Self-Care and Community Through Fandom with Jessica | #8

The Conjuring Up Courage logo, a photo of Jessica, and the words, "Self-Care and Community Through Fandom with Jessica Episode #8"

Click here to access a written transcript of this episode.

Jessica, my friend and former colleague from my lawyering days, joined me on the podcast to talk about the ways she stays sane with a busy attorney’s schedule, including through the transformative power of fandom.

Jessica told me what she thinks fandom is all about at its best and gave practical tips for making time for hobbies in a busy schedule. We also chatted about sex, race, and class issues in fandoms using Jessica’s experiences with the Star Wars fandom as an example.

We discussed:

  • What fandom means to Jessica and how it’s not only limited to nerd culture.
  • How she doesn’t think there should be gatekeeping in fandom.
  • Jessica’s first experiences with fandoms growing up, including learning to use fandom as a form of self-care and way of finding her identity.
  • How participating in fandoms has improved her quality of life, especially through the social connections it has given her.
  • The role Star Wars played in inspiring Jessica to get back into creating fan art.
  • Practical ways Jess has managed to make time for hobbies even with an incredibly busy schedule.
  • Her love for the Discord app and how it has allowed her to keep up with friends online who share the same interests as her.
  • Jessica’s experiences as a black woman in the Star Wars fandom dealing with online sexism and racism.
  • Jess’s belief that fandom should be inclusive when it’s working as it should and how to disengage if it turns toxic.
  • Forms of gatekeeping in fandom, including performative aspects of fandom and expecting fans to have certain levels of knowledge.
  • Embracing the fact that your participation in fandoms will grow and change over time.
  • Transformative works and how they allow underrepresented communities to participate in the storyline.
  • How Jessica defines health and wellness for herself at this moment in her life, including attempting to find balance and prioritize self-care.

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Jessica smiles for the camera with her hair in space buns

Jessica (she/her) is an IP and technology lawyer focused on media and entertainment. In her spare time, she engages in fandom communities for some of her favorite topics, including Star Wars, Disney, anime, etc. That engagement includes making new friends, creating art, and generally exploring a source of community and creativity to help find balance in a busy, chaotic life.

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