Tag Archive | Interview with a Fangirl

Interview with a Fangirl: Indrani

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Indrani, @Indranee, who is a Writer/Editor and of course a Fangirl!

I became aware of Indrani through the Twitter Star Wars Fangirl Community!

Welcome Indrani to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

When I was in my early teens for Star Trek and just last year when I watched The Last Jedi, for Star Wars, even though I’d been a casual fan of the franchise since A New Hope was first released when I was young.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

It helped me connect with other fans, and discuss topics and also meet some like-minded folk and even get into groups to go to conventions with. This primarily happened with Trek, but also Star Wars. However, I’ve also had some bad experiences with fans who are overbearing and plain nasty and want to hammer home their ideas at the expense of anyone elses. I also don’t like Stans in general (even though I’m a ‘shipper of all sorts of stuff LOL), and I think there is a particular contingent of Stans or ‘shippers who get very unpleasant on social media.

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings,Harry Potter, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

I first watched Star Trek (OST) when I was very young, in grade school, and then the movies, then TNG, then DS9, VOY, ENT, etc. I fell in love right away but there was a guy in my high school who was a HUGE Trekkie upon whom I was nursing a fair-sized crush, and I suspect that might have helped things along a bit! LOL. Lately, I’ve become very impressed with ST: Discovery and have acually paid to watch it.

I first watched Star Wars when A New Hope was released and watched the rest of the OT, but didn’t become a fangirl even though I liked the movies. The PT didn’t help much although I didn’t dislike it. I just wasn’t drawn to it. Perhaps I felt like I would betray Trek if I loved SW too much, but this wasn’t a conscious thought. I didn’t read any SW/EU novels (I’ve obsessed over Trek novels over the years), and didn’t watch Clone Wars, etc, either. I became a SW fangirl after I watched TLJ. It completely changed my mind about the SW OT/PT/ST ribboned connection, and I’m now a heavily invested fan of 9-film Skywalker-Solo drama LOL.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

The Trek community has been close to my heart for a long time and I have a lot of friends with whom I’m close whom I met online and via SM and discussion boards. Some of these friends became my real life friends and I admire and love and value them. I’ve written fanfic with them and also written non-Trek work with them. Trek is an intimate and ongoing part of my life and its values.

I’m just now beginning to make some friends in the SW community, but it’s not at the same level yet. I’m taking things slow… I’ve met some interesting people through the Reylo community and have discovered some great fanfic writers.

What else do you Fangirl about?

I love The Americans, Timeless, Sherlock (love SherLolly!), and a lot of Netflix original dramas.

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

I think I’ve realized that it’s actually harder to be a Star Wars fangirl than to be a Trek fangirl!

I never thought that I would feel this way when I first became interested in the Sequel Trilogy, but the nastiness toward it from the original fanboys is certainly astounded, to say the least. I’m also discovering that women who like Star Wars seem have a more difficult road to travel in terms of the attitude of the rest of the fandom. I’ve noticed strains of belittling and condescension toward the SW female fans from some contingents of male SW fans that I never encountered in the Trek community. These negative reactions are strewn all over Youtube vids, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter

Throughout my life as a female Trekkie, I’d always felt as if I was part of a special, treasured group… sure, there were a few patronizing groups here and there, but Trek fandom is so varied and also Trek series and movies are so used to being reinvented that there’s a tendency for the larger fandom to be much more accepting of variety. Add to this the fact that Trek has always had women “on top”, meaning within TPTB. D.C. Fontana, Majel Barrett Roddenberry, Nichelle Nichols, Nana Visitor, Kate Mulgrew, Jeri Taylor (who was a primary writer/producer on Voyager, etc… and many novelists and scriptwriters/producers form parts of the hefty backbone of Trek-lit and screenworks.

Compared to this, I feel SW has been traditionally more male-centric, and brilliant actors and writers like Carrie Fisher have correctly avowed that this needs to change. Thankfully, I see this change happening recently, and I believe Twitter and Tumblr are in fact part and parcel of this change, because SW writers, including Storygroup writers as well as novelists seem to routinely interact with fangirls within the community, leading to a healthy amount of discussions and give and take of info and opinions. Despite the ever-present “nastiness” that’s always lurking within, I think Social Media, especially Twitter has been a breakthrough platform for this communal exchange. So, in many ways, SM is a double-edged sword.

