Trisha Paytas considers herself ‘a mix between Woody Allen and your local hooker’. It’s quite an outrageous combination, one has to admit. But does she really live up to this bit of self-evaluation? More or less, for she is a strangely interesting bundle of contradictions. On one hand, you have the outrageously witty, bawdy, positive, charming version of her that made her a popular V-logger. On the other, there is this insecure, outspoken, paranoid side of hers that has earned her quite a lot of detractors. Love her or hate her, but you can’t just ignore Trisha Paytas. And that itself is her USP. She can surprise you with her quick-witted quips; make cringe-worthy, controversial remarks that will make her seem like the proverbial blonde; and redeem herself later on.
It’s this odd combination of contrasting characteristics that made Trisha Paytas a YouTube celebrity – a status that she has leveraged well, to a make a name for herself in the entertainment industry.
The Meteoric Rise To Stardom
Born in Riverside, California, Trisha completed her graduation at the‘Pecatonica High School’ in Illinois, before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. However, the road didn’t prove as smooth as she expected it to. Chances were few and far between and Trisha spent her initial years as an extra, with blink-and-you-miss-it roles that went unnoticed.
Struggling to find her feet in the industry, Trisha began working as a stripper to support herself, whilesigning up for minor modeling assignments and foreign commercials. That’s not to say that the initial phase was entirely devoid of bright spots.
In 2006, she made her television debut as a presenter in the much-hyped yet short-lived ‘Greg Behrendt Show’. In the following year, she contested in the second season of ‘Who wants to be a Superhero?’, a reality TV show hosted by the legendary comic book writer, Stan Lee.
A little further down the road, Trisha started v-logging proactively on YouTube. The initial V-logs consisted mostly of tributes to acclaimed filmmaker Quentin Tarantino – whom she idolized – and short, random sketches. But the added advantage of being an eye-candy with a sense of humor and a strong personality helped Trisha gain followers steadily. She was too smart to let the opportunity slide.
So, what is her YouTube channel primarily about? Well, it depends on the whims of the ever-so-volatile Trisha. From fashion and beauty tips to relationship advice; from intensely personal confessions to meltdowns; from incredibly silly bantering to naïve rants, Trisha’s channel has all the ingredients to whet the appetites of the audience.
And if none of that gets you interested, the mere fact that she once came really close to holding a Guinness Record must get your attention. While it should come as no surprise that Trisha is quite the chatterbox, the impressive part of it is the rate at which she talks. Imagine watching a movie at 2x speed, with all the characters racing through their dialogues with a high-pitched squeal – that’s pretty much what it feels like, listening to Trisha’s normal speech (about 710 words per minute!).
Therefore, it came as no surprise that millions of users soon started flocking into Trisha’s channel, as she swiftly transitioned from being a small-time, wannabe actress to a YouTube celebrity. Between 2008 and 2011, Trisha made numerous guest appearances in popular TV shows like ‘Modern Family’, ‘The Price is Right’ and ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’. A particularly memorable appearance came in 2010, when she confessed in an episode of ‘My Strange Addiction’ that she is a tanning addict.
Though uncredited, Trisha also landed parts in hit movies like ‘Yes Man’ and ‘Faster’ during this period. Avenues that once seemed inaccessible opened one by one, with podcasts, music video appearances and awards show performances lining up for the picking. The new-found popularity coincided with the release of two of her books – ‘The Stripper Diaries’ and ‘The History of My Insanity’, both released in 2013.
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What Makes Trisha Paytas So Special
2014 was the golden year in many respects for Trisha. Besides crossing the one-million followers mark on YouTube, she conceptualized, co-produced and starred (opposite Richard Grieco) in a 15-minute short film titled, ‘Viral Video’, which surpassed the million-views mark quite soon. But that was not the end of the story. The ever-so ambitious Trisha soon forayed into music – a bold move that paid off quite well.
Though she had appeared in a few music videos before, Trisha had never ventured into the music world as a vocal artist until 2015. However, the release of her debut EP, ‘Fat Chicks’, in 2015, was a game-changer. In the same year, she released two more Extended Plays – ‘Superficial Bitch’ and ‘Under the Covers’. Whereas ‘Under the Covers’ featured covers to hit songs across every genre, ‘Superficial Bitch’ was one of the first original songs recorded by Trisha.
Most of these songs had accompanying music videos starring Trisha, which ensured that they reached a wide audience and got featured on websites like ‘Cosmopolitan’ and ‘The Huffington Post.’
In 2016, Trisha her fourth EP, ‘Daddy Issues’, which reached No. 6 on the iTunes pop chart and made it to the Billboard Charts. This was a first in Trisha’s budding music career, and the No. 25 on the Billboard Charts for Up and Coming Musicians remains the high-point of her journey.
A flamboyant persona, coupled by the fact that she is constantly in the spotlight, has made Trisha susceptible to controversies. And unsurprisingly, she has embraced the scandals rather than shy away from them.
The worst of it remains her mid-2015 video supporting Donald Trump, which resulted in a huge backlash. Within days of her pro-Trump campaign, she lost close to 50,000 followers and was at the receiving end of a public outrage.
The more recent of these scandals is the ongoing war of words between Trisha and her (ex-)superfan, Daniel E Carroll. The feud started in early-2016, when Trisha v-logged about an online stalker who has been harassing her for years. According to Trisha, the autistic Daniel had been bestowing “unwanted attention” upon her for the past five years, and what she initially supposed to be a case of ‘super fan crush’ soon turned out to be obsessive online stalking.
Daniel, however, has a different story to tell. In rebuttal, he has posted two videos detailing his relationship with Trisha. While admitting to being a little carried away by his admiration for Trisha, Daniel reiterates that she was initially very much chummy with him and encouraged him to be her de facto defender against online trolls and haters.
The online stalker story, according to Daniel, is a construct of Trisha’s wild imagination, calculated to regain her waning popularity following the Trump fiasco and win a few followers at his expense. Whatever the truth of the matter is, things have turned pretty ugly between the two.
Behind The Curtains
But that’s not all. During one of her v-logging meltdowns, Trisha admitted to being addicted to prescription drugs and struggling with personal problems. Her on-off relationship with Sean Van Der Wilt hasn’t helped in making the going any better.Her fans and detractors point out that she is an interesting case study - of a variety of contradicting personality traits – but the one thing she excels at is entertaining. Yes, Trisha Paytas, is at the end of the day, an entertainer. And she is here to stay.