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The Magic of Fandoms!

Feeling like you belong can be a real struggle. See how fandoms can help.

Courtesy of ABC Studios and Walt Disney

One of the great joys is my Sunday night ritual of watching the ABC show Once Upon A Time with my youngest daughter. We’re both Disney fanatics so this series that brings such characters as Snow White, Prince Charming, Captain Hook and of course the Evil Queen to life in a unique way, was right up our alley. This past weekend I took my girl to a convention that celebrates all things OUAT. Now, I’ve been going to conventions since I was a teenager, I love them. I love feeling like I belong. If like me, you have a teenager, feeling like you belong can be a real struggle.  What separates this convention from some of the bigger ones is the fan-talent interaction. Credit to Creation Entertainment, the company that spearheads the convention for creating such an environment.


As my daughter and I sat in the main room waiting to listen to each actor/actress come on stage for a 45-60 minute Q&A panel, we see the lines on both sides of the stage fill up quickly with fans. It’s an incredible way to get to know each one on a more personal level. It was through this very intimate setting that I realized the true magic of this fairy tale series. As much as I wanted to talk about the incredible writing, acting and messages each episode provided, the true strength here clearly belongs to the men and women behind the roles. For myself, I learned a lot about perseverance,  humility and acceptance of who I am. As a man and as I father, I am perfectly imperfect and that’s ok. As a dad I watched as my teenage daughter absorbed every spoken word from these inspirational women of different backgrounds. Such women like Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Rebecca Mader and Karen David shared a common thread of what it feels like to want to belong. What it feels like to struggle with self-image and dealing with bullies because you’re different.


The reason why characters like Emma Swan, Regina or Zelena are so empowering, is because the women who portray them give a part of themselves into these roles. When they addressed the fans, they shared their struggle and their insecurities and in turn, fans did the same. It takes incredible inner strength to talk about such things in a public setting. But when you’re part of a community or fandom like this one here, you are NEVER alone. As each talent and fan shared their story, we all shared in the triumph of overcoming our obstacles. There is no doubt just how much they love their fans, affectionately known as Oncers, and how much the fans love them. The weekend started with my daughter saying this would be her last convention. As the final meet and greets drew to a close and autographs were signed, she turned to me and talked about returning in 2018. Yes, it was a magical weekend indeed.


James the SuperDad

Follow the adventures of James the SuperDad who uses his knowledge of the Force and all things pop culture to help raise his teenage, fangirl daughters to Live Long and Prosper. When not being a SuperDad, his other superhero persona is as The Dork Knight, an entertainment site catering to movies, television and comic convention reviews. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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