Where can others interact with you?

They can Tweet or DM me @indranee

Interview with a Fangirl: Jess

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Jess!

I became aware of Jess through the Twitter Star Wars Fangirl Community!

Welcome Jess to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

Thanks so much for having me and I had a fun time answering them!

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I was in high school before I was really able to share my fandom with others. Once I was able to talk to other fans and geek out with them over our shared love of Star Wars I really realized that my love wasn’t going to fade. So I would say I was about 16 when I knew that I would be a fan for life.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Most of my fandom experience has been a smaller face to face experience. I met some friends in high school and college and shared my fandom with them. For most of my fandom journey my community has been really small, just friends that I’ve made over the years.
It wasn’t until the few months leading up to Celebration Orlando that I realized there is a much wider fandom community that I have access to. I think it’s a great way to connect with other fans and build friendships. I just joined a couple facebook groups that were created by my favorite podcasters. I’ve gotten more active on Twitter and Instagram and it’s like a whole new world of fandom.

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

Star Wars is my first love of fandom. My older brother say the original trilogy in theaters when he was younger so he would watch them with me when he would babysit me. Star Wars was such a part of my childhood that I don’t remember the first time I watched it. I feel like I was born a Star Wars fan because I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t a fan.
I was the same way with Disney, I grew up watching the movies and playing princess dress up.

Harry Potter was another big impact on my life and is very special to my heart. My dad stumbled upon the first book before it got really popular. He impressed upon me and my older brothers that we needed to read this book. We all took his advice, and my brothers were able to share them with his kids. It was the first, and really the only fandom that we share together as a family.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

I’ve learned that Star Wars fans are some of the nicest people I’ve met. Anytime I see someone in Star Wars apparel or a tattoo I’ll geek out with them about it and everyone is always nice about it. Everyone needs a sense of community and belonging. I’ve always felt like I belonged in the Star Wars fandom. I’ve never has to prove myself, I’ve always been accepted. As a woman I’m so grateful for the positive experience I’ve had as a fangirl.

What else do you Fangirl about?

I have quite a few fandoms that I ascribe to. Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Disney, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avatar: The Last Airbender (the cartoon), the Bloody Jack series of novels by L.A. Meyer.

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

I had a pretty good experience as a young fangirl, but I wasn’t able to fully fangirl out and share my fandoms till I was in my teens. I’m so happy about the world we live in now, with shows like Clone Wars and Rebels, and the new movies there are so many awesome women for little girls to look up to. I saw so many young girls cosplaying as Sabine at Celebration. I saw so many families cosplaying together and sharing the fandom as a family. Star Wars has this wonderful way of bridging the generational gaps. I truly believe that The Force is for everyone and it’s becoming more and more socially acceptable to be a fanperson. I think we should rejoice at how far we’ve come and keep the momentum going. We can push the boundaries further and be an example for representation and equality. Star Wars has always been ahead of his time and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. I really look forward to see how the franchise and the fandom grows over the rest of my lifetime.

Where can others interact with you?

I can be found at @Huttslayer91 on Twitter and Instagram. I’m also a part of the Skywalking Through Neverland and Fangirls Going Rogue Facebook groups. I hope to start my own podcast with my best fanboy here soon, so I will have that information on my Twitter and Instagram once that gets off the ground.

Interview with a Fangirl: Carol G

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Fangirl Carol G, who is a geek Mom and Lead Moderator of the Collider Jedi Council Fan Group on Facebook.

I became aware of Carol through the Global Star Wars Fangirl Community and I am very happy that she agreed to this interview!

Welcome Carol to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I guess I always was, but I became more nerd about Star Wars when they announced Episode VII was in production.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Helped a lot. I’m 39, so I belong to a generation that had to wait for a magazine to be published, or to a TV show or documentary to come up to get extra information about my fandom, and today, you can learn something new, or check canon facts instantly.

