Tag: twenty the web series

Twenty a Webseries: Interview with Lily Richards and Caitlin Combe

Twenty a Webseries: Interview with Lily Richards and Caitlin Combe

At ClexaCon 2019, I met Lily Richards and Caitlin Combe of Twenty a Webseries. Twenty is one of the few good LGBT+ webseries currently available, and so I was really happy when they agreed to do an interview with me. We met Friday night at the Filmmakers Mixer and were doing the interview Saturday morning before the event officially started. That’s dedication! In this blog post, you will find the interview written down, but if you can, watch the video. These women are a blast to listen to and they have incredible stories to share.  

‘Twenty a Webseries: Interview with Lily Richards and Caitlin Combe’ At ClexaCon 2019, Lily Richards and Caitlin Combe discussed Twenty a Webseries. We talked about flipping the trope, dad fans, and Avocado interruptus. Read it here: http://bit.ly/TwentyWebseries

ClexaCon 2019 for Twenty a Webseries

Me: “Thank you for coming. I love Twenty a Webseries, so I was really happy to bump into you last night. You were here last year. How is ClexaCon for you this year?”

Lily Richards: “It’s really exciting being here again. When we came last year, we just finished up season one. So, we hadn’t even started releasing season two. It’s really cool to see how the following has grown from last year to this year, to come and to meet a whole wave of new fans of the show, and be able to be involved in another capacity than last year. I feel we’re even more part of the community now and it’s awesome.”

Dad fans

Me: “What do people tell you when they talk to you?”

Lily: “I guess it varies. A lot of people said they really liked the show. They enjoy the humor of it. They enjoy the relatability of it. Some of our favorite comments that we’ve gotten have been when people said like ‘the shows helped me become comfortable with who I am and things like that.’”

Me: “That’s amazing!”

Caitlin Combe: “Like, ‘it helped me connect with my parents or show friends and family what I want my life to be in regards to the normality of being queer in a non-queer space.’ That has been really heartwarming to watch. It helped mend relationships as well, which we had no idea would happen.”

Lily: “We got a lot of dad fans, which is awesome. A lot of dads who are like watching Twenty with their kids.”

Responsibility for Twenty a Webseries

Me: “Do you feel a certain responsibility all of a sudden?”

Lily: “To a degree, I also feel like, by virtue of the lack of queer content, every time you make anything that is representing the queer community, there is already that built-in responsibility to show your community correctly and to not buy into stereotypes and to not, you know, kill off your queer character, obviously, right? I think there already was that sense of responsibility in making this. There is a huge community that’s underrepresented in media, and it was our job to make sure that we were getting the right image out.”

Trying not to be super offensive

Me: “Where did you get the idea for this show?”

Lily: “I graduated from Emerson College in 2016, and upon graduating, I was going to come back to LA and predominantly pursue acting. Then I started going in on a lot of auditions for gay female characters that were just super offensive. They were like, ‘Oh, she’s like stealing this boyfriend’s girlfriend, she’s a horrible person, she’s also a murderer…’ There was just never anyone who had a storyline other than being gay and I was just very fed up with that.

So, I wanted to create a show that had queer characters and was the starring queer women but wasn’t focused on their sexuality. That was kind of just how Twenty started. I was really lucky; we have a lot of incredible friends who are very talented at improv. We were able to get them in, and just kind of have fun with them and create the show together and see what happened.”

Threesome?

Me: “So, I think it’s pretty radical to open your webseries with like the ‘we want to have a threesome with you’ conversation and how to navigate that conversation. How did you come up with that?”

Lily: “I found myself in that situation a few times, where I was like ‘Oh, I thought we were friends. Oh, you want to, oh ok…’ So that was sort of the impetus for that, and I know that we’ve experienced that a lot.”

Caitlin: “As a gay couple, or even just like going to a bar with friends and there are straight guys, and they’re all like…. ‘I’m sorry. I’m not interested. I’m dating her. Not into men…’ And then, all of a sudden, they’re like ‘oh well, we can tag-team it…’”

Lily: “That’s my favorite expression because it sounds like we’re all going to do a marathon. We can pass the torch!”

