[Interview] Women/Nonbinary Individuals in Horror [DaFemalePhenom]

We sat down virtually with DaFemalePhenom, Twitch Partner, self-taught special effects makeup artist, and the woman behind the D.F.P. Army and Screamreapers stream Teams. We get into what it means to foster a strong relationship with your community, taking breaks from streaming to support your mental and physical health, that transformation scene in An American Werewolf in London, and the special effects in James Wan’s Malignant!

Monster Thoughts: As a Partnered streamer, how important would you say maintaining a connection with your community has been to your success? What other factors contributed to you reaching Partner and over 2K Twitch followers

DaFemalePhenom: I would say that it is very important to maintain a connection with my community. They have been the glue that has kept me sane and kept me wanting to continue my career as an artist and content creator. Other factors that have contributed to my partnership are the transparency with my community. It is essential to be transparent and honest about what you choose to share. This makes you relatable, creates a safe haven for your community, and keeps them coming back. I didn’t have plans on becoming a partner In the beginning but what changed my mind was all of the doors and opportunities I dreamed of creating for others in this space. Without the community that has turned into a family, I don’t think I would have made it this far at all.

MT: You are the creator of two stream teams, The D.F.P. Army and Scream Reapers. Can you tell us a bit about what lead to the creation of these teams and what was the goal, if any, of their creation, and has this goal has been met?

DFP: What led to the creation of The D.F.P. Army was because there were so many talented creators who were a part of my community. I wanted to see them win and be highlighted. I also wanted to celebrate them, open doors, and create a safe space for them to the best of my ability. What led to the creation of the Scream Reapers was my Love of the Horror genre, science fiction genre, and My love for special effects makeup. These genres and the special fx industry is a Caucasian male-dominated field, and I wanted to change that. I wanted to create a safe space, open doors, and showcase WOC, who love the same things I do and show the world that WOC love these fantastic things, are just as talented ,and deserve a spot in these spaces.

MT: And we thank you for making those spaces! Besides streaming, you also do your own makeup, having done special effects makeup as well. How often do you incorporate this into your streams and why do you enjoy creating these looks?

DFP: I try to incorporate them as muuuuuccch as possible, lol. I looooveee special effects. makeup and have dreamed of becoming a makeup artist and dream of winning an Oscar for my work in a movie one day. I enjoy creating looks because I can be any creature or entity from my wildest dreams or most horrible nightmares. My imagination has always been wild and crazy, and I love to show it through my work.

Phenom’s Special Effects Makeup.

I want creators to know that sometimes the company or sponsorship is not for you, or the universe feels that you are not ready for this opportunity or sponsorship.

MT: Speaking of special effect makeup looks, what’s your absolute favorite special effect look in a horror movie? Like, of all time? Why that one?

DFP: My absolute favorite special effects makeup look is the werewolf transformation in An American Werewolf in London created by one of my favorite artists Rick Baker. This film inspired me and made me want to become an artist. Someday I want to recreate this transformation and show it to Rick Baker. I hope he loves it and is as blow away as I am with his work.

An American Werewolf in London | Universal Pictures

MT: That transformation scene in that movie has stayed with me forever. You recently took a much-needed vacation from streaming. How important would you say breaks are for content creators (especially full-time creators), and what advice do you have for people that think they must go, go, go in order to not miss any opportunities or “fall behind” in the creation space?

DFP: I think breaks are significant and needed! I always cringe when I see a push for partner tag/post because I am so scared that this creator has or will burn themselves out. Due to the lack of visibility and representation, creators sometimes feel they have to kill themselves to be seen or noticed on overly saturated platforms. This also creates a feeling that they won’t get caught or chosen for opportunities which is not true. I want creators to know that sometimes the company or sponsorship is not for you, or the universe feels that you are not ready for this opportunity or sponsorship. My advice to creators is to take breaks and not get discouraged or feel like you have to kill yourself to be successful. Work smart and not hard! Lastly, if a door closes, it is not the end of the world. There is always a bigger and better door waiting for you.

MT: Very true! Switching back to horror for a bit, did you watch any horror movies that stuck out to you recently for their story, plot, or scares? Why those, if any?

DFP: The most recent film that I watched was Malignant. I enjoyed the movie, but the special F.X. artist in me was fascinated with the makeup and the impressive art form of the actress. Her role looked tiring and challenging, but she killed it and kept me interested in the movie.

MT: Malignant was…a trip! Her performance was incredible! What’s your favorite part about the Halloween season and why?

DFP: I looooovveee Halloween! I love Halloween because growing up. I was always seen as weird because of the things I loved, and this time of the year, no one judged, and it was understood and celebrated because of my talents. I also love it because of my love for horror. I get to watch the horror movie marathons while curling up on my couch with my snacks and candy corn.

Da Female Phenom
Phenom’s wonderful look from Gamer Glam Cosmetics.

MT: Phenom, I want to thank you for wanting to be part of this event and agreeing to answer some questions about yourself and your brand!

DaFemalePhenom emerged in 2009 as a radio personality for a wrestling radio show called Off the Top Rope. Due to her love of gaming and the horror genre, DaFemalePhenom evolved into a content creator, makeup influencer, and self-taught special effects/beauty makeup artist. She is also the founder of two-stream teams, The D.F.P Army, and a women of color horror-based stream team, The Scream Reapers. After her youngest son’s (Aussie Pants) diagnosis, she made it her mission to educate others about all aspects of autism spectrum disorder within P.O.C. communities. They also talk about things like racial inequality, politics, LGBTQIA2+ rights, mental health and more!

You can find Phenom at any of her links below!

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