The Media Show

with Weena and Erna

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Behind the scenes

Door with titleThe Media Show is an independent creator-owned series focusing on the issue of media literacy. The show conveys this through puppets and crazy, and can be watched on its long-running YouTube channel.

In 2010, The Media Show won the Fair Use Award at the Media That Matters Film Festival.

Cast & Crew

Gus and WeenaGillian “Gus” Andrews is the creator of The Media Show, as well as head writer and the puppeteer beneath Weena, the angry punk.

Gus received her EdD in Communications and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2010. Her dissertation was on catastrophic misunderstandings in online literacy (or, in layman’s terms, “stupid on the Internet”). As far as she knows, she is the first person to have ever written her dissertation in an online wiki. At some point, she should write a paper about how this “wikissertation,” if you will (and you don’t need to), disproves claims that technologies have innate qualities which shape how people use them, as her professors mostly didn’t even read the online version, much less use the discussion page to collaborate or leave notes. Gus’s research interests include conversation analysis, gesture and gaze (including in digital spaces and film); digital divides; and, of course, media and digital literacy. She maintains a mostly-serious blog at, and can sometimes be heard as a commentator on the radio show Off The Hook.

Abby!Abby Estes was tapped for the role of Erna because of her deep involvement with roleplaying communities in New York City. Presented with an outline of the role of Weena’s bossy fangirl sister, she slipped instantly into character with Erna’s trademark fluting voice and Internet slang – and the role stuck. Abby has been integral to the production of the show from the beginning, co-writing scripts and building puppets and props.

Erna, Rob, and Weena (L-R)Rob Vincent is an artist, writer, performer, and nerd-of-all-trades.

Behind the scenes of The Media Show Rob is a contributing writer, crafter, designer, and website ninja. In front of the camera, Rob performs as the Monster of the Week as well as an uncertain amount of Interns and bit parts. Rob has also been a commentator on Off The Hook, and is an organizer for the Hackers On Planet Earth and NYC2600 hacker events. Rob’s personal site, blog, portfolio, and art blog can be found on the Internets, natch.

We liked working with Bryan Currie in his interview about his product placement job so much — nobody else was quite so game to deep-tongue-kiss puppets — that we invited him to be a character and writer on the show. Bryan maintains a very funny and thoughtful blog, Sometimes Roads Diverge.

Nicola!Nicola McEldowney is an accomplished writer, puppeteer, and performer, having written and starred in multiple original stage productions, including Aisle Six, a musical about a haunted supermarket which also starred a number of cast members from The Media Show. In 2010 she conducted a research project, “L’art de la marionnette dans les années 1930 et regards sur aujourd’hui,” on puppetry in Paris.

Nicola wrote the “What’s In A Flame?” and “Two Songs Don’t Make A Right” episodes, and originated the role of the Intern. She maintains a heavily-footnoted blog at The Snark Ascending. She likes to say “knees” and “stoat.”