I had my mind blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 2
This is part two of my ClexaCon 2018 adventure. April 4-10, I went on a trip to Las Vegas for ClexaCon, all the way from The Netherlands. Let me tell you, it was so worth the jetlag! You can find part one here. This is ClexaCon 2018 Day 1 (part two of my blog post series about ClexaCon)!
In this blog, I will tell you all about the first part of my ClexaCon 2018 Day 1 experience, from visiting interesting panels and meeting interesting people to my first interview EVER. Three-time Emmy nominee Dot Marie Jones (Glee) was so nice to help me out with this!
PS If you need more info about what ClexaCon is, you should read my blog post ClexaCon 2018 in Las Vegas: The Media and Entertainment Convention for LGBTQ Women and Allies.
Friday, April 6th –ClexaCon 2018 Day 1
D-Day! ClexaCon finally officially started on Friday. This might be a good moment to say that I was pretty nervous beforehand and to explain why. As mentioned in my previous blog, I took a vlogging course. However, as we got closer to ClexaCon, I learned that press was allowed to hold short interviews with the talents at the red carpet and in the press room.
WHAT?! You mean actually talking to the people that I have been seeing on my screen for years now? Not just blogging and vlogging about the event but actually talking to the actresses? And, if possible, intelligently?
Here is something you need to know about me. I am easily impressed by people. Especially when I find them highly attractive. This makes my face decide to pop up a bright red color. This also makes my brain stop working and my mouth go silent. Nothing in my vlogging course said anything about interview styles and ways to prevent the fangirl in you from taking over your professional you.
ClexaCon 2018 Day 1 – First panel: Becoming YouTube creators
I started ClexaCon by visiting a panel that could help me with Meemoeder.com. Jess Harris-Distefano, Head of Creative Programming at YouTube Space LA, gave a presentation about becoming a YouTube creator. I have recently started making vlogs so of course, so I was interested in getting some tips.
Yes, there are tips all over the internet but being in The Netherlands, there is such a big distance between me and the company that getting help is hard. It felt like a unique opportunity to listen to someone who is dealing with big creators every day. Oh, and I am now rocking cool YouTube Spaces sunglasses 😉 Also, Jess recognized me from Instagram, how cool is that?!
Subscribe to my YouTube channel
Since you are reading this blog, could you subscribe to my YouTube channel? You do not know how much the numbers help when talking to people who can support this blog and my vlogs in moving forward. And if we can move Meemoeder.com forward, I can create more international LGTBQ content, which is what you want, right? It merely takes five seconds to click the subscribe button, so go, go, go! Thank you!!
If you want a specific example of how numbers help: at the moment of writing this blog, I am a few subscribers away from a hundred subscribers. If I reach that number of subscribers, I can claim a personalized link, which makes sharing my channel so much easier, allowing it to grow even more. In addition, it simply looks much more professional and I want to be taken seriously as a blogger and vlogger. Could you help me with that?
This is my new YouTube channel trailer. At ClexaCon, I asked many, many actresses to pronounce my name. How cool is it that people like Elise Bauman, Natasha Negovanlis, and Anna Silk help me introduce myself?!
During this panel, I also learned that the press pass had another big advantage. Other press members in the WhatsApp group, who were at one of the main panels, informed me that press was able to skip lines and go to a designated area in the front of the massive room.
Indeed, at the smaller panels too, I was able to go everywhere I wanted. This full access took away so many of my worries from before the con as I really wanted to cover as much as possible for you guys and the schedule was so insane that waiting in line would greatly reduce my ability to do so. Also, restroom breaks are a necessity 😉
ClexaCon 2018 Day 1 – Second panel: Queer lady business
Being an entrepreneur of one company that caters to the LGBTQ community specifically and one company that does not cater to this niche (I have founded translation agency BudgetVertalingOnline in 2011), I was interested in seeing how others view the LGBTQ community as a market and what the specific hurdles are.
I always see this one picture of Christin Baker, CEO of Tello Films, and I was surprised by how energetic and funny she was. I found Tello Films a couple of years ago. As it turns out from the panel, that was about the same time she founded it and was still struggling with it.
Plenty of pie
What struck me the most was that she said that we are not all fighting for the same piece of the pie. There is plenty of pie available for everyone. We can achieve much more by working together rather than looking at each other as competitors. As I am still positioning Meemoeder.com in the market, I can testify that sometimes, you are not sure if collaborations are something that help your brand. Will they make you look the same as the one you are collaborating with?
