Turning Social Media Fame into Big Hollywood Breaks

Todrick Hall and Frankie Grande show how they achieved conventional fame in an unconventional way.
6:48 | 11/21/14

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Transcript for Turning Social Media Fame into Big Hollywood Breaks
A new breed of celebrities taking a do it yourself approach to fame. They're amassing followers on Twitter and youtube and bringing social media success beyond virtual reality. Tonight we're trying something new here with pioneers Frankie grande and tie trick hall taking over our "Nightline" accounts for a hands on lesson about the art form. Here's ABC's Paula Faris. Reporter: This is one of the biggest nights of Frankie grande's life. He's just minutes away from his debut in Broadway's mega hit musical rock of ages. To these adoring fans he's already a bone field star. It's time to shine bright on Broadway. Reporter: It wasn't just a great audition tape or a hot head shot that got him the role. It was videos like this. Welcome to ten things that you may or may not know about Freddie. Reporter: He couldn't find fame the traditional way. He had auditioned for the show four times but never made the cut, so he took matters into his own hands, tweeting, instagraming and youtubing his way into mainstream success. And it didn't hurt that his baby sister is break free pop sensation Ariana grande. ? ? Reporter: Taking a page from mega stars like Taylor swift and Justin Bieber, remember they started like this, too. Frankie is part of a knew breed of celebrities. Social media master minds. Like youtube juggernaut today drink hall. He's been tapped to star in his own reality show on mtv next year. ? ? he's even managed by scooter brawn, the man behind Justin Bieber, Ariana grande, and the wanted. You have to be relevant on social media. It doesn't matter how famous you are. Reporter: For most people it's easy to get lost on the streets of the big apple. You're walking with glitter on your face. Reporter: But Frankie can't help but stand out. He invited us to follow him for a day. Happy Frankie Friday. Reporter: We mean in real life, not on Twitter. We're on "Nightline." I'm going to show you the perfect selfie. You have to do the duck lips to the side and do this. Did you wake up one day and say I want to create a youtube channel? No. Kind of. I said one day, I have no idea why I don't do this and then I started and I had 100,000 subscribers in two months. Reporter: Arranging from the random to the ridiculous. Happy Tuesday. Reporter: I'm glad this interview didn't happen on a Tuesday. It's you that has to go topless, not me. Correct. Reporter: As his page views soared, so did his public profile. Can you believe you have so many subscribers? No. It's crazy. I'm the new hoh in town and it's going to be a hell of a good week. Reporter: This summer he got his wish, hanging out with other house guests on CBS's big brother, but he still had big Broadway dreams, so he came back for his fourth edition of rock of ages. This time something stuck. Never hurts to have somebody that has an increased profile and creates buzz and attention. Reporter: Attention is what Frankie lives for. It's my show. You're so fired up. This role that you tried out for so many times is a reality. I'm so excited. What's up, what's your name. Jessica. Nice to meet you. Why do you love me? Because you're awesome. Nice to meet you. Let's take a selfie. How pop you la do you think you would be if your last name was not grande? When people have this drive and passion and light, it doesn't matter what your last name is. Reporter: On opening night, the only grande these fans are here to see is Frankie. Across the country Todd drink hall is bringing his star power all the way home to where it began in the loan star state. He's filming an episode of his up coming TV show and we have exclusive access. Becoming a viral sensation wasn't exactly what Todd drink grew up dreaming about. When I was a young kid I was like, I just want to be a costume character in Disney world. Reporter: Eventually his talent would shine on a bigger stage, American idol. But his path to Hollywood hit a road block. It was a horrible feeling. I remember just being so depressed the day after I got cut. Reporter: Forcing him to take an unconventional tour. I put a video up of me singing at McDonald's and the rest is history. ? If it's Mickey Ds, I'm loving it ? Reporter: A video that's received over 8 million views and was followed by many fast food jingles and flash mobs, but none more successful than this one at target which caught the eye of his idol, queen bee himself. She even invited him to core yoe graph blow. She was very hands on and it inspired me so I was like I want to be that hands on and really involved in every aspect, the costumes, the hair, the makeup, everything. Reporter: Now one of Forbes 30 under 30 in Hollywood, Todd drink's videos have been a huge cash cow. There are people that are millionaires off of youtube. You look at someone's youtube views and multiply that by $3,000 and there you have it. Reporter: Beyond the money, the thing he's most proud of is inspiring kids like him who grow up feeling like outcasts. ? It gets better ? That reminds me of why we're here making art and why we're making music. Reporter: It seems like the message from both of these social media mega stars, hashtag be yourself, hashtag do it yourself. I believe in myself. I don't have to be on a panel and have judges telling me whether or not what I did is great because I can put it on youtube and the world can decide if they like it or not. That's a true testament of what my art is. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm Paula Faris in New York.

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