This week we are talking with Morgan Olson, who was 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.
Airship Ambassador: Hi Morgan, thanks for joining us this week.
Morgan Olson: Glad to be here
AA: What an amazing experience to be on the first steampunk reality show on TV. As a brief summary, how was it for you?
MO: Super fun! Hard, it’s very challenging to make that much in such a short amount of time, but completely worth it. The producers were nice to work with, and I think it’s going to help more people see the steampunk community.
AA: How long have you been involved in the steampunk community and what brought you into it?
MO: I have been involved off and on for years, I make custom costumes and art. Clients have requested items over the years, I own an art production company.
AA: How long have you been building and creating things, and how did you get started?
MO: My whole life, I have always been an artist. From stain glass windows and pottery in high school, to fashion design as my college major. I have been working professionally in the art/design world for 15yrs. I have worked in 9 different art industries over my career, and add new
AA: What is it about steampunk as an aesthetic that appeals to you?
MO: I really like how tough it is, and I appreciate how it’s an eco friendly supportive culture, reduce, reuse, recycle.
AA: What are some designs or materials that you tend to work with the most?
MO: I am a trained clothing designer, I often work in fabric and wearable items, but have experience building large art installs, set design, product design, and multi media art. I like projects that use lots of my skills at same time.
AA: What are some signature elements in your work that make it stand out as recognizably something you created?
MO: Uniqueness! I am very good at creating new things, or ideas that push the boundary.
AA: What is something that you’d like to create but haven’t done so yet?
MO: a movie. Dying to make a fantasy movie, with all the creatures and sets like a Jim Henson type production. Fascinated by the big picture, all the smaller elements working together.
AA: How has your work changed over time? What are some key lessons you’ve learned along the way?
MO: It’s always progressing, I work with lots of custom request type clients, they have ideas that push me to new levels in my art all the time.
AA: Viewers of the show know that you were eliminated in the last 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?
MO: Facebook. I’m friends with reality casting people, I worked with them in 2007.
AA: What was your interest or motivation to be on the show?
MO: I have always wanted to be on an art challenge type tv show. I have tried out for many like Project Runway, but was often told I was just too weird. I thought, omg a tv show where I can finally be as weird as I want, and they love it! Really glad I was picked to do Steampunk’d instead, it shows my range of talents way better than the other options before.
AA: Pop Magnet was the casting company chosen by Pink Sneakers, the production company, to find candidates for the show. What can you share with us about the interview process that you went through with them?
MO: It was similar to other interviews, like getting a job. Examples of work, resume, and being able to follow through on things requested of us in a timely manner.
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?
MO: an acoustic guitar. I steampunked the guitar, repainted it, added LED lights, and wanted to display it similar to my lifestyle, so I made a dress to go with it. I often dress singers and stage performers, I thought how fun to make a guitar and outfit, similar to my clients.
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?
MO: Finish up biz projects and put some on hold. I have my own business, my clients and projects had to wait just a moment for me, I’m playing a bit of catch up now.
We’ll break here in chatting with Morgan.
Join us for the conclusion as she continues to share her experiences on the show.
Keep up to date with Morgan’s latest news on her website.
Also, check out her exhibit page at The Steampunk Museum.