Interview With The Fangirl – Fan Fiction’s Joy Regullano

Joy Regullano and Katie Sarife with Jared and Jensen
Joy Regullano and Katie Sarife with Jared and Jensen

Anyone who reads this blog probably remembers that my head exploded from excitement after watching Supernatural’s 200th episode, Fan Fiction. I loved it that much. So it was a thrill to have a chance to chat with one of the smart and snarky fangirls from that episode, Joy Regullano, who played Maeve. I was wearing my #Supernatural tee shirt; it seemed appropriate for a fangirl interview.

Joy: I love your shirt!

Lynn: That’s my homage to Robbie Thompson, who’s always reminding me to hashtag my tweets.

(Thompson, you will recall, also wrote ‘Fan Fiction’.) Appropriate shirt is appropriate.

We pondered the restaurant menu for a while and made small talk. Joy turned out to be as smart as her alter ego. She went to Berkeley and double majored in theater and Southeast Asian studies.

Lynn: Wow! Though you seem to be doing pretty well with the acting. Are you going to stick to it?

Luckily the answer was yes. We spent a few minutes chatting about our respective careers and went on a significant tangent for a passionate discussion of the ups and downs of American higher education.

Joy: It’s cool that you get to do research on fans.

Lynn: It is pretty cool. I feel really lucky that they let me do research on the psychology of being a fan.

Joy: That’s pretty important work though.

Lynn: [laughing] I think so! And speaking of fans, I loved the way ‘Fan Fiction’ represented fangirls – not at all condescending. And then you and Katie and the other actresses just embodied these characters. They are smart, strong women, and true fangirls. And you were hysterically funny – you can say a lot with just one expression. Did you know it would be an important episode?

Joy: No, not really. Phil [Sgriccia], the director, sent us a few episodes to watch – like eight full episodes.

Lynn: Oh cool, which ones? Were they the meta episodes, about fandom?

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Now That’s How You Do a 200th Episode! Supernatural’s Fan Fiction

Sam and Dean with... Sam and Dean
Sam and Dean with… Sam and Dean

I fell in love with Supernatural almost nine years ago, and discovered the incredible world of Supernatural fandom shortly thereafter. It was, if you’ll forgive the obviously intentional use of the word, a transformative experience. We started writing books about the Show and the fandom because we encountered so much shame surrounding what we knew was a wonderful and positive place – a place that, when discovered for the first time, felt like coming home. A place of understanding and acceptance and validation, where we could let our creativity flow unfettered, expressing what we really thought and felt. What we feared and fantasized about. Why, we wondered, was there then so much shame about being a fan – especially being a fangirl? Why was there so much wank, in the midst of so much acceptance and support?

That’s why we wrote Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls, and its academic book cousin Fandom at the Crossroads. To peel back that layer of shaming-from-the-outside as well as internalized shame coming from the inside. To tell the “real” story of being a fan – a Supernatural fan. To challenge all that shame (and the wank that happened as a result of it), we sought validation, even if we didn’t at first realize that’s what we were doing. We spoke to all kinds of fans about why they loved the Show and how they expressed their passion. Fanfiction writers and readers, fan artists, fan vidders, bloggers, enthusiastic readers and fans who just loved to watch the show. Then we spoke to the ‘other side’ – the people who made the Show we’d fallen for. Eric Kripe. Sera Gamble. Serge Ladouceur. Jensen, Jared, Misha, and every other actor willing to sit down with us and talk about how they felt about the Show and the fans and their place in this crazy wonderful little ‘family’.

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