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Wisconsin’s Content Queens Alex Wehrley And Kristin Brey Share Tips, Backstories, And More!

Wisconsin’s Content Queens Alex Wehrley And Kristin Brey Share Tips, Backstories, And More!

Although there is no single perfect formula for producing viral content, learning from the experts can certainly level up your game. This episode features Wisconsin-based…

Although there is no single perfect formula for producing viral content, learning from the experts can certainly level up your game. This episode features Wisconsin-based content creators Alex Wehrley and Kristin Brey, who have collectively amassed thousands of followers on Instagram and TikTok. The two share their journey to reach their current social media status and the well-kept secrets of their creative process. They discuss how to increase online presence, deal with all kinds of feedback, and translate pressing issues into comedic posts. Alex and Kristin also answer a few questions about Wisconsin and perform a mini “Wisconsin Women Wanted” segment.

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Wisconsin’s Content Queens Alex Wehrley And Kristin Brey Share Tips, Backstories, And More!

In this episode, I have two of my favorite content creators joining me, Alex Wehrley and Kristin Brey. If you’re on TikTok or Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen them as they’ve been putting out a lot of viral Wisconsin-based content. We’re going to get to know the backstories behind these two. You’re also going to get insights on how they create content that goes viral. If you’re a brand business creator looking to up your game and get more exposure in the marketplace, you’ll get some good takeaways.

We also have a lightning round of Wisconsin-based questions. Because these two did put out a comedic video about launching Wisconsin Women Wanted, a premier dating service for men, where they gave red flags and green flags based on certain traits of guys, I couldn’t resist and had to throw them some real-life scenarios involving my friends like Dancing Cowboy MKE, Jack Blair, and more for them to red flag and green flag.

The lightning round in the red flag and green flag is all at the end of the episode. A quick background on our guests. Alex won Miss Wisconsin back in 2009. She hosted the Miss USA pageant in 2015. She has been a TV host and producer for networks like VH1, CNN, Fox and more. She also has her own company Empowerista which helps brands create content for social media campaigns. She’s a DIY expert and a former Big Buck Hunter model, which we dive into.

Kristin is the Creator and Founder of As Goes Wisconsin, a bipartisan media initiative that helps move Wisconsin forward one show at a time. She’s the first idea lab video columnist of the Journal Sentinel, a radio host on WTMJ. She has been an actress, writer, producer, and even had a stint working in tech in the Bay Area.

Just a reminder, if you have guest suggestions, topics suggestions or have a brand that wants to get involved with the GoGedders, visit our website and click on the GoGedders tab or you can fill out the form on our website and we’ll get back to you. All right, let’s dive in.

A lot of people know you from the Wisconsin-based content you’ve been creating over the last few years. Not a lot of people know your backstories and how you’ve gotten into doing what you’re doing now. Do you mind giving us the rundown? Alex, we can start with you.

My background is in local television. I cut my teeth on small market TV. I started in Rockford and then worked my way up to Oklahoma City, Dallas and LA. I worked in traditional TV for a while. I had a lot of fun with that but then the industry was changing a ton. It went from more traditional TV being popular to social media being popular. I was trying to find my voice and navigate this new popular space of content creation and love the idea of not having to wait to get hired for my next gig and having a little bit more creative freedom in my work and my schedule. It has been a journey.

I’ve been creating content for many years. I would say since probably 2015, but honestly, it has taken off, especially in the past few years. I would attribute that to a couple of things. COVID helps give me the time for sure to experiment with more things. Also, I would say experimenting with the topics that I enjoy talking about and the topics that resonate with my audience. In the past couple of years, it has taken off for me. Enter Kristin. I moved back before COVID but you moved back during COVID. I’ll let you speak for yourself but probably, similarly, you found yourself with some extra time. There were a lot of synergies. We both lived in LA. We’re both newly back in Milwaukee and creating content. It was such a natural fit for you and me to collaborate.

Mine is similar but different as far as from Wisconsin, left Wisconsin, came back to Wisconsin. I went from Madison and moved to LA when I was sixteen to be an actress. I had an agent and a manager. I booked some things with the best. I hit the winning shot in a movie called Believe In Me, where I was a star basketball player.

