Fandom or the Power of the Geek.

These past few days I’ve been really enjoying the videos of The Nerd Machine’s Nerd HQ from 2014 and 2015. It struck as odd at first because I’ve never really tried to connect with the fandom world of the series I enjoyed, and that’s because I didn’t really wanted to let my geek out. But since I started this blog I’ve been exploring some of the corners of the Geekdom (that’s Geek+Kingdom you folks!) and I saw wonderful things. (Note: I don’t know if there are certain vocabulary rules about the use of the words geek and nerd, but I assume the first is a general name and the later refers to a geek with tech/science interests. Don’t know if this is correct but just read the rest of the text according to that assumption.)

First time I remember being upset about the (possible) cancellation of a series was when Chuck was on the edge of disappearing after the second season. Chuck was one of the truly nerdy TV series I followed at the time and it had everything I liked on a series: it had humor, a relatable protagonist, tons of action, a great (and I mean GREAT) soundtrack and a story arch I thought to be original and well put. It even discovered me one of my all time favorite songs (Nina Simone – Feeling Good). I genuinely thought “–Hey! This is a show for me!” It seems I wasn’t the only one who thought that. Chuck had one of the most influential fan based renewal campaigns ever, and it made the NBC set their minds and renew it for a third season, although it would later get to a total of five. That’s the power of the fandom.

Why am I bringing Chuck up when there were dozens of cases where fan campaigns helped their series get new seasons or even movies? Because Chuck was portrayed by Zachary Levi, founder of The Nerd Machine (and my new role model).

So let’s rewind a bit. I was telling you about the Nerd HQ’s videos. The first one I saw was from the Conversations for a Cause Panels with Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton. It was easy for me to be interested because I’ve been long following Wil’s Tabletop from Geek & Sundry and I knew Felicia from both Supernatural and Tabletop.  This video (which I recommend A LOT) was followed by another with Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk, then by the cast of Supernatural, then the cast of Conman (Fillion and Tudyk again) and on and on. These were wonderful videos, and I laughed a lot, especially with the Firefly duo, but there was one thing that all the videos shared at one point or another: the appreciation of the fans. Now, when I say fans I don’t mean like in the Robert de Niro/Wesley Snipes movie. Watch out with that, don’t be creepy. I mean those fans that make something (a letter, a picture, a drawing, etc.) to show how much they appreciate what the actors (and I assume all the people behind their favorite shows, not only the actors) did and the good times they had when watching the shows. And I think that’s cool.

For me, being a geek it’s all about the passion, and when that passion motivates you to get out and do things, it’s the best feeling in the world. Now, I know from experience how difficult it is to make something by yourself and expose it to the world, opening it to criticism and mock. That is, in fact, one of the reasons why I didn’t finish my Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design. I really admire those of you who have enough guts to say “Hey, I did this because I think you are awesome”. For me, you are all awesome.

Second thing worth mentioning from those videos it’s that they all share a humanitarian cause. I’m not saying they all apply to the same NGO, but the fact that they all, on different levels, are behind awesome causes worth noticing. The Conversations for a Cause Panels, for example, where organized by Zach’s The Nerd Machine to raise money for Operation Smile. So my recommendation to you is to find out what cause your favorite actors support and maybe contribute in some way or another. I, for example, am designing a set of geeky illustrations to donate to a charity that may be auctioned to get funds. That may be a start, but find whatever you are comfortable with. Anyway, just wanted to remind you that there are really wonderful people out there united under the geek flag and ready to change the world. Are you in?

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