Interview: Graphic Designer Kailynn Heide

Kailynn Heide is a graphic designer based out of Minnesota. She is known for her work of The Walking Dead related print designs. Ever since she started her profession, her work was universally revieved positive in the community of The Walking Dead, and even some of the talent of the show as well. I recently got the chance to intervew Kailynn as we talked about that, along with her passion for graphic design, and getting to know more about Kailynn in this exclusive interview.

First, I would like to get to know more about you and I believe your fans and supporters would love to hear your story too. Where did you grow up? And what were some of your earliest childhood memories?

KH: “Of course! I grew up in Pillager, which is a very small town in central Minnesota (the population is around 500 people)! One of my earliest memories growing up was losing my first tooth. I was in preschool at the time and we were all hanging out on the playground. I remember telling the teacher I had lost my tooth and I couldn’t find it. After some searching, we miraculously found it amongst the wood chips and it was placed into a small bag so I could bring it home and show my family!”

What were some early goals you wanted to accomplish before you decided to do graphic design?

KH: “Before I applied to the graphic design program, I wanted to familiarize myself with the field. To prepare, I was using apps and free programs on my family’s computer to develop my skills. I was also working on building my social media presence by sharing my edits/designs on Instagram and Twitter. I was a shy kid growing up, so I also began to work on my interpersonal skills. I firmly believe my self-confidence improved greatly once I discovered the TWD fandom. It was a relief to finally find people who I could be myself around and who shared a common interest.”

Was there any point that graphic design was challenging if you recall?

KH: “At my community college, the graphic design and videography programs were actually merged together. Because of that, my fellow graphic design classmates and I were required to take a few videography classes and vice versa. Although I did learn some new skills, I did find those classes to be somewhat strenuous. I have huge respect for anyone who works in that field because I learned firsthand just how much work goes into filming, editing and rendering any and all types of video.” 

I have seen your work and I am amazed at how much effort you put into it. The fans also love your work too. How did it feel for you when your work started to get noticed in this way?

KH: “Thank you! To this day, the love and support I receive for my artwork blows me away. When I first discovered The Walking Dead and began making fan art to display my love for the show, I was stunned to see the amount of people who were showing interest in this hobby of mine I had only recently discovered. It wasn’t long before I realized this was something I wanted to do long-term.” 

A lot of your work is based on The Walking Dead. When did you first hear of the series and was The Walking Dead your first choice on doing commissions for fans?

KH: “Unfortunately, I didn’t discover the series until season six. My favorite YouTuber had the episode “East” playing in the background of one of her videos and it caught my attention. I watched the episode that same night and immediately became hooked. I ended up binge-watching all six seasons within about three weeks after that. The first episode I actually watched live was the dreaded premiere of season seven. In regards to commissions, it wasn’t until this year that I really had anyone show any interest in wanting one. Because most of my followers are from the TWD fandom, I haven’t been surprised that a majority of the commissions are based on the show. I personally find the TWD commissions easier to do, only because I’m so familiar with the show and it’s characters.”

What is your favorite episode of the show, and your least favorite?

KH: “My favorite episode of the show would have to be “The Same Boat” from season six. My favorite character has always been Maggie and being able to see her and Carol’s badassery on full display was so satisfying to watch. It’s hard to choose my least favorite episode, but if I had to, it would probably be “Swear” from season seven. The episode just wasn’t very interesting to me.”

My favorite pieces of your work are the World Beyond and Jaws tributes. Do you have any personal favorites?

KH: “Oooh nice choices! My personal favorites would have to be the Lucille Lineup and Whiskey Cavalier tribute posters. Both were big hits in the fandoms and I am so unbelievably appreciative of all the love I received for those designs.”

What is your thought process when you select particular scenes on the show for you to work on your projects?

KH: “Before the commissions started flowing in, most of my pieces were based on my own personal favorite episodes and scenes from the show. Because my work is done in a minimalist style, I have to be careful with which scenes I choose and how I create the design so as to not make it too busy to the point of the design becoming unrecognizable.”

If any, have any of the cast or crew seen your work? If they did, what did they say?

KH: “You know it! The number of cast and crew members has grown quite long over the past few years, but there have been a few reactions that have stuck with me more than others. The first was when I was able to meet Lauren Cohan at a convention back in 2017. I was lucky enough to have her sign some artwork I had done of Glenn and Maggie. When I first handed it to her, I could see she had become overcome with emotion and was speechless for a few moments. She actually ended up taking her phone out of her bag and taking a picture of it to send to Steven Yeun! Another incredible reaction I received was from Ryan Hurst just last year. Angela Kang had reposted my minimalist tribute to The Whisperers on her Instagram and Ryan had seen her post and ended up reposting the design to his own page and following me on Instagram and Twitter. I made a deal with him that I would bring him a print of the design at a convention in Atlanta later that week. To make a long story short, he now owns a 24×36 poster of that design!” 

In the future, which franchise would you like to produce prints of and what would be your first print of that selected franchise?

KH: “I’ve had a few requests to design posters for the Marvel franchise as well as for Star Wars and Breaking Bad. If I had to choose, the idea of doing a poster for Breaking Bad is something I’d be more interested in. I’ve never watched the series myself, but the vibe and tone of that show would definitely be something I could easily translate into a minimalist design.”

What advice can you give to upcoming graphic designers that would want to do something similar to you?

KH: “Always be yourself. It’s easy to compare yourself to others, but try to remember it’s not a competition. There is only one you.”

Within the next few years, would you like to see yourself in either this industry, or in a path that is not related to graphic design and art?

KH: “I currently define myself as working part-time as an artist and part-time as a service advocate at my retail job. My dream would be to travel the country and sell my artwork at fan conventions across the United States. However, as of right now, I feel good with where I’m at and how far I’ve come within the past few years!”

You can follow Kailynn and check out her online store at the links below.

Instagram: instagram.com/walkerwyn 

Twitter: twitter.com/wynthewalker

Facebook: facebook.com/walkerwyn 

Online Shop: walkerwyn.storenvy.com

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

Interview: NOS4A2’s Mattea Conforti

Mattea Conforti has made a name for herself within the last few years appearing in major television shows and movies such as Power, Gotham, The Olie and Moon show, and most recently, Frozen II as Young Elsa. Her acting career is really shining at an early age and Mattea has a bright future. Mattea also stars as Millie Manx, the daughter of Charlie Manx on NOS4A2 and here to talk about season 2 of NOS4A2 is Mattea Conforti in this exclusive interview.