Caitlin: “It’s definitely something that we’ve never gotten as close as Maya does in Twenty to that situation as a couple, but… Especially when we first started dating, even friends did it, and it was like ‘Oh, okay…’ So we’ve experienced that a lot. I think we just go to less straight places now. That’s why we don’t experience it as much anymore.”

Lily: “We’ve been together long enough that people are like ‘maybe not a good idea…’”

Twenty a Webseries aims to flip the trope

Me: “I wanted to talk a bit about the characters on the show. Because they are precious, but they can also be a lot to handle sometimes. Where did you get the idea for them?”

Lily: “I kind of wanted to flip the trope on its head. You know, how you watch most comedic TV shows and you’ll have the straight character, and then you have the wild, quirky gay best friend. So, I wanted to flip that a little bit, and that’s why we have Maya, who is the more grounded of the bunch. And then we have Tina, who is just off her rocker. An absolute blast but someone help her. So, I wanted to have the straight character being the one that was kind of just absolutely wild. Because, yeah, I mean, we have straight friends who we’re like ‘yo, calm down!’”

Dynamic

Lily: “Kathy Dorn, who plays Tina, is just a phenomenal actress and Kathy is the sweetest, most pulled-together person you’ll ever meet. But it’s funny because she is so good at playing those roles. I’ve been in a play with her in college where we had a similar dynamic, where I was the more stoic one, and she was just out there. I really enjoyed working with her, and I had so much fun with her in that show. And so, I really wanted to bring back that dynamic, but put our own twist on it.

I left a lot of Tina up to her because I knew she could handle it. Sometimes, we would start filming a scene, and if she wanted to improvise and go off-script, I was like ‘go for it! Let’s see where it goes.’ And it was all so funny. So, with Tina specifically, that was the concept behind it. Thankfully, we had such fantastic actors who were able to take the part and roll with it and bring it to life.”

Laughing

Me: “The humor of the show is so good. I was wondering if there was ever a scene that you just couldn’t get through because it was so hard not to laugh?”

Lily: “Yeah, there were a lot.”

Caitlin: “So many. The first one that comes to mind was actually not an episode of the seasons, but we did these…. Between season one and season two, we wanted to give our audience some more of the characters while they missed them while we were doing season two. We did a few ‘how-to’ videos with the characters, and I think the one that we really struggled to get through was how to taste wine.

I posted a photo on the Twenty a Webseries Instagram of Lily, and she looked as if someone just told her a loved one passed away. The tears from laughing were so intense. It’s funny because Reyn and Sarah, who play the characters, were totally cool and stayed in character. It got to the point where our sound guy just couldn’t stop laughing. He said: ‘I’m sorry, we have to pause because I can hear myself laughing. We have to stop.’ That was something that was a mess.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BfEuAa8lfM4/?igshid=oscmjczmddlt

Straight man fashion

Lily: “It got me.”

Caitlin: “You were so tired that day from laughing.”

Lily: “I told Reyn and Sarah ‘Well, this is a funny thing. Let’s have a Victoria and Charles try wine tasting. Obviously, Charles will have no idea what he’s doing, but he’ll be really confident about it.’ Classic straight man fashion. I just had them go with it and my God. Reyn is such a funny guy, such a good actor, and both of them were incredible. They just improvised the whole thing. They improvised for like twelve or fifteen minutes. We just edited it, but it was a blast. We had so much fun with that.”

Avocado interruptus

Lily: “And then the other one… I think it is episode six of season two where Tina comes to stay on Maya’s couch for a few days while Hector is away. She keeps interrupting Maya and Catalina every time they try to have sex. That was such a blast.”

Caitlin: “She came up with a lot of the different weird things she would do.”

Lily: “When I had her come in for the scene where she interrupts us in the bedroom and is about to go to the bathroom. For that scene, I said ‘Kathy, when you’re leaving, I want you to improvise a weird story from today. Tell us something random that happened to you. And she went on this whole thing about avocados, never having an avocado before. A different one every time and they were all so good. So, we definitely had trouble getting through that as well.”

Caitlin: “Yeah. Those were definitely the fun parts.”

