I guess there are some perks to being a part-time freelance writer. Also to being a huge nerd. On April 22, Kari Byron and Grant Imahara of Mythbusters came to Penn State Berks and I was there to meet them.
PSB (that’s Penn State Berks for those not hip to the lingo) is my alma mater, and by a freak chance I checked their events bulletin board a few months ago and noticed that two mythbusters were coming to town. Unfortunately, I had initially misread the post and thought that Kari and Grant had already came and gone, and that fate was torturing me by showing me this post too late. A few hours later I reread the post and realized that I was an idiot, and that the event was scheduled for April (which hadn’t arrived yet).
In a bolder-than-usual fashion, I set out to meet them. I love Mythbusters and watch it often; every cast member of the show plays a unique role in creating a very entertaining dynamic. So instead of simply getting tickets, I wanted to actually be involved. The only way for me to do that was to fall back on my freelance writing credentials. I contacted the man in charge and arranged to be part of the press.
I’m not a reporter by any means…but I have had enough experience to be properly prepared for these sorts of things. I generated a healthy list of questions, some for Kari, some for Grant, some for both. I put on a nice collared shirt, and grabbed my digital camera. That’s all a reporter needs, right?
I wasn’t sure what to expect upon arrival. At a few previous interview events I’ve been to, a bunch of us media-types sat in a conference room with the celeb-person and we all talked communally and asked questions. I figured this would probably be similar, but couldn’t be sure. When I showed up, Grant popped out of a nearby bathroom and walked into the media office. I flashed him a look that said “I’ll be speaking to you shortly my friend,” but which he probably interpreted as “creepy.”
I went in, met with the event coordinator, and he escorted me into a private office where Kari and Grant were waiting. To my delight and surprise I was granted ten minutes of personal interview time with them! In a professional, relaxed, and all around cool manner (…pretty much) I introduced myself. We sat down and I asked them a couple of my preset questions. I tried to stay away from obvious ones that they probably hear constantly and would likely be covered in the presentation to follow. We also chatted a little about the campus, the area, and why they decided to go on a campus tour.
Before I knew it my time was up. I shook their hands and wished them luck in their presentation. It was a pretty awesome experience, but I didn’t have time to enjoy it. I needed to address my next concern – getting into the show itself.
I noticed that people getting in line had physical tickets, and I had none. I tracked down the coordinator and secured a press-pass ticket (to my relief). I was a little worried that my journey would be cut short half way through. I went into the auditorium and took my seat. After an introduction and blooper real of Mythbusters, Kari and Grant took a long Q&A session and revealed some very cool behind-the-scenes info about the show. I don’t want to go into too much presentation detail here, hopefully I can write up a real article about the event and link to it.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any really good pictures. I snapped a few crappy ones though – I’ll post those once I figure out if they are usable or not.
After all was said and done, I’m very happy I took the leap and met with Kari and Grant. They were awesome and hopefully Mythbusters stays on the air for a long time to come!
***update – my interview was published with associated content, check it out here – http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/738599/penn_staters_get_a_behind_the_scenes.html?cat=49
images – http://www.tvguide.com/images/pgimg/mythbusters20.jpg, http://www.mythbustersfanclub.com/mb2/images/stories/grant-bunny3.jpg