The YDK Crew
Want to know a little bit more about the people behind YDK, the creator, cast, and crew who made (and continue to make) YDK the slightly above-average website we are today? Of course you do!
Note: This page is a work-in-progress.... As of September 2007, check back regularly as "The Director" will be making special attempts to add a new bio each week, as his time allows until all of our cast, crew, and honorable mentions have been added...
BJ "The Director" Hartsburg
Known by a number of different names around the site, BJ is the mastermind (yes, we use that term very, very loosely) behind youdontknow.net. Even as a young boy, BJ's family and friends always knew that BJ was destined for mediocrity. Yet for some reason, BJ was always under the impression that he was meant for more. And he maintained that ambition even as the world tried to crush his spirit. He mainted the ambition... if not the proper motivation. Which is why it took BJ several years out of high school before finally taking his destiny into his own hands and trying to make something out of himself. And thus was YDK born.
BJ considers himself a writer first and foremost. He enjoys writing, be it his long-suffering novel that has become Legends of Az on the site, or screenplays such as those for The Life and Deaths of Cooter Brown, or even just the silly antics of the comics in Adventures of Ak. BJ has had a passion for writing ever since he was eight years old, and he was given his first assignment to write a short story in school. Since that time, BJ has made efforts to tell stories in every format he could throughout the years, whether it was writing them down, or telling stories to younger kids on long bus-rides, or creating comics, which was BJ's other passion as a young child. Although BJ never became a great artist, his drawing skills were at least "above average," so as he grew, he focused more and more on writing, rather than drawing, but his meager artistic skills didn't die out all together.
It wasn't until BJ was in high school that he realized his appreciation for acting as well. Again, BJ was never a great actor, but he wasn't terrible either. So when he got his first chance to get behind the camera instead of in front of it to make a short "film" for his French class, BJ jumped at the chance. After winning the award for "Best Director" (with absolutely no competition, of course, but we should probably glaze over that fact), BJ got it into his head that he should add film-making to his story-telling repertoire. And yet, it took another two or three years before BJ got the chance to expand on that particular avenue of story-telling when took a class called "ENG" in college.
Under the tutelage of Skip Leckness, BJ learned much about shooting video, and when it came time to do his assignments for the class, BJ... well, he kind of didn't do them right. But out of his misinterpretation of what was and was not allowed in the assignments was born the Burninator series, which would later become The Life and Deaths of Cooter Brown.
To make a long story slightly shorter than it would otherwise have been, this all led to BJ having to determine some way to get his name and his work out there for the public to see, in hopes of making it big... or at least making it "okay." And to do that, BJ decided to make a website. Thinking that he could use the different methods of storytelling to help support one another, BJ planned the creative content of the site, while he got help from friends for other aspects. Surber helped him with html basics until he could get a handle on the ins and outs himself, while Bill and Katrina both helped to get the word out on the site, along with the rest of the expansive cast of LDCB who spread word among their family and friends, word of the site soon spread in small clumps all over Oklahoma... and then, the world!
Although not quite what you would call a "success" just yet, ydk has been steadily growing since its official launch in November 2006, and BJ couldn't be happier... except that he wishes he had more money. And fans. And... everything else... But he's happy in spirit! And his friends are his constant source of encouragement and inspiration. Without them, ydk would still be nothing but an unrealized dream. So let's learn more about those friends, shall we...?
BJ can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or his meebo widget (when he's online at least). He is also "Traz-ak" on the ydk forums.
Bill Bryan (a.k.a. Cooter Brown)
Bill Bryan has been friends with "The Director" ever since their senior year of high school when "The Director's" brother, Nathan, started inviting Bill over on Monday nights to watch wrestling. If Little Caesar's pizza and watch grown men badly acting as they threw each other around wasn't enough to help Bill and "The Director" bond, then the night that Nathan and Bellah (another who weekly came to watch wrestling) both weren't there, thereby leaving "The Director" and Bill with no one else to talk to certainly did.
No one could have predicted that Bill and "The Director" would become or remain such good friends as the years progressed, and yet: they did. During his short stint going to the same college as Bill, "The Director" spent most of his time in Bill's room, enjoying his PS2 and arguing with his roommate, Drew, about whether Paul Heyman was in the least a tolerable announcer for wrestling to have to listen to week after week. Indeed, "The Director" spent SO much time in Bill's room, he was in there even when he was supposed to be in class, and was labeled the unofficial third room-mate.
