How Arantza went from stand-up comedy to social media star

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Arantza Fahnbulleh seems to have it all together. The beautiful 24-year-old has become one of the largest social media stars around with millions of followers from all over the world on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine and Snapchat. But don't you dare call her just a pretty face -- the L.A.-based star is armed with a quick, witty tongue and comedic chops that will keep you laughing for days.

AOL.com was able to catch up with Arantza, who was at the official Native.Digital Panel at SXSW, where we chatted about his journey to social media stardom and his future career plans.

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What are your biggest social media platforms?

Facebook right now is our biggest platform. I think I'm about 50,000 away from one million. On Vine, I have like 600,000. Instagram, I'm at I believe 500,000.

Wow, congrats!

Thank you! I feel like that 'blue checkmark' is the new Hollywood Walk of Fame!

When did you realize that social media would be your actual career?

I think more recently. Honestly, after doing it for about 6 months, I think that's when it happened. I realized I was having a lot of fun doing it and I was seeing the progress and I was like okay well this is something that's actually working and being successful, and I actually like the lifestyle of it, too. Like you don't have to do the same thing every day. In entertainment, as an actor or a writer or whatever you do, you're constantly going out for auditions or constantly working, but with this we always have our own stuff that we're contributing that people can see or watch, and then we can get called in for stuff as well. So I think it's amazing to have this platform as an entertainer, I mean imagine all of the people back in the day, if they came to Hollywood and no one liked them they'd be done, they'd have to go! That song 'Midnight Train to Georgia' was literally the reality! Now you can be anywhere around the world with your own fan base.

Arantza Vine Compilation

Posted by Arantza Fahnbulleh on Sunday, November 1, 2015

How did you feel when you built your own fan base and realized that people were responding to what you were posting?

You know, I think the sad part is that no matter how many you get, you constantly want to outdo yourself. So you want to work on this, work on that, there's so much growth that you can have as a social media entertainer, because even if you do good, you can always do better with filming and editing so I think that with me, even if I do something that's good, I'm very analytical of it. So I'm very happy that I have people who are loyal to me, but I also know that if I want them to continue to enjoy me, I have to continue to post.

What did you do before your videos?

I was doing stand-up and writing.

How does your standup translate into your videos?

I'm jut trying to figure it out because my stand-up's very different. Doing jokes with your words versus doing jokes visually is totally different. A lot of standup comedians do writing jobs, because the first thing you learn how to do is how to use your words to make a joke. So I think the change comes to now understanding cinematography and editing and how to do the joke. I never thought about filming before. Even today, it's easy for me to do jokes with words, but to start breaking it down into a visual aspect, that's when you need to start studying film. I think that's a big difference. I think they help one another in the long run, but I don't do videos based on my standup at all.

What advice do you have for a good short form video?

A video that has a funny premise. Premise is key. And then you go to the editing.

Do you shoot everything on your phone?

I do a mixture right now. Some of us are just going to be doing DSLRs, I'm still going to be using my phone because it's more convenient for me. These phones are actually great technology –- we have a futuristic weapon in our pockets. I think the phone's just great and makes us more approachable to our fans, because they know they have the same possibility to create content like we do.


How do your collaborations come into place?

It happened naturally –- I'd post a video, and people would see what style video it was, and when they had a video in the same frame, It's about what you put out there. People will respond to that and want to work with you because we all need people in our videos. I need guys, girls, everybody.

This sounds like a very direct process.

It's a community! In social media we all know each other, especially in the video world, it's a very small world.

Is there a video that's your favorite or one you've worked the hardest or a project that's particularly memorable to you?

Not at the time. Actually there's a video that I liked that I did called 'Unlock the Swag' where I took a popular song and created a video around it, so I like things like that. I pretended to have a senior crush and I asked the Gods to unlock the swag and they rained swag down on me.

How long does a video take to make?

Usually, it takes about 30 minutes to film, sometimes longer or shorter. Max like 2.5 hours and sometimes it only takes 5 to 10 minutes. And then editing can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to much longer. I use Apple products, mostly.

