I've decided that I'm going to celebrate June by celebrating friends. Each day I will tell you a bit about a friend that I love and why they are so awesome. It could be that they are awesome just because they are awesome. I think you'll think the same. No rhyme or reason to which friends I pick. No order. Just random picks. If I leave someone out, it means we broke up and I'd like my pants back.
Daily Jimmy is gonna tell you...all about...Gracie! It's time to say your Daily Grace. Grace Helbig that is! That's us earlier in the year getting our drink on. I first stumbled upon Grace a few years back when I was interviewed by Stated Magazine. They were just starting out and I wanted to check out whom else they had gotten to. There were a lot of great interviews with many people in various forms of the arts and I read most of them. I got to Grace's interview and laughed out loud several times. And her story intrigued me. I decided to check out her videos on and often found myself wetting my pants. Not because of her. It's just a problem I have. But, yes, her funny had me laughing lots. I was impressed with her 10-15,000 subscribers on her Daily Grace YouTube channel. About the same that I had for my podcast COMIC NEWS INSIDER. I wanted to see if she would be interested in co-hosting the podcast so I contacted her. She agreed! As I started exploring her videos, I found that she was still doing videos with her comedy partner Michelle Vargas. So I had them both come do the show. It was awesome, as you can imagine. And a friendship was started! I'd go see her do improv, she'd come co-host, stop by my bar for a drink or 2 and we had many drinks out ourselves. In these short few years we've known one another, I've watched her star rise and continue to do so. Millions online know she is awesome, but if you don't...check it.
- She's one of those people when you meet her that you just know she's going to be successful at what she does. Not by luck. She's talented, smart, clever and works her ass off. As you read, when we met, she had around 10-15,000 subscribers. Now? About 1.5 MILLION! Her meteoric rise is all due to her just being her. It's been fun watching her soar and continue to just take over the world. Well deserved. I honestly feel like I'm watching a young Tina Fey rising.
- While I sincerely love her like a sister, I'm not blind to her beauty. Most will be attracted to her upon just seeing her and then fall in love when they see her whole persona. Every single friend I've introduced her to immediately tells me how beautiful she is and if she's single, etc. She could have taken another path in the beauty world as she was a semi-finalist in the Miss New Jersey pageant when she was in college. Luckily, the comedy bug bit her hard and we can enjoy it all!
- Her work ethic is unlike anyone I've seen in awhile. Actually reminds me of my younger self when I was a hungry actor. She is constantly working on her craft, shoots 5 videos a week (and edits them), works with other people in their shows, has done some national commercials, various web series, improv, classes, auditions, comedy shows, etc. She has created her own success from all of that hard work. Impressive and inspirational!
- I still haven't quite figured out why, but she's always been so sweet to me. If she couldn't meet up with me or do the podcast or stop by the bar...she always got back to me at least. She's been super supportive of the podcast and as I mentioned, has co-hosted several times. Be it a special Christmas episode or the big epic live Episode 400 last year that she co-hosted.
- She believes in the basic improv rule of "yes and...". I will write silly little sketches for us when she's on and she just jumps right in and plays along. Even if it's not the best sketch I've written. Of course, she finds a way to make my sometimes bad writing funny. And from what I've seen, she does this with everyone. Which only makes everyone better in the process.
- She always does her best to include her friends when out. I've been out for drinks with her and she was sometimes the only one I knew. She introduced me to others and made sure I was part of the crowd.
- She is fantastic with her fans. And yes, she has a lot of fans. If they came to see her at an improv show or something, she will hang out after and talk to them for quite some time. It's really sweet to see how happy they are to meet her and even sweeter to see how gracious she is with them.
- Earlier this year, a bunch of us were out and we had many a beverage. It was super late and we hit the diner. Another friend was busy on her phone so Grace and I just sat at the counter and ordered food. And then started the most adorable tough love speech I've ever gotten. Through cursing, tears, maybe even a punch in the arm, etc...she encouraged me to get back into acting and reignite my creative juices. While we had drinks in us, I know she genuinely meant it. And it's gotten me thinking ever since. She is such an inspiration even for this old fossil. If I do get back into acting, you can bet she'll be one of the main ones I thank during my Oscar acceptance speech for being so encouraging and supportive of me. I'm not going to share all that she told me, but I hope she realizes how much it meant and that I'll never forget it.
- People often like to think that someone wants to be friends with someone because they are successful. That's not the case at all with Grace. Not that I'd ever do that with someone else either. She's just a kind and generous person that you want to be around. Full of happy and positive energy that is infectious. Heck, if she worked at K-Mart I'd still want to hang out with her. But only if she could get me those sweet Blue Light specials. (Do they still do those?)
Grace moved out west last fall and I've no doubt she will just keep on getting bigger and bigger and more successful. She pops in town on occasion and I'll be out that way next month. Rest assured, a drink or 5 will be had. By no means are we the best of friends and I'm sure she'll soon forget about little ol' me. Actually, no she wont. She has never struck me as the type to do that to people. Nevertheless, I cherish her as a friend and continue to be inspired by her. She's one of those rare talents that everyone will soon know and continue to remember long after she is gone in about 100 years. (I think she's immortal). Who knows? Maybe we'll work together in something one day. Probably Shakespeare or something. Til then, we'll just have to do with shots of whiskey. I'll bring the bottle next month, Gracie.
Drinks were involved at some point here.