Fandom Positivity

Behind every TV show, movie, musical artist, etc is a group of extra loyal fans who keep the momentum going by tweeting, cosplaying, making and buying merch, etc. These are passionate people, ready to discuss their favorite thing at the drop of a hat, produce theories, and defend their favorite thing to the death.  The fandom can probably relate any real life event to a quote or situation from their favorite thing. In come cases, and this has been especially true for me, a fandom can become like family. I have made some of my best friends through fandom.

How Fandom Helped Me

You see, I spent most of my twenties working way too hard and not having any fun. I hardly watched any TV at all. The few things I did enjoy, I enjoyed on my own and had no idea of the  concept of fandom.  My first taste of true fandom, with social online interaction and all was with Stargate SG-1.  I connected with other fans on message boards and their custom Geocities websites (remember those??). It was also my first taste of fan fiction.  The idea that people, fans, could create stories based on the stories told on television and expand on that world through their eyes was fascinating to me. I reached out to the writers commending them for their great work, making some friends in the fandom and even writing one story of my own! I got great reviews and all! That feeling of inclusion, of positivity…it was addictive and life changing.

It was the Doctor Who fandom that eventually practically saved my life.  I started watching Doctor Who when I was going through a period of bad depression, and at the strong recommendation of my friend Ken. He rewatched the entire show with me, helping me go through the motions.  But once we finished the show and were caught up, I still needed to talk about it. I took to my Twitter account to comment about the show and soon found myself with tons and tons of new friends. My follower count started growing (an added bonus hehe) and suddenly I felt like I was truly part of something.

I have joined many fandoms since then, each one with their new set of friends. I even allowed some of them to add me on Facebook, which I hardly used, but now it made my Facebook more colorful and fun.  One group of fellow David Tennant fans and I even got together in what we called a mini Tennant con. We flew in and drove from various parts of the US to Texas for a week of fangirling fun. (*waves at the Bus*) My phone used to be silent except for the occasional spam mail to hit my inbox or my mother texting me to ask what I needed from the store.  Now my phone was lit up with messages from friends, people sharing memes, scheduling group watches of David Tennant tv and film aptly called DT Dates, etc, etc, etc…

Yeah, fandom changed my life. I have friends all over the world. I attend and even volunteer at comic cons, where I meet other fangirls and boys, some of whom I still keep in touch with.  I never feel alone because I have friends all over the world who keep in touch very regularly. After a new episode of a TV show airs or after a new movie, it’s great to be able to talk about it with all my friends.  I am particularly thankful to fandom for bringing my bestest friends Chrisha and T into my life. We are hundreds of miles away but we are super close as if we lived together.  They helped me learn that I am way more than a soul-draining desk job and that I deserve more in life. I am a different person because of them and I will love them forever.

So What’s the Problem???

It is because of all of these good things and positivity that have come out of fandom that I just cannot understand why in the world there would be so much negativity and hate on my social media timelines these last few months.  I’ve seen people tweet the most awful, hateful things to each other.  The now infamous “ship wars” have reached a point where even I’m afraid to mention certain characters sometimes for fear of backlash.  I feel like everyone has become SO ship obsessed they have forgotten about the show as a whole and that’s a damn shame. But worst of all, I have seen people be downright nasty and verbally abusive to the actors themselves.  Really?  Can we no longer make the distinction between fantasy and reality?  People, it doesn’t matter what the situation is, we are capable of discussing like intelligent beings and not turn every conversation into a nasty argument.

Look, I know all about a show causing blood boiling frustration – I’m a Whovian after all – but I have never attacked anyone for having an opinion different from my own. I’m a die-hard Rose Tyler supporter and am very much not fond of Clara Oswald at all. I know that TONS of you out there disagree with me.  That’s ok. I don’t necessarily see the Dean/Cas ship just because I don’t see the characters interact like that, but if you do, that’s cool! I am upset half to death that Olicity is not an item right now, but I tooootally understand why Felicity decided to leave Oliver, because I think I would have done the same thing.  Some of you think she is being selfish, and that’s an opinion you are allowed to have.  What you absolutely cannot do is attack people, call them awful names and drive them off social media.  We are so much better than this, come on.