Twenty a Webseries season two

Me: “I bet the experience on set can be quite different, so that’s special to have. I was wondering: going into season one, did you already have an idea for season two or that you were going to make a season two?”

Lily: “Definitely, that was the goal. I really, really wanted to do a season two. At the end of season one, we just decided. When we did the show, we had no expectations. We were like ‘this is going to be a really fun thing we do. Hopefully people find it. Hopefully people watch it.’ We were really grateful and lucky that people did find it and that people did watch it.”

Algorithm

Me: “It is so hard to get the first traction, right?”

Lily: “Exactly. I think that’s the hardest step, gathering that first fan base, getting those people who are passionate enough about it to tell their friends.”

Me: “I think I found it after about three episodes.”

Lily: “That’s what we’re hearing from a lot of people!”

Me: “It was in my suggestions, and I was like ‘let’s check this out.’

Lily: “We got on the good side of the algorithm, I guess. But yeah, that’s when we noticed it too. I mean, the first two episodes did really well; they both hit like 5,000 views when we first released them, which is good, you know.

Caitlin: “Really big for people who had no idea anyone would watch them. We hit the first hundred views on episode one, and we were like ‘Yeah!’ We were sitting there, and we’re like ‘Oh my God, we got a hundred views; we’re on top of the world!’”

Me: “I know that feeling.”

Caitlin: “And the first hundred subscribers. And then now those things are so tiny compared to what we’ve got, but I think it’s really cool to remember how excited you were for those first views.”

Milestones

Lily: “The first milestones, totally. So, after season one, we kind of took a look at it. We ended season one with almost 20,000 subscribers, and we were like ‘It would be dumb of us to end this now. People seem to really like it. People are asking us about a season two.’ Caitlin and I funded season one with our own money that we had in savings, so we knew we couldn’t do that again. We decided we were going to do an Indiegogo. We figured ‘if we really try hard, we can make the show for $20,000. And we thought twenty for Twenty would be funny.”

Caitlin: “Easy to remember.”

Indiegogo campaign for Twenty a Webseries season two

Lily: “We did an Indiegogo campaign and attempted to raise $20,000. We ended up raising $22,000, which was awesome. It was very validating to exceed the goal. And we just went right into it.”

Me: “Were you able to do something special with that extra $2,000?”

Caitlin: “So, Indiegogo does take a portion of the money out, but that extra money definitely helped pay off that charge. But honestly, I think it went more into submitting Twenty into the larger film festivals. For example, we submitted to the Streamy Awards, and that’s like the Oscars for web content. We had no idea if we were going to get in, but there’s like lots of little charges for film festivals like that, where that extra two thousand really helped.”

Locations

Caitlin: “And then once we had that, we were able to pay… We were really lucky; we got a lot of free locations, but we were able to pick a few that we had to pay for. It just boosts the production value. There’s a lot of scenes done in this one bar over several episodes, but it’s this crazy bar that has seven bars in it. And we managed to use that money to pay for that, and it helped with a lot of locations for this season.”

Lily: “So yeah, we were very grateful for that extra money. It’s funny; you think like ‘Okay, this is the goal. But obviously, if we make more than that, we can make the show even better.’ So, for me, I was so grateful that people kept donating after we hit twenty because it did make a huge, huge difference.”

Twenty a Webseries merch

Caitlin: “Also, we were selling the Twenty pins, so people were able to buy merch, which helped.”

Lily: “You can still buy them on our Indiegogo campaign.”

Me: “Yeah, I heard, when an Indiegogo campaign is successful, the link stays live. That’s awesome.”

Lily: “And we did get the Streamy nomination.”

Caitlin: Yes, we did get the Streamy nomination after all that.”

Lily: “Thank God we submitted the series.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BoKLHdQhc97/

Next step for Twenty a Webseries

Me: “I don’t know if you can talk about it but is something new coming for Twenty a Webseries?”

Lily: “It’s so hard because right now, everything is very up in the air. We’re kind of like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.  We can’t make any official announcements, but also…”

Caitlin: “Your goal was always to make queer content mainstream. So, after season one, we did season two. We kind of wrapped up season two in a way that closes the webseries and we could open it up for sure. There’s so much more we could do, and that idea is still there, and we play with it and see what happens. But definitely bring it somewhere bigger, maybe off of YouTube, would be ideal. It takes a long time to get there, but we’re having a lot of meetings, and we’re working with people. So, we’ll see. Hopefully in the next few months, we’ll have some sort of update.”

