It’s Wednesday, which means you’re probably already dreaming about having a weekend lie-in, counting the minutes until Friday arrives, and learning some stuff about another one of our coworkers. This week, we’re chatting to Event Operations Manager Chelsea Wright.
How did you first learn about Geeks Who Drink? In 2009, they’d just started in Austin and my ex-wife, who was big into roller derby, was getting her hair cut by another roller girl. That roller girl was dating a guy who hosted Geeks Who Drink trivia and she was like, ‘You should go audition for this thing and blah blah blah.” She didn’t really tell us what it was for; she just told her to audition. We went and they gave her a round on porn. She was the only woman there and of course the nerds loved it, and she got hired. We played around town a few times, and then we started [hosting] in April 2010.
And you host as well? I do now. When I first started, I was just scorekeeping. I started actually hosting on the mic in about 2013, and I still host every Wednesday at Mister Tramps.
When you’re not hosting, what’s your day job like? Right now, I’m helping a lot more with the virtual private events. I’m making PowerPoints for those, then finding hosts for the regular private events. I’m in the [Quizmaster] relations committee, so I help with the newsletter and Super Quiz, and all the fun things we want the quizmasters to do. I’m also the ombudsperson, so when someone has a complaint about work, they put it into a form, send it in anonymously, and I pass that on to whoever needs to see it. And I’m involved in the merch and inventory situations, which I’ve been doing since I started.
Wow, that’s a lot of different roles for one person. Yeah, it’s always been like that.
This is a question that I’ve asked some of the other people who worked on private events: what makes Geeks Who Drink so good at that, and why should someone work with us? I mean, we have a great quiz. We have a whole staff of writers, fact checkers, and editors – it’s not just one or two people putting it together, so we have that going for us. And our quizmasters are very professional. They can give you a quiz with custom rounds that are based on your company, and we can always custom-tailor it to your specific event. If there’s going to be a bunch of 50-year-olds [playing the quiz], then we probably won’t ask a bunch of Disney Channel questions. And that’s why I really like private events, because we get to customize it to whoever it goes to, and we find the best quizmaster to fit that quiz.
Since you work in quizmaster relations too, what does it take to keep our quizmasters happy? They like a lot of camaraderie, and a lot of events. In Austin, I plan a monthly brunch or a monthly hangout, and I have them vote on what date works best for them, and I try to move it around to super-south Austin, or in the middle, or in super-north Austin. Being a quizmaster, you don’t get to hang out with other quizmasters unless you plan an event or go to their specific quiz, so they really like that, being all together. And Austin is a very tight-knit group: I mean, my best friend is a quizmaster.
Is that someone who was a quizmaster and became your best friend, or someone who was your best friend and became a quizmaster? We hired her in 2012, so we’ve been friends now. We became good friends because we were both going through divorces at the same time, and then we became roommates, and we’ve been super close ever since. She moved to Ithaca [New York] for a while, and she hosted quizzes up there, but she moved back here last year.
As a quizmaster, or in any of your other roles, are there any moments that stand out for you? Geek Bowl Chicago was probably the best Geek Bowl of all time. We had They Might Be Giants play, and everything was so smooth. And then there was one night of quiz back in 2010 that was probably the greatest night of quiz ever. We had a tie for first place, and this was back when we could do dance-offs or walk-offs to break a tie instead of sudden death or another question. We had a walk-off between two teams, this woman and this dude. They didn’t copy each other, but she did her thing, came back, he did his thing, came back. She went, he went, back again. And then he rips open his shirt, and his buddy stood on a chair and poured water all over him. We were like ‘Oh my god, this guy is gonna win, because how do you beat that?” But then the woman put her hand in the air, then put her hand in her pants, grabbed her underwear out and threw them on the ground. It was crazy already, because we had about 35 teams that night. But that was awesome, and nobody’s been able to beat it.
I totally get how that one quiz has been stuck in your head for over a decade. And just to clarify, what exactly is a walk-off? Do you remember Zoolander? Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson did a walk-off. They copied each other as they walked down the runway, kind of a fashion thing. David Bowie hosted theirs – we just let our players do whatever they wanted.