Interview with Maker, Tayliss Forge, part 2

Welcome back for part two of our chat with Tayliss Forge, one of the ten contestants on Steampunk’d, from GSN, the Game Show Network. Steampunk’d is the first steampunk reality show to be broadcast on cable television.

Part one can be read here.


Airship Ambassador: Viewers of the show know that you were eliminated in the fourth episode, but let’s start at the very beginning of the process. How did you first hear about the show and the opportunity to actually be on it?

Tayliss Forge: I first saw an ad that requested steampunk enthusiasts in various steampunk forums on Facebook. I wasn’t sure if it was for a web series or documentary, but I shot them an email with photos and didn’t think much of it. What I believe actually pushed me over the edge to be considered as contestant is that Trip Hope, the producer of the League of STEAM, recommended me for the show. I have him to thank for that.

tayliss-steampunk-sorceressPhotograph taken by Simply Colorful

AA: What was your interest or motivation to be on the show?

TF: One of my biggest motivations for being on the show is that if a company (possibly one that has no experience with steampunk) was going mainstream with something I love, I didn’t want them to screw it up. I thought that if I could be a contestant, I could have at least SOME influence to help make sure that didn’t happen.


AA: What can you share with us about the interview process that you went through with Pop Magnet, the casting company chosen by Pink Sneakers, the production company?

TF: The interview process for the show was very long and intensive. I went through about 7 different interview processes including the casting weekend. I went through various email, skype, and in person interviews where I talked about myself and my experience with steampunk. This all happened within three or four months.


AA: The final part of the selection process was a sample challenge to steampunk a common everyday item. What was your item and what did you do with it?

TF: The item that I had to “steampunk” for the casting weekend was a giant, two layered umbrella. I turned this item into a dangerous lady’s parasol, perfect for a discreet assassin. I trimmed the umbrella down so it was a single layer, but kept the tines showing from the removed layer. I then sculpted curved spikes which I placed onto the ends of the tines. I also painted the parasol to be a metallic green color and added various visually appealing aesthetics.

tayliss-steampunk-assassinPhotograph taken by Simply Colorful

AA: Once you were selected in the final ten to appear on the show, what preparations did you have to make before you left for Los Angeles? What were you leaving behind or had to put on hold while you were away for filming?

TF: I had no idea what we were going to be creating on the show. Just in case, my friend gave me a crash course on how to use various construction tools and safety tips. I was fortunate enough not to need to use these tools, but it’s still something I found useful.


There were a lot of things that I had to put on hold while I was away. Anime Expo was the week after filming ended so my costume and many of my clients’ costumes could not be completed for that event. It was sad to leave behind my personal crafting projects, but I got to use my need to craft by working on the show.


AA: Without giving spoilers, what interesting things might viewers see in the episodes you were in?

TF: One of the best things about the show is seeing the contestants make objects they had never even dreamed of, let alone in the short amount of time provided. There are a lot of amazing props and costumes that people designed that I think viewers are going to really enjoy.

tayliss-steamgoth-2Photograph taken by Simply Colorful

AA: Any memorable moments you had during filming?

TF: Many of the contestants would agree that the best thing we got out of this show is a steampunk family. Spending time with creative minds that are often on the same page is an experience you can’t always find. Moments where I saw the spark in someone’s eyes because they were creating something they were truly proud of, made me happy.


AA: What are some factors that you had in common with the other contestants or set you apart?

TF: Each of the contestants’ passion and drive to create is something we all have in common. Most of us had a great deal of knowledge about steampunk, while others had little to none at all. This passion and knowledge helped us either come together or have completely clashing viewpoints.


AA: What were some challenges for you personally during the filming?

TF: The main challenges were time and materials. Each team is given about 15 to 20 hours to completely construct nothing into something. That’s a lot of pressure. We would have these grand plans that could never unfold because the time wasn’t there. The lack of materials was one of the most difficult things to work around. I completely agree that there should be a challenge, but when basic sewing materials (such as sewing pins and interfacing) are missing, it becomes unreasonable.

tayliss-first-outfitPhotograph taken by Simply Colorful

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?

TF: When people watch the show, I want them to see passion. I believe that if someone is passionate enough about something, then they can do anything. We are all artists, we never expected in a million years that we would be on a show sharing our artwork with the world. I really hope that people are inspired to do what they love by seeing us.


AA: How was it coming home and getting back to your regular schedule and life?

TF: I was definitely ready to go home when my time came. I was thrilled to be back with my family and just rest. The transition though, was very difficult. I woke up with nightmares that I was still there and had another challenge. All I could think about was my time on the show because it was my life for a short time. Since I was crafting in such stressful conditions, it took me weeks before I could even touch a sewing machine again. My friends’ support and going to conventions helped work wonders, but it’s still hard at times to think about the show.


One more break in our chat with Tayliss.

Join us for the conclusion where she talks more about her experiences on the show


Keep up to date with Tayliss‘ latest news on her Twitter feed.

Also, check out her exhibit page at The Steampunk Museum.


Published in: on September 10, 2015 at 8:43 pm  Comments (1)  
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