I am calling to you, fellow fans, to remember what fandom is, and what brought us all together in the first place.  Let’s keep the conversations and debates civil and constructive.  If you are upset about something happening in your fandom, treat it like any other stressful situation and take a break from it before talking about it – wait until you are in a calmer frame of mind.  Fandom should be a safe haven for people, not a place they have to be afraid.

Fandom love to all you ❤

David Bowie

The title pretty much says it all. Just his name alone speaks volumes.

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This is not an easy post for me to write, so please forgive me if my thoughts are a bit mangled.

Almost two months ago, the world lost its Starman but I am still grieving like it just happened this morning.  It was a Monday morning, my alarm went off telling me it was time to go to work. I always check Facebook and Twitter first thing to see any messages I may have missed, when there it was. “David Bowie dead at 69.” It couldn’t be true. It had to be another internet prank. Bowie couldn’t be dead, he’s immortal! But it was true. David Bowie was dead and I cried hard. I cried because I lost someone that seemed to always be there for me even though he never knew me. And I cried because I felt that I had not done enough for him while he was alive. I felt like a bad fan. But I’ll get into this shortly…

I was first exposed to the brilliance of David Bowie at a young age. My mother showed me the movie Labyrinth.
Jareth

 

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It was love at first sight for both the movie and Bowie.  The movie was the perfect blend of adventure, cheese, humor and musical interludes. Jennifer Connelly was a whiny brat, but I completely understood getting lost in a fictional world. And to be honest, if I was her, I’d have run away with Jareth. I mean look at him. I’m pretty sure he would have done anything for Sarah if she asked.  Labyrinth also gave us this perfection of a ballroom scene:

tumblr_n31wrqo13e1sial0xo1_500  I always wanted to be Sarah. I wanted her dress and I wanted David Bowie and….sigh.  And that song, my God. “I’ll paint you mornings of gold, I’ll spin you Valentine evenings…But I’ll be there for you as the world falls down.”  Makes me cry to this day.

Ever since then, David Bowie would come in and out of my life. In random news, occasional viewings of Labyrinth, when he married Iman, his amazing music that would get stuck in my head here and there, all this throughout all my life.  I suppose this is where most of my regret comes from, though some of this is/was out of my control.  I never had the access (or the age, really) to the resources I needed to really experience Bowie.  I didn’t have Spotify or YouTube like I do now. But I did have the Internet, so I should have been searching out as much of him as I could. But I didn’t.  I should have asked my parents to buy me his music.  I should have talked about him more. I should have seen him in concert, my biggest regret.  I should have, I should have I should have…

A few years ago when I finally bought a Spotify membership I started to explore his music, happy that I finally had the outlet I needed. My playlist was barely that. I started to search out his music videos. I looked up how old he was and thought maybe he could still release new music.  Then, in 2013, as if answering my prayers, David released the album “The Next Day.” The song “The Stars are Out Tonight” was deliciously him, and the video with Tilda Swinton was everything I expected from Bowie. People started talking about him again.

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But now he is gone and it hurts.  It hurts more than I was ready for it to hurt.  As I am writing this, I am listening to what I think may be the best collection of music I have ever heard, the album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust.” The songs “Five Years”, “Moonage Daydream” and “Lady Stardust” have been on repeat on and off now for days. “Five Years” being such a powerful song about the world coming to an end it doesn’t even need a music video.  Bowie paints the picture perfectly with his words. Now I am going through and listening to his entire collection album by album, reading up on all the theories about each song because no Bowie song is ever just a song…something I should have done sooner. Now I am going back and watching endless videos of concerts and interviews and looking at photos…and I can’t stop crying.  It all feels too little, too late.

The documentary “Five Years” aired the other day, and it showed clips of Bowie just being Bowie.  In between takes for a music video, rehearsing a song, walking down the street, just being him.  I loved it so much I bought it on DVD.  I still haven’t listened to “Blackstar” because I simply can’t bring myself to. I haven’t yet seen the music video for “Lazarus” where he is essentially saying goodbye because I can’t say goodbye. I don’t want to.

