I really appreciate what you’re doing in the space. I think it’s great that these conversations are being had.
That’s generally the feedback that I’ve gotten. Some people have said that it’s nice to be able to be on their commute and listen to people talking about fanfiction. I think for some people in fanfiction too, sometimes they don’t necessarily understand all the perspectives. So if you pass by A/B/O and you’ve read a couple and you think it’s gross, you just might also not understand why people like it. So if we can do an A/B/O show, where we talk a little bit about the psychology of A/B/O, or why someone might like it or the reasons why they’re drawn to it, then I think that conversation could also bring the community together because it reminds us that there is lot of psychological stuff that goes into what kind of fanfiction people want to read or don’t want to read.
In the hurt/comfort episode we ended up talking a great length about the fact that if you like angst and hurt/comfort that’s perfectly fine. It doesn’t make you a human monster because you want to torture characters in your spare time. A lot of the time people are working through their own stuff with those fics. So, it’s been interesting.
I love that these conversations are also introducing people to new tropes or ideas or fandoms that they might not of heard about before. It’s a great way to learn about new things and at the same time get a wide range of points of view about the subject.
That happened to me when we did the beta episode. Before that episode, I was generally not using betas, but after, I sought out a beta for one of my older fics to finish it because they made some really good points that I hadn’t even considered before about why someone would use a beta. They also impacted how I beta for other people. The angst and hurt/comfort episode was similar as there were a couple things we talked about where I was like, “I should look into that”. When I did a Sherlock episode, I read some Sherlock fics because I’d never gotten into the fandom and I wanted to know if it was as weird or out there as people were saying it was, and some of these tropes in Sherlock sounded kind of neat so I wanted to know more. It’s making me think past the boundaries of the usual fic I read and wanting to know more about what’s out there.
In fandom we all have our corners we like to play in and there’s really such a vast and diverse world right outside of the fandoms we’re in. I started out in Sherlock and was deep in that sandbox for about three years. But now that I’m just getting into Captain America I’m finally seeing see very how different these corners can be and I love how different they are.
Exactly, one of the things I want to switch over to doing is making podcast about specific fandoms, so people can talk about their specific corner of the world. I’ve done one on Harry Potter (also that I am not sure will be released) and it was interesting to hear about what some of the different tropes were, and what the ship wars were like in Harry Potter and to talk about how the book fans interacted with movie fans and how those meshed in the world of fanfiction. The only problem is that it’s hard to get people who are super into that world the way that you need to be talk exclusively about it. The Sherlock one I worry a little bit about because prior to talking about Sherlock with the contributors, I had asked some other contributors what they thought about the Sherlock fandom and they were like across-the-board kind of an “ugh”.
From the outside looking in, I think Sherlock fandom looks like it has its problems. I also talked to some people who had left it. I had a hard time because I wanted to be fair to Sherlock fandom and there are many great things about it, but I also really wanted to get to the bottom of why it has a kind of negative reputation to people in other fandoms.
I’ve been deep in it since Reichenbach, so I’ve followed a lot of the drama. I think that all fandoms have ups and downs but I still think Sherlock has a lot of positives. I mean from the outside it might be hard to understand, but sometimes people tend to focus only on the negative and gloss over what’s still good.
Yeah, I didn’t want it to be a whole hour of, “Let’s all dump on Sherlock fandom,” because I know that people in that fandom don’t want to hear that, but at the same time I thought it’s worth talking about what are the problems going on there, and why someone would leave that fandom, and what are the issues people are having, and where is that sense that it’s full of drama coming from? I wanted to have a happy medium of both sides to make sure I cover all my bases. It’s especially hard when they’re not my fandoms. I could talk on the podcast about Marvel for hours and hours as that’s my corner of the universe, but when they’re not mine I have to rely on the contributors to set the tone.
It’s interesting because every single fandom is its own little corner, full of its own favorite tropes. Like if you talk about Sherlock fandom you know modern AU fics are a big part of Sherlock versus Victorian era fics, like setting that show in a different time. Or in Harry Potter they have a lot of fics about characters being in a different house, so I wanted to kind of delve in and find out what are the big tropes within each fandom and what are the things that people would be really surprised about. Because I know that within Marvel fandom there are certain tropes that are favored by Marvel fans but not by other fandoms at all.
