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Voyager at 20 and Its Impact on Female Roles August 25, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Televixen @ 4:49 am

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I’ve been speaking on panels at Star Trek Las Vegas for about seven years now and I almost didn’t do it this year. With a career change and a busy schedule, I wasn’t sure I had it in me. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it. After six years of discussing gender roles in Star Trek and its fandom, what could there possibly be to say that hasn’t been said already? I never like re-hashing material, so I convinced myself to let it go unless there was a new angle. After texting and emailing with the other women on the panel, I decided that we should exclusively focus on Voyager this year since it was the 20th anniversary of the show. The more and more I thought about it, Voyager was and is distinct. A female captain, a capable female engineer that kept the ship running and two smart science officers whose contributions were invaluable to the crew, that’s what made Voyager special. Women were front and center in the series and in the 1990s no less!

To find out what we had to say about it. Click the link below to the Women At Warp podcast. Thank you to my panelists: Jarrah Hodge, Kayla Iacovino and Amy Imhoff for their enthusiasm and knowledge. A woman’s place is definitely on the bridge and also behind a mic!

Click the banner to hear the Star Trek Las Vegas panel:

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From Serling With Love: A Spy Series That Never Was August 6, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Televixen @ 5:15 am

As a fan of Bond and Man From U.N.C.L.E., I would have loved to see what he could have done with this type of genre. Thanks for sharing! I had no idea he pitched this.

Shadow & Substance

Imagine James Bond in The Twilight Zone. Hard to do, isn’t it? Even if you enjoy both, spy thrillers and sci-fi/fantasy stories blend about as well as tuxedos and tennis shoes.

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Yet with a new Mission: Impossible movie hitting movie theaters, it’s worth highlighting the one episode of The Twilight Zone that inhabits the cloak-and-dagger world: “The Jeopardy Room” — and pointing out the surprising fact that it developed from a premise that Rod Serling had for a whole new series about spies.

His proposal to CBS in 1963 (in the wake of the hit James Bond movie “From Russia With Love”) described a show simply titled The Chase. Serling wanted it to focus on a secret government agency, directed by a Bondian spy named McGough, that would handle sensitive “international involvements”.

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McGough would be a “quiet, taciturn, unheroic kind of man — calculating, predatory, and deadly efficient…

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Twin Peaks Fest: Where the Real Meets Surreal August 5, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Televixen @ 6:36 pm

There’s nothing more surreal than being wrapped in plastic like a living dead girl burrito, except getting wrapped in plastic in the same spot Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) was discovered in the opening scene of the seminal 90s TV series, Twin Peaks.

“She’s dead, wrapped in plastic.”

I’ve attended the Twin Peaks Fest before and I’ve visited the filming locations on multiple occasions, but the one place on my bucket list I had yet to hit was the Kiana Lodge on Bainbridge Island in Poulsbo, WA. I had no idea there was a land route to get there. This year, on the last day of “Fest,” we caravaned up there. Kiana Lodge served as a primary filming location for the pilot episode. Not only was its famous log used to create one of the most iconic TV images, its interiors served as the Great Northern Hotel interiors (including Ben Horne’s office) and Josie, Pete and Catherine Martell’s house, The Blue Pine Lodge. I got to sit in the same exact spot Leland Palmer wept on the phone when he heard Laura was killed. I got to coquettishly lean against the same wall Audrey Horne interrupted the Norwegians to say her friend had “been murdered.”

The exact branch

The exact branch “Flappy” the bird sat in the opening credits.

The Kiana Lodge is a picturesque location that stands on its own because of the natural beauty of its waterline, the landscaped gardens and the ornate Pacific Northwest Totem Poles. Knowing some pivotal scenes were filmed there was definitely ice cream on my slice of cherry pie.

We even learned the location of the branch with the bird on it in the opening credits. This was all thanks to filmmaker and Peaks’ guru, Josh Eisenstadt who led the group on a walking tour of the grounds. Before the tour, he even recited all the lines and set up the scenes in order that are still missing from “The Missing Pieces.” Yes, there are still scenes that were shot that didn’t make the blu-ray and a host of others that were never filmed at all. Needless to say, I was impressed! Storytime with Josh is a thing to experience. I seriously do not know how he can remember all this, but I’m glad he can!