Lily: “We’re hoping to bring it to a network ideally, or you know, to make a feature film based on the web series. Or to make a season three. It’s definitely not over. We’re just unsure of where we want to take it next.”

More ClexaCon 2019 fun stuff

Want to read more about ClexaCon 2019? I’ve got you covered!

ClexaCon 2019 Saturday

ClexaCon 2019 Saturday

I went to two panels on ClexaCon 2019 Saturday but I spent most of this day holding interviews.  I actually had a few exclusive ones and there was a press room interview with One Day At A Time that I visited. In this blog post, I will tell you all about this day because it was stressful and truly heartwarming at the same time. I recommend watching the video below this image too.

‘ClexaCon 2019 Saturday’On ClexaCon 2019 Saturday, I went to two panels but I spent most of this day holding interviews. I actually had a few exclusive ones and there was a press room interview with One Day At A Time that I visited. In this blog post, I will tell you all about this day because it was stressful and truly heartwarming at the same time: http://bit.ly/CC2019Sat

An interview with TWENTY The Web Series on ClexaCon 2019 Saturday

As you may have read in my last blog post, there was a filmmaker mixer on Friday evening. I ended up talking to Lily Richards and Caitlin Combe of TWENTY The Web Series. I was so happy to bump into them because I think their show was brilliant and last year, I didn’t have the chance to tell them that. We ended up talking, and they agreed to do an interview with me. We scheduled it at 9 AM the next morning, so I had a few hours to prepare questions and then go to bed to be all refreshed for this interview.

I’m really happy with how it went. As with any interviews, I was nervous in the beginning. These women were so warm and happy to talk, though, that that we had an amazing time. I left with a really good feeling. I can’t wait to show you this interview, which will be in a few weeks.

ClexaCon 2019 Saturday starts with Nyssara

Then, it was time for the Nyssara panel. I have never watched Arrow, but the panel with Caity Lotz and Jes Macallan was so much fun that I decided to go to this one as well. Because Katrina ran on stage during the panel yesterday, I expected Jes to crash Katrina’s and Caity’s panel too. Well, I had to wait a long time, but after about half an hour or maybe 45 minutes, it finally happened. I laughed so hard. Also, I didn’t know Katrina, but I absolutely loved her personality. She had some quick answers, and I admired how she handled one particular attendee who, in my opinion, asked her obnoxious questions.

Sheridan Pierce and Isabella Gomez

After this panel, I had to run to the press room again because Sheridan Pierce and Isabella Gomez of One Day At A Time were visiting. I was really excited about this one because I know Isabella is a very outgoing person and I wanted to discover what Sheridan was like. I love that she looks sweet but can stand up to Isabella with a single comment. The dynamics between those two are amazing.

Good Kisser

Then it was time for the moment I was nervous for the most. I had scheduled an interview with the cast from Good Kisser. The reason I was so nervous was that I’ve never had an interview with three people at the same time. Also, I hadn’t watched the movie yet. They couldn’t send me a press screener beforehand, and I could not visit the sneak preview because of the press room schedule. I knew the plotline, so I could ask some general questions, and I had to find out the rest along the way. Because three people were talking, it ended up going smoothly, and I felt like we were having a good time.

Girls Like Magic

I feel really lucky because Julia Eringer also plays in Girls Like Magic. Girls Like Magic is one of those web series where I was actually waiting for a new episode every single week. So, I told Julia that I really liked the show. She told me that Shantell was on her way to Vegas and asked me if I wanted to do an interview with the two of them. Hell yeah!

So, after that, I started preparing questions. It was kind of hard because obviously, my press buddies were also in the press room and it’s not like we can talk every day. So, I was trying to catch up as well as prepare for the interview.

Exploring

Then, I started to walk around because I also wanted to see the Cosplay contest. That room was so packed that I just ended up walking around exploring.

