Geeking Out with Felicia Day

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Photo by guybehindthecamera.com
Photo by guybehindthecamera.com

Felicia Day charmed fans at “An Hour with Felicia Day” on Sunday at 10AM in the Westin Peachtree Ballroom, with an assist from her charming “straight” man Mike Capps. This one hour went by so quickly that audience members groaned when time was up.

As bubbly and energetic as ever, Day began the panel by asking the audience, “Who went to sleep before midnight?” Unsurprisingly, few people raised their hands. This is Dragon Con, after all. Day admitted—with a grin and a quick reference to such things as video game karaoke—that she didn’t go to bed until after 3AM.

Day discussed her current role on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and how she reacts to online comments. She finds it amazing how much she can obsess over a few negative comments. It seems to her that “five [negative] people on the internet outweigh 5,000 [positive].” The first season of the new MST3K had 14 episodes, and Day revealed that the second season will be coming out soon. With a sly look, she said, “I know things.” But, she added, if she told what she knew, her career would go “Kapow!” and blow up forever.

Sometimes the funniest things happen when the innocent one-liners are dropped. She innocently mentioned how cool she got “a hot blow torch backstage.” As the crowd roared with laughter, she quickly noted that the torch was for making crème brulee backstage, and she got to use the blowtorch that makes them. She had never done that before.

One fan asked Day what it’s like to have a baby. Day, who became a mother this past January, laughingly assured her, “You do get amnesia… God’s way of telling you, ‘You should do this again.’” She also encouraged the prospective mom to enjoy every moment, to absorb it. “Good luck,” she added with a grin. “The first three months is terrible.”

Balancing fame, work, and parenthood has been a struggle, but one she wouldn’t give up on. Her daughter, Calliope, has flown with her every month since her birth. “I should have brought the baby [here to see her grandmother], but… I forgot.” Her grandmother, who lives nearby, made sure Day “heard about it.”

Because Day has to be away from her daughter a lot, she worries that when Calliope is older, she’ll think her mother neglected her. Just thinking of all the responsibility is enough to give her a panic attack. One of her biggest takeaways was to enjoy every moment with your kids. “It always sounded cliché. Everyone that has kids always say this. I didn’t understand then. I do now. Once that moment is gone, you don’t get that back.”

When asked which of the Charlies from her stint on Supernatural Seasons 7–10 was the most difficult, Day chose evil Charlie. “I’m not really a bad person,” she said. “[Evil] wasn’t something I’ve ever channeled before… I’m like”—insert big smile here—“oooo, I’m a happy person!” To portray the character, she drew from some of her not-so-pleasant past experiences, which she wrote about in her book You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir. While speaking of those rough times, she said sagely, “When you lose something that’s part of you, you’ll find something to fill it.” Day also said she will be returning to Supernatural in Season 14.

And how did she like driving Dean’s car, Baby? She loved it. She is only one of two women that has ever driven it, and she had to steal it to do it.

Apparently, Day thought she had offended some fans during a previous panel when she chose Krull as her favorite “worst movie.” “Everyone was so upset with me,” she said. It seems the fans misunderstood. She adores Krull. “It’s amazingly not good, and I love it with all my heart.”

Day is happy to see dads here at Dragon Con who bring their girls and allow them to geek to their heart’s content. “I think that’s really beautiful.” Growing serious, she talked about how important it is for girls to never feel restricted in what they can accomplish. The narrowing of a girl’s perspective begins in school, she said, when they are separated from the boys. “Women,” she said, “are not just casual friends with guys as adults.” There always seems to be a sexual element. Day doesn’t want her daughter to grow up with clichés such as the-girl-always-needs-to-be-rescued. “Be friends with everybody,” Day said, “and treat everyone equal.”

Day also took the opportunity to give her views on diversity in media and fans who are complaining about changes in the things they love. Day thinks of characters as windows. “We grow when we see through other windows,” she said. “It should not matter what a person’s gender, religion, love life, race, or anything else is. We need to be accepting of all people for all reasons. We are not deprived, we are diversified.”

Although Day would love to do a Dr. Horrible sequel, she nixed rumors that it’s in the works. She’s been hoping that Joss Whedon would make a sequel, but then he sold another series, which is keeping him busy. She’s not alone in hoping for a sequel. She did have a favorite memory of Neil Patrick Harris to recount, however. While walking with Harris down a street with him one time, she realized, “OMG, he walks like a leopard!”

Day loves fairies, sparkly hair, and glitter. After thinking about what cosplay character she would like to be, she decided she’d love to be Daenerys, from Game of Thrones. She also loves furry costumes. “Not in that way,” she joked. She would also like to be Nynaeve, from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time books, which she loved despite the bad cover art—with the characters’ limbs far too short for their bodies.

When asked what advice she’d give to aspiring creatives, Day said it was important to “tell your story… figure out what you want to say. Pick a passion… and just start telling stories that are personal to you.” That’s how to ensure that your story holds truth. She talked about the well-known phrase, “Writers write,” and how she didn’t understand it at first. Then she had a light-bulb moment. “Sign up for the process,” she said, “not the result.” Open yourself to new things. Take a class. She also thinks it’s important to have realistic goals and to find a group of friends to support you and give you deadlines. “Friends can really help you. Level up with your friends.”

Day loves what she does, especially the variety. She started streaming for fun, and Geek & Sundry grew out of it. She loved role playing games, and she was able to help start one. She’s particularly fond of editing, though, because she gets to make other people look good. Day feels lucky to be able to spread her joy to other people. “If I can only spread it to one person, it’s worth it.” As she said farewell, her delighted fans were hoping that she would continue to share her infectious joy for a long time to come.

About the authors

Debbie Yutko Debbie Yutko lives near Atlanta with her husband, two children, and two cats. When she isn’t gardening, rescuing homeless kittens, or cramming math formulas into teenagers’ brains, she can be found stringing words together at her computer and dreaming of adventures in far-off lands. She is a lifelong reader of Science Fiction and Fantasy and a veteran attendee of Dragon Con, where she enjoys attending panels and working with the talented staff of the Daily Dragon.

Amanda Faith Award-winning author Amanda Faith may have been raised in Dayton, but her heart and home is in the South. With a lifelong love of teaching and writing, she had plenty of encouragement from teachers and friends along the way. Loving a good puzzle has always been a fascination, and writing gives her the outlet to put all the pieces together. Being adventurous and loving to try new things, it wasn’t long before her characters found themselves in unusual situations. She loves to put people from two different worlds into new situations and to see how they interact, taking them on journeys they would never have normally experienced. Her current adventure working as a high school English professor turned Media Specialist, writing, and doing paranormal investigations doesn’t slow her down from having a great time with a plethora of hobbies. Her published credits include several short stories, poetry, several journal articles, her doctoral dissertation, and her award-winning book Strength of Spirit. With multiple degrees, she has a passion for learning and exploring new venues. She is a staff writer for The Daily Dragon at Dragon Con.

Website: http://www.amandafaith.net

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