Just like every superhero has an origin, story I guess every fan has one too. Sometimes it is an interest in a movie, television show, book or even a sports team that peaks a fans interest and grows into a great passion. For me, my entrance into true fandom was completely by accident.
I work in college athletics as a media relations director. A sometimes thankless job full of long hours and very little time off, especially in a nine month stretch from September until mid-May. After a particularly grueling beginning to a softball season, in mid 2002, where we were on the road every weekend for six straight weeks, I decided the one Friday night I had off would belong to me. I waved off friends invitations to go out and I settled in to do absolutely nothing.
I don’t remember much about the first part of my evening, but I do remember the end. It was around 10:30 p.m. on a Friday night on April 19 when I happened upon a show on SciFi, now known as SyFy, and I was transfixed for the next 30 minutes. It was full of amazing creatures, explosions and one of the hottest guys I have ever seen on television. I would soon learn the hot guy was Ben Browder. Checking my online TV Guide I saw the show as named Farscape, and I had just watched the final 30 minutes of “Into the Lion’s Den Part 2: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.”
Intrigued by this show I watched the season finale of season three the following week, bad move I know with that ending, and to say I was hooked was an understatement. Oh, 2002, a year without sites to watch streaming video, a year without Netflix and a time when seasons of television shows had not reached its height.
After the season three finale, I wanted to know all I could about Farscape. I wanted to be immersed in the show and the fandom. Catching up on Farscape was a Herculean task full of trying to find the show on DVD via Ebay, renting at the video store and any other means I could find.
Just a few short months later it was the premiere of season four, Crichton Kicks, and my Farscape love and love for the fandom was cemented. It wasn’t until the word of the shows abrupt cancellation, in September of 2002, that my immersion into the Farscape fandom, and where I learned to be a fan and a part of a community began.
It was because of Farscape that I attended my first DragonCon convention in 2003. It was because of Farscape I met the most amazing people and built bonds that would last a lifetime and became a Scaper. I joined the Southeast Scapers and we became THE group to promote Farscape at DragonCon.
We ran a table at DragonCon giving away amazing SWAG, meeting people and sharing our love of the show. And also building friendships with the cast.
After Farscape was cancelled, and we were awarded the mini-series Peacekeeper Wars, to close out the series I was kind of lost. Let me get this out first and foremost, no other show will stoke such love and passion from me as Farscape, but I was looking for an outlet.
In the winter of 2008, when Netflix was finally around and we were all suffering from the lack of new episodes of television shows thanks to the writer’s strike, I found the show One Tree Hill. The early episodes fed my desire for pain and angst and unrequited love.
Again I turned to the fans for support and an outlet to express my love, and sometimes frustration for a show. I found a blog called www.onetreehillblog.com, at the time run by a person who has become a dear friend of mine Amy Bennett. It was where I could express my ideas and feel comfortable doing it.
I began to entertain the idea of beginning a podcast about One Tree Hill. I researched and discovered others had tried to start podcasts but never stuck with it. I was determined to stick with it. So, with the urging of friends of mine, on onetreehillblog.com, I took steps to do so.
I used a simple podcasting site, and in May of 2008, I did a podcast on the season five finale of One Tree Hill. With my posting about my podcast on her website, I began to gain followers as I did reviews of season five leading up to the season six premiere.
In July, I caught the eye and ear of Farpoint Media who wanted to syndicate me. I was told, however, that I would need to step it up, doing more than just reviews. I took that as a challenge and began to research how I could “step it up.” Since music played such a huge part in the show, I decided to interview artists who had songs on the show
I became the official podcast for One Tree Hill, as my podcasts began showing up on the shows official website. The list of actors I had as guests on my podcast included all the principal stars, save Chad Michael Murray and James Lafferty (the two male leads) and a host of guest stars.
I also got to know many of the people who worked behind the scenes of One Tree Hill, one particular, that I learned a lot from, was Tym Bucheran who was the head make-up artist for One Tree Hill. Tym also toured with Janet Jackson and was recently nominated for an Emmy for his work in Glee.
About two years ago, Tym was up in Asheville, N.C., close to where I live, to film a scene of One Tree Hill with two stars from the show: Sophia Bush and Austin Nichols. I met Tym for dinner that night and we ran into Sophia and Austin in downtown Asheville. That night, a once fan of the show who turned her love for said show into a business, had an amazing night hanging out with two of the stars of One Tree Hill and the guy who makes them look amazing on the screen every week. There are no pictures from that night, I didn’t even tweet or post about it until months after it happened. It was just four people enjoying a nice quiet evening together and taking in the sights of downtown Asheville.
I retired from the One Tree Hill podcast after the show went off the air. I also don’t do very much with Southern Gothic Productions anymore as they are kind of taking a break. But all my connections have led me to even more endeavors.
I have recently accepted a position as an Executive Producer for a show called Jaki’s Buzz that is filmed in Connecticut. I have been working with Jaki’s Buzz on and off for the last year and a half, and even served as a Music Supervisor for a pilot they shot. Now, I will be handling all the research as Jaki’s Buzz looks to expand its show.
I also just completed my first novel, a feat that both thrills and terrifies me. I plan to self-publish the novel, named Crossing Cassie, after going through some intense edits and filling in plot holes maybe I am the only one that sees. . I am also getting assistance from Denise Dorman, a person with years of experience in PR in the entertainment field. I met Denise through my work with Farpoint Media and she has been a great friend and mentor to me. She is also the wife of famed artist Dave Dorman who has also been a great friend and supporter.
When I post it, the novel won’t be for huge accolades or to make millions of dollars, it will just be a sense of accomplishment, an accomplishment that was born out of a passion, a desire. A passion and desire I learned to hone after watching a little show called Farscape.