The Jessie and Kara Interview (LEGO® Masters)
SPOILER ALERT: This post reveals details from the first two episodes of LEGO® Masters USA.
Recently, the opportunity arose to take part in an interview with eliminated contestants from LEGO® Masters USA. It was, of course, thanks to the LEGO® Ambassador Network. I joined Recognized LEGO® Fan Media outlets BZPower and The Brothers Brick for a half hour Jessie and Kara interview following the pair’s elimination from the show on Wednesday night. Each fan media outlet was given the time to ask a few questions. The Q&A results were pooled, and you can read the whole interview below. Enjoy!
What did you take from your experience on LEGO Masters and how will it help you move forward?
Jesse: For me, my mind is so blown that I made it this far, even if it’s just for a moment. I got to share my enthusiasm and my love for LEGO, be on a team, and I was able to meet some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met with on that set. So that’s exactly what I’m taking away. I’ve gained so much. And I think if you asked the other teammates, they would say the same thing. Even the two that make it to the finale would say the same thing. It was a new and amazing experience. So, to me, it definitely was not a failure. It was a major accomplishment that just had a little shorter shelf life.
Kara: I wish we could have had the opportunity to show our skills and our building more. I feel like when we were building the spaceship, and it crashed and burned before it was supposed to, we made the most of it. We knew we had to present something, so we created a theme that everything was on fire and everything had been destroyed. We made the best of the situation that we could rather than just say we are done and there’s nothing we could do about it. That last hour we turned destruction into a crash of art, and I wanted the judges to take that into consideration.
Hopefully, even when things don’t go your way and there’s unforeseen obstacles or events, you just make the best of it. Press on and be proud of what you’re presenting. I’m thankful that we did have something to present and I felt like Will did a great job destroying it.
Also, I feel like in the first episode, we didn’t actually lose four hours by changing themes. We realized we needed to get on the same page and that Jessie wasn’t excited about it. I came with my best friend and I wasn’t going to leave without my best friend. I didn’t want anything to impede our friendship. We were there to have fun–it wasn’t because we were struggling. And that’s when we came back to the drawing board and thought, “You know what, it’s never too late to change directions!” And we did, and I think that we had something to be proud of displayed at the end.
Is there anything that you would have done differently in the two challenges you participated in?
Jessie: I was pretty pleased with what we did for the Dream Park. I think for the second one, the Space Smash, we could have made some structural improvements and make it a little bit more sturdy.
Kara: I wish we would have spent more time on the drawing board, really sketching out our vision and taking the time to sit down and think before jumping in. But once you find out what the challenge is, you’re just so anxious to get your hands on the bricks. That’s kind of a lifelong lesson for me. You just want to get started. You’re just so anxious. I really needed to sit back and think it through and make sure to communicate with Jessie because my ideas and her ideas can be very different. In our past, we have not built a lot together as a team, though we have endless hours of building separately doing our own projects. I mean, I can finish her sentences and she can finish mine, but we can’t expect each other to imagine the thoughts in our heads. As a team, you have to know each other’s work strategies to do a joint task successfully. So, yeah, I would have spent more time discussing and planning with Jessie.
Jessie: I agree completely.
What was the most difficult aspect of the two challenges aside from the time limit?
Kara: One of the things that was difficult was when the judges would come around and point to another team and compare our progress. That got into my head a little bit. In the first challenge we were directly across from Aaron and Christian, and within an hour they had erected this giant Ferris wheel! That was very unnerving and intimidating because in our first hour we were still trying to master the idea of the duck! Seeing what the other teams are doing and how they’re progressing, and then getting back to your own little table is daunting. It is a long time to stay focused and stay on task even though after it feels like it goes by so fast.
How much interaction like feedback or assistance did you have from the judges, Will Arnett and the guest stars during the episode?
Kara: The judges made their way around to each table, and they wanted to know what the storyline was, what our theme was, and what direction we were moving in. And obviously, we definitely wanted to take into consideration any suggestions they had. In both episodes, when they did offer constructive criticism, we listened and we adjusted. I think maybe with the spaceship, we probably should have listened and adjusted earlier and quicker in terms of laying it on its side. Everything that they suggested we took to heart because they are the LEGO® Masters!
Jessie: We definitely appreciated their feedback, and we did listen to it. It’s unfortunate that the construction did fall apart in the end. But they were very, very helpful and we appreciated it. Everyone was very helpful. That’s what they were there for.
Kara: Will was very easy to banter and interact with. He was fun! At one point (and they showed it in the episode) he did offer to help as we were turning the spaceship. He is funny and humorous, but you don’t know in a serious situation if you can really take him seriously or not. When he offered to help, I looked at him like, “Are you being serious? Are you being funny? Because I need your help.” Of course, when he realized I was very serious he backed off so that we could continue letting it fall.
What was the environment like in the build area? Did teams share ideas or was there more playful trash-talking like we saw in the episode?
