Holiday Help Desk: A Queer Christmas Short Film You Probably Don’t Know Exists
I know we are all very excited Season of Love is out. We can finally enjoy our first-ever queer Christmas movie. Last year, I did discover a queer Christmas short film with two women, but I found out too late to tell you about it. This holiday season, I do want you to know that there is a 15-minute short film called Holiday Help Desk. It’s cute, so if you need more after Season of Love, this might be fun.
What is Holiday Help Desk about?
What is the
story about? Lauren Windsor and Christina Wu both have to work on Christmas Eve.
When Christina calls IT for help, she and Lauren hit it off over their mutual
disappointment in dating and a love of movies. Christina finally gets off work
and asks Lauren on a date, but Lauren still has to work. Is that the end? Nope…
Hillary Esquina, who wrote Passage, wrote the screenplay for this short film. It stars Shannon Leigh Reeve (whom you will also see in Passage), Rachel Lin, and Rich Sab. Chelese Belmont directed it.
Where can you watch
Holiday Help Desk?
released on Christmas Eve 2018. This is why I found out too late and why you
may have missed it too. Well, this year, it’s available for rent and purchase
on more platforms, so it’s easier for you to watch.
It’s available for rent and purchase on Vimeo. If you buy the short film, you also get to watch the bloopers. If you’re like me, you’ll love those; people tripping and messing up what they are trying to say. Actors, they’re just like us! Who knew?
You can find Holiday Help Desk for rent and purchase on Amazon Prime too. I don’t know if the bloopers are available there too.
LesFlicks is a subscription-based platform from the UK. The subscription costs €5.37 per month or €53.80 per year. There is a 14-day free trial. On this platform, you can also watch The Date (which you can also watch on Amazon Prime and Tello) and other wlw series and films.
Passage the Series: A New Lesbian Show with Paranormal Activities
About 1.5 years ago, I was at the table reading of Passage at ClexaCon. I loved witnessing a table reading, and I am excited that this web series will finally premiere this Sunday (Oct. 6th) on Tello Films. Passage the Series is an episodic paranormal thriller centered around paranormal operative and queer mom Ali Prader as she balances her personal and professional life during a crucial shift in power. I have watched the five episodes of this new show before the premiere date, so I can tell you why you should watch it. In this blog post, I will describe three things that I like about this series. In the video included, you will find me reacting to what I see as I watch Passage.
The story of Passage
Passage the Series is an episodic paranormal thriller centered around Janus Agent Ali Prader. This queer mom is a top paranormal operative within the government for a secret division called Caelus. Caelus relies on her special capabilities to handle the different situations that can arise from interacting with paranormal entities. Ali can balance her professional and personal life only until she starts to discover things that can open the door to a new crucial shift in power.
What I love about Passage:
the paranormal aspect
The first thing that intrigued me about Passage the Series was the paranormal aspect of the show. Usually, web series have a small budget and frequently, that small budget limits even the basic plans of content creators. I expect that adding sci-fi to a story, and all the special effects that come hand-in-hand with it, requires a big chunk of the project’s budget.
imagine that it is quite tricky. You do not want to cut corners with special
effects either as it will diminish the quality of your show, no matter how good
the storyline is. I have to admit I was a little worried because there is enough
proof on YouTube where shows have not handled that aspect well.
months ago, I was fortunate enough to watch the first episode when it was ready,
and I was relieved to see it was done well. I guess big TV shows have tons of
extra tricks (and money) to make it look even smoother, but this web series
makes the special effects look great.
What I love about Passage: the queer mom life
Esquina, who wrote Passage, and I agree on at least one thing: there should be
more stories about queer moms. Passage is just that. That’s one point for the
Passage team already.
I am a
queer mom. I do not know if you remember me talking about it earlier, such as when
discussing Different for
Girls, but it always seems as if marriage and having a kid is the end game.
That is all we strive for in life, and then after that, we have no more stories
to tell. I mean, if you believe most current films and series.
So yes, with
Passage, there is finally another story that we are in, and it does not just focus
on our motherhood. It is a part of the story but not the center.
What I love about Passage:
Shannan Leigh Reeve,
whom I loved in I Hate
Tommy Finch. I am excited to see her on screen again. Also, Nicole Pacent is in it,
and they were both in I Hate Tommy Finch! It is good to watch them together again
on screen. Mandahla Rose
is in it as well, so you have at least three cool people in one show. Oh,
Mandahla will make you laugh…
Where can you find Passage?
You will be
able to find Passage on Tello Films as of October 6th. You
will have to subscribe, but there is a free trial, so you can test whether you
like the website. You can find queer movies and series on it, and at the end of
the year, they will also have Season
of Love, which many Earpers probably cannot wait to watch.
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!
D-Day! ClexaCon finally officially started on Friday. This might be a good moment to say that I was pretty nervous beforehand and to explain why. As mentioned in my previous blog, I took a vlogging course. However, as we got closer to ClexaCon, I learned that press was allowed to hold short interviews with the talents at the red carpet and in the press room.
