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Shira Lazar
Shira Lazar (@shiralazar) is the Host and Executive Producer of the weekly live interactive show and 24/7 news hub, "What's Trending." She is also the Host and Creator of YouTube’s, Partners Project, interviewing the biggest YouTube stars. Named one of Fast Company's 2011 Most Influential Women in Technology and Huffington Post’s “Women in Tech to Follow on Twitter,” Lazar has been the face of the biggest live-streams on the web including, The Oscars, The Grammys, and Macy’s Fashion’s Night Out, among many others. Lazar is a Webby Awards Honoree and IAWTV Winner for Best Web Series Live Host. A digital trailblazer, Shira has been called the "Katie Couric of the Web" and speaks at conferences around the world and appears frequently on networks like Bloomberg TV, CNN and Fox News Channel discussing Internet culture and digital trends. You can read Lazar’s weekly posts covering the intersection of business and social media on

Entries by Shira Lazar

THIS Turned a Hotel Lobby Into an Epic Dance Party

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 2:20 PM

In the immortal words of R. Kelly, "After the show its the after party and after the party its the hotel lobby." But what if the hotel lobby turns out to be the craziest party of them all? That's what happened when one man thought he was walking to the check-in desk, but was actually walking into something much more epic.

This lucky guy wasn't just anyone. He was Marriott's 1 Millionth Mobile Check-In guest. Marriott wants to spread the word about their mobile check-in app, so they threw an instant dance party at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles.

What's Trending, who helped produce the video, also brought along YouTube star Jeana from PrankvsPrank -- who's no stranger to surprising strangers -- to get in on the action.

Don't miss your chance to #CheckInToWin and share in the millions of Marriott Rewards points they're giving away. Find out more >

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Natasha Lyonne on How Women Are Taking Over Comedy

(1) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 8:51 PM

Natasha Lyonne, director Jamie Babbit, and writer Karey Dornetto sat down with the What's Trending team at this year's South by Southwest festival to talk about their new film, "Fresno." The conversation covered both Fresno the movie and the city, as well as the state of women in comedy today.

The film is a dark comedy about two sisters who work as hotel maids in the California city. You don't see a lot of films set in Fresno, and apparently the city has been touchy on the topic.

"A lot of people were like, 'Don't mess with Fresno!'" Lyonne told us.

"I grew up in a terrible town called Cleveland," Babbit said. "I grew up in an underdog city so I really responded to living in an armpit and wanting to get out. So when we decided to make the movie in California rather than Clevend, I thought about, 'what is the Cleveland of California?'"

But movie title aside, the film is more about complicated women and the relationship between them. It's a roll that "most women don't get to play" according to Dornetto.

Lyonne describes it as "not apologizing for being sort of not thrilled with being alive."

"I think when I see funny movies about women I get really excited." Babbit said. "'Bridesmaids' really blew me away."

"I loved that it was a movie about female friendships, which is something you don't really see." Babbit said. "We wanted to tell a movie about sisters who want to kill each other."

On the subject of women in comedy, Lyonne said, "I think it's such a great time for women in comedy. Amy Poehler and Lena Duham... there's just so many exciting things going on right now."

"I don't know how men got the upper hand way back when," Lyonne said. "It's going to end and die soon. Hopefully some of them will stick around so we can use them for what we need them for. Reproduction and...

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Robert Rodriguez's Secret to Living a Creative Life

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 2:13 PM

Director Robert Rodriguez sat down with What's Trending at the Samsung Blogger Lounge at this year's South by Southwest festival. He shared some advice on how to live a creative life, advice he has taken to heart over the course of his incredibly successful career.

Rodriguez described how important the book The ONE Thing was for his development as a creative professional. Written by Gary Keller, the book advocates focusing on one thing at a time.

When he first heard of it, Rodriguez says, "That doesn't apply to me. But I thought about it, and I do one thing: I live a creative life."

"If you don't live your life creatively, and then you set aside some time at night to go right your novel you're going to get a block because you're not in the flow. But if you apply creativity to everything in your life, everything is available to you."

He tells a story of making his actors paint on set. Though actors are by nature creatives, they never thought they could be painters as well. "They didn't think they could paint," Rodriguez says. "So then I made them paint and they saw that they were able to because when you're in a creative flow you can do just about anything."

He takes this mindset to everything he does. Even cooking becomes "art you can eat."

"There's no delineation between work and play. It's all play."

Rodriguez also tackles one of the biggest impediments to creativity: fear. He recommends another book called Art & Fear.

"If you say, 'I'm a fraud, they'll figure me out, I'll never be able to do it again,' that's an artist's thought process," Rodriguez says. "If you're thinking like that you're on the right track, because they all feel that."

