Meet Your Quizmaster
Every first and third Friday of the month. Interviews by "Quizmaster of the Year," Michelle Miller!
Take a peek behind the host with our in depth interview series with the men and women who help run Geeks Who Drink each and every week! Click Here to see a list of who we've already interviewed!
I managed to track down Marianne “No Filter” Veneron right at her one year anniversary with our company. We talked about our mutual love of puppies, Sam & Dean Winchester, and of course her love of the Doctor.
How long have you been with GWD?
I just hit my 1 year anniversary. I didn't receive any flowers though.
How did you find out about us?
Well, I started quizzing in Rochester last January. Saw the ad on the Facebooks, and was like, "THIS IS SO FOR ME!" So, I started quizzing. Put together a team. I was the Captain, had an armband and erry'thang. After a while, I thought, "I wish I was on that mic. I want attention." So, I applied, and Kent let me in. So I got that goin' for me. Which is nice.
So, did your quiz team win??
We had quite the rivalry with another team, called "Dick Short For Richard." They would keep beating us. Which made me sad. But, it keeps you coming back. We would win here and there. But, like I said, it started in January, and I started QMMFing in May. So, it was a good couple of months from the other side of the mic. I think it's helpful to see things from the quizzer's point of view at times.
What was your team name? Now's your chance for a shout out.
We would change it up. I think the first team name we came up with was "Will Riker's Beard." My favorite team name that I created was, "My Grandma doesn't wrestle, but she sure loves to fuck."
Shout-out to Julia! Who has since put together her own team that likes to slaughter people every week.
I like it. I never did GWD before I started working for us so now when I play I like to combine all of our hated team names.
Wait, you're telling me that Ramrod and My Couch Pulls Out But I Don't ISN'T original? GASP!
Totally original. So, did you audition or did they just take the word of the graffiti on the bathroom walls?
I actually auditioned. Michelle, promise me, you'll never believe the things written on bathroom walls. PROMISE ME!
So, you audition, you rock it. You get the job. Talk to me about how you run your show. Themed music? Theme nights? Anything you do at EVERY quiz?
I normally like to play music that I like. I started out with a small playlist, and it has grown exponentially since. I love adding new things that my quizzers introduce me to, that the QMs introduce me to. And now that I have video capabilities at my Monday night venue, I enjoy playing some videos here and there.
As to the theme nights: I've had a few here and there. For instance: Pajama night. EVERYONE loves wearing their PJs to a bar. We had a lot of onesies that night (I'm actually wearing my onesie right now, because I'm a woman child). I've also had a Halloween party, lots of fun costumes that night. I dressed as a quiz MISTRESS, and definitely flogged a few quizzers that... "deserved" it. Then there was "sport coat" night. And Christmas dress-up night. I wore a Nighty that had scotty dogs all over it (Christmas-themed, of course) threw a belt on it, and rocked that motherfucker.
As to the things I do at every quiz, I enjoy letting people know that if I find out that they're using cell phones, I will take their phone and sext their Mima. I've done it a few times. No heart attacks... yet. So that's good.
I've also picked up a few things here and there from other QMs. I recently visited Seattle and quizzed my face off. While I was there I stole a few ideas. One idea that I stole from Tabitha Stewart, was rolling a D20 to decide your e-mail prize. It's going quite well. Quizzers really seem to enjoy it.
Nice, I've thought about doing that myself. (Some of my quizzers went to her quiz and brought me back the intel.)
She's a peach. I HODOR her.
So, when you're not hosting the raddest pub quiz in Rochester, what are you doing? What's your day job?
When I'm not doing quiz, I'm hanging out with my rad friends, playing laser tag, watching Mystery Men, giggling, and probably drinking.
I'm certified to teach kiddos grades 1-6 as well as Special Education. I have recently decided that this isn't for me, and I am doing some soul searching to decide what I really want to do with my life. I was getting my masters in Childhood Literacy, but, I'm going to change that up. GWD has really helped me to understand that I love performance. So, we'll see what the next few months brings Marianne No Filter.
Performance is a good time. Any hints on what you might be doing?
Well, I've contemplated stuff that involves animals. Cuz, shit, puppies are god damn adorable. And I've also thought about radio. An old friend of mine said when he listened to Alt Nation and Madison was hosting, that he would think of me. She's awesome. So, I take that as a HUGE compliment. Maybe something having to do with radio? Maybe I should have a podcast about puppies? What do you think?
