Every web series has its fair share of fandom, Carmilla being one of the most popular ones. The community created and the friendships that were fostered from them are bar none. At netTVnow we acknowledge that fans of these series have helped web series in strides, which is why we are so proud and excited to bring you our first ever fan interview with the incomparable Kaitlyn Pecson. Many of you may already be familiar with her but if you aren't, Pecson is a proud Creampuff and activist, read more below the jump to learn about how web series have directly impacted her and the amazing not-for-profit work she's looking to do through it. And if you're feeling extra antsy, cut to the chase and hop on over to her campaign page to learn more now (and then come back to read the interview, because she's great)!
netTVnow: You have played quite an active role in the Carmilla and web series community in general. How did that all start?
Kaitlyn Pecson: Like most people, I always looked for content that reflected my community - the LGBTQ community, women, people of color. I’m always on the look-out for queer-positive media. I discovered Carmilla shortly after it began - late September 2014 - because of Tumblr. The gifsets were really big motivators to get the full story!
I was, admittedly, weary to watch a web series at first. Carmilla really opened my eyes to so many great ones - Couple-ish, Inhuman Condition, The Leslie, Her Story, to name a few. I wouldn’t have watched them if I didn’t start with Carmilla.
NTN: How has web series directly impacted you?
KP: Web series tends to bridge a gap that mainstream television and movies are either unwilling or unable to fill. Shows like the ones I named are not afraid to be diverse and really, truly represent what the world looks like! So watching web series taught me to have an open mind about what I watch - and how I watch it.
NTN: Can you tell me more about your campaign? What you’re looking to do and how web series is helping you spread the message?
KP: I’m raising money for my 30th birthday! It’s called Kaitlyn’s Gonna Donate, which is a play on my Tumblr name, KaitlynsGonnaKait. I’m reaching a milestone on April 28, and I’ve been a big baby about it. I have a lot to be thankful for - I have a great life, a great career, an incredible wife and so I wanted to give back.
I took a lot of inspiration from being part of the Carmilla fandom. There was a situation in fandom where I spoke out with a friend of mine against a slur directed towards the disability community. While I got a lot of backlash from a small, but forceful subsect of fandom, the Carmilla fandom really stepped up and showed their support and understanding. It really showed me how important being a positive force in the fandom was.
NTN: You don't see a lot of people being this selfless, it's honestly really amazing to see what you're doing. Why is this so important to you?
KP: The best feeling in the world is gratitude - so I decided I’d do what I could to give back. I chose three organizations that mean a lot to me: the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, because I owe a lot of who I am as a person to the disability community and people with Down syndrome, Calgary Immigrant Women’s Society, because I am the proud the daughter of Filipino immigrants who came to Canada, and The MS Society of Canada because my wife is classified as Pre-MS and I’ll do anything to support further research - and hopefully one a day a cure - for Multiple Sclerosis.
NTN: In previous discussions we've had offline, you mentioned how web series played a big role in this. Can you elaborate as to how?
KP: I’m not a creator, I’m not an actor, I don’t write screenplays, I’m not a producer. But I have seen the power of web series bringing together people and raising awareness for important causes. So I thought I’d bridge my interests!
NTN: You're awesome, have we told you that again lately? Because you are! What are some perks you’re donating that are web series related?
KP: I’m a big Carmilla fan and to encourage donations, I offered my own signed Carmilla U By Kotex tampon box that I got at a Carmilla fan event I attended. Then a friend of mine, Maddie, who I met because of Carmilla, offered her own signed tampon box. Then another friend of mine, Emma, who I also met because of the web series, offered her signed shirt designed by Valentine Smith. (More details here)
I’ve met so many beautiful, kind, generous people because of Carmilla and have made some incredible friendships. Everyone, especially in the Carmilla fandom, who has seen my fundraiser has tried to help out - through donating or even sharing it on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook. It really speaks to how great this fandom is, and how generous the web series community is!
NTN: Web series have become such an integral part of sharing important messages, like yours, why do you think that is?
KP: Carmilla is great, but the community it’s created - people who value openness and expression and inclusion - is the best part for me. I think that’s what web series does - it gives voice to people on the fringes, be it the creators and the fandom. And because it’s still relatively small, people feel like their voices can be heard.
NTN: Where do you hope the web series community will be in the next few years?
KP: I think the community is slowly becoming more legitimized. The popularity of shows, the increasing quality of what’s being produced, is only proving how lasting this community is! And websites like netTVnow play a huge part in getting the word out!