Tag: lesbian movies (page 1 of 2)

I Can’t Think Straight Visits ClexaCon London

I Can’t Think Straight Visits ClexaCon London

In November, Sheetal Sheth (actor), Shamim Sarif (director), and Hanan Kattan (producer) visited ClexaCon London to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of their movie I Can’t Think Straight. Fortunately, they also came to the press room, so we could ask them some questions about their movies I Can’t Think Straight and The World Unseen, about queer roles, and about future projects. Not the entire fifteen-minute interview is written down below, so if you want to know more, please watch the video below this image.

‘I Can’t Think Straight Visits ClexaCon London’ In November, Sheetal Sheth, Shamim Sarif, and Hanan Kattan visited ClexaCon London to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of their movie I Can’t Think Straight. Fortunately, they also came to the press room, so we could ask them some questions about their movies I Can’t Think Straight and The World Unseen, about queer roles, and about future projects. You can find the interview here: http://bit.ly/CantThinkStraight

If you had unlimited time and budget, what would you change about I Can’t Think Straight if anything?

Shamim: The changes would be subtle: the shot making, the editing, some of the direction. I think that is just part of evolving as an artist. I think you would feel that for a song you have written ten years ago or a novel. So, what I tried to do at the end of that screening [ClexaCon held an anniversary screening of the movie on Friday] was think: “Wow, look at the impact it is having. People get the core of it.” So, I should not be pernickety whether a steady cam would have been nice here or there. But I think it is just having more tools […], that would be fun to experiment with.

Hanan: And very expensive [laughs].

Shamim: And very expensive. And often I think time is a pressure for movies. With a bit more time, actors would be able to explore their characters more, there would be more ideas, and we would have been able to shoot scenes that were supposed to be in the film but never made it. That would be great. I think it is time that would be more of a luxury.

More time and money

Sheetal: I think it is the same. For more time, you need more money, so that is usually why you do not have a lot of time. For an actor, it is really about having the space to do your work and generally, in smaller movies, you do not have that much, you know. You have to deliver the moment you get there because of time. I am very proud of the film but of course, if we had more time, we could have maybe expounded something else or explored something else or maybe done a cool shot from a different angle. You know, you can spend a day on a scene, which a lot of movies are afforded to do and you can really find so much in that.

On the other hand, there is also something really organic and spontaneous that happens in an environment of small films. I have done so many independent films. If you have the right people involved and the right kind of hearts involved, and everybody knows what to expect when they go there and do not get caught up on the fact that you do not have that stuff, you can really create in a different space, which is also very exciting.

Pre-sale distribution

Hanan: For me, besides the money factor and time, is to have some pre-sale distribution in place, because it guarantees a wider release. For that to happen, people need to know they can invest the money and know that there is a bigger release. But if you are a first-time or second-time movie, that is not that easy.

As queer women, what are your feelings on the importance of having queer actors portraying queer characters?

Shamim: It is actually something that has come up more recently for me as we cast our next film Polarized. It gives queer women more opportunity. I think there are two things. Here has been such a taboo in Hollywood for women to come out because it feels it is killing their career as a heterosexual portrayal. So, I think it is nice to share the other side of that. That you can have queer women play queer characters.

At the same time, I do not think it should be a limitation. In the same way that I do not think queer women should not play heterosexual characters. On a practical level, sales and distribution, sometimes people want a name. If the only name you can think of is Kristen Stewart and she is busy that moment, there are probably not enough queer actors with enough profile to pre-finance a movie. That is another consideration that people do not want to talk about but it is a reality of making film.

Hanan: Whoever suits the role the most. I think it is limiting. It is really the person, do they fit, the chemistry there, can they do it and do it with justice? For me, it is irrelevant as long as they portray the character well.

Tricky

Sheetal [not queer]: I think it is a very tricky thing. First of all, I think the labeling of an actress in any way is the problem. You are not a queer actress: you are an actress who in your personal life is gay. To me, your sexuality should be irrelevant in the sense that you are in your workspace.

But I totally understand the idea that if that somehow has become something you are labeled with, and you are not able to get jobs as a heterosexual person in a movie… This whole conversation is like… But this is the world we live in, right? If it is a problem, then, of course, you should be able to have the roles that are written for someone who is gay.

