Six Seconds of Celebrity (And Creativity) - Easy Week


By Chloe Kent

Photo courtesy of

Vine, the Twitter-acquired micro-video platform that launched last year, challenges its users to create clickable content meant to be watched in less than six seconds. Just how much can one truly accomplish given the time constraints?

If the app is to be believed, plenty–not to mention the fact that major media outlets and companies alike have taken notice. The key to success on the app, Vine star Nicholas Megalis told The Today Show, is to “be explosively different.”

A Rolling Stone piece published this week, entitled “The Six Seconds Between Love and Hate,” echoed the sentiment, detailing the internet love story of 21-year-old Jessica Vasquez, who found Vine fame as Jessi Smiles. Less than two months after her first post, she quit her day job and is currently “topping her old annual salary each month” with lucrative endorsements from big-name sponsors keen to tap into the six-second Millennial attention span.

“My whole life has done, like, 20 somersaults,” she told Rolling Stone. “It happened very fast. When you’re on Vine, you become a brand. Everyone is a brand.”

Celebrities–both major and minor alike–have also taken to Vine to further connect with their existing fanbases. Iggy Azaela, Zach Braff, Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Tyra Banks, and even Paul McCartney are all on the app, with more new high-profile devotees emerging every day.

In addition to courting celebrities, the social media platform continues to launch the crossover careers for dozens of so-called “vinelebrities” of its own. These stars emerge out of the chaotic rumble of the internet to embark on their own territory.

The husband-and-wife team, UsTheDuo, whose Good Morning America performance combined all of their greatest six-second hits into a two-minute collage. They’re now embarking on a 27-city tour to promote their first album. There’s also Jerome Jarre, who appeared on Ellen and moonlighted as a red carpet correspondent at this year’s Oscars; Sunny Mabrey, who will guest star as Glinda the Good Witch in the third season of ABC’s Once Upon A Time; and Nash Grier, a 17-year-old who is set to star in his own movie along with fellow Viner Cameron Dallas.

A thriving community of comedians, writers, and visual artists has emerged amongst the tropes of daredevil pranks and lip-synching videos. Among the community’s most charming (in the author’s opinion) is Hannah Pilkes, a Los Angeles-based actress, comedian, and comedy writer.

Her vines are an absorbing blend of pithy one-liners, interpretative dancing, and comedic characters artfully crafted with a slightly neurotic and decidedly feminine slant. In one video captioned, “Don’t judge a book by its cover… Or horoscope,” Pilkes twirls a strand of hair between her fingers and deadpans, “Veronica, I don’t base everything off horoscopes but it’s no coincidence: I’m an Aries, you’re a Taurus. I’m impulsive, you’re kind of bitchy. What do you want me to do?”

In another: “I don’t want to be some girl you never call again because she lost her temper and keyed your car. I wanna be your wife.”

Pilkes, who is just shy of 167,000 followers on the platform, chats with BTR about her life as a vinelebrity.

“There’s a whole hidden hierarchy of Viners, and there’s a huge difference between even ten- and fifty-thousand people following your Vines,” she says.

Pilkes continues about how some of her fans spot her on the street and later tweet that they were too shy to say hello.

“Imagine what it’s like for Jerome Jarre to walk down the street!” she says.

As Pilkes stays busy studying comedy and auditioning for roles, she hopes to eventually write and perform her own material.