OTW Guest Post: Blackestglass

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Interviews by Fans
Title: OTW Guest Post: Blackestglass
Interviewer: James Kruk
Interviewee: Blackestglass
Date(s): April 15, 2018
Medium: online
External Links: OTW Guest Post: Blackestglass; Wayback
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OTW Guest Post: Blackestglass is a 2018 interview done as part of a series. See OTW Guest Post.

Some Topics Discussed

Some Excerpts

How did you first get into fandom and fanworks?

Sailor Moon was my very first fandom and at first it was a fandom of two–myself and my best friend. After an episode aired on Cartoon Network, we’d immediately be on the phone (landline because cellphones weren’t a thing yet) with each other to discuss what happened and how we felt about it. When my parents finally got a computer and Internet at home, I eventually discovered the sailormoon.com forums and various Sailor Moon fansites, where I was introduced to the idea of fanart and fanfic. It blew my tiny little preteen mind. I’ve never looked back since.

I was a lurker for years and yeeeeears. I thought I was an okay writer but not good enough to be writing fanfic, and I DEFINITELY couldn’t draw. And then for a period of time I was a fairly prolific reccer which was my main contribution to fandom. It wasn’t until I discovered podfic that I actually started getting involved creatively with fandom.

What appeals to you about podfic specifically?

It’s funny, because as someone with minor auditory processing issues, it seems completely counterintuitive that podfic would end up being my medium of choice. But there’s a whole bunch of reasons I ended up here.

For one thing, podfic was the first fannish thing that I looked at and was like, “I actually have the skillset for this.” I’ve always been told that I have a pleasant reading voice. I was also a nanny for many years and every kiddo I’ve had has loved it when I read to them. (I do The Voices!)

In addition, when I first started looking into podfic, I was having trouble finding something that worked for my ears because of said auditory processing issues. I don’t parse accents well, audio quality really impacts my ability to process, etc. So another part of getting into podfic was just deciding that I needed something that would work for me, and it looked like I was going to have to do it myself to make that happen.

And the last, and I suppose most important reason, is that podfic really appeals to the thwarted performer in me. As a shy introvert, I generally do everything in my power to avoid being the center of attention, but I’m also secretly kind of a ham? People have always had this perception of me as a quiet person (for good reason!), but if there was a school play, or a dance performance, or a skit that I needed to participate in for a school project, I could turn it on for the duration of that performance. And afterwards, people would always come up to me, going, “I didn’t know you had that in you!”

I love performing, but I definitely couldn’t do it for a living. Podfic lets me exercise that performative muscle in a safe place. It’s okay if I make mistakes, because I can do as many takes as I need and edit out any imperfections. And I don’t have to worry about how ridiculous I look because no one can see me (and I have done some truly ridiculous things for the sake of my craft.)

What fandom things have inspired you the most?

The podfic community has been such a gift creatively for me. We’re a growing community, but small enough that most of us either know each other or know of each other at least. The people I’ve met are so vibrant and inventive and giving. We’re creating challenges, writing meta, organizing cons, experimenting with the audio medium, and constantly talking to each other about ways to push ourselves artistically. If I need people to play characters in a multivoice project, one tweet will have ten people offering their talent, even if they’re not in the fandom. Our annual holiday exchange, the #Informal Twitter Podfic Exchange, grows exponentially each year, because we’re so eager to make things for each other. Podfic is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, not just creatively but in terms of the people it’s brought into my life.

And of course, where would I be if not for the writers who inspire me with their words? I have been so fortunate to know so many talented writers, many of whom I bribed into being my friend by constantly podficcing their stories.