Check out our exclusive interview with the star of “Wayward Guide For The Untrained Eye”, Mary Kate Wiles!
Mary Kate Wiles, best know for her role as Lydia Bennet in the Emmy-award winning web series, “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”, is now starring in the new YouTube series, “Wayward Guide For The Untrained Eye”. Alongside being a talented actress, Mary Kate is also a producer and creator, as she is a member of the Shipwrecked Comedy production group, produces two podcasts, and creates behind the scenes content on YouTube. We got a chance to speak with Mary Kate about the new YouTube series and all of the projects she is working on!
The Knockturnal: What was your experience filming “Wayward Guide For The Untrained Eye”?
Mary Kate Wiles: Filming Wayward Guide was a blast! I’ve been good friends with the Tin Can Brothers for many years now, and a lot of the cast is filled out with our frequent collaborators and friends. So it was so much fun. And I love that I got to play such a dedicated, tenacious reporter.
The Knockturnal: What was it like working with the Tin Can Boys and Sean Astin in the series?
Mary Kate Wiles: Like I said, I’ve known TCB for many years now, and Joey Richter and I especially have been working pretty regularly together since 2013. I think that’s part of why they asked me to play Artemis – we’ve developed a very comfortable working relationship considering that we’ve worked together multiple times and are such good friends. I think working with your friends will always make your product better because you are relaxed and having fun and that in turn fosters a very creative environment. And the fact that so many of my friends are some of the most talented actors I know only helps inspire me and I think together we all elevate each other. As for working with Sean Astin, holy cow, talk about a dream come true. And he was just an angel! The man is a Hollywood legend and he could not have been warmer, more excited to be there or more excited to work and collaborate with us. He was constantly coming up with new ideas to make the scene better and wanting to run the scene over and over again so that we had it as good as it could be. He was a dream. And so lovely and open to talk to in between takes as well. Working with him was without a doubt one of the most special experiences of my life.
The Knockturnal: Can you tell us about working with the production group Shipwrecked Comedy?
Mary Kate Wiles: Yeah, I’ve been a part of Shipwrecked as a producer for about five years, and it’s been so wonderful for me in so many ways. Shipwrecked is made up of myself, my partner Sean Persaud, his sister Sinéad Persaud, and Sarah Grace Hart. Getting my hands dirty as a producer has taught me so much that has made me a better actor and storyteller, and there’s something so much more fulfilling about seeing a project through from start to finish than simply acting in something can ever be. I definitely don’t want to be a producer full time, as it’s so much work and a level of stress that I can’t handle on a constant basis, but I love producing with Shipwrecked and I love the stories that we tell together.
The Knockturnal: What was it like producing two podcasts on your own?
Mary Kate Wiles: I’ve definitely had to teach myself a lot about audio editing! Haha. My first foray into creating a podcast came through my Patreon, where I try to create more acting opportunities for myself, and I realized that reading through a classic novel was a way that I could perform without writing something (as I am not gifted at all as a narrative writer) – and it’s a lot easier to create audio content than visual films. And it’s been such a great learning experience! I produce both a radio play version of the Anne of Green Gables books in which I bring in other actors to read the various characters and add music and sound eﬀects to really help the books come alive, and I also produce a monthly interview podcast just on my Patreon where I bring special guests on to talk about their creative processes and also share my own creative experiences. It’s such a great way to connect with one’s audience in a way that feels really personal.
The Knockturnal: What was the impact of using sites like Kickstarter and Patreon on pursuing your creative endeavors?
Mary Kate Wiles: I think anybody who decides to launch a Kickstarter or a Patreon is probably doing it primarily because they need financial support to create whatever it is they want to create – obviously because that is what those sites are set up to do. But I have found through funding projects on Kickstarter or having a Patreon that more than anything there’s such a sense of community that comes out of using those avenues – and it is such a cool and humbling thing to be a part of. I’ve had a Patreon for six years now to help support my career as an actor, and it has done that and allowed me to create things like my Anne of Green Gables series, but it’s also just blessed me in so many other wonderful ways. And these sorts of things give our audience a sense of not just watching the project, but being a part of the project, so in some way, they get to feel like they are having an active part in making these stories come to life. And they are! And that makes our audience so much more engaged and it really feels like a communal thing. Plus, it enables us to make exactly what we want to make without a network telling us to change certain things because they want it to fit what they think will sell best. Running a Kickstarter or a Patreon is a lot of work, yes, but it is such a cool, wonderful, magical experience and I’m so thankful I’ve been able to have as much success in that way as I have.
The Knockturnal: What is coming next for you?
Mary Kate Wiles: Mainly I’m just very excited to see Wayward Guide come out over the next few months and finally be seen by the people who have been so excited about it for so long! Shipwrecked is also working on our biggest project since Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party – a project we thought we were going to make this year, but of course, the pandemic put all that on hold. It will be so exciting when we can finally reveal what we’ve been planning for so long.
Check out “The Wayward Guide For The Untrained Eye” starring Mary Kate Wiles starting October 13th on YouTube!