Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Monster Cast Interview: Jennie Townsperson

Part II

I'm glad you all enjoyed Part I of Jennie's interview. I had some extra questions which she graciously agreed to answer. Thanks Jennie.

RubberPoultry, there's a little surprise for you in here so I hope you like it.

One last thing, Jennie. If you really want a starring role, just list the Rangers as a reference and drop a few Nuts on that executive's desk.

1. You film an episode which takes a long time then you watch it to see how it looks. Right? Do any of you actually watch Jericho when it's on TV or are you tired of it by then?

Personally I am never tired of Jericho and the story we are telling. Naturally I get tired from a long work day like anyone else but I love what I get to do on the show and to me it's like completing a piece of art to be able to see the final product in its entirety and in order since we shoot out of sequence. I don't always get to know everything in the script so it's fun to watch it when it airs - if I'm home. Otherwise it gets recorded! But most of the time we had some really fun days while we were in production where if we were working at the stages, we’d get to watch the episode during lunch that would be airing that night or that week. That was always special.

2. You said you like writing. Would you like to write a screenplay or a series one day or have you already written them?

Yes! I have two screenplays I’m writing. One is a thriller and the other is an historical fiction epic inspired by stories of my ancestors. I’ve always enjoyed writing and telling stories and at different times, I’ve had ideas for novels and screenplays. So in my downtime I enjoy exploring those story ideas. I didn’t start them thinking that I’d actually produce them but the more I work on these two stories in particular, the more I’d love to see them made into films. Maybe I will make that happen one day but for now mostly it’s one of the creative things I do for my own personal enjoyment.

3. You said you have a graphics background and you've seen RubberPoultry's work. He is amazingly gifted and has created so much for Jericho. What do you think about his fan art?

From what I’ve seen, I think his work is brilliant! I’m a huge fan! I know it’s no small task because I’ve done that kind of work myself. He’s not getting paid to do it and it comes from his heart. I wonder if people know what kind of time it can take to do graphics and videos like that. For him to donate his time to do it is a very special thing and says so much. I would love to see a version of his flag video made into a promo for CBS to air before our new season starts up. Wouldn’t that be great? I would hope they would consider him for that. He’s already done a great job promoting the show on the internet.

4. Does your family watch Jericho? Do they like it?

Yes, my family does like the show - so much that they forget to look for me! That only means that they truly love the show and find it really gripping and I couldn’t be happier for that. It means we are all doing our jobs well!

5.Will you be going back to acting classes soon? How do they help you grow?

Yes, in fact, I have recently been referred to some very renowned acting coaches. When my schedule allows, I plan on taking a class with Gary Austin. I really look forward to that. Classes always help me grow in anything I do. With acting, it is very good for me in keeping my skills and senses sharpened while continually bringing me new challenges to work with and learn from. The more I have opportunities to challenge myself as we do in classes, the better I feel I can be in the craft at work. This is always important to any serious actor. I am not here for fame - I am about being challenged, prepared, honest and hopefully entertaining and happy in what I do.

Friday, September 7, 2007

A Monster Cast Interview: Jennie Townsperson

Part I

Jennie Sword is a truly nice person. She has the role of Jennie the Townsperson on Jericho and does an outstanding job. She graciously accepted my request for this interview and I appreciate it. I continued to think of more questions for her and she answered all of those as well. Those answers will appear here tomorrow in Part II.

Talking to Jennie has been a great pleasure. She is kind, funny, very intelligent, and speaks highly of Jericho, the cast and crew, and the fans. I predict Jennie is on her way to bigger roles and I wish her the very best. But, Jennie, you can never leave Jericho!

1. How did you get into the acting business?

There’s no short answer to this question. I was born and raised in Southern California. Since my Dad is a retired film and sound effects editor, I’ve been exposed to and influenced by the film industry all my life and always had my own love for film and story telling. Doing school plays was probably my first effort at seeing if I’d enjoy acting. I’ve always been an artsy type that has had many things I’ve wanted to explore in life. So I didn’t know for sure that’s what I wanted to do that early on but I knew I loved acting. I was also a very shy little girl so that was probably the biggest thing I worked passed over the years in doing other things. After I graduated high school, I took some time off to decide what to pursue. Soon I started taking acting classes for fun and registered with a background casting agency and worked on a few films. I loved it but my love for other things also needed to be explored. I decided to go for a degree in photography. Once I finished, I had started to work and sold a few pieces then things quickly lead me into the digital side of the art. I took it a few steps farther and went to school for visual effects. When I finished the program, I specialized in creating realistic atmospheric effects for film called visual effects animation. While I loved it at first, the technical side of it became very tedious for me. The creative side of it was still very gratifying. I did three projects and then it just became clear to me how much I had missed acting. Along the way, doors started to open for me to get back into acting. I started up classes again, started doing auditions and got very serious this time around because all of a sudden, I wanted it bad enough to do the work for it. I was definitely bitten by the bug!