The puppy podcast!! You can have Chester Copperpot on as your first guest!
I'm assuming Chester Copperpot is your adorable puppy. It would be an honor and a privilege to interview your pup. My first question to him, "What's your favorite movie, Mr. Copperpot." I'll only accept "The Goonies" as his answer.
He will tell you it is Die Hard. He loves John McClane. I can't blame him.
That's also an acceptable answer. I am kind of in love with Bruce Willis.
So, do you consider yourself more geek or drink?
Ok, I knew this question was coming. And I've thought about this a lot. I would say that there are several things that I geek out over. The things I geek over, I can blame my dad for. He has been a very influential person in my life. For instance: Doctor Who. I've been watching it with my dad since I was very little. Then there is Star Trek TNG. That's his fault too. Then The Game of Thrones (again, dad). I also geek over Soccer and Supernatural. Sam and Dean are total hunks, amirite?
I would basically say I go through periods where I'm more drink than geek, and then more geek than drink. If it's a particularly difficult quiz while I'm quizzing, I'll drink and ROFL(fart). But, if it's my kind of quiz, I'll be ALL geek.
My quizzers turned me on to Supernatural and I have never looked back.
Seriously, that show. I've had too many dreams about it that make me not want to wake up. Apparently, Jared and Jensen are both married. How do you feel about A Jar-Jen heist? You in? We could call it, "The Hunt For Jar-Jen, 2K13"
Hells yeah. Also, Dean is from Dallas. I'm pretty sure he and I were doing local theater shit at the same time. I'm sad I didn't know this back then. I also refuse to use their real names.
Alright... we'll come up with a different name. The "HUNT" for Sam and Dean. Also, I want Cass in that mix. We're some serious babes, and will need plenty of Supernatural dudes to take care of our "needs."
Back on track...I can talk about that show for days. What's your fantasy private event quiz?
Ok, ok. My fantasy private event quiz would probably be the private event quiz that they held in Seattle in the summer. It was Doctor Who related. Stacy put it all together for her museum. And Pio skyped me in. It was pretty rad to be a part of it. I would love to have something like that. I would love to host a theme quiz like that. Are you listening out there? DOCTOR WHO! Please, PLEASE, PLEASE! Doctor Who. I have a GREAT costume to wear for it when it finally happens. And IT WILL happen. PLEASE?!
I think there are a few of us that would get screwdriver shaped boners for a Doctor Who quiz. What about a QFAC? Any non profit you would like to help make money for?
Anything that would help out our animals in the area would be amazing. I have a soft spot in my heart for No Kill shelters. We have quite a few in our area. So, if I could help out those shelters, it would be an honor.
Also: anything that helps out small businesses would be great. I'm in love with our little shops in this area as well.
I too love those furry little creatures. Usually more than people.
PUPPIES FOR THE WIN...and Chocolate shops! Chocolate in the shape of puppies?
I will eat their delicious faces. So, how has Geeks changed your life?
A lot has changed for me in the past year. Becoming a part of this incredible team has been amazing. I feel like I've met "My People." I honestly didn't know that I could be a part of something so incredible, that something like GWD existed, and that I would be a part of it. I seriously love ALL of you guys. And Geek Bowl... my GOD! When people ask me how it went, I start talking about the incredible time I had, the people I've been talking to for the past year, and how amazing they are and how fortunate I was to be a part of it. It's such a hard thing to describe to someone who wasn't there. So, this is for you, Rochester, NY. Get your adorable booties to Geek Bowl next year so that you can understand how amazing this is.
GWD has also introduced me to the incredible friends that I have now. I'm now a part of a close-knit group of friends that started out as quizzers. I seriously love these people. And if it were not for Geeks Who Drink, I wouldn't have met them.
Geek Bowl is impossible to explain to people that weren't there. It's so big and amazing. Outsiders just don't get it. I make my quizzers that have gone explain it to the new ones.
Pro-tip: BE ONE OF US!
Aside from that pro tip. Got any advice for quizzers out there?
My advice for my quizzers: Sign up for the e-mail. They give you hints to the quiz and an awesome bonus question. And who doesn't want free prizes? A crazy person, that's who. I also have a few Facebook fan pages. Those are helpful as well. And maybe go on craigslist and create an ad about putting together a GWD super team. Craigslist is TOTALLY safe. Right?
