Hello, friends, and welcome to another EarperView! The subject of this week’s is Cat Zimm, and I was so happy when she agreed to join me for this (and maybe for another thing that is still a secret but that you’ll probably find out about someday). Cat is one of those people that I think I have probably been at all of the cons with but just recently got to hang out with and know better, and I’m so, so grateful.
Cat is the one of the rulers of Earper cosplay, and I wish I were 1/100 as creative as she is.
I think Cat’s superpower is that she can make anyone she’s talking to feel safe. Warm. Comfortable. As you may know, cons are a bit anxiety-producing for me, and I have benefited from Cat’s healing personality more than once. Also one time I live watched with her, and she didn’t get mad that I kept striking her in excitement, so that was nice.
Honestly, I think the would would be better with more Cat Zimms in it. Maybe like, I don’t know, 100 duck-sized Cat Zimms?
Tell us a little bit about your non-Earper alter ego.
Do I even have one? I graduated from college with a Theatre Major and Leadership Minor and since then have worked as a freelance Stage Manager around the Chicago Area. For those not familiar, the Stage Manager oversees the entire production of a piece of theatre, usually from the first rehearsal to the last performance. It’s a job that involves organizing every aspect of a play or musical from the actors, to the director, to the stagehands and beyond. During the show, they’re usually the one calling the shots so that all the technical aspects happen. It’s not a job that a lot of people seem to notice, which means we’re doing our jobs correctly.
How did you find Wynonna Earp and the fandom?
I was somewhat active on Twitter at the time and saw a few people that I follow talking about it, most notably Gail Simone. I also knew Emily from her work on Lost Girl and had followed her after she came to San Diego Comic Con (where I promptly became a massive fan because, I don’t know if you know this, boy howdy, is she funny!) By that time the show was in its third or fourth episode of season one, so I binged what I missed and immediately fell in love. I knew from those people I followed that people live-tweeted so I tried it out my first week watching live. I had no idea how involved the cast was in live-tweeting at that point so I was MASSIVELY surprised that one of my first tweets about the show was commented on by the Wynonna herself, Melanie Scrofano. I fell even more in love that night, and I’ve never looked back since.
Is this your first fandom?
No, but it is definitely the one I have ever been most devoted to. I was pretty involved in the Orphan Black fandom, it’s where I met a lot of the people who got me onto Wynonna, actually. It was also the first fandom where I really started to open myself up to actually meeting up with other fans. As far as being a fan, though, I was very into comic books since I was quite young. I didn’t like to read, but I liked comic books so my mom would slip me an extra dollar or two of allowance just so I’d read SOMETHING. Then my older brother and I started combining our allowances to maximize comic book buying potential. We also played HeroClix (basically a comics minatures game) in the back room of a comic book shop when I was about 10 or so with a bunch of middle-aged men. Looking back, I feel so lucky because those dudes were AWESOME. They were so welcoming and patient with me and weren’t gatekeeping or gross at all, so, like, way to go to those dudes. It was directly because of that experience that I felt comfortable exploring fandom in the future.
What is your favorite fandom memory?
Oof! This is hard, but I don’t feel attacked. I think I have to go with how hard everyone rallied to get the show renewed for Season 2. I remember sending heartfelt emails and having so much fun with the different theme days that we’d do. At that time, I was already totally in awe of Bonnie and Kevin and everything they did and even though I know that time was super stressful for them especially, it was so beautiful to see everyone rallying around our favorite little show.
What is your favorite con memory?
I’ve been very very lucky to go to several cons now and each of them is amazing in its own right. It’s not specific, necessarily, but each and every time I’ve been able to turn around and say “Wynonna Earp?” and start a conversation with someone, start a friendship. I’ve met some of my best friends that way! For example, the first year Wynonna was at San Diego Comic Con was the first time I felt brave enough to do that, and I’m so glad. I’ve previously said Tim Rozon was the first Earper I met, which is true because I saw people I recognized in line and was too shy to say anything, but because of that amazing first interaction with Tim, and with Dominique and Shamier who were also there, I felt more comfortable to interact more. At their small panel at Petco Park I asked a question. At their first signing, I got there early and was told we weren’t allowed to line up yet so there was this big group just casually not lined up by the wall (a running theme in Wynonna Earp lines). I got up the courage to talk to a Haught cosplayer (heyyyy Gretchen!), to ask for Bonnie and Kevin’s autographs, and to talk to other Earpers when we were lined up (heyyyy Carol & Coral!). I still talk to ALL of those people! All it took was a little courage built up!
What is your favorite Wynonna Earp/Earper Activity?
