Josh Peck may have gotten his start in traditional media, but he’s since turned to alternative outlets to grow his brand. Since appearing on Nickelodeon’s Drake & Josh, Peck has largely forgone the typical Hollywood route, instead depending on social media sites as a creative outlet. The change, Peck says, has worked wonders for him.
Josh Peck is over Hollywood games
Having essentially grown up onscreen, Peck is intimately familiar with the workings of the Hollywood machine. That inside knowledge is part of what drove him out of traditional media to newer forms, like the now-defunct Vine and, of course, YouTube. “The frustrating thing is how powerless you are as a creator in traditional media,” Peck said in a Q&A session at the University of Florida.
Peck explained that part of that frustration came from the lack of control he had over the content he took part in. He was also forced to be who directors though he should be. With newer media, he had the ability to take back that creative control and try new things.
The immediate audience reaction that he was able to get from social media was also a plus for the former child star. “The best thing about social media,” Peck told MTV News in 2017, “[is] that we [can] go direct to the audience and not have to shoot something and wait 12 months for it to get edited and finally get put on the air.” This allows for Peck to be more flexible creatively since he’s able to gauge audience reactions almost as soon as he posts a new video to his channel.
New media is way more freeing
Beyond being able to get that immediate feedback, there’s one other feature of new media sites that Josh Peck approves. Sites like YouTube and Instagram allow people to reach an audience without having to go through the usual song and dance that defines the Hollywood scene. That’s why he encourages anyone who has an interest in entertainment to “Go for it.” “It is not like it once was where you have to be in New York or LA or know the right people or have representatives,” Peck continued.
Since his Drake & Josh days, Peck has appeared in a handful of traditional Hollywood roles. He starred in 2012’s Red Dawn remake with Chris Hemsworth. He also starred in the FOX sitcom Grandfathered alongside John Stamos, who played his father, and Christina Milian. Since the show’s cancellation, Peck has expanded his reach in the realm of new media. He has a YouTube channel that boasts 3.56 million subscribers. He also hosts the podcast Curious With Josh Peck, where he’s welcomed some fairly big name stars, like Zach Braff, Macaulay Culkin, and his TV dad Stamos, who was his very first guest. It really seems like he’s got this new system all figured out.