Web Extra: Full Interview with Meisha Johnson
Tom Kaiser, Managing Editor
September 11, 2012
Filed under Snowmobiling Features
In Snow Goer’s November 2012 issue, we featured a brief interview with Meisha Johnson – actress, TV show host, spokesperson and snowmobile enthusiast. Here is the full interview. We hope you enjoy the interview as much as we enjoyed our conversation with the always-personable, always-fun Meisha.
One-on-One: Meisha P. Johnson
Meisha P.J. Johnson, 33, is a longtime presence in the snowmobile industry, most notably the host of the Sledhead 24/7 TV show airing Sunday nights on FSN and of the ISOC Amsoil Championship Snocross Series. Aside from her many product endorsements, show appearance, TV pilots and event hosts, Meisha has also done voiceover work, modeling, is currently filming a movie — and she even speaks fluent Swedish. What follows is an excerpt from our interview with Meisha, covering her experience in the snowmobile industry, her love of riding and what keeps her busy. For the full interview, visit SnowGoer.com.
Snow Goer: Aside from hosting Sledhead, you also do a lot of corporate work. Do you feel tugged one way or another — powersports versus corporate clients?
Meisha Johnson: I love the work that I do so much that I never ever felt like it had to be all one thing or another. Being an actress to my core, it’s easy for me to take on different roles, whether it has to be very corporate or whether I can be that fun, crazy powersports girl. Either way, it feels so natural.
SG: How did you get hooked up with hosting the show?
MJ: I did a TV pilot in 2005, and the producer said, “Hey, do you ride snowmobiles? There’s this snowmobile show that’s going to hit the airwaves and they’re looking for a host.” I’ve always been a tomboy, have always been on a snowmobile or dirt bike, and was like, “oh my gosh, yes, why?” That tiny, baby snowmobile show was the weirdest show. If you look at some of the first episodes, it was the most bizarre, weird show ever. For the most part, now they’re giving real information. Back in 2005, it was more like a comedy skit.
SG: What else are you working on these days?
MJ: I’m the face of this new insurance company called Warranty Star, which I will be talking a lot about this season for all the powersports people … and then I’m doing an independent feature film called The Bequeather. It’s a black-and-white, 50’s-style throwback that has a comedy feel to it like a Naked Gun. We’re filming that now, and I still do all my commercial work. I’m filming a commercial for Chrysler tomorrow.
SG: Are you still doing Sledhead 24/7?
MJ: We start Sledhead 24/7 in early September, and then I’m going to be doing some announcing. I’m going to be back on the podium, which I’m really excited about. I haven’t done that in a couple of years or so, so now I’ll have the chance to talk one-on-one with a lot of racers.
SG: You’ve interviewed all the big snowmobile stars. What’s Levi LaValle like off-camera?
MJ: He is Mr. Personality. Levi was one of the first racers I ever interviewed on Sledhead back when it was kind of a Gong Show back in 2005. He’s the most loving, warm, genuinely funny personality. Levi is genuinely through-and-through one of the nicest people I’ve met through all the years, and that doesn’t stop at snowmobiling — he is one of the most genuine souls I’ve ever met.
SG: Creepy question: you’re the sex symbol of the snowmobile industry. What’s that like?
MJ: I’ve never heard that before. I’ve heard crazy woman of the snowmobile world, so I’m very flattered, but it’s funny because being a female in a predominantly male demographic, men have always been very, very nice to me. Sometimes you have creepy stalkers and all that kind of stuff, but everyone in the industry has treated me very professionally. Of course, once in a while you get catcalls and whatever from the stands, but that’s all part of it and fun. As long as you can throw down and have fun with the fans and take nothing seriously…
SG: How much do you get to ride now?
MJ: I don’t get to ride as much anymore leisurely. When I do ride it’s usually for work, whether that be with Sledhead 24/7, the Amsoil Championship SnoCross Series or Yamaha videos for a few years there, so I actually don’t get to leisure ride nearly as much as I’d like to.
SG: Want to come snowmobiling with us?
MJ: I sure would! I’d love to. Oh my gosh, we have to do that. I’m not kidding. You guys say it and, if I’m not working, I’m there.
SG: On the snow, are you a hard charger or relaxed cruiser?
MJ: I’m a hard charger. I like to take risks and I love speed. When we’re snowmobiling on a trail, if there are people that like to go really slow, I just cannot wait. I’m just going to go. You won’t wait for me. Trust me, I’ll be waiting for you.
SG: Any plans to resurrect your Haydays Arctic Cat Catwoman costume from last year?
MJ: Any time they call and say to put on that cat costume, I’m going to, because I had so much fun doing that. I would do it in a heartbeat.
SG: What would a Meisha-designed TV show be like?
MJ: I want to do an all-encompassing sports show. I’d want to be in the locker room or in the pits and talk candidly to all these athletes. I want to introduce everyone to the real deal of who these people are and go into all sports, so you’d have a feel for what boxers are like or what UFC people are like … and talk to Tucker Hibbert or Ross Martin about not just snowmobiling, because you’re going to get that on other shows, but about who they are. It’s all about the person. I would be really interested in something like that. One day, boys…