Peek is a series of brief interviews of Magic personalities who support Planeswalkers for Diversity. Kathleen De Vere is with LoadingReadyRun, the sketch comedy group that produces the Friday Nights video series for DailyMtg.com.
p4d: What’s your Magic origin story?
KDV: I started during Zendikar block. I was at PAX and the intro decks they were handing out tweaked my interest. The next thing I know, I’m in the the back of a Seattle after-hours club on Sunday night learning the basics. All the other people there were just trying to sober up with some greasy night food, meanwhile we’re eating dessert and learning about the stack.
p4d: Loading Ready Run produces all kinds of comedy that has nothing to do with Magic. How did it come about that you began producing LRR content for Magic?
KDV: We ended up getting hooked up with Wizards of the Coast after we did a video called It’s Magic. After we all started playing again in 2009, Graham wrote a video about us playing Magic as part of our commodoreHUSTLE sitcom — a series of videos where we play caricatured versions of ourselves. The video was a big hit, both with our fans and Magic players who had never heard of us. Eventually Wizards got wind of it and asked us to start making videos for them.
p4d: What’s your favourite scene from a Friday Nights so far?
KDV: We’ve done a lot of jokes I’m delighted with, but sometimes I think the best moments in a video are the unpredictable ones. Recently we did an episode of Friday Nights called Hero’s Path: The Calling as part of a sub-series we’re doing to help promote the in-store events for Theros Block. There is a scene where Graham starts to explain how he did at a Pre-release to a cat. The cat looks up at Graham at just the right time during his description for maximum comedic effect. Obviously, there isn’t really a way to make a cat do that on purpose so it’s extra wonderful to me.
p4d: Why do you love cats so much, and do you have a favourite cat in Magic?
KDV: I love cats because my family loves cats. My dad taught me to respect and appreciate the company of animals from a very young age. My favorite cat in magic is Scythe Tiger. sure, you may have to sac a land to them but back when they were legal so was Sun Titan, so you could set up some disgusting combos.
p4d: Are there some awesome Magic related prizes and personalities that we can look forward to on Desert Bus this year?
KDV: We are lucky to have a good working relationship with Wizards of the Coast, and they’ve always been very generous with us when it comes to Desert Bus. In previous years, they’ve given us everything from sold-out From the Vault sets to full, uncut foil sheets. I can’t say what we’re getting this year, but its Desert Bus, so expect crazy stuff you’d never find anywhere else!
p4d: LRR has several years’ experience with making the Magic community better by promoting having fun. Your success is reflected in things like your famous wacky drafts that are now part of the MTGO Community Cup. Planeswalkers for Diversity’s goal is a lofty one: to strive for a more accepting real-life atmosphere everywhere Magic is played. Any advice?
KDV: I lobbed this one at Graham, he says: It’s important to realize that Magic is a game, and we play it because we enjoy it. It is a fun activity! I think the most important thing you can do to create a welcoming environment is to actively call out people who are making Magic unfun and tell them their attitudes are not acceptable. Too often people just think to themselves, “wow that person is being a jerk” and they don’t do anything. If we don’t ever say anything, the offending party has no reason to modify their behavior because they think it’s fine. But if even one person says something, other people will back them up.
p4d: Your Kickstarter that is running right now has been funded. Congrats! What do Magic players who may be unfamiliar with your other work need to know about the stretch goals?
KDV: Oh man, our stretch goals are great. We’re very close to hitting Crapshots, which means we’ll do another season of our ultra-short, ultra weird mini-sketches, many of which are about Magic! However, my secret hope is that we can get to $170,000 so we’ll have to fulfil a long-running threat for a terrible D&D campaign. You see, LRR member Jeremy Petter has a reputation for being quite the blood-thirsty DM, and he has nursed the dream of running a campaign called “Temple of the Lava Bears,” where the entire goal is obliterate the party in the most unfair, yet hilarious, ways possible. If we meet that goal he’s going finally create this campaign, and we’re going to broadcast and record our play sessions so everyone can share in our pain.
p4d: You attend a local chapter of Lady Planeswalkers Society. How do you view the overlap and collaboration between LPS and p4d?
KDV: I view the Lady Planeswalker Society and Planeswalkers for Diversity as complementary groups. Both prioritize creating a fun, accepting environment to play Magic in and both groups are really helping to make the local play environment more diverse. The biggest difference for me is that locally LPS is held in a private home which means I can drink wine!
p4d: Where can folks find Loading Ready Run online?
KDV: So many places! You can of course, check out our website, LoadingReadyRun.com to catch all our videos, and our Magic vid/podcast TapTapConcede. The videos we create for Wizards of the Coast are also found on the official Magic YouTube channel. You can find us on Twitter at LoadingReadyRun and LRRMtG for just Magic stuff. Our Twitch channel where we livedraft is twitch.tv/loadingreadyrun and we do a series of wacky drafts for MTGO Academy too. Phew!