Category Archives: Interviews

Steamer to Watch: @Chrisjonesish!!!

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Hey guys,

I had the opportunity to do an interview a few weeks ago with one of my favorite streamers, Chris Jones. Here’s what she has to say.

Nerd: Tell Nerd a little about yourself for my readers who don’t know you?

CJ: I am Chris Jones. I am 24 years old and I moved to Seattle about a year ago. I’m originally from the South. I work in tech. I’m a designer. I love otters a lot. I think that people should know that.

Nerd: I’m learning something about you. I didn’t know you liked otters.

CJ: Oh, I love them so much. They’re my favorite animals. All shades of otter.

Nerd: I used to be a sea otter person. Now, I’m kind of a fox person, but now that you said sea otter, I might have to go on Tumblr and look at pictures of sea otters.

CJ: I think that you should and then transition between foxes and sea otters, you could do like weasels or little rodents. I love raccoons, but sea otters are my favorites.

Nerd: What kind of things do you do on the internet?

CJ: Like I told you, I used to be really into Tumblr, but now I am primarily focusing on the streaming stuff on Twitch and then, building that (following) on Twitter.

Nerd: What would you say got you into streaming?

CJ: My best friend’s boyfriend started doing it after he lost his job. He started gaining momentum as seeing how great the community was and how nice it was to sometimes play video game with people watching. I’m the worst about finishing something. I’ll get bored and go on to the next thing. I thought ‘Ok if I do streaming and have people watching me so I feel compelled to complete this games as well get some advice going forward.” The first game I streamed was Kingdom Hearts. I actually got a lot of advice and complete parts of the game that I had never even touched before because of the (Twitch) audience. I was like I’m going to keep going with it.

Nerd: I know that you have talked a little bit about this on your stream, what types of challenges to you there are for female gamers and streamers?

CJ: I think that in my lifetime, I’ve seen a shift. I recently saw a report that said that 50 percent of gamers are women, which is pretty huge for me because for the longest time I felt like I was one of very few. In my own personal experiences, I have never used a mic in online gaming before or talked to people because I have heard from other women who are gamers that you’ll get harassing messages if people find out you’re a girl or that you’re just playing the game to pick up boys. That’s one thing that I’ve seen as a gamer. [Another is] people assuming you don’t like a type of game because they’re more male oriented or more men play them. With streaming, I’ve seen these backhanded compliments where someone will say I’m so glad you’re, and excuse my language, not like those other whores who have their cleavage out and stuff like that. They’re meaning it as a compliment, but for me it’s like I think that these women should do whatever they want with their cleavage out or not. I feel like there is a lot of double standard that people are not watching you to have a conversation with you and play the game but to look at your body. I think that a lot of female gamers know how to combat that. It’s sad to me that I have to see in a lot of profiles ‘no I won’t show you my boobs.

Nerd: Right.

CJ: I think that I’ve been luck with my channel that everyone is nice and friendly and in most other channels, I don’t think that people speak up for that. They’ll just kind a laugh it off and I definitely have nice and supportive people who will call someone out if their being rude.

Nerd: it’s so strange to think that either extreme that it happens because for me it ultimately comes down to personality. You could be a dude with the same personality and it wouldn’t matter to me because I like your personality.

CJ: Thank you. I was having a conversation with a (streamer) friend and they were talking about this streamer who is female that they didn’t like and they were kind of throwing around word. I was like I think if she were a man people would be treating her a little differently because ultimately, I feel like a lot of male streamers can get away with the “asshole” personality of running up to people and screaming. A lot people find that funny, but if a woman does it, it’s kind of seen like she kind of weird and crazy. It’s the same kind of conduct but the only difference is gender.

Nerd: Maybe I just try to be blind to it, but I don’t know. Like I said, ultimately it’s personality. I’m going to watch someone for a couple minutes and based on those couple of minutes, I’m going to know if I’m going to want to watch them long term or not.

CJ: Yeah. I definitely appreciate that because I think that’s why the chat in my channel is great. I think that people have that same sentiment. I do see people who are only there for the hot chick.

Nerd: there are plenty of other places to get hot chicks other than twitch.

CJ: Yeah, exactly.

Nerd: The internet is good for that.

CJ: Yeah.

Nerd: Back to gaming, what is your favorite game of all time?

CJ: I was thinking about this when you sent me the questions. I think that I have to say that my favorite game of all time is Golden Sun. It was a Gameboy Advance game. I think it’s because it was probably one of the first games where I realized I could play something else other than Zelda and Pokemon. It’s an rpg and it’s a little bit more complicated. It really got me. I love the art. I love the music and story. I think it helped me branch out into other things that weren’t just the most popular game at the time.

Nerd: I’ve played the original Golden Sun. I don’t think I’ve played any of the ones after that. I’m trying to remember if someone said here borrow this and I never gave it back because I’m horrible about that or how that even happened. I don’t think that unless someone recommended it I would have ever played a jrpg.

CJ: Yeah. You know I had Final Fantasy 7 as a kid, but it was so intimidating the amount of discs you have to change and it wasn’t the best environment to learn.

Nerd: Those are hardcore jrpgs.

CJ: Yeah. It was great though because even at the time I was starting to get into a lot of Japanese culture so it was a great segue way of trying out a lot of new things.

Nerd: Do you have an all-time favorite gaming system?

CJ: I’m very tied between my Playstation 2 (PS2) and my Gameboy Advanced (GBA). PS2 because it was another variety of games where I started trying first person shooters and different things like that. I have so many memories tied to my GBA because it was something I took everywhere. If I had to choose, I would say GBA.

