Brenda Banks

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Brenda hosting the Biggest Little Fur Con 2017 Dance Competition.

Brenda Banks, also known as Ben, formerly as Benchilla (born October 1992), is a drag queen from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Brenda, also known as Ben, joined the community in August of 2008, and has since attended over fifty conventions, where they are best known for judging, hosting or competing in many dance competitions. They currently reside in Toronto, Ontario.

Fandom involvement[edit]

Ben introducing Weasyl at their 2012 Anthrocon panel.

Although aware of the furry fandom since the age of twelve, Brenda didn't officially become a member of the community until they were fifteen.[1] This lapse between fandom awareness and actual involvement can be attributed to their involvement with the wiki Encyclopedia Dramatica, where they were an active member from December 2006 to February 2008, and a Sysop from July 2007 to January 2008. Brenda has gone on record as saying that they're "glad" they grew past their involvement with the site, citing displeasure with "harassing people online while trying to claim other people are losers."[2]

After leaving the site, they gradually became more immersed in the furry community, joining Fur Affinity in October 2008. From May to November 2010, Brenda served as a moderator on the Fur Affinity Forums, before quitting to focus on other endeavors. In 2012, Brenda was banned from Fur Affinity after exploiting a bug that permitted avatars larger than the size normally allowed. Initially, their ban was for only two weeks, but this was made permanent due to "previous history of hijinks,"[3] despite having no previous history of being banned.

On January 2012, Brenda co-founded the social art gallery Weasyl alongside Kihari, the website's primary creator. Together, along with the rest of the staff, they ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to launch the site that pulled in over $6000 dollars, with the site formally launching on September 30th, 2012. Brenda served as co-owner of the site until January 2014, having stepped down amidst accusations of a Weasyl founder sockpuppeting on Fur Affinity's donation drive journal.[4] Although Brenda has stated that the accusation is simply a rumor, and to not believe anything without "actual physical evidence,"[5] the rest of the staff felt it was best to have them step back from the site, for the sake of its future growth.

Since 2014, Brenda has been heavily involved with assisting with Fursuit Dance Competitions, most notably running and hosting the Biggest Little Fur Con dance competition in 2016 and 2017. They have also been a key part of the dance competitions at Midwest Furfest, Furry Weekend Atlanta and Furpocalypse since 2014, primarily in judging roles, as well as having hosted the latter two during their 2017 iterations. They have also helped judge at the dance competitions for Further Confusion, Anthro New England, Anthrocon, and several more.

Fursona[edit]

Brenda at Furnal Equinox 2018.

Brenda's fursona is a brown chinchilla, the design of which has changed very little over the course of ten years. Although the character initially presented as a boy, upon the subject's discovery of drag, the character began presenting as both male and female. On June 2017, Brenda commissioned Jolteon Kitty of Gold Ribbon Studio to make a suit of their character.

Much like Brenda's fursona, the suit can switch between being a boy and a girl, possessing interchangeable wigs, removable eyelashes, and two sets of feet, with one pair being constructed around a pair of heel boots.

The suit was completed in January 2018, and has since made appearances at several events.

Convention attendance[edit]

(*) Conventions where the subject attended in drag.

Artistry[edit]

A still from the Where Them Girls At music video, featuring Aky (left) and Sai (right)

Drag[edit]

Brenda first discovered an interest in drag at MFF 2011, where they were involved in the filming of a music video for David Guetta's Where Them Girls At, a collaborative effort between Kwik Cheetah and Char.[6] Brenda plays Nicki Minaj in the video, as they perform behind fursuiters Tesxa Coyote, Aky and Sai. The video has racked up over 100,000 plays between YouTube and Vimeo combined as of April 2018. Following this, they have appeared in other self-produced music videos, such as "Go Hard" (alongside co-star Scrumpet)[7] which was filmed at FurFright 2012, "Wild Right Now", which incorporated footage from various furry events such as Anthrocon 2013 and Rainfurrest 2013[8], and "Summer Home", which focuses on footage from Further Confusion 2014. [9] Since 2011, Brenda has attended over forty conventions in drag.

Brenda judging at the FWA 2015 dance competition.

Video Production[edit]

Apart from music videos starring their drag persona, Brenda also specializes in creating films centering around their convention experiences and the experiences of others since Midwest Furfest 2011. The most notable example of this is "Further Confusion Twenty Twerkteen", a 90 minute movie filmed at Further Confusion 2013,[10] with its sequel, "FC 2014: The Wrektoning", having been their last release. They have also produced numerous videos as commissions for others, such as Rahne Kallon, Storm Husky and more.[11]

Dance[edit]

Since 2012, Brenda has been heavily involved in the dance community of the furry fandom, having competed in ten different Floor Wars since FWA 2013, with their most successful showing being runner-up at Anthrocon 2014 with Dalmy, as part of the team Ratchet Couture. Brenda and Dalmy would later reprise the Ratchet Couture moniker at three more Floor Wars events, with their last showing together having been at Midwest Furfest 2015. Overall, Brenda has competed in ten different iterations of Floor Wars, with their most recent entry having been Anthrocon 2017, competing with Teej as part of the team "Vulvacious."

In 2018, Brenda competed in their very first Fursuit Dance Competition at Furnal Equinox 2018[12], where they received third place for their effort.[13]

Music[edit]

Since 2016, Brenda has made appearances at many cons as a DJ, including multiple showings at Biggest Little Fur Con, Furpocalypse and AnthrOhio, as well as Furry Weekend Atlanta and Anthro New England.[14] Brenda mainly specializes in creating original mashups of pop music, having done so since 2013 before becoming a DJ. Although the original purpose of creating mashups was to bypass content filters on YouTube, they have since taken to creating them for performance mixes, whether for themselves, or as commissions for others.[15]

References[edit]

  1. Benchilla's profile on SoFurry. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  2. Brenda Banks' post on Twitter. Posted December 11th 2017. Retrieved April 3rd, 2018.
  3. Fur Affinity bug permits huge avatars; former mod banned news post by Rakuen Growlithe on Flayrah. Posted April 10, 2012. Retrieved ?.
  4. Is it true what I heard about Weasyl staff catching one of the founders sockpuppeting? thread on Twitter. Posted March 13, 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  5. Q: is it true that you sockpuppeted on Furaffinity back in march telling people to donate to Weasyl instead of FA? post on Waitwaitfixate.com. Posted June 6, 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  6. Where Them Girls At (feat the Girls of MFF) Posted to Youtube December 30th, 2011
  7. Brenda Banks ft. Baby Trap Beat$ - GO HARD Posted to Youtube November 2nd, 2012
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C57u0-Zj1M Brenda Banks - Wild Right Now [Jessie J, Rihanna & Pink vs. Capital Cities & Cash Cash] Posted to Youtube October 23rd, 2013
  9. Summer Home Posted to Youtube November 20th, 2015
  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zvz9CC7mxRk FURTHER CONFUSION TWENTY TWERKTEEN [THE FULL MOVIE] Posted March 31st, 2014
  11. Brenda Banks - My Music Videos & Commissions - Retrieved April 2nd, 2018
  12. Furnal Equinox 2018 - Dance Competition - Brenda Banks - Posted March 22nd, 2018
  13. Brenda Banks on Twitter - Furnal Equinox 2018 Trophy - Posted March 18th, 2018.
  14. https://www.mixcloud.com/BrendaBanks/ Brenda Banks on Mixcloud.] - Retrieved April 2nd, 2018.
  15. Dance Comp Mixes made by Me - Retrieved April 2nd, 2018

External links[edit]

This person is a WikiFur user: WikiFur User


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