Reeve Carney

reeve-carneyI don’t easily form a bias toward an actor. This implies their acting skills left a lasting impression on me. Usually these actors have brilliantly portrayed a variety of characters in TV shows and/or movies. It proves how they are a versatile actor. Very few actors join this prestigious club. Now, there is a new member to this club. Reeve Carney.

Recently, I intensely binged all three season of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. I formed emotional attachments to some characters. Most of all, I grew to really love Dorian Gray. I shouldn’t love him but I do. In my opinion, he was one of the most multifaceted characters in Penny Dreadful. Dorian Gray is a fascinating enigma. Reeve Carney portrays Dorian Gray. This show was my official introduction to Reeve. It formed my appreciation for him.

My appreciation quickly transformed into love. One day, I was looking up Penny Dreadful videos on YouTube. Of course you click on the recommended suggestions. One recommended video after another. It’s never ending lack of productivity. Sometimes I don’t mind it.

Surprisingly, Reeve Carney plays the bad boy love interest in Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” music video. This is one of the rare occasions I even considered watching a Taylor Swift music video. I’m not exactly a huge fan of her music. But I usually respect her as an artist…unlike majority of female vocalists in the pop industry over the past few years.

At one point, I randomly clicked on “Love Me Chase Me” music video from a band called Carney. I immediately realized Reeve Carney was the frontman of Carney within the first minute of the music video. Reeve Carney’s vocals are very intriguing. Not like the usual tenor male vocals I listen to in my music. There are hints of soulful, bluesy jazz facets in his tenor vocals. You hear these facets in his music as well. It’s quite refreshing considering what you typically hear with indie rock music. I don’t care if it isn’t as dynamic of a vocal range compared to my other bias male musicians. Reeve’s vocals are so soothingly emotive.

My discovery of Reeve Carney’s music somehow led me to the Spider-man fandom. Ten years ago, Spider-man trilogy was my official introduction to the Marvel movie universe. So what’s the connection between Reeve Carney and Marvel’s Spider-man universe? Reeve played as Peter Parker/ Spider-man in Broadway’s Spider-man: Turn off the Dark musical. I vaguely remember this Broadway musical receiving lots of negative press in the media. It had a $75 million budget. The most expensive Broadway musical. Plus, it was the most technically complex production. Investors lost approximately $60 million. Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark was not a profitable Broadway musical. Also, it had the longest preview period in Broadway history. A total of 182 preview performances. Up to this point, the musical faced many delays before getting official opening night date on June 14, 2011. Reeve Carney was part of this production until September 15, 2013. That’s over 900 performances as Peter Parker/ Spider-man. He left the musical to begin preparation for his role as Dorian Grey on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. It took a couple listens before the Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark musical soundtrack really grew on me. I like how it incorporates rock opera elements into traditional musical theater.

Nowadays, Reeve has been pursuing a solo music career. His debut album, Youth is Wasted, was released on October 14, 2016. I’m sad I didn’t discover his music sooner. Over the past month, I’ve been avidly listening to my Reeve Carney Spotify playlist.  I can’t enough of his music.

Overall, Reeve is well-rounded actor and musician. He is full of surprises. I look forward to his future acting and music projects.

 

 

Dane Cook

I’ve always had a slightly unconventional sense of humor. Sassy, witty, punny, crude, and dark humor elements all gloriously mixed together somehow. You cannot tell this by merely looking at me. So never judge a person based off their appearance alone.

Typically I don’t follow much stand-up comedians. I’ve mainly watched late night talk shows including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Occasionally, I tune into The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Late Late Show with James Corden. I’ll even watch Saturday Night Live if there is honestly no other good TV programs to watch that late at night. Beside late night talk shows, I don’t pay attention much to stand-up comedians within the industry. Yet, Dane Cook is one of the few exceptions.

Throughout high school, I always had a quirky group of friends. Truly never a dull moment when we hang out. One day at lunch, a friend of mine casually brought up Dane Cook’s name into a conversation. I had never heard of this stand-up comedian. This piqued my curiosity. So I decided to check out his comedic sketches on YouTube.

My friend gave me absolutely no warning me about strong profanity and crudeness within Dane Cook’s comedy. This took a little while to get adjusted to before I could truly enjoy his jokes. Dane Cook’s jokes are so hilarious. It never fails to make me laugh so hard that there are tears streaming down my face. Yet, I acknowledge his brand of comedy is not everyone’s cup of tea.

He knows how to capture his audience’s attention. Dane Cook’s comedy is known for long-form storytelling format. It covers many aspects of general life topics. His comedic material is typically observational humor injected with nerdy references and his life experiences. I especially love the dark humor undertones interlaced into his jokes. Dane Cook’s jokes honestly never get old even many years later. Unfortunately, people sometimes assume Dane Cook is an asshole based off the crude nature of his comedy.

