Jeffery Self recounts his meteoric rise to social stardom

Like many modern celebrities, Jeffery Self can thank social media for his meteoric rise to fame. His YouTube channel, VGL (Very Good Looking) Gay Boys, went viral back when YouTube was still in its infancy, garnering not only millions of views, but also giving Self the opportunity to take his comedic skits to the big screen. After he made it big on the internet, the comedic talent starred in his own show based off of his web series, titled "Jeffery & Cole Casserole."

Since then, Self has authored three hysterical books, guest-starred in "30 Rock" and "90210," and written for hit-series "Fashion Police with Joan Rivers" and Funny or Die's "Billy on the Street." He's basically attained what most social media stars hope to -- and he's done it all in an incredibly short amount of time. So it's no surprise that social media, including YouTube and Twitter, holds a very big place in Self's heart.

We recently sat down with Jeffery Self at our offices to discuss his rise to YouTube fame, how social media changes the way he operates as a writer, and more!

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, including exclusive Jeffery Self features, click here.

When did you first discover YouTube?
I first joined YouTube in 2007 I think. I started making "American Idol" vlogs and recapping what happened that night. I would shoot it directly to camera in my apartment in Hell's Kitchen. I think I was 20 at the time. That was before Twitter, so people would see the videos, but not really at the same level they're viewed now. My friend Cole -- who is still one of my best friends -- started making sketches with me and those really started to take off. From there, my digital presence just grew and I've just jumped on board to every social media platform ever since.

How has being really socially active changed the way you operate as a writer?
A lot of the research that went into this book came from watching teenagers on YouTube. These vloggers talk about their lives candidly, so it really allowed me to get into their heads, get used to their language, see what they're going through, and find out how they're dealing with it. That is something that's really great for me as a writer. I also find Twitter is very motivating. To craft a good Tweet is motivating and that could lead to a better idea on a larger-scale, whether it's a monologue or stand-up set. I find social media really good for writing.

What's the dynamic like between you and your followers?
I put everything out there on the internet, including my emotional instability. I feel like my followers are good at helping me through my issues in life. And because I've been doing that on the Internet since I was 18 or 19 -- which is over a decade now -- they've been along on a lot of journeys with me, it was boyfriends, break ups, being broke, or not being broke. They've embraced all of it whether they've liked it or not. I think, for me, my relationships with my followers is as if they are my friends. I don't separate the two.

Where you see yourself in the next five years -- what projects do you hope to be doing?
My dream is to host a talk show so that's the goal. I'm working and pursing that right now. With that, I hope to continue writing books, acting here and there, and writing scripts. But the talk show thing is the most interesting thing to me.

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, including exclusive Jeffery Self features, click here. ​

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