CONTINUE to read my blogs. Also: the more you drink, the funnier I am. So, KEEP DRINKING! And if you ever have any questions, most of the time you can find the answer at geekswhodrink.com
Oh! One more thing, if you know of any places that you think would be a great fit for GWD, let us know!
Any advice for new quizmasters out there that haven’t celebrated their one year anniversary yet?
Besides "Don't Fuck Up?"
That is the best advice.
Yes, I actually do. Go to quiz. Pick up things that other QMs do that really seem to work for them, and put your own little twist on it. That's honestly the best thing I've done. There are Senior QMs out there that pack their venues, and they're packed for a reason.
After a rough week in the news, I was really grateful to sit down revisit one of my interviews with an “old timer” in my Geeks family to relax and not think about the problems of the world. When I tracked down Kent Wilhelmi in the ABQ and we discussed his hatred for using the phone and his charity organization “Pop That Tushy.”
How long have you been a host with GWD?
I've been a scorekeeper since August of 2007, but didn't get my own hosting gig until May of 2008. I went to the very first GWD quiz here in Albuquerque, just to check it out. Poor Eric had 37 squads on his first night, and was totally freaking out (back in the day, teams didn't turn in answer sheets until after Round 3! That's over 100 sheets to score on his first scoring break!) I didn't really know Eric too well, but I looked up at the stage, and asked him if he needed some help. I just kept showing up every week after that.
So, you were you a quizzer first?
I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way, but I don't really enjoy playing the quiz! (Mostly because I suck at it, and through nearly 6 years of attending quizzes in some capacity, I have retained nothing). I'm much more comfortable on the other side of the microphone. If I do play, I prefer to be in a squad of just 2 or 3. Or just Eric.
What else do you do for the company besides host?
Right now, my title is Crew Manager, but I've performed several different internal functions here at HQ. I was Audio Editor for some time (I've written in excess of 1000 audio rounds), helmed our QA/ Secret Shopping arm, sang songs to Dicker when he was sad, nervously telephoned venues when there was something really important going on (I hate talking on the phone!) and I've also turned myself into a chocolate chip cookie on multiple occasions for the benefit of others.
You hate talking on the phone but you don't mind being on a mic in front of a bar of people? How does that work?
I dislike the disconnect, being on the telephone. I can't see the other person's face, and then I get anxious, step over words, overcompensate, and turn into a demon. There are very few people that I can communicate with over the phone with a modicum of accuracy. It's like rise and fall, being on the microphone. I like being in charge, but not necessarily in control. When the quiz is good, I feel like the players are really the ones in control, fusing the night with energy and sending it straight back to me. That feels good, like a hit of sunshine.
Are you more Geek or Drink?
I am equal parts Geek and Drink. I love beer (and wine!) like wow, and not even just good beer. I'll drink pretty much anything beer-like (except stouts, those are weird). My all-time favorite is Newcastle, but I've recently discovered Wychwood's Hobgoblin (delicious!) and Marble's Dark Abbey. This being said, I take zero issue with a nice PBR, too.
What do you "geek out" over?
As for the Geek side, I am almost preternaturally obsessed with movies, particularly those of the 80's horror (and 80's in general) varietal. I host a bad horror movie night at my house at least once a month, and curate a quasi-regular dance party called Zombie Prom. I'm also really into music, although I became critically burnt out on keeping up with it all, beyond a handful of standbys. I was a goth DJ for 10 years, worked in a record shop for just as long, was in bands, stuff like that.
Lately I've developed a rather obsessive (and financially ruinous) collection of Mondo posters (yeah, movies!) I'm in a vintage scooter club, have 5 bikes, and am getting ready to start rebuilding a '57 Vespa widebody. It's got the greatest ass of any scooter I've ever seen. I'm also really into skiing, kickball, hiking, camping, and road bicycling, too. Outdoorsy as fuck, but I'm also a total homebody at the same time. I like extremes, karaoke, cookies, and girls who say "ditto." I do not own a pair of jeans.
What are your top 3 horror movies?
My top 3 are continually in flux. Right now I'd have to go with John Dies at the End, Brain Dead, and The Monster Squad (that movie will never leave the top 3, ever).
And Cabin in the Woods.
And probably Bride of Frankenstein (I have an entire wall in my house dedicated to Bride!)
Since you're such a music guy, tell me about the music you play at your quiz. Do you choose music to match the rounds? Is there anything you play at EVERY quiz?
