Todd Kenreck: D&D has changed Anna Prosser's life in a number of ways, among them is how important creativity is to her.
Anna Prosser: D&D has kind of brought about a level of self-awareness in me that I needed, which was that I need to be creative and that when I am creative, I'm happier. And my special brand of creative revolves around telling stories, and getting to tell stories with other people who are really good at telling stories is such a delight. And it's such an edifying thing to do that I feel like I learn a lot about being human. I learn a lot about being myself, and I am fed and fulfilled by the friendships, and the compassion, and the caring, and the creativity, and the skill of those people.
So, I still like playing D&D because it's still helping me grow and perhaps even more importantly, being part of the online D&D streaming community, it's almost hard to understand. But we constantly have people coming to us and saying, "Being part of your game, being part of your community, seeing your game helped me through X thing or helped me learn this thing. Or just became my fun hobby because I got to see it being your fun hobby." And so, the idea that by expressing ourselves that way, we're somehow helping other people express themselves or understand themselves or something to that effect, it such a humbling and awesome thing. And I will keep doing it as long as possibly can because of that, I think.
Todd Kenreck:You need to be creative. Has this sparked something in you that you need to grab on and create something of your own now?
Anna Prosser:I think for every person who would label themselves a creative, there's always that pull between the maybe "responsible" or "sure thing" path, and then the like, "I just want to express myself for my livelihood." I think that I have been very blessed to be in creative professions for a long time. But, I realized I had put away a lot of the things I really loved, that really fed me creatively, like acting, writing, singing. And those things make me so happy.
D&D, surprisingly enough, brought more opportunities to do those things then I expected. It gave me a supportive and welcoming community in which to do those things. Where I had kind of bought this idea that, "Oh, that's who I used to be and I can't really do that anymore." But the courageousness of the fans who make art, or the people who do things like write fan fiction or sing songs or all those things; they inspired me back to do those things around D&D and in the D&D community, which helped me learn just to kind of do them naturally again.
So I've done more writing. Holly and I wrote a song for the show and sang it. I've actually written another song just for myself that's canonical to the show in my head, that's never been heard. I think doing those things for the sake of doing them, is something that I wasn't doing before because I'm so used to like I create a thing. It is a product, I put it out, it has returns because that's how careers work. And so being creative for the sake of being creative or sharing things for the sake of sharing them. Even if you don't think they're great, you know, just for the sake of kind of expressing yourself and letting other people experience that self-expression. I have found such value in that through D&D, which may be kind of incomprehensible unless you've experienced it, but ...
Todd Kenreck:No, no, it makes a lot of sense because the only purpose of D&D, unlike even necessarily a video game, is just to have fun.
Anna Prosser:Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Todd Kenreck:Like there is this idea of a goal, but really the goal is not even, you know, it's a fraction of getting to that point. There's something more relaxed and more, it's about you.
Anna Prosser:Right. I think too, from kind of the geeky, academic communication aficionado and producer side, right, D&D as a storytelling medium and as a performing art, is so interesting. Especially when combined with interactive media like Twitch, because what you essentially have is a massively multi-player online storytelling experience. Because especially if you have the chat open like all of us do, their reactions as an audience, their ideas about the game, actually do impact the game. And so, I don't think there are any other mediums quite like that. I see it as such a privilege to tell such a massively collaborative story. I think as somebody who's kind of obsessed with community and welcoming everyone and everyone being heard, to me it's just like a euphoric experience. And so being part of that and kind of having a voice that is so prominent in that, is such a privilege. From a geeky like, the overall narrative of how media grows and how we consume it standpoint, I also think that this is a really unique, cool moment in entertainment and gaming together.
Todd Kenreck:Thank you Anna Prosser for being on D&D Beyond. Thank you Anna Prosser for sitting down and speaking with me about D&D. I'm Todd Kenreck, your host. Thank you so much for watching.