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

I don’t remember exactly when I watched it, but it was my Father’s VHS OT collection, so, a long time ago, much before the prequels. I loved it immediately, I remember being a little girl and wanting a robot R2D2. But it has grown exponentially after Episode XII, due to the material and availability of extra information. I want to know more. Harry Potter and Game of Thrones are my other fandoms, but more secondary.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

The Star Wars fan base is very diverse. Fans tend to disagree a lot, so I learned patience and respect. Not that I wasn’t respectful before, obviously I was, but now I have learned to manage it on a Social Media level. I don’t know the person on the other side, their life, their problems, so I don’t go for arguments, especially from the “always negative” fans. If I see that a person is from a group that has other opinions, I just “move along”, let them be. Also, I have learned a lot about Social Media itself, moderating a SW group on Facebook. Met new people, with both similar or completely different interests, but the same love for SW.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Only SW, GOT and Harry Potter. Their material and lore takes all my spare time.

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

Being a Fangirl is awesome, but my advice for the newcomers are: read, learn, think for yourself and make your own conclusions. Write them if you like writing. Share your ideas, there’s always someone who will relate to them. Don’t be shy if you belong to a group in that is mocked a lot in fandom. Don’t argue with Lucasfilm people online, it’s not nice. And most of all, don’t fall into traps, don’t let the negativity reach you, that person doesn’t know you, the real you, so don’t let online bashing ruin your day.

Where can others interact with you?

You can find me on Twitter @carolgtweets

Interview with a Fangirl: Shay

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Blogger, Podcaster and Fangirl Shay!

I became aware of Shay through the Twitter Star Wars Fangirl Community!

Welcome Shay to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When did you realize you were a Fangirl?

I actually didn’t realize I was a “fangirl” until fairly recently. I’ve always been really into sci-fi, fantasy, and the like, and I have that kind of personality where, if I set my mind to something, I pretty much never let it go. I’ve been crazy about Star Wars on and off for years, but only a few years ago did I actually really begin to be more open about it, discovering podcasts, fan sites, cosplay, and all the other awesome aspects of it.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Shay with Sisters and Friend

For me, social media has been very helpful, though I’ve only had limited exposure to it. I just began with Twitter a few months ago, and it’s been a big help in keeping up-to-date on all the news, theories, and getting connected with all the other amazing fans out there.

One of the biggest things that got me back into Star Wars, and caused me to be as active in it as I am now, was getting to know several other major Star Wars fans about my age though a chat-board. All of us started talking about it together, and it was actually through people on there that I was first exposed to terms such as “fangirl”, “shipping”, and “feels”.

We all help each other grow in our love for the series, talking through all our theories, and sharing our knowledge with others who are new to it all. It was amazing. In fact, those guys are the biggest reason why The Elven Padawan even exists today; had it not been for their enthusiasm and overwhelming support when I first mentioned the idea of starting my own podcast, I probably never would have started that endeavor. Because of each other, we’ve all gotten way more involved in this stuff than we ever intended to be, and it’s been a fantastic ride all the way.

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

I first saw Star Wars when I was very young, probably around the age of three. I still remember walking into our media room and finding my dad watching The Phantom Menace. I was immediately drawn in by the odd green guys with funny hats and no noses, and the girl with the enormous red dress who looked like she was wearing an upside-down chandelier on her head. I watched the prequels a lot over the next several years, and absolutely loved them, even though I didn’t totally understand all the details of the story.

For some reason, my love for the movies died away, and I went through a lapse where I could care less about Star Wars. I basically avoided it as much as possible. Then all of a sudden, several years ago, my dad bought and began watching through the entire saga with my sisters, and I found myself right in the middle of it again. Then came the announcement of work beginning on another movie, and by the time The Force Awakens released, I had become a big fan of the animated branch of the story though Star Wars Rebels.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

You can always find something to talk to people about. There’s no excuse to not be friendly to people just because you’re completely different. To quote an old Jedi proverb we first heard from Bail Organa, “The smallest gesture of kindness can fill a galaxy with hope.” One of the greatest kindness I can show, or that you can show me, is taking the time to talk to me and listen to what I have to say. I’ve made very good friends with people I know only through internet correspondence, and had great conversations with people, all starting with each of us finding out that the other liked the same story. That’s amazing to me, how a teenaged girl can just walk into a random comic book store a state away from where she lives, and strike up an in-depth conversation with a middle-aged man who works there about Grey Jedi, whether Luke actually has to be the only Force-user in the Rebellion, and if Kanan Jarrus is technically a Jedi Knight (and yes, this actually happened to me this summer!).

