Felicia Day

Huntsville native Felicia Day (1979- ) is an actor, producer, and writer who works primarily in the genres of science fiction and fantasy. She is the creator and star of The Guild, an award-winning comedy web series about the players of (and their characters in) an online game similar to the popular World of Warcraft. She has also made notable appearances on such television series as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Eureka, and Supernatural, and the cult favorite Internet musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. She cofounded the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel and wrote the best-selling 2015 memoir You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost).

Kathryn Felicia Day was born on June 28, 1979 in Huntsville, Madison County, where she attended pre-school and completed the first grade before being home-schooled through her high school years. Day says in her memoir that her mother distrusted the local public education system, and in the second grade enrolled her in Saints Academy, a conservative but rigorous Lutheran school. However, Day notes her parents were neither conservative nor religious, and withdrew her after she objected to the mandatory chapel attendance. Day had her first starring role in the Huntsville Little Theater production of To Kill a Mockingbird when she was age seven. Her natural talent earned her the role of Scout, the play's viewpoint character, and the experience instilled her with a love of acting. Day's father, a military engineer studying to be a doctor in the U.S. Air Force, moved the family to Biloxi, Mississippi in order to continue his training. They would move throughout the Deep South over the next eight years, never remaining in one town for long.

Day's mother would continue to educate both Day and her brother at home. Day describes her mother as being extremely well-educated and well-read, the daughter of scientists and artists who encouraged her children to read anything and everything they wanted at a very early age. Her mother designed her own curriculum and took Day and her brother on numerous field trips. Day and her brother were introduced to science fiction via reruns of such television series as Lost in Space. On the family's monthly visits back to Alabama, she received intensive instruction in math from her maternal grandfather, a retired nuclear physicist whom she says had worked on the Reagan-era Strategic Defense Initiative program commonly known as "Star Wars." Day relates that he quizzed her about the Pythagorean Theorem while watching reruns of the 1960s comedy television show Hee-Haw. He also gave her the first of many hand-me-down computers on which she became immersed in gaming, playing text adventure games like Zork.

At a very early age, Day also took violin lessons and became extremely proficient. Despite having never attended high school, she auditioned for and was accepted to the Julliard School of Music pre-program at the age of 14. She did not attend, however, given the difficulties of living in New York City on her own. The family then moved to San Antonio, Texas, where she became heavily involved in the local music community. She took private lessons at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, played at weddings, and earned a position with the Austin Symphony, becoming the youngest member up to that time.

During the summer of 1994, Day's violin tutor encouraged her to apply to UT for college. At age 15, she entered the program with a full Merit Scholarship in violin performance. She also studied operatic singing and ballet at various other universities and performed in nationwide competitions. At UT, she was valedictorian of her class and double-majored in music and mathematics. She graduated at the age of 19 in the top 4 percent of her class, receiving both a bachelor of science in mathematics with highest honors and a bachelor of arts in violin performance. After Day graduated from UT in 1998, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting as a career. She landed several roles in various short and independent films as well as commercials and guest spots on television shows, including Undeclared and Maybe It's Me. Larger roles followed, including a part in the 2000 film Bring It On Again. In 2003, she joined the seventh and final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the recurring role of Vi, a potential "Slayer."

In 2007, Day created, wrote, and starred in The Guild, a comedy web series about the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Player Game) community that ran for six seasons, ending in 2013. Inspired by World of Warcraft and her interest in other online videogames, its popularity led Microsoft to make a deal with Day, and the second season premiered on Microsoft's three major video channels, Xbox Live, MSN Video, and the Zune Marketplace. The series won multiple awards, including the YouTube Video Award for Best Series, the South by Southwest Festival's Greenlight Award for Best Original Production, and three 2009 Streamy Awards. The following year, Day played Penny, the female lead in the Web-based musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, written and directed by Buffy creator Joss Whedon. In 2011, she starred as Tallis the Elf in the Web miniseries Dragon Age: Redemption, based on the Dragon Age video games.

In 2012, Day launched her YouTube channel, Geek & Sundry, which produced the sixth and final season of The Guild. She also created and hosted several other shows on the Geek & Sundry channel. That same year, she appeared on the CW Network television show Supernatural, guest-starring in the seventh season episode "The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo" as cynical lesbian hacker Charlie Bradbury. She proved popular and became a recurring character on the show through 2015.

Touchstone Books, an imprint of Simon & Shuster, published Day's memoir, You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) in August 2015. Well-reviewed by such publications as USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and Forbes, it became an Amazon and New York Times bestseller and was reprinted in paperback with an extra "bonus" chapter in April 2016. In November 2015, Mystery Science Theater 3000 creator Joel Hodgson announced that Day would star in a Kickstarter-funded revival of that cult comedy show. That campaign was successful, with Netflix set to produce a 14-episode season of new shows co-starring Day as Dr. Kinga Forrester, daughter of the original series villain Dr. Clayton Forrester.

Additional Resources

Day, Felicia. You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). New York: Touchstone Books, 2015.

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