He also offers perhaps the greatest advice: don't be afraid of failure. "There's always some success that can come out of your failures. In fact, probably your biggest successes will come directly from your failures." He says. "That Winston Churchill quote is my favorite: 'success is moving from one failure to the next with great enthusiasm.'"

"You're going to stumble, but you're also going to stumble upon something no one ever thought of. So you just keep going and keep going. And you're going to fail and rise up and fail again and that's the journey. Up and down."

"I hope all of you fail miserably," Rodriguez tells the crowd. He means it in the best possible...

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Jason Schwartzman's Full-Frontal Fake Penis

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 1:44 PM

Jason Schwartzman and director Patrick Brice came by the Samsung Blogger Lounge at South by Southwest to talk about their new movie, The Overnight. It features Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, and a prosthetic penis.

The film is about two couples with children who befriend each other. And then things get weird, apparently.

Brice said, "The film's really about the convergence of four characters and kind of what it brings out in them."

But the reason this film is making waves is the much-discussed scene where Schartzman and Scott drop everything in a full-frontal nudity scene, though the actual penises are in fact prosthetic.

"That was my decision," says Brice. "It was a story decision."

"They're wonderful," Schwartzman said of fake phalluses. "It's sort of like slightly more solid memory foam, almost like Tempur-Pedic -- like Tempur-Penis."

It turns out Schwartzman wasn't the only person in the interview who's had experience with a manufactured member. Burnie Burns learned about these for a film of his own. "We found there's a whole market for these, that guys will wear these to clubs," he said.

And of course, no plastic penis conversation can avoid bringing up Mark Wahlberg and his famous scene in Boogie Nights. According to Burns, the actor "had to inform future partners, 'Look, that was a prosthetic that I wore in the movie.'"

"The best was I was rehearsing a scene with Taylor Schilling, and we were in this giant house with a courtyard," said Brice. "And then I hear this tapping noise, and I go to the window, and it's Jason, just full-frontal, across the courtyard. That was the first time I'd seen it."

If you want to see it for yourself, The Overnight will be out on June...

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How Bethany Mota Went From Vlogging Teen to Multimillion-Dollar Brand

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 1:28 PM

YouTube star Bethany Mota sat down with What's Trending at this year's South by Southwest festival to talk about stardom, hard work and how to be true to yourself.

A poster-child for Internet stardom, Mota has a massive YouTube channel and her own fashion line at Aeropostal and has even made the move to television, appearing on ABC's Dancing With the Stars."

If that's not enough for the 19-year-old, Mota recently announced she's invested in BeautyCon, a live event hoping to turn itself into a major brand.

"I started making videos six years ago, and I didn't even know it was possible to do anything big with it," Mota said. "I had no idea it could grow into what it has been."

Speaking in the Samsung Blogger Lounge, Mota said, "I think the coolest thing that I can represent is that anyone can do it. You don't have to be a specific person, and you don't have to audition."

Creative control is a huge benefit of creating content online, according to Mota. "I have all these crazy ideas all the time, and I never have to run them by anyone! I can just do it."

In a milestone for #TeamInternet, Mota was selected to appear on Dancing With the Stars. For Mota, it shows "the power of the Internet."

"It's crazy, and it's all because of my audience," she said. "I owe it all to them."

The YouTube sensation has certainly come a long way, but what advice would she give her younger self if she could?

"Not to limit myself," Mota said. "I think limiting ourselves is something we do on a daily basis, even with small things, like, 'Oh, I can't do that. That could never happen.' Now I'm like, 'Wow, I can actually do this if I set my mind to it. That's a great life lesson that I've...

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Tyler Oakley is on TV, But His heart is Still #TeamInternet

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 5:45 PM

Tyler Oakley sat down with What's Trending team to talk about his upcoming tours, his giant fundraising project and being an Internet sensation.

While he doesn't like to call himself "the new TV star", Oakley considers himself "a new type of entertainer." He believes that whatever the "next step" is...

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Can Fans Get #WalkingDeadMovie Trending?

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 1:04 PM

The Walking Dead creators Robert Kirkman and David Alpert stopped by What's Trending to get fanboyed by Burnie Burns. The hit show's producer take about the expanded Walking Dead universe, and how each piece of the universe is its own unique experience from the show. Even more, the producers talk about a potential WALKING DEAD MOVIE! Are they going to put the wheels in motion for a Walking Dead movie to go into production?

Roosterteeth's own Burnie Burns was on hand to hear all the latest from "The Walking Dead" producers.

"It's cool. Every form of 'The Walking Dead' provides its own unique experience," Kirkman said. "You get your own set of characters, your own locations, your own separate adventures."

"We try not to look at different media as licensing," Alpert added. "We look at it as an expansion of the universe."

Speaking of expansion, what about that Walking Dead movie?

"We're very happy to have a successful TV show, very thanksful," Kirkman said. "I think movies are neat, but I don't think there are any real plans to do that right now."

He added that everyone involved was "aware that might be a possibility someday."

"Does anybody want a Walking Dead movie?" Alpert asked. "If people tell us that they love it maybe they can start a hashtag...

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Reddit's Worst Date Stories

(0) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 7:55 PM

NBC's Undateable kicks off its second season soon, and the cast was on hand with What's Trending at this year's South by Southwest festival to give us the scoop.

"It's not a show about a bunch of people out dating people," creator Bill Lawrence is quick to clarify. "We kind of hope it's like Cheers a little bit."

Similar to that Boston-based classic, Undateable centers on a group of friends who spend much of their time in the same bar.

There's also singing. "Way too much singing for a sitcom," according to Lawrence. (If you haven't already watched the above interview, 1:30-2:00 is a beautiful -- or beautifully annoying if you're Chris D'Elia -- musical breakdown.)

Keeping with the theme of dating, the conversation turned to Reddit. A popular ongoing thread on the massive "front page of the Internet" is about redditors' worst dating experiences. D'Elia and the rest of Undateable took turns reading out the worst of the worst.

We won't spoil it. But one of the worst involves human scabs that may or may not have ended up in a date's soup. Undateable...

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Judy Greer Gets Frank About Women In Comedy

(0) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 1:06 PM

Judy Greer sat down with What's Trending to talk about her upcoming movie, Fresno, which she stars in alongside Natasha Lyonne.

The film is about two sisters who work as hotel maids in the city of Fresno, CA. Since it centers on the relationship between two women, Greer focused on...

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Is Nick Kroll Leaving Comedy for Drama?

(0) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 12:43 PM

The League and The Kroll Show have established Kroll as a big-time comic. But his latest movie, which premiered at this year's South by Southwest festival, is a straight drama. Adult Beginners is about a man -- Kroll -- leaving his life behind to move in with his sister and find himself. Heavy stuff for an actor more known for his boorish caricatures.

"It's more of a dramedy than what I've done," Kroll told What's Trending in the Samsung Blogger Lounge at SXSW. "And yet it feels not dissimilar to what I was doing in a weird way on The Kroll Show. Whatever character I'm doing I'm trying to play to the height of that person's emotional honesty."

"The movie is about me, I'm an entrepreneur and the bottom falls out of my business." Kroll said. Losing everything, his character has to move in with his sister, her husband, and their three-year-old child. "I become their nanny."

Kroll, who has twelve nieces and nephews, felt a connection to his character on Adult Beginners.

Speaking to the name, Kroll said, "It's about people who are adults on paper, but in reality they're still kids in a lot of ways and they're still figuring it out."

Kroll's new turn as an actor is bittersweet for fans of The Kroll Show which is ending this year.

"It's a weird thing when you decide to end a show." Kroll said. "It's very nice to have people want more, and it was a great experience."

"I'm a very serious actor now and I want to be sure people understand that about me," Kroll said with a...

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How One YouTube Star Has Mastered the One-Take Music Video

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 1:21 PM

Artist, producer, and filmmaker Kurt Hugo Schneider combined his music and filmmaking skills to get "Huge on The Tube" (#HOTT). He crafted an epic one-take Bruno Mars medley starring Max Schneider and Victoria Justice. Eighteen million views and almost 30,000 comments later, Kurt gives a behind-the-scenes look into the intricate method of creating his one-take classic.

"I literally drew out the path that each person would have to take, because once the camera leaves a person, once a person gets off-frame, they literally gotta run to their next spot."

The most popular comment on the original video? It comes from people who think the video is fake (i.e., not in one unedited take). Not surprising -- everything on the Internet is considered fake if it's in any way creative. This article is probably...

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Why People Love Watching Other People Get Drunk on YouTube

(0) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 1:38 PM

Mamrie Hart is an actress, writer, and comedian who became "Huge on the Tube" (#HOTT) with her "You Deserve a Drink" series. In 2013, she teamed up with besties Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart for a special "Quickshots: Friendsips!" episode celebrating national Best Friends Day. Mamrie recently won a Streamy Award for Best Actress in a Comedy for her over-the-top bartender role -- proof she's still killing it on YouTube. Mamrie Hart talks drinks on this episode of "Huge on the Tube," a VH1-What's Trending production.

Of course we asked the pressing questions, like how much does Mamrie really drink while shooting an episode?

"It depends what's going on that day," she said. "Like, sometimes Grace and I know we won't see each other for a month or be able to shoot, so we just rock out four in a row, and then that's when you gotta clear your schedule the next day. Because it's not just you're drinking a lot, you're drinking a bunch of different stuff."

