Nerd Alert: Interview with Stalking LeVar’s Heidi Cox and Stephanie Pressman – Part 2

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PART 2/2 of my interview with Heidi Cox (creator) and Stephanie Pressman from Stalking LeVar; a comedic series about a woman in search of a very important person.

CLICK HERE to read PART 1 before continuing!

Heidi Cox at the Stalking Levar premiere

Heidi Cox at the Stalking Levar Season 2 premiere

Have you produced projects prior to this?

H: I did! I had started a short project before this, but I sort of allowed a friend of mine to take it over, and it ended up cute but it wasn’t “mine”. But it just makes Stalking LeVar all the more special to me.

S: I was producing a couple of other projects at the time, and that’s partly why I eventually joined this series as a producer… I had experience in it. The first guy we reached out to was someone I was already doing a sketch show with (Ryan Constantino) because he’s so multi-talented. He helped produce Season 1 and did all of episode 1 of Season 2! He volunteered to write, score, direct, DP, and edit the first musical episode as “his contribution”.

How did you go about getting so many awesome guest stars to join the series?

S: Most of them are friends. We know some really talented people! We’re lucky.

H: Cas Anvar I’ve known for like, two years. He’s been on The Expanse, the movie Room, he’s been on Lost… so much stuff. He often plays characters with an accent and I like his voice so much, that I wanted him to play a character that sounded like the Cas I know.

S: A big part of the point behind this show is to give talented people more opportunities. How would we want our friends to treat us? I mean, if our friends were making really awesome things, I would love them to ask us to come on board and help out.

H: And in return, we end up with a lot of support! And ideally, we all end up growing together. But as far as how we got Margot Rose on our series (from one of the most famous episodes of Star Trek called Inner Light), I met her at the Yoga studio I used to work at, and it’s my favorite episode of Star Trek TNG. I was chatting with her and I mentioned my show, and she mentioned she was on Star Trek. I asked her which episode, and she said, “Inner Light” and no joke, tears welled up in my eyes. I couldn’t believe it. We stayed in touch because she was so excited about what we were doing.

S: I mean, we have 30+ guest stars this season. And they’re all friends of ours, which is so amazing. Even down to who did our music.

H: Most people want to create and be a part of something creative, and sometimes you get lucky because people just want to be involved. Make things and just do stuff! People will follow. It’s so empowering to know you can take control of your artistry like that. You don’t have to wait for someone to give you something. Just do it yourself.

S: Looking at the episodes we made for the amount of money we spent is just amazing to me. The first season we spent only $400, and that was honestly just to cover food for everyone each episode. This season we had just a little bit more money than that, and it looks amazing.

H: A portion of that went to post, and we’re blessed because we have a dear friend editing our series for a very low amount. Same with our composer and audio mixer. It gives me faith in humanity with the way people want to help out so much!

Stephanie Pressman at the Stalking Levar premiere

Stephanie Pressman at the Stalking Levar Season 2 premiere

Do you believe there is a stigma attached to being a nerd/geek, especially for females, and what are your thoughts on it?

S: I don’t think there is much of a stigma anymore in general, because us nerds run the world (laughs). However, there is a stigma attached to being a “nerd girl”, because there is this thing about being a “fake geek” that people attack you for all the time. I actually got into it with somebody at a party recently because I am hugely against nerd shaming: which is the thing that happens when men verbally shame a woman when she doesn’t know every single detail about a subject. Like for me personally, I love Harry Potter. But do I know every single detail from the books? No. But it doesn’t make me less of a fan than anyone else. And sometimes male nerds will quiz females to prove they aren’t truly a fan… it makes me so angry! Our motto of Dweeb Darlings is to show the world that females nerds can be more than just gamers, bookworms, or superfans. They can be sexy and strong and funny and charismatic and anything they want!

H: The big thing for me is acceptance and treating one another with kindness and compassion. It’s a mission for us and the people we work with. But as far as nerd stuff goes, I use to hide it when I was younger, because I didn’t fit the stereotype. I was a cheerleader! And I was shy… I hadn’t found my sense of self yet. But other than the nerd shaming, I don’t really run into too many other problems. Honestly, they’re probably just projecting their experiences and it’s not personal at all.

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Kaytra Parkman

About Kaytra Parkman

Actress. “An old cosmic soul disguised as a 21st-century earthling”. Kaytra has no recollection of “catching” any acting bug... it was always there. At the ripe age of 3, she pointed to the television enthusiastically and declared, “I want to be IN THAT!”. After her parents jokingly reminded her she would have to be really small to fit in there, Kaytra skipped and tripped her way through adolescence until she landed a coveted spot at the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCSA). There she spent 4 years studying everything from stage combat to documentary filmmaking amongst a wide variety of young artists. A professional nerd on the side, she also freelances as a social media manager/video editor/techie, and spends her free time Netflixing and obsessing about space. Kaytra hopes to combine her love of acting, filmmaking and activism to evoke positive change both individually and globally.