February 13, 2010

Leisure Academy: No Day But Felicia Day

Thinking back to last week’s “controversial” Vanity Fair cover featuring the magazine’s picks for Hollywood’s next-gen starlets, it dawned on me that there was one glaring omission, and no it has nothing to do with color, in fact, the exact opposite, the fairest, most pale-skinned actress I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, Miss Felicia Day. Now Felicia Day is certainly not a household name or even a face that you may be familiar with unless you are a Whedon-loving nerd like myself, but rest assured, if the hypothesis that I will shortly pose is correct, and Miss Day wishes it so, you will. First let’s get you caught up on your Felicia History. Felicia Day is the award winning actress/writer/musician/comedian/mathematician whose first notable recurring role was as a potential slayer in the 7th season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Having earned degrees in music and math (!), Felicia writes and stars in her popular web series The Guild as well as appearing in numerous other shows on TV and the web. She is perhaps most famous for co-starring as Penny alongside Neil Patrick Harris in the revolutionary web musical Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog. Felicia, a professional-level violinist, has recently made the transition into the world of comics writing with an adaptation of The Guild and performs monthly with her improv group Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, all while maintaining an entertaining and interesting twitter stream.

**WE NOW INTERRUPT YOUR REGULARLY SECHEDULED BLOGPOST so I can pimp the folks of Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em. Now I have never been a fan of improv, I believe that watching bad improv is one of the most terrible situations you can ever have the great misfortune of finding yourself in, but on a recent outing to see Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, my perception has completely changed. These people are f**king funny! And now I can respect the medium as a viable form of entertainment worth my time. The group is comprised of crazy talented people whose names you definitely won’t know if you don’t know Felicia Day, but who I sincerely hope to see succeed in a big way. They include the incomparable Jeff Lewis (The Guild), the soon-to-be-comedy-juggernaught Sandeep Parikh ( The Guild, The Legend of Neil), and the gorgeous/hilarious Tara Perry (aka The Movie Maven)*. Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em are awesome, and I highly recommend you check them out every month at the Knightsbridge Theater if you are in the Los Angeles area. Plus they are just good people who seem more than happy to chat with you after the show. WE NOW RETURN TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED BLOGPOST**

Where was I…oh yes…Felicia Day. It is no secret that her popularity among the geek community can be attributed to her memorable appearances in the Joss Whedon canon (Buffy, Dr. Horrible, Dollhouse) and her vocal love of video games. Girls admire her as a positive female/nerd/gamer role model and guys love her because she’s attractive and plays World of Warcraft (and a bunch of other reasons too, I’m sure). Given this information, and my broad (possibly untrue) generalization that geeks are the primary consumers of entertainment on screens (they certainly control the internet/blogosphere, and there must be a reason movies based on comic books are so popular), my theory should seem natural. And that theory is that Felicia Day has the power to be the biggest star in Hollywood and a major player in the entertainment industry, if she wants it. Simply by securing this niche of geek dream gamer girl/BFF, Felicia has the nerd community in the palm of her hand…and next the world. She’s not the best actor around (but she’s good, and hasn’t really been given the Emmy-winning opportunity yet) and she’s not the best writer (although her talent is definitely growing), but this is irrelevant because of her pop culture standing alone. Already having a huge, fervent fanbase of dedicated followers who vigorously consume her every tweet and even dress like her at conventions, she’s on her way to Grauman’s hand-print status, and she hasn’t even starred in a movie yet.

Now maybe this is all just wishful thinking on my part since it’s no secret by now that I am a member of the Felicia-infatuated army, but hopefully there’s a little bit of truth to it. Having had the pleasure of talking with Felicia, I can say that she is truly a kind, grateful, and hardworking person fully deserving of her many accolades and (hopefully) numerous future successes. The thing is though that Miss Day’s rise to power needs to happen soon, because she is not getting any younger (please take no offense Felicia if you’re reading this! I love you!) and it’s only going to get more difficult to compete with the Amanda Seyfrieds and Emma Stones of the Hollywood world. Currently the ball is in Felicia’s court and I hope she takes advantage of it. It’s going to be very interesting to see what she does off the success of The Guild. As much as I would love to see her on the big screen, all she has to do is keep doing what she’s doing and I’ll be happy. You are awesome Felicia Day, keep on using your lovable persona and multi-talents for quality entertainment and you will go far. We love you!

*The laughs of Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em are also provided by Alex Albrecht, Tony Janning, Eddie Repanich, and Brooke Seguin

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