Before we begin, how have you been doing since the pandemic started?

Mattea: “Well, things have been definitely kind of shaky from the beginning You know, figuring out what you’re going to do in your free time now that most of the world has been shut down. But, you know, me and my family, we’ve been working on making the best of what we have and we’re pretty grateful for all that we have considering our options right now.

What do you miss the most before your area shut down?

Mattea: “I really miss acting and doing big shows. Now I think I never really realized how much I loved to do it until now because, once you realize that you have something and it’s gone for a little bit, you miss it a lot.”

You played as the younger version of Elsa on Frozen II and you were also part of the Broadway Play of Frozen as well. Since everyone knew that you were part of the broadway, how often did you have to hide that you were also part of the second film from your friends and classmates?

Mattea: “I wouldn’t say that long, but definitely quite some time just because it was so confidential. It was going to be a very big Disney film. So probably like about like a year, which isn’t really that bad. But it’s still hard to keep such a big secret from everybody. And I don’t really think anybody figured it out. If they did, they probably didn’t tell me just because, they weren’t allowed to say anything because they knew that they respected that. But I think we did a pretty good job of hiding it from everybody.”

From being on Frozen II and the Frozen Broadway Play which was targeted towards children, to being Millie Manx on NOS4A2 which is targeted for the older demographic, was it a hard transition for you to go from this character on Frozen, to being Millie Manx on NOS4A2?

Mattea: “It’s definitely a hard transition going from cutesy, innocent young princess, to Millie Manx who is hardcore, mature, and tough. But the emotions for both of them are definitely the same, in my opinion. They’re both very loyal and loving and they’re caring characters. When I usually talk to my friends about Millie Manx, they would be like ‘I would never see you as that kind of person’ just because I know in my life, people don’t really associate me with like like gory, danger, and hardcore. But they wouldn’t really expect me to be doing all that stuff.”

So far from what I am seeing, I like the second season of NOS4A2. What can fans expect for the rest of the season?

Mattea: “There’s definitely some moments in the show that I never really had to do before, especially in season two. The horror intensity level goes up so much and even to not just emotionally, but also physically for all the characters including Millie Manx. But without giving too much away, there’s definitely more dangerous adventures and crazy experiences that I get to do the season.”

The first time you seen Christmas Land, did you think for a second that this could actually be a real place to visit for a second? 

Mattea: It’s different to see it in the warehouse where we were filming and from the big screen because, you see a couple of blocks with letters on them and some fake snow. And then you look on TV and it looks like a huge village of all these demon children. So I never expected that all of that NOS4A2 magic can make it look so real.

Who did you like to work with the most on NOS4A2?

Mattea: “I was working with all of the people that played all the characters on the show because they all have such different acting approaches and they all have different experiences in acting and they all have done different shows. So just see how all of them work well with each other and see how they can bring their own elements to the table. It’s I think that’s the best part of being part of the show. So I love working with everyone! Also, I remember when I used to do school on set and we had a tutor, I would always dread going from scene to scene, then go to school right after because I wanted to do was just film and do my scenes. But I remember Zachary Quinto would kind of like help me with my schoolwork. We would talk out the books I was reading in English or he would kind of motivate me to go do my homework.”

The dynamic between Millie and Charlie are some of my favorite parts of the season so far, because Millie misses her dad and it is very relatable. How much how much input did you had when it came to the development of your scenes with Zachary?

Mattea: “Well, it’s hard to use my own input to play Mallie Manx just because my life and her life is just so different. But the relationship between her and her father I would say, is definitely the same and differing between me and my father just because we both love them so much. And Millie loved her father so much. And we both do anything just to, like, make them happy or to make them proud. But it’s different just because Millie Manx and her father connect on like a gory and a dangerous level. But me and my father, we can connect, you know, realistically like a loving way. You can definitely see that the relationship between them gets more emotionally intense. And Millie is going to discover a lot more about Charlie’s past and where she came from. So there’s definitely going to be a lot more intense moments between them. 

Before you got your role as Millie Manx, have you read the NOS4A2 novel to study the character and the source material?

Mattea: “I have not read it. I think I definitely would have been more scared to read it and it is a severally, very big book. My mom actually read it and she said it was a little bit similar to that. So it’s a lot similar to the show. So I could kind of go back and forth on that.”

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

Interview: Nerdist’s Rachel Heine

The Nerdist Book Club series has launched not too long ago on Nerdist’s YouTube channel by the key people at Nerdist. It started with a simple idea that turned into a weekly series as it is more than reading a book and reacting to it as Rachel Heine, Maude Garrett, and Hector Navarro bring in their unique personalities on the stream each week with their own spin on the books. Of the three, I recently got the chance to speak with Rachel Heine (Editor-in-Cheif) as we talked about her upbringing, joining Nerdist, her future goals, and much more in this exclusive interview.

I would like to start off with getting to know more about you. Where in Los Angeles did you grow up?

I grew up a little bit all over Los Angeles, between my mom and my dad: Beverly Grove, Atwater, Laurel Canyon, Venice, Westwood, and Santa Monica.

What were some goals that you set for yourself when you were transitioning from high school to college?

My main goal was to attend a school where I could study literature and writing. I was a pretty voracious reader, and wanted to become a novelist! I still would like to finish a novel one day, but I feel extremely fortunate to have found a job and career I’m passionate about.

You have received your degree in creative writing years ago prior to joining Nerdist. Which college did you attend and what were your favorite memories attending college?

I received a BA in Literature/Creative Writing the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara. We had to apply separately with materials relevant to our major — essays and short stories in my case. Classes were quite small and intimate, had no pre-requisites to take upper level courses, and you could sort of mold your major to your specific interests.

Studying abroad in Rome my junior year was honestly a life-changing experience for me. Not only did I get to explore the ruins and underground frescos of the city, I learned so much about myself and my writing. Also, the food.

As a writer myself, I like the television shows and films that I review. Whether they are good or not, it is sometimes hard to also criticize a not so good episode or movie. Do you feel the same way when it comes to either writing a review, or watching a show or movie that you like?

Great question. Personally, I have no trouble separating criticism with my enjoyment of pop culture. It’s actually what interests me the most. Analyzing, critiquing, and dissecting stories is why I got my degree in Literature, and why I love working at Nerdist. You can absolutely enjoy or appreciate a show, movie, or book while addressing its flaws. They’re not mutually exclusive!

Speaking of movies, what was the last movie that you watched before the pandemic began and what will be the first movie in the theaters that you would like to watch once the pandemic is over?

