One of my personal favorite personalities from the old TechTV days is the wonderful Becky Worley. [ http://www.beckyworley.com/ ] (and keep an eye on her blog: [ http://whatsupworley.blogspot.com/ ] So I couldn’t resist asking her to sit down with us for a bit and answer a few of our questions about what one of our favorite TechTV alums is doing with herself now, how everything is going, and giving all of us at TechTV Forever the opportunity to catch up with her and keep our eyes out for what’s she’s up to next!
Becky was kind enough to share with us exclusive information about her upcoming projects, gigs, including her NEW JOB! Check her out on Good Morning America from now on, including a spot THIS SATURDAY October 15th on ABC News’ Good Morning America Weekends, where Becky herself rounds up a bunch of really cool GPS Devices and gives you the viewer the lowdown on each one. Personally, I’m in the market for a GPS device, so this is good news for me! Check her out on Good Morning America this Saturday, October 15th! Check your local listings for your local ABC affiliate and tune in!
Keeping in the tradition of good interviews with informative and entertaining questions (and interviewees who give brilliant answers), all of us at TechTV Forever (especially me!) would like to thank Becky for taking the time out to answer our questions and give us the scoop on what she’s working on! Again, you’ll find this information FIRST at TechTVForever.net, so stick with us for the real scoop!
TTVF: Your home on the net is BeckyWorley.com, [ http://www.beckyworley.com/ ] which shows you from some of our most beloved memories of you on screen, from hosting TechLive to being kneed in the stomach by a cop while wearing full body armor. Aside from this though, we don’t see much more straight from you on the web. Any plans on a blog or anything like that?
BECKY: I do have a blog, but it’s more of a journal of the things I’m up to on a professional level. I put articles I write up there and pictures from any interesting jobs, but it’s something I update maybe 3-4 times a month. I am writing a lot right now, but it’s a book project. More on that as it comes out, but it’s a follow up to my first book, Security Alert and it’s also about computer security and identity theft.
TTVF: Tell us more about your show on the National Geographic Channel, “Mother of All.” What’s it like working with all that high-powered, hardcore stuff?
BECKY: Mother of All was a great learning experience for me. To host a show outside the confines of TechTV, and to work with a new crew and new style of production was truly enlightening. I learned that I’m a very immersive TV person; I dislike just watching and commenting, I like being a part of things.
At first the producers just wanted me to walk around asking people what they were doing, but in the down-time, I was bored to death, so I took on little projects. It started with cleaning, then painting, then angle-grinding, and finally more heavy-duty tasks like plasma-cutting, MIG and torch welding. There were times when I thought I might take a finger off, but the satisfaction of making even a tiny contribution, added so much to my enjoyment on the projects.
In the third episode we made a tailgate vehicle for Oakland Raider fans. I took on the task of making recycling more fun. I fabricated a miniature field goal that was about 10 feet high, I figured out a kicking tee apparatus that would hold an aluminum can on a spring. And when we rolled out the vehicle on game day, I set up a game where kids (and kids at heart) could try to kick the cans through the uprights and into the recycling bins. It was one of my favorite memories of the whole show.
TTVF: What’s life on the set like? Do you enjoy working on the show? It must be a lot of hard work at the same time as a lot of fun to work on the biggest and baddest of everything!
BECKY: Well to clarify, Mother of All is over. National Geographic changed their programming direction after we had started the show. At first it seemed they wanted to enter the building genre (e.g. Monster Garage, Big, or American Choppers), but while we were in production on the series, new programming executives pushed them back toward the mission of National Geographic, the magazine. So we produced a show they liked, but they didn’t have a home for it anymore.
As for being on the set, we had a great crew. The show was shot by the Corona brothers- two outrageous photographers that used to work at TechTV. We had some really good people in the production crew as well, so we laughed a lot and worked some too.
TTVF: Mother of All is a departure from the work you used to do on TechLive; are you still interested in Technology at all?
BECKY: I will always make my living around technology. I have just signed a contract with ABC to be the technology contributor for Good Morning America. This is the type of job that suits me best. I love explaining tech to the general public: trying to make it more accessible and more fun. Look for me 3-4 times a month, on both weekdays and weekends.
I have also started teaching financial and computer security seminars. I taught my first two at Stanford last month (it’s a little intimidating to go into the classroom for the first time in the collegiate setting). I am developing this curriculum more in the hopes of offering the seminar to corporations and organizations as a benefit for their employees/members.
In the show-host line of work, I have two pilots that are being shopped to cable networks and syndicators right now, one is called “Tradeshow Nation”. As you can guess from the title it’s all about tradeshows: the coolest stuff, the craziest products and the amazing people who make their living by selling products at tradeshows. This would be a natural fit with tech reporting since so many shows now days have elements or an entire focus on tech.