2. How did you get the role of Townsperson on Jericho?

After being back in classes for a year or so, my acting coach had to take some time out to do some commercials. I decided it was a good time for a break because I was preparing to start looking for principal work but at the same time, I was also very anxious to just get back onto a set for a little while without the pressure of getting the job. So I started doing some background acting. Initially, I only intended to do it for a little while to get the feel of being on a set again and also to try and finish earning my eligibility for getting into the union. Around that time, a new show called “Jericho” had been filming its first few episodes. I had heard of the show and its exciting premise and decided I’d like to work on it when they were looking to cast townspeople. I submitted for it with the casting director and she booked me for the show since I fit what they were looking for. I really enjoyed the work and how well I was treated by far in comparison to the few other things I had worked on at the time, so I decided to continue booking the show as long as they’d have me. Before long, they kept me on as a regular and I continued to work the rest of the season. I had fallen into this great experience when I only planned on doing it a little while. What a lovely gift it has been to work here with these lovely people. I’ve earned my union eligibility and I still come back! That should say a lot.

3. What do you enjoy most about being on Jericho?

I enjoy working with a large group of people who feel the same passion for what we are doing as I do and the family type of bond we created so easily in the process. I love that there were no egos to worry about. Everyone was always so happy to be there and that made the long hours easy. Everyone respects each other's work and there wasn't ever this feeling of anyone thinking they were more important than the other. To me it felt like we were all important and welcomed. I think that's rare here but it's the way it should be – it shows in our work and those are the types of productions I want to be involved in. So it will be interesting where my career goes from here after such an experience. Not to mention, I absolutely love these unique stories we are telling and being lucky enough to be a part of that. Everything on this show is top notch – especially the writing. There’s nothing else like this show being done. I love that it’s different.

4. How did you hear about the Nuts campaign?

I heard about the nuts campaign on the CBS message board as well as on Shaun Daily's blog talk radio show. I had started watching the message board a few days before the upfronts came out and the show getting canceled. I remember the emails between some of us that were going around talking a lot about how we might actually get canceled and so I think we were all nervous and stressed and trying to find out as much as we could and that's when I saw how much the fans were talking. Then after we got canceled, it was amazing to see what the fans did. They jumped into action with emails, phone calls, letters and sending nuts and that was one of the things that really stood out right away. For me, I really loved the metaphor for what it meant - from the meaning of "nuts" in the storyline of the season finale to what it meant in the campaign. It's beautifully poetic from my point of view.

5. Where were you and what did you think when you heard Jericho had been renewed?

I had worked a long day on a pilot so when I came home late that evening I turned on my computer to see what the latest was on the campaign. There had already been some exciting talk between many of us those last few days hearing that CBS was trying to do something in response to your awesome efforts to save Jericho. The biggest sign of that was that they halted striking sets and returning set dressings to storage. So I had a few emails waiting for me that night. The first one I had opened was from my friend Jeff Porter, our set medic, saying congratulations! So I first heard it from him. There was a really beautiful email from the producers to the cast and crew that had me feeling tears of joy for the show and us and all of you - the Jericho Rangers and your huge accomplishment. It was a really incredible moment taking all of that in. It's historic.

6. What is the most difficult part of your job? What are the benefits?

A difficult part of my job on Jericho is that I care about every aspect of making the show good. I’ve always had an eye for details and continuity so sometimes I get distracted by it if something seems off. If I bring something I notice to the right person’s attention however, it’s always appreciated here. We all care. That might not be so good for me to do on just any other set. But a more difficult problem I have is with certain background actors in general. Usually Jericho is cast really well with our core group but there are times on larger calls where you get people who don't care about the show or doing a good job and just want to collect a paycheck. That hurts the industry in my opinion. I would love to see the requirements for acquiring a job in background acting changed. Like requiring training, an audition or interview as well as doing background checks. There are too many people doing this kind of work who do give it a bad name in this industry which isn't fair to those of us who take it seriously and work hard. People see the difference on our show having talented background actors who love to act. We’re proud of that.

The benefits are working with these wonderful people who've welcomed me into this wonderful family. I have learned more from working with all of them than I could have ever hoped for. It surpassed my reasoning for going back to work on a set because I’ve gained much more than I had expected. I feel very lucky to have found my footing with added self confidence for working in this industry by working here.

7. What other roles would you like to do eventually?

Well from here my focus is turning again towards doing principal work. So while I'm ready to try a variety of rolls and genres, if I had my choice, I'd love to play good dramatic rolls in film or a good TV series. I’d really love to have a key roll in a big epic adventure film. That would be so wonderful and a dream come true for me if I got that opportunity.

8. Jericho has fans from all over the world. Does that surprise you?

Yes and no. I saw several posts written by people from different parts of the world during the campaign to save the show. Back then I was certainly surprised. I had no idea how many countries were airing our show. But now it doesn’t surprise me and I’m thrilled to know they too have fought to save it. If they didn’t know it before, you all have certainly made the world aware of what Jericho is.

