Audrey is Scott's 11-year-old daughter, and I sat down with her just two weeks before her Continuation Graduation from 5th grade. She's bouncing in excitement for the summer ahead: cake and fancy outfits at Continuation, a trip to Germany, and performing in Mulan as *hopefully* Mushu.
She sets down her phone, both the case and the PopSocket decorated in pandas, and we dive in…
Emma: What's your favorite subject in school?
Audrey: Writing. A lot of my friends and teachers will agree that I'm really good at creating weird stories. I just like making up random things.
What's the latest story that you wrote?
Well, there's this one right now that I'm writing that I actually based off of a dream. I'm going to call it Morph-eds, because for some reason that's what was in my dream. Basically, Morph-eds are these magic people that have magic powers in this completely ordinary world. But they're just these specific individuals with magic powers, and most of them are either enslaved or homeless. They're all treated really badly; they're probably the lowest people in society.
So the story centers around this one girl who, she doesn't know it yet, but she's the only girl Morph-ed to ever have been born. And so there's a prophecy that says When the first girl comes into the world…—I don't know what the prophecy is yet, but basically it's gonna say that the first girl Morph-ed is going to be the queen of the world!
She's about to be sold, because she's a slave, to this guy she knows nothing about…
Audrey gave me the whole rundown of her story Morph-eds, but you'll have to buy her next book to find out the fate of these characters. :-)
Are dreams typically where you find inspiration for your writing?
Um, sometimes. This is the first one that I'm starting to actually write a proper story about. Usually I like one part of a dream, and think I should make that part into a story. I haven't actually used a whole dream as a story.
Do you and your dad ever write together?
Sometimes we'll go, there's a coffee shop really close to our house, and a lot of the time we'll bike there with our computers and then we'll help each other write different stories and give each other advice. One time we went and it was kinda snowy and I got hot chocolate and he got a coffee and we just wrote for a while!
But he goes there a lot more often than I do and I think it's because he's not as tired on the weekends as I am because I have 7 hours of dance per week and I get really tired. Actually, this weekend I have a dance performance. I'm so nervous for that because I'm doing 9 dances in total.
Wow, what kind of dance?
I have a jazz, ballet, another contemporary jazz-type thing, then there's musical theater, 2 tap dances, a contemporary dance, and a couple other jazzy kind of dances. One of the dances I have to do twice!
How long have you been dancing?
I think I was like 4 when I did my first dance, and it was a ballet dance, and the other day Mom and I were cleaning out our storage room downstairs because that thing was a mess. And we found that first little tiny ballet costume, and I was like "How did I ever fit in that?!"
You act in plays too, right?
Yeah, I did The Lion King last summer and this summer I'm doing Mulan.
Do you know what you're gonna be?
Nope! I'm getting the script next week. I really want to be Mushu! Mushu is like most comedic relief of every film and movie out there. He's just so sarcastic. He's hilarious.
What were you in The Lion King?
I was Shenzi the hyena. It was fun being her, because you got to be the leader of the hyenas. In actual animal biology, females are actually usually the leads. They're usually the bosses of the thing.
Do you remember asking your dad what he did for work when you were 7?
Yes, I do. I remember every day he'd come home and I'd be like "Daddy what did you do today?" He'd talk about it to Mom and use these big words, I don't remember any of them, and I was like "What does that mean?"
One time he was talking about this bug he had in a program, and I thought he meant like an actual physical bug! And he's like "So I finally worked out the bug" and I was like "How do you work out a fly?" And then he finally explained it and I was like Ohhh..
And so he started doing little projects with me, and then it evolved and he was like "I wanna do this with other kids!" And it evolved into Bitsbox!
Did you ever imagine that question inspiring your dad to quit his job and create a company to teach kids like you to code?
Nope! I just remember trying to suggest names to him for the company, 'cause they had like 3 names. It started with Code-something, and then Codepops, and now it's Bitsbox!
But I remember being like "What about this? What about this?" And little 7 or 8-year-old me was coming up with the weirdest names you've ever heard.
Do you remember any of them?
I don't, but I just remember Dad looking at me like I was insane.
What are some of your favorite Bitsbox app projects?
This isn't a specific one, but sometimes we'll be at conventions and I'll be there with the computer and the big screen, and I'm just kind of showing the coding part of it. He'll usually give me a challenge, so he'll be like "So, you have to make a giraffe fall to the ground and die in ashes!" And I'm like "OK!" and people will come over and watch.
I usually don't like to follow the [projects]. I'm usually like Ohhh and I like to make them from scratch a lot.
What's the last thing you coded?
Hmm I don't know, I haven't coded in a while because of school. I think it was at a convention thing a while ago, and [Dad] just kept giving me different trading cards.
I don't remember any specific ones. I just remember doing the thing where he's like "So do this!" with little challenges, or me asking "So what's your favorite animal?" and me putting an otter on the screen. I just remember doing little requests from different kids or adults.
That's hard to do, the improv coding.
Yeah, I like doing it though. I'm a big theater person. I really like doing theater.
Do you and your dad ever code together?
We did a lot more when I was younger, probably because I didn't have so much homework, dance, or extracurricular activities to do! But we used to code a lot, and I go to a lot of conventions with the [Bitsbox] team and my Dad. And then I'll be coding with him and showing stuff.
So what do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be an actress! I still don't know if I want to be a movie actress or a theater actress, because, like, I've never been in a movie!
But, I don't think I would be in TV just because, unless it's like, an Agents of Shield-type of show. A lot of shows on these days are stupid.
So I think I'd be in action movies, that'd be really fun.
Audrey is ambitious, well-rounded, and, yes, incredibly theatrical. You should have heard her hyena impression!
Whether she grows up to be on Broadway, or pursues her newest hobby in synchronized swimming, Bitsbox loves watching her grow up.
Who knows? She could be my boss one day!