Graceffa is among the famous faces taking over New York City this weekend

By Taylor Lorenz
October 28, 2015 06:00 PM
Christopher Polk/Getty

Stream Con, a three-day convention featuring all your favorite YouTubers, Viners and creators, is making its debut in New York City this weekend. (Yes, it’s going to be awesome. No, we don’t have any chill left.)

The Internet’s biggest names like Connor Franta, Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart, Joe Sugg, Rosanna Pansino, GloZell, iJustine, DeStorm Power and more will be hosting fan events, meet-and-greets and more throughout Halloween weekend.

Since the festival is all about the fans, we caught up with Joey Graceffa before Stream Con to ask him about his best, craziest and most awkward fan encounters.

What’s been your craziest fan encounter?

My craziest fan encounter was when I was driving in my car through L.A. I pulled up to a stoplight and, of course, had the windows down and was singing along to Selena Gomez. Suddenly, a Starline bus – one of those ones that does star tours – pulled up right next to me.

There was a teenager in the van, and they recognized me immediately and started taking pictures. At first I was really embarrassed because I had just been singing. Then everyone in the van began taking pictures of me. None of them even knew who I was, but I assume they thought, “Oh, that person must be famous.” Everyone in the van just kept staring at me. It was so awkward.

What was it like the first time you were ever recognized by a fan?

The first time I was recognized, I was in high school actually. I started making videos when I was 15, and I was a junior at that point. Later on that year, when my channel started growing, an underclassman who was younger than me saw my videos. He came up to me in the hallway and said, “Hi, I really like your videos. Can I have an autograph?” At the time I just thought it was the weirdest thing.

Where’s the craziest location you’ve ever been recognized?

The craziest thing was when I was on The Amazing Race and traveled around the world. I’d be recognized in foreign countries. It was really cool to see that people all over the world had seen my videos and recognized me. It was really, really crazy. China was probably the most surprising. YouTube is not a thing there, so I thought it was pretty cool they knew who I was.

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What was your most recent fan encounter?

I was at The Grove, a mall in L.A., Halloween shopping. The Grove is a hotspot to be seen because it’s filled with teenagers and people shopping. I was picking out dresses for Chanel from Scream Queens because that’s who I’m being for Halloween. Some fans came up to me in the girl aisle as I was shopping and were like, “Hi Joey!” and I was like, “Oh hey! Just doing some shopping. Picking out dresses, no big deal.”

What is the top fan encounter you’ve ever had?

There have been a lot of top fan encounters. I was just on tour for my book, In Real Life. In my book, I came out. To have younger people come to my tour stops and open up to me and for me to be the first person that they’ve ever told that they were gay or a lesbian or whatever. I just thought it was really cool that I got to be that person to a lot of people. I think that was one of the most intense feelings I’ve had.