9. What do you do on the set when you aren't actually filming?

Well, luckily they keep me pretty busy most of the time. I don’t enjoy too much down time. I like to work. But when we do have long breaks, I usually find myself either writing or doing something creative. I crocheted a really nice scarf last winter. I also tend to visit and bond with my friends on the crew if they aren’t busy at the same time.

10. What are your acting plans for the future?

Currently I’m looking for representation and getting my package together to do a lot more auditioning after we wrap Jericho season 2 in the coming weeks. For now, I’m living in the moments and enjoying being back. But I will soon be looking at doing some commercial work as well as principal parts in film and television. I’m pretty open to see what comes to me. I love to explore and see where the road takes me as long as it makes me happy and I can continually learn new things.

Any comment you'd like to make?

I would just like to say how thankful I am to all of the fans – the Jericho Rangers who brought us back with such passion and grace. Thank you all for being so kind and encouraging in your posts and messages to me. This is certainly a time I will never forget and I am so honored to be a part of this. I knew I was a part of something special while working on season one – but none of us could have imagined the gravity of that and all that has transpired and all that has come from it. Now we have this huge extended family from what we knew we had on set. It’s truly amazing.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Monster Fan Interview: Schumi

Everybody who participated in Nuts knows who Schumi is. She gave us Mission Orders, calmed fears, inspired, motivated, taught, and believed in us. Schumi is a class act. She is a one of a kind and a true Jericho fan. She has a real life so we don't see as much of her as we once did but she's still here. How does she feel now that Nuts is over? Keep reading.

1. During the Nuts campaign was there ever a time when you thought "This will never work"?

Sure. There were plenty of times during the Save Jericho campaign that I thought we wouldn't succeed, but if you're trying to rally people you can't very well say that. I'd hear one thing or another about the direction the campaign needed to talk. I was working with a number of really talented people. We would discuss things decide on a course of action, but in the end it was the same throughout: send card/letters, call, send email, if you can send nuts. It's one of those situations where you know the odds are completely stacked against what you are trying to accomplish, but if you don't at least try, you can never succeed.

2. How difficult was it to get people to understand that there were some things you couldn't say like who your sources were?

Extremely. It is still an issue I deal with 3 months after we've gotten the show back. My favorite perpetuating rumor that still lingers is that I work for CBS or am somehow a mole for CBS. Nothing could be further from the truth. I don't even work in the entertainment industry. But people don't always realize that sometimes information crosses your desk and that information usually has strings attached - the most common of which is "you can't tell anyone I told you". Others include things like its background information only to help you plan but you can't outright post it anywhere and on an extremely rare occasion your allowed to actually straight up say "I heard xxxx."

3. How did you feel when Nina Tassler said the show had been renewed?

Absolutely elated and then stunned. I couldn't believe we'd pulled this off in just 3 weeks (almost to the hour). It was absolutely incredible. I was so proud of the effort all the fans put out to save this show and look upon it as one of the most incredible things in my life I've had the privilege to be part of.

4. How did you become addicted to Jericho?

Jericho first crossed my radar about 6 months before the upfronts. I’m pretty good at using IMDB to see what projects directors and actors I like are attached to and so of course I noticed when it was rumored that Skeet would be attached to Jericho. So I started paying attention. The concept really grabbed me as something that would be interesting – such a unique premise as opposed to the tired ones we see constantly being recycled. But still I thought “not a prayer in hell of getting greenlit.” Every year in May, I watch to see what drivel the networks hope to pan off on the viewing audience each year. Imagine my surprise to see Jericho on the schedule.

Jericho has really been the little show that could all along. For a concept this unique to get the green light – amazing. For a pilot to be shot and actually make it on air – incredible (and that was when I was completely hooked – that opening shot of the train along the river paired with the music was a great way to start off this series). Then factor in the early pickup for a complete season and the resurrection from the dead in just weeks – well really beyond words.

5. Do you believe there will be a 3rd season?

Yes. I don’t believe CBS brought the show back for 7 and only 7, but the ratings need to be there.

6. What should fans be doing now to promote the show?

Talking about it. Not talking about promoting it – talking about the show. Sharing with all these new people just now discovering it why you’re so passionate about it. People don’t understand promoting something until they have embraced it as their own. We need to get back to participating in the Mythology, Residents, Cast, Episode and Fan Fiction boards and get back to what locked us all in here to begin with.

If you’ve introduced someone to the show, follow up with them each week on Monday maybe. As them what they thought, see if there’s something they don’t understand, of course try to get them to watch the front half of the season when most of us fell in love with Jericho. Yes DVD sales are important and will help to a certain extent but what we really need are more people for whom Jericho is Must See TV, more butts on couches, etc… each week watching the show and then talking about it in the days between episodes.

