Mrs Nerd answers

James / January 20th, 2012


Here is a response from my wife. Enjoy.


Some A’s for your Q’s:

Wow, over 1000 comments.  I sincerely appreciate all the support and enthusiasm.  I’ve read just about all of them.  I’ve pared it down to 22 general questions (in no particular order) since many of them were repeated or were similar in subject.  Hopefully all of you with reasonable inquiries will receive your answers.   I think I got the gist of them all, but my apologies if your specific question was overlooked.  I also want to apologize for the delay in getting the answers out there.  As you’ve been informed, James and I just traveled 3000 miles across the United States to Los Angeles, CA to start production on the AVGN movie.  Unfortunately, my original post went up just before we left and so I’m just now getting a chance to thoroughly read and respond.  Thanks for you patience and understanding.  My posts won’t always be this long, but hopefully this will give you a taste of what’s to come.  Thanks and enjoy!

1. Why write this at all? Why now? Why is this important?

My original post addresses this for the most part, but I do feel the need to express that I’m only doing this because James asked me to.  In terms of the timing, I think that is directly related to the progress of the AVGN movie.  As I take a larger role in the production of the movie, it will be harder to remain anonymous, so James and I decided it’s better to just come out and introduce myself, on my own terms, instead of allowing for speculation and rumors.

2. Do I collect anything? How do I feel about the game/movie collection spreading throughout the house?

A lot of people are far more concerned with this than I am.  Most people who walk into my living room and see a huge, framed, panoramic poster of Rocky above my mantel automatically think that I begrudge it, but I don’t! I genuinely like that the movie collection has shaped the design of my living room.  It’s like having a BlockBuster at my fingertips. The gaming collection is downstairs in the basement, so I don’t have to deal with that as much but I don’t mind that one either.  I personally don’t collect anything and am not much of a “stuff” person, but that’s just me.  James and I compliment each other in this way.

3. How do I deal with James’ love of his childhood and nostalgia?

It’s not really something to “deal with” really.  It’s a big part of what makes him who he is, so I respect and appreciate that.  I think our generation in general is very nostalgic because we are going through a rough time as a society.  Childhood in the 80’s was awesome, why not try to relive it?

4. Feeling on the fans in general? When did I notice the popularity? Any attacks in public? How has the “fame” affected our lives?

I can honestly say this is all still very surreal to me.  I am just so grateful for all the opportunities that James’ success has awarded us both and so because of that I am able to accept the otherwise less appealing aspects of the lifestyle.  Generally the fans are very supportive and polite though and I appreciate each and every one of them.  Without an audience, none of this would be possible.  Of course the popularity has affected our lives both positively and negatively. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t some trying times. We have to be really secretive about our personal stuff, which can be annoying.  At conventions or certain public situations we sometimes we have to be “the mean guy” just so we can rest, eat, go to the bathroom, etc.  I really don’t like doing that, but sometimes its just necessary.  Overall, the good outweighs the bad though.  As far as the first time I noticed the popularity that would have to be when I went to my first “Iron Man of Gaming” Convention with James back in 2008.  That was the first time I saw a room full of people excited to see him and hear what he had to say.  That was pretty cool.

5. What’s up with the photo that was attached to the first post?

Oh geez.  It’s kind of funny actually.  James decided that we needed to attach a photo to the post and he picked that one.  He really likes that picture for some reason.  It was taken at a wedding a few years ago.  I don’t dislike it, but I can understand how you all think I look pissed off or something.  Bottom line, I am not a very photogenic person.  This is one of the reasons I’ve stayed away from being in videos and such.  I do want to thank you all though for the nice comments.  It makes a girl blush. But yea, not to blame him or anything, but James chose the picture ; )