What else do you Fangirl about?

I was introduced to The Lord of the Rings series a couple years ago, and immediately picked up with that franchise. It reminded me a lot of Star Wars in many ways, and I loved how deep and involved it was, with all the different locations, time periods, races, and cultures of Middle-Earth. Since I saw the movies first, they always hold a special place in my heart, but nothing compares to Tolkien’s original books. And yes, that includes The Silmarillion, Beren and Luthien, The Children of Hurin, not just LOTR and The Hobbit.

I’m also a huge reader, so if I’m not talking the ears off someone about something that’ll have an 80% chance of turning fandom or philosophy related, planning another cosplay, or trying to figure out lightsaber moves in the driveway with a bamboo pole, I’ve probably got my nose stuck in a book somewhere.

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

Don’t be afraid to get your voice out there because you don’t have the same opinions and thoughts as everyone else in the fandom! A lot of my own theories and the things I believe are totally different than the ones currently trending with a lot of the loudest voices in the fandom, but that’s OK. You’ll find that if you get your voice out there, there are a lot of people who think like you who will come out, too. I never thought I’d find other kids my age who were as involved in the deep aspects of the mythology of Star Wars as I am, and who draw the same connections to real-life things like history and theology, but I started talking and putting myself out there, and I’ve connected with some great people. And you’re going find a lot of people who might not agree with you all the time, but are still supportive and awesome and try to help you out anyway. There are still those out there that like to look down on you because you love a certain trilogy, or like Tauriel even though she wasn’t in the book, or just for being a fangirl in general, but don’t let that change who you are.

Where can others interact with you?

Interact with me via…
The Elven Padawan podcast and site or on Twitter: Elven Padawan (@ElvenPadawan

Interview with a Fangirl: Mel

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Fangirl, Podcaster and Blogger Mel Perez, @jane_anon.

I became aware of Mel through the Black Girl Nerds blog and the Twitter Star Wars and Doctor Who Fan Communities.

Welcome Mel to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I don’t have a specific moment that I can look to and say that’s when I realized it. I grew up loving 80s fantasy, science fiction and anime. Until maybe high school, I thought this was completely normal. It’s only later that I discovered that everyone wasn’t always watching Conan, Star Wars or some anime dubbed in Spanish in their free time. If I had to pick a time, I would probably say high school. That’s when I become involved in message boards, chat rooms and websites for the shows I loved. Shout out to AOL Chat. I guess that’s when my fangirling leveled up.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

For the most part, social media has helped me. It got me involved with Black Girl Nerds. It helped me find a group to start a podcast with. It’s how I find people who are interested in the same things as me. It’s not all positive though. There’s something about being a woman and especially a woman of color on social media that almost invites trolls. It paints a target on your back saying please question everything I say, assume I don’t know anything and basically treat me like an idiot. I’m not the best at dealing with them. It does make me want to leave sometimes. I’ve had periods when I had to lock my account just to avoid all of the people attacking me.

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

I was really young when I first saw Star Wars so I can’t say exactly when. I think my first clearest memory of seeing it was when I was 10. I was riveted to the screen. I remember my cousins trying to get my attention to go play outside but they would have had to drag me to get me away from that movie. The moment I saw Luke watch the twin suns setting on Tatooine with the John Williams score swelling in the background, I knew I was in love.

Star Trek, on the other hand, is a more interesting story. My mother and my grandmother loved the original show. I didn’t. It took me until after college to start watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. It took some time but I did fall in love with it and Deep Space Nine which took me even longer to watch. I still haven’t seen the original series though I did take my mother and grandmother to see the first reboot for Mother’s Day.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

I’m not as involved in the Star Wars fan community as I would like. The fan communities I think of fondly are Harry Potter, Supernatural, Doctor Who, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even Teen Wolf. I think fondly of these communities made up of mostly women who loved to talk about the works, write about them, vid them, etc. Being involved in these communities helped me come out of my shell. It pushed me to start writing. These communities emphasized that my opinion mattered and that it was okay emotionally invested in these properties. I’ve met so many amazing fangirls who have become true friends. Fangirls have brought so much joy into my life.

What else do you Fangirl about?

