The Merrell Twins
Talk VidCon’s Night of Awesomeness and More!
by Kayla Marra
Having attended VidCon at least six times, the Merrill Twins were finally given the opportunity to host The Night of Awesomeness on Saturday, July 25th!
The popular twins – Veronica and Vanessa – are YouTubers and actresses from Kansas City, Missouri. The Merrill Twins later moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue their dream of acting. Once in California, their YouTube careers took off!
Since the start of their YouTube channel, the girls have released numerous shows, including their newest series Prom Knight, merchandise lines with Fanjoy, songs and covers, and have been nominated for and won many awards, including Streamy awards and Shorty awards.
We caught up with the girls via Zoom, chatting about hosting The Night of Awesomeness, their new merchandise line with Fanjoy, quarantine, TikTok, and much more!
Hi! I’m Kayla with Pop Entertainment and we are so excited to talk with you!
Both: Hi! We’re so excited to talk to you, too!
I was lucky enough to speak with you ladies in February about Twin My Heart and working with AwesomenessTV, how has everything been going with you since we last talked?
Veronica Merrell: First of all, it’s so nice to put a face to your voice!
Vanessa Merrell: It’s been crazy since Twin My Heart. We came out with a series on our channel called Prom Knight, and quarantine has happened. We’ve been staying home and making videos. Life’s been good!
Veronica Merrell: Life’s been good and we’re making the most of it.
Vanessa Merrell: Now we’re getting ready to host Night of Awesomeness for VidCon, so that’s going to be super fun.
The “Night of Awesomeness” has always been one of our favorite events at VidCon. How are you ladies going to keep it just as exciting now that it is online, rather than in-person?
Vanessa Merrell: Now that it’s online rather than in person, we’re able to get a lot of more fun creators to do different challenges and stuff. In person you can only do so much. When you’re at home and you have different creators going live from their homes, they can do fun different challenges. So, we have some creators doing your favorite, fun YouTube challenges which is going to be super fun.
Veronica Merrell: Yeah! Riley Hubatka is going to be there, Zach Justice, Amelie Zilber, Indiana Masara, Coverboys, Avenue Beat – literally so many people! Oh, and Honey Robinson!
Vanessa Merrell: Maggie Thurman and her dad are going to do a really cool, cute challenge together.
Veronica Merrell: And the Merrell Twins! (Both laugh)
How have you each been preparing to host the show?
Vanessa Merrell: We’ve had several Zoom meetings to talk about what we’re going to say and what people are going to be doing. It’s been a little bit hectic, but I think we got it.
Veronica Merrell: We have a script and a little outline that we’ve been rehearsing here and there.
How did you get this awesome opportunity?
Both: That’s a great question!
Vanessa Merrell: AwesomenessTV reached out to us and asked us if we wanted to host Night of Awesomeness.
Veronica Merrell: We’ve been working with AwesomenessTV for years. I feel like it’s such a great partnership. We feel like family with AwesomenessTV.
Vanessa Merrell: I think they just thought it would be a perfect fit because they know that we do deal with anxiety, so maybe they thought, “I bet they’d love to do this.” (Both laugh)
Have you ever been to VidCon before, or taken part in the “Night of Awesomeness”?
Vanessa Merrell: Yes, we’ve been to VidCon. This year would have been our sixth or seventh year. We’ve been a few times and we’ve done several Night of Awesomeness challenges.
Veronica Merrell: Our friend Mahogany did a DJ set and invited us on stage to dance with her and that was really fun.
Vanessa Merrell: We’ve participated in Night of Awesomeness. We love VidCon, it’s so much fun. The reason we go to VidCon in general is to meet our fans. It’s our way of saying “thank you for supporting us.” We want to meet everyone, but this year we can’t.
Veronica Merrell: About six years ago when we first went to VidCon, we didn’t even have passes. We just stopped by because we heard of the convention happening. This was back in the day when YouTubers were walking around the hotel. We were just like, “What are we doing here?”
Vanessa Merrell: We had almost 10,000 subscribers, I think.
Veronica Merrell: Yeah. Then the next year we ended up getting passes and we attended VidCon as fans, versus now, when we attend VidCon it’s a completely different level. We get to go backstage and stuff. The difference is huge. I can’t believe we used to go to VidCon as fans and now we’re hosting events.
What is your favorite memory from a past VidCon?
Veronica Merrell: There’s been so many times when I’ve fangirled over seeing YouTubers. I’m like, “Oh my gosh, that’s Jenna Marbles! Oh my gosh, Nessa, do you see that? That’s the Harries twins!”
Vanessa Merrell: We were obsessed with the Harries twins!
Veronica Merrell: There’s been so many great memories.
Vanessa Merrell: Some of my favorite times were meeting fans. There’s a lot of usernames we see over and over again on YouTube, Twitter, and on our livestreams. To put a face to usernames that we’ve seen for so long is a really special moment because it’s like, “Oh my gosh, you’re a real person not just some robot on the internet!” We have five million subscribers which is so much, but in the nicest way possible. It doesn’t feel like we have five million subscribers because it’s just a number at the end of the day. It’s hard to put it into perspective. When we see fans in person, that’s when we really realize everyone is real and not fake.
