Frankie Grande Shares The Secrets To Being A Social Media Magnet

We don't need to tell you, hate can thrive on the Internet. So can its ugly cousins: ridicule and bullying. But interestingly enough, it's not the purveyors of negativity who become stars on social media. It's people like Frankie Grande, the dazzling Broadway actor (Mama Mia!, Rock of Ages), big brother of Ariana Grande, and Big Brother alum, who spends most of his time on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat being unabashedly enthusiastic about life.

Grande is currently being asked to be just a tiny bit negative, or, let's call it constructively critical, on two different TV shows at the moment: as a judge on the newly revived America's Best Dance Crew and in his own TV special for Oxygen, Worst. Post. Ever. The latter, which premieres on August 18 at 9 pm/ET, is a half hour of the self-styled "Social Media Mogul" pointing out some truly embarrassing videos and blindingly bad pics that some misguided people decided to share with the world.

Grande stopped by Refinery29's offices to talk about how he avoids making his own worst posts ever, what having a pop star lil' sis has done for his career, and whether he ever gets any downtime between tweets.

What is Worst. Post. Ever.?
"It is a kind of celebration of the ridiculous things that happen on social media to people who are kind of just unaware of what they're posting, but in the most wonderful special and encourage-able way."

How can you possibly narrow that down?
"You can't! It's never ending. It is a complete plethora of fabulous moments that you can dissect and rip apart."

Can you give me an example of what you included?
"People like to take naked pictures with their animals. It's like an epidemic [on] social media. I just don't understand how they post it and are like, 'Oh look, you would be able to see my junk if it wasn't cat.' It's absolutely terrifying, but yet also so celebratory. Great! You have the guts to do that. Good for you."

Where would we be without those people?
"They definitely make the world a more colorful place. I mean, I am one of those people. That's why it's great that I'm hosting the show. Because I would do that. Absolutely I would do that. I would do pretty much everything that I make fun of on the show."

What's your worst post ever?
"The thing is that I love everything that I do. I don't have a worst post because I think that everything I do is the best post ever, even if it's the worst post ever. I guess that's in the eye of the beholder."

There's a lot of haters on social media, but they don't have followers.

Frankie Grande

Do you have any social media pet peeves?
"Over-hashtagging β€” it's annoying. I hate it. People that use @ inappropriately, like if you said, '@FrankieJGrande just had a great special on Oxygen.' No! It's '.@FrankieJGrande...' Because that's a dialogue when you @ someone first."

Why do you think so many people follow you?
"I am unapologetically myself. I love myself so much to the point of which I like to share all aspects and sides of myself. I like to make people laugh, I like to make people smile, and I'm trying to change the world in the process. Those are all good qualities I think people have obviously flocked to."

There's something interesting in social media lately, where people respond to positivity more than you'd think.
"I completely agree. There's a lot of haters on social media, but they don't have followers...I just always say, 'Respond to hate with love.' Cool, they took the time out of their day to say something nasty on my page, which means I'm impacting their lives. Maybe they'll read the rest of my tweets, which are all like, 'Love everyone and be happy and go and build a school in Africa and live your life.' "

Every minute, it seems, there's another YouTube star breaking out. What do you think the next big YouTube star should be doing?
"Be an astronaut. I want a space-travelling YouTuber. It would be cool if it was, like, an 18-year-old who was a gamer but actually in space."

Are you planning on going back to Broadway?
"I would absolutely love to. My fall's open, so call me, Broadway! I want to be the next Hedwig. I'm already wearing a lot of makeup, so it works. Just put me onstage."

Is it different to get casted now that you're known for your own personality?
"Not for me, I think it's just a plus. It's great to have the credibility to back up the personality."

Are you thinking about acting on-screen at all?
"I would love to, for sure. It's always been something I've wanted to do and trained to do."

when your sister is actually the cutest. ☺️❀️

A photo posted by Frankie James Grande (@frankiejgrande) on

Can you see the direct effect of being "Ariana Grande's brother" on your career?
"We are such a close-knit, tight family, that it's always been my reality. I've always been Ariana's brother, I've always been Joan's son, I've always been Frank's grandson. That's the way it is. I don't think there's a way to measure it."

Were you guys always putting on shows for yourselves growing up?
"Yes, absolutely. I was musical theater from birth; she was musical theater from birth. We still are singing and dancing and putting on plays in the living room to this day."

How did your mother encourage you?
"She inspired us to take over the world, and work very, very hard. That's what she's inspired us to do. She's also inspired us to own our craft and ourselves as human beings. My mom and my grandparents set that into both of us, which is why we're such hard workers."

What is a day off for you?
"A day off for me would probably be locking myself in my room and watching TV and attempting to sleep as much as humanly possible, because I don't get to ever."

Even when it might seem like you have free time, are you constantly creating something?
"I'm always editing. I'm always posting in my head. Never stop."

What is it like to be on the other side, on the judging panel of ABDC?
"I love it so much! As a judge, I'm using it as an opportunity to help these people grow. I'm using it as an opportunity to help them become better dancers. They're already the best of the best, which is why it's such an honor to be a judge on this season."

Are you interacting with the dancers off camera at all?
"Not really. I'm terrified! I'm so scared, because I've worked with them. I'm a dancer in the community, so I'm going to be as unbiased as humanly possibly. So, I'm like, 'Oh, my god, hi!' and then duck and run away."

Do you have your outfit picked out for the VMAs?
"I believe so. It will be a variation on my AMAs outfit."

Do you have a long-term career goal?
"To continue to be able to be myself and continue to do good work with the amount of influence I've been given. But to keep going in a forward momentum."

Is there anything really crazy you want to do?
"Skydiving ..."

I'm sure that's within the realm of possibility.
"... with a GoPro strapped to my face. Let's do it!"

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