REAL GEEK GIRLS: Producing And Screenwriting Twin Sisters Hayley and Alyce Adams
The goal of my “Real Geek Girls” series is to show the world that girls truly can be geeky. For some, that seems like an obvious observation, but there’s always that one person, almost always a guy, who will talk about how girls are fake geeks who don’t know what they’re talking. Girls are just doing it look cool and lure in geek guys. They don’t know what it’s all about when it comes to “geek culture” and they’re somehow just there to be admired by geek guys. I’m here to let the world know that girls DO know what we’re talking about. We can be and we ARE just as geeky as the guys. Every now and again, I’ll interview a new geek girl just to highlight how many of us are out there, how real we are all. We come in all shapes and sizes, and love a many number of geeky things. I’m going to show the world that there are real geek girls, and they know as much, if not more, than the somehow more revered geek guy.
Meet Hayley and Alyce Adams, twin sisters with obsessions that we can all relate too. They’ve created a sketch comedy show called i can’t even, which is about self-proclaimed pop culture nerds. I got to interview them and learned even more about this wonderful duo.
Here’s an episode from their show (you can check out all the episodes here):
What does being a geek mean to you both?
Alyce: Alright, so we’re just diving straight into the hard questions. I think we would both say it’s a part of our identity. It’s having access to a community who love to be excited about things, who over analyse and obsess, and provides a haven from whatever else might be going on in your life. I think John Green put it best when he said, “nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. When people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.” This is also a poster we have up on set, which you can see if you look close enough in the episodes!
We still live in a time in which people think girls are being fake geeks, what’s both of your takes on all of that
Hayley: Luckily, we haven’t had to deal with too much of that negative feedback since launching the series, but I do think it can be an issue. It is such a silly thing for people to get annoyed or angry at girls about! It just means that more people out there are appreciating and sharing their love for geeky things – they’re not taking it away from those “true geeks”. It is also problematic that people think girls are faking it in order to somehow impress boys? I mean, I love Star Wars, but that love is for Leia and not a desire to impress a guy!
Alyce: It’s really frustrating when people have that viewpoint, because being a geek is not a gender-based identity. You should be able to look and act however you want. The only thing that should matter is if you actually like geeky content. I think someone like Felicia Day is doing a lot of hard work and good to rectify this sexist perception.
Tell us a little about ‘i can’t even’.
Hayley: i can’t even. is a sketch comedy web series, created by myself and Alyce about two self-proclaimed pop culture nerds. It stars Louise Cox as Em and Tiana Hogben as Lex. Living vicariously through their favourite cult fandoms, the show explores such obsessions as The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who to name a few in each episode.
What are some of both of your obsessions?
Alyce: Well, I feel like our web series makes that pretty obvious. Everything in the background, the posters and props, were already owned by us. We bought maybe 10% for the show (Edward Cullen being our biggest investment – I wish we did own him before. Would have saved us a lot of time trying to find him.) Our biggest and longest obsession has been Harry Potter. We were travelling in Europe when Deathly Hallows came out, and Hayley and I made our parents drive us to the nearest town so we could buy it the day it came out, and we proceeded to spend the whole time in our tent reading the book. I think we were in Portugal, but it could have been France, because we never went outside to look. I don’t know whose camping scenes were more interesting. Harry’s or ours. At least we had the option to take a break from the monotony.
You guys recently won the award for Best New Talent at the Online Video Awards Australia, what was that feeling like?
Hayley: The awards were great fun because they were in Melbourne, where we live and made the series. So we had a bunch of our cast and crew there, who all cheered when our name was read out. It was also really cool, because the 2014 Online Video Awards was where we first decided to make our own web series. So it was nice to come full circle!
Do you both make appearances in any cons outside of Australia? What do you normally talk about?
Hayley: We love going to cons! We started about 6 years ago, when we went to a Harry Potter Convention (Azkatraz 2009) and got hooked. We’ve since been to a bunch more – most amazingly Comic Con in San Diego! The panels are always so amazing and we just love being surrounded by our fellow geeks. It was pretty funny when we actually did our own little panel at AMC Expo in October (Australian Movie & Comic Expo) about the series – it was so cool but also a little weird. I mean, our series is about being the people at the con, not about being the people on the stage! But people were really lovely and it was great to screen a few episodes to people who truly understand. So far that’s the only ‘appearance’ we’ve done, but we would love to do more. If you’ve got any contacts with Comic Con, please pass on their details. We promise to be mildly amusing.
If you both could do production on a show, any show, which show would you guys pick and why?
Alyce: I would love love love to be on Buffy. So I guess in this hypothetical we would also have to resurrect Buffy, and then get myself in the writers room, which I would totally be cool with. C’mon, Netflix. Gilmore Girls now, Buffy next, yeah? I wouldn’t need to do anything; just being in the same room as Joss Whedon would be enough. I own a lot of the script books from the show and have listened to all the commentaries for the episodes. I don’t think I could string together a coherent sentence if this was to actually happen, but my enthusiasm would be evident.
Did you both attend school for production and screenwriting or is it just a passion that’s developed into your career?
Hayley: Alyce and I both recently completed Masters at the Victorian College of the Arts, for Screenwriting and Producing respectfully. Previously, we hadn’t been super serious about pursuing film and television, but I think we spurred each other on once we discovered the Masters degrees! Then, as we got closer to the end of the courses, and had built up our skills and knowledge, we realised that the web was calling to us. We just wanted to start working together as soon as possible and find out what we could achieve. We’ve always been really close, so although it has been a bit stressful, it’s always been fun too!
Any new projects you guys are working on?
Alyce: A second season is always on our minds, but if we were to do it, we’d want it to be bigger and better (CGI! Fire! Wire stunts!), so it’s a matter of working out the logistics. We did just finish filming a Christmas episode to tide people over, which we’re pretty excited about. It has Star Wars baubles, Doctor Who jokes, and a surprise appearance from Edward Cullen – What more could you want? (Probably to lose Edward, but he has a thing about leaving. Backfired on him once and now you can’t get rid of him.)
What’s your advice to all the girls out there who might be embarrassed to show off their geeky side?
Alyce: I get that. It’s hard, especially during high school. I remember being so worried about people finding out how much of a nerd I was for Harry Potter, but now it doesn’t bother me at all. I’ll tell them instead. I think it’s a part of growing up and learning to be comfortable with who you are, but also finding people who are into the same things as you. Thankfully, times are changing and being a ‘geek’ has become more acceptable. Look at how successful superhero movies or The Force Awakens is! I would say if you’re embarrassed, go to events like local comic cons where being a geek is the norm. It’s the one place you really don’t need to worry about people judging you for being weird.