Do you know who Grace Helbig is? If you’re over 30, you may not yet; but you probably will soon. Her first book, Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grownup bills itself as “a tongue-in-cheek handbook for Millennials,” making it clear that her readership will overlap largely with the audience that follows her YouTube series, itsGrace. It’s that audience that has made videos such as “12 Signs Being Ladylike Is Not Your Forte” go viral, with more than 3.5 million views.
Although her comic persona doesn’t take anything too seriously, Grace herself does, at least a little. Having built a huge following for her quirky humor on MyDamnChannel, she left that video platform in 2013 to start her own YouTube channel, where she could have total creative control of her content. She has received the People’s Choice Webby Award for Best First-Person Format and was named one of Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch and Forbes‘ 30 Under 30. Fast Company named Helbig one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business “for calling (and filming) her own shots in the online video economy.” Helbig’s chatty one-woman vlog has more than 1.9 million subscribers. (As Fast Company explains, “For context, that’s halfway to Jimmy Kimmel’s 4 million, without a single celebrity guest.”) This summer, E! announced that it has signed a deal for a talk show pilot with Helbig, fueling rumors that she may be the one to fill Chelsea Handler’s spot at some point. In short: The chances that you could possibly avoid knowing who Helbig is are dwindling by the day.
She’ll be at Parnassus Books this Friday evening, November 14, at 6:30 p.m. to make us laugh and sign copies of Grace’s Guide. Join us, and get your weekend off to a laugh-out-loud start. (Space is limited! To get a signing line ticket, pre-purchase the book through our online store. For more details, click here.) Meanwhile, here are 15 questions and answers with the comedian.
Last thing you read and loved?
GH: The Fault in our Stars allowed me to question my mortality on a plane to Hawaii. So, that!
Book you recommend to others?
GH: Hannah Hart’s My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating Drinking and Going with your Gut
Favorite section in a bookstore?
GH: Growing up I always loved the books that came with stuff — I felt like I was cheating the system. Juggling books with scarves, Cats Cradle books with string, a book about horses with a horse locket. I was ALL IN.
What makes you laugh?
GH: A person with a great laugh.
What would you do with two free hours and no commitments?
GH: I’d probably go for a jog and then get right back to social media. That, or I’d start the book proposal for a second book. While social media-ing.
What do you wish you’d known 10 years ago?
GH: That no one has any idea what they’re doing.
What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?
GH: Traveling, laughing, maintaining a certain level of stupidity and silly on a daily basis.
Best thing about the Internet?
GH: The creativity people showcase through it.
Worst thing about the Internet?
GH: See previous answer
Most embarrassing thing you’ve done in the past week?
GH: I tend to repress the embarrassing stuff almost instantly so let’s see…hmm…I accidentally face-timed a stranger, wearing a prisoner’s costume.
What you’re proud of:
GH: In life? I get a great sense of pride if someone remarks on my being a nice person.
Best part of book tour?
GH: Meeting and hearing feedback from people who’ve read the book and have had some sort of positive inspiration because of it.
Worst thing about book tour?
GH: My body has developed a slight illness — which reminds me I’m not invincible — which is just a huge bummer.
Biggest difference between recording a bit for YouTube and performing live?
GH: You SEE the facial expressions of the people watching you. It can be so, so great and so, so terrible.
If you could have your book sitting next to any other book on a shelf, what book would you want to be its neighbor?
GH: A calendar of French Bulldogs dressed as business professionals.
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Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster, 10/2014