Nerd: What got you into gaming in the first place?

CJ: It was actually my parents. They got me the original Gameboy. I really love Star Wars at the time and they got me a Star Wars game. I don’t remember the name of it because I never completed it because it was so hard for me at the time. After that, I was like I would like to try more games so I got into Pokemon. Then the Nintendo 64 came out, so it was this gradual thing I was doing where I would get really into the story. I would mostly just play by myself. Some games I would play with my little brother. Most of it was trying out new things.

Nerd: Here are the questions that I ask every person I do an interview with and they’re supposed to be relatively quick answers.

CJ: Ok

Nerd: The first one that seems like the age old question: Coke or Pepsi?

CJ: Coke. I think it’s because it just tastes better.

Nerd: Cats or dogs?

CJ: Dogs.

Nerd: Summer or winter?

CJ: Summer.

Nerd: Hugs or kisses?

CJ: Hugs.

Nerd: Fame or fortune?

CJ: Fortune I think.

Nerd: You think?

CJ: If you have fame, you also have fortune and if you have fortune, you have some sort of fame.

Nerd: Yeah. Which is worse: speaking in front of people or writing a paper?

CJ: Writing a paper.

Nerd: Time travel to the past or to the future?

CJ: To the future.

Nerd: Celebrity magazine or newspaper?

CJ: Newspaper.

Nerd: Favorite food.

CJ: Cannoli.

Nerd: Favorite book.

CJ: I would say Paradise of the Blind. It’s about Vietnam during the communist regime. I can’t remember the author right now. It’s really rich with magical realism. I really love that book.

Nerd: Favorite color.

CJ: Blue.

CJ is one of my favorite streamers. Check out her Twitch channel, Twitter, web site and her new YouTube channel.

TTFN,
Nerd

Interview with @L7sville Star, @mkwiles-Part 2!!!

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Howdy guys,

It’s the last part of this particular series of interviews. I’m really sad. I look up to all the people who I’ve done interviews with for this series. Hope you enjoyed this.

MK Talks about Squaresville and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

You play Lydia Bennet in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (LBD). What is LBD for readers who haven’t seen it?
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries ia a modern-day vlog-style adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

Who is Lydia Bennet?
She is the younger sister of Lizzie and Jane. Lydia is known for being a bit of a loose cannon party girl, but as time has gone on I’m quite happy to say we’ve been able to add a lot more to her than appears on the surface.

Who else is in LBD?
We have a wonderful cast. Ashley Clements plays Lizzie, Laura Spencer plays Jane, Julia Cho plays Charlotte Lu, Christopher Sean plays Bing Lee, Jessica Jade Andres plays Caroline Lee, Maxwell Glick plays Ricky Collins, Briana Cuoco plays Mary Bennet, my cat Rosie plays Kitty Bennet, Wes Aderhold plays George Wikcham, Janice Lee plays Maria Lu, Craig Frank plays Fitz, and Daniel Vincent Gordh plays William Darcy.

What is Squaresville?
Squaresville is a web series about two girls, Esther and Zelda, in high school in the suburbs trying to be and do more than their surroundings afford them. It follows their misadventures and yearnings to make a difference.

Who do you play and what is she like?
I play Zelda, and she is the idealist of the two. She is the one wanting to be abducted by aliens or traveling through time and she often drags Esther along with her. Zelda is quiet but sharp, optimistic but judgmental, good-hearted but also condescending. She’s a wonderful character and I feel so lucky to be playing her.

Who else is in the cast?
Kylie Sparks plays Esther, Austin Rogers is Percy, David Ryan Speer plays Wayne, Tiffany Ariany plays Shelly, Chrissie Weatherup is Sarah, Jim Mahoney is Ozzy, Henry Monfries is Pete, and there are many many more talented actors who appear.

In what ways do you relate to your character, Zelda? Why?
I relate to Zelda in many ways more than any other character I play. Her optimism and her idealism which are in many ways her core are things that I have as well. I grew up wanting to be more and do more and experience more than my surroundings could afford me. My wants very much align with Zelda’s, and I was very much a “geek” or “nerd” or “outcast” in high school. She and I have a lot in common.

In what ways are you different than Zelda? Why?
Zelda is a little more sure of herself, at least when it comes to conflict, than I am. Zelda is stubborn and has no problem telling others that they’re wrong. I’m much more of a pushover and hate arguing with people, so I just don’t. I think if both of us could move somewhere towards the middle we’d both be better for it.

Who do you think you are most like, Lydia or Zelda? Why?
I used to think I was just like Zelda and nothing like Lydia. As time has gone on though, I have learned things about both of them that have made me balance that feeling out. I am like Lydia in ways I didn’t realize at first, and unlike Zelda in ways I hadn’t thought about before. I’m somewhere in between them. I have Lydia’s energy but Zelda’s gravity, and Zelda’s desire for activity and Lydia’s optimism.

Which character on Squaresville do you relate to most and why?
Zelda, without a doubt. For all the ways I’ve mentioned.

Congrats on season 1. A little birdy told me that there’s going to be a season 2. What can we expect from Season 2?
Thank you! Yes, there will be a season 2 and I’m very excited about it. I think Season 2 is going to really excite our viewers—I’m really excited about it. There is more of an overarching storyline in some ways, with still the vignette style episodes thrown in. There is a bit more that happens in Season 2—there are some fantastical elements that I’m very excited about. We meet a lot of new characters and the world of Squaresville is fleshed out in new ways. It’s going to be quite fun.

What is a typical day on set like?
Just fun from start to finish. We move fast and we get a lot done, but we are a family and we like nothing better than being together making the show.