The other pilot is called “Eat, Sleep, Fish!” Total departure from tech, I’ve always wanted to host a fishing show and this one is not just about angling, but about the whole fishing trip experience: the river, the lodge, and the food. My secret love of cooking is revealed: I get to be a TV-Chef, trying out all the fish recipes I’ve learned through the years (growing up in Hawaii- you eat anything and everything from the ocean: seaweed, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and a few fish every now and then, too). The show was a blast to shoot and I have high hopes that you may see it on the Food Network, OLN or some other brave network.
My final gig is doing color-commentary for College Sports TV (CSTV). They have covered quite a few men’s and women’s collegiate rugby matches including the final four over the last 3 years. I have had the pleasure of playing analyst for the on-air broadcasts. It’s such a departure from all the other types of reporting I’ve done, but it’s a rush to be able to combine something I’m passionate about (rugby) with my day job (TV).
TTVF: Do you miss the old TechTV folks? Do you stay in touch?
BECKY: I have a pack of TechTV people with whom I am very close. Names you would recognize like Lindsey Arent, Erica Hill, David Stevenson, and Brendan Moran. There are lots of producers who have been great to me in the past 2 years: all the work I’ve gotten since the G$ debacle has been through my TechTV friends. I miss the day to day existence with these people more than you could imagine.
I also miss the advice and wisdom of the people who really influenced and mentored me at TechTV: Leo, Jim Louderback, Greg Drebin, Scott Warren and Greg Brannan.
TTVF: Might we see you guest-voicing in a podcast or two in the near future?
BECKY: I can’t imagine what I’d have to say that could provide enough content for a significant podcast. I think of myself as someone who listens to the high-end of technology news and tries to distill it down and make it fun for the average consumer. Right now, I feel podcasts are for the early adopters, not the average joes. I have opinions- but there are enough opinions floating around out there right now, I’ll stick to listening to TWIT and Security Now!
TTVF: We knew you were finishing up your master’s degree in Computer Science and Education at Stanford (swoon-so smart!), any plans on a doctorate? Dr. Worley has a certain ring to it!
BECKY: Are you INSANE? It took me 5 years to get my master’s, I’d be getting Social Security benefits by the time I got a PhD! (Oh wait, there won’t be any Social Security by then, my bad)
TTVF: Do you still play rugby? Isn’t that…dangerous?
BECKY: I just retired from playing rugby year round, now I play a few times a year and am resting my knees. I am playing in a match this November in Bermuda. It’s the US women over thirty who’ve played for the US national team against the British women over thirty who’ve played for their respective countries. It’s in a beautiful place, usually about 2000 people watch in the stands, and I get to see all my old team mates. Life is good.
TTVF: What do you do in your free time? Anything fun?
BECKY: I run with my dogs, play the Ukulele, go to the beach, fish, go to Hawaii and see my parents, watch TV and read. I am also working for a non-profit called Sports 4 Kids www.sports4kids.org that puts P.E., recess, and play back into schools were athletic programs have been cut.
TTVF: You know I had to ask: do you still have that inflatable surfboard lying around? Was it REALLY any good? (and since then, do you do any more surfing?)
BECKY: The ULI (Ultra Light Inflatable) was one of my favorite TTV segments, but the board- err- no. It was pretty unstable and it did develop a few leaks. I have a real surfboard and I go thrash around on it every once in a while, but I have shown no improvement. I think the problem is I just like being in the water- I’m not really motivated to get better.
Thanks again Becky!
One more thing she wanted to share with us came in an email she sent me earlier today:
“One thing I wanted to say to you and the folks who have been so supportive of the TechTV talent and the concept of ZDTV/TechTV: in an article about Charles Hirschhorn, it mentioned one of the possible reasons for his demise. ‘Efforts by G4 to improve TechTV’s shows with hipper hosts and formats that were more in line with G4’s teenage demographic target resulted in angry backlashes from older TechTV fans online and a revolving door of employee turnover’
As much as it may seem that you, the viewers are banging your heads against a wall, it may have made a difference. As someone who was there from the start and believed in our mission, I appreciate the group’s collective power and persistence.”
Right on Becky! Thanks, and you know we’ll keep up the fight for quality tech programming like the kind we enjoyed on TechTV!
Make sure you guys check out Becky Worley on Good Morning America talking tech! Also, keep an eye out for her on other networks as her pilots get shopped around! All of us here at TechTV Forever wish her the best of luck with all of her new shows and look forward to seeing her on TV wherever she might appear! Check her out on the web over at BeckyWorley.com [ http://www.beckyworley.com/ ] bookmark her blog, What’s Up Worley [ http://whatsupworley.blogspot.com/ ], and stick with TechTVForever for new and updated information on Becky’s projects as we learn about them!