San Francisco, California
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Kari Elizabeth Byron (born December 18, 1974) is a San Francisco-based television host and artist, best known for her featured role on the Discovery Channel show MythBusters.
On MythBusters, Byron is a co-host and, with fellow co-hosts and "Build Team" members Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara, works with Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman to test the plausibility of various myths. She and the others also host their own segments. She became involved in the show after persistently showing up at Hyneman's M5 Industries workshop in a desire to get hired by his company. She and the other Build Team members were given a more prominent role beginning with the show's second season. Not having had a long history in show business, Byron at first found it difficult to act naturally with this more visible position but gradually became more accustomed to it.
During the second half of the 2009 season, Byron was on maternity leave and was temporarily replaced by Jessi Combs.
Since 2010, Byron has her own show Head Rush on the Science Channel, geared towards science education and teens.
Byron has also hosted the 2010 and 2011 editions of Large, Dangerous Rocket Ships for the Science Channel. She and Belleci made a guest appearance on the October 3, 2012 episode of the Discovery series Sons of Guns. They test-fired some of the weapons in the Red Jacket shop and watched as the staff re-tested a myth previously busted by the Build Team: that a propane tank could explode if struck by a bullet.
Kari Byron at Gen Con Indy 2006
Art and sculpting are important aspects of Byron's 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.
Regarding how a background in art has been applied to her work with MythBusters, Byron made the following observation at the Dublin High School Engineering and Design Academy Open House in February 2012:
For me, having a background in art I think helped me immensely to become someone who really likes science because I started to approach it in a very MythBusters way. I really like just getting my hands dirty, and that’s the kind of science that I like to do, and I never realized how much I was going to like science until I started approaching it like art.
Following the success of MythBusters, Byron 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 graduated from Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos, California and studied film and sculpture at San Francisco State University, graduating magna cum laude in May 1998 with a B.A. degree in film and sculpture. Byron spent the following year backpacking, primarily in South Asia, including the Himalayas, and was also involved in a number of art projects.
Byron is a pescetarian, a fact referred to on occasion on MythBusters where she has been visibly uncomfortable when experiments have called for the use of animal remains. For a long time, she simply referred to herself as a vegetarian to avoid confusion, but later explained during an interview on the Suicide Girls website that she does in fact eat fish. In the 2010 episode "Cold Feet", Byron went further to state that she has a "very limited diet", and in "Flu Fiction" revealed that she has mysophobia, a fear of germs.
Byron says she has been an atheist since childhood.
She is married to artist Paul Urich. The couple have a daughter, named Stella Ruby, who was born on June 28, 2009.
Full Name at Birth
Kari Elizabeth Byron
Los Gatos High School, Los Gatos, California
Bachelor of Arts from San Francisco State University in 1998 for her studies in Film and Sculpture
TV Host, Artist
Kari Elizabeth Byron (born December 18, 1974) is an American television host and artist, best known for her featured role on the Discovery Channel show MythBusters.
Claim to Fame
Stella Ruby (daughter) 2009
Jamie Hyneman, Adam Savage, Tory Belleci, Grant Imahara
Couple Profile Source
Talent Agency (e.g. Modelling)
Don Buchwald & Associates, Inc.
www.karibyron.com/, www.nndb.com/people/668/000164176/, twitter.com/KariByron, www.karibyron.com
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