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Everything David Bowie did, he did with his entire being. Every song, every character, every life choice. I want to live my life just like he did. Unapologetically, unashamedly. I wish I could thank him for teaching us to just live. To be ourselves. For showing us how to live a life that is so so full.  To stand up for what we believe in.  To never ever be sorry for who you are.  For making me feel as deeply as I feel right now.  I will be grieving for a long, long time.

“There’s a starman waiting in the sky, he’d like to come and meet us but he thinks he’ll blow our minds…”

 “Because my love for you, will break my heart in two…”

Heroes & Villains Fan Fest / Snowmageddon 2016!!

Hey, that’s me with the amazing Stephen Amell from Arrow. THE Arrow himself!! How did I get to be so lucky? 

Three weekends ago I attended Heroes & Villains Fan Fest in Secaucus, NJ – but I attended as a volunteer. HVFF is my fourth comic con, but it was my first time volunteering and it was an experience I won’t soon forget.

HVFF was to take place the weekend of 1/23/16. I did not, however, think far ahead enough to take off work on Friday the 22nd to help with setup – a mistake I will never ever ever make again. Unfortunately, the event was scheduled in January. In New Jersey. In winter. One never knows what the weather will do here, and we had had a few times where it was supposed to snow but never actually did. Well, not this time, of course. Mother Nature decided that since EVERYONE was travelling to the Garden State, there MUST be a paralyzing blizzard! Sigh. This resulted in the event being cancelled for Saturday.

Oh, but that didn’t stop anyone from having a kickass weekend. I managed to leave a bit early from work on Friday afternoon to get to the hotel right by the Expo Center. My bestest friends Chrisha and Chris were already there (they had enough brainpower to think of setup day!).  Using the magic of social media it was known that Stephen Amell and John Barrowman were in town, too. On Friday night it still hadn’t started snowing, but the storm was definitely on its way affecting some people’s travel to NJ.  Governor Christie declared a State of Emergency in anticipation, effectively cancelling the next day’s activities. People immediately reached out on FB, Twitter, etc to find out what everyone else was doing, what hotels everyone was staying at….People started hotel hopping to meet up with other con goers.

Super genius artist Lord Mesa even came to our hotel to do free sketches. Chrisha, Chris and I got in line with the hopes that we could get a sketch of the 3 of us. In that time, we made friends with two awesome ladies named Amy and Gloria, who reached out to me on Twitter. In the end, we never made it to Lord Mesa because the line was so long, so the 5 of us went to the Embassy Suites next door to see what was going on over there. We played a strange but super fun card game called Fluxx and chatted with other awesome people hanging about.

At one point, Stephen Amell tweeted an Instagram picture near Buffalo Wild Wings nearby. It was fascinating to watch the entire hotel lobby empty within seconds of the pic being posted. After the crowds had cleared a bit we decided we should probably get something to eat and Carrabbas was just around the corner. We bundled up and headed out into the blizzard.


That’s Chris, Chrisha and I in the snow 🙂

When we got to Carrabbas, this guy told us that Stephen Amell was inside with friends and we should let him chill. We had NO idea he was there! The pic was in front of Buffalo Wild Wings. The guy pointed behind us – there was Buffalo Wild Wings! What a troll lol. Well we were 10000% NOT leaving Carrabbas at this point. We never bothered him or approached him but drank up the vibrant energy there.


Carrabbas was PACKED. And because of the blizzard they were understaffed and underprepared and they knocked it out of the park. The staff was all smiles and taking care of everyone all night. Robbie Amell was there, too. While we were waiting for our table, John Barrowman walked in with, who I later found out, Katrina Law.  John went on FB Live to show the internet how much fun everyone was having, then had a snowball fight live on FB, too.