We had to rush through the wrapping as the tide was coming in and the water was rapidly getting close to Laura’s log. I was fortunate enough to do two different photos, one as Teresa Banks and the other with my natural hair, a’ la Laura. Unfortunately, I didn’t have David Lynch there to carefully place bits of sand on my face, but I still think the shot turned out great!

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I decided to do my first “wrapped in plastic” look as Teresa Banks, the prostitute drifter, who met her demise in Fire Walk With Me. I entered the costume contest as Teresa and I had never seen anyone do her look dead and washed ashore, so why not?!

It takes an army. Four Fest volunteers wrap me snuggly in plastic at the same exact spot Laura Palmer was found about 25 years earlier.

The volunteers tweak the look and create the iconic halo of plastic around my head.

I have to say, I had it a lot easier than Sheryl Lee when it came to my corpse cameo. First of all, I didn’t have to be naked (though I faked it with a tube top). The weather wasn’t freezing cold. Quite the opposite, it was like being wrapped in a spa body wrap in the hot sun. I also only had to do it for a minute or two. The Twin Peaks Fest volunteers (who are awesome!) were all on hand to art direct and wrap us up in lightening speed. I got some pretty amazing shots thanks to Chris Forbes and my friend, Katy Acheson, who snapped some behind the scenes moments. What a way to “wrap up” an epic experience!

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I don’t know how Pamela Gidley kept her mouth open and so still for the morgue scene. Josh, of course, knew! He said that Lynch put something in her mouth like dentists used to keep patients mouths open during procedures. Wish I had that!

(and one morbid one for good measure)

A lonesome foghorn blows…until next year.

 

Away Mission: STLV 2015 August 4, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Televixen @ 6:41 pm

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Join me at Creation Entertainment’s Official Star Trek Convention at the Rio in Las Vegas. I’ll be speaking at and moderating the panel, “Voyager’s Impact on Female Roles” on Saturday, August 8, 2015 at 5:15pm in the DeForest Kelley Theater at the world’s largest Star Trek Convention. My highly-qualified panelists include Jarrah Hodge (TrekkieFeminist on Tumblr and Women at Warp Podcast), Kayla Iacovino (Trekmovie.com editor and volcanologist) and Amy Imhoff (Shoes and Starships).  Here’s the official description of the panel from the Creation website:

In honor of the 20th anniversary of Voyager, Mary Czerwinski, “The Televixen” and her team of fan girls will discuss how the groundbreaking female characters of Star Trek Voyager influence modern female characters. Do newer TV and film icons stand on the shoulders of the women of Trek? If it wasn’t for Janeway, B’Elanna, Seven and Kes, would there be a Katniss Everdeen, female Starbuck, or the women of Firefly? This interactive discussion encourages audience participation, so start thinking about your favorite female characters and join this spirited celebration of women in sci-fi.In honor of the 20th anniversary of Voyager, Mary Czerwinski, “The Televixen” and her team of fan girls will discuss how the groundbreaking female characters of Star Trek Voyager influence modern female characters. Do newer TV and film icons stand on the shoulders of the women of Trek? If it wasn’t for Janeway, B’Elanna, Seven and Kes, would there be a Katniss Everdeen, female Starbuck, or the women of Firefly? This interactive discussion encourages audience participation, so start thinking about your favorite female characters and join this spirited celebration of women in sci-fi.

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My panelists being interviewed by Trek Radio following our STLV panel last year. Connor Bright, my co-host of Glue Guns and Phasers also pictured to my right.

I will also be hosting a Star Trek Crafts Workshop sponsored by StarTrek.com. It will be at 8:30 am on Sunday, August 9, 2015. We will be setting up the workshop in the DeForest Kelley Theater bright and early. Amy Imhoff will be my crafting helper this year. Connor Bright will not be assisting me as she is representing Glue Guns and Phasers at ScareLA, which falls on the same weekend this year. Connor will have a whole slew of Halloween-themed crafts and a scavenger hunt, so if you’re in LA and can’t make STLV, check her out at this very fun event!

