Meet the Failcrew – Tessa Jerz

Hi! Oh my gosh, it’s so great to see you! I mean I was just sitting here thinking “you know who it’d be awesome to see?” and my first answer was Chuck Testa but THEN I thought it’d be even better if it was the Ice Cream Truck man because who doesn’t want ice cream from a truck? I mean, it’s like normal ice cream, only it’s from a truck! And it’s in the shape of awesome fun characters and has little gumballs for eyes which is maybe a little gross when you really think about it cause its like eww I’m eating these character’s eyes but they’re really yummy so I kind of just ignore it.

Huh? Oh! Yeah! And then you all showed up! Isn’t that great? What? You want to know stuff about me? Really? Sure!

I’m Tessa Jerz, and I do random stuff for the things. I also may or may not be a pony, and one who is considerably hyped up on caffeine and sugar at any given moment.

What is your role in Made of Fail Productions?

I’m one of the writers for Deconstructing Moya, and I run a fledgling World of Warcraft podcast called The Reliquary. I’m also on the main show from time to time, usually annoying everyone with my total fangirlish obsession with my various fandoms.

I also do small bits of graphical work for the site and projects related to it, and other minor behind-the-scenes support stuff.

What fascinates you the most about your fandoms, or fandom as a whole?

I’m amazed by the level of creativity and talent that fans are inspired to put out by their love for their fandoms. There are so many incredible fan creations out there, be it art, writing, games, crafts, videos, or other random things that I’m missing.

Obviously not all fan projects are stellar (as anyone who’s delved into the realm of fanfiction can tell you), but I think the fact that fandoms can drive people to want to flex their creative muscles even if its not where their talents normally lie is really cool.

What is your proudest accomplishment or achievement?

Probably the loss of my “stage fright” in front of a microphone. When Kevin had me on the show the first few times, I was incredibly nervous about the idea of putting my voice out there for so many people to hear, and that really shows through. I was scared of speaking up too much, and when I did, I didn’t always know what to say. It took a lot of editing work to cut through the stuttering and nervous babbling, I’m sure. ;D

Comparing me in my later appearances (episode 42 is probably where it shines through the greatest) to those earlier episodes is like night and day. Like I said in that episode, over the past few years I really have transitioned from Fluttershy to Pinkie Pie as far as personality and confidence goes.

And now I have my own podcast! A small one, but even still, if you had told me four years ago that I would be recording myself on a regular basis and putting it out there for anyone on the internet to hear, I would have looked at you like you were crazy.

You’re a gamer, yes? What kinds of games do you gravitate towards?

Other than WoW, I tend to play RPGs, Puzzle Games, and Fighters, mostly. I prefer JRPGs to Western-style, although I like both. I also tend to lag quite a bit behind on what’s current and shiny since I don’t have the kind of money to keep up with new releases.

I’m not really a fan of FPS games in general. That’s not to say I never play them, they just have to have something aside from the gameplay to offer me for me to be interested.

What do you do when you’re not online?

There’s the obvious “gaming/anime/ponies” answer, and I definitely do all that stuff. I also go biking pretty often (usually its for the sake of getting to various places, mostly work, since I don’t have a car, but occasionally I do it just for fun). I used to do long-distance running when I was in High School, and every so often I’ll pretend to pick that back up again for a month before dropping it completely. There’s something about putting on headphones and losing myself in just going places that I really enjoy, however it is I actually get there.

Combine that with a notorious tendency to get myself horribly lost, and it makes for some fun adventures!

I love going to the movies, especially with friends, but that’s pretty dang expensive hobby to keep now, so it doesn’t happen very often. I do a lot of reading (I recently joined a book club, which I’m really enjoying), which really isn’t particularly limited to any genre so long as it catches my attention, although fantasy tends to be my favorite. When I’m in-between books, or when I happen to be broke, I’ve been diving into fanfiction for fun (yes, it’s almost exclusively been My Little Pony-fic. I’m sure you’re all shocked).

Yes, yes, we all know far too much about your pony obsession. What other fandoms are you a part of?

My two most prominent ones at the moment are obviously My Little Pony and World of Warcraft, which should be obvious to anyone who’s listened to me talk for more than a few minutes. My approach to fandoms tends to be that I “dip my toes” into a lot of pools, so to speak, but when I do find something to fangirl over, I fangirl over it hard. As such I tend to collect fandoms that I totally obsess over for a time and only really move on from them when I have something to replace that level of obsession over. Even still, those older fandoms never really go away, they simply fade into the background, usually to be revisited at some point.

If I went into everything in detail this would become way too long, but just as a short list, recent “background fandoms” I’ve had have been Higurashi (which is where the sonozakitwins screenname originates from), Princess Tutu, any of Douglas Adams’ writing, most of Koge-Donbo’s works, Phoenix Wright, Pokemon, and SNK games (fighters especially and the King of Fighters series in particular).

There are tons of others, but I have to end the list somewhere or I’ll go on forever. Ponies trump everything though.

Alright, fine, I know you want to talk about ponies. How do you rank the Mane 6?

Pinkie Pie > Fluttershy > Twilight > Rarity > Applejack > Rainbow Dash.

It gets hard actually ranking them because I love them all, and Twi and Rarity are so close in ranking for me that they’re almost a tie. Also, sorry bronies, I know she’s the fan-favorite, but Dashie just doesn’t do anything for me.

How about your favorite character outside the main cast?

The Great and Powerful Trixie, of course! I thought her character was endless amounts of fun, and she’s kind of gained a huge following among the fandom despite only being in one episode. I would love to see her make a return, but even if she doesn’t, it’s a lot of fun just seeing the multitude of different directions the fans have taken her character in fannon.

What is your dream job?

I’ve always wanted to do voice acting, even as a little kid. Which, yes, for the longest time clashed horribly with the “freezes up in front of a microphone” problem I had.

While I still more than likely need a lot of work and practice, though, I’m actually super excited that Made of Fail is starting to do audio dramas for that very reason.

What is your greatest pet peeve?

The notion that “girly” automatically equates to “inferior”. Both in the sense that it’s almost always used as a derogatory term, and the dismissive nature some people tend to have towards anything that leans towards the feminine end of the spectrum.

Even more frustrating is the concept that when something girly does come along that gets recognized for its quality (My Little Pony is the most obvious recent example, although its certainly not the only one), a portion of the male fanbase it builds feels the need to escape the stigma of the “girly” label by going out of their way to loudly proclaim it to be the “manliest thing ever”, or worse, that it’s “not for girls anymore” to justify their enjoyment of it.

Also spiders. Screw those guys.

Tessa can be followed on Twitter (@sonozakitwins) and LiveJournal (sonozakitwins)

3 thoughts on “Meet the Failcrew – Tessa Jerz

  1. Heya Tessa! I just wanted to tell you that because of your enthusiasm about the MLP reboot I decided to give it a go, and I really like it! I couldn’t tell you which pony I resemble more, but it might come to me in time.

    And I also love Princess Tutu! I think more people need to discover this wonderful series!

    And I have that exact same DS!

    • I’m super happy that I had a hand in helping you discover the show! I love bringing people’s attention to it.

      Also yesss another Tutu fan! It’s such a masterpiece, and it’s still my most recommended anime series to people. Kind of funny that it’s another example of a show heavy with feminine aesthetics that totally delivers on an excellent story and characters. It really deserves to be introduced to as many people as possible.

      Pink DS is the best DS.

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