Wednesday, March 28, 2012

[ Fandom ] Why I need to be #TopGeek

When iiNet announced their TopGeek competition - I saw it as an opportunity to fly the flag for Australian X-Files Fans.

And I have as good a chance as anyone to win, right?

The reason why I became an X-Files Fan is the same as everyone else... I tuned into the Pilot, and watched every single episode. As the winding mytharc story became more and more involved I got more and more sucked into it.

Bullied at school, I found myself empathizing with Fox Mulder ('No one down here but the FBI's Most Unwanted') and found myself idolizing Dana Scully.

The X-Files quickly became my 'happy place' whenever things were bad. Children in school can be disgustingly mean and was verbally berated because I was different from everyone else. Labelled a lesbian because I didn't have a boyfriend (yes, I was 12, and still working out where I fit into the world, let alone if I wanted a Boyfriend), I was labelled anorexic (again, very young, and swimming everyday because I wanted to swim for my state), and of course, I was labelled a nerd. That was the one that stung the most... in 1994, being a nerd wasn't exactly going to make you Miss Popularity.

The X-Files quickly filled the void in my life. Sitting down every week at 8.30pm to watch my favourite duo seek the truth gave me something to look forward to every week.

I'm not saying that what I went through was anything like what some young kids go through today - but it was pretty bad.

But enough with the doom and gloom. That is why I latched onto The X-Files. Why I stayed with The X-Files was because of the story, it's two amazing lead characters, and the possibility that perhaps some of these crazy things they were investigating could possibly happen. As I got older, I couldn't help but notice the amazing crazy chemistry that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson had on screen, and brought such amazing depth to Mulder and Scully - It was pretty hard to ignore.

When I got to high school I thought I'd have a fresh start, making friends who would be there for me because they got to know me rather than knowing what they were told by everyone else. Of course, I had someone from Primary School come to my school, so my reputation followed me. What a frigging surprise. Lucky for me, I found a group of girls who were all embracing of my geekiness - and will hopefully remain friends for life. The bullying was worse at high school - the older you get, the bitchier the girls get. But that is something that everyone already knows. ; )

As I grew, my love for The X-Files grew. And lo-and-behold, suddenly Gillian Anderson was coming to Australia to promote the show that I had fallen in love with. Quickly I assembled my plan and was going to be at Indooroopilly to meet my role model. Imagine my surprise when I got there, learned that there were only 200 tickets (all had gone already) and there was going to be an estimated 5000 strong crowd to greet Ms Anderson. I was 13. I was tiny. All of a sudden I was trampled by a 10000 strong crowd. Hoisted over the barrier by the police, my dream of meeting Ms Anderson that day was dashed. Left battered and bruised I vowed that day, whatever it took - I would meet Gillian someday.

Flash forward to 2007. Aged 25, still an X-Files Fan and having used Gillian Anderson as a role model for most of my life, The X-Files (2) was greenlit. Little did I realise what this was about to do to my life.

This movie, brought me amazing friends all around the world. It brought me Mulder and Scully that I had missed seeing on my screen since 2002. It brought me the opportunity to create an amazing Australian fan group Aussie X-Files Fans @ Facebook (that is now one of my proudest achievements).  It also brought me one of my favourite mantras, Don't give up! I was approached by 20th Century Fox (Australia) about going on Showtime (Movie Network)'s The Playlist TV Show and being interviewed about my passion for The X-Files and it's upcoming feature film. Of course I accepted this opportunity!

Through my constant need to know was was happening in the industry, various people helped me out by giving me movie tickets for 'I Want To Believe' - including tickets to the Midnight Screening on July 23rd. 

Through this movie I made the most amazing bunch of friends from around the world. How many friends do you have that would help fundraise to get you to fly across the world to make your lifelong dream a reality? Mine did. In 2009 with the help of my gorgeous friends who call themselves 'The Inner Circle', I flew to London to not only meet them, and spend 10 glorious days with them - I finally got to meet Gillian Anderson, at the stage door for her play A Dolls House

Aussie X-Files Fans @ Facebook (AXF) bought fans together from around the country, primarily to discuss the upcoming movie - but I also wanted to do more. Gillian was pregnant with her third child, and I decided that I wanted to do more than just send her a baby gift - so the AXF Fundraising Scheme was created.

We fundraised for one of Gillian's favourite Charities (Alinyiikira Junior School) and managed to raise a little over $2000 for the cause. Not a bad baby gift, eh?

Seeing just how easy it was to raise a couple of thousand dollars I decided that it would become an annual thing - with the events growing in size yearly - to date, we have raised over $30000 for various charities that Ms Anderson has supported, and even helped to co-found (South African Youth Education for Sustainability). Aided by the support of some big names who agreed to participate (Frank Spotnitz, Chris Carter, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, William B Davis, Jeff Gulka, Lance Henriksen - just to name a few) it certainly wasn't easy doing it all from Australia, but it was extremely worthwhile when those final figures came in.

My thoughts were, why be 'just a fan' when you can use the fandom you love to help others around the world.

See below for the fundraiser evolution - six fans in a hotel room, to 60 fans in a movie theatre.

Not bad for a TV Series that went off the air all those years ago. Not bad for a fandom who are patiently waiting for 20th Century Fox to greenlight a Third X-Files Feature Film.

2011 was possibly my biggest year within the fandom. Not only did I hold my most successful fundraiser to date with over 140 auctions on eBay and a large event (pictured above) in Brisbane - I attended my first Geek Convention in Sydney meeting the lovely Lance Henriksen from Millennium (1013 TV Series, also created by Chris Carter), and also travelled to Melbourne to meet the lovely Lone Gunmen Bruce Harwood, Tom Braidwood and Dean Haglund.

However, the biggest event for me that happened in 2011, was that Gillian Anderson announced that she was coming to Australia to promote Johnny English Reborn. Never in a million years did I expect that after getting to meet the lovely lady in 2009, that she would be returning to Australia (Finally) after all those years.

An amazing series of events followed, that lead me to ultimately walking the red carpet, and getting to spent a small amount of time with the lady that has helped to define the person that I have become today.  When there was potential to crawl into a hole to escape the horrible taunts (and never come out) I found light in something that I am so glad is still a huge part of my life.

So why do I want to win #TopGeek?
The answer is simple.

So that I can travel to either the London Film and Comic Con or to the Toronto Fan eXpo so that I can have another opportunity to mix and mingle with my fellow X-Files Fans, and to meet with the one person who has helped to shape me into the human being I am proud to be today. 

That one person, is Gillian Anderson.

Gorgeous, friendly, charitable, successful and humble.

She is truly an inspiration not just to me, but to women all around the world.

VOTE for me in iiNet's Top Geek 2.0

See my 'Geeky Gallery' of some of my favourite fandom memories.

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