Happy New Year from Fangasm!
To celebrate hellatus almost being over and the imminent return of Supernatural to our screens, we’re posting a few more chats from Chi Con. First up, Chad Lindberg.
We realized that we’ve known Chad for four years now, and despite many interviews, fascinating dinner discussions and even some Bourbon Street revelry in New Orleans, we’d never managed to ask him how he decided to become an actor.
Chad: I was seventeen actually. I looked through the classifieds in my hometown newspaper one day, on a whim, and saw an open audition for kids eighteen and under. My mom took me down and I auditioned for Kid Biz, an agency in Seattle. They set me up the next day and I booked my first audition.
Lynn: That’s actually really weird, it doesn’t usually happen like that.
Chad: I know, it was – I booked my first audition. And it was for a movie, an actual film, Born to Be Wild. It was between my junior and senior year – I worked on the movie over the summer. And that’s how it all started.
Lynn: So no pounding the pavement?
Chad: No, not then, the hardships never came until I was in my late twenties. It got ugly later. I had to pay for that Karma.
Luckily for SPN fans, he soon got it back.
Kathy: So what’s new, what are you working on?
Chad: Expect the third installment of Sven the Uncool Vampire.
Note: Anyone who hasn’t seen Sven, check out his blogs on YouTube and Funnyordie. We haven’t loved a vampire this much since our Anne Rice phase. *ahem*
Chad: I shot this one like a pilot. It’s 25 minutes long, you can watch it like an actual episode of the Office. We shot it all documentary style, so it’s all over the shoulder, shot very dirty. We’ll be intercutting that with interviews so it should be pretty funny. So if people are looking for a two minute video, that won’t be the case – you’ll have to be able to sit down and watch this one like a tv show. Hopefully we can make it into a web series at some point.
Lynn: We love Sven – everyone seems to love Sven.
Chad: I love Sven! I forget it’s me when I’m watching him. He’s endearing.
Lynn: How did you make him up? Were you just goofing off one day?
Chad: It was like three Halloweens ago, and I was thinking all the vampires are cool and hot and sexy, and I was like, what if I did one that was not cool and not sexy and had a lisp and wore glasses, and then it was just an experiment one night in front of my camera. I put that up and it got a good response and the next year was when we amped it up and this year, we went all out.
We point out that Sven the Uncool Vampire is actually kind of cool.
Chad: He is cool, but he doesn’t know it. Which sort of makes him endearing. Vampires are always cool, hot, and sexy – not funny and realistic. Sven is domesticated. He’s got real problems. He’s every other human.
Vampires are, of course, timely – as is anything about the supernatural. We chatted for a while about the proliferation of television series of that genre.
Lynn (frowning): There are so many of them right now, and they always use the word “supernatural”, which makes my ears perk up because I think they’re talking about Show, but alas, no.
Chad: Sometimes it’s only hype – you have to have a quality show, like Supernatural.
Lynn (grinning again): Agreed! So are you working on anything else?
Chad: I start shooting a movie next week called Decoding Annie Parker. Great cast – Samantha Morton, Helen Hunt, Maggie Grace (also Rashida Jones and Corey Stoll). I have a small part, but a memorable one.
Us: Who do you play?
Chad: I play a guy who works at a funeral parlor, and I’ll leave it at that. (evil laugh) I can’t say much more. But…..You won’t miss me.
Us: That’s a nice little teaser.
The film is getting some good buzz, so keep an eye out for it!
We asked Chad for some advice about how to use Twitter, for a director friend of ours who has just started tweeting.
Chad: Be consistent. You can do it every day, every other day, once a week. You’re in control of what you say. Tweet what you have going on. Make jokes sometimes, be serious sometimes.
Twitter seems to work very well for people who are off-the-cuff witty, able to be funny on the spot. The people who are a little more serious aren’t always as effective, it seems to us – or popular.
Chad: You’ve gotta throw some jokes out there, you’ve gotta be weird a little bit on Twitter. I call Twitter half hour comedy hour. It becomes like a soapbox for funny comments.
Lynn: I’ve also seen you tweet such nice things about fans, thanking them for their support – like “best fandom in the world!”
