REAL GEEK GIRLS: Molly McIsaac From SyFy’s Fangasm Talks Cons and Cosplay
The goal of my “Real Geek Girls” series is to show the world that girls truly can be geeky. For some, that seems like an obvious observation, but there’s always that one person, almost always a guy, who will talk about how girls are fake geeks who don’t know what they’re talking. Girls are just doing it look cool and lure in geek guys. They don’t know what it’s all about when it comes to “geek culture” and they’re somehow just there to be admired by geek guys. I’m here to let the world know that girls DO know what we’re talking about. We can be and we ARE just as geeky as the guys. Every now and again, I’ll interview a new geek girl just to highlight how many of us are out there, how real we are all. We come in all shapes and sizes, and love a many number of geeky things. I’m going to show the world that there are real geek girls, and they know as much, if not more, than the somehow more revered geek guy.
Meet Molly McIsaac. She’s a badass geek girl, who many might recognize from Syfy’s Fangasm. She’s a wonderful role model for all the geeky girls out there to look up too and follow in her foot steps! She’s The Geeky Peacock, she has her own Youtube channel with skits, does makeup tutorials, loves cosplay, writes for ifanboy.com, Ain’t it Cool News, Official Cosplay Magazine, Chase Jarvis’ blog, and many more cool sites! She is just an all around awesome person and this interview I did with her will make you love her even more if you do already or make you love her in general if you didn’t know about her.
What does being a “Geek” mean to you?
It’s so hard to define that, really! I suppose I’ve ALWAYS been a “geek” by societal standards, but in reality I’m just a girl who’s super passionate about the things that I love. To me, being a geek means that you’re REALLY into something – be it cupcakes or X-men! The policing that our community has on what constitutes “geek” is just kind of silly: I know people who know every single detail of the fashion brand Chanel’s history and I think even THAT can be geeky if you’re so into something!
It’s shocking just how many people out there think girls “fake” being geeky, what do you think about this?
I think it is a nasty reflection of our society’s view of women. In our current social climate, women are expected to be pigeonholed into “girly” things, to be demure and polite and stay within societal norms. When we venture into territory that was traditionally MALE (as most things are), the backlash is brutal. It’s a lot of misogyny – “women don’t actually like these things, they’re just doing it for attention so they can get boys to like them.” Translation: “I’m jealous that girls are invading our secret club house, wah!”
I have never MET a fake geek because there’s no such thing as a fake geek. I don’t give a flying chocobo if you’ve only seen one season of Doctor Who and have never read a comic book, if you’re passionate and excited about it you’re a geek. Why would people want to fake being part of a subculture that has been traditionally bullied and made fun of? Despite the threatened little babies screaming about geek being “chic”, I guarantee you that if you walk into any high school and ask the “weird anime kid” if they’re still bullied for their passions it will be a resounding yes.
What’s your favorite thing about conventions and events? What’s the best cosplay you’ve seen? What’s your favorite cosplay you’ve done?
I love walking into conventions because I know I can turn to ANY person and ask something like “what’s your favorite Final Fantasy?” and they’ll HAVE AN ANSWER. I have a chocobo tattoo on my arm and when I go out to bars 9/10 people ask me “why is there a rooster on your arm?” I love conventions because they’re a “safe place” where you’re surrounded by like minded people, and it’s nearly guaranteed you have common ground with every single person there. Conventions are the heartbeat of the geek world – I love it.
I see so many cosplays it’s hard to pinpoint the best one I’ve seen! Maybe a Mojo cosplay I saw at C2E2 a few years back, that was pretty impressive… Also I saw a polygon Cloud Strife made from duct tape at PAX, that tickled my fancy.
My favorite cosplay that *I’VE* done is the Evil Queen from Snow White, mostly because I love being so evil and scaring little kids, haha! It’s a super uncomfortable, heavy, hot costume and the makeup takes FOREVER but it’s just incredible amounts of fun to wear.
Fangasm is pretty awesome. Tell us about the whole Fangasm experience.
Oh, gosh. Well, obviously, it was unlike anything I’ve ever done and probably will ever do again. Being on Reality TV is INSANE. I lived in a house with five strangers (and my best friend!) for a month and a half straight, with little to no contact with the outside world, constantly being followed by cameras and mics and having my entire life monitored. It’s a psychological toll to be sure, but I still had a really good time. Sometimes it got overwhelming and I cried in the bathroom (the only place there were no cameras), but it was mostly because I missed my dog and I missed little things like keeping up on TV shows and going to the grocery store without it being a huge ordeal of camera crews and scheduling and permissions!
Honestly if my best friend Kristin Hackett would not have been there with me it probably would have been a lot more difficult – we kept each other sane. She was my solace.