Later, when "The Director" started taking broadcasting classes at Rose State College, he turned to Bill to help him with many of his assignments. In the first of these, "The Director" had Bill make a very disgusting sandwich. In the second, they profiled Bill as a dim-witted professional-wrestler-wannabe. In the third, they had a guy named Joe Killa assassinate Bill. And in the fourth, Bill came back to life to seek revenge and find his missing wife so she could make him a sandwich. The fifth was all about Moonshine, though Bill was good enough to make a cameo appearance.
Another year after that, when "The Director" got it into his head to expand the story of Bill's dying and coming back to life in a series of much-longer movies, Bill reprised his role, and later still, when "The Director" repurposed the entire series into The Life and Deaths of Cooter Brown to be shown as a webseries on ydk, Bill took on the name of Cooter Brown and starred yet again.
These days, as Bill continues to star in "The Director's" movies, both have busy enough schedules that they hardly ever hang out apart from filming, though they keep in touch through emails, phone, myspace, and the occasional long chat before or after filming.
Apart from LDCB, Bill enjoys what "The Director" likes to call a "Forrest-Gump" life, where fortuitous things just randomly happen to him while he cheerfully makes his way through life. He was fortunate enough to have his high-school sweetheart marry him, and she is good enough to consent to also being his on-screen wife in LDCB as Apple Brown. Together, they live in Midwest City, with their adorable puppy, Jacey.
Nathan "The Dark" Hartsburg
Nathan has known "The Director" forever (or at least as much of ever as actually concerns the life of "The Director") as Nathan is "The Director's" own big brother. And a lot of what BJ has become can easily be chalked up to Nathan. After all, it was Nathan who showed him R-rated movies he was far too young for when his parents wouldn't let him see them. It was Nathan who inadvertantly hit him in the head with a baseball bat when he was six (or so), thus forever unhinging him. And it was Nathan who inspired him to want to make silly little movies with his friends for others to watch and laugh at... I mean "with."
Long before "The Director" had ever gotten it into his head to make silly, little movies, Nathan was already doing it. And he was doing it well. From movies featuring a dummy getting thrown off a cliff at church camp to one in which Nathan and Bill dressed as hookers on a street-corner, Nathan's hilarious movies were likely the biggest inspiration for "The Director" wanting to make movies of his own. Not to mention the infamous Moonshine videos which Nathan and "The Director" made together along with some friends of ours in Colorado.
Currently, Nathan serves in the United States army, having spent over two collective years kicking ass and taking names in Iraq. Thus far, this has limited his ability to appear in LDCB as the mysterious character: "The Dark." However, all this changes very soon when Nathan's time in the Army will finally be up! Apart from lending his acting skills to LDCB, Nathan also has contributed financially to the project, having aquired for us guns and blood to make our movies that much more violent, and thus: better.
Be nice to Nathan; he could kill you with his little finger.
Ms. Missus, Jazznea Turner
Upon a trip into the ydk forums, one of the individuals you are most likely to meet is the woman of many names: Jazznea Turner. Under her stage name of "Ms. Missus" in the forums, Jazznea is actually known by many names from her real name, Jannea, to her butchered-but-fun name, Jazznea, to her pseudonym, Nicole, to any number of mistaken names ranging from Jenna to Jellybean, mostly resulting from the fact that her boss at her place of employment cannot for the life of her remember how to properly pronounce Jannea's real name. For the record, you say it EXACTLY how it looks...
"The Director" and Jazznea first met on one of the many "VBS-on-the-Road" trips BJ was once known for always going on. "The Director's" first impression of Jazznea was that she was just some silly little girl... which was true... but he later discovered that this silly little girl was a lot of fun who he got along with very well and promptly fake-married on another one of those famous trips. Alas! The fake marriage was not meant to be, though, and by the end of the week, "The Director" and Jazznea had already had their first fake divorce.
Over the next couple years, "The Director" and Jazznea got fake-married and fake-divorced several more times, even going so far as having fake children who grew up in an instant to be as old or nearly as old as "The Director" and Jazznea through a fake time warp. But it wasn't until after all that that "The Director" and Jazznea became as good friends as they would become, and "The Director" decided that Jazznea really needed to be in LDCB, so he created the role of Ms. Missus for her.
... And then he found five dollars.
Rob "One-Note Rob" McCutcheon
"The Director" and ONR were friends for over 10 years. Rob is currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, and has two children. He works quite a lot (given he's a total slacker). Rob met "The Director" when he started dating "The Director's" sister. Rob has always been interested in video games, specifically RPGs such as Final Fantasy. It was Rob's fault that "The Director" started playing them and worse, got addicted. (Seen that comic about FF 12?)
