Five Hoosier YouTubers Worth Watching
Local author John Green may be the most famous YouTuber in Indiana, given the fact that his Vlogbrothers series, created with his brother Hank, has millions of subscribers. But when the Green brothers take the stage in Anaheim this month at the internet video convention they founded (VidCon, June 23–25), more than a few other Hoosier YouTubers will be in the audience. Here, a roundup of some of the state’s best video creators.
2,534,246 subscribers on YouTube
Joined in 2008
Andrea Russett’s career took off when she created a music video for Justin Bieber’s “One Time.” The Fort Wayne native now makes videos ranging from hair and makeup tutorials to snarky and humorous commentary about just about anything–always with a bit of attitude and sarcasm. Since achieving YouTube fame, Russett has been in several movies including Expelled (2014), Sickhouse (2016), and Lovesick (2016). She also has her own clothing line: FLAWD. Russett has been at VidCon for the last few years, and has had meet-and-greets for her fans that attend.
46,983 subscribers on YouTube
Joined in 2006
As John Green’s assistant, Rojas lives an interesting life. She moved from London to Indianapolis last year, and she’s co-executive producer on at least one of his film projects. But her YouTube channel mostly explores her favorite books, films, recipes, travel destinations, and a bit about what it’s like being Green’s assistant. In one such video, she details her job: Scheduling for Green, changing his passwords every few hours, and, jokingly adds, tasks like organizing his shirts by color, paying someone to warm up his car seat before he needs to drive somewhere, and looking up words for him in the dictionary to complete crossword puzzles. “He says it’s not cheating if he asks me.”
378,069 subscribers on YouTube
Joined in 2012
Damon Dominique of DamonAndJo is a Fort Wayne native who hosts the YouTube travel show Shut Up and Go, with Jo Franco. The two travel the world on a budget and make videos four times a week inspiring others to get out and see new places. The videos include what to pack, how to pick flights, and how to experience a new country without just sticking to the tourist attractions. Their viewers live far and wide, too. Shut Up and Go plays in English, Portuguese, French, Spanish, German, and Italian. From UFO hunting in Ecuador to tandem bike-riding in Germany, DamonAndJo gives you a close-up view of different countries and their cultures.
191,503 subscribers on YouTube
Joined in 2011
By now, the world is pretty familiar with this cat born with genetic mutations that left her with a lifelong, kitten-like appearance. Lil Bub’s channel documents the progress she has made, and also includes Lil Bub’s Big Show, a talk show where Bub “interviews” celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg and Michelle Obama. Bub’s owner Mike Bridavsky says the cat’s rise to fame occurred on Tumblr, and that YouTube notoriety followed. Although Bub has been invited to VidCon, she won’t be going this year. Bridavsky is taking her to CatConLA instead.
21,987 subscribers on YouTube
Joined in 2013
An IUPUI English major who posts under the name JJTalkz, Gramlich tackles social and political issues like feminism, eating disorders, and mental illness. Updating her channel about once a week for an audience of mostly girls and women ages 13-24, she has never been to VidCon, but she wants to attend. If it weren’t for the cost of the ticket price ($150-$750), she would be there this year. She keeps making videos because the positive response she gets from her audience encourages her, especially when fans tell her that she has helped them in some way.