When it was airing it was truly surreal. I remember watching my twitter count soar from 9k to 11k in a half hour period during the premiere of the first episode and just being super flabbergasted and pinching myself. It was really, really difficult at times because I was NOT a popular “character” so I got a lot of hatred. I had to delete the Facebook account I’d had since 2006 because people were combing through every detail of my life on there and finding personal things I had posted before I knew of the possibility of having my life scrutinized. There were whole forum posts dedicated to how fat and horrible and awful I was and how I should kill myself – I even had death and rape threats. But where that all SUCKED and I cried a LOT, the flip side is that all of these incredible strong people and fans came out of the woodwork to support me and tell me they agreed with having a strong feminist geek woman on TV who was unapologetic about her views and identity. So the bad definitely was overshadowed by the good – I love my fans so much!
You and one of your bestfriends Angeline Oliver do really awesome geeky comedy skits together. What made you guys want to do comedy skits? Tell us about Hey! Listen!
I used to run a vintage clothing store on Etsy and Angie was my model (she’s breathtakingly beautiful). She was over modeling one day and we started talking about our future goals and Hey! Listen! was born. The two of us have super similar creative ideas but compliment each other in different ways – she’s an amazingly talented writer and has a quirky brain that churns out awesome content and I’m a control freak producer who makes sure everything happens and is perfect.
I’ve always loved making people laugh – I do stand up comedy open mics in my spare time and I did improv in college – so doing comedy skits seemed like a logical angle. However, she’s been really busy making music and I was so busy with Fangasm that we haven’t created content in a long, long time! I actually started a new comedy YouTube channel called Snake Charmers that’s more all inclusive than Hey! Listen! – Angie will still be involved a lot of the time but it won’t always be just the two of us. I wanted a broader platform to produce and feature female talent.
You also have your own comedy skit Youtube channel called Snake Charmers, what are your skits based on?
Whatever’s on my brain at the time! A lot of my skits are inspired by funny tweets I make – they are the “seed” of my idea and grow from there. But I’m also going to be working with Angie and other ladies in the future to make their comedy skits a reality. I just need to find time to make Snake Charmers content, agh!
Is there anyone in the “geeky” world you’d love to meet or work with that you haven’t already? Who’s one person you’ve meet that made you completely star struck?
Oh gosh yes, of course, many people! I’ve met Felicia Day a couple of times and she’s lovely – I’d LOVE to work with her in the future in some capacity. The obvious answer is Nathan Fillion… I just want to meet him and make him fall in love with me. I know if I keep answering this question in enough interviews eventually senpai will notice me.
I don’t really GET starstruck because to me celebrities are just people who have been successful at what they do (that’s worth respect, not worship) but I think two of the coolest people I’ve met are George Lucas and Matt Smith. I have pretty awesome stories attached to both, as well.
For George I was touring Lucasarts in San Francisco thanks to my good friend Bonnie Burton, and at the end of the tour I was toddling around in the gift shop. There was an old dude in there who looked EXACTLY like George Lucas, but why would George be shopping in his own gift shop, right? I was looking at a sweet Boba Fett keychain and the Lucas Lookalike said “Oh, I got that one for my grandson, you should get it.” I thanked him and did. When I walked out, Bonnie said: “Well, you got your George sighting!” Apparently it WAS George Lucas and he shops in his own gift shop so people don’t bother him! It was pretty surreal since he created something I love so much that I have it tattooed on my body!
As for Matt Smith, I did a whole write up on it on my blog but here’s the tl;dr version: My dear friend Brea Grant ran into Matt & Co. at a bar and texted me to come meet them because she knows I’m a hugeeee Doctor Who dork. I met up with all of them in a hotel lobby and everyone wanted to keep drinking but it was past last call. I was staying at the Hard Rock in San Diego so we all went up to my room and raided the mini bar – I got WASTED with Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill. Arthur and I danced to the Kinks, it was delightful. They’re very cool, humble dudes.
Is there anything you’re working on right now? Projects? Cosplay? Anything?
Oh, lots of stuff! Mostly I’m focusing on preparing for upcoming cons – I run the Live Art event for Emerald City Comic-con and I’m putting my finishing touches on my Femme Jack Harkness cosplay for ECCC as well. I’m also working on an Attack on Titan and a Tenchi Muyo cosplay for Sakura-con. Project wise, I am trying to make blog posts daily at the Geeky Peacock and make weekly or bi weekly video blogs for my YouTube channel. I’m also in the process of writing a comic book for a publisher, so stay tuned for more info on that!
You also love makeup, what kind of makeup tutorials do you do?
Mostly geeky ones, of course! I do makeup tutorials with five other AWESOME women over at OneUpMakeup, but I’ll be doing cosplay specific makeup tutorials on my own for my personal channel in the near future.
Do you have any advice for girls out there who might feel ashamed of their geekiness?
It’s easier said than done, but seriously: Just be yourself. People only bully you and make fun of your for your interests because they have problems in their own life and they need to drag someone down to make themselves feel better. If anything, pity them. There’s no shame in loving the things you love and you’ll always find people to talk to about something. If people can’t accept your interests than they don’t really love you, anyway.
Follow Molly on all her social networks:
Website: The Geeky Peacock
Youtube: The Geeky Peacock
Youtube: Snake Charmers
Youtube: Hey! Listen!
Instagram: Molly McIsaac