I should mention at this point that I am completely new to the world of Arrow and The Flash. I started watching several weeks ago and so I don’t know everyone or everything yet, so I had not recognized Katrina at all. She later on made snow angels with Chrisha.  I felt a bit left out of some conversations and jokes because I just wasn’t there yet. Next time, again, I will be far more prepared. I am almost caught up. 🙂

Anyway, later that night we attended the Nocking Point mixer. They did not let a silly blizzard keep them from having a kick ass party. Stephen, John and Robbie were there hanging out and talking to people. They are the most down to earth guys, those Amell boys. And for the most part everyone was cool and so they were able to properly hang out. The best part happened when Stephen and John got on stage to entertain us, since the originally scheduled band got snowed out. Between Chrisha and I, I think we have the whole thing recorded on video. Because they were not already freaking awesome enough, Stephen started singing songs from Frozen (YES he sang “Let It Go” and “Do You Want to Build A Snowman” and YES my life is forever changed), but it soon turned into “Copacabana,” “Don’t Stop Believing” and, I swear to God, “Music of the Night.” I experienced a surprisingly very musically gifted Stephen Amell hit some notes that made my heart stop beating. No, really…watch the video!

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https://youtu.be/Z5uOHa–SkY

(The rest of my videos are after the jump!)

After the amazing show, the party went on for a little bit longer. I bought a few NP shirts at the merch booth. Then at one point Stephen was taking pictures with people and that is how I got the photo at the beginning of this post. He was so sweet! Chrisha also got a fantastic pic with him 🙂 Soon after the party came to an end and we had to brave the elements again. The NJ winter seems to have got to Amell & Co, because they went on FB Live while they tried to get their car out of the snow lol.

Veeeeeery early the next morning, we made our way to the Expo Center because the blizzard was gone, the SOE lifted, and there was a con to run!! 
Chrisha was super lucky to get assigned to work John Barrowman’s autograph table. She was suuuuper busy the rest of the day. Chris was supposed to run Caity Lotz’s autograph table but she could not make it due to the blizzard, so he was moved to the Information Desk. I had been accidentally scheduled for a half day so my only duties were the ticketing booth in the afternoon. When I asked what I could do until then, I was pretty much told I could just help out wherever I wanted or was needed. Cool!

At first it was a bit slow until the con was officially open and the crowds started coming in.  I met a woman who worked with The Lazarus Pit and took this pic of me with the TARDIS for free. I couldn’t believe it. If anyone knows how I can reach them on FB or Twitter please let me know. I forgot to grab a card.

I immediately made friends with one of the other volunteers named Barbara. She is from Hungary here on an au pair and one of the sweetest people ever. She and I walked around the floor, answering questions from attendees and helping however we could. At one point I was approached by two girls who were having ATM trouble, and who were struggling with English a bit. I recognized their accent, and when I saw their receipt in French, I started speaking to them in French, too. They were immediately relieved and felt more comfortable. They needed to get to the Chase bank so I gave them directions and wished them luck.

About 10 mins later, my cell phone rings. A phone call from France.  The girl at the other end of the line was asking if I was Esty, someone told her I speak French and she needed my help. I asked her where on the floor she was and I met up with her. She needed help understand how the autograph tickets worked for Stephen’s table. We went back to Stephen’s table and got her all the info she needed. Then she and I learned her name is Laura and she would be in the area for a few more days before flying back to France. As we were chatting, ANOTHER girl comes up to us to chat bc she heard French and felt right at home. I have to say, that experience right there…that alone made the whole event for me. I hadn’t had the opportunity to really use French in a long time AND they said I spoke excellent. Heh, I still got it! And I was able to help people and make new friends out of it. Beyond words 🙂

Then it was time for photo ops! I had bought a photo op with John Barrowman bc I needed a pic with him where he was hugging me. And, my GOD, did that man deliver:


Check that off my bucket list!! Seriously, how great is this pic?

Now, somehow Chris managed to get a free photo op, which we learned we could use for a group photo op. Naturally we signed up for the Stephen/Barrowman option and produced this delicious work of art:


I can’t even tell you what this photo makes me feel. It’s one of my favorite pics ever taken. Best part was, while we were in line, Chrisha says she wants to hug Stephen and Chris really wants to get Barrowman so would I mind being in the middle.  ….. Would I…MIND?? Seriously? That’s not even a real question!! HELL YES I will do this for you! I mean, look at me in that sandwich!

