Tuesday, May 25, 2010

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MEMBERS FEATURE WITH RACHEL WILLIAMS FROM FANFORCE

Welcome to 


"THE BUZZZ"

June 14th Marks the 


One year Anniversary 


Of my 


"IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MEMBERS" SERIES

My desire & passion to share 


The positive light  In this dark world 


Led to the birth of this series 

All of the

Beautiful & Interesting things 

I'm discovering about people 


Was all of the inspiration I needed... 

My series began with Featuring & interviewing 

 Members of the 501st Legion

From around the world 

As I learn about the people

Who are out there

Making a difference in the world

I'll continue to share 

What I learn 

With you

Right here In my blog

With that being said, This interview Features:
Rachel Williams from FanForce
-Tell us About FanForce? When & how did it start?
FanForce is the physical, grass-roots extension of theforce.net's global, online presence. We're about getting fans together and helping them meet and interact with other fans in their "physical" community. We have chapters all over the world that cover individual cities, regions, states, or even countries. We cover several dozen countries on five continents. FanForce is not a costuming group but many members enjoy costuming, and many are in groups such as the 501st and Rebel Legion. 


The roots of FanForce can be traced back to the Phantom Menace lineups in 1999 and the creation of theforce.net's Jedi Council forums. Fans started using theforce.net to find other fans in their area to line up with. It soon grew into its own section of theforce.net where fans could specifically look for a FanForce in their area, or if they didn't live near one, they could find fans in their area and start their own. 

-Are you the founder?

Goodness, no! *laughs* A member of theforce.net called "lightsabre" (I'm afraid I don't know his actual name) was the one who actually got FanForce started on the boards. I'm currently the Regional Support Administrator for the Pacific USA (which covers California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Hawaii, & Alaska). On top of that, I'm also the president of my local group, the San Diego FanForce. 

-What inspired you to want to join?

I joined theforce.net in the late part of 1999, but did not really venture out of a select few forums for a few years. I discovered the FanForce section in 2002 but at the time, San Diego was the closest chapter, and that was too far for me to drive. However I discovered the Inland Empire FanForce (which covers Riverside and San Bernardino counties) in 2003 and eagerly joined, happy to meet other Star Wars fans in my area.

In 2004, I moved to San Diego to go to college so I transferred into the San Diego group. It made moving to a new place a lot easier to already have a group of friends who knew the area. 

-What are you duties as president?

As President, I chair monthly meetings, serve as a liaison between the SDFF and Fanforce, serve as a point of contact for local businesses and media, and the San Diego Community as a whole. I also help organize events as needed. 

-Where have you traveled to participate in FanForce Events?

We have a great relationship with our neighboring FanForces in the Inland Empire, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Ventura County. I've driven to events all over SoCal, and even hung out with the San Francisco FanForce when visiting the Bay Area. 

Also, thanks to FanForce and theforce.net, it's helped me make friends all over the world. I've had dinner with the New Zealand FanForce in Wellington, and have hung out with the German Speaking FanForce in Köln. It's fantastic to be able to go to a foreign country and meet up with other FanForce members. 

Conventions are also a huge meeting place for FanForces. Various FanForces across the world have tables and events at local conventions, from Comic-Con, Gen Con, Jedi Con in Germany, and more! We also have had a table with theforce.net table at the past few Star Wars Celebrations. Look for us at C5; we'll be there! 

-How do you decide what events to participate in?

Time and money are the big factors, I suppose. If I have the time off from my jobs and can afford to go, then I'll try to go. I'm also the XO of the Rebel Legion base in SoCal, Sunrider Base, so I try to balance out what events I go to. However, since the two groups have different goals and events, it's always a fun balance to pick and choose. 

However, one thing I try and remind people is that Star Wars is a hobby, not real life. Real Life, including family, school, and work should always come first. If there's an event that might compromise one of those things, I won't go. There will always be another event; you need to take care of yourself first. 

-What’s your fondest FanForce memory?

I have so many! My number one would have to be the midnight screening of Revenge of the Sith. We camped out for 3 days, we dressed up, we had a ball. We bought out an entire theater and filled it with all of our friends and family. It's more memorable because I had laryngitis and couldn't speak except in a squeaky voice, which was hilarious. However, despite being sick, being in a theater full of your friends and fellow Star Wars fans, watching a new Star Wars film for the first time, was just amazing. 

-What’s your favorite thing about being a FanForce member?

Definitely meeting people across the globe. Celebrations are my favorite big events to do just because it allows you to meet people from across the globe that you talk to online. You make everlasting friendships and having a week where you can just hang out and have fun is great. 

-What’s the day like for you preparing for an event?

Depends on the event, I guess. Smaller events, like movie screenings or miniature golf, take little to no preparation. Big events like Relay for Life or Comic-Con take weeks (months) of preparation. It usually involves making sure you have everything you need for the day, making sure you have all your contacts, double check on the boards to see who will be there, if they're bringing anything, what else you need to grab from the store, make sure you have your phone for people who get lost, etc. 

-Do you have duties you have to adhere to during events?

Again, depends on the event. For the most part, it's just making sure things run smoothly, being professional and just making FanForce has a good name. 

-Do you have any charities you support?

We have charities all over the world that groups support. Off the top of my head, I know the groups in SoCal support Make A Wish, the American Cancer Society, Autism Speaks, the National MS Society, Relay for Life, the Children's Hospital of Orange County, and more. 

-Any upcoming events?

Locally, the San Diego FanForce is actually celebrating our 8th anniversary and are throwing a Greedo de Mayo celebration. It's like Cinco De Mayo. But with Greedo. Yeah, I don't get it either. 

On May 29th, the Inland Empire FanForce will be gearing up with the 501st and Rebel Legion for Star Wars Day at the Rancho Cucamonga Library. Some artist named Denise Vasquez will be there, I think. ;-) 

On June 27, the Orange County Star Wars Society is playing host to the 6th Annual Unofficial Star Wars Fan Day at Disneyland, where members from the local FanForces, 501st, Rebel Legion, and Star Wars fans far and wide gather to have a fun day at the Magic Kingdom. (We also have an AWESOME Star Wars/Captain Eo shirt image this year!)

In July is Comic-Con International in San Diego. The San Diego FanForce will be running the FanForce table. We'll be right beside the 501st and Rebel Legion on the Mezzanine. 

-Anything else you would like to add?

There's so much more going on across the world! Check out your local FanForce to see if there's anything going on near you! 


Stay tuned for my next FEATURE with:

 Jon "Blasty" Leopold & "Piggy" The Mascot!

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THE BUZZZ
PeAce LoVe aRt & sOuL
Denise Vasquez

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