Why I Do What I Do…

If you have a good idea, get it out there. For every idea I’ve realized, I have ten I sat on for a decade till someone else did it first. Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE. – Joss Whedon

I’m used to being… uh. Different.

And by used to I mean it rarely bothers me. Except when it does and I have to remind myself why I do what I do.

So… here we go!

When I first started podcasting no one asked me “why are you doing this?” It was me, late at night, recording and editing a podcast that 100 or so people listened to. And it was fun. But now that I’ve had some small success I get the question a lot.

Why are you doing all this ‘Buffy’ stuff? Usually the question is followed by a slight nose wrinkle or the killer, “why not tell your own stories?”

Sometimes it bothers me slightly when I hear it. Or when I’m relegated to the “not as awesome because she does fandom stuff” pile. Most of the time it just makes me smirk because people don’t know what’s coming (though, as a side note, I don’t smirk half as well as I picture myself smirking).


So, why Buffy? Why Angel? Why not tell “my own stories”?

I’m a passionate believer in the idea that story telling is a shared experience. I take Solomon in Ecclesiastics very seriously when he said, “there’s nothing new under the sun… it’s all been done before”. You should always tell stories that come from inside of you and your heart. If those stories are about Robin Hood, or Xiey the scared teddy bear, or if they’re about Buffy, they are still your stories set in someone else’s universe. When I write lines like:

It amuses me, this image of the little red devil and horns. I mean, I would have thought mortals would have realized by now — the real horror of Satan is that he can be so beautiful….

That’s -me- and it’s an idea that’s been around forever.

So when I write a short story, or play in someone else’s universe (like the short story I wrote for Scott Sigler’s THE CRYPT) – it’s still my story. And it’s all concepts that aren’t ‘new’ they’re just told through the Tabz filter. And if they connect with an audience, that’s all that really matters.

But Buffy?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer isn’t just a TV show for me. I understand some people’s eye rolling when they count me out as “the Buffy gal”, but there’s something that resonated with me and the show. Despite my dislike for the main character (which, personally I believe is just because Buffy and I are too much alike) – it’s a show that’s not only given me entertainment, it’s given me thinks to think about and a connection with some of my dearest friends. On the top of my deepest friendships are people I can say “we bonded over Buffy”.

Okay, okay, but this is just a little hobby right?
Maybe. But Buffy Between the Lines has connected with people in a way I never anticipated. Just check out some of the RECENT messages (this doesn’t count everything over the past two years) that I have received from people:

Thank you for sharing BBtLS w/this world. For me its one my pleasures & joys & my choice of what to listen to while creating my art.

I just wanted to tell you how much I really enjoy your podcasts-Buffy Between the Lines and Strangely Literal. I’m also looking foreward to Angel Between the Lines and Firefly Between the Lines. You have re-awaken the Browncoat/Whedon fan in me. I just wanted to let you know and say THANK YOU! They are amazing. Also, you have re-awaken the writer in me. Again, thank you.

This show is really great and is amazing how good the writing and voice acting [is]…

Then of course, there’s our number one fan: Josh. A 25 year old, wheel-chair bound (cerebral palsy), amazing guy who looks forward to every episode we put out. It takes him over an hour to type out emails to us using a device called a “head switch”, but almost every episode we get one of these carefully crafted emails. And he’s not afraid to be truthful with us:

hi girls it’s josh
I got my dvd Dr. Horrible now I have music in my brain I been playing the musical
comment that guy from firefly was funny
I been watching the guild when does that update
that was a ok buffy it not one I going to play again but was okay love josh

In conclusion:

So why do I do what I do? Because I’m not going to waste my life sitting on ideas that I have. I’m going to do what I can, while I can and tell stories that impact people’s lives. I’m not gonna sit here and be pretentious enough to think my stories should be on TV or published by a publisher. I’m gonna get a bunch of people together and record on our jury rigged home studios. And if you don’t like it, you don’t have to listen, but don’t count me out as “just that Buffy girl”.

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  1. Hannah Moser
    Posted March 7, 2009 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Tabz! You are amazing — I’m glad that you do what you do and don’t apologize for it 🙂 Storytelling has so many different forms, and I think for me, one of the reasons Joss Whedon’s universe is so meaningful is that he uses so many different forms of storytelling. It’s more than just tv shows or characters or music, it’s special.

    I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better on Twitter, and I look forward to everything you do with Between the Lines. Keep it up — you keep the Signal going!

    ~Hannah Moser

  2. Nuchtchas
    Posted March 8, 2009 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Why do I do it? Why not? That’s my answer.

    I hate when people say things like “Its just a hobby” as if your interest isn’t valid, like it isn’t important, yet I work and earn money simply so I may enjoy myself with my hobbies. I met my husband through my hobbies and we like doing them together. Getting paid doesn’t make what you do more valid, I could get paid for taking my clothes off, is that work more valid or worthy then role playing or playing video games, podcasting or anything else I do for fun? I don’t think so.

    Why Buffy? Why not Buffy?

  3. Posted March 8, 2009 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    What a concept, doing something you do because you enjoy it. It is the way it should be. Some people are so involved in the almighty dollar that they lose sight of the real deal, what they do and why they do it.

    I had written an article elsewhere, if you do it for money, you may be doing it for the wrong reason.

    I do so much more for fun. I think in the long run, it’s healthier.

  4. Posted March 8, 2009 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    It’s official, you’re not just thst Buffy girl. Not that there is anything wrong with that either, but hey, there’s more to you than that.

    In the words of Joss (well more or less): podcast it! Life is too short to waste it on doing things you really don’t care about.

  5. adair
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Do you still do podcasts? where do I find them? How do I listen to them? I follow you on twitter (I’m adair09) and have to say that I agree with your comments about the show – well, aside from not liking the main character! I would be very interested in listening to your podcasts! I love the quotes on twitter 🙂

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