You and Kylie Sparks have awesome chemistry. Was it something you had to work on or was it instant?
Kylie and I knew each other before we were cast together—we were at USC together. So we really have a common place that we’re coming from and I definitely feel like the prior knowledge of each other helped us have that foundation for Zelda and Esther’s friendship.

If you could give a high school girl advice, what would it be?
Just don’t worry about what anybody else thinks about you. Do the things that make you feel fulfilled and be silly if you want. Study hard if you want. Be creative. My friends and I did the silliest things in high school and didn’t really care if we were popular or not. I’m really proud of us for that, because I had the absolute most fun in high school. If I had been more concerned with being “popular” I think I would have missed out on so much.

Three reasons to watch both Squresville and LBD.
Squaresville

  1. I bet that no matter who you are, you can relate to at least one scenario in Squaresville.
  2. Matt’s dialogue is fantastic.
  3. It’s about going on adventures, and who doesn’t love adventures?

LBD

  1. If you are a dude, three lovely redheaded sisters.
  2. If you are a lady, Wes Aderhold.
  3. It’s truly unlike any other version of P&P, and unlike any other modern adaptation.

Any words you would like to say?
I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of both these shows and to be playing such different characters. I have made wonderful friends through both of them and am so happy to have connected with our audience in the way that we have. I am very, very lucky. And thanks for the interview!

My last Words

I would really like to thank Matt, Kylie and Mary Kate for their time in doing these interviews. I had a lot of fun reading and editing them. I hope you guys had fun answering them.

If you have a web series or film that you would like me to check out, leave it in the comments below or hit me up on my social media found on the contact page. Thanks.

TTFN,
Nerd

Interview with @robgokee!!! Exclusive Announcement!!!

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Hey guys,

I’m really excited. Earlier today, I interviewed Rob Gokee, a composer and friend of mine. He gave me an exclusive about a new book that he is writing. I hope that you enjoy.

Tomorrow, we have the second part of Mary Kate’s interview, so I hope that you come back.

TTFN,
Nerd

Interview with @hipsterhood Creator, Shilpi Roy (@Iplish)-Part 2!!!

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Hey guys,

Happy Presidents Day. If you don’t live in the US, then I hope you have a good day as well. Anyways, here’s part 2 of my interview with Hipsterhood creator, Shilip Roy. This part of the interview contains some spoilers. Read at your own risk.

About the Show

Tell my readers a little about your show.

Hipsterhood is about two hipsters in Silverlake, Los Angeles (i.e. hipster-central) and their extremely awkward interactions as they try to build a meaningful connection.

Tell us about the main characters

The two main characters are how I Imagine most people act at some point in their life. They are both struggling with who they are and who they want to be.  They have to balance on the line between portraying themselves as part of a group (hipsters) and making sure that they retain their own individuality.  I think Faux Fur Girl is a little more self-aware than Cereal Guy, but we’ll see what happens in season 2.

Where did the concept for the show come from?

The concept for the show came from my identity crisis over buying skinny jeans (if you’ve seen the kickstarter video, you’ll know what I’m talking about). Once I realized that I might be turning into a hipster myself, I started observing people as I ran errands in my neighborhood, and I realized that sometimes I ‘d recognize someone, having seen them somewhere else in the neighborhood. But I never felt comfortable approaching them and saying “hi, I’ve seen you around” – that’s just not something you do in an urban environment. And that’s basically what led to season 1, which is all about the neuroses that Cereal Guy and Faux Fur Girl have trying to do a simple thing like saying “hi.”

 What is a typical day on set like?

For me, it’s super fun. Up until you get on set, it’s kind of nightmare because of all the things you have to do, but once you’re there, it’s kind of like spending the day at Disneyland or something. It’s super fun.

 What can we expect from season 2 of the show?

In season 2, Cereal Guy and Faux Fur Girl start dating! Kind-of. We’ll find out how hipsters date when it’s cool not to care. It’s going to involve some ping-pong, tattoos, produce, and much more!

You’re Kickstarting for season 2 of the show. What kinds of perks can people get for donating?

My personal favorite perk is the Hipsterhood Soundtrack we’re putting together. It’s going to be made up of lots of local bands and artists that I personally know have awesome music, but haven’t been able to reach a wide audience. Some of these musicians are people who do music in their spare time, and it’s really great music, but almost no one will ever hear it. With this soundtrack, we’ll be able to expose the Hipsterhood audience to music they literally will never hear anywhere else.

We also have stuff like “video chat with the cast” “download Hipsterhood season 2” even give exclusive access to the character’s playlists, so you can find out what kind of music our hipsters are listening to beyond careless whisper.

Three reasons people should watch the show who haven’t.

1. It’s fun.
2. I guarantee you’ll see something of yourself in the characters.
3. Episodes are only 2-3 minutes long, it’s not a huge commitment.

Why should people donate after watching the show?

Making a web series is a full-time job, but right now no one can make a living doing it. If you want me, or anyone to keep cranking them out, we have to rely on your donations and support to make it happen. I really hate having to ask for money, I don’t think you should pay for it, but right now, it’s kind of the only way to make the show happen.

Any last words?

I had a great time doing this interview! I mean, whatever.

Another Interview Down

Managed to get another interview under my belt. If you want to learn more about the show, you can check out their web site here or their YouTube channel here.

Stay tuned for an interview with my friend Rob Gokee, composer for some notable web series, which should be coming in the next couple of days.

TTFN,
Nerd

Interview with @hipsterhoodshow creator Shilpi Roy (@Iplish)-Part 1!!!

