Creative Corner: Standard Action’s Joanna Gaskell!
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Greetings, readers! Have you heard about Standard Action? If you’re down with RPGs, you will enjoy this earnest fantasy/comedy web series for geeks of all kinds. Since they have launched a Kickstarter to fund their third season, I thought what better way to introduce them to our audience than with a chat with producer, writer, star, and co-creator, my friend, Joanna Gaskell! So please, follow along today for the first in a three-part interview with Joanna! Today, we’ll focus on SA and their first Kickstarter.
Q. Let’s begin with an origin story. Tell us a little about yourself and what you do for Standard Action (SA)?
A. Sure thing. I’m the writer and producer of SA, and I also play one of the lead characters – a Elf Barbarian named Edda. I work on a variety of different projects in Vancouver, BC, mostly in an acting or voice over capacity, but I’m also producing a bit more now, and writing when I can. I’ve been in Vancouver for about six years, but I’m originally from Victoria, and I did my acting training in London, UK.
Q. I am familiar with the coolness of SA, but can you explain it to those who might now know?
SA is the fantasy webseries for geeks of all kinds. It’s a bit like Lord of the Rings if the entire party was made up of Pippins. It has the humor and the intelligence of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld or The Mighty Boosh, and the campiness of the old Hercules, Legendary Journeys show. It’s full of references to nerd culture and gaming, but it’s accessible enough for anyone to find the humor in it.
The story follows four inept, misfit adventurers who find each other and set out on a quest full of bumbling hilarity that tests not only their fellowship, but everyone’s perception of what a hero should be. It’s heartwarming in places, very silly in others, and it appeals to anyone who ever rooted for the underdog.
Q. Do you have to have played an RPG to get the humor?
Our show is full of references to nerd culture and gaming, but it’s accessible enough for anyone to find the humor in it. We don’t just stick to gaming, either; we have Easter Eggs in there for Browncoats, Trekkies, Star Wars fans, Tolkien lovers, Monty Python addicts, and more. It’s really a story about interesting, relatable characters and their journey through the mishaps of a fantasy world. You don’t have to be a nerd to enjoy it, but every once in awhile you might appreciate a joke a bit more if you’ve ever been a gamer, or part of a fandom.
Q. Your Kickstarter will be funded with less than a day left. Congratulations on your funded third season! Has its success been a surprise?
Thank you! One thing about being on the web is that we have pretty close connections with our fans, so we knew we had a lot of support out there. But I have to admit I was pretty blown away by the first week of our Kickstarter. We hit our base goal in just three days, and it certainly gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling to see the generosity from the fans, and the obvious appreciation for what we do. It’s always great to know as an artist that your audience wants to see more! We’re trying for a big last push as our campaign comes to a close, though ‒ the more we raise, the longer our season will be, and I’d really love to have a lot of episodes for Season 3.
Q. What you do when you’re not rocking as Edda?
Ha! I seem to wear the Edda ears and costume really, really often, so people always look surprised when I show up not in costume at a panel, or at another job.
Currently, I have a bunch of other projects on the go. I co-host a board game review show called Starlit Citadel Reviews, which has become very popular; we’re in our second season, and have over 60 episodes out. I’m doing a stage show here in Vancouver called the Critical Hit Show ‒ live D&D on stage ‒ which always gets a great audience. I’ve been working a bit with Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, the great troupe who made JourneyQuest and the Gamers movies. I’ve finished filming on their next feature (Gamers: Hands of Fate), and next up is a web mini-series called Humans and Households. And there are two sci-fi projects I’m co-producing at the moment: one of them is uber-low-budget sketch comedy show Space Cab, which I’m pretty darn excited about; and the other one… I can’t talk about yet. 🙂
Oh, then there’s my day job. I have one of those, too.
Tune in early next week for part two of my interview with Joanna! We will chat about how SA has helped her hone her craft and where you might find Edda and her crew this year!