The last movie I watched is theaters before the pandemic was The Invisible Man, by Leigh Whannel. I was absolutely blown away. Horror is one of the original avenues to view dark, psychological topics. The Invisible Man shines a light on the realities of domestic abuse and gaslighting, AND kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

As for post-stay at home movies, Dune is at the top of my list. We’re currently reading Frank Herbert’s Dune for Nerdist Book Club (my first time) and I cannot wait to see what Denis Villeneuveand this incredible cast do with the lore and themes of such a classic novel.

Yourself, Maude Garrett, and Hector Navarro are hosts of the current Nerdist Book Club series back in April and it has been successful! What led to the three of you to make the Book Club a series and were there initial plans of the series before the current pandemic happened?

Maude, Hector, and I actually hosted a previous version of Nerdist Book Club on a former streaming service, which ran from 2016-2019. It’s truly the highlight of my week, and I am thrilled that we were able to bring it back at a time when we all need more connection. The Nerdist Book Club community is so thoughtful, so fun and supported, and I hope we can keep making this show for years to come!

One thing I like about the series is that it is more than just talking about a book to your viewers as it also showcases all of your fun personalities during the livestreams. Especially the recent episode (Dune Part 2) as well because of how organic all of your expressions are. How much pre-planning of your streams do the three of you do before you all begin?

We have an amazing production team who map out talking points for us to reference (which is incredibly helpful for Dune’s extensive list of terms and characters). But they always encourage us to use that as a framework, and let the conversation (spice?) flow. Reading along with Maude, Hector, and our incredible community always leads to ideas and interpretations that none of us would have come up with on our own. And our own personal experiences contribute to how a book resonates with us – which is just really fun to do every week!

I would like to see an episode where you all discuss the Game of Thrones book series if it is possible. I would also like to know what are some. future episodes that are currently on the schedule?

You are not the first to bring up Game of Thrones! It’s definitely on the table. We always go to our audience to source recommendations for our next book, and also host community polls so they can get final say. We’ve previously covered ever book in the Harry Potter series (a different book every other month), and I would love to cover the second book in His Dark Materials, The Subtle Knife.

The news of almost every comic convention being cancelled or moved to a different date has really affected my media schedule and I know for sure that it affected your schedule as well. Were you looking forward and to going to this year’s show? And any good memories from SDCC?

First and foremost, I feel for the fans and creators who are missing out on such an amazing experience this year – but I’m glad that everyone is being smart and safe. I’m definitely sad to miss this year, as I’ve worked Comic-Con for Nerdist the past 6 years in a row. My favorite part of any convention or festival is always seeing friends, colleagues, and fans so we can nerd out about all the announcements and trailers. I’m also bummed we aren’t able to host another Nerdist House, where we take over a venue in San Diego for interviews, live shows, meet & greets, and parties. But we’re also working on ways to connect with our audience virtually, to keep that convention spirit alive.

My final question, is what do you want to accomplish within the next few years?

Honestly, working for Nerdist has been such a defining experience for me and my career. My colleagues across the company, but especially the editorial team I lead, are so brilliant and funny and talented. I want to see Nerdist continue to grow and be an inclusive space for the insightful, irreverent, intelligent fans of pop culture out there. I’m in it for the long haul!

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

Interview: Get to Know Paola Lazaro, The Princess of The Walking Dead

Paola Lazaro as Princess- The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 15 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

The newest character to grace our screens on The Walking Dead is Juanita Sanchez, but she wants to be known as “The Princess.” Her cool personality, and her look has won over the fans of The Walking Dead community including myself. But behind The Princess’ pink coat, goggles, and heavy machine gun, is Paola Lazaro as she has many credits to her name such as Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Lethal Weapon, and SMILF. Now it is time for you to get to know more about her in this exclusive interview!

I would like to get to know more about you. What was your upbringing like with your parents and your two brothers? And what were some of your early career goals?

PL: “When I was a kid back in Puerto Rico, I used to write poetry. I would say around like seven years old. Then my mom used to make me perform it for the family on the weekends when they would come for dinner and stuff like that. I have always been writing and performing in a way. And I always knew that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be an astronaunt, but then I saw Apollo 13 and that vomit scene in the spacecraft and then I realized right there that I do not want to be an astronaut. I always wanted to perform!”

You have graduated from Columbia University with your master’s degree in play writing. How big of an accomplishment was this for you?

PL: “I never thought that I would graduate high school. I never thought that I would really be too much of anything because of the things that were told to me when I was a kid. So to able to have done all of those things is a blessing, but school and degrees is not what defines us. But the fact that I was able push through what was told to me that I couldn’t do. For me, it’s huge and it is the fire that keeps me going every day. Columbia University, is (laughs) Columbia University!”

Last fall, it was announced at New York Comic Con that you will play as The Princess. Do you remember how you prepared your audition for the role?

PL: “Oh yeah, I will never forget that. I did not leave my house for two weeks. I pretty much self-quarantined for this role. I had the script with me in the bathtub, next to me in my bed when I slept, and the couch. I had it everywhere. I just did not leave my house and kept studying. Something in me was like ‘I know this character. I’ve lived certain things that she’s lived. I can do this.’ I then went in for the audition, and did what I did, and it was awesome.”

The comic book series of The Walking Dead releases their covers three months in advance before the issue is on the shelves. The first time I have seen her on the cover at the time, I thought that she looked straight from the 1980’s. How did you react when you seen her on the cover of that issue (#171) and her scenes in that issue?

PL: “Oh I flipped out and I was so excited! I really bugged out and I just started screaming and jumping up and down. I was like ‘she’s so cool’ and I was very pumped to bring this comic book character to life on the television show!”

Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Paola Lazaro as Princess – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 15 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

Did you include your own personality traits to The Princess since she has a great personality that shines very well on this episode?

PL: “Absolutely! The Princess is very similar to me, and to when I was a kid. All of this energy that I didn’t know where to put it and all this all this love for the world that I didn’t know how to convey along with all of this excitement and toughness and defensive mechanisms, is very similar to me.”

The Princess had to take a detour with Ezekiel, Yumiko, and Eugene to the minefield during this episode. How quickly have you bonded with Khary Payton, Josh McDermitt, and Elanor Matsuura? And what can you tell me about the day that episode was shot?

