Welcome back for the conclusion of our chat with Niki Phillips, 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.
Read part one here.
Read part two here.
Airship Ambassador: How was it coming home and getting back to your regular schedule and life?
Niki Phillips: A huge relief, I spent some much needed time with family & friends. My Mom passed away suddenly shortly after the show started to air, which has obviously put a huge hold on my creativity. I’ve been in a sort of fog, but life is getting back on track.
AA: I’m sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family. It definitely takes time to heal and move forward. What suggestions do you have for people who are thinking of applying for a possible season 2?
NP: Life is short, so try to enjoy the ride.
AA: Now that the show has aired, what comes next for you?
NP: I’m in the process of finishing up my Bachelor’s in Studio Art and possibly Grad School after that. I will always keep doing my costuming. It’s too huge a part of my life to ever stop.
AA: Looking beyond steampunk, what other interests fill your time?
NP: Reading, baking sweets, beer and wine tastings, historical reenactment, redecorating and remodeling my home, which is an ongoing (read: neverending) project. I’m teaching my son about books, art and cosplay, and hoping to see him one day get into this as much as I have.
AA: How do those interests influence your work?
NP: They inspire me, give me ideas, make me dream, live another life.
AA: There’s only so much time in a day what interests don’t you have time for?
NP: Oh! I wish I had more time to play video games, collect comics and ride horses. I used to ride when I was younger and it still holds a special place in my heart.
AA: What other fandoms are you part of?
NP: The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Firefly, Star Trek and Star Wars (and I love both equally!), Adventure Time, Munchkin’s games.
AA: Are there people you consider an inspiration, role model, or other motivating influence?
NP: My Grandma Phillips was a super strong female role model for me growing up. She worked her whole life, all the while raising 3 boys and obtaining several degrees. She also drove like a bat outta hell up until 6 months before her passing at the age of 85. Carrie Ann Baade is another, she’s a surrealist painter and her work and drive to make art is truly inspirational, and my Aunt Deborah as well because she is so loving and sweet, and always there for me if I need to talk. I derive a lot of inspiration from nature and animals, also.
AA: What event or situation has had the most positive impact in your life? What has been your greatest challenge?
NP: I recently started a new job as a Prosthetic and Orthotics Tech and I absolutely love it. The skill sets for the job crossover so heavily with costume design. I’m looking forward to being able to use what I’m learning for my cosplaying.
AA: That’s a great way to use your skills and experience in all new ways. Any final thoughts to share with our readers
NP: Just my favorite quote from the book Dune by Frank Herbert. “I must not fear. Fear is the mindkiller. Fear is the littledeath that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” I read this book when I was in my teens and this quote has stuck with me throughout my life. I would repeat it like a mantra sometimes on days when things got rough or life was a little too hectic. So, remember to stay strong because you will make it through. Whatever it is, face your fears headon. Life really is too short, not even a blip on the radar in the journey to the stars.
The Dune quote is quite memorable and something everyone can use throughout life.
Thanks, Niki, for joining us in this interview and for sharing all of your thoughts. We look forward to hearing about your next projects!
Also, check out her exhibit page at The Steampunk Museum.