In my life I’ve been a bit of a vagabond. My home was a projectionist booth for the better part of a decade watching every movie that reached theaters from the years of 1999-2009. I worked in Nintendo’s call center for two holiday seasons teaching America how a/v inputs work and laughing hysterically as we watched the first reports of Wii-motes slamming into television sets come pouring in. Off and on throughout the years I also did my pre-requisite time in a Blockbuster; gratefully I had the good fortune of eventually working at a REAL video store, Scarecrow Video in Seattle. The shop is now a non-profit archive, but it is the Library of Alexandria of video stores. Most colleges don’t offer a degree in nerd studies, but I would venture to say I’ve now accumulated enough life experience to build a career in the field. I didn’t quite realize that’s what was happening until I came to work at Nerdist.
Three and a half years ago I had the good fortune to be at the right place at the right time and fell into a job editing for Nerdist.com and the daily email newsletter Nerdist News. Working for Chris Hardwick and Nerdist.com is one of the greatest strokes of luck I will ever have the good fortune of living through. A veritable F-ton of things have happened since, from Course of the Force and being bought by Legendary to building out our gaming and music verticals, there has always been something new to do. I never stopped learning through all of these experiences and now it looks like I’m going to be able to pass that knowledge to a new generation of writers, editors, and adventurers.
I’m very happy to say that Rachel Heine will be taking over the role of Nerdist.com Editor-in-Chief as I move into a new role at Legendary Digital Networks as VP of Editorial Operations. I’ll still be working with Rachel, Chris, and the team at Nerdist, but I’ll also be helping the great teams at Geek and Sundry and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls build their websites. Watch our video above as I say goodbye and she says hello. Hello, hello.
Being the EIC of Nerdist has been a dream job and I’ve gotten to do some truly memorable stuff, like interviewing my two favorite directors, Jon Favreau and Kevin Smith. I talked to Keanu Reeves about John Wick and got him to open up to the idea of a Speed 3. This also led to me fighting hitmen in a box maze. I learned about cosplay with my friends from Sesame Street: Cookie Monster, Murray Monster and Grover. I witnessed the opening of Diagon Alley in Orlando, on that same trip I jumped into a pool fully clothed at a Beach Boys concert. At Coachella 2014, I danced on stage through the entirety of GirlTalk’s set and at one point I was weirded out to see a ten-year-old kid getting pushed to the front. As I turned to ask what kind of parent pushes their kid on stage at a GirlTalk set, I saw who his dad was. Paul McCartney can have his son dance wherever he wants. “Brian’s just going to politely dance next to the knight for a minute, thank you.” I’ve even had a chance to sing an impromptu Flash theme song for Jesse Martin. Host a large portion of a 29-hour, 11-film Marvel Movie Marathon. These are the insane things that happen when you become EIC of Nerdist.com.
Earnestly though, to all of the readers that have been with us from the start thank you. To the new readers and viewers we’re meeting daily, welcome to the Nerdist family. To the commenters on youtube and facebook, I will turn this car around and go straight home! If you want to keep up with me socially, follow me on Instagram and Twitter: @R2B2Walton
PS, Thank you to Chris Hardwick, Dan Casey, Adam Rymer, Seth Laderman, and everyone at Nerdist for working with me and trusting me with the amazing things we’ve done and are about to do. Chris Fealy, thank you for hiring me.
Rachel, you are about to have the best time of your life. Have fun.