A new Syfy docu-series, Fangasm, debuted Tuesday and featured Molly McIsaac, a former Soldotna resident and current fangirl.
According to Brenda Lowry, director of publicity for Syfy, “Fangasm” is a new docu-series that follows seven people in their 20s whose niche uber-obsessions run the gamut from comic books and collectables to science fiction and fantasy to cosplay and live action role playing. During the series, the group lives and works together at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo, Los Angeles’ largest pop-culture convention. The cast must contend with each other’s oversized personalities and conflicting passions as they vie for opportunities within Lee’s organization.
McIsaac, 24, is described by Syfy as determined to show the world that not all fangirls are “the comic book guy.”
In an email, McIsaac said she lived in Soldotna from the time she was 3 years old until she was 14, when the family moved to Idaho. She said she was miserable to be leaving Alaska and threatened to run away and hide in the woods.
“I even have a tattoo of Alaska on my shoulder so I always remember the land that shaped me so much,” she said.
She said that her time as a homeschool child helped mold her into who she is today.
“I was always writing and acting out some sort of play about elves, unicorns and superheros. I dreamt of being a movie star or a famous singer,” she said. “I recorded myself on my parent’s giant camcorder. I think I’ve always wanted to be someone well known, and finally having the opportunity with ‘Fangasm’ is pretty surreal.”
McIsaac said the cast was chosen by auditions. They sent in essays and videos, went to casting calls and after two “long” years of waiting, she said the decision for the cast was made.
“The fantastic seven were chosen to be ambassadors of geek culture,” she wrote.
She said the goal of the docu-series is to showcase how unique and interesting geek culture really is. On her Twitter profile, she refers to herself as the resident unicorn queen on @FangasmSyFy.
“So often it is stereotyped in pop culture — geeks are all lame and can’t interact with society, geeks can’t get a date; geeks all live in their mom’s basement — and it is more oftentimes than not showcasing a very small segment of the subculture and not geek as a whole,” she wrote. “In fact, most geeks are very interesting, socially functioning people. ‘Fangasm’ strives to change the world’s misconceptions and show that geek really is chic.”
Over the course of the season, the group dives into their internships at Comikaze as it prepares for the upcoming Comikaze Expo held each November in Los Angeles. The massive convention is a year-round business ran by Lee, Regina Carpinelli, who supervises the interns, and Cassandra Peterson, better known as Elvira Mistress of the Dark. The pressure is on for the interns who all have high hopes of earning an actual job with the organization.
McIsaac said the cast is a well-rounded group as far as fandoms and strengths.
“I’m a social activist within the geek world for feminism and teaching about proper social interaction, along with a cosplayer, fashion blogger, anime fan and LARPer (one who live action role plays),” she wrote.
She and the other cast members will open the eyes of many to what superfans are.
“Together we all (have) really unique skill sets that brought many things to the table for the roommate situation and internship. We’re all superfans, but we are also all super motivated functioning members of society who set out on this journey to show the world that geek is a celebration… and that we are not all the mouth -breathing neck beards that pop culture wants to portray us as,” she wrote.
McIsaac said her hopes are set high for what comes next in her life. While she said she really enjoys performing comedy, her ultimate goal is a geek comedy sitcom, reminiscent to “The Mindy Project.”
“On a smaller scale, I just want to travel around to conventions and continue to speak on feminism and proper social conduct for geeks,” she said. “When I was a young girl, I would have killed for a geek woman to look up to. And I really hope that I can be the clear voice that many young nerd women need.”
Reach Sara Hardan at firstname.lastname@example.org.