7. What is the most important lesson you learned from the Nuts campaign?

Patience and persistence. The Save Jericho campaign required a lot of patience. Things take time to work. There isn’t always time to explain to everyone why something was done or why it was done certain way. People don’t understand and get frustrated. You have to patiently ignore all the negative and stay on course. Not that you should be rigid in your approach. You need to be flexible enough to make adjustments as needed and patient enough to explain what you can (and hope people will ask question rather than keep things bottled up). But in the end you have to be willing to see things through to the end, no matter what the obstacles are.

8. Is there anything, looking back, that you feel we should have done differently?

Hard to say, because in the end what we did worked. I’m sure faced with the same situation again, of course there would be things done differently. I’d never done anything like this before. This is the first fandom I’ve ever been a part of. Everything was a learning experience. Not everything was perfect and I’m a person who truly believes if you don’t look back at the past with a critical eye now and then, you’ll just make the same mistakes in the future.

9. Is there anything you would like to say to the fans?

You all did an amazing, history-making job. Everyone who did anything, even if it was to tell someone else about the campaign, deserves the credit for saving the show. No effort was better than anyone else's. All should all be proud and stand up to take a bow.

There will always be differing opinions as we all bring our unique experiences to the table with us and base our view of something on those. We succeeded by moving past differences and sticking together on a few well defined initiatives. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t many more completely commendable initiatives out there that people came up with and got others to support. But not everyone can support everything.

If we always approach each other presuming each one of us has nothing but the best of intentions in our words and actions and we treat one another the way we want to be treated, then there is no way we can’t get a season 3 for Jericho.

See you all at Jerichon 2007 in Oakley, KS.

10. What are you doing now to promote Jericho?

Talking about the show. Yes I’ve bought my DVDs (a few copies in fact), etc… but the main thing is telling people about the show and then following up with them after. And most of these people don’t use the internet for anything more than e-mail. They don’t go to message boards. They don’t surf for web sites and blogs. They are just normal every day people who I think might like this little show.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Monster TV Critic Interview: Maureen Ryan

Maureen Ryan is the TV critic for the Chicago Tribune and she's very good at her job. I read her posts even if I don't watch the show she's discussing. Some of you may recall her posts about Jericho and you can find them here. My favorites anyway. I am so honored that Maureen granted me this interview. I am most appreciative as she is one busy lady. May I present to you my favorite TV critic in the world?

1. How did you become a television reviewer and what
advice can you give you others attempting to break into
the field?

I got a Masters in Journalism from Northwestern about 15 years ago, and after that worked at various magazines and freelanced a lot for many different publications. I got hired at the Tribune as an editor, then was able to segue after several years to writing, and when our TV critic went on leave, I filled in for him, then eventually got the job. I don't really know what to tell anyone who wants to do the job -- just start your on TV blog and try to write with passion about what you love.

2. Why do you think other reviewers didn't see Jericho
with the same passion that you obviously did?

I think many people who write about TV thought the themes of Jericho might be too dark and depressing. Also the show is somewhat serialized and those kinds of shows didn't do so well last season, so perhaps that led to some pessimism about Jericho.

3. What do you think went wrong with Jericho beyond
the midseason break?

I think it was the break, really, that hurt the show. Also in the spring, American Idol was on and that tends to get a lot of press attention, so other shows got less.

4. What was your take on the viewers reaction to
the cancellation and did you think that they would
succeed in bringing the show back? (Did you
participate?) In one of your articles you wrote, "People power is a
beautiful thing. And thanks to the Internet, TV viewers are using it more
effectively than ever."

I did not think that the viewers would get more than a TV movie. When I started hearing of the Jericho campaign, I thought it was great but also thought that if I were to lead fans to think they could get another season -- well I thought that would be cruel on my or other critics' part if we said another season was possible. I truly thought it was not. I thought CBS in particular would not respond by giving the show more than a token TV movie. I was wrong, and happy to be wrong.

5. The Hollywood Reporter has taken to calling the
reversal The Jericho Effect. Do you think that The
Jericho Effect marks a change in how networks act
toward and interact with fans? What does the future
hold? (TV Viewers Bill of Rights)

I hope that it does mark a change, I really do. But in future, if Jericho does not do well, I hope that doesn't mean that networks will go back to ignoring passionate viewers. That would be a serious mistake. Broadcast networks need to start treating viewers better, especially in this day and age when there are so many other options. It's shocking to me that they've gotten away with treating viewers so shoddily for so long.

6. There has been growing discussion about reviewers
not appreciating bloggers, and in some cases, even
being afraid of them. Can you elaborate from the
critics perspective and share your own?