6. What are my tastes in media? (i.e. movies, games, TV, books, music, etc?)

So I’m going to break some hearts now, but I have to be honest.  I don’t play video games. I appreciate them, but I don’t play them.  I didn’t grow up playing them, so I never gained the skills or patience required to play them.  Movies, TV, books and music though, I totally dig!  This is where James and I really connect.  I love good classic comedies, sci-fi, horror (classic and modern).  The only film genre that James and I don’t see eye to eye on is the schlock films, I pretty much enjoy everything else though.  Stay tuned, perhaps one day I will post my Top 10.  I’m a huge fan of television.  Modern shows I like are How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, True Blood, The Walking Dead, and basically any cooking competition shows.  Older shows I like are Star Trek (TNG the best) and all the classic TGIF shows, Gilligan’s Island, Twilight Zone, etc. As far as books go, I like quirky autobiographies a lot.  My favorite authors are Jonathon Safran Foer, Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris.  James and I both love reading autobiographies from musicians, too like Ozzy’s book and Dave Mustaine’s book.  That leads me to music.  I love hard rock and heavy metal.  This is probably where James and I have the most similar tastes.  Some of my favorites bands are Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Megadeth, System of a Down, Judas Priest, Motorhead and many others.

7. Do I consider myself a nerd also?

Yea, I would call myself a nerd.  I know there are various stratas of nerddom, but I’m definitely in there somewhere.  I’d probably fall more into the classical description.  I did well in school, I’m quirky and have strange habits.  I tend to know a lot of useless shit.  So yea, I’m A nerd, but definitely not THE nerd.

8. What do James and I do for fun? How do we find the time? What do James and I have in common? Do we drink? Does James drink outside of the videos?

Over the years it’s definitely been hard to find the time to hang out and just have fun together.  There is an eb and flow to it though and we’ve gotten used to it at this point.  In other words, I know well enough not to bother him about going to see a movie if he’s elbow deep in fake shit.  Don’t worry though, we do make the time to enjoy ourselves occasionally.  Our classic night out is the typical dinner and a movie.  We also love going to shows.  As I alluded to, we are both huge hard rock and heavy metal fans.  We probably go to a show at least once a month.  Next up is the Gigantour with Megadeth and Motorhead. We are both fans of the drink as well.  We really enjoy tasting different kinds of beers and wines and learning about how they are made.  Good old educational drinking.

9. What was my original reaction to James’ work? How did my parents, friends and family feel about it? Did I know then that he’d be successful?

I saw some of James’ work on our second date.  We doubled with Kyle Justin and he made a point to break out some of James’ videos to show me.  Of course, one of those videos was “Stony” because Kyle acted in that one.  I thought they were funny for sure and his passion for what he was doing was undeniable.  I definitely saw that spark in him back then and new it’d take him places.  As for my parents, friends, etc. and their reaction… they were pretty used to the crazy shit I was doing so I think it didn’t really phase them much.  They are very understanding of artists, and James fit that bill.  They love him to this day and we all have a great relationship.

10. What do I do? (professionally/creatively?) What is my style? Why not do the AVGN title cards? Does James support or overshadow this?

I have an undergraduate degree in Illustration and a post bacc certification to teach art Kindergarten – 12th grade.  I’ve done some freelance illustration and I taught for 3 years after getting my degree but decided last year to leave my job to work full time for James and Cinemassacre.  I handle all the books, scheduling, and paperwork for the business and well as provide production assistance.  Basically I wear a lot of hats and help where I’m needed.  This keeps me quite busy.  My artistic style is illustrative and usually figurative with a surrealist twist.  I have not created original artwork in awhile since I’ve been so busy helping with the movie, but it is my goal to get back to creating.  At the moment I do not have any artwork available online. I do not do the title cards for the AVGN episodes, they are done by Mike Matei.  He has more of an animation style and is more familiar with the gaming subject matter so that’s why he does them.  I love Mike’s work and I think he does an amazing job.  I did paint the cover for “The Deader the Better” DVD jacket.  (Coming Soon) I did it with acrylic on canvas and James has the original hanging in his office.  He is very supportive of my artwork and encourages me to get back to it.

11. Do I help with behind the scenes stuff? Filming, props, scenery, sets, etc? Do I plan to continue?

Yea, as I said, I pretty much help where I’m needed.  I have a serious work ethic, so I’m always looking to use my talents and strengths to benefit the company.  I do not have a proper background in film, but I’ve learned over the years the basics of operating a camera, lights, fog machine, etc so when James needs an extra hand I’m always there to help.  I’ve even learned how to edit sound and have helped in that department a few times.  I’m also super organized and schedule oriented so I’ve used that strength to help out on the business end of things and all the event scheduling.  Occasionally I’m able to use my artistic talents to help the cause as well.  I make a mean Styrofoam gravestone and can Photoshop short key with the best of them.  I certainly plan to keep helping in any way that I can and continue to learn along the way. I’m just happy to be a part of it in any capacity.  Again, more of this type of thing will be covered as I share my stories.