Watching the show with other Earpers. Nowadays I rarely watch the show live by myself anymore and that is 100% by design. Watching the show you love with other people who love it is like nothing else. EHCon was the largest group watch I’ve ever been at and the energy in that room was AMAZING and made me very selfishly want more.
What has Wynonna Earp come to mean to you?
Family. Home. Love. Support. Kindness. Laughter. (Paint that in cursive on a board and someone’s mom will hang it in her kitchen)
Are there any pictures you’d like to share of your Wynonna Earp experience?
TOO MANY so I’ve limited myself to three!
(Amazing photoshop background thanks to Docstache) Little-known fact about this photo: Approximately 0.1 seconds before the shutter went off, Emily Andras whispered, “I want to be YOUR Uma Thurman.” directly into my ear and a mustache and stubble makeup goes MILES to cover up a blush, let me tell ya.
One of my favorite photos from Calgary. It was the first time I met Wynonna Script Supervisor and best human Christin Hanly (@cbleighb you should be following her, thank you very much) and fellow Earper Lisa and the three of us had a long and wonderful conversation, even with me in full beard makeup and Vacation get-up. This trip, and meeting Christin (and Paige HOLLAA) really cemented for me that everyone involved in making the show is a top-notch person and deserves all the love now and forever.
This is a photo of only some of the people I’m proud to call my family. I’m so glad I found them and they found me.
Sweet potato or Yukon Gold?
I am just now beginning to appreciate a good sweet potato fry, but I have had a lifelong love affair with Yukon Golds, so I’m gonna have to stick with them.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you Fandras?
*insert Cady Heron “The Limit Does Not Exist” GIF here*
Describe why Fandras is a thing in 7 words or less.
I’m hoping I might get some word limit leniency here… A wise human once told me, and I resoundingly agree, because “she has a way of making you feel like you’re the only one in the room.” If that is resoundingly NOT allowed then I’ll say: Because she cares so damn hard.
[ Editor’s note: I’ll allow it. Also, that sounds like a very wise human. ]
What is your favorite Earp Sisters Moment?
It’s a really little one, but it’s the one that first made me totally 100% believe in their sisterhood and the love that comes with it. In the pilot when Wynonna finds out Waverly has been crazy researching about the family and the curse and says “You’re supposed to be normal, Waverly! You’re supposed to be safe!” and smacks Waverly on the arm and there’s like a 3-second delay and then Waverly, very offended goes, “OWW!” It is SUCH a little sister move to react late and so strongly to something that probably didn’t hurt all that much. I am speaking from experience as a little sister myself. Plus it shows how much Wynonna cares for Waverly right off the bat. She wants her out of any and all danger. Is that random and super specific enough?
How have you Earped your life?
I’ve mentioned the show to every living soul that I’ve ever come into contact with. Some of my strongest friendships are with people I’ve met through the show. I have an entire drawer of Earp shirts. Honestly, I can’t imagine my life without it and I don’t think I ever have to. Even when the show ends, in 35 years or more, it never will, because it created all these friendships and love that will never fade.
What’s the Earpiest thing you’ve ever done?
I went to a pet store with fellow Earpers Reese and Emma to get a name tag for my Calamity Jane stuffed animal that was part of my Vacation Nedley cosplay. We pretended that it was for a real cat and talked about Nicole as though she were a real person as well when the very nice cashier asked me about the cat and her owner. She asked me what type of cat she was and I said, “Orange.” I know very little about cats.
If our residents of Purgatory played D&D, what would that look like?
Well, Waverly would obviously be the Dungeon Master as she is the most organized and capable of building and adapting a story. Jeremy, who has totally played many a campaign, would be a Halfling Wizard, obvs. Wynonna, who’d play begrudgingly out of love for Waverly’s excitement, would be a foul-mouthed Dwarven Barbarian. She’d constantly do things that aren’t possible within the rules of the game but eventually Waverly will give up trying to stop her. Nicole would play an Aasimar Cleric and would be that adorable first time player that always asks which die is which and always consults the handbook but after awhile it’s clear that she is doing that just to get some quality time with Waverly. Doc would be a Human Rogue that is basically just himself. At first he won’t get it at all but then he’ll get super into it. So, Waverly will set it up so they all meet up at a tavern, talk to the barkeep and get sent on an easy first mission. Wynonna, as her character, will immediately start a bar fight that gets way out of hand and they all will end up in jail derailing all of Waverly’s plans that she’d worked on for weeks. Nedley would occasionally pop in on a game or two playing a Firbolg Paladin because I love Nedley and I want him to play D&D with his friends.