It's a mixed bag, I think. Many tv critics I know and respect have blogs and love interacting with the public. Then again there are tv writers who don't think bloggers have much credibility. Frankly I think we can both learn from each other -- I read news on blogs all the time that the blogs have first, and bloggers can be passionate and effective advocates and critics. And mainstream critics offer context and history and contacts that are valuable and effective. I think the mainstream press and bloggers can just expand the dialogue about good TV -- that's the ideal.

6. What thoughts do you have on improving the public's
reaction to reviewers? Bloggers?

I'm not sure, I'm just a believer in everyone being able to leave comments on blogs -- I view myself as starting a discussion with my blog, not really being the final word on anything. Both bloggers and critics should accept by now that it's an interactive world and nobody has the final say on anything -- everyone's entitled to their opinion, even if they disagree (as long as they can do so politely).

7. Has there ever been a time when you have faced
criticism over a review (or a colleague if not
yourself)? And how did you/they respond to the

I get criticism all the time from commenters on my blog. And I welcome comments and disagreements that are offered in the spirit of having an open dialogue. I'm not so fond of it when people are cruel and vicious in their comments, I'm not sure if that adds anything to the world to put cruelty and meanness into the discussion.

9. What are some of your other interests beyond film
and television?

Gardening, reading, traveling and spending time with my son and husband. :)

10. Who do you think is the hottest Jericho celebrity
and why?

Hottest? Not sure, but Johnston Green was definitely my favorite character. (And I recommend that Jericho fans watch Deadwood to see more fine acting by Gerald McRaney, by the way.)

11. What would like to add about yourself or your
industry that I may not have covered in my questions?

I just think we're in a golden age of TV right now -- those who think there is nothing good to watch are just not looking. Their loss!


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Monster German Fan Interview: TrapperJohnD

I first saw TrapperJohnD on the CBS message board then he announced he had a petition he would like Americans to sign. I also posted the petition on one of my blogs and visited his website which is very nice. I began having so many visitors to my blogs from Germany that I felt I had to do this interview. Trapper kindly agreed. Here's an interesting look at Jericho from a German fan.
( 2 parts)

1. My blogs have a lot of visitors from Germany. Why do Germans love Jericho?

I'm sure, German fans love the show because of the same reasons all fans worldwide love it. Jericho is very different from all other shows on tv. It created a unique genre, the (realistic)
postapocalyptic drama; there are many elements from very different genres (like sf (the classic what-if scenario), crime, soap opera, adventure, action, thriller and many more...) united in ONE huge
story arc with many lovely characters.

I guess the show has an additional attraction to some European fans that are 30 years or older. We grew up during the (end of the) Cold War and were targeted by the USA AND the USSR. We saw the
amount of nuclear weapons, their positions and their targets in the news daily, that's pretty scary for a kid.
Bad enough, but then there was the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 with real nuclear fallout across Europe and something like that scares kids (like me at that time) to death. I'll never forget
the informations and shocking pictures about the radiation and its effects that surrounded me and my whole world then.
Jericho might be special for some European fans, because we know a similar scenario from our darkest dreams come true as we were kids, to watch it on tv now is like riding the ghost train :-).

2. What is the status of Jericho in Germany right now?

No good news from Germany. We watched the last episode on August, 20th. The public station that airs Jericho here stopped the show after "Heart of Winter" due to poor ratings. Some weeks ago the
station also announced to continue the show next summer together with the second season but the ratings are worse now and we hope the station won't change its mind.

3. Will you be able to buy the DVD?

Yes, we will. Fans are able to import the original dvd via Amazon from the UK or US.
A German version of the DVD is scheduled for the beginning of next year.

4. What attracted you to Jericho?

Definitely the mushroom cloud. "Yesssss, I've got my weekly entertaining apocalypse" was my first thought when i saw a banner on a site while surfing (that was last October). I'm a huge fan of the
apocalyptic genre and to watch a tv show about this scenario was the best thing that can happen to a dedicated fan. So i played around with proxy servers and watched every episode online and was
totally amazed by that fantastic story arc and the characters.

5. How can US fans help you? Do you have a petition?

First of all: A BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG THANK YOU!!! to all US fans who already helped. I wrote about the poor ratings and the cancelation in Germany in some boards (CBS, RFJ and JRP) and received
a lot of support. I also obtained friendly help from JerichoCentral and Jericho Armory by reposting my concern. So many fans from the US already helped by subscribing our petition and spreading the
I have a petition on my homepage sorry, it's in German, but I'm working hard on a bilingual version of the page) in order to show the German tv station how many
dedicated fans Jericho has, not only in Germany.
I'm sending the result of the petition weekly by mail, monthly by snailmail to the station.

There is a second petition in order to show Paramount Germany the huge interest in a German edition of the DVD . This petition was important once,
because we had no official release date until the end of August. We try to keep Paramount Germany informed about the results of the petition regularly.

7. Any comments?

Thank you so much to all fans and supporters. I never met so many open-minded, polite and helpful people as on the Jericho boards. The Jericholics are a very special bunch of people!!!

