Q&A - OLAN ROGERS
MEET THE TENNESSEE WONDER CHILD
OLAN ROGERS IS A CO-OWNER OF STAR CADET; THE CREATOR, WRITER, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, AND LEAD VOICE ACTOR OF THE ANIMATED SERIES FINAL SPACE; AND A MEMBER OF THE CULT CLASSIC EARLY YOUTUBE SKETCH COMEDY GROUP BALLOONSHOP.
BUT YOU PROBABLY KNEW ALL OF THAT ALREADY.
Olan has had a presence online since "having a presence online" has been a thing. Outside of his success on Youtube in the late 2000s, Olan has made a name for himself in television, stand-up comedy, licensed consumer merchandise, and more. Now that you know what he's done, let's get to know a little bit more about who he is.
WHEN DID YOU START STAR CADET, AND WHAT WAS YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS GOING INTO IT?
Back in the day it was called Olan Rogers Apparel and then Olan Rogers Supply but I think it started back in 2011. The idea was to really just make top quality merch that could be worn by anyone. At the time a lot of online creators made the absolute dumbest looking merch and it felt like it had no thought put into it. We wanted to do the opposite and make it feel personal.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE ON THE NAME STAR CADET?
It just sounded cool and I love space. I know it’s lame yet cool! Yet kinda lame.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SONG?
Impossible to say but one of my favorites is from the Interstellar Soundtrack “No Time for Caution”
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
Princess Bride & Monty Python and the Holy Grail
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE QUOTES, AND WHY?
For sure the Lord of the Rings quote when Gandalf is talking to Frodo in the Mines of Moria…God, I’m such a nerd! But there's a great back and forth where they don’t know which tunnel to take and which way is the right way when Frodo says “I wish it need not have happened in my time.” And then Gandalf says “So do I, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Love that last line.
IF YOU COULD CHOOSE ANYONE, WHO WOULD YOU PICK AS YOUR MENTOR?
Robin Willams. There was something so special about him.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FINAL SPACE CHARACTER?
I love them all at this point, I miss them. My favorite to voice was always Tribore. My least favorite was Biskit, that guy didn’t do any favors for my vocal chords.
IF YOU COULD MEET ANYONE, LIVING OR DEAD, WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
A ghost. Just a regular run of the mill, good ole fashioned…ghost.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR?
Moose Tracks or anything with peanut butter cups in them.
WHAT'S BEEN YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY FROM YOUR BARELY HOLDING IT TOGETHER TOUR SO FAR?
Traveling around the country with my wife and watching her introduce me.
DESCRIBE YOUR JOB TO A 6 YEAR OLD.
I’m a wizard and if you cross me kid! You little fun-size six year old human, if you dare cross me! I’ll cast a vanishing spell that steals every single piece of ice cream from your freezer for as long as you live! You’ll never taste ice cream for as long as you live! So don’t you dare cross me, random six year old kid! For I’m a wizard!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR 20-YEAR-OLD SELF?
Practice an ice-cream vanishing spell for when a 6 six year old kid asks you to describe your job.
WHAT'S YOUR BIGGEST FEAR THAT YOU'VE OVERCOME?
Stage Fright. I still get incredibly nervous before a show but I’m getting more comfortable getting up on stage.
HOW DO YOU UNLOCK YOUR CREATIVITY?
With the right key. For me, it’s music. One song can unlock an entire story in my mind before I ever write anything down. Without music those doors would stay locked.
SERIOUSLY- HOW DO YOU JUGGLE ALL OF THE THINGS YOU DO AT ONCE?
I set milestones and once I hit one I move on to the next project, hit another milestone and then keep moving to the next. That’s the goal is to keep moving forward.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS DIFFICULT ABOUT BEING A PUBLIC FIGURE WITH A FOLLOWING OF PEOPLE WHO CONSUME YOUR CONTENT; WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOU OUTSIDE OF WHAT YOU'VE PRODUCED?
When you’re at your lowest, nobody knows. The past few years have been some of the hardest of my life and during May of 2021 I was emotionally destroyed. I gave so much of myself to so many things and when I lost them all, there wasn’t anything for myself. I felt empty, like the last bit of toothpaste in the tube and I didn’t really see myself in the mirror anymore and that was scary. That’s when I realized I had to start building myself back up from the bottom and I did it through comedy. The Barely Holding It Together pulled me out of a hole and hearing everyone laugh was medicine I needed.
IF MONEY WAS NO OBJECT AND NOTHING WAS OFF-LIMITS, WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DREAM YOU'D LIKE TO ACHIEVE FOR STAR CADET?
I get in trouble when I think this way haha I can feel my wife’s eyes on me as I type this.
WHAT WOULD YOUR DREAM COLLABORATION BE?
It would never happen but I would love to do something with Star Wars.
THE PAST TWO YEARS HAVE BEEN FULL OF CHALLENGES FOR EVERYONE; TO FIND A LITTLE POSITIVITY IN THE MESS, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOU'VE GAINED FROM THE RAPID CHANGES WE'VE EXPERIENCED SINCE 2020?
Made me not take the little things for granted, having food on the table, a roof over your head and hang out with the people you care about.
WHAT'S ON THE HORIZON FOR YOU CREATIVELY?
Developing lots of TV shows, features and I’m about to jump back into youtube, really just keep creating.
HAVE YOU THOUGHT OF CREATING ANY SHOWS THAT ARE LIVE-ACTION, OR DO YOU PLAN TO STICK WITH ANIMATION?
Shhhhhh! No comment.
HOW HAS STAR CADET EVOLVED SINCE ITS CONCEPTION?
It’s gotten so much better and refined. The stuff we're making just straight up looks good! And it feels great, I’m always shocked now when I see the finished product. We’re constantly trying to outdo ourselves and I love that.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE STAR CADET ITEM CURRENTLY IN THE SHOP?
That Star Eater hoodie. I wear it all the time now.
KEEP UP WITH OLAN: