Grace Helbig is a vlogger (read “video blogger”) and comedienne who muses on the minutiae of her New York City life every weekday in “Daily Grace” on MyDamnChannel and YouTube. Her topics range from recounting odd subway encounters to satirizing popular “haul” and tutorial videos (just search “haul” or “tutorial” on YouTube to see what the fuss is about). She also co-hosts “GraceNMichelle“ with fellow comedienne and vlogger Michelle Vargas, performs improv in Manhattan, and recently launched her fashion blog, “Daily Grace Gets Dressed.” We first stumbled across Grace on MyDamnChannel while checking out the now famous “You Suck at Photoshop“ series, and were immediately hooked. We just missed catching her at New York Comic Con, where she made the rounds with celebrity fitness personality John Basedow. The two documented the bizarre assortment of cosplayers at the show and featured them in their videos. [Since interviewing Grace, her YouTube channel has exploded to over 400K subscribers and she now as appears as a regular correspondent for G4’s “Attack of the Show” and is featured as “Idol” in The Fine Bros’ “My Music Show“ web series.]
stated: How would you describe what you do?
GRACE HELBIG: I’m a daily (five-day-a-week) internet vlogger who likes to quack about MyDamnChannel.com and pop culture and food and news and my family and your family and sports and religion and religious sports and other such things in a fun, funny way.
stated: That’s quite a combo. What was the impulse to start vlogging?
GRACE HELBIG: I started vlogging right after I graduated college—Summer 2007—I was house-sitting in New Jersey and used it as a way to document the experience/pass the time in a creepy house/play with my awesome new iMac that countless hours serving unlimited breadsticks at The Olive Garden had paid for.
stated: Ahh, sweet Hospitaliano… How did “Daily Grace” get started?
GRACE HELBIG: “Daily Grace” came about after I had done another web series for MyDamnChannel called “Bedtime Stories.” The CEO of MyDamnChannel, Rob Barnett, liked the series, and liked me. He stumbled across my YouTube page—which had my house-sitting vlogs–and called me in for a meeting to talk about potentially “hosting” their website. Essentially they wanted a person who could interact with viewsers and make MyDamnChannel a more unique and personal experience. And that’s what I’ve been trying to do since.
stated: How do you feel the vlog has changed since you started? In watching a few random samples from your archives, it feels we’ve actually been watching you grow up in front of the camera. Your style is never static, but there’s a definite growth since the beginning—in your comfort with the format and also seemingly with yourself as you’ve settled into life in NYC post-college.
GRACE HELBIG: The vlog has been evolving since day one. And, really, I have too. It’s dually amazing because I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to experiment with my comedy and with myself in front of an audience for the past few years. I’ve been growing along with my style/brand. It’s been a coolnique (cool and unique—the internet is all about brevity) experience for me and it’s only when I answer questions like this that I take the time to be nostalgic about it. AW I’M CRYING. I’m not. But I am feeling emotions about it.
stated: Sorry to have made you not-cry. Where do you see this going?
GRACE HELBIG: I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE THIS IS HEADED. And that is so cool to me. The internet is like a crazy, emotional girlfriend that is hilarious and loves you one day and feels bloated and hates you and wants to look at pictures of chocolate the next day. It’s so hard to gauge. But all I can do is focus on making things and stuff that I personally enjoy and that make me smile. Because if I’m not laughing, you’re probably not laughing. Or you’re laughing for the wrong reasons.
stated: For sure. I understand you also perform improv?
stated: How do you feel your improv/acting work influences your vlogging and vice versa?
GRACE HELBIG: Improv has helped me so much in my vlogging. And vice-versa. Being able to think on my feet cuts my preproduction time in half. I never script anything—unless there are specific topics/dates/info I need to talk about for MyDamnChannel. The rest is just me quacking completely off the cuff and editing it into something that seems scripted. In the reverse, I talk to and edit myself all day everyday, so I have a pretty decent handle on how my face looks and voice sounds when I do or say certain things–which is extremely helpful in the auditioning process.
stated: Anything else you’d like to add?
GRACE HELBIG: I think I’ve said a lot.
LISA ASKED GRACE…
Lisa Doubleyou, another featured stated artist, discussed shapes in her interview, and her relationship to them. She asked Grace…
LISA: What’s your favourite shape and why?
GRACE: My favorite shape, and I’m not sure this constitutes an authentic “shape” (though Photoshop seems to think so), is a speech bubble. They seem 100% fun and 200% silly and that’s my kind of probability.
GRACE ASKED ELIZABETH…
Grace asked fellow featured stated artist Elizabeth Lucas, a director of movie and stage musicals…
GRACE: How has Glee affected/infected your work?