Similar to what you said as far as not waiting to get cast, I quit acting around twenty and started going to college because I didn’t want to wait for someone to pick my journey for me. I went to school, then undergraduate from UC Berkeley, worked in tech and learn a lot more about business and startups. People don’t understand that it’s also a part of being a content creator or managing your own media business as far as understanding click-through rates and what resonates and looking at analytics and everything like that. As much as I wasn’t passionate about tech, I certainly took the skills from sales and marketing that I learned while there and still use them daily.

Somehow, I ended up in New York for a little while and that’s where I started doing standup and sketch. I have always loved the daily show. I’ve always loved political comedy and how you use comedy to explain things or to show a different perspective. Circa 2017, I started teaching myself how to write jokes, and complex issues into short videos, how to edit, and how to shoot myself. First, I started a YouTube Channel called Below The Fold, which looks more at national issues.

I was living in LA at the time. Early 2020, I had an idea of trying to make a documentary about Wisconsin voters because we’re weird if you’ve ever paid attention to an election in Wisconsin. I came back to my parents’ house in Central Wisconsin on March 15th, 2020 and the world shut down. I quickly pivoted and took what I had learned about making short content on national issues with Below the Fold. Instead of doing the documentary, I started making content that was more specific to Wisconsin. Specifically, with trying to get out the vote in 2020 because everyone is going to be inside.

That’s how and when that took off. I realized I had found a niche here. I had an audience that was building much faster than anything else I had tried to create prior to that. It became very obvious that I needed to move back to Wisconsin but I certainly wasn’t going to stay in Central Wisconsin, which is how I ended up in Milwaukee.

Alex, you have an interesting path too. You are doing DIY videos then you’ve transitioned over. You still do some of that, but mostly Wisconsin-based short, funny, TikTok and Reels now. A lot of people would think what both of you are doing would be a smaller audience in a way, but niching down seems to have helped both of you.

It’s funny that you mentioned, “You were doing DIY content and now more Wisconsin content.” I haven’t followed typical marketing rules in the sense that I create the content I want to create. Sometimes it’s a hard-left turn where it’s like, “All right, hold on. We’re going from DIY content and Wisconsin content.”

To your point, I would say that I have a niche or a few niches. I very much so pay attention to what my audience likes. It’s a relationship between what I enjoy creating, but then also what’s well-received by my audience. I pay attention to what they like and I create more of it. Naturally, that creates a niche.

It’s interesting because, as you said, the assumption is that there’s going to be a cap on people who are interested in Wisconsin-specific content when you think of our state is less than six million people and we all have friends who left Wisconsin. A number of our friends are people from the Midwest, in general, who live all around the country. That kind of content and humor still resonates with them or your friend who knows someone who’s from Wisconsin who was like, “My buddy is like that.”

The relatable comedy that is just because it’s specific to a relatively small market, the reach that it can still have and how it can resonate with people who don’t even necessarily still live here, I’ve found the same thing, whether it’s politics or straight comedy. The number of people who have either reached out or DM me who have some connection back to Wisconsin who don’t still live here but still find the content.

The other thing I’ll add is a lot of times, when people think of a niche, they think of a subject matter. I also like to think of niche in terms of point of view and personality. Sometimes people come to someone for their subject matter, but sometimes, they come to a content creator for their point of view on the world. Maybe they’re extremely frugal or extremely down-to-earth. That has been a throughline with my DIY content. In my Midwest content, my motto is, “Good enough.” I’m an anti-perfectionist. It’s like doing it affordably and easily. That has been a throughline where people get me.

It’s very relatable. I don’t know how you stay monotone in some of those videos but you do a very good job.

That’s not how I am in real life, but it’s fun to put on that character for sure.

Kristin, why politics for you? What got you into that initially? Is it something you’ve always been into or did you see an opportunity where there was a void in the market?

I would say it has always been there, even starting in high school. I remember the first pretty political thing I paid attention to was the Bush-Gore election, which I was a freshman in high school, which is a long time ago. That was the first memory of understanding what was going on. A year later, 9/11 happened. At least for me and in our age group, so much has happened in many years that has molded the country and the world.

It’s my Spidey sense of always caring about issues and how political is personal. When I was in college, I was a Public Health and Women’s Studies major. The ideas of gender and race and some of the things that drive socio-economic politics, I always am drawn back to and interested in. More specifically, how do you talk about these things without fighting about it, which is why a little bit later, comedy came into play because I had a performing background? It melded all together to make a lot of sense for me. It’s issues that I find interesting or issues that affect a lot of different people. Trying to talk about solutions without being super boring.

