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Opportunities are often given, but seldom made. It takes a truly creative and powerful person of mind, body, spirit, and skill to take what is inside of them and put it on display for all the world to see. There is so much more to The Web World than its stars–think directors, show runners, bloggers, writers, content creators, and networks. Destiny seldom calls on anyone at a moment of their choosing, and these ten amazing people did not wait they are blazing their own paths and shaping the lives of others.

Check out the true dream makers on our list of The Top Ten Influencers of The Web World!

#10.

Davien Harlis

davien harlisIt is rare when anyone can say a year and been “their year.” However, for Davien Harlis this has definitely been the case as 2017 tipped her hat to this director and Web Star. His hit indie film Red Carpet, Hashtags, & Heartbreak is critically acclaimed and we are all clamoring for a sequel. Davien is a relative newbie to the Web World, but his sphere of influence has cultivated a full feature length film that was sold out both nights. If any hashtag suits this rising star and influencer, it is “Tastemaker!”

red carpet hashtags and heartbreak#9.

Alex Jante

alex janteOne of the hottest Web Stars is easily its most brilliant. Alex Jante is a triple threat being able to act, model, and most of all WRITE! This amazing man has written episodes of About Him: The Revolution, Tex Brown, Climax, Uncle Joey, Kingdom Heights and Steel River: When We Were Young, and most recently the first Black LGBT horror film, The Get Away! A series is only as good as its writing and acting; and when Alex puts his pen to paper you are guaranteed to have a hit series. In fact, the only thing greater than his repertoire of work is his stellar reputation. Few can boast that they are loved and respected throughout the Web World. Issa Rae meet your newest colleague!

alex jante#8 & 7.

The Jones Sisters (Alvin Agarrat & Kimberly Jones)

the jones sisters kimberly jones and alvin algarrat

Kimberly Jones & Alvin Agarrat

Web Stars come talented, but all too often they come young and fresh to the industry. Who teaches them the ropes?i.e. How to do interviews, what to say, when, how to dress, efficiently learn lines, etc.–pretty much being their surrogate parent. Meet Kimberly Jones and Alvin Agarrat!

kimberly jonesKim is practically the “Mama of The Web World” and a number of Web Stars actually affectionately refer to her as that. Kim has been in the industry for decades as a writer, author, producer, publicist, and currently a talent manager with Talent Connects. Here, she cultivates and guides the next generation of leading men and women on their way to the rarefied air of Hollywood.

alvin agarratAlvin is an amazing writer and producer who has mostly made his moves behind the scenes. However, the work he has done on many Signal 23 TV shows and their various cast; and his own projects is nothing short of phenomenal. In 2018 he releases a new web series, We Are Fam, that will set the Web World ablaze. If you aren’t down with Alvin consider yourself down and out!

#6.

HeyMikeyATL

hey mikey atl logoWhether you hate it or love it, blogs are the way most people get the news on the Who’s Who of the entertainment world. The Web World is no different, and HeyMikeyATL serves as the nexus to all things Web World-related. Began by Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning in January 2014 this site has consistently brought much needed press and recognition to a community all too often underrepresented and stigmatized.

michael j. fanning

Mikey

Upfront, if you want to know about your favorite web series and Web Stars then this is your first destination. Behind the scenes is a pool of piping hot tea ready for your to dive in (VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED, LOL). The site currently garners more hits daily than most Web Series have views PERIOD. To put it simply, HeyMikeyATL is the nexus of the Web World!

#5.

Anthony Bawn

anthony bawnWhen it comes to someone who truly knows the business of entertainment you need look no further than Anthony Bawn. He came on our radar back in January and we only feel foolish we did not know of him sooner. It is thanks to this visionary that we have Cheetah In August, Blackville, and the continuance of the story line of the first season of About Him, repackaged as H.I.M., in addition to an entire network of programming on Bawn TV. There you will find a good deal of programming consisting of web series, short films, and feature films.

anthony bawnAnthony’s influence comes from his ability to reach across the table and his willingness to work with others. This gives him the rare ability to work with just about anyone while being able to draw out the true talent of his actors. There is much in store for Anthony Bawn in 2018 that we have to keep under wraps– you just be sure you are watching!

#4.

