When Grant Imahara and Kari Byron landed on the “build team” for Discovery Channel’s popular TV show, “Mythbusters,” they never imagined it would lead to co-hosting.
However, that’s what brought them to the Marshall Student Center Ballroom on Tuesday night to speak to more than 1,000 students as part of the University Lecture Series (ULS).
Byron said she became involved with the show after applying for an internship with M5 Industries, the visual effects company run by fellow “Mythbusters” cast member Jamie Hyneman.
“I decided that I really wanted to get into special effects, so I’m going to try an internship, and I’ll go work for free and just kind of get a feel for it,” she said. “And it turned out that my first day as an intern for Hyneman at M5 Industries was the first day that ‘Mythbusters’ was filming.”
Imahara, who worked for special effects company Industrial Light & Magic, didn’t join the show until the third season.
“I had known (co-host) Adam (Savage) and Jamie for probably seven or eight years before the show started and I got a call,” he said. “I remember getting a call from Jamie one day saying that (former co-host) Scottie (Chapman) was leaving the show and that I was high on the list and I should audition.”
The rest is history, as the two are important pieces in one of TV’s most popular shows. Byron said the show resonates with its fans because of the relatability the audience has with the cast – a group composed of special effects artists that try to debunk popular American myths.
“None of us are scientists,” she said. “You’re kind of figuring it out as we’re figuring it out.”
Imahara said he hopes his story will remind students to take the risk of choosing career paths they enjoy.
“There is risk involved in life,” he said. “Without risk, you don’t get reward.”