Can you guys talk about your process for creating content? Do you plan content out? Is it on a whim of what’s hot now and an idea pops in your head? You’re like, “Let’s go.” You’re both very good at it. I’m curious. I think there are some good takeaways for people here who create content.

If people saw my process, they would think I was a hot mess. I have ideas in my note section. I have a Trello board that’s neglected. I have a Google doc. I get inspiration from everyday life from talking to friends, talking to family, and living my life. I’m one of the hosts of Discover Wisconsin. That gives me a lot of Wisconsin inspiration. I’ll get these ideas in life then I’ll jot them down in the million different places that I keep notes for content creation ideas.

At some point, when it’s time to create content in advance, by in advance, I mean 3 to 7 days in advance, I might think about it. Is that even more than you? Sometimes it’s even the same day as well, but I do not work that much in advance. I’ll try and sit down and be like, “Here are all my ideas. Now, what are the ones that I feel like I can write a script to?” Part of the challenge is, “This is a fun concept but now how do I bring this to life with a script?” There are certain ideas that flow for me where it’s like, “Here it is.”

I like to follow what feels easy and what flows because again, my motto is “Good enough.” Sometimes, I’ll be working with a sponsor or collaborating with someone where it’s like, “This might not feel super easy at the moment but I believe in this brand. I believe in this collaboration. I believe in this concept. Let’s think outside of the box. How do we make this work?” It’s changed.

Is that how you go about things?

Because of the content that I was creating, it opened up opportunities. Now I’m doing stuff at Journal Sentinel. I’m doing stuff at WTMJ.

I would be interested to hear almost your process working with news outlets like that as opposed to your own personal accounts or As Goes Wisconsin.

Now, I’m doing one video. We do one video a week that’s considered a video column. In the same idea as an editorial or an op-ed that is an opinion in a newspaper. We’re being innovative with the idea as far as now, it’s me on camera giving an opinion on news in Journal Sentinel specific to Wisconsin and/or Milwaukee. The ideas lab, which was the op-ed, is a portion of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Me and my boss, it’s basically what is on my mind. What is topical for the week? What is the news of the week? What is important potentially to try to explain further in a less complicated way versus what is firing me up that week? As far as the topics go, there’s some balance between what I am fired up about and also what we think is important to convey in a different medium than just the written word.

That is a weekly brainstorm and then I write it. Even though the Below the Fold times, I’m an expert in nothing. The amount of research I got to do to try to understand it enough myself to then put it into 200 words or less, sometimes 100 words or less to get the most important points out is a lot of over-preparation to then distill it down into the most important things to say.

That’s when it comes to an explainer. There’s more work and it’s hard to make things short, and try to also couple in like, “What can we replace with images and visualization instead of me saying something?” You do have to capture someone’s attention so quickly. Graphics or sound effects or different things that can keep people’s attention or explain something further without me having to say more words certainly is part of the process for that.

That’s part of my job. With the radio, it’s reading the news every day and coming in with a hot take, as far as being able to say, “What do I think about it? Have we thought about it this way? Did you know this?” I’m trying to be the voice on the morning show that I’m on as far as bringing a different perspective.

When you guys are creating Reels or TikToks, are there certain elements that you’re trying to hit on or check the box as far as humor you are bringing up like sound effects or things to make the videos engaging, get more views, go more viral or things like that when you’re in your creative process?

There are themes for things that go viral. For both of us, the comedy part is huge. For anyone who’s wanting to have success as a content creator, there are a lot of different routes to go but I will say that comedy is one of the best routes if you can do it or can learn it. It can be learned as well. I tried to be very mindful of making sure those punch lines are in there. I would also say relatability and having reference points.

I’ve noticed a lot that my Wisconsin content does especially well when people have reference points. For example, I did a video on if various Wisconsin places were family members. I think why that video did well is because people know the low-hanging fruit of various stereotypes like Madison versus Milwaukee. I talked about how I feel like Milwaukee is underrated and appreciated. Madison is cool. It knows it’s cool. People already have those reference points or at least my audience does. It resonates with them. It’s finding those from a topic standpoint and finding the topics that resonate with your audience.

TikTok was a little bit of a game changer for me in how I approached content. Before, it was always scripted. It was always incredibly well-researched. It was sometimes long-winded, even if I’m trying to get as much content in this short period of time. What TikTok had taught me, especially before, it was 15 seconds, then it was 30 seconds, then it was a minute. Now it’s ten minutes or something. That’s YouTube.