I named a few of them in the last answer. I’ve spent the past year fangirling about Yuri on Ice. It rekindled my love of figure skating which I am also now fangirling about. I’m still an MCU fangirl though I may get superhero fatigue now and then. Also comic books, marine animals, 80s fantasy movies forever, Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, Bob’s Burgers and mid to late 90s/early 2000s anime. After Star Wars, Doctor Who is probably my biggest fandom.

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

It’s awesome. It’s empowering. It’s fun. It’s fulfilling.

Where can others interact with you?

I can be found tweeting about comics, Yuri on Ice, Doctor Who or Star Wars at @jane_anon.

Interview with a Fangirl – Connie

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Fangirl Connie Shih!

I became aware of Connie through the Twitter Star Wars Fangirl Community.

Welcome Connie to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I became enamored with The Muppet Show on TV when I was five-years-old. A talking frog, pig, and bear? Colorful creatures of all shapes and sizes? Instant Muppet fangirl!

How has social media helped or hindered you?

At the moment, social media (primarily Twitter) has helped me connect with Star Wars fans, podcasts, and fan sites from all over the world. Overall, it’s been wonderful to interact with fellow fans and become a member of Star Wars Twitter fan community. However, there is also an unfortunate downside with trolls and toxicity. In those instances, when it’s become overwhelming, I’ve found it’s perfectly fine to take a break from social media. I’ve also discovered that Twitter (with its character limit) often hinders in depth discussions, so it’s better to engage in those discussions elsewhere where there is more space for elaboration. Prior to the Star Wars Twitter fan community, I used Tumblr for several years to connect with fellow fans in the Glee fan community.

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

I first saw Return of the Jedi in 1983 on the big screen when I was eight-years-old, and instantly fell in love with Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, and Ewoks. Return of the Jedi was my gateway to Star Wars and later paved the way for my love of Star Trek and Lord of the Rings.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

I’ve been mostly involved with the Glee fan community and Star Wars fan community in recent years and both have been welcoming and felt like family.

In the Glee fan community, I’ve met fellow fans in person, attended concerts and book signings with them, and become lifelong friends with many of them. I’ve also collaborated professionally with fellow Glee fans in academia. Overall, it’s been incredibly positive and satisfying.

In the Star Wars fan community, it’s been fantastic to connect with so many on a daily basis on Twitter. I hope to meet fellow fans in person one day and attend meetup or a Star Wars Celebration.

What else do you Fangirl about?

I love musicals (both Broadway and movie), am a proud Gleek (fan of the Fox TV musical dramedy, Glee). Trekkie (Star Trek fan), and a Lord of the Rings fan.

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

Don’t be afraid to embrace what you love! There are so many ways and places for fangirls to celebrate their fandom and support each other. Reach out and connect with others and don’t let the trolls get under your skin. We have your back!

Where can others interact with you?

You can find me on Twitter @connieshih. I’m also working on launching a new personal blog called Connie’s Corner (https://ckshih.wordpress.com) in 2018 where you’ll find my thoughts on a variety of topics of interest including Star Wars and pop culture.

Interview with a Fangirl: Erica L

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Erica L, an artist with a passion for Star Wars.

I became aware of Erica through the Twitter Star Wars Community.

Welcome Erica to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When did you realize you were a Fangirl?

I’ve always been really “into” things – like films, books, and music, but only realized there was an actual word for it a few years ago – probably around 2011 or 2012. My first big fandom was (and still is) Star Wars.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media has helped me when it comes to fangirling. Through websites like Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, I’ve been able to connect with people who enjoy these movies as much as I do. It’s always fun to pass theories back and forth or come up with new stories for some of our favorite characters. Being an artist, it’s also fun for me to post my work online for other fans to see.

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

My uncle first showed me Star Wars: A New Hope back when I was three or so and I’ve been a fan ever since. I can’t imagine a time where Star Wars wasn’t a big part of my life. Growing up, I remember Leia was my favorite character to pretend to be. She was (and still is) definitely a big role model for me. I really can’t put into words how much I love Star Wars and how much of an impact it’s had on me.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

Like I said before, it’s wonderful being able to communicate with other fans. Fan communities are a place to talk about our favorite fandoms and connect over our mutual love for it. I’ve definitely been able to “meet” several people online – many of whom I could possibly never have the chance of getting to “know” if it weren’t for the Internet.

