I had my mind blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 3
This is part three 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 (the first official ClexaCon activities) and part two (the first half of ClexaCon 2018 Day 1) here.
In this blog, I will tell you all about the LGBTQ actresses panel, the Lost Girl panel, the RED panel, and the Wynonna Earp panel. I have to confess that after the first day, I was feeling overwhelmed and emotional because I realized how much this convention means to me and the rest of the LGBTQ community.
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.
ClexaCon 2018 Day 1 – third panel: LGBTQ actresses
At this point, I did not know about the designated press area yet, so I sat somewhere in the back. As the place was packed, I felt a bit reluctant to walk around and take pictures. Luckily, after this panel, that reluctance passed.
The five actresses discussed how being an out member of the LGBTQ community influenced their work, what trailblazers in the industry helped them come out (Ellen and Angelina Jolie among others), being cast in gay and straight roles (Haviland Stillwell: “Somebody pass me a damn lesbian role!”), various directors, and support from the community.
After the panel, some of the actresses went to the press room. For me, that was also the first time being in a press room. Beforehand, I did not know what other media outlets were going to be present. It was just me and my smartphone so how would others react to me? All I can say is: I have met some amazing people. I have forgotten some names, but check out these lovely people: Karen Frost, Emily Browne, Jessica Mason, Alyssa, and Jennifer.
I sat at the table with Nicole Pacent and Mandahla Rose. That made me very happy because, as I said before, I loved I Hate Tommy Finch and, hello!, Anyone But Me. And how can you not like Mandahla Rose’s personality immediately? Wow! I asked them about ClexaCon’s network opportunities and if they had seen collaborations starting behind the scenes (which they obviously cannot talk about). Find out in the vlog at the top of this page!
Chatting with Nicole Pacent
After the table interview, I asked Nicole for a picture. Oh my god, such enthusiasm! Just getting used to this whole press thing, I did not know what to expect and she just blew me away with her friendliness and chatter. When I challenged her to pronounce my name, she said she knew it was Dutch. What?! Apparently, she lived in Amsterdam for a while in 2006. LOL.
We talked a bit more off-camera, just because. I told her how I liked I Hate Tommy Finch and she told me about how that was performed with a live band and an audience. I asked her if we were going to see her in something new anytime soon because hey, I want to! She promised me things were developing. Yay!
ClexaCon 2018 Day 1 – fourth panel: RED the web series
I am a fan of RED. If you did not know that yet, I will repeat it. I am a fan of RED. This web series from Brazil is absolutely beautiful. It is so creative and different. You have two characters (Mel and Liz) that are actresses in a show. In the show, they play Scarlet and Simone, who are in love with each other. They take that relationship into their own lives.
The series has a bit of a slower pace and a great eye for detail. The constant switching between the show and their own lives always makes you wonder what storyline you are actually watching. Also, the music is incredible and the colors are simply gorgeous.
So, no matter what, I had to go to this panel. The problem was that it was scheduled at the same time as Lost Girl. Since I did not have to wait in line, I decided to go to RED first to see this incredible cast. They were dropping the first episode of the fourth season as a teaser for the rest of the season, so I was really happy I was present 🙂 Then, I had to run to the Lost Girl panel… I made this awesome vlog about the RED panel:
ClexaCon 2018 Day 1 – fifth panel: Lost Girl reunion
My wife and I watched Lost Girl together and she was pretty jealous when she found out these actresses were coming. Muahahahaha.
This panel was so hilarious. I feel like every time these people come together, they just laugh and laugh. Let us be honest; with sucking chi and needing sex for survival, it is hard to have a serious panel. Friday, April 6th, 2018, at around 2:40 pm, the now legendary brunch joke was born at ClexaCon. For those who do not know what brunch now means, watch it below (after about 10 minutes). Brunch ended up being a recurring theme at the other panels.
I do not mean to say no serious topics were discussed. They also talked about the demand for queer storylines, the stories they heard from fans and having a bisexual person as the lead. Anna Silk and Erica Luttrell later visited the press room for some photos and questions.
ClexaCon 2018 Day 1 – sixth panel: Staged reading of Passage
I have done some amateur acting and every time I watch a show or web series, I am really curious about how it was made and what the preparations were like. This panel had a staged reading of Passage, which Tello Films is currently developing. The reading is usually a closed process done with a small group but we were allowed to see part of this process of story and script development. Because of the pressroom activities, I was a bit later but it sounded good and funny. Now, obviously, I want to know what it looks like on screen!
ClexaCon 2018 Day 1 – seventh panel: Wynonna Earp
Have you ever been to a big concert? I am sure you have. Do you know that moment, right before the band comes to the stage when the audience goes insane? This is how I felt before the Wynonna Earp panel: as if we were all about to see a famous rock star. The audience in the massive room was losing it.
And hey, that was no big surprise, because Emily Andras, Kat Barrell, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, and Tamara Duarte are incredible! They talked about season three, where the WayHaught relationship will be going, the freedom at SyFy to explore these storylines, and how “It is 2018!”
For me, today was the first time seeing Emily speak and I was amazed by how articulate and visionary she is. I was very happy to hear her saying out loud that we are not just gay people; we have jobs, families, problems, and taxes to pay. Previously, when a gay character was introduced, they just had to be gay but now the storylines are getting more diverse. I cannot tell you how happy I am to see that development reflected in shows the past few years.
After this panel, all the press members were starving. Some people with snacks shared them with their neighbors but most of us were just very, very hungry the entire last panel. There simply was not enough time to eat! After the panel, Karen proposed to eat together with a few people. So, I ended up having a lovely stir-fry dinner with her and Immy and Alyssa. After that, I went to the comedy night by myself and finally crawled into bed at around midnight. What a day!
After ClexaCon 2018 Day 1, I realized how important this event is to me and the LGBTQ community. I have talked about it in my first blog about ClexaCon:
I have been looking for movies, TV shows, and web series with LGBTQ themes since right before I came out. Honestly, I knew nobody else who was non-heterosexual, so I had to find SOMETHING or SOMEONE to learn what that whole non-heterosexual thing meant. I was panicking and analyzing myself from top to toe, from my clothes and my posture to my way of walking and my hair. You see, I thought it would be terrible if people immediately knew I was a lesbian, whatever that “looking like a lesbian” meant. Now I can laugh about it, but I will never forget that suffocating and disheartening feeling.
And that is exactly why movies, TV shows, and web series with LGBTQ themes are important to our community. You want to see yourself reflected on the screen: your life, your thoughts, and your feelings. Not being the norm in society can be quite confusing, especially if you are just finding out about it.
Now, actually being present at the event made me realize how rare it is to fly across the world and be in the same proximity as the people who I have been seeing on screen for years. The movies and series you watch become a part of your daily life. These LGBTQ shows have provided our community with a framework.
However, since these productions are usually from the States or Canada, everything seemed so far away for me at the same time. How wonderful is it to be able to walk up to someone and thank them for their work? Indeed, after ClexaCon 2018 Day 1, I felt a little overwhelmed when it struck me how special this event is.
ClexaCon 2018 Day 2
Liked my blogs about ClexaCon 2018 Day 1? Next week, I will talk about ClexaCon Day 2 (Saturday). That means you will read about the following panels: Anyone But Me, Bisexual Representation, WayHaught, Swerve, Shoot, Alex Danvers, and Hollstein. 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.