Knowing Mary Kate Wiles
On today’s podcast episode, we have Mary Kate Wiles, an actress, and creator of many incredible things. While she may not be a baseball fan, Mary Kate Wiles prides herself in being a workaholic and an overachiever, especially in the creative field. “It’s good to have things to occupy yourself just like while in school, I was in multiple clubs and engaged in various activities.
I just always had to pack as much into my time as possible and that has not changed in my adult life” She says.
Mary Kate Wiles also owns a production company and is a good singer. While starting out her singing career it didn’t seem like something she wanted to pursue because she had to deal with plenty of insecurities about her singing skills, but despite all that, today she is being featured to sing in various renowned film projects like Fairly Oddparents. She calls singing her “Secret Weapon” besides acting.
While speaking on her role in Fairly Oddparents, an animated hybrid show dating back from the early 2000s, she recalls auditioning and how quickly everything took off ”I got in the audition by July 2021. So I did a self-tape for the role of Vicki in The Fairly OddParents and although I did not grow up watching Fairly Oddparents.
I knew of it when I googled Vicki Fairly Oddparents and it is a big character, so I tried to watch some clips. 2 days later, I booked it and then I was on set the next week and so we started filming”. For Mary kate Wiles, Fairly Odd Parents was a fun project to work on, and she hoped the audience feels as excited as she is.
As a young child, Mary Kate Wiles started performing by attending dance classes like ballet and tap and also joining choirs. By the time she became a teenager, she had grown to love performing particularly acting and hasn’t looked back ever since.
The Arkansas-bred actress studied acting at USC and got her first gig in a series called The Lizzie Benneth Diaries, a vlog adaptation of Pride and Prejudice which went viral in 2012.
Over the past few years, she has been focused on digital content. In 2013, She worked with her boyfriend Sean Prasad on creating a project called shipwrecked and by late 2015, she officially joined her boyfriend’s group and helped them produce their flagship series, called Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party.
Ever since she has been creating literary historical sketches and shorts and most recently worked with the team to finish filming the next series, called headless a Sleepy Hollow story. “It’s the biggest thing we’ve ever done and it was very intense but great and really exciting”. She says enthusiastically. Mary Kate Wiles also has an inner Green Gables podcast and a Patreon where she has shared the ins and outs of her acting career with her Patrons for many years.
Advancing and Fundraising
Mary Kate Wiles and her production team kick-started last year and have successfully raised $200k for their Kickstarter “Headless”, this has helped them get back on their feet following drawbacks from the previous year and the Pandemic.
They’ve been able to get on with pre-productions, and shooting even using external producers. Still speaking on kickstarting and raising funds, this was their third kickstarting experience and since they’ve had knowledge from previous endeavors, along with an audience that loves and engages them, it seemed easier.
Yet, she laid emphasis on having a strategy to keep people engaged. Their strategy includes doing cast reveals often, this keeps people excited and in anticipation. Furthermore, reaching beyond their own audience like testing new cast folks for different audiences also helps as it brings a new set of eyeballs.
Email campaigns were not left out, sending out updates or emails to people who had seen the previous kick-starters and may want more. Also, having an overall good graphics vibe for Kickstarters is very important. Lastly, live streaming every weekend really engages the audience and gives them a taste of what the actual thing is going to be in terms of like style and tone.
Why headless? Headless is a modern adaptation of Sleepy Hollow which is a little different in terms of the regular spookiness they’ve shot in the past. One of the writers had come up with a funny idea from her high school of having Gabon crane and the Headless Horseman as roommates and since the Headless Horseman is always a scary thing, walking around with a robot would make it more captivating.
Mary and the team surely have tonnes of creative ideas but like most young production companies, struggled to meet budgets. So raising the funding for Headless was as exciting for them as the thought of sharing it with their beloved audience.
Over the past two years, besides working with the team on Headless, and her role in Fairly OddParents, Mary had developed other hobbies like cooking that have helped her remain active. Talking about future plans, she says “We’ve got some other ideas that we might even try to start before we’re all done with headless although they’ll be smaller and won’t be quite the same size and magnitude. Mary looks forward to writing more great pilots or movies.
Advice for upcoming actors/actress
A lot of truly brilliant and creative people get overwhelmed by doing the work or are scared that if they put in a lot of effort, nobody would watch. But consistency is the key, to finding new ways to keep oneself engaged about the work and working towards getting things done. Setting goals, being self-motivated, figuring out what can be done, and your unique area. But the fun thing is, is that if one makes another thing after that, you may find your thing.
Mary Kate Wiles can be found on Instagram and Tik Tok as MK Wiles and their show shipwreck comedy can be found on any social media.
Also, can be seen in the show Young Sheldon.