Felicia Day seems to say whatever is on her mind. With a quirkiness about her that’s both humble and endearing, she is often best at being what many struggle to be: herself.
“I walked across the parking lot earlier and I think now I have a sunburn,” said Day, commenting on a recent stop in Arizona where it was just beyond a scorching 100 degrees.
On another leg of the tour to promote her first book and memoir, “You’re Never Weird on The Internet (Almost)”, Day will appear this Thursday at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco and on Friday at Book Passage in Ferry Building.
Day is an actress, singer, producer and writer who has appeared on several TV shows, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Eureka and Supernatural, but she is perhaps best known for nurturing an online following with her role in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, an Emmy-award winning Internet musical, and her creation of The Guild, a seven-year web series which has since won a number of awards.
“You’re Never Weird on The Internet (Almost)” is a first-hand account of what it’s like to grow up weird. Journeying through the early years of homeschooling in the Deep South and her subsequent life struggles adapting to society, it reads like a diary with Day’s stream-of-consciousness writing style giving fans an intimate account of how an atypical childhood undoubtedly contributed to her success.
Recycling “before it was cool”, wearing “Save the Whales” T-shirts and being fed vitamins that made her breath “smell weird,” Day grew up with some unlikely interests for many girls her age: she voraciously read detective fiction starring criminal defense lawyer Perry Mason and chatted online with other members of Ultima Dragons, a forum dedicated to a fantasy role-playing video game.
Day’s book stresses the significance of self-expression in the digital sphere where people sometimes feel freer to embrace their individuality and talk openly about unusual hobbies with peers that oftentimes seem nonexistent in real life. However, it can also be a vehicle for evil (and not just when it comes to dragon slaying).
“I think the online world allows you to be yourself more and feel less alone, but there is anonymity that can exist in a pocket of ‘yesdom’ that reinforces the negative as well,” said Day. In response to those bad apples, Day said perhaps the most that can be done is to be “as proactively positive as they are negative” and set a tone of acceptance that will begin to overcome that.
“I think being a woman and being interested in the things I’m interested in requires a little out of the box thinking,” said Day. “I’m more likely to break rules because I see connections that aren’t there when you’re raised in the mainstream.”
Day’s memoir is a tribute to strange upbringings and an encouragement to younger women and people of all ages to disregard peer pressure and submit to doing what they love – however odd it may (or may not) initially seem.
In 2011, Day co-launched Geek & Sundry, an online web channel paid for by YouTube, and since then has helped create over 20 programs that range in topic from science fiction and romance, to pet cuteness contests and laser-wielding goblins. It was acquired by California-based film production company Legendary Pictures in 2014.
In the coming year, Day plans to begin work on Con Man, a webseries developed by actor Alan Tudyk (most notably from Death at a Funeral and the comedy horror film Tucker & Dale vs. Evil).
Tickets to the 7pm event on Thursday, August 20, are available for purchase through the JCCSF and can include a copy of the book and pre-event reception. The Friday, August 21, event at 12:30pm at Book Passage is open to the public, with a copy of the book required for signing.