Today’s interview is with the founders of All Ages Of Geek. A multi media company partnered with Aminoapps.
They have 100K+ subscribers on YouTube.
They also run a podcast called pop filter.
Let’s get into it.
1. First off – could you quickly introduce yourself to Anime Motivation?
Katya: Hey geeks out there! This is Katya Stec founder of All Ages of Geek the geek culture production company.
The All Ages of Geek Crew and I produce daily webisodic content from a range of original video series, podcasts and a full line up of multimedia series and services.
I’m a huge geek myself loving anime like My Hero Academia and all forms of slice of life anime. Also love all Nintendo Games like Animal Crossing and Pokemon.
I’ve also done some voice over projects for indie video games and animated book projects.
Erik: How’s it going? My name is Erik Scott Kimerer. I’m a Seattle-born, Los Angeles-based voice actor for anime, video games, audiobooks, and more!
The shows I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of include:
- Sailor Moon
- One Punch Man
- Seven Deadly Sins
And many more.
I’ve been an avid anime fan and gamer pretty much all my life. I’m also an independent pro-wrestler…no joke.
2. What’s the meaning behind your podcast name – Pop Filter? How did that come about?
Katya: Erik actually discovered All Ages of Geek even before we rebranded to AAOG!
He stumbled upon my God of War Let’s Plays and reactions along with a video I made about how voice acting has personally helped me grow as a person over the years.
Erik and I connected on Twitter and then BOOM Pop Filter was born.
Erik: The name was one I actually had been wanting to use for years.
I was a big fan of the early wave of online reviewer personalities (i.e. AVGN, TGWTG, etc.) and started fantasizing about what kind of show I could offer if I were to attempt one myself (and had the resources/patience).
I love wordplay, and thought of “Pop Filter” as a double-meaning (pop filters are almost universally used in a voice over setting, and it also conveys we are filtering out the mainstream pop culture down to the niche and geeky topics we love to talk about.)
I sat on that name for over a decade until meeting Kat. We talked over Twitter for a little bit, and after realizing we had a fun dynamic that could work for a podcast, I dusted the name off and finally put it to work.
3. What was the motivation to start a podcast about geek news and culture?
Katya: I’ll let Erik take the lead on this one!
Erik: Geek culture is a big part of my everyday life. And I’ve never been one to just see the trends come and go, I’m always curious as to what’s driving them and trying to gain as much insight as I can.
I also love talking (hence my chosen profession) so a podcast seemed appropriate, haha. Most of all I love sharing stories, experiences, and anything that can create a broader sense of understanding and community.
4. I noticed “reactions” are a big part of what your create content around. What made you explore this?
Katya: Reactions like Let’s Plays are a way to experience a series with a group of people who may not have friends to watch that series with. How All Ages of Geek produces reactions for our Weeb Watch-a-Thon series is by making them more interactive and conversational.
We have our reactions act as a vidcast where conversation is key. A great experience to connect with people all over the world!
Erik: Kat’s got more experience with this, but I just wanted to add that I personally love reaction videos and “Let’s Plays”.
If there’s a surprise twist or emotional moment in one of my favorite shows/games, the first thing I do is scour YouTube for reactions to those scenes. That’s how I found Kat after playing God of War.
When watching a show or playing a game, oftentimes you’re doing it alone. So it’s nice to be able to relate those emotional reactions with others.
5. What’s the #1 thing you’re trying to achieve with the Pop Filter podcast?
Katya: We would love to connect with anime fans who have experienced the otaku lifestyle before and are true fans of all things geek. Like All Ages of Geek, we want to unite the geeks of all ages with Pop Filter.
We would also love to work with other voice actors to hear how geek culture has inspired them.
Erik: Community is a big thing for me.
For a long time the many different camps of geek culture (Star Trek, DnD, Video Games, Anime, etc.) have been seen as the dens of misfits. But not only is it becoming more mainstream by the year, it’s been influencing our mainstream media and culture for a long time in many ways.
I would love to bridge that gap, dive into fandoms that I love and ones I’m not even involved in, and show off the main appeals.
I believe everyone is a geek for something in some way. Executives are geeks for business, stock brokers are economy geeks, jocks are geeks for sports, etc.
There’s something for everyone if you can present it right, and that’s what I hope to do as I explore more areas outside of just what I know.