Nostalgia is an interesting thing indeed. There are times I will revisit some stuff I loved as a teenager. Every once in a while, I have the urge to listen to Dane Cook’s comedy. He is one silly goose. I can’t even explain why I feel these random nostalgic urges sometimes.

(WARNING: The short audio and video clips below contains occasional infrequent profanity and crude humor.)

Nerd HQ

Nerd MachineIn November 2010, Zachary Levi, David Coleman, and Courtney Coleman founded a company called The Nerd Machine. All of them had closely worked together on NBC’s Chuck. Also, there was a website online community created to spread the nerd culture. The online community forums provide individuals the opportunity to socialize with others like them and talk about anything in general.

Nerd HQNerd HQ has been held the same weekend as San Diego Comic-Con since July 2011. Most of all, Nerd HQ is a free event offered to the public. All proceeds generated from Nerd HQ are donated to Operation Smile. Operation Smile is a charitable cause that is very dear to Zac’s heart. Essentially Nerd HQ offers a fun alternative to Comic-Con considering how difficult it is to acquire San Diego Comic-Con general admission passes. So nerds can have fun in a more intimate, low-key environment.

I eagerly look forward to Nerd HQ’s Conversation for a Cause panels. The past few years these panels have been live streamed on The Nerd Machine’s YouTube Channel. I tuned into many of these celebrity panels over the four days. Yet, Conversation with Supernatural cast panel is my all-time favorite every year. This particular panel never fails to make me laugh my butt off. Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, and Mark Sheppard are adorable dorks. Hilarious awesomeness happens when you put these four men in the same room. Never a dull moment with Supernatural cast members. Plus, there are even two Conversation for a Cause panels with The Nerd Machine’s co-founder, Zachary Levi. This unique feature has garnered more and more popularity every year. The panels have featured a variety of celebrity figures from TV show, movie, comic book, and video game fandoms.

Nerd HQ’s Conversation for a Cause 2016 Schedule

Nerd HQ’s business model is very fascinating. Their profits are basically generated from four different sources. Conversation for a Cause panels. Smile for Smiles photo opportunities.  Signings for Smiles autograph opportunities. Miscellaneous auctions. It is wonderful how The Nerd Machine’s founders created this outlet for people.

San Diego Comic-Con

SDCC

Comic-Con International is a four day convention that covers all nerdy fandoms from TV shows, movies, and comic books. This year San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) took place from July 21, 2016 to July 24th, 2016. Since 2006, the annual attendance ranges from 120,000 to 167,000 people.  Comic-Con is essentially cornucopia of fandom subculture. Every nerd dreams of attending San Diego Comic-Con! We want to hang out with other like us…fellow nerds who passionately embrace the multi-fandom life. Plus, the awesome overload of all things within our nerdy subculture. It wasn’t until 2006 when I even learned what San Diego Comic-Con was.

About Comic-Con International

The superhero science-fiction genre is the reason I even know about San Diego Comic-Con’s existence. All I knew was this was the place for all my fandoms. I hadn’t ventured to too many fandoms at this point. Since 2006, it has been one of lifelong goals to attend San Diego Comic-Con. It is nearly impossible to acquire a general admission pass for SDCC. They’re highly coveted tickets that completely sell out in less than couple hours of becoming available to the public. I’d love to attend SDCC at least once.

Nerdy fandoms have increasingly become more mainstream over the past several years. Comic-Con is basically one humongous celebration of the nerd culture. Many of my TV show and movie fandoms are part of SDCC basically every year. San Diego convention center has total of 17 rooms utilized for panels and screenings. Almost all my fandoms hold panels in the famous Hall H. This is because of these fandoms have huge prevalence within pop culture. Being one of the biggest two rooms, Hall H seats nearly 6,100 persons. Yet you cannot forget about the enormous main floor area of San Diego convention center.

Technological advances have played a vital role in shaping the San Diego Comic-Con experience. People who aren’t able to attend don’t have to fret about being left out of the loop. Social media platforms such as Twitter enable people to vicariously experience SDCC. This is the beauty of technology making the world increasingly interconnected.

Essentially San Diego Comic-Con is Christmas in July for nerds. I don’t even care if it spans for only four days. These four days I am pretty much glued to my laptop and smartphone for SDCC real-time updates. Official Twitter accounts for my plethora of TV shows will give highlights from Comic-Con. Even actors will tweet content about Comic-Con. Although, SDCC Unofficial Blog Twitter account is a reliable source for everything related to Comic-Con. You can utilize technology especially social media platforms to your advantage. I take SDCC very seriously. San Diego Comic-Con 2016 is over. Now the waiting game for San Diego Comic-Con 2017 begins!

