Welcome back for the conclusion of our chat with model and entrepreneur Kato, one of three judges on Steampunk’d, the new steampunk reality game show from GSN.
Read part one here.
Airship Ambassador: As a judge on the show, what were the factors you used in assessing each contestant’s work?
KATO: Their understanding of the steampunk aesthetic, their ability to apply their own take on it and their craftsmanship with creating something of quality with limited tools and materials.
AA: How often was there some involved discussions amongst the judges in choosing a winning, or losing, design?
KATO: Every bloody episode! The amount of back and forth between Matt, Thomas and I was insane. We were allocated on-camera time to deliberate but the behind-the-scenes discussions continued and often ended in yelling at each other.
AA: Now THAT would be entertaining to watch! Of course, all the viewers would be yelling back from their couches and chairs, too. What are some memorable moments you had during filming?
KATO: The energy became more and more intense each episode as the contestants were put under greater pressure, so in attempt to counteract that, there was often a lot of banter and humour between the other judges and I and sneaky jokes with the contestants. By the end of filming, we had several inside jokes and quotes and the audio tech people had to put up with all of it as we were miccd the entire time.
AA: Fellow judge, Matt King, mentioned that you and he would do Alan Rickman impressions of feedback to the contestants. We really need to get a recording of that! Were there any items that you just craved to take home with you?
KATO: Yes! I can’t spoil the show and tell you which items, but if you watch each episode, you’ll know for sure!
AA: How much did you get to interact with the contestants, other judges, and the production crew?
KATO: I could only interact with the contestants during work assessment, presentation and elimination. That was kind of brutal because I loved (almost) all of them and just wanted to hang out or assist them in their creative process. I spent A LOT of time with my fellow judges because our dressing rooms were all next to each other and a fair amount of time with the production crew, who were just fantastic.
AA: What were some challenges for you personally during the filming?
KATO: The most challenging factor was trying to make the most educated decision I could on which contestant would be the next to be eliminated based on what little time I was able to spend on set with them. I wasn’t able to witness everything that went on during each challenge, so it was painstakingly difficult at times.
AA: When people watch Steampunk’d, what would you like for them to take away from the show and what was created that they could apply to their own work?
KATO: I would hope that this show will introduce mainstream America to the genre of Steampunk and inspire people to create their own pieces and apply it to their own homes and lives.
AA: How was it coming home and getting back to your regular schedule and life?
KATO: I was happy to return home. I actually took a 5-day trip up the California coast, calling in on friends along the way and stopping at a few beaches to swim in the ocean. As soon as I arrived back in Olympia, I was packing and prepping for the next appearance at a Steampunk event in Utah.
AA: Life can be rough like that J What suggestions do you have for people who are thinking of applying for a possible season 2?
KATO: Be confident in your talent and ready to learn. Be prepared to adapt and pick up new skills as fast as possible and be ready to work under incredible pressure.
AA: Now that the show has wrapped, what comes next for you?
KATO: I’m wrapping up convention season at the end of September and then I’ll hopefully have finalized a massive new licensing deal for Steampunk Couture that’s currently in its first phases. If that goes through to completion, it’ll mean a complete business change for me. That’s all I can say at this point without jinxing myself.
Best of luck with the new venture, Kato! Thanks for joining us in this interview and for sharing all of your thoughts. We look forward to hearing about your next projects!
Keep up to date with Kato’s latest news on her website.
Also, check out her exhibit pages at The Steampunk Museum.
Follow the latest news about the show on the Steampunk’d website.