Summer of 2015, Jake asked for people to come co-write for The Geeky Mormon. I posted my first article in July. So it’s been more than a year—more like a year and two months. But better late to get around to an anniversary-type post than never. This isn’t really to brag on my achievements but to look back on what else I’ve been doing with my life in addition to The Geeky Mormon as well as some of the changes that have happened, some I may have mentioned in writing, others not so much.
Before I continue, I just want to say thank you to Jake for this tremendous opportunity to write and to share my ideas. And I want to give a big thank-you to all of my readers, total strangers as well as friends and family: thank you for reading and sharing my stuff. I am so glad that I am able to share what I’m thinking about with you guys or even to just have a little fun (or to restate my undying love for Bucky Barnes—I’m just saying!). I love that I have an extra platform on which to share passions and interests and to give you something to read.
I started a personal blog
As much as I like writing for The Geeky Mormon, I felt like I needed another space to write more on my special interests—or to blog about things that aren’t so geeky. Another WordPress blog might have been smarter, but I went with Google Blogger just to change it up. I called it The Jedi in Jeans in homage to my Jedi persona. I’ve posted personal meditations, book reviews, even semi-scholarly ramblings. And I’ve managed to do it almost every week since the year started. Imagine it, I actually KEPT one of my New Years’ resolutions! (Where has 2016 gone?)
2. FanX 2016, and Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 and 2016
In the time I’ve been writing for The Geeky Mormon, I have been to three of six total Salt Lake Comic Con events. Pretty impressive. I’ve seen some pretty famous movie stars in person in huge auditoriums, and I’ve been up close and personal with extraordinary cosplayers and cosplay friends. I got to help make history when Salt Lake Comic Con broke the world record a year ago for the largest gathering of comic book characters. And I’ve been able to share my experiences before and after these cons on both of my blogs.
3. I found a DC Character that I relate with—and she’s a Kryptonian!
It’s remarkable enough that I was able to watch an entire season of a TV show from start to finish. With my fondness for girl power and the good reviews I was hearing about Supergirl, it was hard to resist even though to that point I had found nothing appealing from DC. But anyone who knows me and has seen Supergirl knows that Kara Zor-El is my spirit animal. It’s been beneficial for me to get into something from DC because that means I can find more people to relate to—and I have more characters to cosplay as. I’m not sure I’ll be getting into anything else from DC in the near future, but I have to admit Wonder Woman looks promising.
4. The Force Awakened!!!!!!!!
It was my first time going to a midnight premiere for a Star Wars movie, and I got to go with two of my roommates and my best friend, and let me tell you being in a dark theater full of Star Wars geeks watching The Force Awakens for the first time was incredible. And then I got to see it three more times in theaters, the second time with the family that raised me in the Force. I got to rekindle my love for Han, Luke, and Leia. Poe and Finn and Rey are all amazing characters, and BB-8 is a little rolling ball of love. I can’t wait to see them all back in action in 2017!
5. I became an admin for a Star Wars fan page on Facebook
Jake and I disagree on a few things, notably the Utah football rivalry (Go Cougs!) and the merits of the Star Wars prequels. A random prequel fan page I followed was looking for admins, since the current admin was in school and didn’t have a lot of time to give to the page. I was the only one who applied. I’m pretty much running the page I Love the Star Wars Prequels now. It’s hard work but it’s been a great experience for me, having to schedule posts in advance around my different activities, but being able to share what I love about the prequels—what I love about Star Wars, period, with the Internet as Padawan Yzil (again, another homage to my persona). I like having a place for sharing fun Star Wars photos on Facebook, and plus we have theme days—Fashion Friday is my personal favorite.
6. I Joined a charity group
While I was in college, I told myself that after I graduated from college that I would find some way of doing community service. After college I got into cosplay, and cosplay led me to the Kids Heroes Foundation. I met some of the members at the FanX press conference last November and I formally joined in February. We mostly do entertainment for kids’ events, like parties and conventions and fairs and such, but we also raise funds for helping children in need. I’m glad that I’ve been a part of a group that is making a difference right here in Utah, and I’ve been able to form wonderful friendships with the men and women that I do this with. Fandom is a great way to reach out to people and interact with them.
7. The Avengers Went to War—against each other 🙁
After months of anticipation (which you patiently endured from me, dear readers), Captain America: Civil War finally came out in May and it was a doozy!
It was great to see Cap and Bucky spend some time together again (I’m still not dealing well with the mid-credit scene). The three female leads were also amazing—but I may just be biased because I now cosplay all three of them.
8. Or were they just playing Red Rover?
A few weeks before Civil War came out, a casting call went out for a fan video/parody to be shot on location in Provo. I got to be their Scarlet Witch. It was interesting to be part of a short film and watch how it was made. But, as a cast member, I think it’s fair to say I had fun behind the scenes and doing the extra takes (in the last shot, I’m the one who shouts “Give me the orb!” to Star-Lord). And plus, I made a few friends that day.
9. I got a job
Getting serious here for a moment: being a geek doesn’t change the fact that you’re human. You have to eat, you have to sleep, you need a roof over your head. You have to work because the money to pay for that plus your hobbies has to come from somewhere. Superheroes, they’re human, but they face unique challenges to filling those basic needs A lot of them don’t get paid to save the world and have to do it with their own resources. My real life heroes—cosplay friends among them—most of them have good paying jobs with benefits, they can afford cars and insurance and gas money so they can do the things they love. Me? I don’t have any of that. I still did cosplay and blogging anyway with what little I had but…well, the best way to put it is, it wasn’t the same. Then I finally got a stable job of my own back in May. Now I don’t have as much time to do the things I like (and I have to go to bed early). I still can’t afford to pay for everything that costs money (and most things cost money). However, I can pay my own rent and buy my own food AND have a little money left over for cosplay and going to conventions. So I might be getting somewhere.
10. I stepped up my cosplay game
I’ve been asked multiple times by now if I’m a professional cosplayer. I’m not, but as with all of my other hobbies, I’m freakishly good at cosplay. I have my own sewing machine so I’ve been able to sew dresses for Princess Leia and Mira Nova and a realistic Jedi tunic. But I have also been focusing on cosplays made from pieces you can get at the store, such as Wanda Maximoff’s undercover outfit in Captain America: Civil War. It’s given me practice in combing the local thrift stores and costume stores and learning how to enjoy something I love with limited resources. Plus doing cosplays with face paint and wigs is no small feat. I have also been learning to take better pictures at cons, and I’m working on getting on photoshoots for some of my characters. But the thing I’ve enjoyed the most is getting to know other people in the Utah Cosplay community and building relationships with them, both on and off the internet.
Time passes quickly, but a lot can still happen in a year. Here’s to another year and many more posts to come—and a lot of adventures besides that!