Anjali Bhimani, the voice of Symmetra in Overwatch and author of the upcoming “I Am Fun Size“, discusses her plans for the future and her appearance at MCM Comic-Con this year.
Q: Hey Anjali! It’s great to be chatting to you about all of your recent projects and your newest Kickstarter achievement – the creation of your book! What were some of your biggest inspirations for wanting to start this writing challenge?
A: The main one is the same as the goal of the series: to let people know that they aren’t alone in working through their own challenges and to offer some company along the path as they figure out their own journey, along with some humor and levity to make it more fun. The series began as a gift, a love letter to the community that was so supportive of me, and that consistently lifted me up, even when I was down. I wanted to offer the same thing back in return, and this book is a direct result of wanting to do that. I call it “your buddy in a book”… just another way to connect with someone else (in this case, me) through their experiences and thoughts and successes and failures and to know that you’re not alone.
Additionally, I’ve always loved writing and loved reading and I feel like there’s something very special about the experience of reading a book. I’ve always enjoyed stepping into authors’ minds and imaginations through reading, and I wanted to be on the other side of that gift and see what I could share with people that they might enjoy. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of me getting all the books in my head down on paper.
Q: Is there any specific reason why you chose to run this project through Kickstarter, rather than exploring a publisher route?
A: Since the series and now the book was inspired by a community, I wanted to start by making it something for the community and driven by the community. In a way, the Kickstarter both offered me a chance to see if there was actually the desire for this book out there and also is allowing me to offer more things to this community through the campaign. I feel like the people who support a person or endeavor, in the beginning, deserve a little extra love because they are being so generous of spirit and resources, and so I wanted to start here, with this Kickstarter exclusive version of the book, that won’t be available except through Kickstarter. And then, if a publisher takes notice, I’ll be thrilled because we’ll be able to get these messages of belonging and support out to more and more people. It’ll still be extra special that the people who have gotten the book through Kickstarter will have their own version of the book that no one else does.
Q: Are there any messages you wish to convey through your writing? Also, what advice would you give to any other young women who wish to express themselves in similar ways?
A: SO many messages! I don’t want to give away too much of what is in the book, but really just like life, the book is sort of like a choose your own adventure from back in my childhood. There’s no right way to read this book, and there’s no right way to do life…ultimately there’s just YOUR way, for you, and what resonates best with you. Ideally, we all make good-hearted, ethical, compassionate choices in our lives, but we’re going to make mistakes…and we’re going to learn from them. The key is to just keep going. I don’t think I’m in a position to give advice per se, but I will say this – everything that I have loved the most in my life, every experience that has been the most rewarding, is because I started by diving into the unknown somehow – whether in love or career or just personal challenges.
So whatever way anyone – and not just young women, but people of all genders – want to express themselves, the best thing to do is just START. Not worrying about what other people think, or how good or bad you are at it. In fact, there is great freedom in remembering when you start something, you are a BEGINNER and therefore allowed to not excel at it. There’s great freedom in that and in admitting you don’t know what you’re doing so you’re just going to learn. Being a lifelong student.
Q: You’ve worked in various types of media – including video games, TV, and voice-overs. What do you enjoy most about exploring so many different platforms, and which is your favourite?
A: I can’t and won’t pick a favorite, because I love storytelling in all forms, and each form for different reasons. What I love about exploring so many of them is that it’s like creative cross-training: you’re always kept on your toes, you’re always learning more and practicing new skills, and it keeps you humble because there’s always a new challenge. Every time a new branch of the storytelling tree becomes open to me, I get excited to find out what will bloom at the end of it. I think if I had to say what’s my favorite, it’s usually whichever one I’m doing in that very moment – because I really do like to just dig in and dive in and play as much as possible in the moment.
I WILL say that I have had an extra-strong passion lately for role-playing game entertainment, like on the shows I’ve done with Critical Role and Geek and Sundry. That combination of gameplay and performance. It’s a beautiful amalgam of performing, storytelling, and just enjoying the creativity and company of the people around you. The magic of long-form improv combined with a gameplay system, when played with people who are as committed to joyful and connected storytelling as you are, can be absolutely breathtaking. It’s theatrical, it’s intimate, it’s surprising, it’s immediate. And it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
Q: It’s so exciting that you’ll be at MCM Comic Con between the 22nd and 24th of October this year! Congratulations on attending such a high-profile and interactive event. What are you looking forward to with this experience?
A: I love conventions so much because it’s a chance to be in a place where people not only get to celebrate what they love with each other, but they get to be celebrated for loving the things they love. It’s been a hell of a year or so, and being able to be in person with so many people – distanced and masked and following safety measures and such – is an exciting prospect after being so separate for so long. I also can’t deny that I’m DYING to meet Tom Hiddleston. Been a fan of his work for years, and hoping to get the chance to tell him that in person.
Q: What kind of endeavours can your fans expect from you within the next few years? Do you have any other projects in mind that you’d love to accomplish?
A: There’s so much I’d love to accomplish that the challenge is not trying to do it all at once! There are a few projects I’m producing, mostly because they are stories I want to see told and I haven’t yet had the opportunity to be cast in something like them, so that is a new endeavor birthed out of creative necessity. And I’m always ALWAYS geared up and ready for any kind of action project. I’ve been eager to do action-adventure or sci-fi or fantasy in either television or film for most of my life. I think I wanted to be an action hero ever since I was dressing up as Wonder Woman as a little girl.
Q: Thank you so much for chatting with me today and being so open with your answers! Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
A: Just that no matter where you are in your journey, it’s a JOURNEY…which means you can both trust that there is always somewhere new to go and that it’s okay to be where you are. And as I’m doing my best to share through this book, there are so many people in the world out there to meet and walk with and learn from and enjoy, so don’t let yourself ever feel like you are completely alone.
You may have a unique path, but there are always people around to lean on or reach out to, and whether you’re in the happiest of times or the darkest of them, I think knowing you’re not alone is a wonderful place to draw strength from. Also, laugh as much as you can. And snuggle with dogs. Dogs are the great antenna adjusters of the world.
“I Am Fun Size” is a book that is to be released soon. For more information, check out Anjali’s Youtube video here:
- Twitter: @sweeetanj
- Instagram: @sweeetanj
- IMDb: https://pro-labs.imdb.com/name/nm0080401
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/sweeetanj
- Website: http://www.AnjaliBhimani.com