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Meet Jason Patrick Galit of Geek Say What? Network in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jason Patrick Galit.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jason Patrick. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The Geek Say What? Network, at its core, represents three ideas directly from its founders. Starting in 2010 as a college project, it evolved into a platform of introduction, entertainment, and inclusivity for what we refer to as “geek culture.” Alix Liberman (now Alix Galit) wanted to focus on the barriers experienced by women and excluded groups, while Cole Garrison wanted people to know that the comic’s books, films, and television he loved growing up held entertainment value for others. I was the third founder, voted by Alix & Cole to drive our network’s vision as our owner and CEO, and my passion was found in showing our audience how geek culture could be both academic and inclusive to fans who felt marginalized. These ideas are our network’s driving force, and dictate how we interact with fans, colleagues, and pop culture as a whole.

We chose podcasting because, quite honestly, I don’t like being in front of cameras, and Alix and Cole obliged my request at the beginning of this adventure. But in reality, I think I chose podcasting because I was afraid I wouldn’t be taken seriously as an Asian male acting as an authority in a certain topic. Both of my parents are from the Philippines, and I’m proud to say that I’m a product of immigration and a textbook example of the Asian American experience. These fears about being taken seriously is something I still struggle with in a professional atmosphere: my name sounds very ethnic, and at times I felt that this held me back from opportunities with conventions, events, etc. either subconsciously or overtly from organizers.

Alix suggested that I change my name to see if it affected our acceptance and answer rate from outlets, and I wanted to build a personal brand that immediately gave a sense of wholesomeness. I thought of people like Neil Patrick Harris (who I share a middle name with), and decided that I wanted to go by my initials: JPG. As the persona of JPG was born and utilized, we found that more and more outlets gave us a chance, which only encouraged me to double-down on the idea of inclusivity once we got our foot in the door.

As JPG, I push to represent people who feel marginalized in a (sometimes overly) professional manner. I integrated my love of suits within the JPG persona, and many of our clients have never seen me in a t-shirt and shorts, even in the heat of San Diego Comic-Con in the middle of summer. I try my best to keep poised in the most dire of fanboy conversations, and I always try to connect our conversations back to how we can use this culture as an educational tool.

At the heart of all this though, I’m an intense fan of anything that could’ve gotten you shoved into a locker 15 years ago. I learned how to read through comic books, practiced mental math skills through competitive card games, and utilized dice statistics through tabletop roleplaying. This is why it’s so important to me to maintain a network like the Geek Say What? Network: to act as a resource and voice for people who feel left out, while interacting with the media they love in a unique and interesting way.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
We’ve had many struggles through the years. When we started all of this, there weren’t very many resources or support for podcasting, and little to no instruction on how to be effective. One way we’ve fought back against this, though, is to speak at conventions to give a panel on Intro to Podcasting.

We also struggled with reaching out to the community to find like-minded people. A few years ago, we had maybe a handful of genuine, reliable contacts, but we’ve really focused on building and maintaining a community who’s here for the passion and not the potential to make money. As a thank you to everyone that’s helped us along the way, we even throw a party every year in June. The Geek Say What? Network Mixer is something that many of our clients look forward to, since they can connect with some very interesting contacts from around the Southern California area.

I think one of our biggest struggles is the one we’re experiencing now: this network is completely self-funded by Alix and me, and we’re at the point where we’re a little too big to run ourselves financially. We’re about to launch subscription services like Patreon, but like many people in this field, my Imposter Syndrome shows itself, and I feel deeply uncomfortable to ask for help. We’re experiencing a Catch-22 that many other podcasts are in: we’re big enough to where we’re trusted to speak about geek culture on the community’s largest stages, but not big enough for sponsorships and ad-time. We hope to change this as soon as possible, but what matters to me more is the quality of our content.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Geek Say What? Network – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The mission of the Geek Say What? Network is to highlight the introduction, engagement, and inclusivity of geek and popular culture. We utilize podcast, website, and social media outlets for an audience that ranges from “Beginner Geek” to “Pop Culture Expert,” providing a blend of entertaining and thought-provoking content from a diverse and knowledgeable staff.

We are geeks first and foremost, enjoying pop culture as much as we possibly can. But we also realize that many people aren’t afforded the opportunities to connect as deeply as they’d like. So when a person wants to know where in the comics to start, or would like to know more about a franchise, or would like to connect their other hobbies to geek culture, we’re there to show them the way.

We’ve have three shows in rotation and two shows about to release:
– Ready Set Geek! an introductory podcast that’s “Your Starting Line to Geek Culture.” Alix, Cole, and JPG speak on this podcast, which is what the original Geek Say What? podcast evolved into.
– Geek K.O., a bi-monthly trivia podcast by Justin Madriaga.
– Geek Offensive, bridging the gap between being a “bro”/jock and a geek at the same time by Justin Mallari.
– Diverse Geeks in Focus, putting a lens on marginalized issues in geek culture with Gemma Vidal.
– RPGeek Allegories, bringing issues that matter to the table with JPG. This show is about addressing social and cultural issues through the safety and creativity that tabletop roleplaying games can provide.

I think what really sets us apart from the others is how we’re willing to engage with our passions. No one is paying us to talk to you about the latest Marvel film or how many ethnic creators are out there, but we feel both a need and a responsibility towards that. We treat our shows as if they were our full-time positions, and hope that our content will be noticed by the right people at the right time.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
On top of releasing other shows, we’re starting to partner with local business for geek events in the Orange County area. Places like The Wall, Backstreet Brewery, and Towne Park Brewery have been incredible supporters, and we’re reaching out to more independently-owned business to see how we can drive business for them. In the near future, we’re hoping to set up monthly video game nights, more trivia events, and podcast/geek culture mixers sponsored by the venues we partner with. That last type of event is the most important to us, especially since podcasters can feel isolated at times.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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