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Hey guys,

I’m really excited to be doing this interview. I was contacted by a creator of the series Hipsterhood to check out her series and do and interview if I liked it. Son of a gun, I did. So here’s the first part of my interview with Shilip.

Introductions

For those of us who don’t know much about you, tell me a little bit about yourself.

Glad you asked! I am originally, from North Carolina, and basically grew up in the South.  My mother is a classically trained Indian music vocalist, so there was always a lot of singing, dancing, and art in general in my house growing up.  I always felt the urge to go West for some reason, nothing I could really explain, but when I finally moved to Los Angeles, I instantly knew I was in the right place. Finally.

How did you get started in film making?

It was an epiphany that I had while I was at Vanderbilt, where I did my undergrad. I was heading into my senior year of school, and I realized that I hated all the career paths I’d set myself up for as an Economics and Psychology double-major. I saw life ahead of me as one giant bore.  As I was picking my classes for senior year, I realized I had room in my schedule to do a film minor, so I signed up for a bunch of film classes. It was something that I’d always loved, but never considered an actual career. I attended my first film class – and it just blew me away. In the first 5 minutes of that class, I was happier than I’d been in the last 3 years. That’s when I decided to go into film. I had no connections, and no real experience, but I finally knew what my dream was. And that’s how it all began.

What were some of your favorite projects and why?

Well Hipsterhood is obviously my favorite project right now. I really love interacting with the fans, the audience, finding out what they like and don’t like. Web series are great because they give you a kind of access to your fanbase that you don’t get with other kinds of media.

But beyond Hipsterhood, my favorite project was my thesis film from USC, it’s called “the Indian and the Samurai” about an Indian boy who wants to be a Samurai, and one day, a samurai walks through the door.

It was during this project that I first met Julia Cho, who’s now a producer on Hipsterhood and a good friend, and it’s also the project where I first really noticed the man who would become my husband (Anthony C Kuhnz, who’s the DP for Hipsterhood). The rest of the cast and crew were great as well. Making that short film was a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun too.

If you weren’t making films, what would you be doing as a career?

There are so many days when making films, especially this web series, just seems too difficult, and I want to throw in the towel and do something much easier. But…I can’t ever come up with what that thing would be.  When I was little I wanted to be a fashion designer, but that doesn’t seem like a viable career path anymore J.

Dream project and why?

This is totally out of left field, but my dream project would be to do an epic Native American period piece, like Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto. I find Native American culture, before Westerners arrive, really fascinating. 

If you could work with any actor/actress living or dead, who would be and why?

Oooh, that’s a tough one. I think my top would be someone like Meryl Streep, because, well she’s Meryl Streep. I’m also love to work with Johnny Depp, I feel like it would be really fun watching him perform.

Tips for beginning filmmakers?

 I’m a big believer in just doing it. A lot of filmmakers, especially film school filmmakers, get discouraged because they can’t get the money they need behind their projects. Hipsterhood is an example of making something that people will notice, and not having money. If you really want to be a filmmaker, you will find a way to make your films. So, do that, and the rest will come eventually.

 Tips for people who want to create their own web series?

Another thing I believe in is, if you’re gonna do something, do it right. If you’re planning on doing a web series, you must put time and energy into marketing and promotions. There’s too much stuff on the internet now for you to bank on people randomly coming across your content and liking it, so when you’re striving to write, direct, and produce a web series, which takes an enormous amount of time and effort, you need to make sure you’ve got energy to after it’s done so you can get it out to the world.

 Quick fire questions

Coke or Pepsi?

Neither. I don’t like soda anymore, too sugary for me.

Cats or dogs?

CATS

Summer or winter?

Summer

Hugs or kisses?

Hmmmmmm…..kisses.

Fame or fortune?

Fortune.  I don’t need fame.

Which is worse: speaking in front of a crowd or writing a paper?

I LOVE speaking to crowds! Writing a paper sucks.

Time travel to: the past or the future?

The PAST. There are soooo many things I want explained.

Celebrity magazine or newspaper?

Newspaper. Are those still around?

Fave food?

Homemade Pizza.

Fave  book?

Oh god. I am a fantasy freak. My favorite is the Deverry Cycle by Katherine Kerr. Or Game of Thrones, but I am annoyed by how long it’s taking things to happen in the Game of Thrones series.

Fave color?

I refuse to answer this question. Colors are for different purposes and moods, you can’t just one favorite one.

Stay tuned tomorrow to learn more about Hipsterhood.

TTFN,Nerd

Interview with @L7sville Star, @mkwiles-Part 1!!!

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Howdy guys,

This the last set of Squaresville interviews. 😦 I’m really sad about that, but what are you going to do. It’s with star of the show, Mary Kate Wiles.

Courtesy of Mary Kate Wiles

Courtesy of Mary Kate Wiles

Getting to know Mary Kate

For those of us that don’t know much about you, tell me a little about yourself.

Well, I love Lord of the Rings and cats and coffee and sweet tea and good stories and good friends. I went to USC and got degrees in Theatre and English Literature and studied abroad in London. I like to dance, to sing, to read, to write, to draw, to craft, to talk, to laugh, and to generally live life to the fullest.

Word on the street is that you’re from Fayetteville, Arkansas. What was it like growing up in a small town?
I am indeed from Fayetteville.  Fayetteville is a great place to grow up and live—but as I grew up and became aware of my desire to do something with my life, much like Zelda does. I knew that I needed to venture out of it to pursue my dreams. I wasn’t often bored because my friends and I found fun and silly things to do, like Zelda and Esther, but I was knew that I needed to go elsewhere to accomplish what I was longing to do.

