Season six of The Guild officially premiered on the YouTube channel Geek & Sundry earlier this month. I recently spoke with Amy Okuda, known for her role as ‘Tinkerballa’, about what it’s like being a part of the show and some of her favorite personal experiences.
The Guild first aired back in 2007. When you auditioned for the role, did you think this series would still be going on five years later?
Ha, definitely not. When I first got the part it was an unpaid gig that was for a YouTube video. Back then the web series barely existed either, so I was just doing it to get experience since it was my first acting gig. The way it turned out was definitely the last thing on my mind.
Why do you think it has been so successful?
Well for one, I think the subject matter (online gaming) was the perfect fit for a web series. I feel like people who spend a lot of time on the computer are more likely to browse YouTube and find funny stuff to watch. Not only that, but there is such a variety of different characters that everyone has someone they can relate to. And really, Felicia just writes some really funny stuff.
Tell me about what an average day of shooting for The Guild is like.
Pretty much like any other set, just on a smaller scale. I get to set pretty early, usually like 7 or 8 a.m. and get into hair and make up. They will probably call us for rehearsal in the middle of us getting ready and we’ll finish getting ready, and then shoot the scene! Sometimes the schedule works out where I’ll be in the first scene of the day then the last scene, so I’ll have A LOT of downtime in between. But to me, thats also the fun part just hanging out with my castmates, whether it’s just catching up, browsing Pinterest with Robin, or Sandeep showing us clips of his new web series.
If you could have your own show, what would it be about?
I’ve always said I wanted to be on a show that had another element to it besides just acting, preferably dance. I see a show like Glee and I know they work so hard and it’s tiring, but it must be so fun to go from the recording studio, to dance rehearsal, to set to shoot a scene. It keeps things really different and fun all the time I think.
I would also love to be on a show that took place in college. There are so many shows about high school kids, and then the post-grad late 20s early 30s people, but we don’t see that many shows about college students. Maybe Greek… but I can’t think of many others. And college was such an interesting and exciting time for me, I think it would be fun.
Who would you say is your favorite character from The Guild?
Definitely Vork. He makes me laugh the hardest. I just love his super dry sense of humor and Jeff Lewis in real life is the funniest man alive.
If you had to pick a single favorite scene out of the entire show thus far, what would it be and why?
My favorite scene for my character I think is when Tink tells Codex that she’s not pre-med and she designs costumes but she’s hiding it from her parents. That’s the first time I feel like we see her as a real human being (haha). And it was really fun to figure out how to play that scene without being too mushy and making it “Tink-like”.
If Tinkerballa was real, would you be friends with her?
HAHA, maybe? I do have a lot of friends that may come off “bitchy” but are really fun once you get to know them. I feel like Tink is totally like that. I feel like even I’m like that sometimes.
Do you have a real life nerdy side?
Oh man, I’m such a technology geek. Anything apple, I go crazy. I remember I went to a con with Felicia and I didn’t bring my laptop, so I ran into her hotel room and used her laptop so I could watch a little bit of the video when they announced the new iPhone before we went to our signing. She was like, “Wow, you’re such a nerd about this stuff!” It was the first time Felicia, or anyone has called me a nerd.
Is it difficult being part of a show about video games when you aren’t much of a gamer yourself? Like do you ever not “get” some of the jokes?
I definitely didn’t understand a lot of the “lingo” at first. Like I’d be shooting and be like, “Felicia, what does ‘QQ MORE’ mean?” And you know, at first people didn’t know that we were actually actors and The Guild wasn’t a reality show. So at panels or cons when people found out I didn’t game, I did get a little negative feedback from it.
It was hard at first, being thrown in to a culture that I had no idea about. Kim Evey (our executive producer) always says that me being in The Guild and learning about the gaming culture is like if Felicia Day got put on a show about sports and had to be thrown into that world. But the more I learned about it, the more I enjoyed it. Now I even walk around the booths at conventions when I have time between signings and panels!
What are some other things you like to do for fun?
Well, the most girlie, cliché thing – shopping. Haha. But I also like to take my dog Lola on hikes and different parks to play around. I also love traveling. I hate planes, but I love it once I’m at the place I want to go, haha. This year I got to travel a lot for conventions and even got to go to London and Paris for the first time. It was amazing. My favorite vacation spot is definitely Hawaii. I’m such a beach person. I’m also a huge Lakers fan. Going to a Lakers game is probably the most exciting thing in the world to me.
Tink’s manipulative ways all seemed to backfire on her in the first episode of the new season. Could this be foreshadowing to her character eventually having to turn over a new leaf?
Maybe? Haha. I don’t want to give anything away, but Tink does discover some new things this season.
Do you think Tink will ever cut Bladezz some slack?
Definitely not. Or I surely hope not.
Follow Amy on Twitter: @amyokuda