I don't choose music to match the rounds, but I do choose music to match my mood. Lately, I've been subjecting my players at Blackbird to ear-splitting levels of Robyn, because that's just where I've been at. I definitely have some weekly standbys for intro/ outro/ fear-building segments: Boys Better by the Dandy Warhols, Don't Shoot I'm a Man by Devo, Natural One by the Folk Implosion, and pretty much anything by the Electric Six.
Ideal QFAC charity you'd like to work with?
I've done several QFAC events, and they've all been very lovely. I'm a big fan of charity and Kickstarter-type things (especially weird ones,) so I'm going to go with something to do with Animal Humane (which isn't weird) or Pop That Tushy (which is a charity I just made up).
So, is Pop That Tushy an organization that benefits prostate cancer in men?
Pop That Tushy is an ongoing, global effort to increase awareness (of butts). I don't feel that this initiative has been thoroughly propagated, so it's up to me, now.
Dream private event?
Dream private event would have to be running a quiz whilst continually falling off a mountain. Like a Slayer song. A Slayer song of Pub Quiz. Or something to do with skiing? I don't know, private events frighten me a little. You're never quite sure what you're walking into.
Tell me about your wildest private event experience.
Eric and I ran our first private event at a Christmas party for a rather significant architectural firm here in town. The woman who hired us was sent home in a cab before we even arrived, as she'd had too much to drink (by 7:30pm), so nobody knew why or what the hell we were doing there. So we're in this country club banquet room that is way over capacity, no one can get a drink, much less a plate of food. It's black tie, and she'd asked us to wear our referee shirts (we used to rock these ridiculous checkered ref jerseys back in the day). We're completely out of place, and by the time we even get on the mic, it is apparent that nobody fucking wants us there. At one point during the quiz, the wife of one of the partners threw an answer sheet packet in my face, and told me "this was the worst Christmas party ever, and it's all your fault." In an attempt to avoid a full-scale riot, we abandoned ship through a fire exit door after flipping everyone off.
In honor of Cousin Chet's "Don't Make it Weird" Corner, what is the most outrageous thing that has happened to you as a quizmaster...besides that last story, of course.
Let's see. That was a good story, but the most outrageous thing that has happened to me at quiz. Well, I guess it wasn't so outrageous, but I was dating this girl once who said the sexiest thing anyone could possibly say to a Quizmaster. And that is, "after quiz, can we go back to your place and repeatedly break Rule #2?"
How has working for Geeks Who Drink changed your life?
Geeks has changed my life in that I could never really comprehend "a career," until I found one day, to my complete surprise, that I totally had one. It's been a slow, organic process, and I get to do something that I genuinely love and get paid money for it. It's pretty rad, and I never thought that would happen for me outside of owning my own business.
Got any advice for Quizmasters?
Advice for Quizmasters: don't fuck it up, and moreover - don't do it if you don't love it. People come to quiz because it's magical, and rad, and for many folks - it is their "weekly thing." Maybe even their escape from an otherwise shrieking nothingness. As much as the Quizmaster makes the quiz, what really makes it special is the people who love it - and those are your players. Respect that love.
What about Quizzers?
Advice for players: love your Quizmaster, and make them cookies. Buying beers doesn't hurt, either.
I'm squeezing in an interview before I jet off to the loveley city of Austin for my best friend's engagement party. I managed to catch up with John "Pocket Monkey" Tullar. We discuss our crippling daddy issues and love of Chipotle burritos.
So, how long have you been with Geeks?
I'm coming up on my second year as an official quizmaster. Wow, I can't believe it's been that long.
2nd year, but this was your first Geek Bowl? That’s unacceptable.
Yeah, I kind of went to visit my family right before the Geek Bowl last year but luckily I hate my whole family this year so fuck them, Geek Bowl motherfucker.
I like your style.Tell me about your audition process.
Well I moved to Boston right after we started our invasion here and we didn't have the standing army that we do now. I was playing all the time as I did in Arizona and they needed a scorekeeper. So the truth is, I didn't actually audition. They just saw that I was clingy and alright.
Well, that hardly seems fair. Who were your QM's in Arizona?
Shoutout(s)! Caribbean Joe, Island Amy, Lauren (the) Wiggins. They taught me everything that I shouldn't ever do at my quiz and I love them for it.
Good people to learn from. I mean...if you couldn't learn from me.