How did you get started in acting?
I had always been in dance classes and choirs growing up, so I was not a stranger to performing. It was when I saw The Lord of the Rings for the first time that I remember distinctly thinking: “I want to do that.” And throughout high school I continued to pursue it by being in plays and going to Arkansas Governor’s School for Drama. And when I got into USC for theatre, I kind of thought I would be a tiny fish in a big pond, and I was, but I held my own. I continued to get cast in things so I continued to go further. And the same after I graduated. I just have been really thankful to get greenlights along the way, and hopefully they continue coming.

 What are some of the shows and films you were in?
Some of the shows I did while in school were The Pajama Game (Poopsie), Bat Boy: The Musical (Shelley Parker), Hello Again (The Nurse), and Brigadoon (Jean MacLaren), among others. After school I also did The Winter’s Tale (Perdita) and Anne of Green Gables (Anne Shirley), as well as some others. The films I have done are Dark Woods, Murder in the Dark, Dreamworld, The Sound at the Shadow; the short film Prism; and of course the webseries Squaresville and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (LBD).

What were some of your favorite projects and why?
Oh, I can never pick. I have been exceedingly lucky to have been in some very fantastic projects and hardly any bad experiences. Murder in the Dark was amazing because it was a completely improvised film shot in Italy; Anne of Green Gables was wonderful because it was a marathon of a musical and such a learning experience for me; Squaresville has been fantastic because it speaks to me so strongly and has lead to so many other projects, including The LBD, which, of course, has been great in its interactivity and brand-new format.

If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing as a career?
The only other thing I ever saw myself liking at all was writing, but that wasn’t enough of a love to sustain me. I have no other thing that I could do–acting demands your everything; if there was an alternative I would be doing that. But there isn’t, and I’m quite happy.

Dream project and why?
I don’t really have one, because every new project I do finds some way to be my favorite thing. I have always had a fondness for epics, though.

If you could work with any actor/actress living or dead, who would it be and why?
Cate Blanchett. She is my ultimate idol. I look up to her in every way. Although if I really did get to work with her I can’t imagine I’d be any good because I’d just be in shock.

Tips for beginning actors?
Never stop learning, never stop trying. Never take no for an answer. Work hard. Love what you do, or do something you do love.

Tips for people who want to create their own web series?
Go for it! The web is such an open forum and a great way to get your name out there. There are no rules and there’s complete access to getting your work out in the public—why wouldn’t you?

Tips for surviving auditions?
Know that ultimately, what you get or don’t get is out of your control.  Just do your best and trust that you will get the jobs you’re meant to have.

Quick Fire Questions
Coke or Pepsi?

Coke.

Cats or Dogs?
Cats.

Summer or Winter?
Winter.

Hugs or Kisses?
Both.

Fame or Fortune?
Success? [I’d say totally valid answer.]

Which is worse: Speaking in front of a crowd or writing a paper?
Writing a paper, definitely.

Time travel to: the past or the future?
The past.

Celebrity magazine or newspaper?
Newspaper.

Fave food?
Tortilla chips and guacamole.

Fave book?
Ultimately: David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens.  Recently: The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. [editor’s note: The Fault in Our Stars and anything else by John Green is a must read. Do it. Do it now!]

Fave color?
Green.

Stay Tuned!!

The last part of this series of interviews are coming your way next week. So until then, keep checking back for new content.

TTFN,
Nerd

Interview with @L7sville Star, @kyliesparks-Part 2!!!

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Howdy guys,

And we’re back! Yeah. This part is where we get to see what Kylie has to say about the series. Yipee!

Kylie Talks about The Show!

What is Squaresville?
Squaresville is a webseries about two teenage girls dealing with the trials and tribulations of growing up in the suburbs where everyone has settled down a little too quickly.

Who do you play and what is she like?
I play Esther. She is a sarcastic, witty, realist who isn’t afraid of dishing out some truth and knowledge, but she also can be very insecure, very unsure of her future, very supportive and loyal, but when she’s had enough, she has HAD enough. She’s also trying to figure out who SHE is and there’s a part of her that she’s still trying to deal with and figure it out.

Who else is in the cast?
The main cast consists of Mary Kate Wiles, who plays Zelda (Esther’s BFF), Austin Rogers as Percy (The third prong in Esther and Zelda’s triangle), Tiffany Ariany as Shelly (the resident hot mess and Esther’s foil), David Ryan Speer as Wayne (Zelda’s Love Interest), and Christine Weatherup as Sarah (Zelda’s Big Sister). We also have recurring characters Pete (Wayne’s buddy and Esther’s “date” during Season 1, episode 14, played by Henry Monfries) and Ozzy (Esther’s big brother, played by Jim Mahoney).

In what ways to you relate to your character, Esther? Why?
I really relate to Esther in that personality wise, we are very similar. I’m very sarcastic and loud and I have a filter, I just choose not to use it most of the time, and I’m very independent as well (I think Esther really is truly independent, she’d rather go home and watch Roller Derby or read and do homework than ride a shopping cart, sorry Zelda). I’m also very loyal to my best friends and would do anything for them, and like everyone, I have the tendency to listen to my insecurities sometimes.

