May 11, 2016 § 1 Comment
Recently reality hit me right on the head. I realized that all of my favorite characters aren’t real. Even though I’ve been there for them my entire life, they’ll never really been there. I now feel like I’m broken.
February 4, 2015 § 1 Comment
A few months back I stumbled across a tumblr page and said to myself, “I need to know this human.” Every fangirl loves television, but very few are courageous enough to make the leap into the industry. Lauren is a lady whose unabashed admiration for BAMFs and A+ TV has translated into a burgeoning career for her 23-year-old self, and she was kind enough to let me interview her for the fangirl spotlight.
K: How did you become a fangirl?
K: Yeah folks, keep it classy. So no pressure, but what is the best episode of television your eyeballs have ever watched?
L: I am weeping. This question is worse than a parent having to pick a favorite child. Comparing 30 Rock to House of Cards would be like comparing apples to cardigans. I will argue that The West Wing’s “Two Cathedrals” has some of the most remarkable monologues I have ever seen. Orphan Black’s cinematography in the second season cannot be beat. The Good Wife’s “Hitting the Fan” just kills it in acting, pacing, plot, and score. Parks and Recreation has me cackling like an idiot each and every week because I find it so funny. The other night I watched episode 201 of House of Cards and almost literally lost my mind over what had happened in the episode. Can I plead the fifth for this?
L: As a writer, I try to remain cryptic when it comes to sharing pilot ideas, but I will say that I aspire to write a show about family. I come from a crazy, wonderful, dramatic, and hilarious family who have provided me with two decades worth of material. I also would love to create a TV show that passes the Bechdel Test. I love strong badass women and it would be a dream to create a show with lots of strong and diverse Lady BAMFs that will inspire people.
L: I have definitely sat on my couch passively watching exercise videos before without actually partaking in the fitness. Once while at a bar in New York with my colleagues from NBC, a perfectly nice boy asked if he could buy me a drink. The thing is, I already had a drink. I politely declined. Meanwhile, I was starving and wished he would’ve offered to buy me food instead. The third being that I interned in Studio 8H, the SNL studio, while in college. I would say that’s pretty Liz Lemon, yeah?
K: Any wisdom for a fangirl who’s not sure she’s got what it takes to translate her fangirl passions into a career?
L: For me, I gain inspiration from Lady BAMFs — specifically ones that work in my field. I look at Tina Fey, Shonda Rhimes, Amy Poehler, Emily Mortimer, and dozens other women making waves in the entertainment industry and think about their positive attributes that allow them to succeed. They’re passionate, wicked smart, have remarkable amounts of perseverance, and are unafraid to create content and put it out into the world. I find myself constantly thinking “what would ______ do in this situation?” and try to push myself to be half as good as these remarkable women.
My advice for the younger fangirl trying to turn her passions into a career is to find the people that inspire them. Find people they can connect to who make them want to be better and do better. Fangirls are passionate for a reason. It’s just a matter of taking that energy and excitement and channeling it in a productive way. Sometimes having that role model can ground a person, put their goal into perspective, and then set them on the right track.
K: God I feel like we’re in fangirl church right now. What are you doing twenty years from now? What fictional characters will you still be crying over?
What am I doing twenty years from now? I will be the Executive Producer of a 30 Rock reboot, probably, because the only person Tina Fey would trust with that kind of content and commitment is just another awkward brunette from Philly who isn’t afraid to shotgun a pizza or binge-watch Star Wars. On the weekends I will spend my time watching TV on some futuristic streaming service that plays directly out of my eyeballs.
December 15, 2014 § 2 Comments
Maria Susanna writes,
In every fandom I’ve been in, I’ve been a hurt/comfort junkie and enjoyed the company of others who like fictionally hurting and comforting the ones we non-fictionally love, but now for the first time I’m in a fandom where it seems that other fans find that… weird. Someone literally just said “But why would you want [character] injured?”
Am I crazy? Are they crazy? How can I handle my sweet bittersweet feels about my fave being hurt without freaking out my fellow fangirls? (Maybe what I mean is, IS ANYONE EVER GOING TO READ MY FIC IF I FINISH WRITING IT??)
Maria, writing hurt/comfort fic does not make you crazy. It doesn’t make you sadistic. If you’ve ever watched Grey’s Anatomy, you’ll find that it made Shonda Rhimes a bajillionaire. Hurt and comfort are part of the human experience, and every piece of fiction from Harry Potter to Downton Abbey employs it as part of plot.
You’ll always get haters when you write fanfic. If there’s too much angst, people want fluff, and vice versa. I am not the kind of fangirl who wants my favorite to end up in the hospital, because 90% of my favorite characters die on screen anyway (*side-eyes Damon & Carlton*).
But Maria, I think the question you need to ask yourself is what function the fic serves for you. Fiction can be a powerful coping mechanism for people struggling with past traumas, anxiety, and any number of maladies. But when it’s the only tool in your belt, it’s unlikely to work forever. Finding other ways to comfort yourself is essential, because we can’t distract ourselves forever with television or fanfiction.
We like to imagine our favorite characters being cared for, but the truth is that there are people you encounter every day, real people, who can benefit from your generosity. If you’re drawn to that kind of story, then why not start living it? Think of a friend who could use a note of encouragement, or an organization that could benefit form your time and talents. When I’m feeling caught up in my own stuff and retreat into fiction, it’s usually a signal that I need to practice kindness towards myself and others.
So keep writing that fic Maria! Do what you enjoy, and if people don’t like it, well then they don’t have to click on that link. But don’t be afraid to think about how your gift for comforting others can expand outside the boundaries of a fictional world. You won’t need those fic reviews when you can see the impact you’ve made in the lives of others.