Geek Girls Creating Their Own Films & Shows was the last panel I attended at Comikaze Expo and it was a great way to wrap up the convention experience. I love that that the convention had panels that centered around the ladies in our vast community.
The panelists were Kristen Nedopak (Fight Class, Think Hero TV), Leah Cevoli (Robot Chicken), Stephanie Thorpe (ElfQuest), Crix Lee (GirlGamer) and Helenna Santos Levy (American Reunion)– plus, a surprise appearance from Jessica Mills (Awkward Embraces). All of them had different background and stories on how they made a career out of their own geek passions.
It was a little hard to keep up because each of these women could have easily had their own panel to talk about their projects but I will try to give the best highlights from the panel.
Passion was the key word during the panel and following what you are passionate about. Leah Cevoli talked about how even though most of the time we won’t have all the pieces to success, this shouldn’t stop us from pursuing anything. She said, “The pieces will come together. Build it and it will come together.” Crix Lee added that even if you can’t localize what you are passionate about, it’s okay to spread it out. She stresses that knowing your source material is important… because we all know how nerds like to challenge each others’ knowledge.
Helenna Santos Levy encouraged people to not be afraid to put things “out there” because you won’t know what will succeed if you are not producing work for an audience to come together to.
The women touched a little bit on networking in Los Angeles and in Hollywood. “Hollywood is just a giant college town. Don’t make enemies,” Levy said. Despite Hollywood’s harsh reputation, the women all seem to agree that it is always best to be nice and to not burn bridges even if someone is not the most agreeable person. Nedopak also stresses the fact that it’s important to support other people who are also producing on the internet because they will give you support back.
Jessica Mills confesses how she is shy and she used to be afraid of interacting with people but got over it with the help of her other friends who introduced her to others until she felt comfortable. She says just to be nice and genuine. Lee puts it more bluntly about the importance of networking: “If you don’t like computers or socializing, you’re screwed.”
Cevoli told a great story about Robert Englund and how she braved constantly talking to him at his appearances and signings until he accepted one of her press kits. He remembered her because of her persistence while keeping their interactions professional and appropriate. Nedopak agreed that it’s all about taking the risks in talking to someone and maybe they will say hi back and will remember you.
I attended this panel mostly because Nedopak and Levy had both taken the time to invite me via twitter. Which is exactly what they were talking about: keep it down to earth and reach out to people. Most of the time, they are happy to respond and give support.
I didn’t get to say hello after the panel because I had to rush out of there and rejoin my Team Defectivegeeks. Plus, Sailor Mizz came in halfway into the panel and dropped a street hot dog on my lap. I was really hungry (typical convention going style, I didn’t eat all day) but I didn’t want to eat the hot dog in front of everyone in the panel room so I ran out to have my dinner. I know. I’m awesome.
It’s great to keep in touch with Levy over twitter though and since she is Filipina, she automatically gets my support! Hey, Pinays stick together, all right?
Anyways, check out all the links below to find out more about all of the girls who participate in this panel.
Kristen Nedopak: www.KristenNedopak.com & @Nedopak
Leah Cevoli: Facebook.com/Leah-Cevoli & @Leah_Cevoli
Stephanie Thorpe: www.TheStephanieThorpe.com & @TheStephThorpe
Crix Lee: www.GirlGamer.com & @crixlee
Helenna Santos Levy: www.helennasantoslevy.com & @helsevy
Jessica Mills: www.awkwardembraces.com
Follow the Space Pirate Queen on twitter @punkagogo.