In the video meme aspect of TikTok, whenever I try to explain TikTok to someone who’s not on it in the same way that meme culture takes an image and changes the joke based on what the words are, with the similarity that follows the joke is the image. With TikTok, using the sounds, that’s the similarity. Watching people how they use the same sounds to create a different position, scenario or whatever, and watching the creativity that can flow from there, it taught me a lot as far as you don’t always have to have a super researched script with a bunch of setup and punchlines to get a point across.

To be able to take an image of a headline and a sound from friends. I used one about weed and Wisconsin. Weed dexterously still illegal in Wisconsin. I used a headline saying, “How much money Chicago or Illinois has made in tax revenue from weed?” I put that up and then used a sound from Friends of Rachel going, “I’m not jealous. Maybe a little bit but not jealous.” That was it. That’s all I had to say and people got what the point was instead of making a huge diatribe about why we should do this. What TikTok has been able to create is making things that are shorter and direct to the point but still funny. It totally changed how I approached content.

It’s interesting hearing her talk because it goes to show there are multiple strategies for how you can create content online. She has knocked it out of the park by hopping on some of these audio trends and video memes. I haven’t done a ton of that. I would say that more of my original content takes off. I’ve dabbled a little bit in that and I probably should do more. My point is a lot of it is finding what works for you. I’m a big fan of experimenting and seeing what works, then doing more of what works.

Any additional pieces of advice for content creators who are looking to grow or people who are looking to start creating content?

When Alex said experiment and don’t be too precious about anything, that is the best advice and just start. Perfect is the enemy of done or the intimidation or imposter syndrome or it’s not good enough. Whenever I look back at stuff I made a year ago, let alone when I first started, it’s so hard, like what my performance was and what joke I thought was funny and how I dress. If you are waiting to be perfect to start, you’re never going to. Just putting it out there. There’s so much content that unless you say something so wildly inflammatory, it gets you fired. There’s not much you can do that’s wrong. No one sees it. You just start.

I would echo that 100%. You’re going to go through a cringy stage and accept it. That takes being okay with what people think of you. You have to put that aside. As long as you can stand by your own content and feel confident about it or maybe you don’t even feel confident about it but to Kristin’s point, you’re not saying something overly offensive. You can at least still stand behind your values and how you’re representing yourself as a person. You have to experiment and be consistent because it takes time to build an audience.

Another thing I feel like people don’t talk about a lot is it’s not just one-sided. You can’t just post and then get off the platform. You have to engage in the comments. In the beginning, you might not get any comments. That might mean finding other people in your niche and engaging with those people and other people’s content sections. There are various strategies but the main thing is to get started and be consistent.

That’s so true. When you start, it’s as bad as it ever is going to be and it’s only up from there too. I remember when I started this show. I think in the first episode, I had two of my friends on. That took me five tries to get through the intro. I got some hot tea before to make sure my voice would be okay. It was not the smoothest performance on my part but it got better from there.

Everyone starts better.

How often are you folks surprised by the amount of engagement your posts or Reels get or don’t get or is it relatively predictable at this point?

For me, it’s not predictable because sometimes, I’ll have short things that do well and don’t. Sometimes I’ll have longer things that are over a minute that do well. I should probably be better at keeping a log of what has the highest views or engagement and what patterns I can tell. Again, I make the things that I want to make. I’m not super analytical in how I approach it but it’s not predictable for me.

I would say it’s predictable within a range. I know what my low point is and what my high point is but it’s funny. There are certain videos where you can see it coming where it’s like, “This one has what it takes to do well and is going to resonate with people.” A lot of times, you’re right, then sometimes you’re completely wrong where it’s like, “This one was going to take off and it totally was flat.”

When you first asked that question, something that I thought of was that I shouldn’t be surprised anymore but I’m still surprised by how many assholes are on TikTok. It’s ridiculous. That is something going back to your question about how to prepare content creators, you do have to grow a thick skin. The more you grow your following, the more mean voices there are. You have to grow a thick skin and let it roll right off your back.

It’s shocking to me because your stuff is so safe.

It’s hard to hate on that but in the political realm.

When someone comes at me for my opinion on something without asking for it, it’s like, “All right,” but you’re going to get it.

You’re going to get bashed no matter what.