WHAT?! You mean actually talking to the people that I have been seeing on my screen for years now? Not just blogging and vlogging about the event but actually talking to the actresses? And, if possible, intelligently?
Here is something you need to know about me. I am easily impressed by people. Especially when I find them highly attractive. This makes my face decide to pop up a bright red color. This also makes my brain stop working and my mouth go silent. Nothing in my vlogging course said anything about interview styles and ways to prevent the fangirl in you from taking over your professional you.
ClexaCon 2018 Day 1 – First panel: Becoming YouTube creators
I started ClexaCon by visiting a panel that could help me with Meemoeder.com. Jess Harris-Distefano, Head of Creative Programming at YouTube Space LA, gave a presentation about becoming a YouTube creator. I have recently started making vlogs so of course, so I was interested in getting some tips.
Yes, there are tips all over the internet but being in The Netherlands, there is such a big distance between me and the company that getting help is hard. It felt like a unique opportunity to listen to someone who is dealing with big creators every day. Oh, and I am now rocking cool YouTube Spaces sunglasses 😉 Also, Jess recognized me from Instagram, how cool is that?!
Subscribe to my YouTube channel
Since you are reading this blog, could you subscribe to my YouTube channel? You do not know how much the numbers help when talking to people who can support this blog and my vlogs in moving forward. And if we can move Meemoeder.com forward, I can create more international LGTBQ content, which is what you want, right? It merely takes five seconds to click the subscribe button, so go, go, go! Thank you!!
If you want a specific example of how numbers help: at the moment of writing this blog, I am a few subscribers away from a hundred subscribers. If I reach that number of subscribers, I can claim a personalized link, which makes sharing my channel so much easier, allowing it to grow even more. In addition, it simply looks much more professional and I want to be taken seriously as a blogger and vlogger. Could you help me with that?
This is my new YouTube channel trailer. At ClexaCon, I asked many, many actresses to pronounce my name. How cool is it that people like Elise Bauman, Natasha Negovanlis, and Anna Silk help me introduce myself?!
During this panel, I also learned that the press pass had another big advantage. Other press members in the WhatsApp group, who were at one of the main panels, informed me that press was able to skip lines and go to a designated area in the front of the massive room.
Indeed, at the smaller panels too, I was able to go everywhere I wanted. This full access took away so many of my worries from before the con as I really wanted to cover as much as possible for you guys and the schedule was so insane that waiting in line would greatly reduce my ability to do so. Also, restroom breaks are a necessity 😉
ClexaCon 2018 Day 1 – Second panel: Queer lady business
Being an entrepreneur of one company that caters to the LGBTQ community specifically and one company that does not cater to this niche (I have founded translation agency BudgetVertalingOnline in 2011), I was interested in seeing how others view the LGBTQ community as a market and what the specific hurdles are.
I always see this one picture of Christin Baker, CEO of Tello Films, and I was surprised by how energetic and funny she was. I found Tello Films a couple of years ago. As it turns out from the panel, that was about the same time she founded it and was still struggling with it.
Plenty of pie
What struck me the most was that she said that we are not all fighting for the same piece of the pie. There is plenty of pie available for everyone. We can achieve much more by working together rather than looking at each other as competitors. As I am still positioning Meemoeder.com in the market, I can testify that sometimes, you are not sure if collaborations are something that help your brand. Will they make you look the same as the one you are collaborating with?
In those cases, I think about what I want to achieve with Meemoeder.com. My mission is to share information and experiences with the LGBTQ community (specifically lesbian parents) so that they can feel better about themselves and their choices and be more confident about them. Christin is right: most of the time, collaborations help me with this mission!
ClexaCon 2018 Day 1: Meeting Shannan Leigh Reeve
Before the Queer lady business panel started, I saw Shannan Leigh Reeve, who had been in the previous panel. I absolutely loved I Hate Tommy Finch, so I asked for a quick picture. I was not expecting so much friendliness (not because of Shannan but because I was not sure how guests would react to press) but she was so cool! She asked for my name, which I was not expecting at all.
This, however, reminded me of one of my ClexaCon missions. I wanted to make a compilation of the ClexaCon guests pronouncing (or mispronouncing) my name. After all, I always have such a hard time introducing myself in the States. I wanted to use this compilation as my YouTube channel trailer. She was extremely helpful (and you can watch the result above).
I also saw Lily Richards from Twenty the web series but there was no more time to talk to her. Actually, I saw her a couple of times at ClexaCon but every single moment was inconvenient (who wants to have a conversation in the restrooms?) so I ended up not talking to her, boohoo.
If you have not watched Twenty yet, you should. For some reason, I was not expecting much when I hit play the first episode. However, that whole cringeworthy introduction immediately had me hooked. This show is so funny, Lily is very interesting to watch and oh no, how you just want to punch some other characters. I backed the new season and I cannot wait for new episodes!
Lunch (not brunch)
ClexaCon 2018 Day 1, I learned something important about cons: food is essential if you want to keep going but it is also very hard to find time to eat if you are running around as press trying to cover everything.
So, when I received a message from Immy and Denise (other Dutchies I met, as you can read in my previous blog) that they were having lunch, I decided it was time for a break.
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.
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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