So what has been your favorite episode that you’ve recorded so far? Is there one that you’re really excited for people to listen to?
The angst and hurt/comfort one came out really well and the response to that one has been overwhelming. I think that one by far has been one of the listener favorites.
The gender one was a lot to unpack in one episode, so that was a lot of fun. The warnings, triggers, and squicks one was really interesting. I think it was interesting talking about the debate on whether or not warnings are always necessary or not, or the kinds of things that people should warn for, and even going through the AO3 warnings and unpacking what should be in those warnings. Why are people not warning when they should be, or why are people over warning. Like I clicked on this because I wanted rape/noncon and that wasn’t in here. So talking about why there is a disconnect was an interesting one.
In May, when the new Captain America movie comes I’m going to do a two part team Tony and team Steve podcast where one is focused on Tony Stark and MCU fic and the other is focused on Captain America fic, because I think those are two separate pieces of the Marvel Universe. I’m interested in that. I like that my show can do things like that. I want to push at the bounds of what the podcast can do a little bit as we keep going. I’m hoping that I can grow the community of the show because I would love to do things like have people record fic recs and release them as mini episodes and I have ideas about starting to talk more about fan art and fan vidding.
I got an offer to do a live podcast at a store near me that sells fan works, I would love to take it to conventions and do it live there, it’s just a matter of growing that listener base and making sure that they are also interacting with the show. Right now we’re getting some re-blogs on tumblr which is cool, but we don’t have any iTunes reviews yet, and we don’t really have a lot of conversation happening on our tumblr in the comments section. My hope is that as it grows I want the kinds of conversations on the show to overlap through the week I wanted to be like I talk about something and suddenly there’s a whole community of people talking about it and kind of taking that conversation over. I’m hoping that will happen as we grow the show but that’s not something I can really predict.
I’m excited to see where it goes.
I’d like to do a fandom stats episode, Destination Toast is doing all of these really interesting analyses about fandom. So I’m hoping to talk to them on the podcast soon. I’m so fascinated by the idea of people who are obsessed not just with fandom, but obsessed with the idea of fandom and the data, because once you look at the numbers it reveals so many things. A couple of weeks ago I was going through AO3 and I was looking in every fandom for every weird tag I could think of. I was looking through the filters and trying to figure out what were the top ten fandoms for each tag. Most times it was just that the biggest fandoms had the biggest amount of stuff, so across the board Sherlock, Supernatural and Teen Wolf are the top three.
But every once in awhile some little fandom would slip into that top ten. Like Welcome to Night Vale has a proportionately huge amount of tentacle sex, because one of its main characters is always headcanoned as having tentacles. Or I found out that Glee has a disproportionate amount of alternate first meeting AUs. Apparently that was quite the thing in Glee for a long time. I love that someone like Destination Toast can take that kind of data and be that numbers person who really looks at it. I mean I love Freakonomics that’s one of my favorite podcasts. I like the idea that numbers don’t lie.
And finally, what’s exciting or inspiring you in fandom right now? Is there anything you’re looking forward to in the upcoming months?
I’m excited about Civil War. I’m not a Stucky shipper but I’m still excited for Civil War. I love Tony, that’s my guy. I’m like everybody I’m excited for Star Wars. In terms of other fandoms, I’m a huge Ghostbusters fan so I hope it’s good enough that a fandom will develop around that movie because I’m just such a huge Ghostbusters fan.
I said this on tumblr before, when the picture of the four of them standing in front of the car came out I was kind of shedding a little tear that day because I was a little girl who used to run around my fake proton pack and my trap and be like, “I’m gonna be a Ghostbuster!” And you know if I would’ve had four awesome female role models like that at that age maybe I’d be a Ghostbuster today. I’m happy the little girls are going to get that.
Agent Carter coming back excites me greatly. Jarvis forever! I’m always kind of following Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I’m just always down for anything Marvel, I love Marvel comics I read a ton of them so all the new Number Ones coming up in Marvel in the next few months are also really exciting. There’s so much fandom stuff that I don’t know how going to have time to do all of it!
You can listen to episodes of The OTPodcast on SoundCloud and iTunes. Check out the OTPodcast on Tumblr, Twitter, and AO3 and join in on the discussion forum on Dreamwidth. Enjoy! You can find Enthusiasm Girl on Tumblr and check out her MCU and Daredevil fics on AO3!