How Vine launched Thomas Sanders' comedic career

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'The View': Vine on "The View": Thomas Sanders

Thomas Sanders' career in comedy started at a young age when he participated in community theater. As a theatrical person he started creating content on Vine. His silly six-second videos narrating peoples lives took the social world by storm.

Thomas quickly grew his fan base on Vine from his "storytime" videos and has over 8 million followers. This led him to win the 2015 Shorty's Viner of the Year Award and was nominated for a 2016 Teen Choice Award.

This summer, he's taking his iconic Vine videos to the road in the "Ultimate Storytime" tour. He'll hit 17 cities with the characters his fans love and also will be introducing some new ones along the way. Wrapping up at PlayList Live in Washington D.C. — an event where creators and their fans can come together.

We recently got to chat with Thomas about what it was like to get his start on social media, how he knew social media would be a key part of his future, and what he likes to do in his down time.

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, including Thomas Sanders exclusives, click here.

How did you get your start on social media?
Well, I kinda got started doing a lot of community theater. I think I started like anyone else would start, I've always been naturally a ham in front of the camera. Vine was now this new venue to act through. When I started getting that initial audience acceptation, I just took to it. I took to it really hard, I really enjoyed it.

What was the moment you realized social media would be a key part of your future?
I was reached out to by my now manager. He told me I could be making money off of this. And I needed a helping hand with all of that. I'm more of the creating side I'm not so good at the business. When he showed me that whole world and he helped hold my hand through it, I saw some good products coming from it. It was this cool whole new world to actually now expand with the comedy.

How does it feel to have a social following essentially accumulate overnight?
It's kinda overwhelming to me. When I was younger I tended to be a little too eccentric. So for that same humor to now bring out people's response in the way that they have is still overwhelming. My mind it blown all the time thinking about that and how much support I've gotten. It's beautiful.

Do you have a comedic inspiration?
I would probably say comedians like Steve Martin or Robin Williams. Those are big ones for me because they play on this idea of good-natured humor which makes people feel good. Steve Martin also incorporates music, which I think is a really cool tool to utilize. I'm not going to be afraid to admit cartoons I watched growing up also helped me. I have a very cartoonish sense of humor so things like "Spongebob" definitely inspired me.

Do you have any upcoming projects aside from the tour you're excited for?
Just basically collaborations and projects. I'm hoping to create more YouTube videos and maybe bring on guests — that's one of my aspirations right now. As always I'll be trying to pursue things on stage.

What do you like to do when you're "off the grid"?
Usually catch up on some Netflix shows, those always help me out. I'll find some video game and explore that for a good 48 hours at a time. It's usually things like that.

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