Saturday, December 19, 2015

"The world opened up for me once I embraced who I am"



I stumbled upon Felicia Day almost four years ago when she first appeared in the CW's Supernatural during its seventh season. She played the role of the queer computer expert and all-around geek Charlie Bradbury, and has since continued to reprise that role in the subsequent seasons of the show. I absolutely enjoyed her portrayal because I found that I can relate to her as Charlie, so I researched about the actress online and found out that she has written and produced her own webseries called The Guild, a rather funny slice of life story concerning a bunch of gamers and their eccentricities and struggles both on and off their roleplaying games. I was instantly hooked by the first two seasons and utterly mesmerized of the confidence and talent that Felicia has displayed as herself and as the co-founder of her company Geek and Sundry that has a channel in YouTube featuring the most nerdgasmic content about gaming and other related stuff. 

As an independent woman who has made a profit out of her geekeries, Felicia Day is someone I found rather inspiring and so I have spent copious amount of time downloading and watching a lot of the G&S shows like Tabletop, Meta Dating, Sword and Laser, Co-Optitude, The Flog, Vaginal Fantasy, Written By a Kid and many more. I couldn't get enough of this lady and simply had to know more about her.

Luckily, she finally published her memoir and I eagerly devoured it the moment I got my hands on a copy. This was everything I expected it would be and so much more! I would recommend this to EVERYONE even if one does not know who she is because her journey to get to where she is now is astounding and enjoyable, written with a style and prose that exude warmth, teeming with humor and insight. Felicia Day certifiably makes her distinct mark recognizable and uniquely hers in every passage found in You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), an autobiography that never ceases to be engaging from beginning to end. Day is sensible and humorous as she recalls her unconventional childhood and family ties, her studies to become a violin virtuoso while also earning a Math degree, and most importantly her introduction to the gaming world and how finding a community of like minds (and having a very supportive mother) has nurtured her individuality and confidence in herself. But Felicia Day is not always as self-assured and secure in her life no matter how much she thrives on her uniqueness. In fact, her amusing streak of neurotic insecurities fill the pages with stories about her daily freak-outs over the most minuscule of things, and her struggle to make it as an actress during her twenties. They are very realistically rendered and often very heartfelt and hilarious at the same time. 

It was only when she found a support group of other creative women and finally decided that she wanted to write a show about her experiences with game addiction that Day found her true calling in life. That being said, there are more battles to come that she needs to conquer to maintain her success, small and non-mainstream as it may be, but still very much hers to claim and be proud of nevertheless.

The memoir also reveals her creative process and the grueling and often disheartening ways she almost didn't want to write or act or do anything because she was overcome with fear, anxiety and the pressure of living up to people's expectations, as well as her built-in personality flaw of chasing after perfection. These are the most gripping portions of her book because it was her tell-all. Her crippling self-doubt is something we all can relate to. By showing her weakest points and allowing the readers to see how she challenged herself to get the upper hand over them, Day has also encouraged them to take control of their lives and pursue what they're most passionate about--regardless of how weird--no matter the pesky negative feedback from an unappreciative audience because sooner or later other people who share that passion will find them and make all the heartache and rejection worth it. 

Bravely and proudly, she writes to all of us:


"Create something they've always dreamt of. Connect with the people they never thought they'd know because there's no better time in history to do it...We need the world to hear more opinions, give glimpses into more diverse cultures... 
Everyone has a chance to have his or her voice heard, or to create a community around something they're passionate about and connect with other people who share that passion. Best of all, it rewards people and ideas that never would have made it through the system and allows the unique and weird to flourish." 

Felicia Day is the living embodiment of this example, and by establishing her Geek and Sundry channel, she has allowed other individuals who have the same vision about themselves and the world at large to come forward and bask in the glory of their geekiness; to never be ashamed of being labeled as weird, idiosyncratic or a little crazy. Day's memoir essentially imparts the message that once you accepted what you are and become fearless enough to show it to the world, the world will open to you and you can carve a place in it where you can belong. You can even help people build their lives around the things they love and want to celebrate with others. This is why she has a spin-off extension channel for aspiring vloggers who talk about whatever they want, however they want. That is what defines a nerd or a geek. It's the often obsessive but devoted ways we show how much we love and enjoy the books, shows, games and fandoms that have dominated our lives. Day simply found a very positive and constructive way of using it to reach to an audience who is interested to hear her story and point of view, and all of us could do the same, thanks to the power of the internet.


I love the idea of breaking the system. The beauty of the internet is that it gives unrepresented voices, the opportunity to do a little breaking."
You need to be able to be proud of yourself. You are unique and good enough just as you are."

Of course, she also shares her bad experiences during the #GamerGate incident which was something that you could tell was hard for her to talk about, but she soldiered on anyway because she knew her voice as a female gamer has to be represented especially when she is a role model to a lot of young women who want to feel safe in their gaming community that has continued to become even to this day so vile, close-minded and sexist. Day expresses her concerns and wishes that this misogyny and discrimination not just against women to be put an end to because it damages the gaming community to the outside world, and fractures the relationships of these people within their own divided factions.

Felicia Day's You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is an unforgettable and inspiring narrative detailing a young woman's quest to find a fulfilling vocation that led to the creation of her own geekdom. It's funny, audacious, reflective and very much riveting. Pick it up, even if you don't know who this woman is because it's nigh time for you to get acquainted with the ferocious Felicia Day.

RECOMMENDED: 10/10

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