Corey Knott & Lyrik London

corey knott and lyrik londonLit, Lit, LIT! Pun totally intended! Corey Knott and Lyrik London are two amazingly popular and talented content creators, directors, and show runners all while being the faces of HD Productions. These two best friends turned business partners specialize in series that push the envelope, showcasing the grittier aspects of LGBT community. Their shows have collectively grossed over six million views and continue to climb. This is no easy feat, but when you have hot shows like LIT, Dirty Talk, Living For The Weekend, Fallacies, and Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies (which returns for its fourth and final season in Spring 2018) and a host of new series debuting in 2018 it is not surprising.

corey knott

Corey Knott

Corey Knott is truly one to burn the midnight oil spending his time and energy creating amazing content and working even harder as the CEO of HD Productions to take it to the next level. Corey is also a Web Star in his own right as the star of his own hit web series, Living For The Weekend. We, however, are living his latest web series to debut soon, Twenty20 and House Boys. We are watching Mr. Knott and you’re becoming a force to be reckoned with!

lyrik london

Lyrik London

There seems to be literally nothing that Lyrik London cannot do. Whether he is on set filming for Chasing Atlanta, or shooting one of HD Productions’ own web series, he proves himself to be an artist through and through. Perhaps the only thing we are more impressed by than his skills are his dance moves. Tall, light, and dreamy–we see you!

#3.

Tyson Anthony

(Tyson wishes to remain faceless)

There is much to say about anyone who can take the stories and experiences of a community and not only turn them into novels, but equally amazing web series. This is a feat Tyson Anthony boasts with ease! The book that the now hit web series, About Him, was based off of us is just one of many projects Mr. Anthony has gifted to the masses. Tyson’s influence comes from his unique storytelling, the stories he chooses to tell, and the artistic actors he chooses to bring his characters to life.

raisin eli chris june promo posterThis has truly been an amazing year for Tyson as he launched his own network, Tyson PLUS and released a second season of Raising Eli, as well as premiering Ellenwood and Honest Men. The latter has easily become one of the most popular and complex web series to hit the net. If Tyson Anthony has proven anything it is that his stories are viable, relevant, relatable, and above all else CAPTIVATING!

tyson anthony's honest men#2.

Lamont Pierre

lamont pierre art house tvHave you ever seen cinemaphotography so beautiful it puts you in awe of everything on the screen? That is the mesmerizing feeling you get watching any of Lamont Pierre’s many projects. This taste maker is the creator and father of Free Fall, the web series that foreshadowed the rise and popularity of most LGBT web series to come after it. Lamont not only pushes the envelope with his series, but pushes you to your limits with a full body reaction to characters you cannot help but have yourself intricately connected to and invested in.

free fall web seriesLamont’s network, Arthouse TV, has some of the net’s premium web series and is honestly a journey and joy to explore. Mr. Pierre’s influence comes from the confidence of knowing what he is doing and that he is truly one of the best to ever do it. Have you seen Red Skin? ‘Nuff said!

#1.

Henderson Maddox

henderson maddoxAll hail the Kingpin! Henderson Maddox tops our list thanks to the sheer popularity of his web series, his skill as a director, and prowess as a business man. (He makes shit happen!) When it comes to web influencers he is immediately atop anyone’s list. As the CEO and founder of Signal 23 TV he has introduced the masses to the likes of Gary Lavard, Brandon Karson, Alex Jante, Rahim Brazil, Rico Pruitt, Tripp Ali, and Jaquay Wilkerson; each of them talented and top Web Stars.

henderson maddoxSignal 23 TV is the giant of the Web World and there is no navigating around its sphere of influence. However, as Henderson proves with great power comes great responsibility and consequences. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, especially when it comes to controversy. Still, we do not see Henderson Maddox bowing out anytime soon and we just know that 2018 will see him to take his company mainstream.

Web Star Watched

Web Star Watched-Javontae Brownlee (@JavonteBrownle1)

When it comes to “cool” Web Stars, few can match the swag and appeal of Javontae Brownlee. You may be familiar with him thanks to his roles on the hit web series, L.I.T., Living 4 The Weekend,  and now starring alongside veteran web stars, Tripp Ali and Gary Lavard in Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You; but you still don’t know the ins and outs of this awesome guy. Check Javontae out as he spills a little trivia in our latest bout of “Web Star Watched!”

