Viral Infection

It's never been easier to show off your chops: Thanks to video sharing, any wannabe with an iPhone can aspire to a brief moment in the spotlight. But a few self-made stars manage to stick around. Here are four Outside-approved YouTubers who've turned their 15 minutes into everything from Red Bull sponsorships to record deals.

MacAskill above an aircraft carrier in San Diego     Photo: Michael Clark/Red Bull Photofiles

STAR: Danny MacAskill
STUNT: MacAskill, a 24-year-old Scottish bike mechanic, danced through the streets of Edinburgh on his mountain bike. The video, which featured MacAskill backflipping off trees and flying from roof to roof, went viral in April 2009, getting 350,000 hits in its first 40 hours. TRAFFIC (AT PRESS TIME): 18 million PAYOFF: MacAskill is perhaps the biggest YouTube success story: Red Bull signed him, he starred in a music video by the Doves, and this summer he's doing stunts for actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the 2011 action fest Premium Rush, about a bike messenger under duress.

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