In what ways are you different than Esther? Why?
Esther has a lot of angst and insecurity behind her, and while I get that and definitely feel for her there, I’m way more bubbly and although I’m independent and like doing my own thing, I love going out to parties and travelling and exploring world and getting together with my friends and just being crazy. My wardrobe also is different than Esther; while 99% of the clothes I wear on the show are mine, I love dresses, I love fashion and working on my style and aesthetic and seeing what outfits I can come up with (my style is very ‘girly edgy hipster’ where I pair pretty/colorful things with studs and leather jackets and lots of black)

Which character do you relate the most to and why?
I’ve always said if I’m the hybrid of Shelly and Esther. I know Esther like the back of my hand, but Shelly is definitely more my wild and fun side and she can be just as snarky as Esther sometimes.

Congrats on season 1. A little birdy told me that there’s going to be a season 2. What can we expect from season 2. (of course I don’t expect spoilers.)
Thanks so much! I’m so excited about season 2, and it was SO hard to sit on all the season 2 info because 1. We’re all SO stoked about it, and 2. We couldn’t talk about it on social media while we were shooting season 2, which was the complete opposite of protocol for season 1. (don’t worry, I have things I’ll share when the time is appropriate!) Not to spoil anyone who hasn’t watched Squaresville yet, but season 1 ends on a very chaotic time for Esther and in season 2, she really has to evaluate her whole life and who she is and who she wants by her side, and this second season is really about Esther coming into her own. There’s still a ton of snark (it’s Esther, obviously the girl is still her typical sarcastic self!) plus we have some episodes that were REALLY fun to shoot because of the creativity involved.

What is a typical day on set like?
Crazy. Seriously, we shoot anywhere from 10-14 pages a day (for reference, a typical studio movie shoots 1-3 pages a day, a one hour TV show shoots 5-8 pages a day, and a sitcom will pre-tape scenes before shooting most of the episode in front of a live audience) and we have 12 hours to do it. But we have the most fun and the crew and cast have been together now for over 2 years doing the show, so it’s really more like extreme playtime because we love what we do and we laugh a LOT. Even when things are heated and intense, there are times where I literally have to bite my cheek to not laugh.

You and Mary Kate Wiles (MK) (co-star) have an awesome chemistry. Was it something you had to work on or was it instant? Why or why not?
It was pretty instant. MK and I knew each other before we found out we were going to be on the show together because we went to USC at the same time since the School of Theatre was a very close community. We became better friends because of the show, definitely, but when we first started we really got to know each other well and now we just lock it in and do it since we’ve been in the trenches for so long.

If you could give a girl in high school advice, what would it be?
If you have a passion, invest your spare time in it. People suck and in these four years, people will be your friend one minute and hurt you the next, but if you have a passion you love, devote all the negativity in your life into energy for your passion. You will find true friends that will love you for you and you don’t need to feel pressure to be perfect all the time, and bullies are just insecure individuals who don’t know how else to deal with it and take it out on people. You are worth fighting for, and you will grow up to be a kickass person.

If you haven’t seen the series, three reasons to watch.
1. It deals with real issues that make you think while making you laugh at the same time.

2. The Squaresville Community (or Squares/family of Squares as we call them) is one of the most supportive, loving, creative communities I’ve ever seen. You don’t just watch the show; you become invested and build friendships because of it, and we love our Squares and we love making the show for you

3. Everyone can relate to feeling like Zelda and Esther, whether you’re a teen girl or a 40-something man. We all have felt the same way at one point in our lives and we still work on the pursuit of happiness (or even the pursuit of okay-ness.)

Any words you would like to say?
If you’ve been around for season 1, whether it’s been since the beginning or you’re just joining us, thank you. You are the reason we make our show and we love making our show. We are so excited for season 2….so many new twists and turns in store, plus, as we announced during our supersized Google hangout during Wonderly Weekend, a whole new video format will be happening as well, so season 2 is going to be epic.

Stay Tuned!!!

We got two more weeks of interviews with Squaresville star, Mary Kate Wiles. I hope that you enjoyed this one and will continue reading my blog.

TTFN,
Nerd

Interview with @L7sville Star, @kyliesparks-Part 1!!!

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Howdy guys,

I hope that you enjoy this interview with Kylie Sparks, one of the stars of Squaresville, as much as I did. She’s a really, really funny woman. We’ve had many a chat on twitter and they were fantastic.

Courtesy of Kylie Sparks

Courtesy of Kylie Sparks

Getting to Know Kylie

For those of us who don’t know much about you, tell me a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Kylie Sparks and I play Esther on “Squaresville.” I was born and raised in Tulsa, OK, but have been living in Los Angeles since I was about 17 (I started coming out here part-time when I was 13) and steadily working as an actor ever since, including during college (I graduated from USC). I have two dogs, love fashion, writing, music (both singing and listening to it!), travelling, and just generally having a good time.

How did you get started in acting?

I always credit my second grade teacher, Susan Sullivan, because she cast me in my first play-a simple retelling of Snow White for the Second Grade Fairy Tale Tea Day and I played the Wicked Queen. It was love at first sight for me, and I began training in Tulsa at a performing arts studio, Theatre Arts, in musical theatre, dance, voice, and acting (on top of the 1200 other extracurriculars I participated in) as well as doing theatre around town. I was 13 when my mother and I decided to try auditioning in Los Angeles, and was in LA part-time while still going to school in Tulsa. I ultimately began homeschooling and tested out of High School when I was 16 and booked my first professional job, the IFC Films feature “Pizza.”

What are some of the shows and films that you were in?
Besides “Pizza,” where I was the female lead opposite Ethan Embry and a whole ensemble of incredible actors, I’ve recurred on ABC’s “Complete Savages” and “Desperate Housewives,” as well as guest starring on such shows as “Bones,” “Melissa & Joey,” “ER,” and “Greek,” among other shows and have worked in commercials, stage, and other new media series. I recently worked on my second feature, an indie college-football-slacker comedy called “Mr. Intangibles” that should be out in 2013.

