Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Pat Massie
|Interviews by Fans|
|Title:||Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Pat Massie|
|Date(s):||October 8, 2012|
|Medium:||audio recording, transcript, 2137 words|
|Fandom(s):||Starsky & Hutch|
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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.
Well, I started [as a fan] with Classic Trek as a single fan, the television era, Beatles fan, and I actually was an adult, married, starting a family life when I found Starsky and Hutch, the TV show. And then I snuck around for a while, reading fan magazines, but not fanzines, and feeling, like, embarrassed: "Why do I like this stuff?" Through a series of connections through the like, Sixteen magazine, Teen Beat, which were commercial magazines, I was able to connect with what was then called "pen pals", and through the pen pals I found out about these things called "zines" [pronounced with long I], and I said that a lot, [laughter] especially getting corrected at my first convention, a "con". So learning the jargon, and meeting people – not only they liked my TV show, they were like me, in terms of the way they thought, and the interests they had, and the creativity they were showing. And suddenly I didn't feel so isolated in it, and alone.
[My first con] was Zebracon, and that was Starsky and Hutch focused at the time. It was Zebracon, the second one, in the early eighties. And it can be very, and if you're shy, you're awkward, all of those can be good breakthroughs for people, particularly developing artists, who really wants to produce and create. And it legitimatizes your art, and also allows you to just get out of your little bubble, and your little cave, that often you get put in because you're the artistic temperament. It's wonderful to bathe and bask in it and just be – you know, I never was the same afterward, and my family can attest to that. [laughter].
I'm a poet, and I'll admit to it. I was doing poetry under the name Pat Massie, and I did that for many years. But within the way I like to write, there was always farcical voice, and parody, and satire. And I often would be reading stories, and going, "That is just wrong. And I don't want to criticize, but I want to make fun of it." So under the guise and the protection of a pseud, you can do that. So these were short pieces, as I'm a fool, and they were in either in mini-zines, sometimes in major zines, but often just in letter zines as filler. And I'm proud of those little things.... I'll admit to it: I am a poet.... I write poetry. So I have a, you know, the fannish recognition, and that was really very ego-boosting. Because I was developing, and have developed, an international readership through poetry. Poetry is a very specialized kind of field, and it still did me a lot of good to pull away from it, because I was finding it very hard for a poet to break a five-page story limit. The angsting about the placement of the comma, and should the word be "red" or "scarlet"? It just takes too damn long. I have stories to tell. But what's a lot of fun is the precision of poetry informs my writing, and I believe if you can write poetry, and are willing to do that, you're a better writer for it.
I love fanart and fan poetry. I'm notorious for not reading fanzines that my friends produce. [laughter] "Did you read..." "No." Mostly, the reason why I didn't was not because I wasn't interested, but because I was writing, I didn't want to be either borrowing or affected, and I preferred to be as original as I possibly could, within something that isn't really original.
The other aspects of creativity within fandom, the ones I like the best are the ones I'm unable to do, and the ones I'm in awe of. So of course visual art, particularly things that, I'm sorry, aren't photo manips. I just don't care for those. And one of the things we had talked before we started was a reservation about graphic art. It's funny; I do enjoy seeing well-executed nudes, or some graphic. But sometimes it' hard - you walk into a room and it hits you in the face. And there's erections all over the place. That's not really why I got into the fandom. I understand that this is going on, but I don't necessarily - I kind of like when they turn it away. And if I want to go in there, and I wanna really gaze into it, I will.
[Regarding changes in fandom over time]: And I'm stepping into a brave new world and interfacing as I told, someone I'm waving to [laughter]. That this is very, very fun for me! And I don't want to be a dinosaur, And I don't wanna be left behind, so that's the accessibility of it, is real exciting. Though the beauty of a hand-produced fanzine will still always have a place in my heart. But since I'm a producer and a writer, how can people find me? If they can find me better in this format that young energy like yourselves are producing, that's where I'll go. I want to be read.
[Regarding fandom, and yourself in fandom, in ten years]:
Pat Massie: You know, that's what's exciting from talking to young people that are interviewing me, "the young" -
Franzeska Dickson: [Laughter] Us infants!
PM: The young ones. Yeah, I'm excited to see how it will go. The accessibility of it. It's really funny. The age thirteen got mentioned a lot through talks, over drinks and such, and I remember, it called me back to myself, and the energy of being thirteen, and you know what? Yes, I wanna be that again, because you're fearless in your production, and you're fearless, and you're just, "Look at me!" And that's what I hope fandom will be.
FD: That's a great thought. And, do you have anything else you'd like to get down for the record? Anything else that you want fans in the future to know?PM: We were here. I was here.