At 3 PM, Mika Epstein and Tracy Levesque from LezWatch.TV were having a data panel. I wanted to show my support by going because we often bump into each other at these cons and I really like what they do. Well, showing my support wasn’t really necessary because the room was quite full. I’m impressed by their presentation skills. It seemed like they were not nervous at all and had fun doing it.

Beyond Clexa’s booth

After that, I saw Lily and Caitlin walking around again. I wanted them to go to Beyond Clexa’s booth, and they said that they were already planning on going, so we all walked to the booth together. There, they found out that their ship name is on the 2019 ship it shirt. They were ecstatic. It was beautiful to watch. We took a bunch of pictures together to celebrate.

I received a text from Girls Like Magic saying that they were ready for the interview. I asked them to come over to the booth. They absolutely loved the representation matters shirt and wore them for my interview. I found out so many new things. Things took a bit of a twist at the end, and I feel it was a very special moment. You can see for yourself.

After this interview, I went back to Beyond Clexa because Lanie and Avon had told me that Jes Macallan was going to visit their booth. We discussed that I would be filming that moment and that I would be taking pictures. Like I said earlier, I was so surprised by the warmth and enthusiasm of Jes. She’s such a wonderful person.

Amber Benson

It was then time for Amber Benson’s panel. I was hoping that everybody could see what I saw in the press room the day before. She is witty and super smart, and she has a great message. I know that Dana usually does not want any sexy questions in her panels but Amber dove right in and gave us a few laughs. I think the entire audience fell in love with her during that panel if they weren’t already.

ClexaCon 2019 Saturday: red carpet

After dinner, I had to run to the red carpet event. It was one of my favorite memories from last year. Things were going to be different this year, though. We were not allowed to hold small interviews; we were only allowed to take pictures. I’m not a photographer, and there were a lot of professional photographers around me, so I decided to do what I do best: I recorded behind the scenes.

Fun fact: if you think the lighting in those professional photos is superb, I was standing on the red carpet before the event happened so that the photographers could test their lighting. Let me tell you: it is super uncomfortable to stand there having a bunch of people taking your pictures. Now I get it why everybody is so nervous.

Nerves

Because we were positioned at the end of the red carpet, those nerves were already gone by the time they reached us. Also, there was no banner where we were standing, so they put a plant there. It was funny to see some people like Jes, Kat Barrell, and Emily Andras to just jump into that plant and pose. Then it became a thing, and we asked everybody to pose there. It’s super funny to see how people respond to that differently. As I was the last person, I also had the opportunity to say a few words to everyone. So, that made my day. Even though I could not hold interviews, this was still one of the most fun parts of the convention.

ClexaCon 2019 Saturday: Ascension party

That meant that it was now time for the Ascension party. Last year, I decided not to drink any alcohol or caffeine during this convention because of my jet lag. This year, I was not too sure. Someone super nice, whom I already was friends with online, immediately invited me into the VIP area to join her table. I’m still overwhelmed by that table’s kindness. It also led to a lot of vodka. I decided to just go for it because as a mom, you usually can’t party hard. Even though you have a babysitter, there’s always a kid waking up at 7 AM or earlier. I thought: “Why not? Just enjoy it!” And that’s what I did. Thanks, everyone whom I ended up partying with!

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2019 ClexaCon Friday with Wynonna Earp and many others

2019 ClexaCon Friday with Wynonna Earp and many others

In this blog post, I talk about the things that I have seen and experienced on the first day of ClexaCon 2019. Last week, I talked about the panels by and on BiPositive Podcast, Nicole Pacent, Queer Representation in Burlesque, One Day At A Time, and Avalance. This week, I discuss some of the other fun things that happened on 2019 ClexaCon Friday. 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!