Chad: When you can respond to a fan, it goes so far. If I get a response from someone I admire on Twitter, I’m like ”Ohhhh!!!!! They got back to me! That’s awesome!” It just goes a long way. It feels like the fans can touch you and have some part of what’s going on.
Kathy: Is there a down side?
Chad: Somebody hacked my account the other day with something about ‘for weight loss click on this link’. So I had to change my password and stuff. I left a message back saying, ‘whoever hacked my account, kiss my ass!’
Someone had tried to hack Jared Padalecki’s Twitter account around the same time. But Kathy could go them both one better, alas.
Kathy: I had a wiki for one of the classes I teach, and someone hacked it and put up links to porn sites. So I got this frantic email from the library (they were hosting the site) like, “uhhh, we shut down your website…” .
Some of our earliest interviews with Chad, over four years ago, were about Twitter, which was brand new at the time. There’s a chapter of our upcoming book on fandom that looks at the impact of Twitter on fan/celebrity interaction, especially on Supernatural – including many of Chad’s insights. One of the topics we tackle in the book is the evolution of Twitter as a celebrity and publicity vehicle.
Lynn: For the average person who doesn’t have any fans, you don’t necessarily have any followers either. Even my own children don’t follow me! I’m just a follower – I hear what the celebrities I follow say and say nothing back. Which is so not like me, as you know.
Chad: *nods diplomatically*
Kathy: I can’t tweet. I’m just paralyzed by the idea of having to say something witty in that few characters. I mean, I have to weigh every single – not even word, but every letter has to mean something!
Chad: I go thru twitterblock where I’m like, I’ve got nothing to say at all, what should I say?? And then I go on my rampages, but hopefully they’re interesting.
A lot more interesting than anything we might have to say, that’s for sure.
Chad: But the more followers you get, the more certain people start to hate you too. I always like to make a point of that too when it happens, like retweet those comments.
Lynn: That’s probably a good idea. It’s like old fashioned bullying, if nobody takes them on, they just keep doing it. When you reach a certain level of popularity, you attract haters. Do your other followers come to your defense?
Chad: Oh yeah. I mean, I have an army, so yeah. They’ll go after the person.
Kathy: It’s nice to know that many people have your back.
Chad: It’s true, I really can feel that. Twitter can be an avenue for people to pick on celebrities now, it’s that easy to do.
Kathy: You couldn’t do that before, except by a letter which would never get to you. But if you’re doing your own Twitter, you can see anything coming in. You have to remember these are anonymous people who don’t know you, just looking for someone to hate on.
Lynn: You were one of the first of the SPN gang to have Twitter.
Chad: I was, yeah. With Supernatural, it’s a rare thing, that everyone is gonna have that built in fan base. We have more followers than some really famous people!
Lynn (iz proud): SPN fans are more passionate.
Chad: You guys are following like the number one fanbase there is.
Kathy: We’ve been called the most passionate – unfortunately we’ve also been called the “scariest” and the most “batshit crazy”.
Chad: Scariest? Batshit crazy? Not at all! I just think they’re passionate.
We agree – after all, we just wrote three whole books about it. And speaking of passion….
Lynn: Are you coming to karaoke tonite? Because Richard and Matt (Speight and Cohen, that is) said that Toronto con karaoke was good, but that it’s ‘really not the same without Chad.’
Chad: Absolutely I’m coming! That’s my boys, they are so nice – Vancon was special, it’s true – we each bring our own little thing to it. It’s so nice to hear that, that’s cool.
Kathy: We did a whole blog post about that karaoke, it was such a special feeling that night
Chad: It was a rockstar event! I tweeted the videos of me crowdsurfing. I’ll do it again tonite. And I brought a costume, very seventies.
Lunch was over by then, and Chad was off to get his outfit ready for karaoke. Look for Chad at Creation’s Salute to Supernatural in LA in March!
Catch Sven the Uncool Vampire’s latest entry on YouTube, be on the lookout for Decoding Annie Parker, and check out the awesome documentary film My Big Break, starring Chad, Wes Bentley, and a few other struggling young actors right after they landed in Hollywood and began to experience their first taste of fame, now available on Amazon. More from the My Big Break filmmaker on Fangasm coming up soon, and next up – a chat with Misha Collins. Stay tuned!