Here’s what’s up in the Spooniverse, according to our members.

What It's Like To Have Your Own Show On Spoon's Instagram Story

Hint: It's almost as lit as the watermelon keg I filmed last week.

If you’ve ever found yourself three hours deep on an Instagram binge and have tapped onto the @spoonuniversity Instagram Story, you might have seen my show, First Time. If so, I’m so sorry. Just kidding, I probably love making First Time more than I will love my first born child, so in my unbiased opinion, it's pretty cool.

I have been making this show for about four or five months now and over these past couple months, I’ve gotten lots of questions about how I got the chance to create the show, what I do for Spoon, and what it’s like to have your own show on Spoon’s Instagram Story. So here I am, absolutely pumped to pretend I’m a cool Youtuber who does Q & A’s and answer all of your burning questions in one place. 

New Phone, Who Dis?

In case you have absolutely no idea who I am, or are a longtime fan who is always sending me the sweetest questions about my life, here are seven facts about yours truly before we get started: 

1. I am a sophomore taking a double major in environmental studies and economics (#neature) and I’ve been writing for Spoon for a year now.

2. I once slept in a Walmart parking lot while on a two-week long road trip with my best friend. It rained inside my car.

3. I am a born and raised Canadian and I can confirm that everyone really does say sorry all the time. However, I don’t live in an igloo because they’re really cold and I’m a wimp. Also because that’s not a thing.

4. I eat peppers like an apple because I’m too lazy to cut it and it’s revolutionary. 

5. One time in high school I tried to do a cannon ball off of a 10-meter diving board and landed so hard that I burst all the blood vessels on my butt. Safe to say that diving boards and I have had a rocky relationship ever since.

6. I’ve always thought I have a weak baby chin and I get really self-conscious about it, but I’m also trying to take baby steps towards accepting it. (See what I did there)

7. I actually love long walks on the beach, as cheesy as that is. 

How I Created My Own Show

Let me take you back a couple months to a young Ellie Gilchrist sitting in her freshman dorm room watching the very first Instagram Story show: Becca Soverinsky's Just The Tip. I couldn't get over the fact that Becca was just a normal college kid—albeit hilarious college kid—who was trying new things and cracking jokes and had the ability to just have fun and share that with thousands of people.

I'm cringing at how cheesy this is going to sound, but I felt like I had found my calling and so I watched that Instagram Story like it was my goddamn day job. One night I struck up enough courage to email the Spoon HQ team at the ripe hour of 12:52 am, introduce myself, and ask if they needed another host for a show. 

HQ emailed me back in the amazing, supportive way that they always do and I told them about the very small video experience I had, but also all of these ideas that had been running around my brain since that first day watching Just The Tip. I was obsessed and I think they could probably tell by the sixteen point list of ideas I sent them. 

It was at this point that I met Lauren Magenta. She is the senior video content strategist at Spoon and is actually the coolest person, mentor, and video creator I've ever worked with. A couple weeks after I sent that first email, Lauren and I talked on the phone for the first time and I was so excited that I don't think I exhaled once the entire call. I then called my mom and started scream-crying.

So basically, I was pretty chill about it.

Lauren, if you're reading this: I owe you my firstborn child and more thanks than I can ever express for giving me this opportunity.

Becca, if you're reading this: You shaving your legs with peanut butter changed my life and your Instagram captions are fire.

What I've Learned 

juice, banana, apple
Ellie Gilchrist

The internet is the best community of strangers-turned-friends ever, and I don't think I fully understood how amazing it was until I started putting myself out there in such a public way. The messages that I get from Instagram Story viewers blow me away every single time and make my heart grow three sizes bigger. 

At the same time, being so exposed can make you judge yourself in a way that I wasn't entirely ready for. There are times when I watch my own episodes and feel like I'm letting everyone down because in my own mind I'm not funny enough, or helpful enough, or interesting enough. I've probably drafted six different apology notes to HQ saying that I'm sorry I'm not good enough and that maybe I don't deserve to be doing this.

The Best Things

Ellie Gilchrist

However, whenever I start feeling that way, I think about how lucky I am to be making these videos, and all the people that tune in every single week to watch me tell bad jokes and turn my kitchen into a WWIII zone. Someone once told me, in the nicest way possible, that I'm the most entertaining food-related show they watch because what I lack in legitimate culinary expertise I make up for in enthusiasm and relatability.

It's probably my most favourite compliment that I've ever received because I know I'm not some Cordon Bleu chef, but I love making people laugh and if I can do that by running around my kitchen like a crazy person, then I'm happy. 

The second best thing about this whole experience, and Spoon University in general, is that First Time is all mine. I obviously have amazing support and guidance, but at the end of the day, I get to ideate, plan, and produce all of my own episodes. That also means I get to spend 3-5 hours per episode prepping and filming, but it's a sacrifice I am very much willing to take. 

A couple months ago, I never would have believed I would be on Spoon's Instagram Story or that any of the doors it has opened would even be remotely possible—I wasn't even sure I was going to make it through my first year calculus class—but it goes to show that you never know what could happen. You might just get lucky on an email sent at 12:52 am.

P.S. If you have any other questions or just want to chat about your own traumatic diving board stories, feel free to slide right into my DMs.