Check out all of Mamrie's videos in the "You Deserve A Drink" series -- not all at once or you could get sick -- and see past episodes of "Huge on the Tube" right...

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What's It Like to Do an Obama Impression for Obama?

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 4:35 PM

Iman Crosson, A.K.A. Alphacat, is known for his impeccable impression of President Obama and went Huge on the Tube (#HOTT) with his Momentous Day rap. The video was filmed after Osama Bin Laden was killed and has received more than 10 million views since. So what's it like to go viral?

"Most of the time when I do a big Obama parody, what happens is it goes right into the news," he said. "So, I'll see it on CNN, I'll see it on ABC, NBC, and it'll go viral and I'll start getting all these calls from news outlets... It gets really intense."

Alphacat reveals the secrets behind his viral hit in today's episode of "Huge on the Tube," a VH1-What's Trending...

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Kandee Johnson Has Made Makeup Transformations On YouTube a Career

(1) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 10:43 AM

In 2009, Kandee Johnson posted her makeup tutorial for the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. The video became Huge on the Tube (#HOTT), garnering more than 3.9 million views. The Queen of Hearts video remains a fan favorite. Kandee Johnson explains how she made her eyebrows vanish and the reason she loves this video in today's "Huge on the Tube," a VH1-What's Trending production.

In our interview, Johnson spoke about why her earlier videos hold a special place in her heart.

"They're just goofier and sillier and more crazy. Now I'm like, 'Well, if I do that, people will make fun of me.' So I like those old ones when I didn't...

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Meet YouTube Star Grace Helbig, the New Face of E! (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 5:38 PM

Grace Helbig is the perfect example of how being "Huge on the Tube" (#HOTT) can make you just plain huge (figuratively). The vlogger turned bestselling author is well known for her video "The Girlfriend Tag," where she put her friendship with fellow YouTube personality Hannah Hart to the test. Grace talks about her viewers' peculiar fanfiction and more on today's "Huge on the Tube," a VH1-What's Trending production.

"It's really fun to see how much we do and do not know about each other," Helbig said about the experience with Hart. "There is all of this mystery, I guess, in the community that follows both Hannah and I as to whether or not we're dating. I've never really understood the idea of 'shipping' people."

Special thanks to our awesome YouTube commentators, Lisa Schwartz, Shanna Malcolm and Jimmy...

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DeStorm Power Shows Off Insane Rubik's Cube Power

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2015 | 2:05 PM

Rap artist and Vine king DeStorm Power is handsome, hilarious, and huge on the Tube. His 2011 "How to Solve a Rubik's Cube" rap started as a challenge from a fan and ended in triumph for DeStorm, in the form of more than 3.8 million views and counting, proving his sweet rhymes can take any lesson from boring to bangin'.

In this episode of the VH1-What's Trending production Huge on the Tube (#HOTT), the "Victory Dance" creator gets real about his creative process.

He says it took several days to create the "Rubik's Cube" rap video -- not only did he have to actually solve the thing and translate the instructions into a cohesive song, but he had to time the puzzle solving to the beat of his rapping. Tricky, indeed.

Big thanks to Destorm Powers for taking part in this project! I also want to thank our special YouTube commentators for contributing to this video: Lisa Schwartz, Trisha Hershberger and Shanna...

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VH1 and What's Trending Team Up For 'Huge On The Tube'

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 7:20 PM

Ten years ago, even the world's more tech savvy wouldn't have imagined that a single short video posted online could catapult someone to fame. As we all know now, this does indeed happen, and with startling regularity.

These webcam to "big" screen stories will be told this week and next...

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2015 Workouts With The Biggest Loser's Dolvett Quince

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 6:32 PM

Biggest Loser trainer Dolvett Quince came by What's Trending to talk about the future of exercise technology -- and to put me through a hilarious workout on Brookstone's BodyForm Foam Roller.

The difference between this product and a typical foam roller is the vibration. You'll really be able to massage...

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50 Cent's Got Some Pretty Amazing Star Wars Headphones

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 5:37 PM

What's Trending got a chance to sit down with Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson at the SMS Audio booth at CES to get a look at some of their newest headphones. The first thing 50 wanted to show us was the Biosport In-Ear Wired Ear Buds, which have studio-mastered sound plus...

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How to Be a Fighter With MMA Champ Anthony Pettis

(0) Comments | Posted January 10, 2015 | 5:02 PM

Lightweight champion MMA fighter Anthony Pettis stopped by What's Trending to show off his headphones, talk about the surging popularity of the UFC, and to talk about his signature move, a pretty badass jump kick.

But even Pettis has his fears. His biggest fear in the world, he says, is not being able to be a good father. And his career fear is not living up to his potential. That fear, we'd think, is slowly fading away considering what he's been able to accomplish in the UFC.

I mean, why would be afraid if you could do...

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