6. What are your predictions for Geek culture in the next 5 years?
Katya: Geek culture used to be a secret club type of experience. Hardly anyone knew what you were talking about if you mentioned your Pokemon party or even Toonami on Cartoon Network.
Now-a-days it has become so mainstream that companies all over the world are embracing all things geek.
Dungeons and Dragons has become a more modern way to teach kids in school how to tell a story, act and express themselves. Anime has inspired new shows on Netflix and even Disney + cartoons.
Young adult novels are more likely to mention a character reading manga who isn’t a stereotypical nerd at the lunch table.
In the next 5 years geek and nerd culture will possibly even surpass old trends and create new ways for people to build all forms of bonds together.
Erik: I predict anime and video game movies going the way of superhero movies, becoming big blockbuster draws without the majority of the audience being familiar with the source material going in.
The people who grew up with these kinds of fandoms, and who appreciate them more than just a fad to capitalize on, are slowly becoming the writers and directors and producers who will shape the movies, shows, and games we see coming out in the near future.
And they are passing their love down to the next generation for them to appreciate. I think what we’ll see as “geeky” will shift in the next 5 years.
E-sports is gaining legitimacy through national broadcasting, popularizing video games in a way comics never saw during its heyday as the controversy-du-jour (in fact, it would take several decades until the Marvel movies for that to happen).
Tabletop gaming has seen a huge surge since Critical Role made it look really fun and really cool.
There’s a vacuum now for some new format to take place as the “geeky” subculture, because as these communities grow it’s hard to consider them “geeky” anymore.
7. When did your journey start, and how has it been so far?
Katya: As you may have heard from some of our earliest subscribers (even before they were called Instant Geeks) All Ages of Geek started out as a small YouTube Channel.
Before it’s rebrand to All Ages of Geek there were many prototypes and many versions. Let’s give you a quick rundown of our company’s history from it’s beginning stages just to show you how far we have all come.
2015 – The Kat’s Meow
The first prototype was titled The Kat’s Meow. The channel was first known as a picture book review channel with a focus on spreading love and positivity for children’s books.
The content was to enhance the book trailer service I offered for authors, illustrators and publishing houses. The channel also included short little videos where I would insert myself into popular Young Adult Fiction movies like the Twilight Saga. Go Team Edward!
2016 – KidLitKat & MiscatSquad
At the start of 2015 The Kat’s Meow became KidLitKat. The concept was similar to The Kat’s Meow but for an older audience. I started reviewing manga weekly as some may remember as the emotional Tokyo Ghoul and Attack on Titan manga reviews.
From there we skipped ship to also including an Anime Music Video review series which had us meet our first editor Anea who’s in the Philippines. The phrase “Embrace your inner fangirl and fanboy every, single day!” was born after the first episode of a now cancelled series Fandom Freakout.
After a few months of our successful manga review series run we made the drastic mistake of putting that series on hold to try out gaming. Why break something that’s not broken? Ask 2016 Kat that and get back to me.
Though it wasn’t a huge mistake since gaming brought us to even greater heights when the third rebrand to MiscatSquad occured.
We had a very successful run during this time bringing in hundreds to thousands of new followers every week. Also had us meet some of our most dedicated teammates like our producer Derek Okeese.
2017-2018 – Miscat Squad & Early Stages of AllAgesofGeek TV
Not a huge rebrand at the start of 2017 but that’s when MiscatSquad became Miscat Squad. And trust me when I say people did not like the space between Miscat and Squad. Why? It’s still a mystery to me.
While the channel was growing and reaching so many new milestones, there was also a very toxic audience that followed. The more games we started to play and review the bigger the audience became and the farther away we became from that audience and each other.
It was a great lesson to learn in the early stages of the business because in just a year’s time we learned that it’s not good just to have fun without any strict guidelines, but it’s also important to care about your teammates while running a business.
There needed to be a balance between the two.
The works of AllAgesofGeek TV was being crafted behind the scenes in early 2018, while the branding was being worked on in late 2018. And when this rebrand happened the Miscat Squad audience did not like it at all.
The toxic part about this audience was they did not care about the team or my health which caused many personal issues to occur. An important lesson was learned the first few days into 2019 that numbers didn’t matter as much as health and well-being of teammates.
And at the beginning of 2019 that’s when All Ages of Geek began. Que the training montage music and here we go.