Versus the stuff you make. I’m like, “Who is hating on you?”

Thank you, but I can give you a perfect example. I posted a video and somebody in the comment section said, “Have you ever thought about getting a boob job?” I blocked them. That’s how I handle those things. I was like, “No, I like my A-cups. Thank you very much.” Who asks that?

Now, I’m trying to imagine you with Pamela Anderson’s boobs walking on the set the next time we filmed together.

It’s like I’m not surprised but I am surprised. You’re constantly reminded that there are people out there that don’t understand. There aren’t acceptable things to ask a stranger about or say to a stranger.

Alex and I, the last time we filmed together, we were commiserating a little bit on this topic. The same goes with not letting compliments get to you either and getting your ego to blow up. If you can stay steady and trust what you’re making and trust, who you are and the opinion that you’re having and what you’re putting out in the world, then the steadiness of someone complimenting you. I say this to someone who wants to get complimented.

Who doesn’t?

If you’re positively affected by compliments and adoration and validation, that’s where you’re getting your validation from, then no wonder when a stranger says something mean or cruel or targets something that you’re already insecure about, it’s going to have the same effect on the negative side potentially. You can’t have one without the other. You have to stay the course and not let either the positive or the negative affect you.

Your self-esteem can not be dependent on what others think of you.

It’s a lot more unstable when it relies on extrinsic forms of validation.

It’s from strangers. They’re from people but that is your audience. You cannot not pay attention to it, but it’s a fine line between how much you let it dictate how you feel about yourself and what content you’re making.

Let’s move on to some Wisconsin lightning round questions, then we’re going to hear from the two founders of Wisconsin Women Wanted, and then we’ll do a few fans’ submitted questions. Each of you, what is the best place to travel in Wisconsin in the summer? Favorite spot.

I got back from Door County, so I’m biased now. Door County or the up north area.

I was going to say the exact same thing. It is a toss-up between Door County and up North. It depends on what vibe you want. If you want a classy vibe, you go to Door County. If you want true good old Wisconsin, you up North. Both are so fantastic for different reasons.

Favorite Wisconsin beach or lake?

I would say Pewaukee Lake. That’s my family’s lake. My mom had a house on that lake for a while. It feels like home. I have so many good memories of that lake. I love that there are restaurants on the lake. There’s a little downtown area. There are great beaches. The boating is great. It’s shockingly never overly crowded. It’s a short drive away, so it’s super convenient.

I would say nostalgic-wise, it’s still Mendota or Monona. I don’t know if it’s the best lake in Wisconsin but those are the best lakes in Wisconsin.

I love Mendota. It is great. There is something to being on a boat on Mendota and seeing all of Madison and Maple Bluff. It reminded me of childhood. I’ll say that.

I love the Terrace. That was one of my favorite things to do at Madison.

The best cheese curds in Wisconsin.

There’s a cheese factory next in Rudolph, Wisconsin, next to my parent’s house, which is called Rudolph Cheese Factory. We can go there and they made that like fifteen minutes ago. They have a timestamp on when they were made. I’m more of a fresh cheese curd person. I would say Rudolph Cheese Factory.

I would say Renard’s.

Where is that?

In Door County. It’s good.

Is it a restaurant?

I’m afraid that I’m saying it wrong but I’m 99% positive I’m saying it right. I believe they exclusively make different types of cheese but they are known for their cheese curds. You can’t miss them when you’re going into Door County and right on the way out. They’re fantastic and they squeak. That’s the true sign that it’s a good cheese curd.

Favorite Wisconsin beer or drink.

I like Fantasy Factory.

In Madison, Karben4.

With the crazy cat riding the unicorn, I’m a big IPA person.

I have to pick a few. Spotted Cow, Summer Shandy has something about it that’s super nostalgic for me, Sprecher, their Abbey Triple, and I love a good old Brandy Old-Fashioned as well.

It’s not a beer.

You could add a drink to your answer.

Skip and Go Naked.

I’ve never heard of that. Feel free to educate the audience.

I don’t think it’s unique to Wisconsin but we’ll go with it. It’s concentrated lemonade mixed with Miller Lite beer and a handle of vodka. You make it like a punchbowl. It’s like the Jungle Juice that we got herpes from in college.

One thing Wisconsin newbies need to know about Wisconsin other than don’t drink Wop.

