Six Seconds of Fame: An Interview With Vine Star Jessi Smiles

Jessi: Anyone who knows anything about marketing knows that where there’s millions of people watching, there are companies endorsing and pushing their products. I’ve gotten plenty of brand deals and it’s gotten bigger as my audience has grown. But I’m not so fond of kinda “selling out” with product placements here and there, you know what I mean? I’ve been hesitant but if my fans love me, they want me to be successful! (laughs) I’m gonna be smart about it, I’ve provided my followers with posts of me being raw and funny. So, I’m going to see how this works out.

Gabriel: So with this kind of fame, comes ALOT of haters. How have been dealing with that?

Jessi: It’s been so hard, I can’t even lie about it. People mock me for having thin skin but they don’t realize that this jump happened for me in four weeks time. A little over four weeks ago, I had 3,000 followers. And I just hit a million. So this whole jump has come with not only an overwhelming amount of love but an overwhelming amount of hate. And it has been extremely hard to adjust to. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. I’ve tried everything from not reading the comments, turning off my phone, I deleted the app once. As of now, I block hundreds of people a day. If you are rude, I delete your comment and block you.

Gabriel: On Instagram, you have a great quote, “Don’t let people tell you to dim your light just because it’s shining in their eyes.”

Jessi: Everyone has their own dark side, some people have just been rude and mean just so I can notice them! Some people have told me I sucked, then when I responded, they would reply with, “No no, I love you! I just wanted to get your attention.” I guess people think they don’t get noticed when they’re nice so they have to be mean to get attention.

Gabriel: Do you think Instagram video will kill Vine?

Jessi: Not at all. You’ve got people making the effort with these six second movies that are really interesting and great to watch. Instagram video kind of sucks because you can just upload video which takes away from that raw, in-the-moment feel. I could go, “oh I have pimples on my face” and just use filters. I don’t like that! Instagram is a great app, I do believe that it’s great for pictures. I’ll be there forever, but it doesn’t have that solid group of people that are as great and supportive of me as Vine does. It took me forever to get to a thousand followers on Instagram. On Vine, it took me a month to get to a million.

Gabriel: So what’s next for Jessi Smiles?

Jessi: When I met Pharrell Williams, he sat me down and said, “Jessi! Two year plan, go!” and I honestly couldn’t answer him. I would love to move to L.A., not just for Curtis because we’re fine with the long distance thing, but for the opportunities in acting and comedy. I love acting, I did it all through high school. I’d love to do movies, romantic comedies, something like Tosh.0.

Gabriel: -or Girl Code?

Jessi: Everyone has been telling me I should be on that show! I have no clue what it is, I don’t watch tv, I just watch Vine. I tweeted about it, I said that all I want to know is if I can talk about farting while getting free food.

Gabriel: Would you consider a Jessi Smiles product line? Maybe a catch phrase?

Jessi: I dunno, I always thought who would buy something like that? Maybe my whole, “Stick it in your butt!” from my Vine post. I got recognized with that in the street. If I were to put that on a t-shirt, I’d probably crack up.

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