‘2019 ClexaCon Friday with Wynonna Earp and many others’ Here are more of my ClexaCon adventures. On Friday, I had many interviews in the pressroom, including Haviland Stillwell, Carmilla, Jes Macallan, Amber Benson, Venice: The Series, and Wynonna Earp. Then, there was a mixer with the filmmakers at the film festival. I saw TWENTY A Webseries, Good Kisser, Passage The Series, BIFL, and The Date.  You can read all about it: http://bit.ly/2019CCFriday
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2019 ClexaCon Friday: pressroom interview with Jes Macallan

After the Avalance panel, which ended on an emotional note as you may have seen, Jes was scheduled to come to the pressroom for an interview. But we all knew that she needed some time to recover, so we were just waiting there for her to show up when she was ready. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait too long, and she was happy and upbeat when she entered the room. She blew me away on stage during the panel, and she did it again in the pressroom. That woman is truly something special! Fun fact: on her way to the pressroom, she chatted with Katrina Law, who crashed her panel with a ‘Nyssara 4 life’ shirt.

After this interview, I meant to go to the Earper meetup. As I was on my way, I met some lovely people who follow me. They actually just came from the meetup and told me it was over. Oh well, that happens with these busy schedules. I guess we turned it into a micro meetup?

2019 ClexaCon Friday: pressroom interview with Amber Benson

Last week, I said that Jes was one of the two biggest surprises for me this con. The other one was Amber Benson. She has humor, and she is opinionated. She understands how everyone felt about Tara’s death in Buffy and how that death falls within the ‘bury your gays’ trope. Also, she explains how the team behind BTVS has learned from it.

Usually, we have to wait, and the interview starts in a rather rushed way. Amber came in five minutes early, and so I walked over her to talk to her after setting up. I found out her boyfriend really likes stroopwafels and so I gave her one to give it to him. I later heard she ate half of it too and loved it, ghehe.  

2019 ClexaCon Friday: pressroom interview with Wynonna Earp

The interview with Wynonna Earp was rescheduled to a later moment. All of a sudden, the room was PACKED. I mean, there hadn’t been that many people all day. Because I had just interviewed Amber, I still had my front row seat. How very lucky I was!

I expected it to be crazy with questions since it was so crowded all of a sudden, but when the interview started, I indicated I had a question and immediately was granted permission to ask it! I said this on Instagram too, but it felt like a moment of growth for me. Last year, I was in the back, observing more than joining. This year, I opened the busiest interview of them all!

I asked Kat about Pooched, and her response was so lovely. I don’t know what I was expecting but not that she thanked me for asking about it.

2019 ClexaCon Friday: film festival

After the interview with Wynonna Earp, I had to run to the film festival part of the con. Friday evening, there was a social event with the filmmakers. The filmmakers were showing their films or the first episodes of their upcoming web series, such as Passage and BIFL. Also, there was a sneak preview of Good Kisser.

As you may have seen, I reviewed Good Kisser a few weeks ago, and at ClexaCon, I was able to interview the cast.  At the mixer, I introduced myself to the cast so that we already knew each other before the interview on Saturday. That makes things slightly more comfortable!

TWENTY The Web Series

TWENTY The Web Series was also present. Last year at ClexaCon, I saw Lily Richards a few times, but it was at the uncomfortable moments such as the restrooms, so I ended up not talking to her. That was my one big regret from ClexaCon 2018, so when I had the opportunity again, I made sure to tell her how much I loved the show.

I ended up talking to Lily and Caitlin for a while, and they agreed to do an interview with me. So, the next morning at 9 am, we were already working together. That was special! I can’t tell you precisely when you will see this interview, but I promise you within the next few weeks.

The event had a little red carpet event, so I have some BTS videos and photos for you in the video. The first one is actually Lily and Caitlin, and the red carpet still had to be sorted out😉

The Date

Emma, who wrote and directed the short film The Date, was also at ClexaCon. A few weeks before ClexaCon, she and her co-writer Hansof stayed at our house because The Date was showing at the Amsterdam LGBTQ film festival. So, I wanted to catch up with her on camera to find out what the screening was like. Because of the One Day At A Time panel, not a lot of visitors came to the film festival but the ones who did show up gave a great response to the movie. I loved hearing that others enjoy this short film as much as I did!

More ClexaCon 2019 Friday coming up

On Saturday, I had two exclusive interviews and a cool pressroom interview with ODAAT, visited some fun panels, recorded at the red carpet event, and visited the Ascension party. I will tell you all about it in my next blog posts!

In the meantime, you can read these ClexaCon blog posts (with videos!):

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. 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).

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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