McKenzie Westmore is no stranger to social media, but even she was stunned by the Twitter frenzy over Syfy’s movie “Sharknado” last week.
A Syfy staple herself as host of the makeup-competition series “Face Off” — which starts its fifth season Tuesday, Aug. 13 — the former “Passions” actress admits her surprise over the number, and the background, of many of those who tweeted abundantly about the sharks-dropping-from-the-sky thriller, which repeats Thursday (July 18).
“It’s kind of amazing,” Westmore reflects to Zap2it about the “Sharknado” tweet explosion. “I started to read all that stuff, and I found it so interesting that scientists started to chime in. They were saying that if there truly was a tsunami someplace like the West Coast, where there are sharks, it’s possible that a shark could get picked up and dropped somewhere.
“I was like, ‘I can’t believe that scientists are actually chiming in on “Sharknado.”‘ It was awesome!”
“‘Face Off” fans know what an avid tweeter Westmore has been throughout the show’s run on Syfy, and not just while episodes actually are on the air. “I was just reached out to by the ‘Who’s Who’ book,” she says, “and they wanted to name me ‘the who’s who of social media.’ See? All those hours on Twitter pay off!
“When ‘Passions’ started in 1999, we were just starting with message boards. We didn’t have Twitter or Facebook yet, but even back then, I saw how we as performers could utilize that to our benefit. I would sit in my dressing room for two hours after I wrapped and write, by hand, a letter to every person who wrote me.”
That amounted to “hundreds of letters a day,” Westmore notes, “and I would respond to everybody and send a head shot to everybody. After five years, it got a little out of control … but once we had things like Facebook and Twitter in place, it made our job easier.
“The fans are why we’re here. They keep the machine going and keep us on the air, so I want to make sure they know how appreciative we are to have their support. If the shoe were on the other foot, I would want the same respect.”