The Hello Sweetie Podcast is a local, all-girl, all-geek podcast with four hosts: Cherri, Rebecca, Danielle, and Kristal. The ladies dabble in all things geek, from Dr. Who to video games (one of the four is even a Wonder Woman-esque mama in college). They were kind enough to record a forty-five minute interview and send us the results. What ensued was entertaining, enlightening, and fun. Much like their podcast.
How did the podcast begin?
Cherri, the creator shared the group’s origin story: “We were all friends” and “we were all really nerdy, and we were talking about what kind of nerdy stuff we like. My husband at the time started a podcast, and I thought it was really cool, and we were actually all listeners of podcasts.” They all listened to one local podcast in particular, the Geek Show. Geek Show panelist Lee George Kade responded to criticism that their show didn’t feature enough women, and said that (according to Cherri) “females should feel comfortable starting a geek podcast.” As she puts it, “I took that as a call to action.” She posted a call for members on the Geek Show’s Facebook page, and the rest is history. Well, sort of.
After losing one member (Jen), they gained Danielle, and since then the four women have been going strong. Really strong. They were recently featured in the City Weekly Best of 2013 list.
Were they always geeks?
The “Sweeties” answered with a resounding “yes.” While their childhood geekiness varied, it was ever-present. Rebecca was always “into books and shit,” and Danielle grew up on Star Wars. Cherri’s dad was a “hardcore Trekkie” who introduced her to theatre and comic books, and for Kristal it’s a surefire sign you’re a nerd like her “when you’re with your friends and all you can think about is getting home and finishing your book.” Kristal explained how ultimately, “everybody has always been a geek their whole life. You just gotta find their geek.” The ladies took their creative quirks and interests from adolescence and channeled them into the podcast for our listening pleasure.
Do the geek dudes hassle you?
Growing up geeky isn’t always easy, and it’s no secret that working in a male-dominated field can be stressful as hell, but fortunately for the ladies they’ve found support from most of the male geeks in Salt Lake City. There are a few exceptions, and according to Danielle, “We do get some flak from some people. From that group of geeks who think we get where we are cause we’re girls,” but for the most part they were all incredibly proud of the local support they’ve received. A big shout out to one of their main sponsors, Dr. Volt’s Comic Connection, a place where the ladies love hanging out and connecting with other fans of comics, movies, and video games.
In the end, they ultimately want recognition from critics and fans for their geek credentials, not their sex.
What do you think about representations of female characters in video games and comics?
The ladies were hesitant to embrace the feminist label throughout the interview, but consistently levied feminist critiques. In particular they echoed common concerns over the representation of women in comics and video games. Danielle described the plot of a survivor’s revenge in the new Tomb Raider video game and said, “It’s stupid. Why does a female character need to get almost raped or molested or anything? Why in the hell does that have to play any part of it? Why can’t she just be strong from the get go?” And Kristal Star asked an age-old question,“Women characters, why can’t they just be strong characters?”
When asked about their favorite female characters and celebrities a clear theme emerged: the Sweeties dig quirky women who don’t take shit from anyone. Liz Lemon and Jennifer Lawrence are two of their favorites, because both women aren’t afraid to munch on some good grub or crack hilarious jokes. They liked women with whom they could identify (hint, hint, media creators!).
Who is your dream Hello Sweetie guest and where would you like the podcast in one year?
In true geek fashion they agreed that an interview with a legend like Stan Lee or George Lucas would be supreme, but they’d also like to host someone like actress Felicia Day, because, as Cherri explained, “she had one a lot for women in the [geek] genre.” The Sweeties all have a full-time day job or two, and would love to see their podcast become more self-sustaining. They were fortunate enough to receive donations for their last comic con trip, but would prefer a more sustainable donation and sponsorship stream.
Why you should listen!
Each member of the podcast brings their own set of expertise and wit to the show; whether it’s video games, low-budget horror flicks, or comic books, the Sweeties have something for everyone. They know good female characters when they see ’em and are well-aware of the problems facing women working in geek culture, and the characters within the fictional world. Cherri, Rebecca, Danielle, and Kristal recorded more answers than we can reasonably transcribe, but know this: Salt Lake City is damn lucky to have four knowledgeable females recording such a hilarious podcast.
If you want to get your fix for all things geek, give the Hello Sweetie Podcast a listen. You won’t be disappointed.