Interview With Andre Meadows From Fullscreen’s “Kingdom Geek” (@BlackNerd)
1. Can you tell us about “Kingdom Geek”?
Kingdom Geek is a weekly series on the Fullscreen app where co-hosts Katie Wilson and myself are joined by special guests from movies, TV and voiceover to talk about their projects, things we’re all geeking out over at the moment, and geek and pop culture in general. Plus we always play some fun games! The set is beautiful, bright and has the nice feeling of a relaxed environment which works well for our fun and casual conversations on the show. We keep an open environment where no matter what your level of geekdom is, all are welcome to the Kingdom!
2. What is your favorite topic to discuss on the show?
We have a newer segment on the show called “Geek to Know You” where we get quick random questions and have to give our thoughts on the spot. We don’t know what the questions are beforehand so it’s a fun icebreaker to do with our guests. We round out the segment asking what the guest is personally geeking out over in the moment, and it’s a great insight in knowing something about them that you may not find out about in other types of talk shows or interviews. The responses are such a wide range, from the usual collectibles or comic books to something out of the ordinary like fashion, travel, philanthropy and more.
3. How did you get your start on YouTube? How did you get to where you are today on the platform?
I actually started my YouTube channel, Black Nerd Comedy (YouTube.com/BlackNerdComedy), back in 2007 using a video I made as an audition for a reality show, Beauty and the Geek. Then I made some random comedy sketches and travel vlogs every once in a while whenever I felt like it. As I learned more about YouTube and creators on the platform, I started applying that to my YouTube channel and brand. The biggest change that helped my channel was going from making videos at random to having a more consistent schedule, making videos weekly with similar styles of formats, and having more humor come from my fandom and personal stories and experiences.
4. What has the experience been like for you getting to build a brand for yourself? Do you have any advice for people looking to start making videos?
It’s been interesting, especially since I came out to Los Angeles to just focus on acting and stand-up comedy. And as much as I still love that, I just found myself constantly having to audition or try out for roles that just didn’t fit my personality and more what fit what was considered my “type.” With Black Nerd Comedy, I am the creator and performer, so it all gets to come from my voice. It felt very authentic and more energetic for me, because I got to do everything I like doing… performing, creating, expressing my personal thoughts and interests, and with YouTube and the Internet, even getting to use my interests in technology which brings in my high school and college computer science background! Now I have brands and entertainment come to me directly and specifically want my voice and brand, and that feels awesome!
So for advice for people making videos, I would definitely say try to find your voice. Lots of people do the same “types” of videos, but a person’s style, voice and personal character makes an individual stand out and makes someone want to come back and specifically watch you. Also, patience is key. Making videos may look easy, but there’s a lot that takes place behind the scenes to make it work and success doesn’t happen overnight… or if you’re the rare case where it does happen overnight, then you have the challenge of not being a viral “one hit wonder.” Success on YouTube involves patience, consistency, analytics, editing, presence, having a thick skin for being a face on the Internet, and being VERY honest with yourself when it comes to your content.
5. What kind of videos do you like to post the most and why?
I love doing movie reviews, showing off pop culture collectibles, and talking about franchises I love like Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, Nintendo and 80s and 90s cartoons! Lately, I been loving finding recent bad movies and instead of hating on them, just have a blast laughing and having fun with them. I told people all the time this past year I had more fun watching and reviewing Nine Lives or Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip than I did with Batman v. Superman or Ghostbusters. People still will randomly send photos giving these bad movies a chance with an open mind just because of how much fun I had with them; that’s another way to help make my channel stand out. The PR team for Nine Lives on DVD even sent me a tongue-in-cheek “thank you” package for the exposure which ended up being another fun video in itself. I appreciated that they even had a sense of humor about it all!
6. Do you have a favorite video on your channel? Why is it your favorite?
I’ve had some amazing guest in some of my videos. I got to sing the Ninja Rap for Vanilla Ice, sing Reading Rainbow with LeVar Burton, get dating advice from Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, hang out with past and present Power Rangers, dance with costumed Power Rangers, and even got to interview and host an All That reunion panel! I’ve done a couple of fun videos where a special guest and I purposefully make up ideas of bad reboots to nostalgia properties. I will always love my “Buy Mii a Wii” parody music video because it was such a fun video to make and literally the first video that brought a lot of people to my channel.
7. Do you have any upcoming videos or other projects you can tell us about?
I’m always making videos on my YouTube channel and still hosting episodes of Kingdom Geek. Plus I also host a series called “Catching Up with Andre” on the Regal Movies YouTube channel and newsletter. It’s a fun series where I get you prepared for movie sequels, reboots and movies based on novels, comic books and old TV shows. I’ve been doing it for a couple years and recently was renewed for a new series of videos!
8. You have already done a lot in your career, like hosting panels at Comic Con and getting to participate in really high-level brand interactions. What would be your dream collaboration/job and why?
I would just love to create more projects, both on and off YouTube, that continue to blend my creativity and personality. Movies, TV, Internet… anything! I just love to entertain and be creative, no matter the platform. And I would love to be a voice in a cartoon, even just a guest spot! That would be awesome.
9. Where can your fans find you on social media?
In addition to the YouTube channel, YouTube.com/BlackNerdComedy, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @BlackNerd.