12. My cooking… what do I like to cook? Does James cook? Does he like my cooking? Will I share recipes?

As I said, I haven’t really created traditional art in quite a while, but I feel that my cooking and baking has really been a creative outlet for me recently.  I love to cook just about every kind of cuisine and enjoy experimenting.  I really jumped on the gourmet cupcake fad.  As Stephanie Yuhas mentioned in the comments section, I do make a mean Mountain Dew cupcake.  Perhaps I will share the recipe for those (and maybe some others) eventually.  James does know how to cook, but I typically take care of it since I enjoy it so much. He and all the guys who work with us love my cooking.  I try to make it a point to make a nice meal whenever they are working hard on a shoot.  Craft services…yet another one of my many hats.

13. Do I travel with James to conventions and such?

Yes!  I love to travel! Thankfully over the past few years I’ve been able to come along to many of the conventions and shoots that James is involved in.  I don’t get to go to all of them, but I enjoy the ones I can make it to.  Over the past year or so, I’ve actually started to handle the arrangements for James’ convention appearances.  This has been a lot of fun and I enjoy the new friendships I’ve formed along the way.

14. What is it like to know other internet celebrities like Doug Walker? Or co-stars in Cinemassacre Productions like Mike Matei and Kyle Justin etc?

Speaking of travelling and new friendships, that’s how I’m able to meet other internet personalities.  I’m in awe of how tight knit this “family” is.  There really is a sense of respect and community among the majority of them that is really inspiring.  I’m happy to list among my friends many of the people you enjoy watching on the web.  I’m so happy for all of their success and would jump in traffic for any one of them.  I’m sure as I continue to share my stories, more of their names may pop up.  Oh and yea, I did tie the tie for Doug.  Not very well I might add. I was the best of the worst at it, I suppose.

15. How long is “before the beginning?” When did James and I meet? Get Married? How has marriage effected James’ film-making and acting performances, etc?

James and I met in July of 2004.  He had just graduated college, was living with his parents and working a “joe job”.  A few months before that he had made what was technically the first AVGN episode, but it was in a closet gathering dust somewhere.  His efforts at the time were focused on making “The Deader the Better”.  I distinctly remember when the AVGN series started to take off on YouTube and was picked up by ScrewAttack.  We were semi-living together at the time (when I wasn’t at college) and we were both really excited.  I’ve always been super supportive of James doing whatever it takes to make great videos and to do what he loves doing.  Case in point, moving 3000 miles away from home to make the AVGN movie. Some people have alluded to the fact that marriage may have caused James to go soft or get lazy, but this is just factually incorrect.  Since I met James, I’ve always encouraged him to make bold decisions to better his career.  For example in early 2007, I encouraged James to quit his corporate video job and focus more on the online series.  When we were married in November of 2007, I handled all the arrangements so James could continue working on the Dragon’s Lair episode of AVGN (and other projects) up until the day before.  In 2008 (our first year of marriage) James would create what he considers two of his “angrier” videos (Dick Tracy and Superman 64).  Not to mention, some of the “angriest” episodes of them all, I was directly a part of (that was my hand reaching over the sofa wearing the Freddy Kruger glove).  So yea, I’ve been around for a while and our relationship doesn’t affect James’ performance or career in the slightest.

16. Will I be in the movie or in any AVGN episodes? Will I do any guest appearances or acting in any of the videos?

I am not an actor and have no immediate desire to be on camera.  That’s never been my cup of tea. I can’t say for sure that I won’t pop up in some of the video blog updates for the movie or even possibly have a small walk-on cameo just for fun, but it will not be a regular thing.  I won’t be written into any episodes.  I won’t be creating my own video series.  My plans as of now are to occasionally share stories about AVGN and Cinemassacre related topics in a written format. That’s it.

17. The cats… what are their names? What are they like?

I’m a sucker for talking about our cats so I will entertain this question.  We do not have any human children at the moment, just our two fur-babies so they are definitely spoiled rotten.  First is our boy cat named Boo.  He is almost 5 years old and is all black with a little white spot on his neck.  He is active and sociable.  James and I love both of them equally, but Boo is definitely more of my cat.  Then there is Yeti.  She is almost 4 years old and is all white with an orange and black striped tail and orange spots on her head.  She is a little more timid and shy, but makes the cutest gestures.  She is definitely more of James’ cat.

