Hannah Hart, the wildly popular, sometimes sober YouTube personality (2.3 million subscribers), and author of the New York Times bestseller My Drunk Kitchen, is talking woman-to-woman with Caitlin PenzeyMoog, of the entertainment website A.V. Club, about Hart’s new book, Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded (Oct.) today, 3:45-4:30 p.m., in the Special Events Hall (W375e). Hart, also an award-winning comedian, actress, producer, and philanthropist, delivers in this collection of essays the big picture on what she’s figured out about family, faith, love, sexuality, self-worth, friendship, and fame. Sometimes cringe-worthy, Buffering aims to encourage readers to try their hands at her patented brand of cockeyed optimism.
Hart also coproduced, created, and starred in Hello, Harto, a charity show and tour for which she crowdfunded more than $250,000 to distribute 100,000 pounds of food to local communities. This resulted in Have a Hart Day, a year-round initiative encouraging young leaders to volunteer their time in their communities. Hart took time to speak with Show Daily before she hits the stage.
What can fans expect at your panel?
I’m really excited to share Buffering. I’ve been working on this a very long time, and fingers crossed, I don’t humiliate myself. One can only hope. I am always excited to meet people and give hugs. I don’t refer to “fans” because it sounds like I am deigning them with my presence. They are more like my board of directors, because we’re building something together. I’ve been very fortunate to have a really wonderful community of viewers that I want to make happy. They want to see me succeed. It’s probably the healthiest relationship I have ever had.
How did the first book, My Drunk Kitchen, come about?
My background is English lit and Japanese language. I came to Los Angeles with the sole goal of publishing a book, and [publishers] shut me down. I kept pestering until they finally said, “Fine, she won’t shut up about it, let’s publish her book and maybe she’ll go away.” It was very successful, and then they were like, “Hey, let’s get all you YouTube kids to publish a book.”
What’s the one celebrity you would love to have on your show?
I really would love Patrick Stewart, but I gotta say, Oprah. That would be incredible. I have nothing but love in this head for Oprah.
Would Oprah have to get drunk, too, or is her mere presence enough?
She wouldn’t have to do a thing. Oprah can do whatever she wants. She could just stand there and glow.
So everyone who follows you wishes you were their own BFF. Do you take this responsibility seriously? Or does it kind of weird you out?
I take it incredibly seriously. For me, the highlight is being able to have a positive impact on people. Have a Hart Day [which Hart describes as “an initiative to organize and mobilize the Hartosexuals & friendly humans to spread service and reckless optimism all over the world!”] has been running for about three years. It’s in nine countries, 36 active cities, each month. It’s all self-organized by volunteers. I am so proud to be a member of this community, not only as a figurehead. Not everyone can donate money, but most can donate time. So if you can donate time in the service of others, you really feel better at the end of the day. It feels good to do good things.
This article appeared in the May 14, 2016 edition of PW BEA Show Daily.