Saturday, January 7, 2012

Geek and Proud

Yes, I consider myself a geek. I spent my high school years in the band, in the Boy Scouts, and as a Trekkie. Going from High School to College, I was an avid player of both Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. When I left college, I would spend my paychecks on Magic cards, Star Wars action figures, and whatever new flavor of Collectable Card Game looked interesting.

When I moved into the work force full time, I mainly worked at stores that catered to the Fanboy. Stores like Big Entertainment, a kiosk in the mid-nineties that was opened by Tekno Comics. We sold comic books and trade paperbacks, did pull lists for subscribers, and carried memorabilia like t-shirts, statues, vinyl figures, art and prop replicas. That lasted about a year and a half before we packed up. I also worked for more familiar retailers like Electronics Boutique, The Disney Store, and Suncoast Motion Picture Company. Spending time in Southern California gave me the opportunity to work other geekish gigs such as spending time at the former movie practical effects studio, XFX, Inc. While there, I had a chance to work on pieces from the short lived live-action “The Tick” television series, the film “Blade 2,” and licensed blaster replicas from the original “Battlestar Galactica” series. I also was a cast member for the Disneyland Resort, working in Tomorrowland Attractions as a Helmsman for the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, and as a Space Ranger in Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. They have all been good times, but they don’t pay the bills, unfortunately.

As I’ve worked, and as my tastes have grown and expanded from Star Trek and Dungeons & Dragons, so has my hobbies and collections. Cardboard playing cards and action figures made way for movie prop replicas and costumes. Over the years, I’ve played dress up on days that aren’t Halloween as a X-Wing Pilot and a Rebel Fleet Trooper from Star Wars, a Starfleet Medical Officer from Star Trek: The Next Generation, a Union Civil War Soldier, and a Ghostbuster, complete with a 35 lb. proton pack strapped to my back. I have helped found The Rebel Legion, a Star Wars costuming group that was formed to compliment the 501 st Legion when they didn’t know where to put the Rebel costumes. I have also learned a bit about resin casting, working with fiberglass, and how to clean and finish pieces from those materials. I have owned lightsabers, blaster pistols, phasers, tricorders, communicators, helmets, proton packs, and bits of droids that were made by either myself or fellow fans. Many of these pieces have passed on to other owners as I’ve needed money, but I always love new toys.

One thing on my list of things that I would like to accomplish this year is to get back into building. I need to be more careful with what I collect, as sharp objects can be grabbed by little fingers, and fragile pieces can be found no matter where you hide them. Also, apartment living is not conducive to running fiberglass or slinging resin, so I have to find alternative methods to be creative in that respect.

Just so you know, when I find them and start working on them, I’ll let you know on here.


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