Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with KrisserCI5
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|Title:||Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with KrisserCI5|
|External Links:||Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with KrisserCI5|
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Interview length: 48:46. A written transcript is available.
For more information about the origins of this interview, where it is housed, contact information, suggestions regarding future interviewee candidates, and how to become volunteer interviewer, see the Media Fandom Oral History Project page.
Some Topics Discussed
- The Professionals
- Lily Fulford
- Slashbash, Blake Bash
- the circuit library
- Magnificent Seven
I got in to Professionals fandom through Sentinel, and I was writing Sentinel and someone said, "I've got a vid you've gotta, or an episode, that you've gotta see,” and it was like a third or fourth generation vid of "When The Heat Cools Off", and I put off watching it. I mean, it was sitting there on my shelf, and I'm thinking, oh, do I really want another fandom, and, because I had dabbled in Highlander because I'd written a crossover, and so I watched it, and that was…. it. I was gone. I couldn't even believe that all the subtext on, was canon. You know, usually it's only, you write it in, but this one, all the touching, everything, the looking; it was just fabulous. Plus they weren't too bad to look at. [laughter] And so I was in, just so I found it online, and everybody was so nice. Like someone sent me right away good clear copies of, you know, like first, or it would be second generation, VCR tapes so I could really see them, and then it was probably a couple years later when they came out with the DVDs, and that person, unsolicited, sent me copies right off the DVDs, so I could play it in my VCR. Because I was still, you know, in the VCR. And so it was very exciting.
And I was saying at the end of [BayCon, the first con I went to], "This is so cool, to be people sitting talking in real time." And I said I wish I could do this, you know, not just once a year. And Morgan Dawn mentioned that there was a local group, that met each month, and I was like, "Oh my god!" And so, it was the Bashes, that started out as a Blake's 7 group, that became a Professionals group, and then just became a slashing, you know, talk about slashing, group, the slashbashers. And that was like finding home, you know? It was the most wonderful thing. And I was like this little puppy dog coming in, because I had just discovered Pros, and I just couldn't believe how wonderful it all was. And they were all seasoned Pro people, and I was this little puppy dog that was rabid: "Please please please please talk to me!" And they did. And they actually all got kind of back in to it, to varying degrees, because of that. But the most wonderful person, straight off the bat, was Lily Fulford, and she just offered her zines, everything, herself, always, like mentoring. You know, she was as excited to share it with me as I was to lap it up, and it was just amazing. She was an amazing woman.
...the most wonderful person, straight off the bat, was Lily Fulford, and she just offered her zines, everything, herself, always, like mentoring. You know, she was as excited to share it with me as I was to lap it up, and it was just amazing. She was an amazing woman.
And she was part of the Circuit Archive, ah, family, where they would send the stories in, and then they would disperse them to a few people in the country, and they would send them all to the people who had given them their self-addressed stamped envelopes. She would make ditto copies in the days, and then they would have people hand-type - Can you imagine? Some of these stories were twenty-five, thirty pages long, let alone the full-length stories, and they would hand-type them. And I've got some of the originals in my Pros zine collection, that was just - Yeah. It's just amazing. I mean, I have an original thing of "Remember Angola." And it's not really original. It's like the days of the scribes, and they would each do it separately. Each - These people were typing these, you know, and they would do, I mean, a lot of them were like the ditto copies, and then they went to, finally, Xerox copies, and they were like sneaking –. She would say how she would take it to her husband's school, and she'd be helping him in the classroom, and then on the breaks she'd sneak in there and do five copies before anybody could come in and see what the material that she was photocopying. What she would do- to go ahead and be part of this was wonderful.And she would offer her zines up, and then - this was the fandom that I started collecting zines in. I, before then I would, they were a lot of very much online fandoms, but zines didn't seem all that important. But the real stories, still, and in fact the real stories, were still in the zines.