I did a video on this and I was joking but also serious. You need to make friends with two types of people in this state. 1) Someone who owns a boat. 2) Someone who has a cabin. If you find those two friends, your Wisconsin experience is going to be very heightened.

That’s good advice. My first instinct was to say something about don’t get stuck in the Midwest goodbye. The politeness and niceness of a conversation that can happen in the Midwest if you’re from the coast are very different. Knowing that it’s okay to end the conversation and keep going.

I love the kindness. I don’t like when it takes you 30 minutes from saying goodbye to getting out the door. Both are great answers. This is not Wisconsin-related, but the craziest reaction you’ve ever gotten to your content other than someone recommending a boob job. It could be positive too. Anything.

My most viral video was on TikTok and it was when I revealed that I am a buck hunter model. I filmed that when I was 22. I didn’t think that it would live on to this day. It’s still in the bars, so I’m like, “I’m forever 22 at a small-town bar near you.”

Isn’t it randomly Photoshopped too? Aren’t you missing an arm?

People send me screenshots all the time. They’re like, “I saw you Saturday night playing Big Buck Hunter.” I did this video. The joke was like, “Whenever I’m feeling insecure about being 34, I think about how I’m forever 22 at a bar near you.” It’s meant to be a joke. Some people took it way too seriously. That ended up going viral because it turns out there are a lot of guys out there that have crushes on those girls.

That was interesting to see the range of responses from everyone being very nice and positive to very shaming when it comes to my looks to screenshots. That was a very wild experience to be exposed to that much of the internet. That’s the other weird thing about TikTok. TikTok. It pushes you often to a cold audience of people who are just seeing you for the first time. With that video, they didn’t have exposure to any of my other content. It was a very weird experience all around.

There’s not a particular video that I feel like, “I was not expecting that reaction.” Whether it’s Instagram or TikTok or Facebook, there’s a separate folder where people send you messages that you don’t know. It’s always Russian roulette opening those. It’s either a huge compliment or something that you said that meant a lot to someone and that feels good.

I was talking about how I have an uncle with Down syndrome. On the radio, I mentioned my uncle has Down syndrome and my mom is his legal guardian. I had a woman reach out to me and send me a DM of how much it meant to her hearing because she has two little boys who have Down syndrome. She’s always worried about if their older siblings will take care of them once her parents are gone.

She’s like, “I’m happy to hear that your family has embraced your Uncle Doug,” but there are a lot of messages that are not as happy about what I say and what I do. The general like, I want to open this because if I’ve said something that has a positive impact, I want to say, “Thank you for reaching out and I’m so happy that this made a difference,” but it also means you get to hear something otherwise.

I don’t know about you, we’ve talked a little bit about this, but I’ve had to create some boundaries around what I read. I’ll always be in my comment section for at least the first 30 minutes. I’m pretty good at checking direct messages on Instagram but I make sure that I’m in the right mental space to be able to get those surprises because you don’t know which way it’s going to be. I find the worst TikTok comments are usually after that 30 minutes. Sometimes I’ll see certain comments that aren’t the best for my mood, so I try to be mindful of limiting it and also making sure that I’m in the right head space to deal with whatever pops up.

That makes sense. Let’s move on to the Wisconsin Women Wanted red flag, green flag edition. I got a lot of red flags going through your TikToks on there personally. Hopefully, these guys will score slightly better.

We don’t always agree, so we will see.

Would you like us to answer in character or as the real Kristin and Alex? That’s a funny thing too. A lot of times, people take comedy extremely. They don’t realize that these are jokes and these are not always our red and green flags. Most people get that but not everybody does.

I would say maybe 75% yourselves, 25% comedic. Maybe a blend of them. You could add some comedy to it. These are all based on real scenarios. I’m probably not going to name names. They’re not all Wisconsin-based either. Some of them are but I thought we could help some friends out. We’re going to start off. This is a bit of a longer one that needs an explanation, so just hang with me. The other ones will be a little shorter.

Let’s say you’re dating a guy and it’s a Friday evening in Chicago. He goes out with one of his friends to have a couple of drinks and have a chill night. They ended up having more than a few drinks and ended up at the 4:00 AM bars. This is during the winter as well. He decides he wants to go somewhere warm. He Uber’s to O’Hare and wakes up in Austin, Texas with nothing but the clothes on his back. He calls his girlfriend the next morning and informs her he’s not going to be home for date night. What are your thoughts on this guy?

Red flag.