2019 – All Ages of Geek TV & All Ages of Geek
The beginning of 2019 felt like a new slate and a new beginning from the bad aftertaste 2018 left in our mouths.
As Derek kept saying throughout 2018 “This was a blessing in disguise”. And he was right.
In 2019 we recruited our most positive and hardworking teammates like Evan Downs, our Creative Director and Event Coordinator who brought the community together and made it the interactive bunch that they are today. 2019 was all about healing from 2018 and reflecting on what lessons we learned to properly run a business as a team.
At first 2019 was a struggle to juggle the final re-brand but so many new milestones were made like the launch of our website and a more independent streaming service.
Richard Uy our web developer helped build the website from the ground up. Matt Turiano, our Community Manager came up with new concepts on how to run the community and entertain them.
Eric Scott Kimerer (who is being interviewed here today) became a host and producer of Pop Filter Podcast, Marc Zapata our artist for hire redesigned our brand, logos and website’s overall design.
High Five Water Slide, a band in the UK who composes humorous geek culture music joined up with All Ages of Geek to compose all types of music for our series.
Diana Cruz González & Irekani Studio and from Mexico became part of our animation team to provide work for hire/freelance animation for our productions.
Our slogan also changed from “Embrace your inner fangirl and fanboy every, single day!” to “Embrace your inner fangirl, fanboy and fan person every, single day!” to show appreciation, love, acceptance and support for our non-binary members in the audience.
Everything was moving so fast in 2019 and it truly was a blessing in disguise.
2020 – All Ages of Geek
2020 was the year the team launched several new original series and podcasts while also attending several conventions, expos, local events and job fairs to network and broaden our reach in the geek culture space.
Mikhail Velez a School of Visual Arts 2019 graduate, animator and illustrator joined our freelance animator team, Bong Kim became a host and On the Go Video Reporter for geek culture events, and Indira Furuta became our Japanese Market Representative (AAOG社の日本市場開拓を担当している新規開拓スペシャリスト。今後は日本でのチーム形成を担当し、日本での流行や文化に関してAAOGで紹介していきます).
There’s so much we all need to learn but with every lesson learned we are grateful we have come this far.
Our origin story has and will always be “No misfit left behind” and as my grandfather always told me “Patience kid”.
Erik: I’m originally from Edmonds, WA, a small beach town just north of Seattle. I was going to follow into the family trade of law enforcement, but in freshman year of high school I took an elective Beginner’s Theatre class to get my art credit out of the way and, as they say, I was bitten by the acting bug.
I was already a fan of anime by this point. After a couple of years into theatre I got a newsletter from a local convention (Sakura-con) saying that a veteran Japanese seiyuu, Run Sasaki, was looking to teach anime voice acting in Seattle.
I signed up and was taught the Japanese method of anime voice over by Run-sensei for almost 5 years.
I graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 2010, majoring in Theatre Arts and double-minoring in Japanese Language and English Literature.
That summer I moved to a small secluded town in Eastern Washington to work and save up the money to move to California. By this point I had been attending Anime Expo for a number of years, often competing in the annual AX Idol event.
I won the voice over portion of the competition in 2010, which gave me a great connection with BangZoom! Entertainment just prior to moving here.
8. Are there any new plans for Pop Filter going forward you’d like to share?
Katya: We would love to partner with an anime streaming service like Crunchyroll or VRV to possibly do Pop Filter Reactions and Pop Filter Reviews as segments of the series.
Erik also plans on streaming on the All Ages of Geek Twitch account for Pop Filter Plays which is a sub-series under The Geek Game Room.
Personally it’d be great to bring in more guests and also do some daily topics and game segments between conversations.
Erik: We’ll definitely be trying to bring in some guests for interviews going forward, as well as taking things on the road to conventions when it’s possible to do so.
In addition to streaming soon on AAOG, I’m also working on writing some video content for the website.
9. Where can people follow All Ages Of Geek, or the pop filter podcast in particular?
Erik: Take it away, Kat!
Katya: You guys can reach All Ages of Geek all over the web!
Here’s where you can find us and Pop Filter.
Patreon (for Early Access Content and Interactive Events): https://www.patreon.com/MiscatSquad
More social media: https://allagesofgeek.com/social-media/
Connect with Katya:
I’m the Founder of Anime Motivation.
The 1st anime I watched was Dragon Ball Z. Followed by Claymore, Inuyasha, Attack On Titan, and the rest as they say is “history”.