Along with the extremely exciting news that you’ll be hosting the “Night of Awesomeness,” fans were also very hype about your recent super cute merch collection with Fanjoy. What was the designing process like?
Veronica Merrell: It’s one of my favorite drops, for sure!
Vanessa Merrell: Thank you, we used our favorite colors!
Veronica Merrell: Mine is a lavender/purple.
Vanessa Merrell: I love pink, specifically light pink. It’s like our phone case (from the collection)! We were just talking with Fanjoy and we collaborated with them on designs. They have a design team and we just said to them that we want something that screams “spring/summer” with these colors. We wanted a crewneck, we wanted a hoodie, and a t-shirt. We didn’t want to do anything too crazy. We talked about maybe adding flowers here and there. The design team came up with this design as their first mock-up and we were like, “That’s it, good job! We don’t need anything else.” That was super fun and it turned out so cute and it did super well. We did talk to Fanjoy and we are in the process of designing new merch for the fall. As of now, we wanted to have a Yeezy feel to it, color wise. We’ll see how it turns out!
What has it been like working with Fanjoy?
Veronica Merrell: Fanjoy is great, they have such a great team.
Vanessa Merrell: Our lives are pretty stressful. We would love to be completely in charge of our merch but at the end of the day, in order to succeed, you have to bring in other people to help you. You can’t do everything on your own or else you might go crazy. Fanjoy has done so much for us. They help us design. They ship the stuff for us.
Veronica Merrell: They take the pictures and put it on the website. They’re so helpful because I can’t do that. We don’t know how to do that stuff.
Vanessa Merrell: Just from day one they’ve just been a huge help. We’re so thankful to be with them. They have the cutest stuff! Other creators have the coolest merch and the cutest things. We love Fanjoy!
Other than designing and releasing your new merch collection, what have you been doing to keep yourselves occupied during quarantine?
Veronica Merrell: We’ve been streaming a lot more on our second channel that we livestream on. Basically, we’ve been focusing on that. Just trying to be engaged with people. Other than quote-unquote not working – even though we don’t really consider that work, it’s fun work – we sleep!
Vanessa Merrell: When quarantine started, we thought that we would get a little bit of a break. We would just get to focus on our videos, and that’s it. In reality, we ended up getting so much more, like Zoom calls and meetings. We had to film things over Zoom for so many different things. Our schedules have been so much busier than ever to be quite honest. Even when we were traveling to different countries, we feel busier now. So, when she says sleep, we’re working non-stop still. We feel very blessed to be able to work during this time, it’s just crazy times. We’re happy that our content can help everyone and distract everyone from what is going on right now.
Veronica Merrell: Our agent made a really great point about working from home and doing Zoom calls. You don’t really have an excuse to not do Zoom calls because you can’t go anywhere, you can’t do anything. You can’t say you’re busy. You can’t say you’re in some country this week and can’t do your meetings. You’re literally at home like, “Two o’clock works great!”
What are you looking forward to doing the most after everything has calmed down?
Vanessa Merrell: To be quite honest I’m scared to travel even after everything has calmed down. I definitely will wait a bit, but obviously just to travel would be super fun because we had so many plans. We were supposed to go to Abu Dhabi. We were supposed to go back to the Philippines. We had lots of plans to go back to different countries and to go to different events, but obviously they were all canceled. It would be fun to do those events and travel to those places. We always have a series that we are planning and that is in the works, so we are definitely going to be filming for the fall. Besides that, we’re just filming YouTube videos and doing what we love. Hopefully, we can release the music in the meantime while we are still at home.
You’ve both been highly active on TikTok during quarantine, as well. What are your favorite current TikTok trends?
Both: That’s a great question!
Veronica Merrell: I love TikTok! The great thing about hosting the Night of Awesomeness is that we know a lot of creators from TikTok. The sad thing is that because we’re not hosting in person, I can’t meet these people.
Vanessa Merrell: There’s one of them that I really wanted to meet! Okay, one of my favorite TikTok trends was where the girl sets her phone up in the car and reaches behind someone to pull out a bag and they hit that person in the head. It’s hilarious, it was so funny. You could tell which ones were fake. But the one that I could tell was super real and had me dying laughing was Brittany Furlan’s with Tommy Lee. His reaction is so funny.
Veronica Merrell: I really like the voiceover ones where you try to recreate a sound, but you’re making it your own.
Vanessa Merrell: The unfortunate thing about us both being on TikTok and keeping up with the trends is that we can’t do those funny trends to each other, because she would know. I wanted to do the purse thing!
Veronica Merrell: I love the pranks!
Vanessa Merrell: Maybe we could do it on our dad! (Laughs)
That would be some good content! Who are your favorite TikTokers?
Vanessa Merrell: This girl named Nava Rose! She does a lot of fashion stuff and I’m obsessed with her style. This may be TMI, but she put me on these new bras for tiny-boobed people! [The brand] is called Pepper! She’s very supportive of women who have small boobs and I feel so empowered by her. I love this lady, she’s great! She just makes me feel confident about myself, that’s why I really like her.