PL: “It was very awesome because the night before we shot anything, They all took me out to dinner. In fact, the whole cast took me out to dinner the night before to welcome me so that way, I didn’t feel like I was there to shoot twenty scenes and go. This connection that we had established that night I cherish in my heart and we’re so supportive of eachother. There is a true team there. Iv’e learned a lot from Khary, Josh, and Elanor and we support eachother. We are down to rehearse in between takes and scenes. Anybody that needs anything, or if we have to run some stuff down, and they are like ‘lets do it.’ Everyone is into it and I am thankful to have come in with them into this establish world. Now on the minefield, the first time it exploded, I jumped into Khary and Josh’s arms and cursed in spanish. It was hilarious and we broke out laughing so we had to reshoot it.”

Do you know how many times you all reshot that scene?

PL: “We shot it twice! We did good after we stopped laughing.”

One thing I was looking forwared to in the comics is The Princess meeting Negan. Since the comic book series finished last year, it might be possible to do this on screen. What do you think of the idea of The Princess and Negan in the same scene talking with eachother?

PL: “That would be exciting. That will be fun because, god knows what they would do together. I’m scared for the world and I’m scared for the apocalyptic world when these two people meet. They’re both pretty out there and they might get excited about eachother. Who knows what will happen to the world, but I hope that they do meet! I’ve watched Jeffrey Dean Morgan on the show and it would be great to work with him to bring these two characters together on the screen!”

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

Interview: Melissa McBride on Carol’s Showdown With Alpha, Traveling With Norman Reedus, And Working With Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and a Farewell to Danai Gurira

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier – The Walking Dead _ Season 10 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

We have seen Carol go through a lot of trauma on this season of The Walking Dead and her quest for revenge against Alpha has not only lead Alpha to a satisfying death, but it also lead to Carol making decisions that might affect her in the long run. With Carol questioning herself in her thoughts if she should have killed her in this episode, Melissa McBride breaks down everything between Carol and Alpha during this season of The Walking Dead along with a few more treats for the fans!

First, I would like to say that I have been a fan of your work on The Walking Dead for years. Before we get to The Walking Dead, how have you been doing since the COVID-19 crisis began and what are you doing to keep yourself occupied?

MM: “Thank you Julian! I appreciate the words from you. But I have been putting air in the tires (laughs). There has been online courses available and that’s been kind of fun. I have been also doing a lot of painting, and some things around the house. I have also been checking in on people and making sure everyone is okay.”

The dynamic between Carol and Alpha has been a highlight for the current season since it started. Would you like to break down how you and Samantha Morton develop that dynamic?

MM: “I don’t know if we went out of our way to do anything. I know that we were both looking forward to the time when Alpha and Carol casme face to face, but we did not talk about anything. The whole circumstance of the story created that dynamic and we finally came face to face. And then we came face to face later in the season with her at my feet looking at me (laughs).”

The community of The Walking Dead is divided on whether if Carol deserves the blame on putting everyone in danger this season during her quest to get revenge on Alpha. What is your response to this and do you agree that Carol deserves the blame?

MM: “Well I certainly think she bears responsibility for the way some things went down in her efforts to seek vengeance. I have to say yes, that she should take responsibility for the things that she put everyone else through and she knows it too. When I was watching as a viewer, I felt the same way to be honest!”

This episode marks the first time that you and Jeffrey Dean Morgan worked together in a full length scene. Have you always wanted to work with Jeffrey Dean Morgan since his debut? And also, why did Carol not hold up her end of the bargan yet with the deal she made with Negan?

MM: “I’ve always wanted to and I could not wait to have a scene with him. Although, I was glad that I was not in the scene where Negan was introduced with everybody was on their knees. I was always looking forward to working with him and having a scene with him so curious if and when it would come and what it would be like, and never did I think it would be this storyline. And to answer your other question, she asked him ‘what took him so long’ and everything going through her head, she got what she wanted, but really? Because it came with such a price. And all the things happened while she was trying to get to Alpha. And she had to think about what she wanted to do about that. And he was free and Alpha’s head was on a spike for everyone to see and Carol is now thinking ‘I gotta go, I got stuff to think about’ (Laughs).”

How has Carol impacted you personally over the years?

MM: “She has impacted me in so many ways. And just me even having the opportunity to play the character has been amazing and full of it’s own challenges. But to play this character from the beginning, and I was so hoping that if she remained on the show, that we would see an evolution to strength in which I’m really happy to see. Also, The way that the fans relate to this character and in part to me, has been a source inspiration for them in many ways is probably the greatest feeling. And the different aspects of Carol has been really fun for me to play. It’s been pretty amazing.”

Carol and Alpha had those scenes on this episode where Alpha has been taunting her about Sophia, Henry, and more people from her past. What do you believe was her state of mind at that time from when those hallucinations of Alpha began in the episode, until when she freed herself from the fallen debris?

MM: “I think it really was that all of this was coming to the surface and with her ramblings and rumbling through her subconscious about the damage done. And when the damage is done, it also means the losses that came with it. Alpha said something insteresting too ‘you chose me because I was the one to get it done’ and Carol is thinking ‘what do you mean by getting it done’. I liked the questions that this episode asked and these answers exhibited in Carol’s behavior and her actions even though we don’t necessarily hear the answers. But I think there’s more to explore in that subconscious. And I liked that Carol did eventually decide to go back to Alexandria. But at the end, she fought for her life. Alpha kept saying ‘what did you want’ and Carol wanted to either be alone or not. I still think that there is more that Carol wants.”

Danai’s last episode was the episode before this one and I know that you miss her a lot. What have you learned the most from Danai?

MM: “I’ve learned so much from her. She is such a well-rounded, very compelling, dynamic, multilayered person. She is very funny especially in the morning and she’s such a professional. Danai is also very focused, which I admire a great deal because , I have a very little focus and I am sort of all over the place. But when we shoot, she is very focused on her lines, and her actions in those scenes. She is also very encouraging and a inspiring person especially since there are girls all over the world that look up to her. I love her and I miss her!”

I wanted to bring up Norman Reedus. You and him filmed an episode of Ride With Norman Reedus in Scotland. Did you have fun traveling with him over there?

MM: “I am happy that you asked that! I had so much fun on that episode. That is one of the top of my favorite memories. Another one of those things is that I never thought it would be on a road trip with a Norman in Scotland, or anywhere for that matter. It was very fun and we seen so many things and places that we never seen before. I love spending time with him. He is such an adventurer and fun to be around. We had a lot of good laughs and it was very special to me. There were also people over there that reconized us from The Walking Dead and I was happy to see them as well. I would love to go back one day.”

The news broke last week that the season 10 finale has been delayed to later this year. Without giving too much away, what can we expect from you on the finale?