What were some of your favorite projects and why?
I really can’t pick a favorite because I have been so spoiled in my career that every job has been absolutely incredible and I learn so much from each of them. If I HAD to choose, it’s a three-way tie between Complete Savages, ER, and Squaresville. I started watching ER from the VERY beginning at 7 years old (my mom was a huge fan of George Clooney, and I don’t blame her!), and 10 years later I was a guest lead on one of my favorite shows, so it was a dream come true and I got to work with some of the best actors on television that I had been watching for years. Squaresville has been our “little engine that could” that when we shoot the show, we are a family, and while we are shooting a ridiculous amount of work each day, I come home exhausted but happy and just excited about the whole thing even if there are times where I personally feel frustrated or anxious about how I did that day, I just know the next day I get to see my friends again. The same is for Complete Savages-it was my first television job, I had three lines in the pilot but they treated me like I was one of the stars of the show and when the series was picked up, they kept asking me back and every time I stepped onto the set, I felt like I was home. I had a whole family of people who just loved their job and fought for it tooth and nail and always had my back 100%.

If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing as a career?

Acting has been the only job I’ve ever known and I’m not sure what I would do as an alternate. I think I’d probably go back to school for journalism or producing to learn how to be a film producer or an agent or a music journalist, but I’m hoping that’s not the case (although at some point I do want to write and develop my own projects to produce down the road.)

Dream project and why?
There are so many people I want to work with that I admire and that I met that as long as I get to keep working, that’s my ultimate dream. I hope someday I get to be in a film adaptation of a book or two that I love (or the film adaptations of musicals I’m obsessed with since I started in musical theatre) just because it would be extra-special to me.

If you could work with any actor/actress living or dead, who would be and why?
Well, besides Bradley Cooper (who I LOOOOOOOVE. This is not new information, haha!) I want to work with Marion Cotillard. She is absolutely flawless and incredible in everything she does and she just seems like the nicest person on the planet who just does her job and doesn’t get sucked into all the hoopla. And I think if I could go back in time, I’d love to work with Danny Kaye, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Doris Day, and Rosemary Clooney. White Christmas is one of my favorite films ever, and I LOVE Doris Day in Pillow Talk. It’s such an adorable classic.

Tips for beginning actors?

Tenacity. Keep going. It’s hard, but to survive, you have to keep going and work hard every day. It gets tough (believe me, I know and still experience it), but the pay off is so worth it. At the same time, do not take this whole game seriously. That will kill your spirit (and your career) in the long run, because you have to have something else you love that will distract you during the hard times.

Tips for people who want to create their own web series?
I’m very new to the web space, but what I’ve learned is that if you have an idea and a camera, just do it. Write it out. Shoot it, whether you have a point-and-shoot camera (or even an iPhone) and a few friends or a professional camera with a boom and grips and a crew of a bajillion, as long as you just do it and you do the best job you can, there’s room for everyone.

Tips for surviving auditions?
Don’t let the mind games win. Just go in, be prepared, but have fun and be nice to everyone. Learning HOW to audition is also necessary, so be in class to learn how to audition so you can get the job.

Quick fire questions
Coke or Pepsi?
Diet both (I have a serious addiction to diet soda!)

Cats or dogs?
DOGS.

Summer or winter?
Winter!

Hugs or kisses?
Both 😉

Fame or fortune?
Fortune.

Which is worse: speaking in front of a crowd or writing a paper?

This is gonna sound so weird coming from me, but speaking in front of a crowd. NERVEWRACKING.

Time travel to: the past or the future?

probably the future.

Celebrity magazine or newspaper?

celebrity mag (you can always get the news online!)

Fave food?

pancakes.

Fave book?

oh MAN this question hurts me…tie between “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac, Tina Fey’s “Bossypants,” anything by Nick Hornby, Joe Meno’s “Hairstyles of the Damned,” and one of the most haunting memoirs I’ve ever read, “Wasted” by Marya Hornbacher.

Fave color?
Blue, Black, and Silver.

Stay Tuned

Next week, we have the final part to Kylie’s interview and then we have the final two interviews with the other star, Mary Kate Wiles.

TTFN,
Nerd

Interview with @L7sville Creator, @mrmattenlow-Part 2!!!

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Howdy guys,

Here is the second part of my interview with Matt. Here you will get his insight into the show.

Matt Talks About his “Baby”

What is Squaresville?
The story of two best friends best-friend-ing.

Who is in your cast?
Mary Kate Wiles, Kylie Sparks, Austin Rogers, Tiffany Ariany, David Ryan Speer, and Christine Weatherup round out our regular cast.

What was your inspiration for the series?
Growing up bored in the suburbs, I never felt like any TV or movie got it right. There was always too much to do in those shows. The drama of my life came from trying to decide if I should walk the extra long way home with my friends, or only the kind of long way home so that I made it home in time for the first re-run of the Simpsons or Seinfeld. (Answer, watch the Simpsons at Greg’s (but remember to call your Mom to let her know once you got there) then wait for the first few minutes of Seinfeld to see if you’ve already seen it or not so that you can decide whether or not to book it and watch Star Trek: The Next Generation at home or not).

What were your reasons for wanting to make the series?
There wasn’t anything that really represented my feelings as a young person out there. It was all high-gloss drama, which is great on its own terms (ideally) but didn’t speak to a decidedly un-glossy, un-dramatic kid like me. I wanted to make a show I would have loved at that age.

