Erica Neely - 2009
discovered the filk community in 1995 while studying at Oxford. Despite her youth, she quickly reached a high level of maturity in both her composing and her fannish activity.
Erica has written many songs of extremely high quality. She has a reputation as a "Mistress of Ose" who has killed scores of unfortunates in her songs — or at least made them suffer tragically and mercilessly.
Her song "Not Everybody Dies" satirized this reputation, though she has also written some funny, if perhaps cynical, songs, such as "Why You Haven't Heard of Me". She is willing to tackle a wide range of material — there are very few filkers who would be willing to make an assault on something like Steinbeck's East of Eden.
Erica is also an excellent performer. Her powerful and beautiful voice meshes well with her subject matter. When her protagonists hurt, when they care, you will feel it. She has released two albums, "Not Everybody Dies" and "Hello Stranger", one from each side of the Atlantic. Erica is also happy to devise and sing harmony when asked. She has provided backup vocals for Bill Roper in several concerts and appears on albums by Bill Roper and Seanan McGuire. Despite her "ose" reputation, Erica has a ready, dry wit, which has earned her the position of Toastmaster at filk conventions more than once.
Erica's quiet demeanor and willingness to work for the good of the community without drama or fuss often cause her contributions to fall "under the radar," but she has been a vital force in filk fandom regionally, nationally, and internationally. She was a regular presence at UK filk conventions, and a popular performer. She served on the committee for the Decadence (10th) filkcon, and after returning to the US, she was on the committees for Contabile Fortean and 2t0nic, the 14th and 20th British filk cons, and was instrumental in maintaining the website, working on programming, and helping at the conventions themselves.
Erica has become a valuable adjunct member of the Interfilk team, as a dependable wench and assistant wench wrangler. She understands that attitude is everything and steps out of her daily serious professional role as Dr. Neely, to become a mischievous, naughty, teasing wench, but in the best of taste.
Since 2005, Erica has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Pegasus Awards runs smoothly, first helping Steve Macdonald administer them, then taking over as Pegasus Evangelista in 2006. In a process which could become very political, Erica is scrupulously fair in her decision-making, and in applying the rules even-handedly. Collating the Brainstorming Poll, counting the nominating ballots, contacting the nominees, and counting the final ballots all take enormous effort. A great deal of additional effort goes into organizing the annual Pegasus Nominees Concert, which has become a stellar signature event at OVFF.
For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Erica Neely is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this fourth day of April, Two thousand and nine.
photo credit: Michael Pereckas, aka Beige Alert