In those cases, I think about what I want to achieve with Meemoeder.com. My mission is to share information and experiences with the LGBTQ community (specifically lesbian parents) so that they can feel better about themselves and their choices and be more confident about them. Christin is right: most of the time, collaborations help me with this mission!
ClexaCon 2018 Day 1: Meeting Shannan Leigh Reeve
Before the Queer lady business panel started, I saw Shannan Leigh Reeve, who had been in the previous panel. I absolutely loved I Hate Tommy Finch, so I asked for a quick picture. I was not expecting so much friendliness (not because of Shannan but because I was not sure how guests would react to press) but she was so cool! She asked for my name, which I was not expecting at all.
This, however, reminded me of one of my ClexaCon missions. I wanted to make a compilation of the ClexaCon guests pronouncing (or mispronouncing) my name. After all, I always have such a hard time introducing myself in the States. I wanted to use this compilation as my YouTube channel trailer. She was extremely helpful (and you can watch the result above).
I also saw Lily Richards from Twenty the web series but there was no more time to talk to her. Actually, I saw her a couple of times at ClexaCon but every single moment was inconvenient (who wants to have a conversation in the restrooms?) so I ended up not talking to her, boohoo.
If you have not watched Twenty yet, you should. For some reason, I was not expecting much when I hit play the first episode. However, that whole cringeworthy introduction immediately had me hooked. This show is so funny, Lily is very interesting to watch and oh no, how you just want to punch some other characters. I backed the new season and I cannot wait for new episodes!
Lunch (not brunch)
ClexaCon 2018 Day 1, I learned something important about cons: food is essential if you want to keep going but it is also very hard to find time to eat if you are running around as press trying to cover everything.
So, when I received a message from Immy and Denise (other Dutchies I met, as you can read in my previous blog) that they were having lunch, I decided it was time for a break.
Interviewing Dot-Marie Jones
When I saw on the ClexaCon website a few months ago that Dot-Marie Jones was coming, I was really happy. I was a big Glee fan and her character always made me want to know more about both her and Coach Beiste. When I saw she had a quiet moment in the autograph section, I really wanted to talk to her. However, like I said, I had never interviewed anybody before and she is a pro at being interviewed. Also, I did not know if I was allowed to walk up to her.
Last summer, I joined a basketball team. I suck at dribbling, you guys. I usually throw the ball away immediately. My basketball team would have been proud seeing me dribbling around! I should apply this technique on the court!
After yelling at myself in my head for a while, I finally got up to a volunteer. I asked her if I was allowed to ask Dot a few questions. That was no problem at all, so now here I was, my heart pounding in my chest, telling the lovely volunteer that I was so nervous. She told me there was really nothing to worry about. Great. Ok. ClexaCon 2018 Day 1: here goes nothing…
ClexaCon 2018 Day 1: First interview EVER
So, I walked up to Dot and her wife. Then, I said something completely incoherent about me being nervous. I cannot believe how friendly she was. She literally helped me through the interview. As in, we found a good spot together and she helped me get a good camera angle. Being this nervous, I forgot to record the first part. I was being such an idiot but she stayed so friendly and calm. Also, how great to have a person about the same height for your first shot 😉
I asked her to pronounce my name too. The first tries were lost as I was not recording but she did it again when I finally was recording. I asked her about her playing a character being the victim of domestic abuse and a character transitioning from female to male. Also, having won many sports prizes and being nominated for an Emmy three times but not winning, I asked her what award she wants to win. See the conversation in the vlog at the top of this blog!
You know, I am so thankful for Dot-Marie Jones. She has helped me get over that first hurdle. Consequently, I felt so much more confident talking to the guests after that. I saw her a few times after the interview and she was just so chill.
YOU WERE PERFECT!! GREAT JOB!!! ❤🏆
— Dot-Marie Jones (@dotmariejones) 22 april 2018
ClexaCon 2018 Day 1 continued
Next week, I will talk about the second half of ClexaCon 2018 Day 1. That means you will read about the LGBTQ actresses panel, the Lost Girl panel, the Red panel, and the Wynonna Earp panel. If you sign up for my newsletter, you will be the first to know when this blog post comes out! You can sign up on the top right of this page or in the footer.