Erikka Innes Smells Like Nerd Spirit [INTERVIEW]
Funny girl Erikka Innes is as cute as she is nerdy. Her highly-anticipated stand-up special ‘Smells Like Nerd Spirit’ was released yesterday, and we’re officially in love.
As ‘Commander of the Nerd Legion,’ Erikka creates supervillain seductresses with names like “Harriet Herpes,” explains a video game system called the ‘G-Spot 4,’ and battles pirates, all while on a quest to find out what fake boobs feel like, as she adjusts to life in LA. We’re on that quest too, but in a different way.
Despite all of those adventures keeping her pretty busy, she sat down with us to fill us in on the mission.
Congratulations on the release of ‘Smells Like Nerd Spirit!’ Is it a followup to ‘Sex With Nerds?’ What can we expect?
It is a follow up! There’s a bunch of new stuff on it, as well as some older material It’s also a DVD/CD combo, so you’ll get both! You can find it on iTunes.
So, you’re the self proclaimed ‘Commander of the Nerd Legion,’ which we love. Have you heard about the whole “fake geek girl,” meme?
It’s kind of weird! I was a pretty nerdy kid, and at that time no one really wanted to be a nerd, so it was a really welcoming community. It was fun, because you got to learn about science or be around other people who shared your interests. Now it’s weird that there’s all these angry people who are like “stop faking!” I think it’s difficult to deal with, because instead of being yourself you have to be ready for a test all of the time. I’ve just been like, “I’m not gonna do this, I’m just going to be myself,” you know?
It seems like it doesn’t make much sense, as a strategy.
None of it makes any sense! Let’s say someone is faking; that means they’re trying to be appealing to nerdy men, which means that they want a nerdy guy to like them. Nobody complains when women wear a lot of makeup to look pretty — I don’t see why people would be angry about other people being interested in what they’re doing. When I was younger and hanging out with people who played chess and ‘Magic the Gathering’ I was one of the only women. Guys were like “This is cool, we can play these games with a girl” and now it’s like “We hate you, go away!” Who are they going to get it on with?”
It could be the extinction of the male nerd species!
It will be like the Shaker religion! They were like “No sex, it’s bad, even if you’re married” and now there aren’t any more Shakers. They made really great furniture and then died off, because who wants to be a part of a group where you can’t have sex?
Tell us about the comedy night you run called “Freaky Geeks.”
I run that at Improv Comedy lab, with my co-producer Nina Daniels. We try to bring in comedians who have nerdy or geeky sensibilities, and combine it with people who do interesting variety acts. We recently had a really great acoustic band on called ‘Naked and Shameless;’ they play outrageous comedic songs mixed with stage games that involve the audience. We also had a juggler who put his whole body through a backpack, it was really interesting. [laughs]
He kept moving the straps until he was wrapped inside of it and then put his whole body through the straps; it was crazy!
You mentioned that you were into ‘Magic the Gathering’ when you were young; what other nerdy games did you play?
I played a little D&D and I did some larping; actually I would just watch my friend play larping games. They would all wear these costumes that were a mix of “Goth” and ‘The Matrix;’ I imagine everyone in that neighborhood was like “WHAT is going on?” because there were 40 or 50 of us running around in sunglasses at night, as a part of a vampire game. There was some stuff that I always wondered why we didn’t get in trouble for — Once we all had to gather in a parking lot for a bomb to go off — an imaginary bomb that was a part of the game — but if you heard someone talking about it, it probably didn’t sound fake.
What is your nerdiest current hobby?
I love original series Star Trek!
Who are some of your favorite comedians right now?
As far as people who have been around for a long time, I have always love Margaret Cho and Patton Oswald. Right now I’m really into Natasha Leggero and Louis CK.
Are you watching any YouTube series that you love?
I like “What the F***’ a lot!
Do you have plans for a national tour?
Yes! I am working out tour dates for later this year, which will include east coast dates.
Tell us about Pool Pirates, your first film.
It’s about pirates that are shipwrecked and have to live in a swimming pool. The owner of the house finds them and is pretty unhappy about the vagrant pirates living in her backyard!
So uh…Are you attracted to nerdy guys?
I’m not into the ones who don’t like women being nerdy, haha! But yes, I do really like nerdy guys — most of the time I end up dating engineers. We have the same interests so we can go to a museum or watch sci-fi together. They also get into Cosplay! Sometimes you can get them to dress up, but if not and they’re an engineer if you need something for your costume –like lights– they can help you set it up!
So you do Cosplay?
I do! Sometimes I just buy things and put them together, but sometimes I build more elaborate costumes.
What’s your favorite costume?
I really like my Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy costumes. Poison Ivy is really popular now, so you have to have a really good costume if you do it.
Is it tough to be a woman making a name for herself in this industry?
I definitely think it’s getting better, there’s a lot of up and coming female talent getting female attention. It’s still hard, but a lot of industries are male dominated, so if you’re gonna do it, that’s just the way it is.
Where can we see more of you?
I’m a regular host at Flappers in Burbank, CA! You can also check out the schedule on my website.
You can also follow Erikka on Twitter.