We had a blast hosting a costume showdown last year at ScareLA and had a great turnout for our crafting activities. I’m bummed I’ll miss it, but I know Connor will do an amazing job representing us there! If you are coming to STLV, our craft this year is a keychain in honor of Leonard Nimoy. We will have two designs to choose from, so it’s great fun for the whole family.

See you all in Vegas at the Rio. Connor looks forward to seeing you all at ScareLA at the Pasadena Convention Center.

 

Roddenberry on Serling June 29, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Televixen @ 9:44 pm
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Anne Serling’s book about life with her Dad. A very good read!

This is so cool! When I met Rod Serling’s daughter I asked her if she knew if her Dad was friends with Gene Roddenberry or ever spoke of him? When she said he wrote his eulogy, I told her I was friends with Gene’s son, Rod. I’ve never read the words Roddenberry wrote about Serling, until now! They were such contemporaries, how could they not have high regard for one another and each other’s work?

Shadow & Substance

On July 7, 1975, a memorial service was held for Rod Serling. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry eulogized him this way:

“The fact that Rod Serling was a uniquely talented writer with extraordinary imagination is not our real loss. These merely describe his tools and the level of his skill. Our loss is the man, the intelligence and the conscience that used these things for us.

Gene Roddenberry Gene Roddenberry

“No one could know Serling, or view or read his work, without recognizing his deep affection for humanity, his sympathetically enthusiastic curiosity about us, and his determination to enlarge our horizons by giving us a better understanding of ourselves.

“He dreamed of much for us, and demanded much of himself, perhaps more than was possible for either in this time and place. But it is that quality of dreams and demands that makes the ones like Rod Serling rare … and always…

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Poetry Nook 12th Weekly Contest January 29, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Televixen @ 7:03 am

Hi guys!

I’m at it again. My poem “Phototaxis” is competing in the Poetry Nook 12th Weekly Poetry Contest. There are only a few days left. Last time, I lost by a very thin margin because people were viewing it, but not taking the time to register on their site. I really appreciate your support. I’m currently putting together my first poetry book and I’m really excited to share this piece with all of you before that comes out. Consider it an exclusive sneak peek.

http://www.poetrynook.com/content/phototaxis

It would mean the world to me if you went to this link, registered and voted for my piece. The contest ends on Sunday, Feb. 1, so please don’t wait too long. I don’t flood you guys with Kickstarter campaigns or any other crowdsource funding, so I hope you’ll forgive this request. I’m not asking for money, just your time. Please support my poetry. I am really proud of this particular piece.

Thank you so very much.
-M

 

Pretty please with sugar on top…? December 14, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Televixen @ 5:39 am

Hey guys!
I hate to ask you to do anything when it comes to giving money, signing petitions or voting. You can relax, I am not asking for the first two. However, I would LOVE IT if you could be a friend and take a minute to vote for a poem of mine called “The Fist.” It’s entered in the Poetry Nook Weekly contest and I have a shot at winning it. You do have to register, but it’s a very quick process. If any of you are writers, you know how hard it is to put yourself out there in a public forum, let alone have people comparing you to others. I feel very exposed, but also excited to share some personal writing with you all. Anyway, I will stop rambling now. The link is right here. The contest ends on 12/15/14 (Monday), so don’t wait too long!

http://www.poetrynook.com/content/fist

Thanks. I love you all.

-M

 

Take every chance, drop every fear August 28, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Televixen @ 2:19 am

love,inspirational,lifestyle,quote,risk,truth-8a4811672a971aa161316107a1fe3f21_hI take chances. But at the same time, I’m scared of change. What separates me from others is that I take drastic steps for fear of standing in one place. When I was younger some of these things were a bit reckless. Older and wiser, I still find myself trying new things because they scare me. Everything I’ve ever been afraid of has usually been worth the fear ten fold. At the very least, it’s been a good learning experience. I fall on my face constantly (and often publicly), but at least I can say I put myself out there. There are so many people I know who would let fear render them immobile. Some decisions are probably crazy when it comes to money, but ultimately happiness and new experiences are more important. What’s the point of living through drama when you can be on a new adventure? I know it’s easier said than done. Sometimes I wish I could follow my own advice better. For the most part, I have embraced trying new things or sometimes revisiting something I once loved. Not everyone can change careers at the blink of an eye or uproot themselves and go to Europe on a whim. I’m not advising that (unless that’s what you want), what I am saying is taking baby steps in the right direction is better than standing still.

