Sometimes people look at me strangely when I explain I have friends I haven’t met yet. But it’s totally a thing — you “hang out” and talk on Twitter so much that you feel like you’re pals. And for me, Shanti is one of those people. We share similar thoughts on a lot of things, which is always great for me, venting-wise. These answers are all well-thought out, but I have to tell you — I LOVE her answer to the Parks and Rec one. It’s maybe one of my favorites of the season. Enjoy!
Tell us a little bit about your non-Earper alter ego.
Once upon a time (in 2014), I was working in the Garden at Lowe’s as a cashier. I was unhappy with where I was with my life and felt like I was on the verge of getting stuck. It was about 2 months after my stepdad’s passing, and his death gave me a new perspective of life being to short not to try and live it the best way possible. So I gave myself an ultimatum of going after something I wanted or to continue being unhappy and miserable. The military had some careers I was interested in, but there was an issue: I was significantly overweight. In a little under a year later, I was down 80 pounds and sworn into the US Navy. Right now I’m a year and a half in as a Petty Officer 3rd class Hull Maintenance Technician. On a ship, an HT performs metal work that is needed to keep the shipboard structure and condition in top shape. This involve things like riveting, caulking, brazing, and welding. I’m currently shore duty at a dry dock, so I help replace, build from scratch, fabricate, and do a little maintenance. I’m also doing some part-time college and trying to earn a degree in Cybersecurity Management & Policy.
How did you find Wynonna Earp and the fandom?
Wynonna Earp premiered two weeks after I finished boot camp, so I had no idea about it until the night it first came on. The series premiere was actually on my stepdad’s birthday. I was homesick and wasn’t handling that day very well, so of course I turn to Twitter for a distraction and see people live tweeting the pilot. I tweeted something about wanting to check it out. I’ve been following Kevin on Twitter since 2013, and he immediately replied and told me how much he loved it. He was a fan of Lost Girl, Buffy, and other shows I loved, so I trusted his judgement. Once I saw that Emily Andras was the showrunner, I was completely on board. I was very busy with school/training for the Navy, so I didn’t actually watch it until the end of season 1 while home on leave and was able to live-tweet the finale.
Is this your first fandom?
Nope. I was in the SVU fandom because I shipped Alex and Olivia, but it didn’t last long. After that it was Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which started my love for genre TV. Believe it or not, when I was a teenager, I thought sci-fi/fantasy was stupid and foolish. I used to see Buffy on TV when I was younger and roll my eyes at its silliness and think, “This is so stupid. Who watches this?” I now own the entire series on DVD.
What is your favorite fandom memory?
Coming together with other fans online who share a mutual love, eventually meeting them, and becoming great friends.
What is your favorite con memory?
I had a pretty emotional conversation with Joanne Kelly once (shout-out to Bering and Wells!!). When I went to DragonCon for the first time in 2014, it was 10 days after my stepdad passed, and his funeral was being held on the same weekend of the event. My mom was the one who urged me to go. I think it was Joanne Kelly’s first time attending a convention, and Warehouse 13 had just finished, so it was a huge deal. I thanked her for her work as Myka on the show, explained my circumstances that weekend, and how the show got me through the whole month of him being in the hospital until he eventually passed. She just started crying, got up from her seat, gave me the biggest hug, and just held both of my hands while giving me some very encouraging words. I held it together pretty well until I left the ballroom.
What is your favorite Wynonna Earp/Earper activity?
Listening to the “Tales of The Black Badge” podcast. Kevin and Bonnie work so well together to bring us interviews and any kind of Wynonna Earp content they can. I love when, after a stressful day at work, I go on Twitter and see a new episode posted. It really makes my entire day, whether it’s drinking coffee Saturday morning while they break down the episode from the night before or just listening to them right before I go to bed. It’s like an hour of meditation for me.
What has Wynonna Earp come to mean to you?
Oh, boy. Wynonna Earp means a whole lot me. I’m a childhood sexual assault victim, and let me tell you, regardless of how much time has passed and how old you get, the anxiety, PTSD, and bouts with depression are still going to show up at your doorstep uninvited. In my earlier twenties, I did a lot of self-medicating with alcohol and self-destructive behavior. I ruined a lot of great opportunities and have had to repair and rebuild a lot of friendships. Wynonna Earp has shown you can be flawed and that it’s okay to not be okay, because at the end of the day what matters is how you respond. Due to my job, I don’t get to see or talk to loved ones as nearly often as I’d like. As cheesy as this sounds, whenever I turn on Wynonna Earp, it feels like I’m visiting old friends who I’m able to laugh and cry with while knowing everything is going to be okay. Emily just said in an interview that with today’s political landscape, there’s definitely no shame in using our favorite shows as an escape, and she’s 100% correct about that.
Are there any pictures you’d like to share of your Wynonna Earp experience?
I don’t have any yet. I will have some after Dragon Con, though!
[ Editor’s note –Shanti was nice enough to send some others! ]
Dolls or Doc?
Like a lot of Earpers, I hate this question because I love them both. I’m gonna have to give a slight edge to Doc. I love Dolls, but Doc is someone who I can see myself hanging out with to have a beer and seek advice because he’s been through life already.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you Fandras?
Infinity because the limit does not exist. Whether Evelyn Andrews likes it or not.
Describe why Fandras is a thing in 7 words or less.
She’s the leader of our shit show!
What is your favorite Earp sisters moment?
There’s a great Earp Sister moment in just about every episode, but my favorite has to be the moment they shared after Wynonna killed Jonas and when Waverly asked what the baby is. “Ours.” [ Editor’s note — despite the ever-changing nature of the answer of this question, this is probably the right answer to this question. ]
How have you Earped your life?
Never have I bought so many shirts for one single show. Fangirl Shirts are basically my wardrobe designers for Dragon Con. [ Editor’s note — same. ] Also, I think a lot of people who follow me for anything else other than Wynonna Earp have me muted on Twitter.
What’s the Earpiest thing you’ve ever done?
Attempt to explain the show to a stranger at a Greyhound bus station who thought I worked in a store that sold Whiskey and Donuts because of the Wynonna Earp Podcast shirt I was wearing.
If Dolls and Doc played two-on-two with Lucas and Nathan (One Tree Hill, for those of you who haven’t experienced the glory), what would the outcome be?
Dolls and Doc would get obliterated. The Scotts did not play when it came to basketball. I think Dolls would be pretty decent, but Doc would be absolutely clueless. He’d just take off running without dribbling the ball and Dolls would have to teach him the rules as they play. Dolls would be calling for the ball and Doc would just look at it with confusing eyes, “Who in tarnation is Spalding?!”
If the Wynonna Earp cast (and Emily) were in Parks & Rec, what characters would they be?
- Waverly/Leslie Knope
- Wynonna/April Ludgate
- Emily Andras/Ann Perkins
- Dolls/Ron Swanson
- Doc/Andy Dwyer – Doc is an intelligent man, but if he were to search for something on the internet, he’d definitely type the keywords into the navigation bar
- Nicole Haught/Ben Wyatt
- Rosita/Donna Meagle
- Lucado/Tammy #2
Here’s where to find Shanti:
@Rashantitty (personal Twitter)
Thanks so much for playing along, Shanti, and thanks so much for reading, Earpers! See you on Thursday!