Until you said girlfriend, I was going to follow up and say, “Is this something he would do as a single guy or is he in a relationship?”

They were living together at that point. They no longer are but at that point, they were living together.

No kidding. I would say waking up in Austin then calling, red flag.

If someone wears a cowboy hat to local bars and changes his Instagram to Dancing Cowboy MKE, is that a red flag?

Green flag.

It’s a green flag.

Is it part of a bit or does he just love his cowboy hat?

It’s a combination. He loves rocking the cowboy hat and he’ll wear it to Brady Street in the middle of the winter and he’s gotten on the jumbotron at Buck’s Game several times as the Dancing Cowboy MKE.

A lot of it when it comes to these bold moves is self-awareness. Does he know what he’s doing or does he think that’s cool?

I think he thinks it’s funny but I don’t know if he knows it’s a complete joke. It’s somewhere in the middle.

I think that’s great. Having a nice balance between embracing your individuality and your authenticity but also not everybody has cowboy hats on like having some self-awareness too. I dig it. I’m going to give it a green flag.

It’s a green flag mostly because it’s hilarious. I’m sure he gets a lot of attention. It’s a great opening line as an opportunity to talk to women. Is he single?

I believe he’s single.

It would be interesting if he keeps it up once he’s in a relationship.

He was single when he started it. I’ve seen him still rocking it but you can walk into Joe Katz and tilt the hat or something. That’s a solid move for the dancing cowboy.

Is there dancing involved?

He’s dancing on the jumbotron. I was behind the DJ booth at Trinity. The guy is all over the place. He’s a very versatile guy.

Does he have a bolo tie?

He didn’t go with that.

You should give him that for Christmas. The bolo tie would finish it off.

We recommended it to him and he refused.

Red flag for not committing.

Another question that has to do with dancing cowboy then I’m done with them. If someone rents out an entire Tiki bar at Bradford Beach.

Green flag.

It’s so funny because I’m so frugal that my mind goes to like, “How much is that?”

It’s a decent amount. He’s buying the bar drinks and making sure everyone is having a good time.

I like to have a good time. I’ll give him a green flag.

He owns several Great Clips Salons, so it was the Bradford Tiki Bar sponsored by Great Clips.

Sounds like a fun ride. We’re going to give them two green flags.

For all the ladies who want to date a guy who has received four green flags in the last couple of minutes, that’s Daniel Slade, @DancingCowboyMKE. He’s a great guy. If you are 35 and still enjoy going to Joe Katz and Red, White and Blue.

How often?

That’s a good point. How about once every two months, then we go every weekend?

Once every two months and mostly because I am marrying someone who still frequents those bars, I have to say green flag.

The obligatory green flag.

He’s not every weekend.

I would say green flags to every other month. Red flag to every weekend.

What about opening up at the bars to a group of girls flexing that you shot a 77 in a US Open local qualifier?

Is this you?

No. I didn’t do quite that good. He’s specifically targeting cougars now.

Targeting cougars, green flag.

Jack Blair in a 77 at the local queue. That’s all I had for that. I wish I had more. That was fun. We’ll need to get you back for some red flags, green flags.

All jokes aside, I hope all of these men find love if they haven’t already.

A lot of them have. A couple more fans submitted questions then we’ll wrap up. We went over this already but Rob Shea asked, “Ask Alex about her big game hunter model days.” Do you think that catapulted your career?

No, not at all.

How much did you get paid for that?

It was like two-day rates of something like $750 or something like that.

How did you do that? How do you find this opportunity?

When I first graduated from the University of Wisconsin, it was the height of the recession. I decided to move to Chicago. I couldn’t get a full-time job at the time. I was Miss Wisconsin. Miss Wisconsin. I graduated from Madison and couldn’t get a full-time job at first. It was like, “I’m going to move to Chicago and do modeling.”

I was with an agent there and was able to get by barely, like pay rent and that kind of thing. One of my modeling gigs through this modeling agent was Buck Hunter. I didn’t even know that much about the game. I don’t even know if I had ever played it, to be honest. I didn’t think it would live on for years and certainly did not read the fine print that I was signing a buyout deal.

$1,500 at the time and is still now is a lot of money, but when you think of signing a buyout deal in the industry to be used for twelve years, I don’t know for sure that I would have done that. At the same time, it is a great conversation starter. I made rent that month. It’s something that continues to be a hilarious story. As far as did it make me famous? No. It’s not like people connected it to my name or anything like that. It’s something that I’ve chosen to talk about and people think it’s a fun fact. Once they put the two together, they send me photos of them.