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javontae brownlee

When it comes to “cool” Web Stars, few can match the swag and appeal of Javontae Brownlee. You may be familiar with him thanks to his roles on the hit web series, L.I.T., Living 4 The Weekend,  and now starring alongside veteran web stars, Tripp Ali and Gary Lavard in Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You; but you still don’t know the ins and outs of this awesome guy. Check Javontae out as he spills a little trivia in our latest bout of “Web Star Watched!”

javontae brownlee
1.Have you always wanted to be an actor? What’s been your favorite role?
Yes I’ve always wanted to be an actor ever since I had got into performing arts in high school. My favorite role as far a today would have to be playing the role of Justin in “Someday This Pain would be useful to you”. It was something different for me going in another direction as an actor.
2. How do you prepare for a role?
My process as preparing for a role I get feed back from close friends or people that I take serious in that category & I go from there. As well as going over my lines with my partner which we both are actors so we help each other out preparing for our roles.
3. Who are biggest personal influences?
My mom & dad , they keeps me going & keep telling me that I will make it just keep striving for the top & my time is most definitely coming!
4. Who are your biggest professional influences?
Denzel Washington, I pray one day I become an great actor just as himself.
5. How do you manage your personal and professional life?
I manage my personal & professional life by separating work & play , setting priorities, managing procrastination, eliminating destractions & setting boundaries.
6. What do you do in your downtime? Any hobbies?
Well I love sports so I’ll like to hit up the gym & hoop around or I’ll rather sit back & chill & play the game. I really don’t be doing too much. I like to just chill most of the time .
7. What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
Most people view me as a play boy that I don’t take relationship seriously, but if you know me you would understand that I take relationships serious as well as thrive. Not only just personal relationships but I take friendships very seriously too.
8. Single, taken, or “it’s complicated?”
I’ve be seeing someone for quite sometime so I would label it as I’m taken. 
9. What do you think is your best physical feature?
I would have to say my eyes .
javontae brownlee
10. Is there anything you don’t like about yourself, or feel you can work on?
What I don’t like about myself & feel I need to change & work on is I feel like I should focus more on my dream than being focused on a boring job. I should put more into my craft & live my dream.
11. Last movie you saw
American Gangster 
12. Your favorite web series-
My favorite web series is “living for the weekend” which I play the role of “Travis”.
13. Your favorite web star (you can’t pick yourself)
My favorite web star I would have to say none other than Ryan Kennedy .
14. LGBTQIQA or straight?
Either or 
15. Something you can’t live without
I would have to say music , what’s life without music. Helps me get through the day.
16. Biggest pet peeve
Wow I have so many of these , but one of them are when like people’s asking me the same question over & over again like that really gets to me for some reason. & being ignored is one of them as well . I would turn to an a**hole so fast.
17. Tell us something you’ve never told anyone
If I never told anyone something that means it’s best unsaid & kept to myself.
18. Age
23
19. Sign
Scorpio
20. Quote to live by
Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!

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Web Star Watched

Web Star Watched-Brandon Karson (@brandonkarson)

It’s time for a little trivia! You’ve watched them on your favorite web series, and even admired them from afar; but how much do you really know about your favorite Web Star? We’re starting off our weekly series with an oldie, but goodie, Brandon Karson, of “About Him” fame!

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brandon karson

It’s time for a little trivia! You’ve watched them on your favorite web series, and even admired them from afar; but how much do you really know about your favorite Web Star? We’re starting off our weekly series with an oldie, but goodie, Brandon Karson, of About Him fame!

1. Have you always wanted to be an actor?

BK: Not at all. When I was younger, I wanted to be an attorney. Specifically a divorce/family attorney. That came from me talking debate and speech classes growing up.

2. What’s been your favorite role?

BK: I have to give it to my role on “About Him” as ‘Damien’. It touched so many people and it opened a lot of doors for me both in my professional and personal lives. However, the one that comes in close second would be me on BRTB TV’s “Triangle”, as ‘Logan’. I get to have so much fun with this character. From the filming process, to the amazing story line, I love being apart of the “Triangle” family.

3.How do you prepare for a role? 

BK: When I get the script for the first time, I read it three times: once for clarity on the story, another time for clarity of my role, and a final time to determine a character choice. Throughout all three of these initial reads, I’m remembering to gather other information I need to further clarify why my character is relevant to the story. I then breakdown the character by dissecting the character using the 5 W’s. From there, I then read for memory.