8. Anything else you'd like to say?

Yes. Visit http://www.jericho-tv.de if you like. As i wrote in question 5. it's in German, but i'm working hard on a bilingual version. There is a screenshot gallery
(http://www.jericho-tv.de/gallerie/index.php) that might be of interest to the multilanguage community.

Thank you very much for your attention, don't raise a quarrel and avoid mushroom clouds.

Part II

1) What do you think would happen in Europe (and the rest of the world) if the USA suffered a Jericho type event? Both from a political and an economic perspective.

In Europe (politically):
By being bound to the EU, UN and NATO the USA won't get any help during the first weeks. There'd be a huge confusion and power struggle, because one of the two global power countries are off topic
suddenly. Russia and China will increase their political and economic influence in Europe and worldwide.
Russia, China and the EU (maybe France, UK and Germany as representatives of the EU) might be the first ones who respond to the USA but it will be very difficult to start a discussion with a country
called USA once, its harder to talk to six presidents than to one.

Worldwide (politically):
The whole world will struggle, there'd be much more activities worldwide to fight against the One World idea. Many population groups will split up with the countries they belonged to.
Many of the US soldiers overseas will built up a new home right where they are. They'll try to deal with the new situation and help to keep law and order as a part of the community they live with and
not as part of the former US government.

Economically (in Europe and worldwide):
OMG, I really don't know very much about economic systems and its effects, but here is my guess:
First of all the world will have to rebuild the collapsed stock exchange and countervail against the loss of the USA as a trading partner. But after a long time of disorder and many new economic
agreements the world will find new ways of trading and return to business as usual then.

2) How would you defend yourself in Germany when firearms are so difficult to own?

We'll take hands, knifes and other stuff that hurts as a first response. Stealing firearms will be the next level. The best protection is a very good strategy to avoid violent situations, of course.

3) Who might you need to defend yourselves against? Auslanders (foreigners) that already live there, auslanders (foreigners) coming across your borders, or fellow Germans?

We have to defend of all enemies that want to hurt us in any way. It doesen't matter, where they come from... The worst enemy might be your best friend, who knows? Never be the first one who starts a
fight, but be the first one to stop it!!!

4) What is your concept of a "retreat", a place where you could be safe during a crisis situation?

Hide somewhere in the mountains or in the forests (or in the basement, that's the most will do i think), settle down in rural areas. Avoid big cities and public shelters. Take care of yourself and
the ones you love and not of the community. YOU and YOUR beloveds have to survive, so do anything you can do to achieve it!!!

5) How might you produce your own food when most of the land in Europe is already developed? The potential issue being that it would be better to grow crops or livestock away from other people, and
that could be very hard in most of Europe due to population density.

Yes, you are totally right.
We'll start stealing supplies from whomever we know during the first weeks but then we'll have to take what nature gives to us and start agriculture for ourselves. Most of the survivors will turn
into vegetarians for a very long time ;-).

6) How concerned are you about Pandemic Flu as a threat? Do you think most Germans share this opinion?

Not that much. There were many news about Pandemic Flus and other diseases the last few years (most of them were totally exaggerated or quixotic) but none of them approximately killed as many people
as our daily diseases do.

I guess most people share this opinion (not only Germans ;-) ), because most of us know from their own families, friends or jobs many kinds of diseases that kill those we love and a Pandemic Flu is
too abstract (we only know it from history, the news or movies) to hit our daily life.

My first contribution to the Jericho community, it was the
"SAVE JERICHO :: Fans invading TNT" thread on the TNT boards
the day Jericho was cancelled

Monday, September 3, 2007

A Monster Fan Interview: Morgan

I haven't known Morgan very long but I am impressed with what I see. She is creative and is always hosting, planning, or thinking of new games to get people involved. She is also helpful, inspiring, motivating, and fun. Please meet Morgan.

1. When did you start watching Jericho? What made you want to watch?

Since I no longer own a TV set, we found out about Jericho in a rather round about way. My roommate [JRP's Doratea] was playing AoL's GOLD RUSH game. In one section, it asked a question in regards to this new TV show called "Jericho" on CBS. She watched a couple of episodes in order to get the answer she needed, and I was watching with her. By the time we got through the first four episodes, we were hooked and eagerly awaited the weekly show on Innertube. Doratea actually discovered the show before I did, but we're both big fans. I would say the first half of the season was just ending when I came into the show, but we watched and re-watched those first 11 episodes time and time again.
I guess what first caught my eye was the 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner Jake's driving. I grew up with those big muscle cars, and never lost my love for them. Then I saw Gerald McRaney was in the show, and Pamela Reed. Both are superb actors, and two of my favorites. Thirdly, who could turn away after seeing the image of the boy watching the mushroom cloud? That was an inspired bit of advertising! Very eye-catching for anyone who grew up in the 1960s with the Cuban Missile Crisis and Cold War. I remember "Duck & Cover" from elementary school. Once I saw that image, I HAD to know what the show was about. From the name, I actually thought it might be a religious program like "Touched By an Angel." I'm so very glad I took a second look; I've loved it since the first episode.

