We are honored to have creator and actress Jessica Mills as the newest Geek of the Week! I had a chance to chat with Jessica at this year’s San Diego Comic Con and it was great to hear her story of how she ended up in the acting biz in LA. I’ve been a fan of her web show Awkward Embraces (now in 2nd season), an original geek series about life, love, and awkwardness. Thanks Jessica for taking time to share a little about your nerdy origins.
I always loved reading, and learning, but I didn’t really have a context for “nerd”. I remember the premiere of Season 1 of TNG and my dad being really excited. I watched it with him every week, and loved it. I also remember discovering the Dragonlance novels in a far back corner of the local library and being hooked on Fantasy novels for life. My brother and I would read comic books and collect the Marvel trading cards. I was just always attracted to the fantastic. I loved dreaming about the impossible and wondering if it could be real.
Growing up, were you more misfit or mainstream? If you were a nerd growing up, did it hurt or help you?
I was Hermione Granger. I loved to learn and read. I always knew the right answer. I NEVER fit in. I was bullied quite a bit. I felt like a square peg surrounded by round holes my whole life, until my first trip to Comic Con. It wasn’t until I found a community of geeks both online and in Los Angeles that I felt I truly belonged somewhere.
Clearly there has been a shift in our culture, where nerds and geeks are more accepted. What/who do you think significantly contributed to that?
I’m not sure if geeks and nerds are more accepted. I think the online communities that we create and the culture of Con give us the impression that we are more accepted. Honestly, I exist in a bubble of nerd for the most part. I constantly talk online and hang out with people who are geeky and love geek stuff. Then I go to my day job and crack a Trek joke and get met with blank stares. I think two things are happening. Number one, geeks are finding their communities online and IRL and that is making them a lot more confident about their interests. Secondly, I think people who may be a little geeky are also finding those communities and through those friends are getting introduced to more aspects of geek culture. So our community is growing exponentially, and due to the confidence that sense of community instills in us, we are feeling less marginalized.
My dog, my laptop, my XBox
Now to get political… Ninjas, Pirates, Zombies, or Vampires- which are better and why?
Ninjas because they are real! Well, I suppose pirates are real, too, but there are martial artists out there who are incredibly powerful. I find that both awesome and terrifying. And I wish I knew how to kick ass like that. Just in case of the Zombiepocalypse.
The 10th Doctor. Of course. I think the why of that is obvious!
Doc Brown has traveled back from the future to tell you that you attained your dream job, what is it?
My production company is specializing in creating sponsored web entertainment. I create, write, act and produce content for the internet and make a living at it. That would be awesome.
The nerdiest thing I ever did or owned or experienced (and no one knows about) was…
My friends threw me a surprise cheer up party and my friend Jenn made me special cupcakes with my two most favorite things. Diet Coke and Michael Rosenbaum. Ha! It was insane and hilarious. She poured Diet Coke in the batter, and then took pics of Michael Rosenbaum and put them on toothpicks and stuck them in the top of the cupcakes. I’m pretty sure everyone in the restaurant thought I was insane.
After finding a Yellow Lantern Ring, you decide to use its powers to kidnap your favorite role model/hero to spend an evening of intellectually stimulating conversation. Who would you nab and what would you talk about?
Wil Wheaton. I watched him on TNG, but didn’t become a true fan until I discovered his blog years ago. I admire the work he does and the things he stands up for. He’s basically a Geek BAMF. We would talk about writing, about everything geek, and go to a beer tasting.
Initially I started tweeting just to promote my web series, Awkward Embraces. What I found was that A) I really enjoyed twitter, and B) I was finding and becoming friends with some incredibly awesome geeks online through twitter. Honestly, twitter has changed my life, because it directly lead me to meet and become friends with some of the most awesome people I’ve ever known. I found a community that I really belong to, and that has changed my life.
If you want to get on twitter and start meeting people, here is some advice:
A) Have fun.
B) Follow people you find cool and interesting. Interact with them.
C) Use hash tags to find people who are talking about the same things you are talking about and interact with them. That’s how you make new friends and get involved in awesome Twitter chats.
D) Twitter is basically a worldwide chat room. Once you look at it like that, it starts to make more sense.
E) Have fun.
The final question in which the fate of the multiverse hangs in the balance… San Diego Comic Con or New York Comic Con? Why, what, and how do you do it?
I have never been to NYCC! I REALLY wanted to go this year, but I’m a starving artist over here, so my options are pretty limited. Someday! Generally, I highly recommend going to ANY con that is near you. You’ll have a blast and I guarantee you’ll make a few new friends.