Thursday, October 13, 2011

[AG:] Ex Post Facto: Joining Fandom After 'The End'

Hey y'all! AG here with some thoughts on something that I hadn't even realized was such a big part of my life and my exploration of geekdom.

That's right. I've been doing it for years but hadn't really noticed until recently, and I know others do it too: say there's a show, or a series of books, which is a big deal while in syndication or in publication, and then it ends, and you haven't read or watched it at all. So you pick it up and settle in to watch from episode (or chapter) one, all the while others have already lived and experienced it all. And then, inexorably, you find yourself drowning in obsession and fandom while your friends are generally already standing on dry land on the other side, having forded the river successfully without their Connestoga wagons tipping or their oxen drowning.


Examples of Retroactive Fandom : I recently read The Hunger Games trilogy, a whole year after the final book ("Mockingjay") was released. I watched the first three seasons of Heroes before its fourth season was confirmed, which is a modified example, of course; and then season five was canceled, which was utterly devastating, don't get me started... Most recently, however, I was suckerpunched into watching the reboot of Battlestar Galactica (the giver of said suckerpunch was Miss Alex, of course, with help from a number of our friends) and that journey finally came to an end for me on Tuesday.

Those of you that have watched BSG know that when I say it was a "journey" I'm not kidding. I started watching it last winter but continued on and off until this month, because of other various life things that got in the way of me totally focusing on the survival politics of Galactica's crew and their toaster allies and enemies alike. Taking my time with the series did not lessen the impact of any of the incredible twists and turns along the way, especially those late in the game. I was floored. Totally floored. I'm still floored; my brain is still half-functioning because I'm trying to reconcile my worldview with the final reveal of the fourth season. I absolutely consider myself a fan now, despite the fact that I didn't join up till several years after the series ended. I loved how gritty it was, how unexpected it tended to be in spite of your tendency as a viewer to try and predict things before they happened. I loved the characters, the growing and changing relationships and interactions they all had, and even the religious subplot and mysterious undertones of the otherwise 'realistic' storylines (that is, realistic for a universe which precludes other planets than can support life and sentient artificial intelligence). It was fantastically written, in my opinion, and fantastically performed by a wonderful cast.

A lot of people might say that unless you watch a show in syndication, you're not a real 'fan' of a series, but it has been my experience mostly that nerds and geeks are more willing to allow latecomers into the fold, as long as those latecomers are fully versed in the canon and haven't skipped any details. AM has a favorite defense mantra, which goes something to the effect of "I didn't become a nerd till later in my life but it doesn't make me any less of a nerd than you." Where once the true test of a geek was how long one had been a fan of something, now it seems that there is more room for those who are young, or younger, or have only discovered certain things recently, but are fully committed to the fandom in spite of their tardiness. Another example: I am still in the process of watching The X-Files beginning to end, because I did not watch it in syndication (I was busy with DS9 and Voyager, kthx) but I consider myself totally invested in the series; X-Files is a passion for those who truly love it, and I absolutely love it. Again, I am taking my time finishing it -- I've still got season 8 and 9 left, and I'm terrified for it to end, even though I've seen both of the full-length movies. But that's all stuff for another day... I'm just saying.

My incredible cosmic Emily made this for me last Xmas. MADE IT. With puffy paint.

What I'm saying, really, I guess, is that experiencing a series ex post facto is still an experience, and that anyone who says it's "less" of an experience is absolutely wrong. All that matters is your personal experience and reaction to a show, a book, a movie. Whatever it is. If you love it, that's what counts. I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone I know who has already seen BSG (which is almost everyone) and kept the big surprises secret from me for all this time. It made a huge difference. I'm in Steven Moffat's camp, y'all: nobody really likes spoilers except people who have no true passion for storytelling. I would love to give my rabid thoughts about the end of BSG, but because the surprises were so fresh for me, I'd hate to throw anybody else under the bus, however unsuspecting. I'd also like to take this opportunity to say that I thought my dad made up the word "frak" as a cute alternative to the f-bomb. I grew up with him saying it, and subsequently have said it myself for years. Flash forward to the first episode of BSG -- I heard them saying it left and right and had a huge epiphany. My dad didn't invent "frak." Original!BSG did. And my dad loved original!BSG (as well as new!BSG). But that's the thing -- everything nerdy in my life goes back to the source: my father. He is the bringer of new things and the encourager of all that is geeky. Therefore, my dad is awesome.


