Kids These Days: An Interview with Gig Morton and Erika McKitrick
Emily Koopman: You’re starting a podcast! First things first, tell us a little bit about yourselves and your entertainment industry backgrounds.
Gig Morton: I am an Aries... just to get that out of the way. I have been passionate about and working in the entertainment industry for close to 17 years now. Woah crazy! I like to entertain people in every which way, but my heart really does belong to comedy. I love making people laugh.
Erika McKitrick: I’m the “Erika” part of Gig and Erika are Kids These Days. I started out in theatre in elementary school (being cast as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet changed something in me tbh) and I started taking it more seriously in high school. I got an agent for film and TV when I was 16 and since then I’ve done a few commercials, been in a couple TV movies and indies, and had the amazing opportunity to work with Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, and Owen Wilson in the movie Wonder.
Emily: What prompted you guys to start a podcast, and how did you decide which topics to tackle?
Gig: I think it came from being fans of watching podcasts on YouTube. We both like watching/listening to the Jenna Julien podcast. I am also a fan of the Joe Rogan podcast. I think it’s a really cool medium because most of the time podcasts are really laid back and a great escape for most people. I think it would be really cool to try to give people that kind of escape from life. And maybe I could learn a few things along the way.
Erika: We’ve wanted to start a podcast for a while mostly because we LOVE listening to them. Every time we listened to podcasts we’d turn to each other and say “We should start a podcast!” They’re so great to listen to, especially on trips or as something relaxing to have on in the background. But we actually had a lot of trouble figuring out what the main topic of our podcast would be. In the end, we decided not to limit ourselves and have it be about a variety of topics ranging from film & TV to societal pressures and norms with the common denominator being how young people deal with it all.
Emily: Both of you are young people in the film business. What is some advice you would give to your younger selves when you were starting out to help you cope, specifically, with the pressures of the industry?
Gig: I would tell my younger self to take more classes and be more involved in the community. Heck, I should be telling myself that right now. I would also tell my younger self to not get so worried about whether I am “right” for a role or not. I learned, and am still learning, that I can only change so much about myself and if I was asked to be seen then someone somewhere must think I can do it.
Erika: Oh man. I guess I would tell my younger self “stop thinking you’re not good enough!!” That’s the biggest thing. And probably to slow down. And relax. And have fun.
Emily: What do you think are the most pressing societal issues for each gender?
Gig: As a male I don’t want to speak for what women are faced with in society because I can’t begin to understand it all, so I’ll just cover what I know from a male perspective. I think men, and young men in particular, are faced with an overwhelming pressure to be strong. Not just physically, but emotionally. Society, at least in North America, is starting to understand that people come in all different shapes and sizes, but men are still expected to not really show their emotions. It’s okay to ask for help. I personally feel very strongly that some change needs to be made around the stigma towards mental health and even more so when it comes to men.
Erika: Where to start? Mental health. Eating disorders. Ladies, stop tearing each other down. Stop judging each other. Support your sisters. Also, more than 130 million girls around the world are not in school (source: Malala Fund). That’s messed up.
Emily: Can you give us a sneak peek of some of the specific topics you’ll be covering on the podcast?
Gig: We are going to cover pretty much any topic that we feel like. I don’t really want to place any limits to it. Our podcast will feature content like conspiracies, social issues and maybe some politics, games, our personal experiences with the industry, and even some random casual conversations that don’t focus on anything!
Erika: We have a long list of ideas for our podcast, exploring topics from beauty standards to donuts to movies that made us who we are. Our first episode is called “Celebrity Encounters” which, of course, touches on personal encounters with celebrities but it also explores celebrity culture and the ridiculous standards we hold these people up to. Don’t forget that they are people too!
Emily: What kind of audience are you targeting with this podcast?
Gig: The kids these days, because to our parents’ generation we still are the “kids these days.” I don’t think there really is a specific target audience we want to hit, because I want anyone who connects with us to listen. We are all-inclusive!
Erika: I like Gig’s answer.
Emily: Do you have any special guests planned?
Erika: We definitely have some people in mind... But we haven’t even asked them yet so let’s not get ahead of ourselves!
Emily: Where have you been doing most of your recording? What’s the process like?
Erika: The podcast is currently occupying our tiny living room but it will be on the move soon as we’re heading down to Los Angeles!
Gig: I like Erika’s answer. The process is still a work in progress... We have never done anything like this before. I have a little bit of experience with the technical side of things because I have my own twitch channel that I set up and run. But I think in the beginning there is going to be a lot of trial and error. I think that’s one of the really cool things about this whole experience, because we will get to learn and grow along the way, even if the podcast doesn’t turn out how we want it to.
Erika: In the very beginning, we started writing down ideas of single podcast episodes so we could figure out our theme. Since we went with the variety option, we just picked a topic from the list, wrote notes as we thought of them and that’s our first episode! I actually can’t believe how calm I am about it. My mind is usually in anxiety mode when I start a new project but surprisingly, I’m just excited!
Emily: Do you have any other projects on the go at the moment?
Gig: We are writing full length pilot. We actually just finished a draft and I’m terrified. I’ve never written anything this legit feeling before and I’m excited for the learning experiences that are coming along with putting something like that out into the world.
Erika: Gig and I have a short film that we co-produced and starred in called Falling Upwards that will be released later this year.
Emily: Last but not least, what’s something you’ve seen recently that’s made you shake your head, exhale deeply, and go, “Kids these days…”?
Gig: The memes! There's so many! I like them and all, but I feel so old when I can’t understand a conversation, because of a tiny little meme reference that originated on Tik Tok.
Erika: I just downloaded Tik Tok... I know it’s the same idea as Vine but wow, it makes me feel old. I don’t understand half the things going on there!