Press Pass LA sat down to chat sci-fi with the hosts of Bite Size TV’s Chaotic Awesome, Michele Morrow and Chloe Dykstra. This brand new geek-centric show, is broadcast from the heart of Hollywood and streams Wednesdays from 2- 4 PM PST (moving soon to Monday mornings!) at www.BiteSizeTV.com/LIVE and later rebroadcasts on YouTube.
Chaotic Awesome launched March 25th with Chloe Dykstra (Heroes of Cosplay, Nerdist) and Michele Morrow (Nerdist, HelloGiggles) at the helm and features celebrities and rising stars of science, science fiction, fantasy, comics, cosplay, YouTube, social media and video games. And if you don’t know what cosplay is (a.k.a “costume play” in which participants wear costumes to represent a specific characters) get ready to break out your best cape and unleash your inner nerd! Superheroes unite!
Now that that’s out of the way….I think it’s clear this show is NOT your typical talk show. With a weekly runtime, the series includes exclusive interviews, remotes and reviews, as well as game play, live performances and unique social interaction. Sci-fi nerds everywhere are dorking out. We sat down with resident geekdesses (Godess + Geeks?) Michele and Chloe to learn more.
PPLA: How do you decide which news stories and content to feature on the show?
MM: The great thing about Chaotic Awesome is these are subjects that Chloe and I talk about with each other regardless. Both of us are very excited about gaming, and each of us like to share our personal fandoms.
CD: Fairly easily. A lot of our texts are like this:
“HEY, MICHELE! GUESS WHO BOUGHT OCULUS RIFT. JUST GUESS.”
“HEY, CHLOE. HOLY CRAP! DID YOU SEE THIS RIDICULOUS VIDEO NINTENDO JUST PUT OUT?”
“MICHELE, I AM SO MAD AT HOW MUCH I ENJOYED EDGE OF TOMORROW!”
Yes. All caps.
PPLA: Where do you get the ideas from- research, fan submissions?
MM: Everywhere! Places like Reddit and Twitter are full of conversations that we like to be engaged in.
CD: The internet makes topics easy to come up with, what with all these newfangled hashtags and Reddits. I actually think I have spent more hours on Reddit than I have spent asleep in my life. I’m so integrated into that site I might actually just be able to download information directly to my brain at this point.
PPLA: Well with so much to choose from, what makes the cut? How do you determine if it is geeky enough?
MM: We just like what we like. We don’t have a measurement for geeky so much as we have an enthusiasm for it. If we get excited or passionate about a topic, we’ll cover it.
CD: Actually, that’s what Michele thinks, but in reality we have a secret method of determining what is actually geeky and what isn’t. There’s actually software specifically designed to measure geekiness in topics and media. You input your television show or website and it pops out a number- 1 for totally cool and mainstream, and up to 42 for super super nerdy and obscure. (This is not true.)
PPLA: When you think comics, sci-fi, and that realm, you usually think men but this is a female-driven show. Was that a conscious decision? Are you hoping to give “female nerds”a voice? Do you think gender is a factor in your audience appeal?
MM: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: gender has nothing to do with genre. We get this type of question a lot. I’m not quite sure why. But Chloe and I have just as many female supporters as we do male supporters. I think people will watch whoever they find to be engaging — regardless of gender. Let’s just all freak out about Game of Thrones together and be done with it!
CD: Yeah, there’s always a place for a conversation about gender, but our show isn’t necessarily that place (unless it’s an empowering conversation, of course). That said, we are aware our team is made up of lots of beautiful ladies-and one beautiful man- that are incredibly smart, kind-hearted, and all sorts of wonderful. To be completely honest, we really just wanted an excuse to hang out with them every week.
PPLA: Give us some background on each of you and how you met and came to work together on Chaotic Awesome.
MM: I’m an actress — started off in really bad horror movies, but the sets were always a blast. I busted my neck in 2007 during a practice stunt and ended up playing a lot of video games during my recovery. I contribute video game and nerd culture-based columns for both HelloGiggles.com and Nerdist.com. Chloe and I met while shopping for masks on Hollywood Boulevard for the annual Labyrinth of Jareth masquerade ball here in Los Angeles. Strangely she had just been to BiteSizeTV and was watching some of the hosting work I had been doing in the early days of the network. Soon after, they brought her on and paired us together. Now, we’re like sisters. She brought me onto Heroes of Cosplay this season. We’re doing live hosting at conventions for 2K together. We have a webseries coming out called Pen & Paper & Laser Guns. She calls me 60 times a day. I love her.
CD: I’m a renaissance woman- I love to do anything that I believe in and is fun and puts good into the world. Primarily a game journalist (2K, Venture Beat), secondarily a actress (PPLG, Dark Knight Legacy), tertiarily a cosplayer (Syfy’s Heroes of Cosplay, Nerdist’s Just Cos), and quaternarily a crazy dog lady (Diego, Laika). Michele touched on our history, but that whole story is way more crazy spooky coincidental than she let on. I FIRST met her at an audition for some water or soap commercial or something. She was in the bathroom and I asked her if her tattoo (on her arm) had to do with a video game. She said no, but that she played WoW, so we added each other on Facebook. That was the ACTUAL first time we met. So while I don’t actually believe in fate, I would definitely call our meetings “fateful”.
PPLA: So once fate (or note fate fatefully) united you both, how did the show on BiteSizeTV come about and where do you see it going?
MM: Ross Elliot came to us and gave us the opportunity to expand upon the shows we were already doing with BiteSize (Chicks with Joysticks, App Attack, Celeb Tech) to create a larger nerd channel. We co-own the show with BiteSize and at some point we hope to all partner with a television or console network. We have such an amazing studio – it’s like GMA meets MTV meets crazy Hollywood Boulevard.
CD: Oh my, we are living the dream. Ross basically said, “You have complete creative control; make the show what you want.” And so we did. WE DID. LIVING. THE. DREAM.
But yes. We have the studio and the equipment. We’re just looking for a proper platform for the show!
PPLA: Usually each episode features another BiteSizeTV reporter (typically Marisha Ray) and guests. Where do you see your guest segments going in the future and who are some of your favorites so far?
MM: We have guests on every single episode as well as our Chaotic Awesome correspondents: Marisha Ray, Christina Ochoa and Taliesin Jaffe. Every week we have several guests on, whether it’s our Character Sheet, Cosplay Spotlight or Platform Alert. We’ve had Grant Imahara from Mythbusters, magician Justin Willman, YouTube sensations Corridor Digital, Comedian Chris Hardwick, the Game Director for Diablo III Josh Mosqueira, NASA’s “Mohawk Guy” Bobak Ferdowsi and even live performances. Every show is a lot of guests, a lot of fun and a lot of work! We will be doing more out of studio location-based shoots in the months to come though!
CD: What Michele said. She’s good at this stuff.
PPLA: What’s it like shooting in the W Hotel in the heart of Hollywood or as some call it Hollyweird?
MM: Surreal sometimes… we love our set. We love our studio. Sometimes I look outside and go, “Oh hey, that’s Hollywood Blvd… what is happening?!” It’s just weird. Hollywood is weird – and a blast!
CD: Hollywood and Vine (where we’re located) is the location of a giant super-magnet that draws every almost-dangerous slightly-insane shirtless person in a ten mile radius. It’s always an adventure. Sometimes I like to look out of our giant glass fishtank and pretend we’re in Fallout.
Tune in to BiteSizeTV.