In this blog post, I talk about the things that I have seen and experienced on the first day of ClexaCon 2019. ClexaCon 2019 Friday included panels by and on BiPositive Podcast, Nicole Pacent, Queer Representation in Burlesque, One Day At A Time, and Avalance. I have added a video that I recommend watching if you want the full experience (don’t forget to subscribe!). I hope you enjoy it!
Queer storylines in therapy
A few months ago, I was interviewed by Mari and MD for their BiPositive Podcast. I knew that they wanted to do mental healthcare panels at ClexaCon just like they had at the London edition in November but that they were struggling to get there, like me. I was very happy to find out they made it and so I wanted to show my support by visiting their first panel.
The description of this panel was: “Media representation of the queer community has steadily been improving over the recent years – and queer clients in therapy find themselves gravitating toward their narratives in hopes of finding a good example to live by. In this panel, psychologists and media enthusiasts will explain how relating to a well-represented queer character can help develop positive outcomes in therapy, and add to the creation of a well-grounded minority identity.”
It was really interesting to hear about the methods they use in therapy to help their queer patients. Nicole Pacent was also present to talk about the creator’s side of the story.
Queer Representation in Burlesque
I knew of burlesque, but that is pretty much where it stopped. So, I thought it would be fun to stop by the burlesque panel to learn a bit more about this world so far away from me. It was cool to hear these women explain their dance history and how they ended up in burlesque. I loved that they gave a brief historical overview of burlesque as it helped me understand how it evolved into what it is today. They were performing that Friday night, but unfortunately, I had to give in to my jetlag and go to bed.
ClexaCon 2019 Friday with One Day At A Time
At 12:30, it was time for me to visit my first panel in the main panel room. One Day At A Time was coming. With the cancellation of the show on Netflix, I think it was really important to have a full panel room to show our support for the show and that the creators and actors are not alone.
Needless to say, the room was full. I loved the commitment Sheridan Pierce showed to portraying a nonbinary person as a well-rounded human being. I love the jokes that Sheridan and Isabelle made with each other.
An incredibly important moment was when they talked about “their first lady-loving scene.” It became very inspiring when Isabelle discussed how intimate the conversation before that moment felt to her. She never had that moment in her life herself and discussed the importance of consent and showing that in a TV show. I fully show that part of the panel in my video because every second of that moment counts in my opinion.
Pressroom interview with Haviland Stillwell
Right when I wanted to say hi to everyone in the pressroom, Haviland Stillwell walked in for interviews. I wanted to talk to her about Freelancers Anonymous, which I reviewed here. Last year, when she was on the LGBTQ+ actresses panel, she said something like: “Somebody pass me a gay role!” Naturally, I wanted to know how that worked out for her. You will find out soon enough.
Pressroom interview with Carmilla
After this interview, Annie Briggs, Natasha Negovanlis, and Elise Bauman walked in for their interviews. Unfortunately, my camera stopped working when this happened, so I started to get nervous. I was afraid I was going to be unable to record this interview. Luckily, after restarting it, it did work properly again. I only missed half of the first answer, so it wasn’t that bad. I asked Annie and Natasha about the progress of the second season of Clairevoyant. After all, I saw it mentioned on the IPF Funding list. Again, you will find out soon enough what the status is.
ClexaCon 2019 Friday with Avalance
I’m fairly new to Legends of Tomorrow and Avalance. I tried watching the first season, but I didn’t particularly like the show. I stopped watching it. After reading comments that the show gets better in season 3, my wife and I skipped to the third season. Indeed, the show has gotten better, and it is very clever in showing the LGBT+ spectrum in numerous ways. It wasn’t hard to fall in love with Avalance.
Last year, I saw Caity Lotz, but it was my first time seeing Jes Macallan. I have to say she was one of the two biggest surprises for me this con. I don’t know what I was expecting but what a warm, funny, and enthusiastic woman! They kept cracking jokes as if they were in character and I loved every second of it. Also, the tango performance was hilarious. Oh, and Katrina Law stopped (danced?) by to rub a ‘Nyssara 4 life’ shirt in Jes’ face. Life was fabulous.
More ClexaCon 2019 Friday coming up
Right after this panel, I had to run to the press room because Jes was coming for her interview. I will tell you all about the rest of ClexaCon 2019 Friday in my next blog post!
In the meantime, you can read these ClexaCon blog posts (with videos!):
As you may have read last week, I visited Kat Barrell’s panel on Saturday as well as the I have a que(e)ry panel. In this final ClexaCon London blog post, you will read more about my ClexaCon London Adventures: all the interviews I had and the panel by Natasha, Elise, and Annie. It also helps to watch the video below this image because it allows me just a bit better all the things that have happened. Also, please don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel.
ClexaCon London Adventures with Jamie Clayton
That afternoon, we had a press moment with Jamie Clayton. I absolutely loved her presence. I’ve said it before but what an energy! I’ve learned quite a lot even though her interview was only 15 minutes.
Dana Piccoli moderated the panel by Natasha, Elise, and Annie. First, it was just Natasha and Elise. As always, Dana had a fun idea for them to act out. On previous panels, she made them act out scenes from famous movies.
This time, though, she wrote a Hallmark-inspired holiday movie called Boughs of Holly. It always makes me laugh to see Elise and Natasha’s face right before she announces what she will make them do. Can we make that movie happen?!
Then, Annie joined and it was fun to see how dynamics change when there are now three people being interviewed.
An interview with Natasha, Elise, and Annie
Right after their panel, we had to return to the press room because Natasha, Elise, and Annie were coming for an interview. As I expected, ClexaCon London turned out to be Annie’s first con. I thought she brought some interesting insights to the table.
For instance, she reminded us that it takes a lot of time and effort for actors to work on their craft, training and auditioning in between projects, which we as an audience don’t always know about. We just see them on the screen when they are working on a job.
After this interview, I took some time to record some vlogging footage. That meant I headed to the main panel room for Jamie’s panel a little late. When I walked to the panel room, I saw that the autograph lines for Natasha and Annie were a little slow. Apparently, everybody was at Jamie’s panel or in one of the other rooms. As I really wanted to have a quick interview with Natasha about Freelancers Anonymous, I took the opportunity to talk to her about it.
That sounds very proactive of me. In reality, I walked back and forth like ten times 😉
ClexaCon London Adventures: Impromptu interview
She said she wanted to but that she could not do it at that very moment. She thanked me for trying to promote new LGBTQ+ projects with my channels, which was amazing. I gave her my card to give to her agent, so we could make it happen.
After that, I talked to Holly, one of ClexaCon’s directors and I learned that they as an organization really like what I do with my blogs, vlogs, and social media posts about ClexaCon. That gave me such an intense feeling of happiness you guys. I can’t explain.
And then, Natasha’s agent walked up and said we could do the interview RIGHT NOW. No time to be nervous. Oh, wait, that happened anyway, of course. That moment, Holly also told Natasha’s agent that I am one of their favorite publications. It meant so much to hear that. Plus, more nerves…
I was allowed to go “backstage” and talk to Natasha. She answered a few questions about Freelancers Anonymous and made sure everybody watching pre-ordered the movie (the interview was released three days before the release date).
Natasha Negovanlis, Elise Bauman, and Annie Briggs visited ClexaCon London
Natasha Negovanlis, Elise Bauman, and Annie Briggs visited the press room of ClexaCon London to discuss their Carmilla characters, queer representation, and stereotyping, among other things. I have uploaded the video of this interview during the con but I had not had the time yet to write down the interview. So, here it is. One question is mine, the others are from some of the other press members present. We discussed more, which you can find in the video below this image.
Two different characters for Annie Briggs
Annie, how was your role in Carmilla challenging as you had to play both Lola and the dean? Did you prefer one role over the other?
Annie Briggs: “I don’t know if I can answer which one I prefer. Honestly, I think the gift in that was that those two characters, the dean versus Lola, were so drastically different.
The most challenging aspect for me was in the second season when I was playing Perry who was beginning to show signs of possession. There is a sort of grey area. There is a much subtler line between the two.
But between like full-on deanie-dean and Lola, they are so different. It was such as joy to play and it was fun. The writers gave me a great gift by creating very, very different character voices. So, half my work really was done for me.”
Queer representation in media
Me: “What is the number one thing content creators and the entertainment industry should do to improve queer representation in media?”
Elise Bauman: “Listen to the queer community. Hire writers of the queer community. Not that I am saying that straight writers can’t write roles for queer people, I don’t think that’s the case.
But I think if you do that, then you have to confer with people who are from the community. I think that is a really important step. If we are going to tell different stories, then we need a diverse writing room that is going to be able to tell those stories accurately.”
Natasha Negovanlis, Elise Bauman, and Annie Briggs face stereotypes
Do you ever come across stereotypes in your career or personal lives?
Annie Briggs: “When do we not?”
Natasha Negovanlis: “All the time. It’s constant. Even when I started doing more comedy or when I did Clairevoyant, a question we got asked a lot in interviews was ‘was it weird working outside of your comfort zone?’ Annie would just cackle: ‘Do you know Natasha? Have you met her?’ Or ‘was it weird doing comedy?’ I don’t know if it is because I have dark hair or sharp features. People assumed very much I was this Carmilla type, which… There are so many elements in my personality in her, absolutely.
I think we face it all the time. Especially with female characters, whether they are straight or queer, they are often two dimensional. Women are there to support the men. I think we have all been really lucky with Carmilla and to have characters that actually have agency and are doing things.
I think one thing as well is once you start playing queer characters, I find that at least for me personally, I almost never get auditions for straight roles anymore, which is really interesting to me. In my day-to-day life, I have a lot of straight passing privilege.”
Elise Bauman: “Everything comes down to stereotyping. We do it on a day-to-day basis. Think about Tinder. Literally 0.2-second judgment. […]
Something that I’m playing with right now is that I think it’s perhaps the conflicting nature of something is what makes it interesting. Because I am petite, the fact that I box seems really weird to people. That’s what’s interesting to me. That I look a very specific way but then I have this other energy within me and that’s interesting.
I kept thinking for a long time that I had to be my face. My face is a very specific thing and so I thought I had to act the way that my face looked to people. But maybe it is interesting if I am not what my face looks like.”
Annie Briggs: “Right. Like when people find out that one of my hobbies is knitting. They’re like WTF?
[…] I think the best I can offer is on my side of things as a content creator when I am creating roles, is incorporating layered human lives and making sure that that exists across the board.
Also, on a very simplistic level, breakdowns go out to actors and they are always required to dwindle it down into 3 words of the top that is [covering] this complex human life. And that’s not helpful to us on the receiving end.”
Natasha Negovanlis, Elise Bauman, and Annie Briggs visited ClexaCon London discussed more
As said, Natasha Negovanlis, Elise Bauman, and Annie Briggs talked about a few more things. You can find those in the video. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and share the videos you like with your friends. That helps me more than you can imagine.
Freelancers Anonymous: The New Queer Movie for Everybody
Freelancers Anonymous will be released November 16 and as I have already seen a screener of it, I can tell you why you need to pre-order the movie now. I love the fact that the movie revolves around female freelancers like me and that some characters are simply brilliant. At ClexaCon London, I have briefly talked to Natasha Negovanlis about the movie. She plays Gayle and is happy to share with you why she thinks you will enjoy this movie. Read my blog post or watch the video below the image.
Freelancers Anonymous is about me
Being a freelancer myself, I love seeing that part of my life in a movie. Freelancers Anonymous shows how hard it can be to start something. It does not show how hard it can be to keep your company (about 70% of companies founded stop after only four years!) but you definitely gain insight into all the work it takes.
The movie also shows how it really takes a community to make it happen for you. Everybody adds a piece. Finally, it shows how you need to convince everybody that you have a solid product or service every single day.
Freelancers Anonymous is mostly created by women
Freelancers Anonymous is written by two women (Lisa Cordileone and Amy Dellagiarino), directed by a woman (Sonia Sebastián), produced mainly by women, and all the main characters are played by women. That is rather fresh in today’s entertainment industry.
In fact, Freelancers Anonymous made it to ReFrame’s list as a gender-balanced production. ReFrame is a coalition of industry leaders founded by Women in Film and the Sundance Institute that launched a data initiative in an effort to recognize and promote gender-balanced films and television shows.
It collaborates with IMDBPro and relies on IMDBPro’s data to analyze films and television series to see how many women were involved in the production and how much screen time female characters had. To earn the ReFrame Stamp, a film or TV show must meet some requirements that call for women in key roles like starring, directing, producing, and writing. Additional points are given for having racial diversity.
I admire this movie for having such a female energy!
Freelancers Anonymous has Gayle
For me, the highlight of this movie was seeing Gayle’s second freelance job that she needs in order to support her first freelance job. I do not want to give away what it is but I can only imagine how hard Natasha Negovanlis had to laugh when she first read the lines that she would eventually have to say out loud.
Freelancers Anonymous has queer characters but…
Freelancers Anonymous has queer characters but does not make a big deal out of it. Billie and Gayle are shown in the final few months before their wedding and that is all you need to know about that relationship. Yes, obviously, their wedding plays a big part in the story but not how it has historically been done. It focuses on how they prepare for it rather than on the queer part of it. Because no deal is being made of it and the movie shows the things we all encounter in our wedding planning phase and in our struggles at the office, it is a movie for everybody.
Freelancers Anonymous has Larry
Do I need to highlight one of the few male characters in the movie? Yes. Who is Larry? What does Larry do? What does Larry add? Those are all legitimate questions. I do not have the answers for you. That is precisely why I need to mention him. I love random stuff like that in a movie!
What are you going to do this weekend? My guess is watching Freelancers Anonymous! On the Freelancers Anonymous website, you can pre-order the movie now or order the movie starting from November 16. Would you please share this post with every queer person you know? Representation matters and the more we know what movies are out there for us, the better!
Lesbian web series tip!Different for Girls is a rather new UK lesbian web series. It has crazy talented actors, like Rachel Shelley and Victoria Broom. I cannot wait for another season!
Indiegogo campaign tip!Short film The Date is now looking for funding. It is the story of two women looking for love in the dating world of the 21st century and aims to offer positive lesbian representation in the media. With what I have seen of it so far, I can say that it looks promising!
Love Fan Fest 2018 Sunday: Interviews and Closing Ceremony
I spent Love Fan Fest 2018 Sunday up in the relax room of the guests, interviewing them on the gorgeous balcony. As a result, I missed most of the panels but I had a blast just chatting casually with everyone. I have to confess that I did ask myself a few times: “Is this my job?!” At the same time, I experienced so many feelings that I got really emotional, so Love Fan Fest 2018 Sunday was definitely a rollercoaster ride for me. Oh, and how cool was that closing ceremony?
I have seen the first and second movie of Deadpool but other than that, I did not really know much about Brianna. That is another thing that is so great about these cons. By listening to someone’s panel, you can figure out what kind of a person one is (on a certain level of course) and what one’s work means to others. I thought it was a really relaxed panel to get the day started. Some of her stories even gave me inspiration for questions for our chat later that day. You will see this interview appear on my YouTube Channel in a few weeks so make sure you subscribe!
Love Fan Fest 2018 Sunday meant many, many interviews
After Brianna’s panel, I was brought to the relax room of the guests again, like the evening before when I talked to Shannon Beveridge. This time, we were brought to the gorgeous balcony with a nice green view and a lot of sun. While I was checking my camera and mics, Dom sat down one table down for a quick tanning session. At a moment like that, I just think: “How great is my life right now?”
I was waiting for my chat with Brianna but Gaby Christian was standing right by my table. I had not been able to talk to her yet and I really wanted to. So, I asked if she wanted to talk to me for a bit. She did not have any plans until noon so she agreed, which made me really happy and nervous at the same time. Impromptu interview happening in 3,2,1, go!
I simply focused on some of the things that came to mind when I watched South of Nowhere again. I knew that she had been in Spain for a while already and walked the Camino de Santiago, so I asked her about that. Surprisingly, she had visited the city in which I live, The Hague, too! So, we talked a bit about that. All in all, it was simply a fun conversation. We had to stop suddenly so the ending was slightly abrupt but I was simply very happy that I was able to talk to her for a few minutes.
When I was waiting for my interview with Brianna, right before Gaby agreed to talk to me, I was having a great time with Brianna’s girlfriend, whose mother is Dutch. We ended up discussing hagelslag, which is chocolate sprinkles we put on sandwiches. I may have scared Brianna a bit when I started the interview with “So, I have some inside information from your girlfriend.” I quickly told her it was about her hagelslag habits though😉
Interviewing Kat and Dom
At noon, we (LGBT Fans Deserve Better, WayHaughties, and I) were scheduled to talk to Kat and Dom. A big table in the middle of the balcony was arranged for us. We made sure the cameras, microphones, and voice recorders were ready. I started to feel nervous again but when they arrived, they were so chill that I quickly felt relaxed again. After all, the first thing they said was that on the second day of a con, they always feel more relaxed. Well, then I should be relaxed too 😊
I wanted to know how they experienced LFF. After all, they have visited so many cons in very different places and the questions asked on the panels were asked by fans instead of a moderator. They were both truly in love with LFF, I noticed. That made me happy because I felt some questions asked were not always that respectful. The language barrier may have been the problem, though. It was good to see how enthusiastic they were, which was confirmed at the end of Love Fan Fest 2018 Sunday when they were announced as the first confirmed guests for LFF 2019.
Another interesting thing I noticed was that when Dom started talking about a conversation she had had with her agent about the specific projects she would like to take on, Kat was in awe. I wanted to know whether they learn from each other in that respect, so I asked Kat whether she felt she could have a conversation like that too. She indicated that it felt scary to her so I just wanted her to know that I think she can. I mean, her fan base is not going to go anywhere anytime soon…
Love Fan Fest 2018 Sunday: interview with Kat and Dom
Interviewing Natasha and Elise
At 1 pm, we were able to talk to Natasha and Elise. They had a little less time to talk to us than Kat and Dom did, so we quickly started. It was pretty amazing because they were asked one question about queer representation and they just started talking and talking. It was beautiful to watch and they made some valid points about opening up the pool for actors who are interested in playing queer characters as opposed to always asking the same people and about roles representing non-binary and trans people.
I noticed we only had a little bit of time left so I wanted to ask at least one question before they had to go. Ever since they had won a CSA Fan Choice Award, I was wondering what kind of influence that award had on their career. I remember Natasha introducing herself in her acceptance speech because most actors present in the audience were on TV or in films rather than on the web. As I am not from Canada, I was wondering how that might have influenced their networking opportunities or opportunities regarding projects.
I was surprised when they told me they had noticed zero effect on their career. It made me feel sad for them at first. Then, Natasha explained a part of Canadian culture to me and how the award meant much to her personally and that it gave her inspiration to continue doing what she does.
Love Fan Fest 2018 Sunday: interview with Natasha and Elise
We were scheduled for an interview with Melanie at 3 pm, right after her panel. So, I had some time to visit her panel. It was pretty touching when she came on stage because she thought that nobody would come. She figured there would only be ten people because she had already had a panel the day before. Seeing everybody present made her emotional, to which everybody responded with a big applause. Are you kidding me? Of course, everybody is going to be there!
It is not even her humor that I like about her so much; it is the way she talks with her hands and pays so much attention to every detail in her stories. One moment I particularly liked was when a mother came to the microphone with her little daughter. She had a big, important question: who is Melanie’s favorite Disney princess? I love how children put things in perspective for you, lol. In the end, what truly matters?
Love Fan Fest 2018 Sunday also marked the day Melanie used her panel to reveal a few things about Kat and Dom. I am pretty sure Kat and Dom did not necessarily want those things to be revealed. You could tell she knew she was digging a hole for herself on stage and she just kept digging and digging. It made me cry-laugh. At the same time, I just wish I was present at the moment the three of them saw each other again after finding out what Melanie had told on stage.
Ten minutes after her panel, we sat down for our interview. It started with another hilarious anecdote by Melanie, so we were already laughing when the interview started. I just had to ask her about what had just happened on stage but I started laughing before I could ask the question. I finally managed to ask whether she had talked to Kat or Dom right in between the panel and now. “What did you do?!” she replied. To clarify, I did not do anything but I guessed Twitter had already brought the news to Kat and Dom. She dreaded that conversation for sure!
You can find the interview here:
Love Fan Fest 2018 Sunday: interview with Melanie
After the interview with Melanie, I was having all kinds of feelings so I decided to chill for a bit. There were no more panels, just people in line waiting for their autographs. I met a few new people while sitting in the shade and walking around for about two hours. I love how easy it is to talk to people at cons!
My press buddies and I discussed whether we should go out for dinner or stay for the closing ceremony. We were not exactly sure what the closing ceremony would entail. We decided to stay. Boy, were we glad! What an amazing (unplanned) party that was!
The audience had to wait as the guests were coming a bit later than planned. People started taking photos on stage with all their friends. Then, the DJ decided he did not care what music he was playing, so all the requests were being granted. Hence, music from Wynonna Earp and Carmilla started playing loudly and more and more people started dancing on stage and in front of the stage. I felt the floors go up and down with all the jumping around. What a spontaneous party!
At the end of Love Fan Fest 2018 Sunday, it was announced that LFF will be held again next year. In addition, they announced that the first confirmed guests are Kat and Dom. The crowd obviously went wild. They then entered the room with Rhiannon and Gaby, which only led to more noise.
Together, we watched the first part of the Love Fan Fest aftermovie, which led to a few tears being shed. The four of them said a few words of appreciation and there was a very intense group feeling. It was truly special. You see, you do not have to be a big con to have a big impact; at this smaller con, you could almost touch the sense of community. Rhiannon, Dom, Kat, and Gaby were right when they said they will always carry this feeling with them and it is exactly how every audience member felt too.
That marked the beginning of my post-con blues. Wow, they are real. Until ClexaCon, I had never heard of them but man, they do exist. They were enhanced by a certain situation that occurred right after LFF. With some of my new friends, we went out for dinner in the only place close to the hotel. Our starving stomachs did not want to take us any further.
The seats outside were taken so we went inside. A soccer match was playing loudly on the TV. It was a small and shabby restaurant with about four or five tables. I entered the place first and all eyes went to the door because everybody was facing our direction as that was close to where the TV was hanging. Nobody said anything and they just stared at us. We sensed we were not welcome at all but we just had to eat.
The only table available was right under the TV. They just kept staring at us in silence until we sat down. The waiter threw a menu at us and barely helped us at all. It was pretty intense. Nothing happened but the sensation of being watched that closely already made me think: “I have just met these people but I would not want to be here with anybody else. If this means a fight will start, I would be happy to defend each and every one of them.” I do not think I have ever experienced this before. It just blew my mind. So what if some of us have short hair? Geez…
It actually had the opposite effect. I feel we bonded even more at that table. Thanks, buddies! I did make me sad though. It also reminded me of why we continue to need these cons and pride and other LGBTQIA events. We need to show our diversity over and over again until we no longer stand out. So, see you at Love Fan Fest 2019?
Hollstein at Love Fan Fest 2018 (+WayHaught, Gaby Christian, and Shannon Beveridge)
I meant to publish this blog post a few weeks ago but I had to change my LFF content schedule somewhat due to unforeseen reasons and publish my interviews with Kat and Dom, Melanie, Elise and Natasha, and Shannon earlier. I prefer posting things in chronological order but alas. So, a few weeks later than planned, this post will be about Hollstein at Love Fan Fest 2018 and other panels later that Saturday, such as WayHaught, Gaby Christian, and Shannon Beveridge. I may also have been kicked out by security somewhere. Yes. It is not always easy to blog and vlog for you, dear readers! First things first, let’s delve into the panel of Hollstein at Love Fan Fest 2018.
Hollstein at Love Fan Fest 2018
The first morning of Love Fan Fest was all about Wynonna Earp for me but around noon, there was another treat: Hollstein at Love Fan Fest 2018. I loved how Elise and Natasha clearly showed their respect and support for one another. It seemed that despite all these interviews and conventions together, they still hear new things about each other. For instance, Elise was talking about her projects behind the camera and how she was glad that it offered her a certain degree of freedom. Natasha replied with “That’s awesome!” and indicated that the audience should applaud for her more loudly.
I was also seriously impressed with the creativity of the questions, some of which led to hilarious answers and situations. For example, one question was whether Elise and Natasha could show how Laura and Carmilla would experience this visit to Barcelona. I was laughing so hard during Elise’s answer that I only recorded Natasha’s answer. I nearly missed Elise’s response to Natasha turning into Carmilla but I managed to record some of it. These moments are the reason I fell in love with (LGBTQ) cons 😀
The panels of Hollstein at Love Fan Fest 2018
Exclusive interview with Hollstein at Love Fan Fest 2018
After their panel, Elise and Natasha went to the big autograph room. At ClexaCon, I loved filming that. After all, how beautiful is it to watch fans finally meet their idols? I walked to the staff member at the door and explained that I was press and that I wanted to film inside. I was allowed in, recorded a small video of me explaining what was going on in that room, and then I walked to the lines of people waiting for Natasha and Elise.
When I started filming there, a staff member walked up to me and said that I could not film. I explained to her that I was press. She said “oh, sorry” and left. A minute later, security came up to me and said something in Spanish. As I did not understand, he decisively said “no press.” Yup, I got kicked out.
During Love Fan Fest, whenever Kat and Dom were on stage, there seemed to be at least some talk about a possible marriage between Waverly and Nicole. The fans obviously want to see something happen in that respect.
That did not seem to be enough. We were surprised by a beautiful proposal on stage. I do not know the names of these two lovely ladies but the look in the eyes of the one proposing was so very intense (the other one had her back turned to me so I could not see her eyes). It was as if they were completely alone, not on a stage with Kat and Dom right by their side and 400 other women in the room. Whoo!
After a short break walking around and having some food, I went back to the main hall. I have been receiving a few comments under my vlogs about how optimistic I continued to be even though this whole press thing was kind of hard. However, I can tell you that this was the moment when I was in low spirits. I was asking myself whether the trip was worth it. Therefore, I gave myself an option: am I going to be sad because of the way things are (not) going or am I going to do something about it? I decided to do the latter.
You see, our press contact was not responding and I realized the country code was not saved correctly in my phone. Once I had fixed that, I contacted her again. I asked her whether we could somehow get permission to shoot some photos and videos in the autograph room. When I was waiting for Gaby Christian’s panel to start, I heard we were granted permission for ten minutes right after Gaby’s panel, when Kat and Dom would start signing. How awesome was that?! That is when things started to go better and I was able to get better footage for you!
Gaby Christian’s panel
Even more awesome was that many visitors were waiting in line for autographs. That meant we could sit on the front row of Gaby Christian’s panel rather than on the floor. It was fun hearing Gaby talk about South of Nowhere and what it was like to take on that role fourteen years ago. To refresh my memory, I had rewatched the whole show two weeks prior. Can I just say she has a very pleasant voice to listen to?
Rhiannon Fish was also on the panel but honestly, I do not know any of her work so I was focused more on Gaby. They brought a friend, Mike Manning, who was Gaby’s fake husband in SHE4ME’s video, he told us. I wish I had realized it sooner but I also saw him on The Real World: D.C., in which he was struggling with his religion and his bisexuality as he had only recently come out. Powerful stuff!
I liked the mix of the panel; it allowed for a diverse Q&A.
Autographs by Kat and Dom
Right after the panel, my press buddies and I went to the autograph room. A long line had formed as many guests were signing at the same time. I showed the staff member at the door my texts, saying we now had permission to be inside for ten minutes. After a debate with other staff members, we were allowed to enter the room to wait for our press contact.
Inside the room, security came back to me immediately as well as some other staff members. We showed my texts and everybody clearly watched us until our contact arrived. She first had to make a few extra phone calls. Then, we were granted permission to shoot videos and take photos for ten minutes. Dear readers, this footage cost me quite some sweat so please enjoy it thoroughly 😉. Also, please do not share it (edited or unedited) without a direct link to my website and social media account.
Shannon Beveridge’s panel
Because of this opportunity, I missed the first part of Shannon Beveridge’s panel. I have not actively followed her over the years but I have seen some videos of her on YouTube. So, I really wanted to hear what she had to say and what the visitors wanted to ask her. I thought it was funny that she was clearly more comfortable in her videos that on the big stage. Every now and then, a question made her shy. She was asked what she first notices in a woman, for instance. Lol, imagine having to answer that in a big room full of people :p
She has such a big platform with over 600k followers on YouTube. I am just starting out with YouTube and I find it really interesting to see what you can achieve with it. The past three weeks, my videos have been gaining traction. As a result, I have been getting quite a few private messages about how much these videos mean to people. Can you imagine how much you can help people if you have that many followers? Also, can you imagine how much pressure that adds to your work? That (im)balance continues to fascinate me!
Interview with Shannon
After the panel, at the end of the program, I saw our press contact. I asked her if there were going to be any media opportunities or whether this was it for us today. She asked whether we wanted to talk to Shannon Beveridge. Eh, YES!
So, you can read what it was like to meet Shannon Beveridge and watch my interview below. Please do not forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and share the video if you like it! I promise you there is more to come. I do not want to give it away entirely but I may also have an interview with someone already mentioned in this blog post!
So, was Hollstein at Love Fan Fest 2018 your favorite or were you there for someone else? Let me know in the comment section!
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