After a quick bite to eat and a quick stop at a booth that had Labyrinth t-shirts (it’s my favorite movie and I was/still am not handling Bowie’s death well), I went to the ticket booth for the rest of the afternoon. I met a really cool girl named Chantal who showed me the ropes and we talked all afternoon long. It was pretty quiet in the lobby since most people couldn’t make it due to the storm. I did see these fabulous guests, though:

  Jedi convention!

 You can’t NOT take pics with the Ninja Turtles!

Volunteers were allowed to get their shirts signed by the celebrities, if the celebrities were willing to. John Barrowman signed mine 😀 And yes, I did take it off for him to sign it 😛

The rest of the day was busy with end of con stuff. We stayed to help with tear down and putting things away. To say that I was hurting all over is a huge understatement haha. But it was worth all the effort!

Honestly, being a volunteer for a con rather than attending it was a WHOLE new experience for me. I feel like I got more con out of the con as a volunteer than I did as a paid attendee. I have already signed up to volunteer at the make-up date in July bc I just had THAT much fun doing it this time, and am looking to volunteer at other cons. Fandom is my life, my coping mechanism, it changed my life. I want to be as involved as I can!

A Little Introduction

Greetings, friends!  Sorry that I haven’t updated at all since creating the site. Life these last few months has been craaaazy.

I figured I would start things off by telling you all a little bit about me. I was born in Bilbao, Spain, and moved to the US when I was 4 years old. I speak Spanish, English and French. I’m a lover of technology and I have been known to be moved to tears by music. I think dogs are everything we need to make the world a better place – my boy Rocky is my entire world and I love him to death.  I love food and I love to eat. I am a proud curvy girl 😉  I don’t exercise as much as I should. I love to travel, and don’t get to do that as much as I want to. A trip last year to Wales changed my life and I’m trying to go again this year 🙂

My history with fandom has been a lonely and kind of strange one. I did not have many friends at school – I was too nerdy. And coming from a Spanish-speaking European family made it difficult for me to connect with others. I didn’t watch the same TV shows or listen to the same music. While all the girls at school were drooling over boy bands (which I’ll admit I did become obsessed with later), I was still listening to Julio Iglesias and the classics from Spain. While other girls were plastering their walls with the likes of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, the walls of the bedroom I shared with my sister were bare.

I’m trying to think of what the first “thing” was that made me geek out. Of course there were the animated Disney movies growing up – The Little Mermaid was, and still is, my absolute favorite. Oh, I know!  The first love of my life was MacGyver. He was so resourceful, a total smartass and sooooo dreamy.  The second love of my life was Harrison Ford / Indiana Jones.  To this day those are my favorite movies. Years later, Showtime made a show about the movie Stargate, called Stargate SG-1 and I was lost. I fell in love immediately with everything – the idea of a portal to other worlds, the possibility that we my already have one, the SG-1 crew and the adventures they went on, of course my first hubby Richard Dean Anderson was on it.

I say my journey with fandom was lonely because I never really had anyone to talk to about the things I liked.  The Internet was still a questionable place, and AOL would only get me so far, lol. Then, when I went to college and after graduating – basically my twenties – I was too busy working and lost touch with my geek side. I missed out on a lot!! Thanks to fellow geeky friends, though, I have rediscovered my geeky side and I refuse to go back.

I’ll discuss my geeky rebirth in another post – this one was long enough. Longer than I expected. I’ll try to post more often, I promise. I’ll tell you about my experience with comic cons. Meeting David Tennant 3 times 😉  And my epic trip to Wales. Hit me up on Twitter and Facebook if you want to chat 🙂

xx

Welcome!

Hello everyone!! *waves*

Esty, here! Welcome to my humble blog. It’s not much right now but soon I hope it can be a cool space.  Here I would like to discuss all my fangirling, as my title suggests, as well as talk about everyday life. This is a space to share with everyone.

Stay tuned as I prettify the actual page and get it really going! 🙂