MM: “It’s going to be a really good finale and we are going to give everyone something really good to look forward to because, I know the finale is amazing. There was a lot of work done on that when we shot it last fall. But it will be something that people will remember and look forward to in the next season as well so I am grateful for the work that we have done. I am also going to binge watch the current season during this unexpected break that we have because I think that this season is amazing and I want to watch it all over again!”

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

Interview: Demetria McKinney of Motherland: Fort Salem

Demetria McKinney is known for her time on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, The Rickey Smiley Show, SyFy’s Superstition, and most recently, A House Divided. With those credits to her name, she is also an singer and songwritter and her two singles (“Happy” and “Easy) from her first album “Oficially Yours” charted at #4 at the Adult R&B Songs. Demetria is also starring on FreeForm’s Motherland: Fort Salem in which she plays as Anacostia Quartermaine who is the drill sergent of that military. I recently got the chance to speak with Demetria McKinney to talk about her role on the series in this exclusive interview!

How has life been for you within the last few years going in between music and acting?

DM: “As an artist, you want to give your full attention to whatever you’re doing. And I’ve been blessed in the sense that I’ve been working pretty consistently for the last 15 plus years so when it gets to getting into the studio, I want to make sure that I put down the music properly. If I’m playing Anacostia Quartermaine and I’m a drill sergeant and I’m yelling at soldiers all day, then I really don’t have a singing voice to sing at that moment. I’m writing down all of the lyrics to my music on my free time, but then being in Vancouver for 6 months, I can’t properly promote it. It’s been i kind of a test, but it’s like a champagne problem because on one hand, you’re winning, and you’re working, and you’re staying active in one part of your passion. And then, once I get the chance to kind of get a 10 minute break, I can really kind of concentrate on this over here. It’s been a balancing act I have to say.”

What kind of trainig did you had to endure to prepare yourself as a drill sergent? And will we see some of the characters go through PTSD since this series has a military theme to it?

DM: “My mother was in the military so the discipline and the militant nature that she possessed, I kind of honed in on that a bit. As far as the physicality as we were there a month early to do physical training, we have to learn how to use a weapon none of us had ever heard of before. We also had to go into vocal training because, the details that were given to us about our characters. I learned a lot of what I knew as a vocalist and really concentrate on the craft person the beauty of it. And then on top of that, I had to adjust changing my mind set because, this is set in an alternate-America in the present day where women are in power, and women are at war. Women are not necessarily raising the baby here as there is magic in that military too. there’s just so many differences from what I was used to in the conventional stories that we see here, and know that every day, that I really have to kind of re-route and that was a great trip. The dicipline that my mother had, was passed down to me and I use it for Anacosita!

but at the core They are still women, they were still human, they still wanted love, they still had their feelings, they still long for family, they still wanted that connective tissue to one another, they still had their history in the past. You will see everyone go through it in their own way in each episode. All of them going through all that stuff, without question there’s definitely some moments that you see them go through PTSD.”

Who designed your costume? And did you have any input on what you wanted Anacosita to look like?

DM: “It was a collaborative effor andt they definitely have a costume designer but I think that it was pretty cut and dry. It’s not your traditional whitch stories, so there was no gowns and cape, brooms and things like that. It was military style so we really wanted to capture that aesthetic. They really did a great job with that and just making sure that everything seemed correctional, practical, and functional, but still had that little bit of a twist to it when it was necessary. We wore hoods which I think is just kind of a departure from what you see in the military. But it’s kind of a cool interaction between the military, and witchcraft so they’ve really went out of their way here to make sure that we look as militant as we need to but we still have the space to have the magic.”

How did you react to when the show was pitched to you?

DM: “I thought to myself that I think I got the holy ghost (laughs). I’m very into the magic phenomenon. I love X-Men, I love Mystique, I love all of that. I also love that they have the reality of war on Motherland. Nothing could come at a better time like getting to be a part of something so innovative, and so very detached from the cliche war story. Im really honored because I actually get a chance to live in that world. It’s been a ride and it’s been a blessing.”

What kind of relationships or bonding with other characters can we expect from Anacosita?

DM: “I don’t think that she intends to getting really close to people. She intends on teaching them, she intends on protecting them through with the knowledge and preparation. There’s something about them (the soldiers/witches) that catches her, and a lot of other people that they’ve got a spark to them that they hadn’t seen in quite awhile. So I think that she unintentionally gets involved with them because, I think she also see bits and fractures of herself within each of them and you know, in an effort to really come serve what we have is a precious resource of the military. Like we need everybody here and I think that she gets close to them unintentionally and it leads to some other stuff to transpire. But that’s really really cool so you’ll see a little bit about it.”

What is your favorite episode that you have been part of that you have interracted with the cast the most?

DM: “I think it’s episode 7 because if I remember correctly, it’s one of the big turning points from my character and we start to see a little bit of the fabric that’s been kind of wrapped around her.Raelle is one of my favorite characters on the show and General Sarah Alder (played by Lynn Renee), she’s an absolute badass and she comes in and learns her mother tongue. She speak all these different languages, and she’s absolutely stunning and once you put the uniform on and they yell action, You see that side comes out of her. On top of that, I get to watch her transform into something that is completely opposite of her. Scylla, (who is played by Amalie Holm) she is just a siren and she has this magic and this death and it’s so dark, but it’s so beautiful when she plays as her. Everybody’s been amazing, but as far as my interaction with people, those be my 2 favorite to work with.”

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

Interview: Cassady McClincy Breaks Down The Current State of Lydia

Cassady McClincy as Lydia – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

One character of The Walking Dead that has been intriguing since her debut is Lydia as she has suffered too much trauma in her past before and after the apocalypse while she was with Alpha. Lydia has went from fearing Alpha in season 9, to fully going against her in season 10 as she grew to be more of herself as we seen during the current season. Lydia has gained a positive reception among the community of The Walking Dead and Cassady McClincy, who portrays as Lydia, breaks down everything about Lydia within the last few episodes in this exclusive interview!

The battle at The Hilltop on the most recent episode is some of the best battles and cinematography I have seen especially since it has also came from the source material. Can you share me some of your memories being part of that battle?

CM: “Well, I can say that it was very hot, sweaty, dirty, and a lot of fun! One of the things that I loved the most about shooting the battle scenes was that most of the cast were all together on those days, and even though it was hard work, it was just so great to all be together. Because TWD has such a huge cast and there are so many different story lines going on at once, it’s very rare to have everyone all together like that, so when it happens, it’s just really awesome.”