I constantly second-guess myself. I’m human. But, I don’t let those voices in my head take over. I trust my gut on things. We have one life to live and that’s it. We might as well make the best of it while we’re healthy enough to enjoy it right? You never know when your time is up. 

I am constantly testing what it is I truly want to do with my life. Surprise, I didn’t have life figured out by 23 like I thought 7c5f40498d722711c41447131d6cc603I would when I was a kid! There’s no shame in admitting you’re making it up as you go along. The plan often changes. Sometimes it feels like it’s 10 steps back, but I am tired of being cranky after a long day. I’m exhausted by drama and just want to try something new that won’t eat up my entire existence. Sometimes you just need a job that will put a roof over your head and clothes on your back. You don’t need to define yourself by your work situation. Fight Club tells us that is not you. That is what allows you to survive so you can be yourself the rest of the time. I’ve always said “do the things you have to do, so you can do the things you want to do” (and that’s a personal quote of mine). The “day job” is Hollywood’s dirty little secret. But, beyond work, I feel like every person should go through a period of self discovery. I have friends who don’t know who they are outside of their relationships. They define themselves (consciously or not) by their boyfriends and their boyfriends’ interests. I never really had this problem, but I still want to know myself better. I grew up fast and missed out on a lot of what it meant to be a kid. I find myself at this age trying to discover what brings me joy. Who am I? What are my triggers? What are my goals? Isn’t happiness enough? With every idea comes a new question and I think that’s OK. It’s all a part of the road of self-discovery. Again, I would rather live having no regret than wonder “what if?”

imagesThrough my journey in LA, I’ve taken many detours. I have strayed from what’s important, but I’ve never lost sight of myself. I’ve never believed my own hype or felt like I didn’t need to “earn it.” Ultimately, I like a challenge. I accept the unknown. I want to meet interesting people and have new experiences. You can learn so much from others, but sometimes my shyness (yes, I can be shy) completely freezes me. The last two years have taught me what it means to be a mature adult, to make decisions about things you cannot control. I’ve had to take on daunting tasks I never thought I could handle. Someone once said (and I’m probably paraphrasing), “you never know how strong you are until you are forced to be.” I’ve learned to accept what I can’t change and know that it likely has little to do with me. (Sorry for the AA-type language, but some of it applies here.)4cf22808d2afffe40e806eb96326b7f9

So, I am on a new adventure of self-discovery. I am terrified that I will hate it or people will question the logic, but I don’t care. It all leads somewhere. Regret is something I will never feel. This business is a crazy one, as is life in general. Real life is messy. I prefer to stick to the wisdom of the Psychedelic Furs, in that “you can never win or lose if you don’t run the race.” 

In Mary words, you can never know what “could have been,” if you’re stuck in “what is.” If life is messy, I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty. Sorry for all the cliches, but sometimes cliches ring true. 

 

 

Twilight Zone Marathons on SyFy: A Holiday Tradition July 4, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Televixen @ 7:18 pm

“I don’t know why it is, but I’m frightened. A fear just about as vague as its object. Maybe it isn’t really a fear. It’s more just a sense of disquiet, a feeling that things are a little wrong.”

That’s a quote from one of my favorite episodes of “The Twilight Zone.” The Hitchhiker is just one of the many episodes airing on SyFy today. I’m not doing anything for the Fourth of July because I have a lot of work. But, in these moments between, I’m finding my place… in the Twilight Zone.

