On Sunday (Nov.1), the first-ever Stream Con NYC wrapped up its successful three-day weekend of "celebrating digital content and online video." I had the pleasure of attending a Q&A panel for Vine superstars Thomas Sanders and Vincent Marcus.
Both guys each amassed millions and millions of followers and are easily two of the leading forces on Vine. FYI, Vine debuted in 2013, so it's only about two years old. Let that sink in for a moment.
How does one handle all the attention -- knowing an insane amount of people know who you are and are constantly following your work? "I try not to think about it. It’s overwhelming," Sanders admitted. We can only imagine!
Check out some of our favorite highlights from the panel.
One of Sanders' favorite characters he does is the "dad" character.
Of course, his reasoning for favoring "dad" over some of his other characters is a little, uh, interesting. When asked what makes him so attracted to that particular character, Sanders replied, "Because, I'm always scared of parenthood...to be honest...I'd love to, love to, love to be an awesome parent, but there's always that fear and stuff going into it [that] I still haven't grown up...so it's just fun to put that character in different situations."
And in case you're wondering who the kids are in those particular Vines, they're actually his neighbors.
"We've been friends for a long time, way before Vine. But then, you just send out a text and be like, 'Does your son or daughter want to be in another Vine? Here's what they're gonna have to do. Your daughter is gonna have to be driving a car at some point'...And then they're like, 'OK. Yeah, you got it.'"
Before Marcus became a Vine star, he was honing his skills without even knowing it.
He said, "[I] used to sell cars before I got into Vine," but he also shared that he was a food server at a restaurant. Since he wasn't a waiter, who actually had conversations with the guests, people wouldn't know who he was or what he actually sounded like. So, he'd serve food to customers using various accents, such as an English one, much to the customer's confusion.
Marcus admitted his go-to impression is everyone's favorite Quahog, Rhode Island family.
"The 'Family Guy' stuff is my go-to." Sanders claimed Marcus "does way more [voices] than [him]," adding how Marcus does "a frat boy [voice] really well."
Unsurprisingly, Sanders was (and still is) a theater nerd before hitting it big with Vine.
He explained how theater was his passion, but because his family was steeped in both the sciences and engineering, Sanders started to study those fields. He used theater as his outlet. According to him, Vine was another way “to be a ham.” The photo above was when Sanders played J.D. in "Heathers the Musical" this past summer.
When asked what one of the first times he was recognized was like, Marcus had a funny story to tell.
Apparently, while Marcus was out with his (now) ex-girlfriend and their child, these teenage girls saw him and freaked the heck out. (Of course, Marcus did a killer stereotypical teenage girl voice to go along with his tale — he IS a storyteller, you know.) Since two girls were suddenly fawning all over her boyfriend, Marcus' girlfriend kind of gave him a look, to which he explained they were just fans.
Sanders' encounter was slightly different, however.
Since he volunteered at various high schools, one of the kids came up to him and asked, "Would I be able to take a picture with you?" Sanders said, "I was so taken aback. [So I asked him] What? Why?" After the kid explained he knew Sanders from his work, they took the picture together. "I felt so bad afterwards...I was so taken aback that anyone would wanna take a picture with me for that reason," lamented Sanders. D'aww!
When asked to share one of his craziest fan encounters, Marcus didn't disappoint.
While at a concert in his hometown, Marcus went onstage and greeted the crowd. But then, he saw a little girl crying. He urged her not to cry and gave her a hug, but while that's happening, she began to sob uncontrollably. "I was like, 'Oh my gosh, don’t worship me that much,'" Marcus jokingly recalled.
Although, Sanders' crazy fan encounter is definitely stranger.
While at a district competition for theater, Sanders stated, "I was on the phone and then somebody...bless her...she didn't know what to do with herself...she came up [and said]...'I gotta talk to you. Hang up the phone. Hang up your phone. Hang up your phone right now, I need to talk to you." Oh, and she was hugging him while this was happening. "It all worked out in the end, but that was definitely one where I was [like], 'Personal space, personal space,'" said Sanders.
One of the most popular questions at the panel was how Sanders and Marcus come up with all their Vine ideas.
Both guys admitted they tend to come up with ideas when they're not thinking about coming up with ideas. Basically, when their minds wander to other tasks (showering, driving, running), ideas just kind of hit them...
...as evidenced by Sanders' DiGiorno Vine from September.
Inspired by a quote from "Steven Universe," Sanders said, "I was in the shower and thought, 'What else would be funny to deliver that wasn't a baby...pizza's delivered...oh wait, DiGiorno even has a catch phrase about delivery, and that all led to" the Vine shared above.
One of the last questions asked was who inspired Marcus and Sanders.
Marcus: Jim Carrey and Robin Williams, because of "their charisma, their bigness, their characters, everything. If you know who Robin Williams was and Jim Carrey is, [that] answers the question."
Sanders: Steve Carell and Amy Poehler, because "their humor just makes you feel so good."
Thanks for always making us laugh, guys!