Interview with Reini Side – Dream Interrupted – Part 1

Once Upon a Time fandom has many facets and we want to look at how a television show with it’s twisted fairy tale storyline has a way of being an escape for people through difficult times in their life.

As we all know, life has its wonderful peaks and dark valleys. It is inevitable, but how we journey through both is an important key of life.

reiniclintIn this multi part interview series, we present our interview with Reini Side. She not only enjoys Once Upon a Time as a fan, but she discussed how the show helped her weather the darkest storm of her life. I asked her to share a bit about that before we began the interview.

Interview with Reini Side – Dream Interrupted – Part 1

reinisidenewspaper Once Upon a Time became a personal part of my life during the summer of 2014 when my husband was dying of brain cancer. As his full-time caretaker (on top of working full-time and being a single parent to our toddler daughter), I was under tremendous stress 24/7. Dealing with doctors and insurance companies was frustrating and draining. Watching the love of my life suffer and slowly decline and slip away was so painful; it was the most horrific period of my life.

In praying for God to get me through this storm, Once Upon a Time fell in my lap. I’d seen the first season, but dove into them ALL within a short period of time, and I found I really connected with Regina’s character in the show. OUAT was my only escape. I remember reaching a point where I thought, “That’s it! I can’t take it anymore! I need to get some Evil Queen on to deal with these peopleā€¦

And I did.


I went from blonde to black and (thanks to some significant weight loss) a wardrobe change. Regina’s strong, bold, and sassy character was tremendously empowering to put on for a while, and it really helped!! God used Lana to help me find an inner strength I didn’t even know I had, and it helped me survive my husband’s death and even thrive afterwards. Having connected so deeply and personally with the show, I knew I had to attend RegalCon the minute I heard about it. (RegalCon was a convention specifically OUAT themed.)

I had never cosplayed before, but I wanted to go as the Evil Queen. My very talented mother is a professional seamstress, and was completely on board for the massive project. At RegalCon, I reveled in being the Evil Queen for a day.

It was amazing and very meaningful to come full circle and meet the people who helped me through the darkest period of my life, and I found I connected with other fans who had also experienced hardship and were OUAT fans for similar reasons.

Looking back, it’s interesting seeing the parallels in Regina’s and my life. We had both experienced excruciating loss, we were both widows, my name Reini is actually derived from the name Regina (which means Queen), and we were both single mothers working in government. Not only that, but we both overcame hardships and have let good win in us.

To top that off, I’m thrilled to announce

Want to read Part 2 of our Interview with Reini Side?

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