Kara: There was a time in the first episode when Jessie was responsible for making our rocket spin. We were next to Crystal and Amy, and they were very helpful with making it spin. In terms of reality competition shows, it was very hard to compete against the other teams because you respect their talents, you love what they do, and you want to learn from them. There was no negativity between the teams in any capacity. Or I never saw any of that if there was. Each time something sad happened, like when Timber Town got stuck, we all had a lump in our throat. None of us wanted to see any of the builds from any builder not work or function. Knowing all the work that goes into everyone’s builds, you’re just so proud of everything that was produced.
What would have been the perfect challenge for your team if you could have chosen one?
Jesse: Wow, that’s a good question. Maybe something like your favorite place on earth? Where would it be? What would that look like to you?
Kara: We’ve taught for forever together; for many, many years. We’ve worked with a lot with children, so I think many of the ideas that we had on the drawing board, even before the competition began, were stories, or books, or movies. Maybe a Grimms’ Fairy Tales theme. Definitely something children-related and storytelling for sure. And thankfully, that was a huge part of what the judges were looking for. They didn’t want just a creation–they wanted the story behind it.
How did it feel being two of only six female builders on the show?
Kara: I think it was fabulous that there were six of us! I love the fact that girls are getting more involved. And it’s not a just girl/boy thing. There seem to be more men actively involved in LEGO®, but I hope our presence on the show can help change that. There are so many avenues for LEGO® to be in our everyday life, and I think women can make some amazing things happen as they build. Hopefully we played a small role in that.
Jessie: Oh, yeah. Absolutely!
What was your favorite craft services food on set?
Kara: I would have to say the Jelly Bellies. The snack room they had on set was amazing! They were very good about offering a variety of protein snacks or healthly food, but they gave us a fair amount of junk food that was very much appreciated during those long hours of building.
Jessie: Yeah, the Jelly Bellies were my favorite too. Oh, how many I ate of those!
What have the reactions been to you being on the show? Some have called your team their “Favorite 80s Moms” and commented you were some of the most expressive people on TV.
Kara: Some of the other team members told me not to pay attention to what people say online. I didn’t even know what was being said, so curiosity got the best of me. I am exactly who I am today as I was when we were filming. I hope that people realize it’s not an act. I just am very intense and very excitable and have high energy. That’s truly how I am. I have facial expressions and big hair, but that’s kinda always been me, and I wouldn’t change that for the show or for critics.
The message I want to share, particularly after all of this, is that we’re all so different, but we can be comfortable being in our own skin and sharing our talents. On the show, we all were from very, very different walks of life and each of our backgrounds and demographics were unique, but LEGO® was the common denominator between all of us which helped us have a solid foundation of friendship.
Jessie: The reaction has been very positive and even humorous at times for me. I am absolutely thrilled to see so many people who love LEGO® rally around us and the show. The fan base is amazing, and it’s been fun to see them get excited about something new.
As adult fans of LEGO, what are your favourite LEGO® sets?
Kara: Fort Legoredo is definitely my favorite set. In terms of themes, I love Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story, and the Lone Ranger.
Jesse: In general, I like anything that’s movie-related, but my favorite theme is Star Wars.
Have either of you gone to a LEGO® convention or participated in the greater LEGO® fan community?
Kara: I wish I lived on the West Coast because it seems like they have so many more opportunities right now to convene and introduce our LEGO® club. I’m going to St. Louis in June, and if Jessie can find anything going on in Hawaii we’ll both be there! (laughs)
Jessie: Yeah it is a little bit more tricky finding a fan event here but I’m hoping to get to the mainland to attend an upcoming LEGO® convention.
Where can we follow you and your future LEGO® creations online?
Kara: I’m involved in several LEGO® Facebook groups online, and I’m starting to get involved in the Springfield LUG. I would love to start another LEGO® club here in the Rogers area. Currently, my LEGO® community is with children, but I’d like to get involved more with adults. So I’m looking for opportunities where I can get involved. Hopefully some of my fellow contestants can help me with that.
Jessie: I build primarily with children, so I haven’t done a lot online. I have a lot of videos and photos at home, I guess.
What advice would you give to a future LEGO® Masters contestant?
Kara: Go into it with an open mind and with some ideas up your sleeve. And do your research on previous LEGO® Masters seasons. We watched the Australian version which was extremely helpful. When you first get on the show, you’re getting to know the Brick Pit and you’re getting to know the teams, and you’re getting your on-camera jitters out of the way. There are so many new things right off the bat. Go into that first build as prepared as you possibly can be, and have some ideas up your sleeve for sure.
Jessie: Know what you’re getting into. Really work on not being nervous or anxious, but go in it with a total “play and have fun” attitude. You’ll have a lot of fun.
Do you know who won, and if not, who are you rooting for?
Kara: We definitely know who won, though I did have a very strong feeling early on who would make it to the finals.
Jessie: I can’t root for one team in particular because each builder has such incredible talent!
Tune in next week for more!
There you have it, parting words from Jesse and Kara, the first contestants eliminated from LEGO® Masters USA. Keep checking back for more LEGO® Masters updates. I will share my personal thoughts on episode two soon, and more interviews with show participants are coming. If you have any burning questions, please share them in the comments section below or shout out on social media.
Until next time,
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