For members of the sci-fi community the name Jewel Staite is instantly recognizable. From starship mechanics, to inter-dimensional doctors, Jewel brings a likability and quirky charm to whatever role she inhabits. I’ve been a fan of Jewel for a long time, but like most of you out there she first caught my eye as the unrefined starship mechanic Kaylee on Joss Whendon’s spectacular, yet short lived series Firefly. After Firefly’s tragic and unwarrented execution, Jewel went on to join the cast of Star-Gate: Atlantis, as Dr. Jennifer Keller.
People on the internet can be famous for a variety of reasons. Sadly, the quickest route to internet fame involves getting hit in the privates or starring in your very own badly lit sexual adventure. However, Veronica Belmont has achieved internet fame simply by being intelligent and awesome; and we are elated to bring you our exclusive interview. If you’re interested in technology you’ve probably seen her as the co-host of Revision 3’s tech-centric show, Tekzilla. Veronica is also the host of Qore on the PlayStation network, as well as The Sword and Laser podcast (best name ever) where she passionately discusses science fiction and fantasy literature. A pioneer in modern social networking she secured the Twitter handle @Veronica and currently has close to 1.6 million followers. In all honesty, she has more projects in the works than we thought humanly possible, and we’re utterly convinced she found a way to clone herself so that she can get more work done. Lucky for us, one of her clones found time to answer our nerd appropriate questions about life, tech, food and more.
“You’re only selling yourself short when you try to be something you’re not. So wave your geek/freak/whatever flag high!”
NA-Ash: Veronica, thank you so much for taking the time out of what must be one crazy schedule. When you were born, your mother was the vice president of Coleco (electronics giant of the 80s). Have you ever wondered if perhaps your mother had you genetically modified to be a super geek? (this is totally possible)
Veronica: My dad was an engineer, so the combination probably helped a lot! They always encouraged me to pursue whatever interests I had at the moment, whether it was ballet (I got sick of that pretty quickly) to video games to computers. My mom has always been my biggest supporter!
“I like interacting with new people online, but it’s much harder face to face.”
NA-Ash: Now one of your first interviews was with a very famous World of Warcraft personality “Leeroy Jenkins”. How has life changed for you since that Blizzcon way back in 2007?
Veronica: Life has definitely changed quite a bit since then! I’m doing video work full time now, working on no fewer than 4-5 projects at a time. Fun, and busy, of course. It’s hard to even find time to keep up with WoW these days.
NA-Ash: Your podcast, The Sword and Laser, is an amazing source of information for fans of science fiction and fantasy literature. Do you think the gradual shift away from physical media is going to impact the careers of writers and publishers?
Veronica: No, I don’t. In fact, I read more now that I do it on the Kindle. It’s so much easier to carry around with me, and impulse buying factors in a lot as well. It’s definitely going to impact them in the sense that there are new ways of getting their content out there, but I don’t think it will negatively affect them.
NA-Ash: What games and gadgets are you currently playing with? Which ones are you looking forward to in the future?
Veronica: I’ve been testing out the Dell Streak 7″ tablet over the past couple of weeks, but my own gear is primarily in the Apple family. I have an iPhone, MBP, iPad, etc… I don’t really consider myself an “Apple fangirl” really, but I’m kind of tied into the ecosystem in a big way at this point. I’m kind of excited to see what the Microsoft/Nokia partnership brings to the table in the next year.
NA-Ash: You’re a music nerd as well as a tech nerd. I have a challenge for you. List the first five artists that pop up on your (i-tunes/zune/etc) playlist. As part of this challenge you must list them all, even the embarrassing ones.
Veronica: OK, I’ll use my Rdio “Heavy Rotation” list, since I use Rdio more than anything. Right now, it’s Cut Copy, Miike Snow, Kanye West, Arcade Fire, and The Black Keys. I swear I’m not as hip as my current listening habits.
“…my boyfriend at the time was convinced Y2K was about to happen!! He even outfitted a cabin in the woods with survival gear.”
NA-Ash: What conventions are you headed to this year? (or which ones aren’t you headed to) ?
Veronica: WonderCon, E3, Nerdtacular ’11 and DragonCon are all for sure. I’m working on getting to ComicCon, so we’ll see.
NA-Ash: Think back to December 31st 1999. Where were you on the eve of the new millennium? Were you terrified that the Y2K bug was going to break all of your precious tech?
Veronica: I wasn’t, but my boyfriend at the time was convinced Y2K was about to happen!! He even outfitted a cabin in the woods with survival gear. I think he was very let down when nothing actually happened.
NA-Ash: I love San Francisco. Sadly I don’t live there, and only get to visit every few years. What is your all time favorite restaurant in the city? Is it Wi-Fi enabled?
NA-Ash: Okay time for a few “serious questions”. As a teacher It’s interesting to see an entire generation of teenagers who grew up with a mouse and cellular device in their hands. Do you ever worry that our current fixation with technology and social networking is going to make people lose the ability to communicate verbally? (just playing devil’s advocate.. I love my tech)
Veronica: Sure, though I think we’re learning how to communicate in different ways. There is definitely a disconnect from the “physical,” though. I’m pretty outspoken online and on my shows, but I’m actually very shy and nervous around groups of new people (probably not uncommon, but still annoying). I like interacting with new people online, but it’s much harder face to face.
NA-Ash: Do you realize that if there is indeed robot apocalypse, and Skynet really does take over, you’ll probably have 1.6 millon twitter followers looking to you for advice on how to stop the threat. Is it alarming to have 1.6 million people hear what you have to say at any given time? (if you ever wanted to be a super villain you could probably command them all to shut down websites and cause a series of riots)
Veronica: Well, not all of them are reading at the same time, so that helps! There is some pressure… I get worried about saying something too controversial and making people mad, but I also realize that the reason a lot of them follow my tweets is because they like it when I have an opinion. So I try to mix it up with a little news, a little opinion, and some fun random things as well.
“…I get worried about saying something too controversial and making people mad..”
NA- Ash: If you could hit the “reset” button and go back and do some things in your career and life differently, would you change anything?
NA-Ash: Veronica, on behalf of myself and the rest of NerdAppropriate.com we sincerely thank you! Any final words or sage-like advice?
Veronica: I think people are always more successful and happy when they’re genuine. I try to apply that to my life (even when I’m worried about what people will think) and it’s the only real advice I give. You’re only selling yourself short when you try to be something you’re not. So wave your geek/freak/whatever flag high!
Follow Veronica on Twitter – @Veronica
Follow Nerd Appropriate on Twitter – @NerdAppropriate
Follow Ash on Twitter – @Legsarebroken
Thanks for reading our exclusive interview with Veronica Belmont. Check out the other 2011 Nerd Appropriate Interviews!
Alison Haislip – G4TV’s premiere correspondent (and kicker of much ass)
Abbie Heppe – Community Manager of Respawn Entertainment and game master wizard.
Amy Okuda – One of the stars of the mega-popular web series “The Guild”.
Julia Voth – Star of Bitch Slap and model for Jill Valentine.
Anamanaguchi- Chip tune heroes and video game sound track maestros.