Watching Abbe Drake interact in the world, you half expect her to be followed by a small train of woodland creatures, singing her way through the world with a megawatt smile on her lips and a twinkle in her eye. A vision of a real life Disney princess, Abbe has a love of colorful clothing and a tendency to break into song mid-conversation. Had I not already noticed this upon our first encounter, it was confirmed after she insisted I harmonize with her to the “Beauty and the Beast” song “Little Town.” While my pipes weren’t properly warmed up for the impromptu a cappella session, I did get the chance to sit down and indulge my girly side with Abbe for a couple hours talking about our favorite musicals, giggling about boys and discussing all the work that goes into her silly YouTube videos.
At first glance, it could be easy to write Abbe off, with her easy laugh and enthusiasm, as a YouTube Pollyanna. But after beginning my interview, I couldn’t help but be impressed with her vast knowledge of writing, editing and composing videos. Starting her channel back in 2006, Abbe was one of the first YouTubers to begin using the online video platform. Abbe’s first video took the number one most viewed spot of the day on YouTube with 300,000 views.
But with a channel that was only growing at the time, Abbe did the unthinkable — she decided to go back to college and took time away from the YouTube scene. Making only a few videos over the next five years, Abbe turned over a whole new leaf in 2012. Now a masters student at USC majoring in music, Abbe has taken to developing her YouTube channel to develop her talent as a performing artist. With a flare for the dramatic, Abbe is an aspiring opera singer and actress whose goal is to bring the classical form of opera singing into the modern space of social media. Each of her music videos highlights Abbe’s incredible voice as she sings her way through Pinterest, her relationships with her father and starting a new school in California. With a giggle that is contagious and an imagination that knows no limits, Abbe is blending her love for the traditional and modern to create enjoyable videos for her viewers each week.