If I hadn't had been scanning the entrance to Silver Lake's La Mill Coffee, searching for YouTube star Grace Helbig for our scheduled meeting, I never would have recognized her. Even though I'd been watching her award winning vlog Daily Grace constantly for the past few weeks, sharing such intimate moments with her as going through the contents of her beach bag, learning one hundred and one ways to say no to sex and watching her rate the hotness of the US Hockey team, I barely recognized her in three dimensions.
On Daily Grace, Helbig appears as a wide-eyed, millennial pixie, flirtatiously fumbling through awkward screen moments and spouting off teenspeak as she scoots back and forth on her wheeled office chair. The girl shaking my hand and scouting out a table for us on the patio resembled that Grace only in her hipster bangs and low lilting voice. Who was this tall, confident, poised, intelligent, well-spoken woman?
With over 1.4 million subscribers to her channel, Helbig is one of the most popular personalities on YouTube. Her deadpan delivery, master comedic timing both as a performer and editor and her dedication to building her brand through daily content won her Best First Person Series and Personality of the Year at the Streamy Awards, the Internet's Oscars, this year.
Last year, Helbig made the jump to scripted content, playing Idol, a ditsy, pop-culture obsessed music vlogger, in Internet producing moguls the Fine Brother's YouTube series MyMusic, set in a music studio. There, too, she's a standout: a subtle comedic actress among the shows over-the-top cast. Helbig isn't a flash-in-the-pan Internet personality -- she's a savvy businesswoman and brilliant comedienne. Her ditzy inner tween she embodies on Daily Grace is just one of many talents she's got up her sleeve.
"It's myself heightened," explained Helbig of her vlogging persona, between sips of iced coffee. "I imagine Daily Grace as, like, your awkward older sister who tries to give you advice."
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*L.A. Weekly's YouTube Issue
*Our Profile of YouTube Star Jenna Marbles