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Lawrence Kao

Co-Founder of The Companion and Host of our Virtual Events, Masterclasses, and Audio Articles.

Welcome to The Companion. If you have a few minutes, I'd love to tell you why I think a place like this should exist...needs to exist.

As Co-Founder at The Companion, I have four responsibilities:

  1. Create the Vision for the platform
  2. Develop the culture
  3. Speak and meet with as many members (and non-member fans) as possible
  4. Hire the best team to create the best fan experiences

So why did I start The Companion?

The first, and main, reason is that I wanted to create a safe space for geeks like my wife to be able to enjoy what they love with other like-minded fans without the fear of being harassed.

The internet was supposed to be this awesome place of knowledge exchange and meeting new friends you couldn't have across the world. And then social media was supposed to super charge that!

Instead, it's gone bizarro and kind of turned into this horrible place. You see, my wife used to be a pro gamer (note that I said pro gamer and not an eSports athlete, she was competing wayyyy back in the day before that was cool or could become a high paying career) and was ranked Top 10 in the country in Tekken (Ling Xuaoyu FTW). She ended up quitting because of the abuse and vitriol she would get.

Wouldn't it be awesome to create a place that brings excitement, kindness and magic for fans like my wife? I hope The Companion is that place.

That's also a big reason why there's a paywall: TO KEEP TROLLS OUT. Who wants to pay money just to be mean? For our members, a few bucks per month means an incredible community and all of you I have met so far are so friendly. For the trolls, it's weirdly this "impenetrable paywall," and yes, that's a direct quote from Facebook.

The second reason why I love The Companion is to try and create a super premium platform for high quality storytelling. I have many interests including sports (particularly the NBA), travel, photography, and cooking.

On the set of my favorite sports show Inside the NBA in Atlanta.

In those worlds, I can subscribe to some incredible publications, but in the sci-fi, gaming, geeky kind of world, well I can't quite think of of a place I can find that, at least consistently.

I can't tell you how many times I've been tricked by a YouTube video or an article headline on something I'd like to know, only before they tell me, they need to recap the entire 25 year history first. This only needed to be a 30 second exchange!

I kind of get it, they're playing the advertising and algorithm game, but it really sucks for people like you and me that just really want the info. Imagine if we were able to save all those random 30 seconds and do something more productive like learn to play an instrument or plant a tree, we'd all be singing karaoke in a brand new dope would that be!

The third reason why I need The Companion, like me personally, is because I want to hear different perspectives from members like you. Sadly, I'm not that smart. I love watching films and shows, and I'm moved and entertained, but I'm not like this advanced film studies expert that can analyze the true essence behind a particular story. Oh my goodness I wish I could, but that's not in the cards for me.

I marvel at the perspectives of our writers, podcast hosts, the showrunners, actors, and writers that have created content for us. I get so much out of hearing your perspectives, and dare I say it, that's really how I shape my perspective?

So thank you all for sharing what you think, how you think, and why you think a show matters or why a film is important.

If you want to hear me (like in full-on dolby digital), I've had the privilege of hosting some of our amazing events which are truly once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Stargate A.I. because it was an absolutely bonkers idea to begin with and I can't believe the cast were so enthusiastic about joining. Sometimes, the craziest ideas are the best ones.
  • The Masterclass with Showrunner Frank Spotnitz. He basically helped shape 90s Sci-Fi Drama with The X-Files and then did it again with The Man in the High Castle.  
  • Okay so this wasn't an event per se, but the podcast episode with my brother Franklin (now a 3x Sports Emmy Winner...damn that guy) and diving into the implications of Shang-Chi. It's meaningful to me.
My brother and I enjoying Taco Tuesday in 1990. Franklin is tearing into that Del Teezie with such ferocity. To be fair, he was 2 years old. 

Thank you for lending me your eyes and ears.

Short Bio Prior to The Companion

  • Created series for broadcasters like the BBC such as Mission Selfie
  • Wrote James Patterson is Missing for Penguin Random House winning a Future Book Award
  • Won a Gold Lion at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity
  • Worked for Williams Formula 1 during the 2008 season
  • UC Irvine and Oxford University alum
  • My brother Franklin is also in media working for Inside the NBA, MLB World Series, and the NFL's Thursday Night Football