Three freshmen have embraced Wheaton life and their fellow Wheaties by creating a YouTube series called the “Wheat Seat,” featuring unique aspects of Wheaton and its students. Kate McLaughlin ’18, Livie Ray ’18 and Ellie Levine ’18 came up with the idea for the “Wheat Seat” over October break.
Their inspiration came from the infamous old desk in the front lobby of Young Hall. They remarked, “When we first thought of it, we were in Young. We just saw the counter in the front and began pretending we had a news show. Then we thought, wouldn’t it be fun if we had an actual news show?”
Luckily for these ambitious young women, Levine has had a lifelong interest in filmmaking. Levine said, “When I was nine, I started making movies. I did a lot of film programs as a kid and then I had a comedy skit show in high school. Now I’m a film major here.” McLaughlin also plans to pursue Film Studies and is an aspiring screen writer for television shows. While Ray plans to be a business major, all three students plan to continue making Wheat Seat episodes during their time here at Wheaton.
The show typically consists of segments such as Wise Words from Stir-fry Mark, Shirt of the Week, highlights of Wheaton events and interviews with Wheaton athletes, RA’s, clubs and other student groups. Ray noted, “Because we are friends, it’s not like a job, it’s more like fun.” They all agree that they are lucky to have found each other and enjoy working together. In fact, brainstorming is one of their favorite parts of the show. They continuously brainstorm ideas through group texts, but when it’s time to get to business, they typically brainstorm for an afternoon, then shoot the episode in a few hours on a Sunday.
McLaughlin recalls the moment the first episode of the “Wheat Seat” was uploaded to YouTube: “I remember being in Roche Bros. and getting this notification and I thought, ‘Oh no, the whole world can see this now.’ But then I watched it and I realized, ‘Wow, the editing really makes a difference.’” Since then, they have made six more episodes and have gained recognition on campus. However, they agree that it feels odd to be freshmen, not knowing many people while simultaneously having fans recognize them around campus.
McLaughlin, Ray and Levine have recently decided to expand their show outside of Young and into the Wheaton community. They have successfully reached this goal and included the Wheatones and President Hanno in their latest episodes. However, one of their favorite subjects remains Sam Hickson, a sophomore, RA and Dimple Diver at Wheaton College. The women admit that they like to “troll him a little bit” but that he likes it. They also like to make their show interesting by coming up with strange questions for their interviewees. Ray explains, “It is all about the comedy.”
While the “Wheat Seat” provides hilarious entertainment, it also aims to expose the uniqueness of Wheaton and its community. Levine, Ray and McLaughlin said that they want to make the show as much about the school as possible. They invite people to approach them if they would like to be on the show. “Everyone is involved in something,” said the three. “We want to get as many groups as we can.” The women also encourage more people to watch their show and to like their Facebook page.