One Geekified Interview: Roy (Moving the Needle)

Its time for another awesome interview! I know just how much you love them! Lets wait no longer and just jump right in! Thank you for participating Roy! Unfortunately could never get squared away with your other podmate but this was still a fun and awesome interview.

Hope you all enjoy!

Tell us about yourself. Anything you would like to share with us.

This is always a tough question because I never know what’s interesting.  I turn 40 next month (April).  I’ve been married for almost 15 years to my bride, Dawn.  I have a five-year old named Amelia and a one year old named Corinne.  I am one of ten kids (#8).  I’m a Taurus; but for the life of me, I have no idea what the hell that means.

I am from Winchester, Massachusetts.  Winchester is less than ten miles from Boston.  It’s the kind of town that hasn’t changed very much over time, and I think that’s a lot of its appeal.  It’s a beautiful place, and I love the small town feel.  It’s hard to believe that in Fall 2016, I’ll be gone 20 years.  I have a lot of great memories there.  It’s a great place to raise a family, but you’ll get sticker shock looking at the real estate.

I work in purchasing at Gulfstream Aerospace.  I served four years in the United States Army as a Communications specialist from 1996-2000.  My last official day was exactly a year before the World Trade Center towers fell.  I earned my Bachelor’s degree last year.  I am porcelain white, so I don’t like the sun or the smell of sunblock very much.

I worked at a video store starting at age 15 at Uptown Video.  It was such a great job, and I feel sad for the millennials who never had the opportunity to go to a brick and mortar store to find their movies.  Yes, you can argue that finding movies online is more efficient.  However, you don’t have that person who can filter what you like and recommend things based on your preferences.  The co-owner, Dom DiVincenzo took a chance hiring me because of my age.  I hope he doesn’t regret it.

How has social media impacted your life?

Social media is the most surprising thing about podcasting.  I’m a really competitive person, so I thought other shows would be too.  If you’re an outsider, know that the podcast community is the most helpful group of people.  They are not your competitors, and they will do what they can to help when you need it.

Personally, I would have very little to connect me to my hometown if it weren’t for social media.  I don’t talk on the phone very much, so it’s nice to see in a paragraph how people are doing.  I get to see important updates (good news and bad), pictures of family and friends, and it’s my source of news.  What I don’t like are the people who use it as their blogs.  It takes two minutes to start a blog and less to link a post using social media.

Overall, I like how it gives me the byline on how everyone is doing.  There are some people who overuse it, but it’s a good way to check in on everyone. It’s also done a lot to help get the word out there for Moving the Needle.

Who inspired you to be the geek you are today?

This may be my most boring answer (wink).  This honor goes to Sean.  He was the one who challenged me to leave my comfort zone when it comes to film.  He and I went to films I never would have seen on my own: Stonewall and Basquiat are two of them.  I also had to learn to fight for my opinion with him.  Before, I got away with making a statement without much debate.  Sean’s a shark when it comes to debate, and it really helped me when writing papers at school.  It was no accident that he was the call I made when I wanted to start a podcast.

My family also supported my geekdom. My Dad made me a Captain America shield when I was in Kindergarten. It was made from cardboard and leftover carpet. My folks never dissuaded me from buying comics, and thank God they never knew how much I spent.

My older brothers and sisters were also great at taking me to the movies. I didn’t miss out on many movies, and it was mostly because of them.
Going into adulthood, Sean took my geek to the next level. For those who don’t listen to MTN, he and I started the show together (and so on)

If you could give a geek from this generation advice what would you say to them?

My advice is more of a lecture.  I would say this is the best time to be a geek.  You have so many outlets to let your freak flag fly.  Just enjoy it and don’t be stingy with your knowledge.  And most importantly, don’t be afraid to start a blog, podcast, or whatever venture you want to come up with.  Fear will keep you from doing your best work or missing a great experience (I can write a book on this).  Fuck fear.  Expect the first ones to not be your best.  We’ve all been there.  And be open to help.  Your project is a journey.  You’re going to cringe about some of what you did when you go back.  Keep moving forward.  Ignore the critics.  Especially if you are your worst one.

If you had to give up one geeky hobby what would it be? And what would you replace it with?

I’ve given up a lot of geeky hobbies already.  It happens when you choose your kids over self interests.  When they’re more into their worlds, I would love to go back to being an avid sports fan.  I don’t miss many football games on TV, but I used to enjoy watching sports like hockey and baseball.  I don’t go to live events anymore.  I would also like to watch more TV and movies.  It’s embarrassing to be a podcast co-host and have to admit the movies I haven’t seen.

If there was one thing that you could change about geek culture what would you change and why?

People berating other people over their opinions.  It’s one thing to say someone’s wrong over an incorrect detail.  It’s another to hear someone cut another because they disagree over an opinion.  It’s bad humanity and not just bad podcasting.

Where can my readers reach you?

The show is @mtnpod on Twitter, facebook.com/mtnpod, or you can e-mail us at mtnpodcast@gmail.com.

If you want to reach me personally, I am @roymac75.  

As geeks we have all been ridiculed at some point in our lives. How did you cope with that and how has it affected you as an adult? 

Thankfully, I have a great deal of self-esteem, and I’ve always taken criticism as a motivator to get better.  I used to hate one of my jobs with a passion.  Instead of being a cancer, I used it to push myself to study harder, write better papers, and earn my degree.  Complaining doesn’t do much for you than give you a reputation as a complainer.  My best advice is if you don’t like where you are, do something about it.  

Do you have any hobbies that aren’t considered to be in the Geek realm if so what?

No.  Fantasy sports makes sports geeky.  I don’t do it anymore, but I used to love it.  And we were hard-core.  We would write articles making fun of other owners.  My brother used to take my picture and paste it on top of a picture of a male showing affection towards another male.  You can say he helped coin the phrase NSFW over a decade ago.  He also used to push the rules to the point where I had to slap him down as the Commissioner.  I liked that part.  For some reason, I haven’t been in a league in a few years.  I hope to pick it back up in 2015.

Tell us about the podcast Moving the Needle? How did the name come to be?
MTN

Moving the Needle is a geek culture show with different topics.  Most of them are movie-related, but we discuss books, music, and television as well.  We have shows about What’s Moving the Needle.  That’s what we call our entertainment news shows.  We recently added Book to Film shows so people can hear the differences without the huge time investment.  We thought that might be interesting to people.  They’re the most work, but they’re fun to record.  For example, 50 Shades of Grey took about 20 hours of prep, and most of it was torture (the book is awful). We try to make our audience feel entertained and more informed after each episode.

The name Moving the Needle comes from my fandom of Tony Kornheiser.  He’s the co-host of Pardon the Interruption, and he has a radio show part of the year in Washington, DC.  He also had a national radio show in the slot Colin Cowherd has now on ESPN.  He occasionally uses the term moving the needle when talking about something important.  I threw it out there as a name, and we couldn’t find anything better, so we used it.  When we were on Media Meltdown, I did a Previously on…  segment with funny bits of the previous shows like on Kornheiser’s radio show.  I hesitate to revive it on Moving the Needle because there are weeks I may not be able to do it, and we want to be consistent.

Have you done any other podcasts that are no longer around? If so (if you care to share) What happened?

Sean and I had another show, the Synesthesia Podcast.  It was more about individual movies then.  I didn’t know it at the time, but Sean developed a really serious medical condition where he couldn’t keep podcasting for a time, so that ended.  It was sad, but I like our Moving the Needle concept.  There’s no telling if we would’ve changed directions like we did without that time away.

Sean and I were also part of the Media Meltdown Podcast.  We mostly did the news show, the Newsroom.  We occasionally did their High-5 show as well.  We took a break when we started Moving the Needle, but we come back when we can.  They are @mediameltdownpo.

What are some of your favorite Podcasts to listen to? Did any of them inspire you to start/join a podcast of your own?

This is always a tough one for me because you forget one or two, and feelings get hurt.  The three I listen to first are Dark Angels and Pretty Freaks, The Podcast Digest, and How Is This Movie?.

For the one or two people who don’t know, Neil and Annaleis are as genuine and awesome as they sound on their show.  They are completely different from what I usually listen to, and they will always be a part of my week.

Dan from the Podcast Digest is also equally awesome.  I took his advice on some tech stuff, and they were as good as advertised.  He also has a good ear for podcasts.  I like his interviews a lot, but I want more of his older style shows.  He has a lot of good things to say, and I hope to have him on Moving the Needle more.

I don’t know Dana as well, but I am in awe of his show.  I think what he is doing now is brilliant.  He looks at a movie differently than I do, and I really like that.  I think what he’s done in the last year is definitely award-worthy.  I would love to record with him sometime.

I also love No Totally!  I had a blast recording Inglorious Basterds with them too.  Green Up Gaming has great TV talk, and I love Phillip’s stories.  I’m new to 7 Days a Geek.  They do great work and some creative things.  I discussed Media Meltdown before.  I listen to them.  I love the Newsroom the most.  There are more that I enjoy, and please don’t be mad if I didn’t mention you.

Tell us a little bit about your podmates  

  I met Sean when we used to go to the General Cinemas (now the AMC 10) in Burlington, Massachusetts.  I eventually got a job there, and that’s where I also met Dave.  I can’t remember if I met Bayleigh through the video store first or when I was her camp counselor.  Her Mom and Dad, Ann Marie and Bill, are among the kindest people I know.  I think there’s only been one visit back to Winchester in 19 years where I couldn’t stop for dinner at their house.  Meg and I went to High School together, and I bugged her on Facebook a while back to come on our show.  Both Meg and Bayeligh are film school graduates.

