“It’s OK. I forgive him,” Liane V says, standing in a parking storage on the telephone with a good friend. “Everybody gets cheated on.”
Her tone is upbeat and cheerful. The refined nod of her head suggests a “What can ya do?” ambivalence. For a split-second, you consider her, till the digicam pans out to present her ex-boyfriend tied-up in his underwear within the trunk of her automotive.
“No, I haven’t seen him,” she says, closing the trunk and muffling her ex-boyfriends screams. She turns to the digicam and smiles. One-and-half million views later, a star is born.
Liane V (whose final identify is Valenzuela) credit the six-second video for her rise to social media stardom, a nine-year battle leading to greater than 12 million social media followers, multi-figure offers with manufacturers like Target and G by Guess, and the power to put her dad and mom into retirement. “One of my biggest goals in life was to have them stop working and to take care of them,” Valenzuela says.
And although it’d appear to be Valenzuela’s success may be summed up by the press of a button, she assures that her job and journey are far from “easy.” “A misconception people have for us influencers is that they think it’s easy, and it’s not,” Valenzuela says. “You’re literally your own business and people don’t understand. They’re like, ‘Oh, you just shoot stupid for fun.’ It’s not. It’s a lot of work.”
Raised in Modesto, a small metropolis in central California, Valenzuela, the youngest daughter of two Filipino immigrants, grew up with desires of changing into a star. She discovered of her comedic chops early on after entertaining visitors day in and day trip, and watching her dad impersonate celebrities like Elvis round the home.
“My house was the hangout spot. I literally was never alone,” Valenzuela says. “My mom was like, ‘Man, one friend comes and another one leaves.’ I always loved having company and entertaining people.”
People are like, ‘Oh, you just shoot stupid for fun.’ It’s not. It’s a whole lot of work.
At 18, after years of taking dance and singing classes and honing her performing expertise at occasions hosted by her household’s DJ firm, Valenzuela informed her dad and mom about her plan to forgo school and transfer to Los Angeles. Initially, the dialog didn’t go over nicely. “Surprisingly, Filipino parents are strict,” Valenzuela says. “They were like, ‘You have to go to college. Both your sisters went to college and graduated.’”
After reaching a standstill, Valenzuela’s dad and mom allotted her 4 years to make one thing of herself in L.A. earlier than she was compelled to attend school. “I was like, ‘Mom, I don’t want to go to college. I want to go to L.A. and focus on being a star,’” Valenzuela says. “They’ve seen me grow from a little girl to graduating high school having that same passion and drive, so they were like, ‘OK. We’ll treat this like a college. Go to L.A., and we’ll give it a few years, and if things don’t start going toward that, then you need to go to college.’”
Valenzuela moved to L.A. in 2006, years earlier than Instagram, Vine, and even sensible telephones. During the day, she labored at a automotive dealership in Burbank, a small metropolis outdoors of L.A., to make ends meet. At nights and on weekends, she took appearing and dance lessons, dabbled in pink carpet internet hosting, and sang backup for artists like Dev. “I was really just trying to get my feet wet in the industry,” Valenzuela says. “Before social media, it was just the work that you put in and showing your face.”
I by no means knew you can make a profession out of social media.
After about 9 years of grinding, Valenzuela befriended a number of YouTube sensations, who inspired her to create an account. After posting “cheesy cover videos” (all of which are actually hidden), Valenzuela ultimately moved onto Vine, a brand new six-second video platform, the place her following actually took off. “I knew social media was an important factor and I knew that everyone was like, ‘If you want to succeed in your career, you need to build your own audience,’” Valenzuela says. “I was like, ‘OK. I guess.’ But I never knew you could make a career out of it.”
Within a number of months, Valenzuela’s Vine account, identified for its viral skits about dishonest boyfriends, hip dad and mom, and awkward road encounters, racked up one million followers. “I was like, ‘This is insane how everyone really likes Vine,’” Valenzuela says. “Before, it was more a hobby and something for fun, and then it became a big deal.”
Not too lengthy after, Valenzuela scored her first social media model deal, leading to a four-figure test and the boldness to give up her automotive dealership job and commit to Vine full time. “I still have that check at home and I could not believe I made a couple thousand for a six-second video,” she mentioned. “I was like, ‘Yo, I was working at the car dealership for a week and didn’t even make this kind of money.’ Even a hundred dollars, I was like, ‘Hell yeah! I got paid.’”
Before social media, it was simply the work that you just put in and exhibiting your face.
Anticipating the tip of Vine, Valenzuela, together with a number of different influencers, left the platform lengthy earlier than its decline in 2017. Using followers trickled into her Instagram and YouTube, Valenzuela established herself as greater than a six-second fad. “I honestly didn’t like Vine,” Valenzuela says. “I thought Vine was pointless. Six seconds? What could I do with six seconds?”
She began increasing her fan base past viral comedy sketches. She started sharing lookbooks, make-up tutorials, and hair movies, with the hopes of proving herself as a menace within the magnificence and trend trade as nicely. In early 2017, her needs have been heard when she was approached by Guess founder, Paul Marciano, who supplied Valenzuela a trend line with G by Guess after assembly at a runway present in Italy.
The line, in shops and on-line now, options holiday-appropriate clothes like a silver metallic jumpsuit (Valenzuela’s private favourite) and a one-sleeved lace maxi gown. “If you’re going to holiday parties, you’re probably going to eat a lot. I wanted to make it so all the material is stretchy and soft,” Valenzuela says.
This social media period, folks have to adapt. There’s change.
Aside from giving her her massive break within the trend world, Valenzuela additionally credit Marciano as a pioneer within the trend trade’s rising respect of social media fashions and influencers. She recalled a latest runway present in Italy the place nearly each mannequin Marciano forged was discovered on Instagram.
“For him to really see that social media is the move, it’s amazing,” Valenzuela says. “A majority of his models are from Instagram, and he knows each and every one by name. He even brought up a few social media influencers to talk on stage, and I was was one of them. Social media has changed so many people’s lives.”
But that doesn’t imply everyone seems to be on board with social media’s takeover. Valenzuela admits that she receives hate feedback each day from individuals who criticize her skits and decrease the seriousness of her profession. “A lot of people are like, ‘Oh, she’s not funny. I forgot to laugh. That’s stupid.’ All I have to say is this generation is a new world,” Valenzuela says. “This social media era, people have to adapt. There’s change. There was once a time when reality stars weren’t taken seriously and now they’re also very popular. Regardless of what people think, this is what it is.”
Making folks snort is a strong factor.
Valenzuela’s perception in social media is why she has a zero-tolerance coverage for individuals who name her job “easy.” “I’ve spent hours losing sleep, editing, and writing scripts,” Valenzuela says. “We’re creating our own movies. We have our scripts. We have our scenes. We have to battle with getting kicked out of the grocery store because we want to shoot something really quick and we do it anyways because we don’t want to pay for a permit. But we do these crazy things to get content for people to enjoy and it goes viral.”
Despite her tens of millions of followers, multi-figure model offers, and web fame, Valenzuela nonetheless believes probably the most rewarding a part of her job is having the ability to make folks snort. “I feel like people follow me because they look at me like them and they’re like, ‘Oh, she’s just like me! That girl from Modesto. She hangs out with her dad and her friends and they make silly videos,’” Valenzuela says. “Making people laugh is a powerful thing. If you can make someone laugh or smile, they look forward to you. You’re their positive thing in the day.”