inDevelopment – Getting Involved With Trek Fandom

Marching with KAG in the Dragon Con 2013 parade. Photo by Andy Shimamoto.

Our Andorian alter-egos Ell, Thian, Lissan, and Vynni march with KAG in the Dragon Con 2013 parade. Photo by Andy Shimamoto.

Hello, and welcome to this month’s inDevelopment! Vynni, adorpheus, and I (Ell) just got back from another wild time at Dragon Con. I feel like my brain is exploding with information, like I’ve finally transcended humanity and merged with the computer, like Barclay in TNG.

We also learned some great makeup tips from both other cosplayers and professional makeup artists that we can’t wait to share, along with a full Andorian makeup tutorial we’ll be working on soon. For better or worse, things were just too hectic to do it at con!

At some point I’ll distill everything into a single post on The Farthest Star, but not today. This month, we’re busy posting about DELICIOUS FOOD, as we (and adorpheus) are participating in #VeganMoFo. So please check that out!

Anyway, I have probably mentioned here before that we are all members of Klingon Assault Group. Vynni and I were recruited as KAG members after participating in the Dragon Con parade in 2011. What came to me as a surprise then was that ALL alien personas (from any universe!), not just Klingons, were allowed to join KAG as members of the Imperal Xeno Legion.

KAG is primarily about putting on a good show and having a good time. It only has five main rules, and it has no fees or membership requirements unless one wants to increase their rank–first, through sourcing or constructing a “uniform”, complete with makeup and/or prosthetics. Further promotions are earned through active participation, including conventions, premieres, and charity events. KAG territory is broken up into fleets, then quadrants, then individual chapters, or ships.

There was not much KAG activity in our area (Boston), so earlier this year we decided to start our own ship. Its crew is small right now, but we are actively recruiting warriors and will soon become a fearsome presence in the Wild Frontier Quadrant, a.k.a. New England.

On the other end of the spectrum is Starfleet International. This one may be of particular interest to STO players. Starfleet is the largest Star Trek fan club, with chapters all over the world. There is a big difference between the type of fan experience KAG and Starfleet offers. One major point though, is that Starfleet has membership dues. I don’t have any experience with being a Starfleet member, but their expansive website should help you to answer any questions you may have and help locate a nearby ship if you’re interested.

As in the Trek universe, KAG (and other Klingon organizations; there are actually a bunch) is in competition with Starfleet, even if not always at war outright. Events such as Klingon vs. Starfleet food drives, bowling games, and more are regarded as “battles” and participation is rewarded.

Costumed participation in fandom–not just at conventions–in my opinion, is one of the things that makes Star Trek great. Since Trek first became popular, being a fan of the franchise often brought up a mental image of someone wearing a Klingon uniform, complete with forehead ridges, or someone wearing a Starfleet uniform and throwing up the Vulcan salute. We are now in a climate where pop culture is king, what was once regarded as dorky and a tad obsessive is cool, and the definition of a cosplay “Hero” might need to be reworked a bit.

In other words, it’s a perfect time to polish off your Klingon spine armor or your Starfleet communicator.

Thanks for reading! Let us know if you need help locating a ship in your area.

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