Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of awards from our recent 2021 Awards Ceremony. Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write and imagine their characters.
This month we’re interviewing the writer behind Ensign Drevas Matthel playing a Bajoran Male Security Officer assigned to the Starbase 118 Ops. He received the Xalor Clan Xifilis award, given to any simmer who overcomes any sort of disadvantage while simming.
DeVeau: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?
I hail from the Southeast Asia island country of Singapore, and I work as a paralegal for a law firm. Yeah, I know I’m probably one of the more unusual writers in the roleplay, but that’s fine with me!
How did you originally get into Star Trek, and what is your favourite series or movie?
Oh, that’s a funny one! I actually got into Trek after watching brief clips of TNG and DS9 on YouTube. I knew about Trek back then, of course, but not to that big of an extent that I am now. I thought it looked pretty interesting, and I did a bit of reading, and then discovered the series by accident when I started trying out Netflix. I think this was three or four years ago now and here I am today!
What is your previous experience with roleplaying, and how did you come to find SB118?
I spent the past three years roleplaying on Discord servers, first with PJO and then with Trek, which I stumbled upon entirely by accident. I found out about SB118 last year, also completely by accident, on Disboard and spent a little while looking around before deciding to give it a shot. PBEM wasn’t really a format I was used to back then; I was used to doing everything on Discord channels.
Is Drevas inspired by anyone? Perhaps a character from a show (Star Trek or otherwise) or someone in real life?
No, not really. I had the quote ‘all as the Prophets will’ in my head, which I originally intended to make Drevas’ catchphrase (which I forgot entirely about, ha) and so I built him from there. For someone with a strong spiritual or religious centre like Matthel, I thought he might be a little more relaxed or laid back, knowing that everything happens for a greater reason than he cannot see. Successes, failures and everything in between. Of course, this doesn’t mean that he simply lets things happen as they will. The Prophets don’t deliver if their subjects don’t first work for the things they want, do they?
How is your character like you, and how is he different?
I’d say that Drevas isn’t at all like me, ha. I’m not the most outgoing of people (which is probably not a good thing considering I’m a military recruit to be) and I have the self-esteem and confidence of a squirrel, more or less. Drevas isn’t any of these things, really. He’s confident, sociable, likeable, and I’d love to be someone like him. I suppose the sole similarity is that he’s outwardly Asian? Why did I decide to make that a part of him? Thinking about it, I can’t really remember.
Your award was given because you’ve been open about your struggles with your mental health. With many people having similar struggles, how has this affected you regarding your participation and simming?
My shipmates in Ops know how I sometimes fly off the handle/become extremely depressed and begin spouting depressing, moody things on our Discord channel or lose motivation to sim entirely, and my CO and FO have both reached out with me on this via official channels. I took my first LOA last year because of my upcoming internship and for this same reason; I returned in February of this year or thereabouts feeling much better. I’d like to put it on record that I really don’t mean to do any of that and I’m sorry that people have had to endure my mood shifts. I promise that I’m seeing specialist doctors for it, though, and I’ll get better down the road.
Being open and honest about this struggle is wonderful and commendable, especially as so many people struggle with similar issues. It’s nice to know you’re not alone. What encouragement can you give to others who also struggle?
I know this might sound like every other piece of self-help advice out there, but your struggles are valid and no one else should tell you or make you feel like they aren’t. You deserve your feelings, but you also deserve to have them tended to and made better. Look at yourselves; for all the struggles of your life, there you are, surviving and possibly even thriving. Give yourself credit for that, and take that as motivation to do more in your life, to make it better for yourself. Broken, cracked maybe, but still beautiful. That’s who you are and that’ll never change.
Thanks for your time, Ensign Drevas!
You can read more about Ensign Drevas on the wiki.