But the real [Pros] stories, still, and in fact the real stories, were still in the zines. You know, the stuff online, through Proslib and the list group, was, would be the current stuff. And it would be one month or two months old, and she would purge that. And this was before the group, the list group, started keeping the archives. So, like, if you go back, our archives only go so far, because they would just literally purge them. They didn't have space now. You know, the stuff online, through Proslib and the list group, was, would be the current stuff. And it would be one month or two months old, and she would purge that. And this was before the group, the list group, started keeping the archives. So, like, if you go back, our archives only go so far, because they would just literally purge them. They didn't have space now. If you go back to your Yahoo groups you can only go back so far. Because they changed. They changed their server - They changed their formatting, and we lost some of that old stuff. But not so with Lily's, so then I would be on the hunt for zines. And artwork. Oh my gosh, and Lily's like had her own art museum there. And so when the Bashes met at her house, she'd have me, you know, come down early. And it was a two-hour drive, and I would come down the beginning of the day, and then stay well after everybody left, because, you know, I'm a night owl anyway. And it was like, going in to the room – "Ahhhhh -" It was like, you know, your heart stopped. And it's like, "I can't believe all this stuff,” you know, the cars – I mean, she had so much stuff in there. It was just fabulous. And she was willing to share this all. And that was the magic of all these people, is that they were like my instant best friends that I didn't know I'd been missing. But then I found my missing piece thing. You're more alive when you're with these people, because you have to put on a show when you're, unfortunately, with all your Real Life type of things. So they've become mostly, you know, I have my life at home, and I have my real life. [laughter] When Lily passed, she had a zine collection that rivals any of these, you know, any of these major collections. And it wasn't just Pros: she was in Starsky and Hutch, she had Man from U.N.C.L.E., Blake's 7, many other different fandoms that she either dabbled in or she was in love with. And she had full collections. I mean, she obviously needed to have everything. And her husband was left with all this stuff, and we, the group, took it upon ourselves to help him out with it.
With any fandom, you have great stories, you have mediocre stories, and you have dreck. [laughter] And there is dreck amongst all that Circuit Archive stuff as well, but it should be preserved, because some of the dreck was tongue in cheek stuff that they were doing back and forth together. This was a community that was alive on paper, and so you would write your little stuff, and three months later you'd hear what somebody thought. And they would have arguments in the letterzines, they would have, you know, "What happens if we all thought that Doyle had elf ears?" And then they would all write short snippets, and then there would be this amazing surplus of elf stories. And everybody thinks, "Oh they just thought -" and they don't realize the history is that, it was like, you know, a suggestion put out. But it wasn't an official, "Let's all write about elves." It's just how it came out.
And M. Fae, she was upset with some of the stories, so she wrote her own version of it. You know, when she was reading all these, "We're so happily married, and we have our dog, and, you know, four cats, [laughter] and we're just sweet men, living together," she would write these incredibly dark fic, to counter all this sweetness that were about to drive her crazy. It was just fun stuff like that.And it has its own history. It's part of like the old fan histories, as opposed to the newer fan that's all on line, and people don't have that physical connection. I mean, I wouldn't give up going to a con; it's the most wonderful thing.
And [being called a dead fandom] kind of, you know, put people's backs up a little bit, on the good side, so they realized that they made their presence known, and we actually went to LiveJournal, kicking and screaming and fighting the whole entire time. [laughter] You know, and they put fic online, kicking and screaming every part of the time, and Justacat did a marvelous job of updating the archive at the time, and made it easily accessible, catered to so many peoples' desires to what they wanted in an archive. I mean, she made it very easy, and she was actually very patient with the people were so against it. And you know, it's ironically funny because those people now are the ones who are just loving the AO3. So, it's like you're just being dragged into the new times, 'cause you can't go back. There's things I miss about the old times. You know, there's that feeling of camaraderie, of being together. I'm not being so critical; I mean, fic, you can get it anywhere. And so I don't think people feel that it's as necessary. Like they think of some things, zines, are ridiculous, but still. There was one person, a new person approached me and said, "I don't know why I want to read something that's thirty years old." And you really want to say, "Hon, you don't know what you're missing." Is that to say we shouldn't read To Kill a Mockingbird 'cause it's like super-old? No.