What are your passions outside of social media?

I'm very passionate about the environment and we're all teaming up to do projects for the environment with UCLA and we're in that time period where there's a cause in the world but if you don't have a plant to live on what are the causes really for? I love puppies too, but if we don't' have a planet, what are we going to do?

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How Arantza went from stand-up comedy to social media star
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AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 13: Attendees participate in a virtual reailty enhanced bicycle experience at the IBM installation at SXSW Interactive on March 13, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Amy E. Price/FilmMagic)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 13: Actor Toby Huss appears at the cast cocktail party for 'In A Valley of Violence' during SXSW on March 13, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Amy E. Price/FilmMagic)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 13: Attendees during the cast cocktail party for 'In A Valley of Violence' at Summit during SXSW on March 13, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Amy E. Price/FilmMagic)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Cast and crew attend the premiere of 'My Father Die' during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Alamo Ritz on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Sean Mathis/Getty Images for SXSW)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Producer Aaron Cruze (L) and actress Cameron Esposito attend the premiere of 'Operator' during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Alamo Ritz on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Sean Mathis/Getty Images for SXSW)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Comedian Ian Edwards speaks onstage at SXSW Comedy with Natasha Leggero during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at The North Door on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by JEALEX Photo/Getty Images for SXSW)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Baron Vaughn speaks onstage at SXSW Comedy with Natasha Leggero during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at The North Door on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by JEALEX Photo/Getty Images for SXSW)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Actress Kate Cobb attends the premiere of 'Operator' during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Alamo Ritz on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Sean Mathis/Getty Images for SXSW)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Natasha Leggero speaks onstage at SXSW Comedy with Natasha Leggero during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at The North Door on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by JEALEX Photo/Getty Images for SXSW)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Actors Ashley Wilkerson (L) and Thomas Q. Jones attend The Samsung Studio at SXSW 2016 on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Samsung)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Director of New Frontier Lab Programs at Sundance Institute Kamal Sinclair (L) and director Casey Neistat speak onstage during 'Breaking Barriers: How Content Will Accelerate VR and 360' at The Samsung Studio at SXSW 2016 on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Samsung)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Director Annie O'Neil, director of photography Todd Pinckney and director Jessica Lewis attend the World Premiere After-Party For 'Phil's Camino' At SXSW Film Festival 2016 at Zax Restaurant on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: Halle Bailey of Chloe & Halle performs before the keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: Missy Elliot attends the keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: Sophia Bush (R) and Queen Latifa attend the keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: Missy Elliot (R) and First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama attend the keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: Sophia Bush attends the keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: Missy Elliot attends the keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama attends the keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 17: Creator of Summer Camp Julia Pott attends the Cartoon Network: Disrupting with Post Its and Pencils panel during SXSW on March 17, 2016 in Austin, Texas. 26003_004 (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Cartoon Network)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 31: Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams performs at Music Is Universal presented by Marriott Rewards and Universal Music Group, during SXSW at the JW Marriott Austin on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 17: Associate Product Manager at Pandora Kevin Kaiser and singer Kat Dahlia during the PANDORA Discovery Den SXSW signing up for AMPcast on March 17, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Pandora)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 17: Musicians Page Burkum and Jack Torrey of the The Cactus Blossoms pose backstage during the PANDORA Discovery Den SXSW on March 17, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Pandora)
AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 17: Creator of Uncle Grandpa Pete Browngardt attends the Cartoon Network: Disrupting with Post Its and Pencils panel during SXSW on March 17, 2016 in Austin, Texas. 26003_004 (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Cartoon Network)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 17: Erin Davis (son of Miles Davis) serves on the 'Miles Ahead' panel Celebrating the Life & Legacy Of Internationally Renowned Music Icon Miles Davis On His 90th Anniversary at SXSW on March 17, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 17: Vince Wilburn Jr. (nephew of Miles Davis) serves on the 'Miles Ahead' panel Celebrating Life & Legacy Of Internationally Renowned Music Icon Miles Davis On His 90th Anniversary on March 17, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)
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