Boo you’re a Patriots fan! (Just kidding) What makes you like this team more than any others? Did you watch this years super bowl?

Because I grew up in New England, I have always liked the Patriots.  I also cheered for the Buffalo Bills when the Patriots were terrible, but I would’ve gladly given them up to be able to cheer for the Pats in the playoffs.  Before Belichick and Brady, that didn’t happen much.

Being a Patriots fan is awesome.  I probably get in at least one debate a week with someone who thinks Manning is better than Brady.  The debate has certainly died down since February (hahahahaha!).  I know the nation has loved them and thrown them away, but how can you hate a quarterback that gave back around $60 million to make the team better?  I can understand you rebelling against Belichick, but he’s amazing.  If you don’t believe me, watch the two-part A Football Life and get back to me.  You can say Spygate all day, but if he was doing it; you can bet more than half the league was too.

Hell yeah I watched the Super Bowl.  It’s amazing that I didn’t wake the entire house when Malcolm Butler intercepted the ball.  I was pacing around the house like a maniac thinking we were going to lose that game.  It was worth all the Deflate-gate talk to see that.  You can say what you want about the Patriots, but they play 60 minutes of football and haven’t played a Super Bowl in over a decade that didn’t go to the last-minute.

I probably didn’t change one mind writing this.  That’s fine.

What are your favorite tv shows to watch? Do you have any guilty pleasures?

Bar Rescue is my favorite right now.  I love Jon Taffer.  He can’t be bullshitted, and he seems to be able to fix any cancer in a business.  He renovates the business, but his best work is changing the bad attitudes.  This show is on Spike, and you’re welcome.

I also have a deep love for Shark Tank.  I thought the show was going to get too emotional at the beginning of this season, but things seem back to normal.  I wish Barbara Corcoran could be there for every episode with the other sharks.  There’s more in-fighting now, and that is interesting too.

What made you want to purchase Silicon Valley and Fargo?

I want to discuss them on the show.  I love Mike Judge’s work, and Fargo was a great movie.  Plus, I think they’ll be great.  Our goal is to link our listeners to good or great shows, books, and movies.

I still have to finish Silicon Valley and begin Fargo.  Silicon Valley didn’t hook me immediately like I expected it to, and I started House of Cards and liked it more.  House of Cards is a total guilty pleasure, but it’s great too.  It’s one of the few shows that makes me like it enough to binge-watch.

Tell us about your “Happy Place” 

Movie theaters have always been the place where I can ignore my phone and relax.  I love being home, but I can name six things or more at any time that are unfinished, and it’s not as relaxing.  I like the big screen, comfortable chairs, cooler air conditioning temperatures, and the dark.  I want a media room with no windows if we ever live in another house.

Being from Boston do you have any favorite sports teams?

Besides the Boston teams?  Not really.  I love all the professional Boston teams except for the soccer team.  I don’t like soccer very much with the exception of when Amelia plays.  She’s better than 95% of the boys in her age group, and that’s awesome.  I like the Seahawks because of Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson when they don’t play the Patriots.  I would like the Jacksonville Jaguars more if they were more exciting.  I live two hours or so from there, and I lived there for a few years.  It’s also too hot to see them live until late October.  But mostly, it’s the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, and Celtics.  Oh, I do like the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars because I lived in Texas for a few years.

How does a movie Catch your eye? 

A good preview or a director/actor I like will sell me.  Sometimes I watch things because they move the needle.  I would never have read or seen 50 Shades of Grey if I wasn’t a podcaster. I don’t have a more complicated formula than that.  I try to be open-minded.  I also have to be realistic that I can’t go out for three movies a week like I could when I was younger.

What was it like working for a movie theater?

Hellish at times.  People don’t like paying concession stand prices for things.  If the theaters have to forward the box office receipts to the studios, how else are they going to pay for these megaplexes?  Mostly, it was fun.  We were usually able to have early showings of the bigger movies, and it’s always fun to watch them with fellow movie geeks.  I would love to have the time to rip tickets here for the experience, so I can see what’s changed.  When I was there, movies were digital but still on reels.  I’d like to see today’s machinery.

Do you have a Man crush on Tom Brady? But seriously what makes you like Tom Brady as a professional athlete?

It would appear so, wouldn’t it?  I’m not a jewelry guy, but I’m really into his rings.  He’s from California, but he has so many Boston traits.  He has a chip on his shoulder.  He loves to win.  He sacrifices to win.  I understand that when you only get to pay only a little attention to him, he can seem like a whiner.  As I wrote before, he’s given up top-dollar to have better players around him.  He’s done more with less experienced players than anyone as talented as him.  He’s always prepared, and he shows up in big moments.  I sometimes wonder what I would think of him if he wasn’t our quarterback.

 

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