18. How do I feel about the crude nature of the videos? The poop, foul language, etc.

I’m a big fan of shock humor and so I love it.  If we kept a tally, I might even curse more than James does.  I may be the only woman on the planet that loves the word “cunt” and I try to use it on a daily basis.  As for the shit and various other bodily fluids that appear in James’ work, it doesn’t really bother me.  Whenever he makes fake shit, it perfumes the house with the smell of Reeses peanut butter cups.  So that I enjoy.

19. What’s it like being married to James? How is he outside of the videos? Does he get mad? Does he make the same faces? Is he a leader? Is he a neat freak? Is he a handyman? How has he changed socially?

I got all kinds of questions about how James is as a person and a husband.  I will definitely go further into depth with this as I continue to share my stories, but if I had to use one word to describe him, it’d be “genuine”.  There is not an ounce of fake in the dude.  You can believe every word he says, everything he does and everything he says he’ll do.  Outside of his videos, he is the kindest, most gentle person.  He is pretty much the polar opposite of his AVGN character.  As for the specific characteristics that were mentioned… Does he get mad?  Of course, everyone does, but never at anyone and certainly not as mean spiritedly as the nerd does.  Yes, he makes some of the same faces as the nerd does, specifically that signature frown.  Is he a leader?  As a director, he is.  He’s gotten much better with leading as his business has grown, but is definitely a bit more of a “go with the flow” type guy in regular life.  Is he a neat freak?  Surprisingly, yes.  His games, movies, etc. are all labeled and in perfect order.  His files are all impeccable also.  I’m the same way though so we definitely compliment each other in that way.  Is he a handyman?  Not in the conventional carpenter way, but he can wire up an entertainment system like a pro.  He’s also handy at building any sort of contraption he might need for a film.  How has he changed socially?  That’s one of the biggest changes I’ve seen in him.  He’s much more at ease around crowds and people.  He’s not as shy as he was when I first met him.

20. Do I have any funny stories? Have I ever walked in on any weird, alarming or crazy situations? Did I ever get concerned and have to check on James while he was filming? What is the craziest thing I have ever seen or done because of James’ videos?

As I mentioned in my original post, I have seen some crazy, bazaar and outright genius stuff over the years.  This concept will be the basis of the stories I plan to share, so stay tuned.  I won’t share any specific stories at the moment, but I will say I’m probably the only wife on the planet that can come home to a sink full of bloody clothing and knives and think nothing of it.  I always joke that James could cut his arm off and I’d have no clue. I just tune out the yelling and such at this point so if he ever legitimately needed help, I probably wouldn’t realize it.

21. Does James seek my opinion on scripts, videos, etc? Do I ever disagree? Do I ever think he’s being crazy or too ambitious?

I always say, especially with the AVGN videos, that I’m kind of the control in the whole experiment.  Basically, if I think its funny and it works, then it’s going to be a huge hit. It really depends on the project though whether I contribute in the early stages, middles stages or at the end, but I usually see just about everything before it goes live and give my two cents accordingly.  I tend to catch things that James mispronounces and things like that.  On very rare occasions we have severely differing opinions on things.  I’ve been right a few times, but I’m more than happy to be proven wrong.  I’m also very aware that James has this mysterious way of making genius out of nothing, so unless I see a glaring problem, I usually just let the master do his thing.

22. What is my favorite AVGN video? What is my favorite video James has ever made? What made me the most proud of James?

Perhaps one day I will post my top 10 favorite AVGN videos or something like that, but for now I’ll just say that my favorite videos James creates always tend to evoke fond memories or have guest appearances by our friends.  For instances, I love the Ninja Gaiden episode because I think Kevin Finn’s performance is hilarious.  I also love the Dragon in my Dreams documentary video because it’s deeply personal to James.  What makes me most proud of James? I’m so impressed with his ability to share his love of movies and filmmaking with the world in such an eloquent and passionate way.  For a self-proclaimed “shy guy” he has a way of clearly expressing himself when he needs to.  This makes me the most proud of him.  Success couldn’t have fallen on a more deserving guy.

-Mrs Nerd


James’ favorites