Comic-Con

Normalcy and Stereotypes

“What is normal?” I’ve spend half my life pondering this conundrum. Here’s my ultimate conclusion: Normal doesn’t exist. “Normal” is a very subjective concept that changes from person to person. Everyone has different life situations and backgrounds which ultimately shapes what an individual considers to be their “normal”. Although, there are basic moral principles that universally apply to human beings. This is why I firmly believe normalcy is not a universal principal applicable to all human beings. “Being unique is cool. What is normal? A setting on a washing machine. No one wants to be that.” (Ashley Purdy, bassists of Black Veil Brides)

normal-quotes-8

We live in society that is chalk full of stereotypes. Gender stereotypes. Personality stereotypes. Cultural stereotypes. Humans try to compartmentalize things into “boxes” to comprehend the world around them.

I’ve lived my whole life never completely fitting in only one “box”. Often, you cannot put my unique personality into any box. Middle school was an especially brutal time for me. I tried fitting into people’s “boxes” just be more accepted. During this brief period, I was absolutely miserable. You can pretend to be someone else to fit in, but you can never suppress your true self. It wasn’t easy finding other nerdy people like me, but I eventually formed a close-knit circle of friends. They made me realize my personality was too beautiful to be repressed. It took me a few years to truly come to terms and proudly embrace my nerdy, quirky personality. Without a doubt, it was a tumultuous journey of self-discovery.

Stereotype poster

In my opinion, stereotypes are a divisive strategy that must be eliminated. Diversity is what makes the world a beautiful place. Who would want to live in a world in which everyone had the same personality, thoughts, and mannerisms? Quite frankly this world sounds incredibly dull world to live in. Variety is what makes life more interesting.

There are many inaccurate stereotypes about individuals who associate themselves as part of the fandom subculture. We are not all the same! There is a wide spectrum in terms of how a person expresses their love for their nerdy passions. Why does society insist on blending people together as if they were bland soup? I personality like to think of the fandom subculture as Chex mix. You don’t necessarily like everything in the mixture, but you acknowledge its existence.

Despite fandom culture becoming more accepted nowadays, there is still much stigma to people who call themselves “fangirls” or “fanboys”. There are some who believe our nerdy obsessions prevent us from living life to its full potential. That is not true at all. In fact, my fandoms have been very therapeutic in some dark times in my life. My introverted personality makes it difficult open up. Often, it was my nerdy fandom interests which helped me come out of my introverted shell.  This is why it is you should never discredit the impact the fandom subculture has on a person’s life.

Simon Pegg has an insightful quote about being a geek. “Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It is basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level than behave than a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.”

Introduction

This is my first blog post ever. I’ve always wanted to create a blog site. Of course I’d thrown around some ideas in my head, yet nothing seemed to stick. Lately, the idea of creating my own blog had been proliferating in my thoughts. Basically I’ve been a nerdy person nearly my whole life. I felt it was only fitting to devote my blog to my nerdy passions in terms of books, TV shows, movies, and music fandoms. I proudly embrace my nerdtastically quirky personality.

Fandom quote

According to Oxford Dictionary, fandom is defined as “the fans of a particular person, team, fictional series, etc., regarded collectively as a community or subculture”. The fandom culture has been a prevalent part of my life for almost ten years now. I cannot recall what exactly introduced me to the fandom life. It is a three-way tie between three huge science-fiction movie franchises. Star Wars saga. X-Men trilogy. Spider-Man trilogy (with Tobey Macguire). Of course over the past several years my fandom interests have drastically increased. I cannot list all the fandoms I’m part of. Way too long of a list to fit into this post. To say the least, I like variety in terms of fandoms for my TV show, movie, books, and music obsessions.

I grew up in the dial-up internet era which meant fandom subculture was not as prevalent as it is nowadays. Yet, this never stopped me from pursuing my geeky obsessions. This required me to find creative routes to enjoy my interests. Technological advances in terms of the internet have enabled the widespread popularity of fandom subculture. In my opinion, YouTube and FanFiction have played a vital role in the perpetuation of the fandom subculture.

fandom banner

I have a personal motto about the fandom subculture.  “You don’t choose the fandom life. It chooses you in some way, shape, or form.” This has proven to be quite true in my life. More often than not, I’ve discovered new fandoms because of my friends. I actually met many of my close friends as a result of our shared fandom interests. Nerdy friends will often unintentionally or intentionally try to convert each other to their beloved fandom(s). This produces mixed results. Either you jump on-board with them or find it isn’t exactly your cup of tea. Once you embrace the multi-fandom life, it forever changes how to perceive the world around you. I regret absolutely nothing about my multi-fandom life.

I shall close with an inspirational quote. “Don’t let anyone make you be who you aren’t. Always stay true to yourself at all times. Even with it isn’t trendy.”