Grab your bow ties and buckle in folks, as SheSociety has gotten inside the incredible brain of Issa Schultz. Known as the ‘Super Nerd’ on Channel 7’s popular quiz show The Chase, Issa uses his profound amount of knowledge and love of quizzing to conquer contestants.
We asked Issa how he remembers all that he does, and he says it’s simply about paying attention.
“It depends, if you want to be good at quizzing and remember things, I guess just pay attention to what questions seem to come up time and time again. So stuff like capital cities and countries, there are habits and there are sort of patterns that develop. And other than that, I know it sounds awfully cliche, but just read as much as you can.”
Maintaining the knowledge is slightly different however, with Issa opting for mnemonics and rhymes for those things he finds hard to remember. Issa also reveals that being a ‘Brit’ he had to attune himself to ‘Australiana’ when delving into The Chase.
“For the show I watch a lot of Australian tele where I can, read Australian novels, try to keep up on the cricket. I find it’s hard to remember, because again being a pom I just keep thinking of British stuff but I like that challenge, and I like tuning it in. I write practice questions for myself and for the other Chasers as well. And Brydon the Shark does the same for me.”
Staying true to his British connection, when asked his top picks for books, novels or resources Issa can’t go past Pride and Prejudice, having also seen all of the versions- old and new. But when it comes to quizzing, the puzzle section in a local bookstore is the place to go.
“I like those- you know those ones that say ‘1000 things to do before you die’…but they have those for movies, for buildings for holiday spots, they are really good and they are also really good for opening your eyes and going “oh I haven’t heard of that novel, I might go buy it and read it’. So not necessarily just for quizzing, but also sort of broadening the mind and going “I’ve never actually read a book by this author, let’s give it a go.”
Through his position as the ‘Super Nerd’ on the family friendly show, Issa tries to encourage kids to embrace their inner nerd.
“I think if anything, people say “oh you poor thing you’re called the supernerd”, I don’t care, I think it’s great. I think it’s a great message to say it’s ok to be who you want to be. If you want to be a goth, be a goth, if you want to be a jock, be a jock- whatever it’s fine. I think that’s the main message I try and get across.”
The message of being yourself also ties into the best piece of advice that Issa has been given.
“Ann the Governess when I met her for the first time when and we were preparing for my first show I was so nervous, I was terrified. Ann’s motto is to ‘batter them’, she said “It doesn’t matter who they are just batter them.” And I don’t know if ‘batter them’ is necessarily the best wording but I like to think that underneath that, it just means always do the best that you can do. And if you lose it doesn’t matter, always apply yourself. Never give up. My late father always said never give up. And I guess a mixture of two those things really.”
Issa also shared his perspective on the transition from pen/paper to laptops in schools.
“Yes, I am quite happily an old fuddy duddy. I love pen and paper, I love getting pen licenses I love all of that. I used to fill out an little library card when you used to read so many books in a month. I think that is being lost with technology. Technology is a wonderful thing it’s great for communication, for bringing relatives and family together… But I just think that the magic for kids learning to write, getting neat handwriting, picking up a book and reading it for the first time, I think that magic is being lost so I’m troubled by that.”
In terms of what 2019 has in store for Issa, he like many of us would like to lose a little bit of weight!
“For some reason doing telly, I do put on the pounds a bit so that’s one personal thing. Otherwise there is a world quizzing championship I do every year, and the highest I’ve ever got in the world is 56 I think, 57. I really want to get in the top 20. I want to win the Aussie title again, I’ve got six of those and I want to win the seventh because that just keeps me motivated.”
Make sure to tune into The Chase, on Channel Seven and see Issa’s Super Nerd knowledge in action. Play along and test your knowledge out to see if you could beat the Chasers!