2. How did the idea for Jericho Cooks begin? What will be in the cookbook?

JERICHO COOKS: Food for the Post-Apocalyptic World came about when I was going through my cookbooks looking for something, I don't even remember what. I happened across a "fan produced" cookbook for a STAR TREK club I belonged to once, and then a few more from other fan groups. I got the thought, "Maybe we should do one for Jericho." The idea percolated a couple of days, then I brought it up in front of some folks on Jeritopia. Greeneyes371 was there, and seemed to think this was a good idea. She said she'd helped create cookbooks before, so we started talking. Railroadbrat was also interested, and both seemed to think it a worthwhile project. We began to get serious about it. Sarork came in later on, and offered some great ideas, so we hi-jacked her into the Jericho Cooks Committee.
I must be honest and say most of the hard work on this project has been done by Greeneyes371. She's handled everything from researching printers and costs, to layout, to the webpage -- it's all been her hard work. I mostly came up with the idea and wrote a few things. She has been the backbone of the whole cookbook. I can truthfully say, without her there would be no cookbook.
There will be seven sections to the book: Back to Basics, Foods that Last, Outdoor Cooking, Recipes in Retrospect, Food Preservation, Nuts Recipes and Waste Not/Want Not. Most of these recipes can be made in a standard kitchen, with the exception of the Outdoor Cooking, which is designed for camping out. Many people donated recipes that literally cover soup to nuts, including some that use MREs as ingredients. We even have some Native American recipes. We're hoping the cookbook will make an interesting, fun addition to any collection. What makes it even nicer is all these recipes were donated by JERICHO fans. Even the NutsOnline folks donated a recipe! The cover art was designed by a Jericho fan, and we'll be including inspirational and other quotes from Jericho fans.
So, this cookbook is created by Jericho fans with the help of Jericho fans and made for Jericho fans. The website is www.jerichocooks.com -- check it out!

3. What do you like most about JRP?

Hard question to answer. I like lots of things about all the boards. With JRP, I have to say it's the actual, physical design which makes JRP my online "home." It's easy to negotiate, and I don't get lost. The design lends itself well to things I particularly enjoy, i.e., the Fan Fiction Board. The way it's set up, it makes it easier to keep stories and the comments separated from each other, and that makes it nicer for readers as well as writers. JRP members are another thing I like about the forum, although many of us are members of other forums as well as JRP. JRP has always had a warm, friendly atmosphere, sadly unlike I've encountered elsewhere in online communities. Let me clarify that -- other online communities meaning forums for other things than JERICHO. The JRP staff is helpful, like the staff of all JERICHO fan forums, and go out of their way to make sure things run smoothly. As a former staffer on JRP, I can truthfully say there's no such thing as a perfect forum, but JRP tries. All in all, I like JRP because it's easier for me to get around. I've been on all a majority of other Jericho forums, and I'm pleased to say the friendliness is universal. JRP hasn't cornered the market on warmth, but it's one of the friendliest places out there. Believe me, that's not to denigrate ANY of the other forums. I really like them all for various reasons.

4. You've started a lot of games like Trivia, BlackJack Hangman, and I understand more are on the way? What is your goal in providing these games for everyone?

The original reason I started Jericho Trivia was to boost activity on the JRP Season One board. Doratea and I were the board mods, and we wanted something fun for members, and something to get them more active. There was the Character Elimination game, but not much more. Since I had started re-watching the episodes, Doratea suggested I might want to jot down a few questions, then post them on the board.
When Jeritopia opened, I thought Trivia might be something fun for fans to do while waiting for the reruns to start. People enjoyed it so much, they asked for a second night, for those who couldn't make it on Saturdays. It sort of blossomed from there into the twice weekly Trivia games. I had also created a few Word Search puzzles and Anagrams for the boards, but they wouldn't translate well to a chatrooms. However, Anagrams and Word Scrambles did, so we occasionally vary what we do on Tuesday and Saturday nights.
There are currently three new games I'm working on for the chatrooms: "Jericho Jeopardy" (with help from Kestral; all answers have to be in the form of a question), "Blackjack Hangman" (which has a few bugs yet to be worked out; it's just like the old Hanman game) and "Whose Line Was That, Anyway?" (which should be premiering Saturday night; I post a Jericho quotation and players have to tell who said it and on which episode). I'm getting lots of encouragement from those who frequent Jeritopia, and I'll keep it up, as long as everyone's having fun. That's the whole idea -- fandom should be fun, and I'm going to do my best to see Jericho fans enjoy themselves.