4. Who are biggest personal influences?

BK: More than anything, both my mother and my father. My mom has seen me through EVERYTHING, and sometimes she knows me more than I know myself. As for my father, we may had a more  sporadic relationship in the beginning. Now, we’re much, MUCH better. His journey taught me strength & perseverance. My mom’s taught me work hard and take nothing from no one.

brandon karson

5. How do you manage your personal and professional life?

BK: It’s quite the task, honestly. I try my best to stay off the radar when it comes to exposing certain things. So new business ventures and new personal connections, I’m keep them on the hush until I know everything is solid. All in all, it’s pretty tough, but I take it day by day.

6. What do you do in your downtime? Any hobbies?

BK: I write…a lot. From my thoughts, to random feelings of passion or frustration, the written word has become my best friend. I’ve also grown quite the liking to both fashion and fitness over the past five years. Indulging in them both helps me to decompress.

7. What is the biggest misconception people have about you?

BK: That I’m mean…and that I’m a “player”. I have a natural stank face in public sometimes, and I honestly don’t know until someone checks me behind it. With the whole “player” label, I want to be clear about one thing…when I’m single, I’m single. I’m a firm believer in multi-dating. I think it’s healthy. I’m vocal with EVERYONE I’ve ever dated about me talking to other guys. So I do think people choose to be upset and call me names.

8. Single, taken, or “it’s complicated?”

BK: I’m taken. Happily.

9. What do you think is your best physical feature?

BK: My Lips. They call them “soup coolers”.

brandon karson

10. Is there anything you don’t like about yourself, or feel you can work on?

BK: I can be really impatient sometimes. I can definitely work on that, and my listening skills. They’re more selective than I’d want them to be.

11. Last movie you saw

BK: “Fyre Fraud” Documentary on Hulu. AMAZING WATCH!

12. Your favorite web series

BK: When it’s on, SlayTV’s “Love at First Night”. Currently, it’s HereTV’s “#SingleManProblems”. 

13. Your favorite web star (you can’t pick yourself)

BK: One of my favorite on screen actors and such an amazing spirit, Donta Hensley. 

14. LGBTQIQA or straight?

BK: C’mon now…Lol.

15. Something you can’t live without

BK: Silk Pajamas…or silk anything for that matter.

16. Biggest pet peeve

BK: Bad Hygiene…it’s disrespectful.

17. Tell us something you’ve never told anyone

BK: I’m scared of being alone one day. Never finding real love, you know? I mean, I’m in a relationship now…but who knows what the future holds?

18. Age

BK: 25

19. Sign

BK: Scorpio

20. Quote to live by

BK: “You never win when you play dirty.” – NeNe Leakes

brandon karson

Instagram: @brandonkarsonjordan Twitter: @brandonkarson

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Web Star Watched

Web World UNITED! #STOPHomophobia! Your Favorite Web Stars Speak Out & In Support of Jussie Smollett!

It is no secret that the Web World has its factions, families, and differences. However, when it comes to what is important it is touching that the community can gather together to speak out against homophobia and their support of hospitalized Empire star, Jussie Smollett. As you may already know, he was the victim of hate crime earlier this morning and the support and defense of his plight has been overwhelming–even from our favorite Web Stars and web series directors, writers, and producers. Here, near, and far they have gathered together for a cause for greater than any of them individually. Check out their touching messages of solidarity and support below:

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jussie smollett no h8 campaign

It is no secret that the Web World has its factions, families, and differences. However, when it comes to what is important it is touching that the community can gather together to speak out against homophobia and their support of hospitalized Empire star, Jussie Smollett. As you may already know, he was the victim of hate crime earlier this morning and the support and defense of his plight has been overwhelming–even from our favorite Web Stars and web series directors, writers, and producers. Here, near, and far they have gathered together for a cause for greater than any of them individually. Check out their touching messages of solidarity and support below:

tripp ali nude

I’m am deeply saddened and disheartened by the heinous crimes against Jessie Smollett. To image something like this happening in 2019 is beyond me. We must stand against the hate that is consuming us as a country. Intolerance of any kind is unacceptable. This could have been anyone of us. Jessie has become another victim of what this country has become. My heart goes out to him, his family and loved ones.

-Tripp Ali 🙏🏽 @iamtrippali

(more…)

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