Veronica Merrell: There’s so many creators I like, like Imthejay, she’s great and her content is hilarious.
Vanessa Merrell: Obviously, Charli (D’Amelio) with her cute dances and her sister, Dixie.
Veronica Merrell: We have a friend named Zach and he has a cat named Albus, who is so cute.
Vanessa Merrell: He puts hats on his cat, it’s so cute.
Veronica Merrell: I watch a lot of cooking TikToks. I’ve learned a lot about cooking from TikTok.
Vanessa Merrell: There’s one cute guy that cooks and he’s Italian. That’s all I need!
With the current social climate, I feel that it is important to bring this up. Your post for Blackout Tuesday on the Merrell Twins Instagram was beautifully worded. What do you think we, as a country and a society can do to better ourselves and bring a positive change to the world?
Both: Thank you!
Veronica Merrell: There is so much that we could do.
Vanessa Merrell: I think the number-one important thing we can do is just to educate people. I’ve always said that we are so quick to judge people when we don’t know if they’ve been educated correctly. So, I always say before we judge someone and their actions, educate. Just talk and have an honest conversation and do it in a nice way. We don’t need to ridicule people and teach people in a mean way. That is what the opposite of what Black Lives Matter is. We just need to be kind and show love. It just starts with education. I have said that with this generation, we are so well aware of what’s going on. There are a lot of people that still need to learn what is correct and what’s wrong. But I think with our generation and the younger generation, we will be able to see in the future a generation that is more accepting and loving.
Veronica Merrell: Oh yeah. For sure.
Vanessa Merrell: It all just comes down to educating, being kind, and showing people. It’s one thing to say, “That’s racist,” but it’s another thing to say, “That’s racist because… and here’s what you should do to fix it.” I always compare it to bullying campaigns that say, “Stop bullying!” How are we going to stop bullying if we don’t teach what bullying is and what is the right way to not bully [someone else]. The same with Black Lives Matter, to teach what racism is, we have to point it out specifically. Call people out, teach, and educate them. Just say, “Hey, stop doing that because you’re hurting others and it’s not good.”
Veronica Merrell: Obviously, not everyone is easy to talk to. So, choose your battles.
Vanessa Merrell: Once you educate yourself and you have done your part, if someone decides to keep saying racist things or being a mean person, then they have shown you their true colors. You move on from that person and you take them out of your life.
Veronica Merrell: We always talk about when you’re talking to someone, to plant your seed. No matter what happens with certain people, at least you’re planting a seed in their head. It may not be you who helps it grow, maybe it has to be themselves that grows that seed into something better.
Vanessa Merrell: You never know what your impact will be. Just on anything like just being kind to someone, giving a compliment, you never know what that’s going to do for someone. I definitely think the most important thing is to keep talking about Black Lives Matter. Talk about the fact that racism is still a thing. People like to pretend that it’s not a real thing, but it definitely still is. There’s just so many things that people need to be educated on. I think that’s how we’re going to slowly fix the problem because we can’t do it overnight. With time, I think we can fix the problem with the education system and teaching our peers.
Keeping the conversation going and educating when you can [is important]. In the time that we live in with all the technology, getting information is so accessible, so keeping the conversation going is possible. That’s one positive about the world we live in.
Vanessa Merrell: We were complaining to our mom one day about how 2020 is the worst year with all this horrible stuff happening. She said there may be bad things happening, but 2020, how I see it, is more of a year about learning and growth. Everyone is learning so many things and getting educated. On not just racism, but just how to stay healthy as a person. [For example], what we should be doing to make sure we are living good lives. There are so many other things that everyone is opening their eyes to about our world and what is happening. As negative as 2020 has been, the positive is that we are growing as a world. It’s a world-thing that’s happening right now, so it’s really cool to see that people are educating themselves and learning. I was like, “You know what, mom? That’s a great perspective to have.”
Veronica Merrell: Just to add a little bit to plus in the Night of Awesomeness again, they’re going to be donating to the NAACP during the live stream. There will be a blue donation button on Vidcon’s YouTube channel, so I know people can look forward to that.
Especially since there will be such a big audience, it is great that VidCon is using their platform to do good in the world. Do you have any messages you’d like to say to your fans?
Both: Stay safe!
Vanessa Merrell: Just remember that we are all dealing with this pandemic. I know a lot of people are feeling anxiety and stress, just know that we are all going through it together. No one knows what the outcome will be or what the future is going to look like. Just knowing that we’re not alone really helps me. I hope it helps you to know that you’re not alone. We’re going to get through this. Just show love, be kind, stay at home, and wear your mask.
Veronica Merrell: Please wear your mask!
Vanessa Merrell: It’s only temporary. If you just wear it now, we’ll be able to get back to normal life without the mask. It’s going to be okay. I know it’s hard and we may not have the sight of what’s going to happen in the future, but just know to have hope and be positive. Attitude is everything. If you have the right attitude, you can get through anything!
Make sure you check out VidCon’s Night of Awesomeness on Saturday, July 25th, hosted by the Merrell Twins, featuring appearances by the Coverboys, Avenue Beat, Riley Hubatka, and many more!
Copyright ©2020 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: July 23, 2020.
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