What else do you Fangirl about?

I’ve also been a fan of Marvel for about three or four years now, and I just got into the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter films this year. It didn’t take long before I realized they were going to be a big deal to me.

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

Embrace your inner fangirl! Don’t feel like you need to hide who you really are. If you’re a fangirl of movies, books, music etc. enjoy it!

Where can others interact with you?

Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram: @e_brienne. You can also find me on my personal blog at: ebrienne.tumblr.com.

Interview With A Fangirl: Alexina

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Fangirl Alexina Duncan, who is a freelance costumier and part-time space general based in London and working in the UK film industry England.

I became aware of Alexina through a recent Future of the Force interview about her costuming efforts, especially the Hera cosplay she did at Star Wars Celebration Orlando in April 2017.

Welcome Alexina to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I’m not sure when I would say I had that dawning realization – it’s always been a part of who I am. I was raised on a steady diet of science fiction from birth – books, films and tv mostly. Eventually I went on to discover videogames and comics on my own, which I then fed back and shared with my mum. We are in an endless, self-perpetuating nerd culture cycle!

I guess around 2000 or 2001 was when I became a fangirl. That was when I got online, discovered fangroups and fansites, message boards and mailing lists and – most of all – fanfic. I had always shared things with people in real life, written my own little stories, but that’s when I became aware that this was a wider, shared thing.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Fandom social media is just incredible. And awful! For me the positivies far outweight the negatives. I’m a naturally solitary person who works long, difficult hours whilst managing my chronic illness. Over the years, that’s led to a lot of lost friends and isolation, but social media allows me to maintain a sense of community, to meet like minded people from all over the world, and maintain frienships that would risk fading because of schedule or distance. Particularly over the last year where I have tried to push myself and have started interacting with the cosplay and costuming community I have really felt, for the first time in a long long time, like I am actually a part of something. I have been in fandom for a long time but now I am finally in a community and it overwhelms and delights me nearly every day.

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

My first or second memory is of me explaining the Empire Strikes Back to my dad when I was two or three, so it has always been a vital part of my life that has guided and influenced me. Star Trek was equally a crucial part of my childhood, and I’ve found it fascinating how my response to these films and shows has shifted, my perceptions of stories and characters hve evolved as I have developed and grown. Doctor Who was also a vital part of my childhood, though I have to live forever alone with my non-canon favourite Doctor (Peter Cushing in the two Doctor Who movies!) The list of fan favourites that have always been a core part of my life is long. I grew up in the ‘90’s which was such a wonderful golden age for these fan favourites, and I was so lucky to have a mother that shared them with me and still shares and loves them. Not only that, but to have so many wonderful women in genre to look up to and aspire to – Leia, Padme, Aeryn, Sam Carter, Janeway, B’Elanna…I’m always grateful for them.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

It’s a gathering place, essentially. Somewhere were this community can meet and flourish and evolve. It’s a platform for those who would never otherwise have a voice; a way for people to meet and share and bond that would never otherwise meet. By being involved in online fandom I hear points of views that I would never have considered. It enriches and expands the fandom, and I’m educated every day.

The sheer amount of creativity on display everyday, whether in art, fic, cosplay, meta or just the beautiful rambling conversations that grow out of a tiny idle critique of comic art into what you could call an exploration of the female gaze that led to beautiful fanart. There is so much talent in fandom and there is a level of feedback and collaboration. Venturing into the cosplay side of fandom in the last year, I have had the warmest and most incredible welcome. The level of support and interest in my work is overwhelming, which I then get the opportunity to give back to the community by offering advice and techniques to others. Heras helping Heras. The work and resources that are available and shared is invaluable.

What else do you Fangirl about?

My biggest passion is costume – it’s my life, my work, my hobby. I have a degree in costume and have been working in the industry for seven years. 98% of the time I will be shouting about some minor costume detail (whether its right or wrong!) on screen and that will be my way into a story or character. Somehow, for some reason, I have only started cosplaying in this past year. I think because costume was this external tool that I applied to others and translated. Costume is the ultimate storytelling devise. Even if you don’t notice the costumes (for instance, consider George Lucas insisting that the costumes in the original Star Wars be ‘invisible’) they are working hard to tell you everything that you need to know. History, character and hints towards the narrative to unfold. They’re always there in the colours, the silhouette.