...the whole style of vidding, and not to make it sound negative, it's just different. When you had to do all the work on the VCRs it was your artistically driven people who made it, you know, had to work very hard to tell a story. They spent a lot of time because, you know, stopping and starting on a VCR, making it look good, was very very difficult. And then today, you basically can just, you know, you have a program that says, oh, pick, download forty five photos and then hit the button and music and it puts it together. So you can have, anybody can vid. But not everybody's really a vidder. You know yourself that there's a difference between watching a bunch of slides on there to pretty music and actually having you feel like you got a whole story out of it. And so, I don't care; someone does a Pros vid I don't care what they do. [laughter] But see, their fanart is good, no. Katbird does a nice job. She will tell a story. And you don't always have to love every selection, or every music selection, but still, to have it on there. But a lot of the old vidders, from the old fandoms, they’re just not doing that now. You know, they're, a lot of them are old. [laughter] I mean, we're talking about fandoms that are close to forty years old, and that's, it's tough. Time takes its toll on these people. And there's not, now, on the LiveJournal community there are people who are doing, you know, vids every day. But they're going on YouTube, and they're basically people are putting music and pictures together and not really telling stories. And they're the ones that can't wait; they couldn't, they've created something and they can't possibly wait the first four months to go ahead and have it at a con, so they've got to put it out right away. So, you've got that kind of vidding, you know? But I'm still glad to have a big variety of fans. I don't know, let's see, we had, what, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and The Defiant Ones, so those are pretty old [laughs] old pieces of work.
The old list groups were very private, and you're still talking about a fandom that still feels very private. They're not nearly, they're older fans, and they're still very protective of it. And this is still the underground thing. And they're not gonna change. People don't change a whole lot. Their way of looking at the world, and the world for them, was inherent. You had to be like this. I mean, now you've got mainstream slash, and, you know, people talking about it, and so new people in to fandom, or young people, and I mean young is relative, but people who come in that are young, that are in their teens and their twenties, their world is not our world. Their world is not, "You have to hide everything." Or if it is, it's all going to come down later when they realize maybe putting your whole life on Facebook isn't the best thing to do. But you're not going to have these older people doing that. They're not doing it anyway, so the AO3 is the best way to get old fans on line, because most of them are dabbling in some way or another, and the AO3 allows you the formatting to download to devices, or just to read. It's something that makes fic easily available. And having one place to go for all the fic is actually awesome.
My husband is aware that I'm TV-obsessed, and love Pros, and he knew back in Mag7 days. He says it's hard to be, well, I loved Ezra and the AU we created, the ATF, and he says it's hard to be jealous of a fictional character who's a fictional character of himself. [laughter] So he's not all that worried. He, they tease me, my son and husband, will tease me about it, and they don't want to know any more about it than that, just the leverage for it. But I have my Pros stuff out; not the X-rated stuff, because that would bother them on a male level, but the rest of the world just thinks I'm obsessed with television. And I go to cons about television like people go to book club. Instead of a book convention I'm going to a TV one. And that's about it, and that's all they know. I have friends for thirty, thirty-five years, that have no idea of this other side of my life. And then there are people, because they're the ones close by every day, then you have your fandom friends, and that's when you come alive. You can talk about anything. There's no, I don't have to worry about what I'm saying. We can talk about cats, or we can talk about our boys. If we want to talk about how cute they look in tight pants, and it can go right in between saying, "Your cat's got a furball, and he's barfing on your rug."
For me, Fandom is just that, you know, we have an active imagination that we're screenwriters, writers, book writers, just don't want our characters to die. We invest in this. We can talk about it and have fun. I mean, just take any old show on television, and there are a bunch of us reading and we're going to watch it and discuss it. We don't even have to have a slash interest in it. Fanfic writing, though, or slash writing, I should say, is not because I have any desire to be with these particular good-looking individuals; it's that they share an emotional bond that's so strong that you want it to be together.
It's like, that, Hamlet and his sidekick. The kind of guy who will die for you. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you on this earth. And women tend to interfere in that, "I will die for you and do anything for you". And so, to make sure that they can still have a nice wonderful life, because men like sex they should have sex together. [laughter] And then from there, you investigate all avenues. What happens if they were born gay? What happens if they discover they're gay? Or whatever, or it's the, "I'm not gay but I just love you" concept.Which is full, and all of these things will be. Sometimes it's fun to read what makes them cross the line. What does it. I mean, each person has. But it's not just because I want to save the day, or I want to be with them, and that's not right. You're looking for that, "I will be with you through thick and thin, and you're the most important thing." And men and women have a different dynamic than two strong men.