So you Kickstarted to fund season 1, but shot the series before you had secured all the funds. What was that like and why did you do that?
That was the scariest thing I’d ever done. We had to shoot before Kickstarter had ended because there were circumstances that would incapacitate the production for at least six months, otherwise. Trust me, I would have much preferred waiting, as Kickstarter is a full time job. It was do or die, so I went for it. Also, to be clear, if we hadn’t made our Kickstarter goal, I would have been sunk. This was not a situation where I could have afforded to bank roll the show on my own. If we hadn’t made that money back, I would have basically been ruined. So hooray! We made it! It worked! Don’t do what I did!

Tell me about the casting process.
The casting process is a long, long, long one. We all have day jobs, so casting was something that occurred on weekends. We put up a break down, weed through headshots and resumes, call people in, call them back, mix them up with our cast, and see what sticks. We didn’t do anything out of the ordinary (other than do all the work ourselves) but you just have to be patient, and trust that you’ll find the right person.

What is a day on set like?
It’s the most exhausting, fun thing ever. As I’ve said, I know the majority of the crew very, very well. They’re old college buddies for the most part. We start pretty early, and while the crew sets up, I feel out how everyone is on their lines and character. I try to talk with the actors, maybe even rehearse, and then we’re off to the races. We shoot about 10-14 pages everyday (a movie shoots 2), we pack up, and do it all over again.

Which character do you relate the most to and why?
The main three (Zelda, Percy, Esther) are each a slice of my personality, but I think that Percy is the most clearly me. Though, I have Zelda’s stubbornness at my worst, and Esther’s Snark at my crankiest. Percy’s stories are the easiest for me, plot-wise, because he moves through the world so naively, which is very similar to me, even now.

If you haven’t seen the series, three reasons to watch.
Squaresville has: Laughs, smooches, and sarcasm in equal parts. 

Any words you would like to say?
Excelsior, true believers.

Stay Tuned!

The next two weeks, we will be hearing from Kylie Sparks one of the stars of the show. I have a feeling that you guys will become a big fan of hers like I have.

TTFN,Nerd

Interview with @L7sville Creator, @mrmattenlow-Part 1!!!

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Howdy guys,

I’m really excited about this series of interviews with the creator and stars of a new favorite web series, Squaresville. You’ll want to watch the series after these interviews. It’s up on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

I will be posting in two parts as usual and I will be posting one part a week. But, now it’s time for the interview with the creator of the series Matt Enlow.

Getting to Know Matt

For those of us who don’t know much about you, tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been doing web series for about 6 years now, as a writer director. My wife and I started with a series called “Engaged” that I’m still proud of, but that really shows the growth in technology available to people like me in just a few years.

How did you get started in film making?
As a kid I always dreamed of doing special effects for ILM. I grew up in Sacramento, so the bay area and Lucas Film was very close, and very real for me. Later I grew to be interested in the independent film movement. I guess you could say that a DIY mentality, and a love for tactile film making combined to make Squaresville.

What were some of your favorite projects and why?
Squaresville is my baby, so that’ll always have a special place in my heart. My two other series, Mountain Man and Engaged will always be dear to me as well, as I’ve been lucky enough to make shows with basically the same group of friends for the last five years.

If you weren’t making films, what would you be doing as a career?
I’m still very interested in teaching. I think a lot of the themes we’re working through on Squaresville come from a desire to inform and improve young people’s lives, so it seems like an obvious jump.

Dream project and why?
A comic book movie – maybe Superman or Animal Man. I love the idea of working in a storied universe that people love and are familiar with.  OR, more recently, guesting on an episode of Dr. Who. That would be amazing.

If you could work with any actor/actress living or dead, who would be and why?
Weird Al Yankovich. NO DUH.

Tips for beginning filmmakers?
It’s the most common, and it’s the best: just go do it. Waiting is for suckers, and it has literally never been easier to produce your own media. What are you waiting for?

Tips for people who want to create their own web series?
Have a simple idea that you can explain in a single sentence. “A group of online gamer friends are forced to meet in real life” (The Guild), “A regular guy gets sucked into the Legend of Zelda” (The Legend of Neil), “A couple gets married after a wild night in vegas and decides to give it a shot” (Husbands). This is great for two reasons; one, in a short format like web, you need to be able to dig into your story as soon as possible, and having a simple notion of what your show is will help that, and two, when you’re at family gatherings or parties, you want to be able to explain what your show is succinictly so that you have as MUCH time as possible to explain to your aunt what a web series is (phrases like “No, it’s not on TV, it’s on the computer” or “we get money through the little ads at the bottom, but no, it’s not very much, and yes, I still have my day job” will be handy also). [editor’s note: Go and watch all of the series he mentioned. They are some awesome series.]

Quick fire questions
Coke or Pepsi?

Coke if had to choose.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs.

Summer or winter?
Summer no duhz.

Hugs or kisses?
Smooches.

Fame or fortune?
Fortune. Are you kidding me?

Which is worse: speaking in front of a crowd or writing a paper?
They’re worse for different reasons, but my home field advantage is always writing.

Time travel to: the past or the future?
FUTURE

Celebrity magazine or newspaper?
Newspaper.

Fave food?
Coffee.

Fave book?
Can I say “understanding comics”? I really love that book.

Fave color?
Black.

Note from Matt: Looking at my answers makes me seem way angstier than I am, you guys. Can I just add, that I really love like, the teenage pop stylings of Allison Weiss or something? I’m coming off like such a cliche.

Stay Tuned

Stay tuned for more from Matt. I think you’ll enjoy what he has to say about his show.

TTFN,
Nerd