5. You also have a blog at JRP. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

That's a totally new thing for me. I absolutely loved doing the old "Daily Inspiration" posts on JRP while I was staff, and really missed doing it after I resigned to become a JRP Rep for Coalition of the Willing. I was talking to someone on Jeritopia, and they suggested I give the blog a try. I was kind of hesitant, at first -- new things and all that nonsense! Then I re-read one of my own posts where I espoused change. I couldn't very well NOT do it after reading the words I wrote, so ... I jumped in with both feet.
Blogging isn't very much different than posting the Daily Inspiration, although I guess it's more public. I've never been one to hold back my opinions, although I strive to give as much respect and courtesy to others as I ask for myself. I think blogging is a great way to get new thoughts and personal opinions out there for people to read. It stirs the imagination and makes us think, which is never a bad thing. I enjoy writing in all ways -- fiction, fan-fic, poetry, essays, etc. -- so this is a chance for me to be heard. All writers enjoy knowing they have an audience, and having an audience makes me want to improve my communication skills. In a text-based medium, being understood is of primary importance. Without open lines of communication, things get bogged down. Blogging is a good way to keep those lines open.

6. What are some of the ways you promote Jericho?

I talk. I email my friends and tell them about JERICHO. I talk. I mention JERICHO when I'm in stores shopping, and there used to be a sign in the back window of my SUV. I got rid of that gas-hog, though, and haven't had a chance to put the sign up in the other car we have. I still write letters to CBS and their local affiliates, letting them know I'm watching -- and that I'm not happy to see JERICHO preempted! -- and that I will keep watching as long as JERICHO is on the air. It's nice to see neighbors and acquaintances here where I live refer to Doratea and I as "the Jericho Ladies." I'm also always trying to think up new ways to promote the show. Like I've started sending original word search puzzles with JERICHO terms to the local newspaper, and I'm looking into the possibility of advertising at the local theater. There are so many ways, it's hard to list them. Mostly, word of mouth is what seems to be working best here.

7. Do you believe fans should participate on all the Jericho boards? Why or why not?

I think fans should participate where-ever they feel most comfortable participating. Each of the boards has its own appeal, and none is any better than the other. Some are easier to negotiate, while others have a warm, friendly atmosphere. The CBS boards pose problems for some folks, which is a shame since that's the best place to find information about JERICHO. Thing is, everyone's different, and every forum's different. That's what makes it so great, having all the different forums. No one should ever feel they MUST belong to this forum or that in order to enjoy JERICHO fandom.
I think Jeritopia has worked wonders by providing a place for ALL Jericho fans to gather. It's a controlled environment, where we feel safe. The CBS chat board is open to the public, which is good and bad. It's a lot of fun, but they get "trolls" there. On Jeritopia, it's a little quieter, but you know the only people there will be other JERICHO fans. We get to meet members of other boards on a "neutral" ground, and there's no pressure to stand up for whichever board you prefer.
It's good to see all the different boards support one another -- which is as it should be. We all have one thing in common, and that's a love of JERICHO. Even as diverse a group as we are, that one thing binds us together. I have been involved with numerous fandoms over the years, and I can truthfully say a more caring, loving group of people I've rarely met. It doesn't matter which board you call home, if you have need, other JERICHO fans are there for you. I've found friends in JERICHO fandom I'll keep for the rest of my life. We're a strong support group, and it really doesn't matter which forum a fan prefers. JERICHO fandom has become a family.

7. Are you a survivalist? What would you like people to know about it?

Another hard question to answer. I don't think I'm a survivalist in all sense of the word. I don't dress in cammo or go train in the woods -- although I have done it. I was taught how to hunt, fish and camp by my parents, but I've never really done it in order to survive. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say I've probably forgotten a good deal of that. So, no, not really a survivalist in the truest sense of the word.
I do believe in being prepared, yes, and I've taken a few steps to make sure we're ready in case of an emergency. Mind you, I've nothing against people who stock up on things like medicines, non-perishable foods, etc., but it all depends upon how much things cost. I don't have a huge income, so we do what we can afford.
I also think there's a place for survivalists in this uncertain world. True survivalists may end up being important to the rest of us if there's a disaster of the JERICHO magnitude. I think survivalists will serve a great purpose then, and it might be best if we listen to them now. I know several people who I'd classify as true survivalists, and I've learned a great deal from them. However, I've some physical limitations which prevent me from being what I'd consider a survivalist; I couldn't, for instance, live off the land because I'm physically unable to do so. However, I have skills which will be useful, and might be able to barter with them for assistance. I'd like to think of myself as a "survivor," in that somehow I'll manage to get by. Hopefully, I'll never have to put that to the test.


Thank you for contacting me, and asking me to participate in the interview. I'm very flattered and humbled. The questions were thought-provoking and really made me sit down and look at why I'm doing what I'm doing. It was fun, and I look forward to seeing how other folks answer your questions. I've never been interviewed before, so this was a totally new experience for me. Thank you for the opportunity, and I hope I haven't made TOO many typos!!