Do you ever pull flex when you go to a bar and you see it then you pull a segment or like, “Do you know who I am?”

No, I’m the opposite. I’m so awkward. Every once in a while, if somebody recognizes me, I’m so awkward about it. You would think that with what I do, I would like attention but I don’t. I have been at a bar before where someone was playing Big Buck Hunter and I come on. My buddy, Josh, was like, “Look, it’s Alex from Big Buck Hunter.” I’m like, “No, that’s my doppelganger. I swear. That’s not me.” I denied it.

If anyone sees Alex out on the town, do not say hi to her.

It’s almost weird though if you get stared at, and they don’t say hi. Please say hi. I may be awkward but I do want you to say hi.

I love attention. Feel free to say hi to me.

That sounds good. Can either of you do live shows or standup?

My goal is yes. I would love whether it’s stuffed with Journal Sentinel but certainly with As Goes Wisconsin. I have this idea roaming in my head of drunk civics. That’s the name of the thing. We’ll see if the name sticks, but it’s doing a comedy show that is part teaching about local government but doing it through humor and standup and panels. It’s like how Crooked Media and Lovett Or Leave It do things in front of a live audience. I would love to do stuff like that.

Every time I see standup, I think I need to start doing standup again. I did that. I just don’t prioritize the time to write new material because, for me, standup is different from the stuff that I make on camera because political comedy is hard to do in person, especially in Wisconsin, because it can get pretty divided quickly. Anything that I would ever want to do on stage would be much more personal about me and my life and much more relatable. I grew up doing theater, so I love being in front of a crowd.

I love the idea of it but I’m such a homebody. I go to bed at like 10:00 PM. I only like sleeping in my own bed. The idea of the lifestyle of staying up late and traveling, I’ll never say never but I don’t think so.

Someone with the handle Ginger Zilla said, “Once a fib, always a fib.” Do you agree with that?

I think that if you move to Wisconsin and you get Wisconsin plates and a Wisconsin license, we will welcome you with our Midwest nice arms.

Very politically correct.

Kristin is very skeptical. There are different types of fibs. There’s the traditional meaning and then there’s the friendly Illinois buddy. You can be a lifer-friendly Illinois buddy.

We’ll end on this from Matt Holbrook, a good friend of the show.

Does Matt get on here?

He’s not. Maybe after you guys are on here, Pat Connor and Tim came on. I’m building the street cred to get to someone like Holbrook. I think he’ll maybe come on now.

Are you going to get Collin to come on with them? Those two don’t separate. They are two packages of a deal.

Are those guys dating?

I don’t know. Ask his wife.

Holbrook has been looking good though. I didn’t mean to boost his ego too much but I did comment on his calves. He was at the pool on his photo from Mexico or something. I don’t know what’s going on with that guy. Do you even know who this guy is? Probably not. You’re basically done. This is the final question anyways. You can kick back over there. Anyway, Matt Holbrook, a friend of the show, “What is it like living with Michael Samson?”

He is my fiancé. He is very fun and we laugh a lot. He is missing his two front teeth. He’s getting his two front teeth replaced from an accident when he was a kid.

This was not a recent accident.

No, but it’s a long process. In October, he got us two front teeth finally taken out and they’re doing the process of putting implants in but there has to be enough bone that grows back. How comfortable this human is walking around with no teeth all the time?

Green flag.

Regularly leaves the house without wearing his little flipper denture things. It’s a lot of that. It’s a lot of him telling you that he thinks he’s funnier than I am but he’s not.

You guys are such a great couple. It is fun seeing you together. It has been fun to see the evolution of your relationships since the beginning.

Same with you and Tony.

We’ll end it on that very touching note. Thank you two so much for coming on. It was a lot of fun.

Thanks for having us.

A big thank you to Alex and Kristin for coming on. Thank you for tuning in to this episode. If you want to help the show, please subscribe, write a review, and rate us. That helps get more ears on the show. If you want to get involved in the GoGedders or have topics suggestions or guest suggestions, visit our website Click on the GoGedders tab or fill out the form on our site. Just a reminder, this show is brought to you by GoGedders Marketing and Media,, and our good friends over in Milwaukee. Thanks again.


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