I have not seen the behind the scenes footage of the battle yet, but can you tell me how all of the fire was controlled if you know?

CM: “Honestly, I wasn’t there to see them set all of that up, but Greg Nicotero was directing the amazing tech/pyro team and I know a lot of planning and direction went into that. They work really hard to make it look so fantastic and realistic!”

The dynamic between Lydia and Alpha has been a great topic of discussion ever since the both of you debuted in season 9. And now we are here in season 10. I would like to know what has Samantha Morton learned the most of you and what have you learnedmost of Samantha Morton?

CM: “Ahhh it has been SUCH an honor to get to work with Sam! She’s just a beautiful person, inside and out and pours so much of herself into bringing Alpha to life in the most incredible way. I’ve learned so much from just watching her! Every subtle movement, facial expression, and even moments of silence; all are every bit Alpha and she just kills it!”

Negan had a good plan in mind when he got Lydia to safety while he was going to kill Alpha. Do you believe Lydia will forgive him?

Cassady McClincy as Lydia, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Eliza Morse/AMC

CM: “Lydia feels very hurt and betrayed by Negan and she has no idea of his plan or actions. I think she has a lot of emotions to work through about everything that has happened and it will take awhile for her to face what she is feeling and what her relationship is with everyone, including Negan.”

Now that Lydia has been fully accepted into the community and no longer defined as a Whisperer, is it safe to say that Lydia does not have much to fear anymore as she did when she was with Alpha?

CM: “I wouldn’t say that Lydia is fully accepted into the community, but I do think that by fighting in the battle against the Whisperers, she was able to prove to many that she stands with them. She still has a lot of fear and mistrust to work through, but it’s a lot different than what she felt as a Whisperer. Being a Whisperer forced her to become numb and push any feelings and emotions aside to survive, so when she joined the community and saw how they lived,  it was overwhelming for her and I think it still is.”

I noticed the “H+L” sign that Lydia looked at before she had her talk with Carol. Do you remember whose idea it was to make that sign there? And do you have any Melissa McBride stories you would like to share?

CM: “That was in the script, so it was most likely the idea of the writers, Julia Ruchman and Vivian Tse! They are fantastic and really “get” Lydia and are able to convey the feelings and actions of what a girl like Lydia would actually be going through. I loved it when I read it, because I felt like that is something that Lydia would have definitely done. She’s learned to read and write in the community and is also still a young teenager and it’s such teen thing to do to express themselves and young love. Melissa McBride! Words can’t even describe how much I love her and enjoy working with her! We just have a lot of fun when we get to be together, and she has the BEST taste in music! She’s so down to earth and sweet and I just feel really honored to get to spend time with her.”

Lydia’s hair in the comic book series is blonde, and on the tv series, her hair is black. When you were casted for Lydia, was there any discussions for you to dye your hair blonde for the role, or was Lydia’s hair on the show was going to be black the entire time?

CM: “It was never mentioned or discussed, at least not with me? So maybe production discussed it prior to my first day, but luckily for me, TWD is flexible when it comes to casting!”

When Lydia seen Alpha for the final time on 10×10, it was one of the most emotional scenes I have seen in some time. How did you and Samantha Morton prepare for that scene?

CM: “Sam was actually injured when we first shot that scene, so we had to reshoot it a few weeks after. It was a difficult scene to shoot with the awkward angles and dream like feel, but working with Sam is always just so amazing and once the cameras start rolling, she just “becomes” Alpha, so it’s very easy for me to be Lydia with her. Sam is a legend, and even when shooting emotional, crying scenes with her, I can’t help but to still be incredibly happy for the opportunity to be working with her.” 

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

Interview: Ashley Nicole Williams on Her Role on FreeForm’s Motherland: Fort Salem

FreeForm’s upcoming drama series Motherland: Fort Salem is days away from making their premiere. Motherland is highly anticipated and the premise of the series involves a good blend of women who are training in the military while they are using magic. It is also set in the future and I recently got the chance to interview one of the stars of the series and she is Ashley Nicole Williams. We talk about her upbringing, how she got the chance to be on Motherland, her favorite memories in Vancoover from where the show was shot, and much more in this exclusive interview.

What was it like for you when you grew up in Dallas, TX? 

Ashley: “Dallas is definitely home. Even though I consider myself an L.A. girl now, I absolutely love Texas. So I was born and raised in Dallas. It’s not country, but it’s also like you have that Southern hospitality a little bit.”

You have been acting since you were younger and you also have brothers and a sister. How did they feel once you started to pursue a career in acting?

Ashley: “I have two older brothers and one older sister and I’ve been acting since I was 5. It’s been a long time coming for a really, really big role. But they were all just over the limit for me because, they know how hard I worked. And they’d been there throughout the journey and throughout the rejections. It was just exciting for everyone, the whole family. And of course, my parents, because they’ve been part of my journey in my whole life.”

How has your life been within the last few years while you are going back and forth between acting and modeling?

Ashley: “I modeled I’d say a little bit. But I’m also in college. I go to Baylor, I modeled before I went to Baylor and then a little bit throughout my freshman year. But it kind of got hard to do both school and modeling. So then I did school at Baylor up until my first semester of sophomore year. And then I moved to L.A and I then continued online classes. So I am going to be graduating in May on time, which is amazing. But I moved out to L.A. I lived here for a while and then we filmed in Vancouver and then I went right back to school. It was like my last week of filming overlapped with my first week of school. So I was thrown right back into it. But I’m getting the degree and getting it done and that’s really cool that I can do both.”

You are playing as Abigail on Motherland. Tell me more of who Abagial is and what can we expect from Abigail

Ashley: “Abigail is a very alpha-female driven queen bee intelligent. She comes from a very high power in the military families and she also comes from a long lineage of lieutenants and generals and she has a lot to prove and has a lot to live up to. Abigail is thinking “Hey, I’m the best. I trained my whole life in this way” and she needs to realize that she has to work with other people that she thinks is in her way to get to where she ultimately needs to be. Literally, when I read the script and the pilot they sent me over, I ran to my mom and told her that ‘I have to be part of this because this is so fraking cool’. I had an instant shock to it and I cannot wait for everyone to see what Abigail will do on Motherland.”

Since Demetria is playing as a Anacostia, who is the sergent, will we see both of your characters in a power struggle since she is a high ranking member of that military?