Well I'm becoming a better interviewer by the second.
So, you get this sweet gig hosting rad quizzes...does it pay the bills?
Well I don't know if you noticed from all my greatly worded responses, I'm also a mildly prolific GWD writer. But yeah, I got the skills to pay the bills. See, I just made that up just now.
Do you have a day job?
I work overnight a couple nights a week in a warehouse. It's very lonely but I listen to lots of podcasts and then steal that information and add to questions that appear on quizzes. Podcasts have all the answers you guys.
Good to know. Do you have a specific type of round that you write for us or are you just a free for all writer?
I came up with the "smurf rounds" and the "there can be only one" rounds, but I go through phases. I used to write a lot of theme rounds, but more recently I've become an audio wizard. I've even started to dabble in visual rounds.
Oh my...you're a Renaissance Man amongst quiz writers. Was the chess visual round a few weeks ago your doing?
Yep, that was my first one. How did you know? You recognize all the MS Paint fonts?
Possibly. I was glad I wasn’t playing that night. I know less than nothing about chess. My dad tried to teach me when I was about 13 (which is a terrible age to teach anyone anything) and I ended up flipping the table and storming out of the room.
See my dad taught me at like 6, but fuck seeing him this year.
My dad's dead.
I blame the chess incident.
It was a heavy table.
So, the rumor is that you may have had a hand in getting Doug Stanhope to read for the amazing R7 at Geek Bowl. Is that true?
Yeah, he lives in Arizona (for some reason.) And one time I went to his house and did stand up on his bed. And one time I opened for him in Boston. And I have his number in my phone. Jealous?
A tad actually. Did you have to let him touch you...you know, to get his number?
Unfortunately yes, and he's like King Midas except everyone he touches becomes an alcoholic.
Was it worth it?
I mean I occasionally have to drink whiskey with people but otherwise, hell yeah.
How did you fall into stand up comedy? Was it something you always knew you wanted to do?
Well I think some people decide they want to do it but they have a blank paper and start filling it with jokes. I've always had jokes that I wanted to do long before I ever got on stage the first time. Then one day I just did it and have only looked back a few times.
What's your most memorable experience on stage?
Well I went from performing for 20 people in Tucson to suddenly doing a show for over 1000 people one day in Boston. I imagine it's like trying meth for the first time. "Imagine."
Of course...because you're from Arizona, not Albuquerque.
Hey, I'm very proud of how Arizona keeps up with New Mexico's drug problems thank you very much!
What took you from AZ to Boston? Was it an internet romance?
I was totally Catfished. Fuck you Nev! No, I just saw that it had more opportunities and adventure and new people and why not. Maybe I'll go somewhere else next. Any suggestions?
You can come live in my spare bedroom.
I heard spare bedroom is nice this time of year.
It's fucking delightful.
You look like you do in your pictures right?
Umm...sure. As long as you only look at pictures from the neck down. I was recently mauled by a monkey. But the doctors say my face will totally heal back to normal.
I can only hope that it won't...have you seen my face? Anyway, would you say that your comedy experience helps you when it comes to hosting quizzes?
Actually I think my quizzing helps comedy more than vice versa. It's almost 2 hours of mic practice instead of 5 minutes and I don't have to wait around to go on stage until 1a.m. And I don't have to be funny.
At least not the whole time.
I would think it's a great exercise in crowd management. So, would you consider yourself more geek or drink?
Well I think in my early 20s I discovered beer and women, and then I discovered that women still don't really like me, even with beer so I've downshifted into geek again. I've been known to settle Catan, I play chess on my phone, I'll occasionally show up at an Magic the Gathering booster draft. I did leave one during the break to go to a bar once.
OK...we do a little thing called Quiz for a Cause. Do you have a "dream" charity organization you'd like to help raise money for?
There is one I really like and not just because they don't ask me to end world hunger in front of Chipotle. They are called Film Aid. They go to 3rd world countries and screen Pixar movies for kids and help out and stuff. It's totally the nerdiest charity ever.
That's kind of rad. What about a private event? Got an ideal private event?
Chris "Fishboxer" O'Clair got to host a private event in Fenway Park for Red Sox employees. I'm not like a huge fan or anything but he's a lucky bastard and that's way more interesting than the five employees who work at any of the places I frequent (Chipotle.)
This is the second time you’ve mentioned them. Are you trying to get a quiz in a Chipotle?