Appearing in Volume One of The Life and Deaths of Cooter Brown as the enigmatic and apparently-pointless One-Note Rob (and has played an integral role in the establishment of the ydk forums under the same name), Rob has since gone on to do other things. While it remains unclear as to whether or how much Rob will continue to poke his head into the forums, we at ydk wish him a more-or-less fond farewell (genuinely, despite the fact that Jazznea and I are currently calling him "Hooker-Man" every chance we get) and hope the door doesn't hit him too hard in the rump on his way out.
Katrina "MK" Lynam-Henderson
Always a source for information on obscure facts and useless tidbits, Katrina met "The Director" while both were attending their final year in high school. A friendship developed over various assignments in drama class, where the two became part of a unique clique. The "clique" consisted of a marine/cop-wannabe, two German foreign exchange students, an almost-professional slacker, a punk/goth social renouncer, and, of course, Katrina and our beloved Director. Despite the amazing amount of time spent in the class doing massive amounts of absolutely nothing productive at all, all of us (with the exception of the slacker, who decided to go professional in his field about half way through the year, and dropped out of high school) managed to pass Drama, and graduated (amazingly, some of them even with honors).
Following graduation, Katrina and the Director lost contact, sadly. Both went on their separate ways, while still remembering fondly those hours in Mr. Parker's classes. Katrina followed her dreams, or at least attempted to, and went on to obtain two pieces of paper which wise people had once told her would be the keys to success in the future. She wasn't all about higher education, though, and did take a brief break between her Associates degree and her Bachelor's degree to marry her "high-school sweet-heart" (in quotes because they dated while she was in high school, though he wasn't).
After achieving the much praised Bachelor's degree, Katrina was able to gain employment in her field of choice (criminal investigations). There, she attempted to do as much good as possible in the way of uncovering law-breakers and evil-doers, no matter who they were or what they had done. Unfortunately, her attitude toward this end resulted in the loss of her job when she discovered, alas, it is not a good idea to attempt to have criminal charges filed on those people who are responsible for paying your salary. Rather depressed and very disillusioned with the federal justice system, it was difficult for her to find employment afterwards in a similar field. So, in the interests of keeping the electricity on at her house, she went back to contract security, and is now a supervisor for a security company, which she enjoys, for the most part.
Some six years after high school was long past, Katrina met back up with the Director by a chance message through the social demon, MySpace. Both were pleasantly surprised to find each other relatively unchanged by the years, at least as far as compatibility and attitudes went, and the old friendship was renewed, developing into something beyond what it was even in the "good ol' days".
Katrina has no children, although if asked that question directly, she will answer that she has three cats and a husband, how could she handle a child too. Her work keeps her very busy, since she is on call most nights and weekends. During those times when she is not working, she haunts the YDK forums, MySpace, Yahoo! Answers, and her house. She also has a close relationship to her own family, including her mother and father (divorced), as well as her sister and her sister's daughter, whom Katrina adores. When not working, haunting the internet, or harassing her family, she can be found spending time with her husband, sleeping, cooking, or reading. Her husband also works in the field of security, and when he is not working, he spends massive amounts of time playing video games (FFXI FOREVER!!), surfing the net, and watching anime.
Her goals for the future change on a daily or weekly basis, depending on her moods. While she would like to return to the field of criminal investigations, she also has fear of the snake that bit her once. She toys with the idea of entering law school, but does seriously considers it from time to time. For the time being, she is content to navigate her boat through the waters of life God has directed her to, in hopes that he DOES know what he's doing.
In LDCB, Katrina will be taking the role of xlii, an enigmatic character of unknown origins. Katrina also performs the functions of "Executive Producer" on the YDK forums (under the forum name Mousekitty or MK), as well as offers her opinions of just about anything to the Director on his site. Last but not least, she tries to come up with new and unique ways to promote the site, and recently launched a search for new musical talent to perhaps be featured on LDCB. But never fear, Katrina has a way of infiltrating things, so there is no telling what other aspects of YDK she could be contaminating next!
She can be reached via email at email@example.com, via the MeeBo widget found on this page, and as both xlii and Mousekitty on the forums.
YDK Widget Central
Check this section to find an instant way to IM all your favorite YDK cast and crew! More widgets will be added as this page is updated.
YDK MeeBo Room
What to chat to all your favorite YDK personalities all at once? Check to see if we're in our "room"!
More as "The Director's" time to update allows...