But to me, as an actress, I am not interested in playing myself. It is about stretching. There is no point in being an actress if you are only going to do the same thing over and over again. But I do think, as a producer and a content creator, you should just be open to hiring people of all backgrounds, making sure there is a seat at the table for everybody, whatever that may mean. But I do not think that can be the only factor; I think it is a more holistic way of making movies.

What does it mean to you personally and to your career to be at an event like ClexaCon London?

Sheetal: It is so exciting. I still cannot believe I Can’t Think Straight has been ten years. Obviously, The World Unseen as well. I could never have imagined the impact that these movies have had on so many. You hope for that. You know, you hope that when you make art, that impacts somebody at some point other than yourself. I think to be invited and welcomed in this way is really sweet and lovely.

The things that I am hearing from meeting everybody and also being able to meet fans that have been messaging and tweeting me and then finally being able to put a face to a name has been really exciting. And then also hearing what it is. What is the story? Hearing in person what the story is and what it has done and why.

Happy ending I Can’t Think Straight

Sheetal: What I keep hearing about I Can’t Think Straight is the happy ending, which I did not realize, is so rare in stories having to do with two women. I am like: “Is that true?” And they are like: “Yeah, actually, either someone dies or there are drugs or there is something.” How is that supposed to give anybody hope? I just do not even understand. Honestly, it blew my mind when I kept hearing over and over ‘thank you for this.’ I did not even write the movie. I learn. I am learning a ton. The fact that that seems to be the reality for this type of content is troubling. It is shocking.

She asks Shamim if she knew this. Shamim: I did not actually, but I am terrible…

After I Can’t Think Straight

Hanan: No, it is after I Can’t Think Straight. It is based on us really [points to Shamim, her wife], some fiction. So, it is amazing how it has affected women. Many women have come out as a result of this film in particular.

Sheetal: The coming-out scene. Word for word, people will quote me. They say: “This is what I said too.” I am like: “Oh my Gosh, you did?”

Hanan: Yes. A lot of women have felt more comfortable in their skin. Maybe some have not come out still but they feel better about themselves. That it is okay to have such feelings or to go through this and to come out. So, coming to events like this is very important to continue with spreading the message and reaching more people.

Sheetal: And giving it the space and the pedigree that it deserves. You do not want to be in the corner. You absolutely have… Everybody has the right to have their own voice and space heard. And so, for ClexaCon to do that, that is really great for them.

More I Can’t Think Straight

As mentioned, this is not the full interview. You can hear more in my video. Do not forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and share my videos. That really helps with future trips to LGBT+ cons and with me bringing the cons home to people who cannot go to them themselves, for various reasons. It only takes a few seconds to help our beautiful community!

Have not watched I Can’t Think Straight yet? You can find the movie on Amazon or in iTunes.

Want to read about other cons that I have visited? This is where my ClexaCon Vegas adventure started and this is where my Love Fan Fest adventure in Barcelona started. Enjoy!

With a Kiss I Die [Short & Sweet LGBTQ Movie Review]

With a Kiss I Die [Short & Sweet LGBTQ Movie Review]

In this Short & Sweet LGBTQ Movie Review, I discuss With a Kiss I Die, which was released a few hours ago. It tells the story of Juliet Capulet (of Shakespearean fame), who is plucked from death and turned into a vampire. She is forced to live all eternity without her sweet Romeo. Now, 800 years later, Juliet meets a young woman, who captures her heart again. But Juliet’s new family, headed by a blood-thirsty patriarch, disapproves of the pairing. Juliet must once again choose between love and family obligations, terrified that repeating her past mistakes will lead to even more tragedy.

The combination of Shakespeare and vampires had me intrigued but also scared: would it be any good? I was pleasantly surprised when I watched the preview. Below, I will list three things that I like about With a Kiss I Die and at the end of the blog post, you will read what the perfect mood is for watching this movie.  If you prefer video, you can watch my three-minute review below this image.

‘With a Kiss I Die’ In this Short & Sweet LGBTQ Movies Review, I discuss With a Kiss I Die, which was released a few hours ago. The combination of Shakespeare and vampires had me intrigued but also scared: would it be any good? I was pleasantly surprised when I watched the preview. Here, I list three things that I like about With a Kiss I Die and describe the perfect mood for watching this movie: http://bit.ly/WithaKissIDie

What I liked about With a Kiss I Die: not intended to be an LGBTQ movie

With a Kiss I Die was never intended to be a lesbian or LGBTQ movie. As I was informed, director Ronnie Khalil was looking to give the best parts to the best actors, not just actors that fit the mold. He made the decision to cast a woman as Juliet’s love interest as well as the decision to cast a black woman as Juliet, who historically is an Italian character.

“It was originally just a boy/girl love story but when we were casting, we liked a lot of the girls auditioning and my casting director suggested pairing them up,” says Khalil. “I was open to the idea and when we had them read together, it really made the script pop.”

Khalil and his writing team then decided not to rewrite the script because characters changed gender. That means you will find no lesbian clichés in this movie. It is not a coming-out story or any other story we have seen over and over again. The two main characters being two women in love never is a topic of discussion. It just is. I find that very refreshing.

What I liked about With a Kiss I Die: almost like watching a play

With a Kiss I Die feels like watching a play. It is very theatrical in a way. I think it is in the way the colors change subtly. It is definitely in the slower pace. It is also in the way the actors have specific spots on the screen, especially during the meeting with the patriarch at the end. Without a doubt, this movie is very different from other vampire movies you may have seen.

What I liked about With a Kiss I Die: the international look and feel

With a Kiss I Die gives you a unique international look and feel. The movie was shot at two different Greek islands, which allows for beautiful colors and scenery.

In addition, the two main characters have a British and an American accent and the main supporting characters have a Greek accent when they speak English. You can tell they are all very talented. I particularly liked the actor who played the cousin. He was so animalistic, which for me was expressed mostly in the way he used his mouth. All in all, the cast was a pleasure to watch.

What is the perfect mood for watching With a Kiss I Die?

This movie is perfect if you want a bit of a slower night. It is also perfect if you want to watch a Shakespeare-themed movie without watching the classic adaptions over and over again. Finally, the movie is perfect if you simply want to watch two beautiful women being in love without the being women part posing the main problem of the movie.

Where can I watch it?

On the movie’s website, you can find all the ways you can watch the movie. I will share some of them with you here. You can order the DVD. For instance, Barnes and Noble has it and so does BestBuy.com. The movie is also widely available with Video on Demand. Examples include Amazon, iTunes, and Verizon. The only social media account that I found was on Facebook so you can follow the movie there. I hope you enjoy the movie!

You may also like my other Short & Sweet LGBTQ Movies Reviews: Nobody Famous, Love, Simon, and Becks.

I Had My Mind Blown at ClexaCon 2018 Day 3 – Part 6

I Had My Mind Blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 6 (ClexaCon 2018 Day 3)

This is part six 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, part two, part three, part four and part five here. In this blog, I will tell you all about ClexaCon 2018 Day 3. This Sunday, I visited three panels: YouTube 2.0, Doccubus and Valkubus, and Shethority. And now I know that something called post-con blues exists. The horror!

If you need more info about what ClexaCon is, you should first read my blog post ClexaCon 2018 in Las Vegas: The Media and Entertainment Convention for LGBTQ Women and Allies.

‘I Had My Mind Blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 6 (ClexaCon 2018 Day 3)’ This is part six of my ClexaCon 2018 adventure. April 4-10, I went on a trip to Las Vegas for ClexaCon, all the way from The Netherlands. In this blog, I will tell you all about ClexaCon 2018 Day 3. This Sunday, I visited three panels: YouTube 2.0, Doccubus and Valkubus, and Shethority. And now I know that something called post-con blues exists. The horror! http://bit.ly/ClexaCon20186

ClexaCon 2018 Day 3: breakfast

I missed the first panel today. Yup, that was a direct result of the Ascension Party. My body and head just worked at a slower pace this morning. So, I decided to go for an extensive breakfast. Given the time, one might as well call it brunch 😉  After that, I was ready for the final ClexaCon day!

ClexaCon 2018 Day 3 – first panel: How to Use YouTube as a Platform 2.0

You know, I have never watched reaction videos. It just did not occur to me to watch other people watch my favorite shows. I would much rather spend that time watching the shows myself. When I saw this panel mentioned on the website prior to my visit, I was intrigued. I guess I never knew it was such a big thing.

It helped that I saw a Dutch name in the list of panelists. Elke van der Iest was going to be present. My Dutch pride took over: if ClexaCon has a panelist all the way from the Netherlands, I should be there to watch it, right?

The popularity of reaction videos does make sense to me now. Yes, you watch other people watching your favorite show while you could be watching the show yourself (or do you watch simultaneously?). Still, these YouTubers comment. In addition, people in YouTube’s comment section comment. And that is where this whole discussion about current LGBTQ issues takes place.

How interesting is that? If you are looking for like-minded people, these YouTube channels and their subscribers are a great hub. This realization might sound very idiotic to some of you but hey, I seriously had no idea!

Elke van der Iest

After the panel, I wanted to ask Elke if she had a moment to talk to me. Therefore, I walked up to her and asked her this in Dutch. Woopsy, I scared her because she was only expecting English. Sorry about that, Elke! Luckily, she agreed to talk to me for a bit.

During the panel, I learned that she was a film student. How cool is it to have a substantial YouTube channel (over 20,000 subscribers) about films and TV shows while majoring in film? I asked her how she ended up at ClexaCon and what she thought of the event. You can find it in the vlog!

ClexaCon 2018 Day 3 – second panel: Happy Wife, Happy Life

As you can read in my previous blog, I promised the Tello team of Happy Wife, Happy Life on the red carpet to come watch the taping of their show on Sunday. It was the same time as the Doccubus and Valkubus panel, so I had to make it a short visit. It was actually pretty cool because I could watch the entire preparation before the taping. As you may have heard in my vlogs, I love watching all the things a production requires backstage. I decided to film that and stop when the actual taping started. You can find the preparations in the vlog!

ClexaCon 2018 Day 3 – third panel: Doccubus and Valkubus

I was right on time for the Doccubus and Valkubus panel. I was curious to see what they would talk about since they had already been on stage with Emily Andras and the others on Friday. WayHaught had also been on a larger panel earlier but that relationship is still on a current show, so it seemed much easier to talk about.

Unfortunately, the moderator asked the same type of questions as the ones that the actresses had been asked in the previous panel. I had expected them to zoom in on those two relationships but it was more the general stuff about shooting Lost Girl and the characters’ sexual orientation.

Do not get me wrong, I can watch Anna Silk, Zoie Palmer, and Rachel Skarsten any day but this separate panel did not add anything. Okay, it added laughter to the day. They sure have humor!

Want to watch Lost Girl? Try Amazon! Want to own the DVD/Blu-Ray? Try Amazon, eBay, Booksamillion, Zoom, Bestbuy, Zavvi, HMV or Bol.com.

 

 ClexaCon 2018 Day 3 – fourth panel: Shethority

Afterward, I went to the panel on Shethority not knowing what Shethority is. Shethority is a website founded by Chyler Leigh, Caity Lotz, and Maisie Richardson-Sellers to empower women through shared stories, support, and inspirational guidance. The website is not live yet but they were actively inviting everybody in the audience to share their stories there once it is live and create a sense of community.

End of ClexaCon

That was the final panel of ClexaCon for me. I walked around the vendor hall one more time to soak in the last ClexaCon vibes. I was feeling sad that it was over. My new-found friends Immy and Denise (more info in previous blogs) and I recorded some more videos. We recorded two together and in the ClexaCon recording booth, Immy used my mic to get her video done. She helped me get some photos on The Throne and I took her bag of fan pics up to my room for safekeeping. See, we really were a team 😊

Las Vegas sightseeing

We decided to walk the Strip together to do some sightseeing and get some food. It turned out we walked way more than we had initially intended. Even though we are not the biggest fans of Las Vegas (if you have been there once, you pretty much get the gist of it), we just kept going. I knew a nice spot that was a bit un-Vegassy (it is a word now), so I wanted to show them. They did not really trust me as we were all getting hangry and tired but man, once we were there, they loved it. Where? The botanical gardens in the Bellagio. You can see it in my vlog!

I finally said out loud that I was feeling very sad. I just had to share it. Immy said something about post-con blues and it was like a light switched on in my head. That makes sense! That is exactly what it was! Post-con blues. Wow. I never knew something like that existed but yes, it is real!

Finally, we ended up at a taco restaurant where we had a great meal. As Immy and Denise had tickets for the Blue Man Group, we had to rush back. They barely made it but still. I left Immy’s photos at the front desk and went to bed.

Final Last Vegas moments

On Monday, I walked around the Strip once more. Seeing actual daylight and feeling the sun on my skin was a new sensation as I had hardly been outside all weekend. My eyes caught a big sign saying that a patio was meant for brunch, which seemed too funny after the ClexaCon brunch joke. My Instagram followers agreed.

 

At 5 pm, my flight left and I had to switch planes in Salt Lake City. I tried to see that big temple but unfortunately, it was nowhere to be seen. Maybe on the other side of the plane? My flight home was good and arriving home felt great. I unpacked all my stuff immediately and went to the daycare center to pick up my son. He was really happy to see me but he was also a little mad that I had been gone for six days. I persuaded him with a gift though, so all was forgotten soon.

When we came back home, my wife was there. Home Sweet Home! Nope, I hardly suffered from a jetlag that week. Apparently, my body never adjusted to Las Vegas time, ghehe.

I had my mind blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 5

I had my mind blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 5 (ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont.)

This is part five 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, part two, part three, and part four here. In this ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. blog, I will tell you all about the Shoot and Hollstein reunions. Sarah and Amy came to the press room after their panel. I was also present at the red carpet event before the Cocktails for Change party. That means there will be much backstage footage this week! ClexaCon Saturday gave me such an adrenaline boost that despite the jetlag, the Ascension Party was no problem at all.

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.

‘I had my mind blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 5’ This ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. blog is about the Hollstein and Shoot reunions, about the red carpet, and about the Ascension party. There is also much backstage footage this week. Find out more here: http://bit.ly/ClexaCon20185

ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. – fifth panel: Shoot reunion

Ok, I am going to come clean in this ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. blog and say that I have never watched Person of Interest. What?! I know, I know…

So, yes, this was not the panel I absolutely had to attend because I love the show so much. However, this was my chance to finally see Sarah Shahi because, helloooo, Carmen…. I cannot tell you much about the POI stuff; all I can tell you is that that the view from the front was very, very nice.

 

Sarah and Amy’s press room visit

Amy and Sarah came to the press room after the panel. They shared a few laughs when posing for the photos and after that, they both sat down at a table to answer some questions. They stayed for quite a while actually, which was really nice of them. Naturally, the first question was about the L Word reboot.

I also asked a question, the same I asked Dot-Marie Jones: if they were able to pick any award they could win, what would it be and why? Sarah jokingly named a few awards from countries abroad so that she could travel to beautiful places but when I asked her about awards for personal causes, she said that children and the LGBTQ community had a special place in her heart. Watch the interview material in my vlog (and subscribe to my YouTube channel)!

Want to watch Person of Interest? You can find it on iTunes or buy the DVDs and Blu-ray at Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Walmart, Zavvi or Bol.com.

ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. – sixth panel: Hollstein

I am going to be honest again and confess that the Hollstein panel was my biggest reason for coming to ClexaCon. I started following this web series right before the second season dropped and so I was lucky enough to be able to binge watch the whole first season. As I had not told my wife about it, she was not really aware of this show.

Then the second season came and subsequently, the third season came. And then there was talk about this movie. And then there was a crowdfunding campaign. Oh, and then I backed the campaign. And then the release date of the movie was getting closer and I got really excited.

That is when I told my wife about Carmilla and how happy I was to see this movie soon. I watched it by myself (my wife had to work a lot around at that time, so she could not watch it with me). I told my wife how awesome it was. Naturally, she wanted to see the movie too but when we watched the movie together, she told me she did not get it and wanted to watch the series as well. NO problem at all, ha ha! So, we binge watched the three seasons and the movie. I love her…

On stage

I thought it was so cool to see them on that stage! This panel was my little fangirl moment. My big fangirl moment came a few hours later when I was able to talk to them on the red carpet, although I did my best to hide my excitement. Go watch the red carpet vlog and let me know how good or bad I was at hiding the fangirl in me!

 

ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. – red carpet

I had to leave the Hollstein panel early as I wanted to secure a good spot at the red carpet event. It was my mission to record an awesome YouTube trailer at ClexaCon and this event was my best shot at getting amazing content. Want to see the result? Here it is.

Yup, leaving early meant that I completely missed the announcement that Natasha and Elise are coming to ClexaCon London

As I was told that we were only allowed to talk to guests about thirty to sixty seconds, I figured I asked the guests to pronounce my name first and then see whether there was still some time to talk about anything else. I ended up being able to ask Natasha Negovanlis how Clairevoyant is going, Nicole Pacent about her two panels in the morning, Rachael Hip-Flores when she is going to record another video with Nicole, and Tamara Duarte how (un)comfortable it is to shoot a show while being pregnant. Oh, and the Happy Wife, Happy Life cast and Christin Baker pretty much interviewed me 😉

 

Press collaborations

On my left was Immy and on my right was Jessica (see previous blogs for explanations) and since the place was crammed, we had to work together to get our interviews. I think we had a nice system going.

I had my back to Immy, so I had the right camera angle and she had room to interview people. Jessica would stand straight when interviewing guests and when I was interviewing people, she would move her shoulder away so that she would not be in my shot. It was quite funny.

This way, we gave each other room but we also ended up in each other’s interviews as guests just started talking to the two of us (me with Immy or me with Jessica), depending on where they were standing. It made our interviews more fun and it helped us greatly if one of us was not so very familiar with the guest standing in front of us 😉

 

Are you kidding me?

This event was THE thing that made me most nervous before ClexaCon so I was really happy with how it all went down and how chill some of the conversations were. One moment I particularly cherish is when Holly, co-founder of ClexaCon, was told to move forward on the red carpet but decided to walk back to me, touched my arm, and thanked me for being there, coming all the way from The Netherlands. Are you kidding me? Thank YOU for ClexaCon and having me!!

 

ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 – Ascension party

Because of my jetlag, I had only slept for five hours. So, that morning, I expected I was not going to be very energetic at the Ascension party. Who wants to miss a party like that though? Luckily, I was so pumped from the red carpet that I had an abundance of energy!

Also, a Dutch/American couple had contacted me on Instagram because they had seen me walking around in my Meemoeder.com T-shirt. They were going to the party and I wanted to meet them. That means missing the party was not an option. I loved talking to them. Apparently, I take terrible selfies (note to self: try not to take selfies when a real photographer is present).

What a great party! At 1 AM, though, I had been awake for twenty hours so it seemed best to go to bed. I mean, I had to put my face in front of the camera the next day. I wanted to look reasonably okay…

ClexaCon 2018 Day 3 (Sunday)

That means the end of this ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. blog. Next week, you will read all about the final day of ClexaCon. That means you can read about the following panels: YouTube 2.0 – reaction videos, Doccubus & Valkubus, and Shethority. Also, you can see me being a tourist in Las Vegas. If you sign up for my newsletter, you can be sure you will be the first one to read it. You can find the sign-up form on the top right of this page or in the footer. Again, do not forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel! Thanks for reading this ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. blog!

I had my mind blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 4 (ClexaCon 2018 Day 2)

I had my mind blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 4 (ClexaCon 2018 Day 2)

This is part four of my ClexaCon 2018 adventure. April 4-10, I went on a trip to Las Vegas for ClexaCon, all the way from The Netherlands. You can find part one, part two, and part three here. In this ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 blog, I will tell you all about the following panels: Anyone But Me, Bisexual Representation, WayHaught, and Swerve.

Next week, you can read all about the rest of this day: the Shoot and Hollstein reunions, the red carpet event before the Cocktails for Change party, and the Ascension Party.

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.

‘I had my mind blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 4 (ClexaCon Day 2)’ This is part four of my ClexaCon 2018 adventure. In this blog, I will tell you all about the following panels: Anyone But Me, Bisexual Representation, WayHaught, and Swerve: http://bit.ly/ClexaCon20184

ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 – first panel: Anyone But Me

It has been ten years since Anyone But Me first aired. Rachael Hip-Flores and Nicole Pacent reunited in this panel and yes, there was as much laughter as you can imagine.

They talked about the growth of the show – from a guerilla-style type of shooting (they had no permits when they started filming, Tina Cesa Ward confessed) to shooting with an entire crew – and playing LGBTQ characters after The L Word had just ended.

Apparently, Nicole was a bit nervous about acting with Rachael before the shooting started, given the fact that she is bisexual and Rachael is not. Also, apparently, Anyone But Me made Rachael realize that women have boobs. As mentioned, there was much laughter 😉

On a final note, Nicole and Rachael, when can we expect that video about the letter?

Did you know you can own the three seasons on DVD? Try Amazon or eBay!

ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 – second panel: Bisexual representation

I was only present at this panel for a little while. That little while made me learn a thing or two, though! The first thing that was amazing to see was how the room was too small for the audience. The place was packed so clearly, we want more bisexual representation.

Another thing I learned was when Nicole Pacent said something about The L Word that I had not realized when it happened. You see, when The L Word first aired, I had only recently come out and I was still figuring out my own identity as a lesbian woman; at the time, I apparently had no brain cells available for all the other letters in our beautiful community.

Nicole told the audience about how offended she was by the Alice storyline, who started out as a bisexual woman, only to look back at it in later seasons as something of a mistake or even joke. I feel stupid for realizing only now how much of a relief it must have been for many women to see an out and proud bisexual woman and how much that storyline must have hurt later on. I guess we are never too old to learn…

ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 – third panel: WayHaught

You know, a second chance to see WayHaught up close is never a bad thing 😀 It is so endearing to see how invested Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Kat Barrell are in both this couple and the LGBTQ community.  The tears and emotions were real 😉

They talked about the relationship surviving (Dana: “You have always found your way back to each other. Why do you think that? Dominique: “Have you seen her?”), about what their WayHaught relationship means to the community (Dana: “You have been vocal fans of your fans.”), about the Rosita kiss, and about the whole oh-yeah-I-have-a-wife situation.

A big moment

For me, a big moment was this: as you can read in my previous blog and see at the end of my vlog, I was somewhat emotional realizing after the first day of ClexaCon how easily available LGBTQ content is nowadays as opposed to when I was growing up. After about 19 minutes, Kat starts talking about LGBTQ people who are older now but did not have that representation growing up, and she starts tearing up. I think my mouth dropped open. It truly did something to me to hear that acknowledgment from someone like her and to see her get emotional about it.

Wynonna Earp not available on your Netflix? Try Amazon! Want to own it on DVD or Blu-Ray? Try Amazon, eBay or Bol.com. Want to read the books? Try Amazon, eBay, Barnes & NoblePenguin Random House, Thriftbooks, Indigo, Booksamillion, Sanity or Bol.com

ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 – fourth panel: Swerve

Another panel that I was really excited about was Swerve the web series. You may wonder why I love this show so much. Indeed, after every episode, I have to go to the comment section to figure out what I have just seen. That is precisely the beauty of it. The show does not spell everything out; you are left with questions that make you want to watch the next episode and season.

Sharon Belle and Winny Clarke were on the panel with Sheila Allen and Kisha Tapangan. An area that this show specifically touches on is mental health issues. You could tell that showing the topic in an honest way means a lot to Sharon and Winny. Emotions seem to be a common theme at ClexaCon; both actresses were tearing up at some point during this panel. 😉

It was not all sad though. At one moment, it was revealed that nobody knew what was going to happen in the next season because Jason Armstrong never lets anyone know beforehand. Winny asked the room to tweet him all at the same time. I bet he had a buzzing phone for a while.

 

 

Swerve teaser season 3

Then, they dropped the teaser for season three. At first, they could not get the laptop to work on the big screen. So the entire room got up and stood around the laptop, and the panel watched us watch the teaser. That was another fun moment to be a part of. After the panel, Sharon asked to see the teaser because she had not seen it yet. It was cool to watch her watch her own work and see how proud she was.

ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Continued

Next week, I will talk about the rest of ClexaCon 2018 Day 2. That means you can read about the Shoot and Hollstein reunions, the red carpet event, and the Ascension Party! Yes, that includes a lot of backstage footage. If you sign up for my newsletter, you can be sure you will be the first one to read it. You can find the sign-up form on the top right of this page or in the footer. Also, do not forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

I had my mind blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 2 (ClexaCon 2018 Day 1)

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.

‘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. It was so worth the jetlag! In this blog, I will tell you all about my ClexaCon 2018 Day 1 experience, from visiting interesting panels and meeting interesting people to my first interview EVER. Want to know with whom it was? Find out here! http://bit.ly/ClexaCon20182

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?!

Skipping lines

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 and 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 and 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 or that just 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, as I always have such a hard time introducing myself in the States, and use it in my YouTube channel trailer. She was extremely helpful (and you can watch the result above).

 

Twenty

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.

In this short break, I saw Sharon Belle, Winny Clarke, and Dot-Marie Jones casually walking by. In what alternative universe am I that these things happen? Right, ClexaCon! I felt so lucky and happy!

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.

 

UPDATE 4/23/2018:

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.

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