That or a job.
Their barbacoa is so delicious.
I love when they ask, "anything else?" Like there aren't only two more things you can get on your burrito. Do you secretly have 12 more toppings under that counter?
Before we’ll agree to a quiz at a Chipotle for you, tell us how you run your quizzes? Do you pick music thematically to match the rounds? Is there a specific song you always play every night? What kind of shit show are you running?
Well I take requests as long as they know which Mr. Bungle song they wanna hear. I actually have a community Spotify playlist that quizzers can add anything they want to and I'll play it at least once or twice if I like it. I admit it's a lot of my own stuff but add more songs dammit.
Cousin Chet would like a little story to is “Don’t Make it Weird” file. You got one for him?
Me vs. Ed Hardy shirt guy on St. Patricks Day in Boston. It was St. Patricks day 2012 during my intro this douche-canoe in an Ed Hardy shirt came up to me and told me to "shut the fuck up." I told him that "I kind of have to be here and do the quiz and can't just stop because he wants me to." He tried to grab my papers from my hand but I have what we call in the business "a kung-fu grip" so he went back to his seat and shouted out "PATELLA!" which was the first answer. And the bouncers swarmed on him and kicked his ass out. He was pacing outside calling everyone a racist. So he had two things right. The answer was patella and I am certainly a racist. Even though I'm not even sure what he was.
Did you make a Karate Kid joke or use the word Oriental? That’s usually what gets me called a racist.
No. He was like samoan/black/ pacific islander/hispanic
So he was brown?
Yeah, who would have thought the most disruptive person on a Boston St. Patricks day wouldn't be some white dude?
Yeah, typically I'd put that onus on O'Clair.
He hits me when he's drunk.
Aside from the regular beatings, how would you say working for GWD has changed your life?
Well I've never really had a job I truly looked forward to going to and a lot of times doing stand up you just end up paying them for your time. So it's great to find a groove with something that I actually like doing and that I get to report on my taxes.
I've always said if I could make day job money with this night job, I'd be the happiest person you'll ever meet. Do you have any advice for your fellow quizmasters or for your quizzers?
Don't quit your night job.
Guys, remember. There will be eight different rounds the next night and the next. It will always be something new and different. Use the suggest a round button. We actually make your rounds a lot of times. I've seen it happen.
When he's not making your round suggestions come to life, you can catch John at Tavern in the Square (Allston) on Wednesday nights at 8pm.
I caught up with the heir to my throne, and we had a QMotY on QMotY interview. We talked a little about the KC music scene and about the pressures of being Quizmaster of the Year. You can catch Bryan on Mondays at Green Room Beer & Burgers and on Thursdays at The Chesterfield.
Alright, let's just get it out of the way, you received an award while we were in Austin for Geek Bowl.
Want to tell me about it? What award was it?
Quiz Master Of the Year..or as you coined “QMOTY”.
I didn’t coin that. My quizzers did when I won last year. I’ll take all the credit though.
Talk to me about all the swirling emotions that came with the crown.
Well I was surprised...very surprised. We have so many great Quizmasters that work harder than they have to.
Don't be modest. You bust your ass.
I do. I do feel like I deserve it. BUT not more than at least 10 other Quizmasters. I can't say enough good things about Geeks Who Drink. The overlords, the other Quizmasters, the venues, and the teams. I love it all so much. We act with almost complete autonomy with only our good sense and advice from other QM's to guide us. I feel like that is the main reason for our success. We only get out of it what we put into it. That and a paycheck.
It’s that statement that made you QMOTY...II.
So, QMOTY II, where are you from?
Do you mean that in the more recent way or the where was I born way?
Let's start with more recent way then we'll get to the other.
Well, kinda both. I live in Kansas City, Kansas in Wyandotte county, which we lovingly call "The Dirty Dotte" but I spend most of my time in KC,MO and JOCO
Johnson County Kansas. It’s kind of the uppity white suburb of KC.
It sounds like what we call our juvenile facilities...so I had to ask.So, were you born and raised in KC or did you just end up there?
Just ended up here. As my buddy says "If you can't make it here, you can't make it anywhere"
Isn't it? I was born and raised in a one horse town in SW Missouri.
Did you ride horses?
I hate horses. HATE them
This is how I feel about horses.
Until the fall of civilization then i'll wish I'd had a couple of them.
