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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Who is Kari Elizabeth Byron

Who is Kari Elizabeth Byron? She is a San Francisco-based artist and television personality, best known for her featured role on the Discovery Channel show MythBusters.


Byron was born December 18, 1974, she graduated from Los Gatos High School and went on to study film and sculpture at San Francisco State University, graduating magna cum laude in May 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Sculpture.[2] Byron spent the following year backpacking—mostly in South Asia, including the Himalayas—and was also involved in a number of art projects. She also worked as a secret Martini shopper for a liquor company.[3]


On the show MythBusters, Byron is featured along with fellow Build Team members Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara and also assists co-hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman in testing the plausibility of various myths. She became involved in the show after persistently showing up at Hyneman's M5 Industries workshop in a desire to get hired at his company. On her first day as a paid employee, she was asked by Jamie and MythBusters producer Peter Rees to help out with the "vacuum plane toilet" myth, and she was asked to model her buttocks for a cast: a job which would later have her comment (jokingly) that she was hired "for her butt".[4] She was given a more prominent role in the show starting with its second season. Not having had a long history in show business, at first she found it hard to act naturally with this more visible position but gradually became more used to it.[5]


Art and sculpting are important aspects of her life, and she has claimed that she creates some form of art every day, stating, "I would go crazy if I didn't." Some of her preferred sculpting materials are polymer clay, various found objects, acrylic gouache, wood and metals. Byron showcases some of her art on her personal website , and photography from her public exhibit debut Stray Doll in September 2004 is available at Anno Domini. She believes being an artist is a hard career to choose, but has found inspiration in artists such as various SECCA award winners in the past. Preferring to make her audience think, she has had the following to say about her art:

I do portraits or I make sculptures exploring my cynical view of contemporary issues. Artists that over-explain their art always take away from my experience as a viewer. I try to let my viewer make their own message. Art becomes more personal if you let yourself become involved. I will always explain my motivations and themes if someone asks but I prefer to hear theirs.

Following the success of MythBusters, she still makes sculptures, but she no longer displays them in exhibitions. She felt exposing her inner self through art exhibitions could conflict with the success of MythBusters, with visitors approaching her being more interested in talking about the show than her art. She has also expressed actually enjoying the freedom of working only for herself in this way.

Byron has made a guest appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.
Byron, along with the other Mythbusters build team members, was a guest of the Gen Con gaming convention in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2006 and multi-genre Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia in 2006 and 2007. In February 2007 she was a guest at the Portland Rod & Custom Show in Portland, Oregon and in March 2007 she was a guest at I-CON in Long Island, New York.
Byron has done an interview and photo shoot with popular men's magazine FHM. In the photo shoot, dressed in a red bra and lab coat, Byron recreated the popular "Diet Coke and Mentos" experiment that sparked the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment on the show. More

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