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Ghostbusters: Fresno Division

IN THE October 6 ISSUE

FROM THE 2018 Articles,
andLorie Lewis Ham,
andMusic,
andTheatre,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Lorie Lewis Ham

Earlier this year I interviewed local actor Alex Vaux, and in our interview a very interesting fact about him came up, he is a Ghostbuster! That’s right, he is part of the Ghostbusters: Fresno Division. When he told me that I knew I had to interview him about it this Halloween season! So here you go-let’s get to know our own local Ghostbusters!

KRL: So what exactly is GFD?

Alex: The Ghostbusters: Fresno Division is a local Ghostbusters costume group who do local events while dressed up in gear inspired by the Ghostbusters films, cartoons, and comic books. We are registered with Sony’s Ghostbusters franchise group Ghost Corps.

ghostbusters

Alex Vaux on the left and Brandon Jackson on the right

KRL: What exactly do you do?

Alex: We’ve done a number of appearances at comic conventions, birthdays, and charity events. We show up in costume with our gear and take pictures, play games, and just have fun.

KRL: How and when did it get started and how did you get involved?

Alex: I personally have been a fan of Ghostbusters since I was a little kid in the 80s, collecting the toys and watching the cartoon and movies. As I grew up, I found a few of my friends within the theater community (Alan Hawkins and John Masier) had gear and were part of the Ghostbusters fan community. At the time Ghost Corps didn’t exist but pretty much every Ghostbusters franchise (franchise being what the groups all over the world were designated as) were unified under the GBfans banner. Alan had moved from Fresno but walked me through how to assemble my uniform and build my proton pack prop replica, donating parts and hand me downs to help get me on my feet. Once I got the pack built John and I registered as a franchise. Right around that time, Sony created Ghost Corps to produce new Ghostbusters content and to unify the franchises under the Sony banner. This was in late 2015/early 2016. Since then our roster has grown to almost 10 members, including a transfer from the El Paso team in Texas.

ghostbusters

Ghostbusters: Fresno Division-Haley Goldie, Alex Vaux, Joe Torres, and Brandon Jackson

KRL: Who all is part of GFD? And who is what character?

Alex: Our Current roster includes myself, John Masier, Brandon Jackson (a local cosplayer @jax_cosplay), Joe Torres (a local photographer @joeluckyphotography), Haley Goldie, Aaron Meza, Kyle Jensen, and honorary members Alan Hawkins and Cody Scott. While some groups do have members who dress up as the actual Ghostbusters and characters from the series, the great thing about the fan franchises is that we get to be ourselves. I’m even canon within the IDW Comics continuity of Ghostbusters due to backing the Kickstarter for the board game version of Ghostbusters 2. A podcast involving myself and the other members of the board game will be coming out later this year.

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Comic version of Alex from the Ghostbusters 2 board game

KRL: Oh wow that is so cool! Do you just do appearances or do you actually do a show of sorts?

Alex: Depending on the event and venue, we do an assortment of things. We’ve done photo ops, a ring toss game, trivia, and other things in character, most recently being chasing a guy dressed up as a unicorn around the track at Ratcliffe Stadium for an event for Relay for Life.

ghostbusters

Fresno Ghostbuster Aaron Meza at the Relay For Life event

KRL: Is preparing for this similar to preparing for a show?

Alex: Yes and no. Much like with prepping for a show we have a call time for events and meet up, discuss what we’ll be doing, and get in gear if we haven’t already. But once the event starts, it’s pretty much improvised.

KRL: What do you enjoy the most about doing this?

ghostbusters

Fresno Ghostbusters Alex Vaux and Brandon Jackson at birthday party

Alex: A lot of our members always wanted to be a Ghostbuster since we were kids, so this is fulfilling those dreams. Personally, I love interacting with the fans. At one event, a little girl thanked us for keeping the scary ghosts away from her house, and another event, which was a birthday party, we were greeted by the 3-year-old birthday boy at the door and he was fully decked out in his own little uniform and proton pack. I love that even today kids still know and love the Ghostbusters. I also love the building process. Building my proton pack was a blast. It took a year, but it was worth it. Kyle and I are waiting on licensed proton pack kits from Anovos and can’t wait to build those as well.

KRL: What has been the hardest?

Alex: Scheduling. All of us have jobs so being able to attend events takes a lot of communication. The full team has never done and event together.

KRL: What other local events have you done?


Alex:
Locally we’ve done appearances at ZappCon, 2 events for Relay for Life (the walk at Ratcliffe and a Pokemon card game tournament at Costales’ Dungeons & Flagons), Legends Comics for their Halloween event and Free Comic Book Day, Rock the Mall, and a couple birthday parties.

KRL: Have you done any out of the area?

Alex: We’ve done the Modesto Classic Comic-Con, and Brandon has represented us at several southern California comic-cons. We were invited to the Tracy Comic Show last year but last minute schedules kept us from being able to make it.

KRL: Are you doing anything at any Halloween related events this year? GFD seems like something perfect for this time of year!

Alex: This is our busy season! We are hoping to schedule appearances with Hobb’s Grove and Raisin Hell Ranch. We also plan on attending Night Terrors: A Horror Art Bar at the Tower Theater this month as well as Nitro Comic-Con.

KRL: Can we find GFD on Facebook/Twitter/website?

Alex: Follow us at Facebook.com/ghostbustersfresno and on Instagram @ghostbustersfresno and for email at Ghostbustersfresno@gmail.com

KRL: Anything else you would like to add?

Alex: As the Central Valley’s leading experts at paranormal investigations and eliminations, we’re ready to believe you!

Our uniforms were made from tru-spec flightsuits and custom name patches and No Ghost patches from eBay. A lot of the other parts of the uniforms are from the shop at GBfans.com and equipment purchased from Spirit Halloween, Matty Collector, and built by us.

If you love local theatre, be sure to check out our new Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. The first 5 episodes are now up! You can check the podcast out on iTunes and Google Play, and also on podbean.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and an enthusiastic contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.

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