I will make a guess that you didn't end up in KC on horse. What brought you to KC?
I-70. But seriously, it’s close to family and it, like Austin, is a reasonable outpost on the frontier of right wing insanity.
So, how did you get hooked up with GWD?
Nepotism. I've known Ozzy Zion for like 10 years or some shit.
Because of Roller Derby stuff or a mutual crush on KISS?
Uhg I hate KISS! Even though my first concert was KISS sans makeup. KC is the worlds biggest small town so it's hard to not know someone as gregarious as Ozzy.
Right...so your man love with Ozzy got you the job. How long have you been with us?
Yep. Ozzy got me the gig and I went to Austin to be trained. I paid attention to everything they said and did. Look at me now mom! Look at me now! I have been with GWD almost 2 years.
So, would you consider yourself more geek or drink?
Hmmm I think of myself as equal on that. I’m a super nerd but I was also in a frat so...I'm a special kind of nerd. I'm a plant nerd.
Talk to me about that.
I like flowers. I own a small Horticulture Company and I take care of rich people’s estates.
I should preface this with "I'm an idiot." A horticulture company? Is that like a greenhouse?
No. I'm a private gardener. People that have 5 million dollar houses pay my to make the outside look good.
So, when you aren't making rich people's yards look good, what are you doing?
Drinking, and hosting quizzes.
Geeks tends to keep its hosts busy. Can you think of a particular round or type of round that you've hosted/written that you enjoyed more than the others?
When I'm at my flagship venue I love the say when rounds. I also secretly enjoy when the audio rounds are annoying. I like the teams to suffer a little. But really I do so many a week it's hard to pick out one thing.
Yeah...I loved torturing them with dubstep and bad karaoke. I emailed Brendan and asked him for a million more bad karaoke rounds.
How many quizzes do you do a week?
Right now, three.
Well, thanks for taking the time out of your busy hosting schedule to talk to me.
So, let's talk music during the quiz...do you have a set play list do you do themed music for the rounds? Any standards that you always play?
I have a fair mix of punk and shit from the "now thats what I call Music" series. All that stuff is horrible but you have to play the crowd a little bit at least. I also play as much local music as I can. But I try to intro with the Pixies “Cecil Ann” and end with the Bouncing Souls “'Ole 'Ole.”
Do you have any local bands you like to give some free ad space to?
Sure! The Republic Tigers are a great band. Radkey and The Electric Lungs both rock out. The Phantom* is a very creative up and coming young rapper. And the greatest band of all time Cretin 66. I fucking love those guys.
Do you have a "dream" private event you’d like to host?
A Suicide Girls or Rollergirl Convention. But I guess that's my wet dream private event.
I suppose I didn't specify. Is there a particular nonprofit organization you'd like to do a QFAC for?
I would say the ASPCA but Sarah What’s Her Face has ruined the for me.
Yeah, she's made me hate animals...and her. Mostly her though.
I live in the urban core of KC so homelessness is something I see daily and frankly it freaks me out that most of us aren't too far (a paycheck or 2) from being there ourselves.
So, you've been around for almost 2 years, are you prepared to say how working for Geeks has changed your life?
I like my hoodie, I love hosting for GWD, I got to co-host with Mike Ferris on Wednesday - IT WAS SO MUCH FUN. I feel like I'm a pretty lucky guy overall in life. Great friends, great co-workers, I'm dating a great girl, and I'm the QMOTY, life is pretty sweet. Also, I have learned to multitask like a mother fucker. Right now I'm sending emails, texting, making invoices, and pooping.
I'm not really pooping
I kinda wished you were. In your 2 years working for the company, there has to be something you'd like to add to my new segment I'm calling Cousin Chet's "Don't Make It Weird" Corner. What are some of the strangest things that have happened to you?
I did have a girl that kept flashing me last night, but my most awkward moment was when I was subbing in Lawrence and I gave a team some shit for being Car Ramrod. I asked them to change their name to something less dumb and they lost it. I mean jumping up and down and pounding on the table yelling at me. They harrassed me all night and when they left, they stood in the door flipping me off and screamed "F - YOU!" I was so disarmed by it, I couldn't get mad.
We'll talk about the flashing girl another time. One last question for you...Do you have any advice for fledgling quizmasters and quizzers out there?
Aww come on...you know there is only one answer for that.
It doesn't count unless you say it!
Don't fuck up.
Excellent advice, good sir.