How do you get out of an ape’s nose?
Raise your hand ‘til you get picked.
OK, not the best joke, but it’s all I could think of when reminiscing about how I first started talking to the friendly and talented writer, actor, model ANASTASIA WASHINGTON. It was at Long Beach Comic Con 2015 where she and her NERDS IN LA LA LAND panel were talking about living the everyday nerd life, and I just so happened to ask a question about “Men’s Geek Fashion.” That question led to a conversation, and we’ve kept in touch ever since. Heck, she even allowed me to share the panel table last year at Stan Lee’s Comikaze. Say whaaaaat.
I’ve asked Anastasia to hang out in Pasadena over pie (surprised?) to talk fandoms, TWILIGHT and how her nerd journey started. This convo gives insight to how family impacts a nerd’s upbringing and why it’s more than OK to express loud and proud. It may include Robert Pattinson shaking his wet hair at you, as well as a superhero known for flicking snot at bad guys.
Here’s the scoop:
Nerd Coolture (NC): My question is, before we start diving into all of the fandoms, “Were you a TWILIGHT fan?”
Anastasia Washington (AW): Yeah, just for like a second.
NC: What does that mean?
AW: It means I read the books and was excited for the movies and then I was just kind of “Ehh…” after that. But the first TWILIGHT movie came out on my birthday. I had everybody come as vampires, and my whole family went to see TWILIGHT.
NC: So you were a part of the hype! You read the books and watched the movies…
AW: So it’s kind of funny story. I was hanging out at the pool at my aunt’s house. This guy stuck his head out of the pool and shook it on me, and I got really mad. I looked up, and it was “CEDRIC DIGGORY.”
AW: I was like “Um…You’re CEDCRIC DIGGORY.” He goes “Oh, you should watch my new movie. It’s about to come out. It’s TWILIGHT…” And I was like “Mmhmm yeah yeah…You’re CEDRIC DIGGORY. Do you know how much I cried over you?”
NC: So that was Rob…
AW: Yeah, but I was so mad when I looked up, but then I found out that he broke my heart.
NC: So were you Team Edward or Team Jacob?
AW: Jacob. Yeah, I gotta respect a guy who can do martial arts. I’m a martial arts kind of freaky nerd. I love martial arts and dance. I LOVE that he can do that. Also, I’m more of a werewolf girl!
AW: Oh, they’re still around. They’re just not admitting it. We all have that thing. I don’t really care that much that I was into stupid things or that I’m into stupid things. I’m just not into TWILIGHT anymore, and I’m sure the people just grew out of it. We became TRUE BLOOD fans. A lot of girls went from TWI-HARDS to TRUE BLOOD. Now, I don’t know what they’re doing with themselves. Oh…FIFTY SHADES…probably…
AW: It’s just an area of enthusiasm for you. I have so many fandoms because I’m an enthusiastic person. When I’m into it, I’m into it. Fandom doesn’t even have to be nerdy. Although it becomes nerdy because of your enthusiasm for it.
NC: What is your earliest memory of being a fan of something? When did you realize you were a fan of something?
AW: I was always a big animation nerd because I would wake up super early for school so I could watch on our black and white TV, JAMES BOND JR.. So I was always into action movies and stuff like that and really enthusiastic about it. Part of that is because one of the first movies I ever did was an action movie so I think got enthralled by it. So I guess that, and I remember just being terrified by horror movies at a young age and just liking that feeling but also like hating it at the same time. My family was really into TREK and into STAR WARS. So it was always just a part of my life. I don’t even know if there would be like a fandom awakening. It was just how we talked and how we dressed. Video games were just a part of my life. I remember being super into one video game when I was eight or nine. It was a SEGA GENESIS game. I remember just wanting to get home to play BOOGERMAN. I remember my parents telling me “You can’t play BOOGERMAN…” and I was like “I need to get to Pus Level 4…” I guess that’s kind of a nerdy awakening, the addiction to video games.
NC: I’m gonna go home and see if I can find BOOGERMAN now.
AW: Oh my gosh, if you find it…
NC: So what are your Top Three fandoms?
AW: DISNEY ‘cause I’m a DISNEY kid, and I’m there like every week. I’m a JOSS WHEDON freak. Anything WHEDON even if it’s bad, I’m gonna watch it, and I’m gonna love it. People will be like “But it’s bad,” and I’ll be like “But it’s Whedon.” And horror movies. I love horror movies.
AW: It’s’ funny. This question gets asked at a lot of panels, and I’m the worst possible example because so many people are subtle. I’m not. I live in them. I wear it literally. I don’t know if there’s a day that I don’t have something on me that’s nerdy. No, I don’t think there ever is a day. I post and write in nerd stuff. I really live my life in nerd fandom heaven. But I’m definitely always wearing something nerdy.
AW: Because it’s who you are. It’s part of who I am. That’s why it’s important to me. I’ve been through the conformity and being like “Oh, you’re not into that because that wouldn’t be cool.” Well, I don’t care. It’s important to show who you are and not apologize about it. That’s just where I am in my life.
That’s what’s so cool about Anastasia. She’s a no-F’s-given kind of person. Not that she doesn’t care about other people, but she doesn’t care about what other people think. She goes all out, exuding confidence in her style, conversation, creativity, and personality. Her hair is crazy curly, and her fashion is bold. By talking to her, it’s the charisma and self-confidence that make her all the more fun to be around. For her, subtlety is an afterthought, and conformity is history. A lot of people, nerds who can take a few more steps into boldness can learn from that.
Personally, I’m so glad, I raised my hand to get out of that ape’s nose to meet such a unique nerd.
To learn more about Anastasia Washington check out:
What family member or friends helped fostered you into the nerd world?
Have you had any memorable celebrity moments? Did they have to do with your fandom?
What makes you bold with expressing your fandom? What makes you be more subtle?
Drop a comment below!