 

 

Dammit Jim, I’m a crafter not a critic! Today, I am. June 30, 2014

Filed under: Life,Uncategorized — Televixen @ 7:29 pm
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Today, the Supreme Court ruled that some companies have the right to opt out of the new health law that requires coverage of contraceptives for women. This ruling is a very controversial decision as it is allowing for-profit businesses to exercise their religious views over their employees’ rights. Those rights equal the state. Those views equal religion. So much for separation of church and state! The biggest offender? Hobby Lobby, which carries products geared towards women and employs a large number of ladies. So, if you work for a company that’s owned by religious people, say goodbye to free contraceptives. Your rights are apparently not your own. Your views are irrelevant. Your body belongs to the almighty Jesus even if you don’t believe he exists.

Hobby Lobby, the craft store and its corporate company, should be ashamed of itself. Their workforce and shoppers are largely women and yet, their efforts to take away birth control rights are one giant slap in the face to those who work hard for them and put money into their registers. The Oklahoma-based company has over 15,000 full-time employees and more than 600 stores in 41 states. It’s owned by evangelical Christians (shocker!), which explains why they are the biggest company fighting Obama’s birth control provision. Now, I am not very good at math, but even I know that effects boatloads of women who may or may not hold their religious views. The contraceptives at issue before the court were the emergency contraceptives Plan B and ella, and two IUDs. Why is this such a problem you ask? Because religious nuts would rather hurt women than kill something they equate to a baby, even though it’s not even conceived or developed into anything yet. I can understand religious organizations that don’t pay taxes being exempt from such a requirement. You pretty much know what you’re getting into when you work for them, but a craft store? How dare they hold such immense power over hourly employees who just need to work to get by?

You might say, I have no stake in this argument. Except that I am a woman (duh). AND that I am a crafter and might have to buy something from Hobby Lobby in a pinch if there’s no Michaels in the area. I would never work for such a company, but I sympathize with women who have to because they have no other options. I don’t think I’ve ever purchased anything from them and I definitely won’t now. Moves like this make my blood boil. I usually avoid talking politics and religion in public forums, but this time, the gloves are off. One day, we’ll look back at these moments and wonder how humans could be so primitive in 2014?!

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called the decision “potentially sweeping” because it shows the government isn’t interesting in making laws universal for all companies. Ginsburg said, ” it discounts the disadvantages religion-based opt outs impose on others, in particular, employees who do not share their employer’s religious beliefs.” From Wikipedia: In September 2012, Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit against the United States over new regulations requiring health insurance provided by employers to cover emergency contraceptives, stating that, “(t)he Green family’s religious beliefs forbid them from participating in, providing access to, paying for, training others to engage in, or otherwise supporting abortion-causing drugs and devices.”

So, let’s get this straight. Hobby Lobby is arguing that the Affordable Care Act violates their religious views and therefore they do not have to offer birth control to their employees as part of their coverage. This translates to Hobby Lobby assuming their employees feel the same as they do. This assumes women who work for them must all be Christian and therefore hold the same beliefs even if having a child would ruin their life. This kind of mis-use of the Constitution and “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act” is so fucked! It’s fucked up because it’s using the very same logic of freedom to prevent female employees from having freedom. In a nutshell, the federal government cannot “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion,” even if the burden results from a general law intended to apply to everyone. Again, fucked!

It is one thing for the Green family, who owns Hobby Lobby, to be closed on Sunday and religious holidays. It’s bad enough that they force their shoppers and staff to listen to Christian tunes over the loud speaker. It’s bad enough they don’t offer holiday decor for the Jewish and other religions. But, it’s quite something else for them to tell their staff they cannot have the same basic human rights the rest of the country is entitled to. Yes, you might say, you don’t have to work for them if you don’t agree, but that’s looking at it from our upper middle class bubble. It might be Hobby Lobby or unemployment with a household full of kids to feed. In fact, if you work for them, you probably do have a household full of kids to feed because well, you can’t get birth control. Sorry ladies, you’re just going to have to carry something for 9 months and provide for it for 18 years because your boss and the federal government made you do it. Again, fucked! I am so ashamed of this ruling. I am ashamed of our country and their disregard for women. One day, we will look at this as insane. Until then, this is reality. This is reality for a lot of women who just need a job. This has to get overturned. This can’t be the way we treat people in 2014 or is it?