Ashley: “Abigail definitely challenges Anacostia. I think they just dropped something else right now on the Motherland page. I saw it on Facebook, but it literally shows a sneak peek of one of our little towers. It’s about Anacostia. And you can see me charging at her with the the spear. Yeah, it’s definitely Abigail. She’s like, I am about whether I came for this. I know what I’m doing. Abigail is like ‘I know what I’m doing and why are you trying to tell me what to do?’ There definitely will be a power struggle during this season.”

Can you run down some of the stunt work you and the cast have done while you were all acting our your scenes?

Ashley: “We definitely had a stunt coordinator who we trained with, and so prior to filming the pilot, we trained for three weeks. As you see in some of the trailers with whips in our hands, that becomes our first weapon, which is called the surge. So definitely we had to train and learn how to use that. It’s freaking awesome and it was also hard because sometimes you hit yourself in the face and that’s not fun. But we definitely train and we have a lot of fight scenes during the week and on the weekends, we have a little break. We also learned the choreography, fight scenes and stuff later. So we did some training. And I hope it shows because that that was some fun!”

While you were in Vancouver, did you had time to explore the area when you were not on set?

Ashley: “Yes. So I went to Squamish, which is almost an hour away from Vancouver. Basically, it’s just like all these beautiful mountains and they have a gondola there too. You see all the water, the snow, and the beautiful landscapes and stuff like that. It blew me away and I am a sucker for beautiful views.”

Photo Credit: @ashleynicolewilliams

What are some challengers and obstacles will we see Abigail go through during the season?

Ashley: “She has her inner struggles as well as her outter struggles with her mom. And her mom, of course, puts that pressure on her in a sense. She keeps letting Abigail know that she cannot fail this family. If she failed the family, she’ll be the first to know that she will feel like a failure about how has to live up to her name. And I think also, that put a lot of pressure on Abigail herself, because if she fails, she also fails in herself. And I think that is kind of a perfectionist way of how she thinks. She put so much pressure on herself to be the best and I don’t think she necessarily believes that she is the best because she has a lot of experience, which is kind of where that persona and the big ego get put out there to the field because she’s still so unsure.”

Actress Ashley Nicole Williams arrives for the 2nd Annual Freeform Summit at the Goya Studios on March 27, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

What are some goals you would like to accomplish within the next few years?

Ashley: “I definitely hope Motherland goes like a kajillion seasons if we could. I hope we go really far and I hope the world loves it as much as we do. And I also want to venture out into the movies and things of that nature. Maybe some drama and stuff like that. I love a good drama. I love the good cry being a good person. And in the meantime,when i’m just honing in on my craft and really working at it so I can get to where I want to be ultimately.”

Julian: “That’s really good because I hope I can see you within the next few years especially on the red carpet.”

Ashley: “Oh yes, that would be awesome. Then we’ll look at each other. We’ll be like, ‘you remember a few years ago when we did our first interview for Motherland season one?” (Laughs)

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

Interview: Jessie Ennis, Imani Hakim, and Danny Pudi of Apple TV’s Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet

Apple TV’s newest comedy series Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet debuted not too long ago and it follows a team of video game developers as they navigate the challenges of running a popular video game. Co-created by Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Megan Ganz, Mythic Quest has a strong cast and of the cast, I got the chance to interview Jessie Ennis, Imani Hakim, and Danny Pudi as they given me the details on their roles in this exclusive interview as you can check out the key highlights below.

Jessie on the limits of her character “Jo.”

Jessie: There is a lot of times where they wanted me to explode, like we see in the pilot when I say “you’re a dick.” I remember being like “Is that funny” (laughs). And then it was really surprising at the screening to hear people laugh for that cause. I mean, I just I kept thinking this is too big, but it was such a blast to get to do. But no, Rob [McElenney] was really the one turning it up to eleven when it came to how much my character can say.”

Danny on playing as a villian.

Danny: “I’ve always wanted to be a villain. Like ever since I saw The Hunchback of Notre Dame, that bishop was like my inspiration on playing a villian. It was so it was awesome. It was a great time. I get a chance to explore something different. I always dreamed I’d get to work with Murray F. Abraham. I never thought I would be in that capacity. But yeah, in terms of the show, it’s been fun to just bounce around. The cast is incredible and to play a character that there’s just tension with him and the creators. It’s a lot. It’s great for comedy and fun for me.”

You each have these super strong characters, and they are what they are. If you want to pick a celebrity to play your character, who would you pick?

Jessie: I’m not letting anyone take this for me. I’ve got my teeth sunk into it (laughs) and it’s my favorite thing to do so I would not share it.

Imani: “I would chose the mother of my character for this question. I think I would say Jada Pinkett Smith. She would be a fun Mother to Dana. I’m attached to my character Dana too.”

Danny: I would say my real life uncle. I think he’d be really fun in my role as a celebrity. And Helena Bonham Carter would be a great second choice.”

What surprises or challenges come your way when all of you started your scenes for the show?

Danny: “For me, I hadn’t worked with Rob. I’d worked with Megan on Communities so I was really excited to work with her again. I think she’s incredibly talented, but I didn’t know Rob at the time yet. It feels like friends making a show together. And I think there’s a similarity there to how we created the show. Every scene was us coming together, building something together, collaborating, improvising, adding things. Rob would suggest something and add build a new thing in the scene. So there were multiple writers and actors in the show. And so that was a different perspective for me, a chance to work with people who are in the process of creating the show in the writers room. But also on set and in the scene. And that was really unique and I think it brought a different element to the show.”

Imani: “I saw surprises. I think that as an actor, you just hope that you get to go to work and get along with your cast mates and the people that you work with. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this dynamic just works so very, very well. I look forward to going to work even on the days where I’m off and they’ve created such as safe space and like Danny said, is a very collaborative effort where we get to pitch in and chime in and have fun and freedom to improvise and to have to create our own voices for our characters.”

Jessie: “I’ve been lucky enough to come and visit the writers room for season two, and I’ve learned so much from Megan Ganz about breaking story and the structure of an episode. So that’s really the thing I feel is the newest to me. And it’s really inspiring to watch how our writers collaborate.”

It’s really fun to watch the clash of art and tech and business in these wonderful personalities inhabited the whole gaming culture. So I was just wondering if you could each talk about like your role in that. 

Imani: “I didn’t know much about the world, but it’s really cool to play someone who portrays the one that’s very passionate about the world where she just loves nothing more than gaming. She plays all day at work. It’s literally her job. And then she goes home and she plays Mythic Quest. So it’s really cool to portray her well like that and also work with Ashley. But she was very much in the world of gaming and Ubisoft being very hands on and on set with Jason and Danielle. So I’m learning a lot. Being able to pick their brains. And if we have any questions that pop up like they actually track our eyeballs, that is a fun fact that I learned on set.”

Jessie: “I didn’t know much, but I was really lucky to work with Jason and Danielle from Ubisoft. I was curious if there was a Joe in their offices and was shocked to hear that there were people like that and unapologetically trying to get as much power as possible. Women who love having an ego and enjoy following their dreams. And I was just really thrilled to get to bring that to light.”

Danny: “I love videogames. I would play Zelda and I want to live in that world. You know, I wish I could just sit there and live in Hyrule. But I didn’t know how much went into the creation of videogames. And for my character, I play the head of monetization. I didn’t know anything about that. I also didn’t know about the tension of micro-transactions and Lootcrates and how that brings up a visceral response. And so that was kind of new and interesting for me to learn. I actually met with the head of monetization. He was always great about letting me talk and ask questions about how that works. And especially for Brad is a fun character to play because I get to operate as the sort of silo where I’m walking around bouncing off people. But there is this tension between creative and business. But ultimately, we have to work together to build this product, you know. And now I know how important it is because my son will pick up my phone and be like, ‘can I get this new skin for $4.99 dad?’ most times now.”

How did you all react when you first seen the trailer at E3 2019 since this was the first time that a television show trailer was shown at E3?

Imani: “Well we’ve been sitting on this project for over a year now. So now we’re moving into the space where it’s being released into the world. So it’s super exciting for us because we’ve been out having to keep a secret for so long and not being able to talk about this wonderful project that we got to be a part of. So now now that we get to talk about it openly, it’s it’s it’s super thrilling.”

Danny: “it was awesome to see and we didn’t get to see a lot of it before E3 2019. And this is a new experience for me to be on a streaming service where everything comes out at once. And so all the trailers and everything, it’s been it’s been a little while. So it’s like new for us to see it. We didn’t get to see a lot of the VFX, all the stuff that Ubisoft’s doing too. So we loved that it premiered on the biggest gaming convention of the world last year and that it was viewed by the millions that were in attendance.”

Imani on the toxic side of the video game community and Dana’s obsticles

Imani: “I think we do a really great job at touching on how the obstacles that comes with being a woman and gaining territory only way. So for Dana, she’s it very much in love with gaming. And as she finally lands something that she sees herself excelling in the streaming world. And then for that to be taken away, and and people calling her out and saying that she’s big and she’s not a true gamer when that’s all she wants to do. And it’s really cool that we get to highlight that. And I think it will follow Dana because she’s in her early 20’s and she’s trying to figure out exactly where her footing is in the company. And she’s going to try new things and she’s going to fail and she’s going to try to fit this. So that’s was really fun. Like with Danning saying it’s a story about the characters that happens to be in this video gaming world.”

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

Interview: The Circle’s Sammie Cimarelli

Netflix’s The Circle has proved to be a success and it also brought a discussion about how impactful social media is. From the hashtags, to having a conversation with random strangers, and to posting pictures online for you to be anxious on who noticed the picture, The Circle exploited the functions of social media from the first episode, to the end. One of the most popular members of The Circle is Sammie Cimarelli and she is here to talk about her time on the game show along with a few facts that you have not known about her until now in this exclusive interview.

Tell me more of yourself. What was it like growing up and what were your best memories with your family?

SC: “I grew up in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. I have only lived in Miami since June of 2017 and I have 6 sisters and 2 brothers. My best memories with my family are traveling and going on vacations. We also have a lot of holiday traditions. Egg hunts on Easter, finding the pickle in the tree on Christmas, playing games on Thanksgiving, etc. My family is really close and making memories has always been something important for us.”

You must have a lot of interests outside of the show and social media. What do you like to do in your spare time that you would like your fans to know?

SC: “In my spare time, I absolutely love to sing and dance. I have also been looking into taking acting and singing lessons because I really want to mold my talents into something other than just a hobby I do in my room. I have actually sang in my high school chorus and was part of a jazz band competition where I had a full jazz band playing behind me while I sang.”

How were you approached to join The Circle? and who pitched the concept to you?

SC: “I was approached through a phone call.”

Being that this is an episodic reality-based game show, how did you and everyone else kept it a secret to the general public?

SC: “We agreed through legal paperwork to follow regulations and restrictions in regard to the show.”

I also noticed that there were cameras all over the room. Were those the only cameras that were used, or was there also a camera crew there without the viewer noticing?

SC: “Camera’s were always rolling; the cameras were only unable to film when walking room to room. The cameras seen hanging in each room were the only cameras around. There was never a camera crew in the apartment.”

Were there any times that the voice activated app did not work, or did not hear your voice?

SC: “No. Not once.”

Do you feel that The Circle exposed the dark side of social media?

SC: “I feel The Circle exposed a lot of darkness and light for social media. I think it also exposed the precautions that should be taken when using social media and how careful one should be when interacting with others through an app, when you have no met this person directly.”

Some of my favorite moments watching The Circle were the game challenges as I was anxious to see who was going to win the challenge. What were some of your favorite game challenges?

SC: “I would say my favorite game challenge was the cake challenge and the painting challenge, simply because we were given items to use and create things. The other challenges were fun, however, my mind was being used differently for the cake and paint challenges. Which I feel like I needed while being secluded in that apartment for so long.”

One of the challenges involved everyone making an anonymous comment on everyone’s photo with a hashtag and this was at the point where I was hooked to see who would get exposed first. Before it was revealed who would be the next catfish, who did you think it was?

SC: “I think we all knew before, during, and after that game that Mercedez was the catfish.”

Was there at any point that you wanted to go to see if the other cast members were not catfishing even though you were not supposed to?

SC: “There actually was never a point in time where I wanted to go see the other cast members to see if they were lying or not. It was really fun having to guess and actually play the game to see who was real and who wasn’t.”

I love the show and I hope that it returns for season 2. If someone was auditioning for The Circle, what advice would you give them?

SC: “Bring a lot of things to keep you occupied!!!! Seriously, bring a suitcase of things.”

You also have a YouTube channel and you have a great amount of content. Did the cast recognized you from your channel when they first saw you? 

SC: “No, they did not see my YouTube channel at first.”

What are some of your upcoming projects and where everyone can find you on social media?

SC: “Currently I am unable to speak on upcoming projects but there will definitely be more of me!!! You can find me on Instagram, Twitter and Youtube @itsssammiee”

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com