Don’t be surprised to see Lisa Weeks show up at work in a colorful wig, or walk into a convention center wielding a gigantic sword.
Our latest Geek of the Week is steeped in the world of cosplay (that’s short “costume play,” for the uninitiated), having made more than 40 costumes over the past decade. As if that wasn’t enough, Weeks also makes accessories such as handbags and jewelry from spare console and computer parts.
Continue reading for her answers to our questionnaire, and more pictures of her incredible costumes.
Name: Lisa Weeks
Job, hobby and/or other geeky pursuit: Marketing Director for Filter, Digital Solutions Agency; avid cosplayer and videogamer.
Coolest thing about what you do: The coolest thing about what I do is that I get to creatively market a company that’s all about digital. I love being involved in the creation and execution of bleeding edge digital media, and coming to work every day with the amazingly talented people who are shaping that media, is pure awesome sauce for me. Filter is essentially the mothership for creative people, so the culture is a perfect fit for me personally because Filter not only accepted, but embraced, my geeky eccentricities!
What does it mean to you to be a geek? To me, being a geek means that you have extreme passion for whatever field you are interested in… which drives you to seek out research, communities, and events in order to align with other people in your particular interest and to absorb as much information about that field as you possibly can. Common side effects of this extreme passion can include the following: convention addiction, a need for T-shirts with obscure references, and an insatiable desire to collect “action figures” that end up taking over your whole house!
Geekiest things you’ve ever done, built, or worn (photos encouraged): I have several answers for each of those categories! The geekiest thing I’ve ever done, built AND worn was when I was only 5 days into my new job and showed up to their All-Staff Talent Show in one of my cosplay costumes, complete with a giant sword… figured I might as well show them what they’d just gotten themselves into, ha! I’ve made over 40 cosplay costumes over the past 10 years, consisting of videogame characters ranging from Ivy from Soul Calibur II, KOS MOS from Xenosaga, Leblanc from Final Fantasy X-2, to Jill from Resident Evil. I also build geeky accessories (handbags, jewelry, etc.) from old circuit boards and scrap computer or console components.
Your best geek tip or trick for managing everyday work and life: Find a way to combine work with whatever your geeky hobby might be! I created “Wig Wednesdays” as a way for me to express my love of cosplay by wearing one of my wigs (I have over 50) every Wednesday with my regular work ensemble. It’s now an integral part of my own personal “brand”, and often makes for great conversation starters at networking events.
Mac, Windows or Linux? Yes. All of the above.
Kirk, Picard, Janeway or Sisko? I’ve… got to… say… Kirk. Totally.
Transporter, Time Machine or Cloak of Invisibility? Time Machine… I feel displaced in time anyway. People often tell me, “You were born in the wrong era,” but then they can’t put their finger on whether or not that should be a past or future era.
If someone gave me $1 million to launch a startup, I would … Open my version of a Geek Café in Seattle like the Gundam Café in Tokyo’s Akihabara district! Seattleites need a place to rock out with their geek out, especially since GameWorks has succumbed to the mainstream sports bar schtick. /mourn
I once waited in line for … A second beer at Key Arena, because I saw Bill Nye the Science Guy get in line, so I handed my beer to my friend and got back in line, just because I wanted to wait in line behind him. I was too shy to introduce myself, though….that bow tie gives me the vapors, oooohh!
Your geek role models? Hedy Lamarr, for being one of the most glamorous and talented Hollywood actresses in history, as well as the inventor of frequency-hopping, which serves as the basis for modern spread-spectrum communication technology, such as COFDM and CDMA. And yes, I have a head crab in my office named Lamarr :)
Greatest Game In History: In history, I’d have to say chess. But in recent history, I’d have to say it’s a tie between Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X. The storylines, the characters, and the music hold a very special place in my heart… when I saw the “Distant Worlds” concert a few years ago at Benaroya Hall, and the illustrious Nobuo Uematsu joined the chorus on stage to sing “One Winged Angel”, I think I had a religious experience.
Best Gadget Ever: From a cosplayer’s perspective, that’d have to be the hot glue gun.
First computer: Commodore 64
Current phone: Droid Eris
Favorite app: Bit! After all, he’s famous! He was the very first CGI movie character!
Favorite hangout: Anywhere with blue-haired people, both vintage and current… you can often find me at Oliver’s in the Mayflower Park Hotel or at the 5 Point!
Most important technology of 2011: I’d have to say gesture-based tech; although it’s getting slightly ridiculous with the multitude of gadgets from the Kinect, Move, and Wii all clustered around the center of my TV, ha!
Most important technology of 2015: Biotechnology! Let’s get this biomechanical augmentation and nano-cybernetics show on the road! I don’t want to have to wait for Sarif Industries in 2027!
Words of advice for your fellow geeks: Yes, we may be extremely passionate and well-versed in our area(s) of expertise, but we need to be cognizant that we have a tendency to switch into Condescending Mode when we sense that we are in the presence of a n00b.… you never know, that n00b just might be 1337 in disguise.
Editor’s Note: In the interest of transparency, we should point out that Filter is one of GeekWire’s sponsors. Lisa Weeks was separately nominated by a colleague as Geek of the Week, and the GeekWire editors determined that her geek credentials (and costumes) speak for themselves.
Geek of the Week is a regular feature profiling the characters of the Pacific Northwest technology community. See the Geek of the Week archive for more.
Does someone you know deserve this distinguished honor? Send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Geek of the Week photography by Annie Laurie Malarkey, email@example.com. Additional photos courtesy Lisa Weeks.]