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

Being a fangirl isn’t about labels. It isn’t about doing things right, being a ‘one true fan’. It’s about loving what you loving and sharing that, letting that passion grow in whatever works for you. It’s about not blindly loving something but being open to critiquing your darlings, expect more more and allowing others to let their voices be heard. We deserve the very best stories. Fan communities gather out of a need to celebrate a story or a character and it is very easy to get bogged down in maudlin, self-defeating cynicism. We are all guilty of it – I am especially guilty of it! Sometimes we need to stop and just remember why we’re here and where fandom has led us.

What cool things are you doing?

I cosplay as a part of the Rebel Legion Elstree Base, primarly as the best pilot in the galaxy, Hera Syndulla. I also write essays critiquing and analysing costume on screen and will shortly be starting my Masters in Fashion Cultures.

Where can others interact with you?

You can find me on Twitter and Tumblr at @xenadd and @poetryincostume, on Instagram as @poetryincostume, or on my blog poetryincostume.com

Interview with a Fangirl: Marie Nomad

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Fangirl Marie Nomad. I met Marie through fanfiction.net after reading and reviewing several of her anime fanfic stories. She is not only a Fangirl, but one of my longest online friends in the anime Fanfic community.

Welcome Marie to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this interview!

When did you begin to realize you were a Fangirl?

When I went into college and I discovered that there are other people who write sci fi fan fiction and watch anime.

When did you first see Star Wars and did you love it right away or did this grow over time?

Well, I heard about Star Wars but I loved Star Trek first. I did watch the movies and loved it. I enjoyed episodes Four, Three, and One.

What have you learned from the Star Wars community that has had a positive impact on your life?

Star Wars taught me that things will get better with time.

What else do you Fangirl about and how would you encourage others to appreciate?

Various things. I like all sorts of fiction. I had been a fan of wrestling lately. I see it as a form of art that requires dedication and physical ability. I do enjoy Doctor Who and sometimes independent sci fi films and those silly B films.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Helped me. There are a ton of fans out there. They are awesome. Although, I don’t interact with social media too much, except for Twitter. Even sci fi characters like Supernatural have their own twitter accounts.

Thank you again Marie for this interview and letting us get to know you.

Interview with a Fangirl: Liza O’Connor

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Fangirl and guest blogger, Liza O’Connor.

Welcome again Liza to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time out of your busy writing schedule to answer these questions!

When did you begin to realize you were a Fangirl?

Since you invited me to join your blog of Fangirls. Before that, I just loved Star Wars, having no idea there were others who dreamed of traveling the stars each night.

When did you first see Star Wars and did you love it right away or did this grow over time?

It was love on first sight. I said, oh aren’t you handsome, and he said — well, I don’t actually know what he said. But if you combined a walrus, a lion, a bear, a camel and badger saying “I love you” in unison, I’m sure that’s what it would sound like. But then Chewie may have been demanding to go to the bathroom. He wasn’t allowed to when in makeup.

What have you learned from the Star Wars community that has had a positive impact on your life?

If you build small childlike robots, they will behave like noisy children. And if you build a know-it-all, excessively proper butler…you’ll get a pain in the ass metal butler. BUT just when you pigeonhole everything, they will do something totally out of character because even robots, that should be predictable, can take you by surprise. AND know this: Oddly you speak, wise you seem.

But the most important concept: Sentient life comes in all forms possible. Different is the norm.

What else do you Fangirl about and how would you encourage others to appreciate?

I fangirl over The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. If you haven’t read Douglas Adams, you should. He probably won’t be writing any more, being dead and all, but with Adams, you never know.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media expands my horizons and brings me things I wouldn’t see otherwise. But it also overwhelms me and consumes much time from writing my own humorous novels. And presently there are three pairs of boots stalking me wherever I go on social media. It’s a bit creepy.

Thanks again Liza for letting us get to know you better! I learned something new about you today and my husband, Michael, who is also a big Douglas Adams fan, would agree with you as well.

For more Information about Liza O’Connor, who is the Author of the upcoming The Multiverses series (2015), investigate these sites:

Liza’s Blog and Website, her Facebook page or you can follower her on Twitter as well.

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