Jessica Chobot is a multi-hyphenate. She’s got all sides of the geek world covered, from hosting to video game writing to acting in a brand new web series. We talked to her about working at Nerdist.com, how it all got started, what it means to be a part of this amazing group of women in Sci-Fi and her new web series for Syfy.
Legion of Leia: You’ve done so much in front of the camera and beyond, including writing the video game Daylight! You’ve continued to start new projects, and all this as a mom. How did you get started and what keeps you motivated?
Jessica Chobot: I got my start about 6 or 7 years ago, while living in Michigan. It was kind of a lightening in a bottle moment. I was working as a key holder for EB Games, sneaking into E3 that year, had the “PSP-lick” meme happen…a little bit of everything at once that kind of cracked the industry door open for me a bit. Got some eyeballs turned in my direction. I saw that all of this was my “15 minutes of fame” moment and so I started hitting up any connection I had and talking to people I would meet at events about possible jobs in the games industry. I caught someone’s attention over at IGN and was offered a job reviewing mobile games. However, this was WAY before smart phones were even being whispered about and the only real games for mobile were SNAKE and BEJEWELED knock-offs. So I passed on the offer. I IMMEDIATELY regretted rejecting the position and called back about 30 minutes later, hoping to not look too desperate, only to be told that they had already given the job to someone else. I was totally crushed. I had just pissed away a golden opportunity! I moped about the house for about a week, thinking that in one fell swoop, I had obliterated my own chances at working in my dream job field. Then, out of the blue, I got a call from someone else at IGN who said they were going to start up a video division, needed a host and would I be interested? I’ve always hated being on camera (I get extremely nervous and tongue tied) but I wasn’t about to shoot myself in the foot again, so I accepted the job, moved out to California from Michigan on New Years Day, rented a small apartment and the rest is history!
Legion of Leia: Legion of Leia is all about the world getting to know women in sci-fi. What does being a part of this incredible group of ladies mean?
Jessica Chobot: For me, it means seeing various types of women showcased in a variety of roles. I think that often women, both in real life and through on-screen portrayals; clash over what it means to be a strong, independent and capable female. Just because one woman likes to wear heels and mascara, doesn’t make her any less intelligent or competent than a woman who prefers not to. That’s the best part of females in the sci-fi genre. There isn’t one particular mold that everyone must fit into. There are a ton of options for compelling, interesting female characters that are quick-witted, tenacious and resourceful in their own way.
Legion of Leia: Working over at Nerdist must be a dream. I have to ask, what is the geekiest thing in the offices?
Jessica Chobot: That’s an incredibly tough question. We have SO many cool props and jazz just lying about. My personal favorite is my limited edition Wonder Woman tiara and bracelets from the DC’s JLA Trophy Room collection.
Legion of Leia: What was the first sci-fi or fantasy character you connected with as a kid?
Jessica Chobot: I wasn’t really all that into fantasy growing up, but one character that does stick out to me was a character by the name of Llew Silverhand from a series of fantasy novels called, The Song of Albion. I also fell hard for Lyra from Philip Pullman’s, His Dark Materials series (despite the atrocious movie that came from it).On the fantasy side of things, I’ve always had a thing for Sally Shears/Molly Millions from Gibson’s, Neuromancer and Mona Lisa Overdrive.
Legion of Leia: What new projects do you have coming up?
Jessica Chobot: Now that DAYLIGHT has been launched, aside from my daily duties on Nerdist News over at Nerdist.com, You can also catch me soon on one of SyFy’s upcoming web series, Underlings at SyFy.com!
Follow Jess on Twitter: @Jessica_Chobot