, obviously. People that follow me. But I believe the hate's from the people that tweeted it out, Tyler and all of them and their following. Followers, they listen to artists, they listen to people who have influence. If I say, "Hey, this is what this is," then most of the time, people are gonna catch on and they're gonna start to believe it. They're gonna approve of it.
But these artists tweeting them out, their followers are going to be impacted, and their views becoming not necessarily what their view would be if they just followed me. Their minds are getting altered. People look up to these people. People look up to Tyler Oakley and Andrea Russett -- and to me, with people you look up to, there shouldn't be downing someone else. That's my opinion about it.
How do you describe your brand online?
👏👏 nobody can gringo me down 👏👏-- Dylan Collins (@DylanCollins95) August 1, 2015
More uplifting, and originality. I like the originality of it. Everyone started making gringo vine remakes. Everyone else was trying to be like, "My name's such and such and I'm a gringo!" I'd say it's more comedy and uplifting. I don't think anyone can say their name and say that they're a gringo without laughing in the video.
What's the coolest thing that's happened to you because of your social media presence?
I got to work with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and Disney On Ice. I got to take pictures with different kids, and go work and do photography and social media exposure promoting the event, and things like that.
With all of the tension - and since you don't necessarily think you'll go into entertainment as a career - do you think that you'll ever step back from social media?
That's a tough question. Ever since my mom stopped me from doing the TV show, it's kind of pushed me towards social media.
Even if you do end up pursuing medicine as a career?
I guess I could say that things change, and I'm a changing person, and maybe I won't pursue it as often. I'm a junior in school right now, so I've got a couple years left until I finish up with my pre-medicine track.
It's a hard position to be in. I also turned 20 this year. It's hard figuring out what you're going to do with the rest of everything.
It is, it is. And the fame thing, it kind of just came on. It wasn't something, like, all these other people, they're made videos every single week of their lives for the last three years. I've put up, you know, five to seven videos over the last two years. All these other people are vining with some of the biggest viners of all time. I'm kinda just doin' me. It just kinda came on. It just kinda stuck to me. I'm in a spot where it's like, "Uhhhh, what do I do? What am I doing with my life?"
How did you come to hang out with Riff Raff recently?
On Vine, everyone was talking about how my smile is kinda like Riff Raff's, and they're like, "Are you Riff Raff's brother?" And so his PR contacted me, and they told me how he was gonna be in Nashville, and asked if I wanted to go up there and go on the tour bus and listen to some of his new songs coming out, just take pictures and do social media exposure with him. I went up there and did it and had a great time. It was a lot of fun.
How do you decide how to follow on social media?
On Twitter, I like to follow people who are active. People who are not just there for the show. People that I influence. People who appreciate me. So, whenever I see people and they're tweeting out my links, or they're helping me with whatever I'm doing. You can tell. To me, whenever I have people tweeting me, I can see the difference. It's not that everyone doesn't want a follow, 'cause I'll get a million people, "Follow me, follow me, follow me!" But there's a difference in someone who actually looks up to you. And in the way that they're presenting themselves.
How did you verification on Twitter come about?
I got verified in 2014. I contacted the co-founder of Twitter, actually. It's really random. I just tried his email. I told him about who I was, and asked if there was any specific process, and he linked me up with someone and within 24 hours I was verified.
Wow. That's pretty cool. I don't know if you're familiar, but there's this movie called Follow Friday: The Film about someone who, among other things, travels to the Twitter headquarters and meets with people there to try and get verified. And she still isn't verified.
I know that a lot of my friends have asked me - different viners with way more following than me, like millions of followers - and they'll ask how I got verified, and I'll help some of them out and give them the email that I used, and they don't get verified. I'm not sure exactly if I was the lucky little choice that got picked out, or how that exactly worked. But there's a lot of hardworking viners that don't get verified.
What do you use to communicate with people that you know IRL?
Facebook and Twitter, mostly, for people from high school. When I was in high school, my Facebook really blew up. I've seen people actually telling me to sign their shoes in the hallway.
What are the most important things to you outside of social media?
School, and keeping my friends feeling important. A lot of times, between school and social media, it's hard to juggle the social life outside of the family, too. I have 450 text messages, and my friends are like, "Hey, why haven't you responded?" I've been busy doing this, and this. I like to dedicate a lot of my time to school, and just my friends.
TVLine just broke the news -- a couple of TV producers who are up to no good have started making trouble in their old neighborhood.
It's a little premature to get all excited about the possibility of a new Fresh Prince, since it's just a project that doesn't have a network or anything. (Though Will Smith's clout is substantial enough that you have to imagine he'll at least get some pretty good meetings.) Still, it would fit neatly into the recent trend of '90s pop culture returning to haunt us, from Netflix's Fuller House to the new Coach series to the X-Files comeback, so it will probably happen.
But is it a good idea? With Will Smith and his team producing, it's kind of a gamble -- his company, Overbrook, did last year's Annie remake, but it also made After Earth -- so maybe this beloved show should just stay buried. The updated series could be fun, but it probably won't be terribly fresh. (Unless it stars Jaden, of course.)
Image via Twitter
The days of condensing our thoughts into 140-character phrases on Twitter are gone -- over direct message, at least. Twitter just announced that DMs can now span up to 10,000 characters.
"While Twitter is largely a public experience, Direct Messages let you have private conversations about the memes, news, movements, and events that unfold on Twitter," a blog post on Twitter's website explains. But let's get real: ladies, your inboxes will probably look more like this. What fresh hell is this, indeed. On the bright side, guilt-tripping trolls will now leave your phones buzzing every ten seconds or so instead of every two.
Do we even need email anymore?