So have a special interview this time. When I was first taking tentative steps into figuring out who I was I stumbled upon a series of videos by Vera Wylde offering advice and tips on a variety of subject. I then found out that Vera could also be found at council of geeks offering her take on pop culture and I was more thrilled. Vera is smart, funny and experienced and a must check out.
1)you have multiple channels and many videos on youtube, what made you decide to start making videos and what has the biggest change you have seen over the years?
Well the reason I started is kind of different
for each type of video I put up. The first things I ever put on YouTube were
performance videos from drag and burlesque shows, and that was a type of self
promotion. Later I started putting up the cross dressing advice videos because
I wanted to provide the kind of information I wish I’d had in my early days of
dressing. When Council of Geeks started it was as a vehicle for scripted
shorts, with the ones of me rambling at the camera initially being filler until
I realized how much easier that kind of content was for me to make and how much
I liked doing it. So each type of video kind of had its own reason for coming
As for what’s changed… at this point just the sheer volume of content I suppose. Video creation has become the default activity that I do during what would otherwise be “free time.” As far as the time I sink into it, it’s effectively like having a second job which is something I wouldn’t have called.
2) You have a lot of coverage of doctor who on your channels. who was your first doctor and when did you see the show first?
So I know somewhere along the line when I was in grade school I caught a snippet of a show on PBS at another friend’s house, I think it was the Fifth Doctor. I just didn’t get it at all. What I consider to be my proper introduction to the show came during my honeymoon to London. During a bit of down time my wife at the time opted to take a bath and I started flipping through channels. I stopped when I saw an Ood, because (and this is reveal just how big of a nerd I am) it reminded me of the Mind Flayers from Dungeons and Dragons. So I caught maybe the last 2/3rds of The Satan Pit, and when the 10th Doctor is being lowered into the pit, reaches the end of the cable, and says “Could be miles to go yet. Or it could be 30 feet… I could survive 30 feet,” that was it. I told myself “I need to dig into this thing as soon as we’re back home.” Been a huge fan of the show ever since.
3) you put out a book Skirting gender. what did you learn about writing and yourself why you were doing it? Do you have any other books in you?
I probably learned more about the editing process than the writing process, because the style of that book is very conversational. I really just wrote down the way I would have communicated the same things in a video, with maybe a bit more details to account for no visual component. Bringing in an editor was much more formative experience in terms of the value of a second opinion and just how much structure and things like chapter order can impact things. I’ve definitely got more writing in me. I’ve published a play script called When She Wakes, which is up on Amazon, and I’m working on finalizing a fantasy novel which I’m hoping to get out in 2020.
4) You make a habit of covering lgbt+ issues even on your channels that cover a lot of mainstream pop culture, why did you decide to do that and have you received any push back?
So on the Council of Geeks channel I came out as gender fluid and admitted to being Vera Wylde at the start of 2018. And in many ways that was a practical decision. Council of Geeks had passed Vera Wylde in subscribers and I honestly didn’t know how big it might get, and it was a legitimate concern to me that I’d get recognized and outed by someone else. If that happened it would appear as though I was ashamed, and I’m not. So I made the decision to come out on my own terms, and a big part of the timing was just to ensure I headed the whole thing off. I didn’t know what would happen, and I was bowled over by the support I got. And once I was out, that empowered me to talk openly about those topics on that channel, whereas before that it felt out of place to do. I’m happy to say I’ve gotten very little pushback from my own audience, although talking about these things has put me on the radar of other YouTubers whose subscribers have descended on my comment section a few times over the last year and a bit.
5) You have wrote books, performed at shows, and do youtube videos – which of these is the most rewarding for you and is there any creative outlets that you would like to try that you haven’t yet?
Honestly they’re all rewarding for me in different ways, otherwise I wouldn’t juggle so much stuff and would focus on fewer things. My videos usually have a quick turn around which give me a boost by allowing me to create a finished thing quickly and that’s always a little jolt of satisfaction. Performances give me the direct audience feedback I love so much, plus allow me to indulge in attention because I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was a big factor. And the written works satisfy that desire to craft and refine something over time. I suppose the books are what I’m proud of, but I could never give up the rest. There isn’t a ton of stuff that I want to do but never have. Some stuff has dropped away a bit, and it’d be nice to do a bit more modeling or acting again but I’ve at least dabbled in pretty much everything I feel drawn to.
6) where would you see yourself in 5 years
Ideally by then I’ll be making a sustainable living off my creative pursuits alone, between videos, books, and whatever else I can get going on the side. That’s been the pipe dream for a long time but it’s becoming more viable. I’m not there yet but I’m going to keep pushing towards that.
7) if people want more info or to check out your channels where should they go?
The most frequent updates go to the Council of Geeks YouTube channel, but you can also find things on the Vera Wylde channel and the recently launched Break Room of Geeks. My written work is available through Amazon and Ingram (which means your local bookstore or library can get their hands on it). And I’m on Twitter and Facebook under Council of Geeks, and Vera Wylde plus @verawylde on Instagram.
Q) Q) When the zombies take over the world where will you be?
After collecting my child, her mother, and my partner I’ll be in the highest building I can reasonably reach because I can barricade the stairs as a choke point.
Q) How do you identify Jedi, lesbian, Ninja, gay, vampire, bisexual, were-wolf, transgender, pirate, asexual, fairy, aromantic, sith, intersex, Spartan, non-binary, wizard, genderfluid, time lord , queer, …? ?
Pansexual, genderfluid, Slytherin, Time Lord, queerlesque geek should about cover it.
Q) What piece of art, be it in the form of music, a book, a film or picture, do you think people must experience before they die?
I have a difficult time deciding between the novel form of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the galaxy (first two books), and the novel The Last Unicorn… so pick one depending on your preference for fantasy or sci-fi.
Q) Give one fact that most people would not believe about you?
I think the fact that I have an 8 year old daughter tends to throw off pretty much everybody who hears it for the first time. Not sure why. But if you wanted something that isn’t already semi-public knowledge… I dunno… I don’t have a single tattoo maybe? People seem to expect me to have them.
Want to support Paper Phoenix ink join our Patreon