So say we all.


Coming up soon: Reflections on prepping for conventions, costuming, and the Bristol Renaissance Faire (I know it was months ago, but I still have feelings about it!). ALSO: this Saturday, AM and I will be attending the fifth annual Doctor Whoniverse photoshoot in Chicago... expect pics! Currently reading "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" by Cory Doctorow and watching the animated "Batman: Year One"... whee!

Monday, October 10, 2011

[AM] Tid Bits, Wonders & The Future

First off apologies for the lack of posts lately. This past week or so has been crazy busy and I just haven’t had time to write. On the plus side so MUCH has happened that I just have to share with an appreciative audience. So be warned, I’m gonna hit you with a lot of awesome. Right at your face.

  1. The Temple of Boobs: An Indiana Jones Burlesque
As mentioned in my last post I’m a burlesque dance with a company known as Geek Girl Burlesque. I am currently directing and choreographing the Indiana Jones burlesque (Opening October 28th) & it has been a struggle. The girls have started calling it “The Little Show That Could”. Since it has been picked up it has gone through 1 director, 3 choreographers, 1 costumer & 1 photographer. Not to mention a complete script overhaul and missing almost two weeks of rehearsal. And yet every time someone quits (usually very last min.) it actually turns out for the better. The costumes look fantastic, the sare killer (if I do say so myself) & the girls are incredible. We have a lot of work left to do but I just couldn’t be happier. Get tickets here for this show & all others produced by GGB.

  1. Chicago Star Trek Convention 
 Again as stated in my last post I am apart of Boobs of Khan: A Star Trek Burlesque. I’m sure this has been mentioned somewhere on the site, but just to reiterate I’M A HUGE TREKKIE (& yes I say Trekkie, because I think Trekker sounds stupid ;) I’ve even got some ink to prove it.
I went to the convention with AG & her dad as well as another dancer in the show, Sadie Hotkins (Data). The Convention was small, but super fun. We got to talk to a bunch of fun nerds & even had some people and congratulate us on the show.  I talked to John de Lancie about My Little Pony & got him to sign “Friendship is Magic” John de Lancie on a photo. We passed out flyers, got some cool loot, talked to the Chicago TARDIS people, watched scenes from A Klingon Christmas Carol, & I have a potential D&D game now. But the real amazing thing is that Sadie Hotkins on a dare went up to Brent Spiner, gave him a flyer of our show and said “I play you. Only naked.” Needless to say he was a bit shocked, but after the initial confusion he was totally on board. As a coward I snuck up behind her and played a long too. Eventually we had Jonathon Frakes in on it too. He asked me who I played & when I said “Picard” he said “YEAH! Picard.” I didn't have the heart to tell him he wasn't in the show. They even offered to tip if we gave them a preview. It was awesome, surreal & creepy, but it made my life. 

  1. TeslaCon
AG & I have finally bought our tickets for Tesla Con & are beyond excited. We’re working on our costumes, which include Ivy & Alexia from Gail Carriger’s amazing book Soulless, some Weird Wild West, a sexy peacock & a lady who looks suspiciously like the Doctor, bow tie & all. Aly & I have never really attend a convention together (apart from the last Trek one) and I couldn’t be happier. We’re planning on launching a podcast there so stay tuned for all of that.

  1. BOOKS
I’ve been reading amazing books lately & thought you would like to check some out.

-Great Philosophers Who Failed At Love by Andrew Shaffer
-Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz
-Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences: Phoenix Rising by Tee Morris & Philippa Ballantine
-The Corpse Wore Pasties by Jonny Porkpie the Mayor of New York Burlesque
-Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (REVIEW COMING SOON)

Next on the List:
-Heartless by Gail Carriger
-Sin in Second City by Karen Abbot
-Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
-Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger
-Geek Girls Unite by Leslie Simon

& That’s pretty much that. I’ll get better at posting PROMISE.