QFX Staff Interview: Frances
Position: Talent Security Manager
Hogwarts House: Gryffindor
Tell everyone about yourself.
My name is Frances Nieves. I am about to be 25, I’m the oldest of four kids, born and bred Puerto Rican, and I’ve often been called a “walking jukebox” as an unnecessary amount of space in my brain is taken up by lyrics and song titles. I’m a musician before anything else (been playing since I was 7) and followed my education at New York University down a path in post production where I settled at the crossroads of music and film. I believe there are few things more powerful than the perfect song paired with the right story. I’ve been a fan of storytelling since my father introduced me to A New Hope at the age of 3, and am fascinated by the power narrative holds in shaping the way we view ourselves, each other and the world we live in. Although I feel like my journey has only begun, I have already learned a lot about myself and about the responsibilities that come with being someone visible in the communities with which I identify. Now an out and proud bisexual latinx woman, I use the knowledge I have learned from my time in the entertainment industry to work in a space that brings people and their passions together.
How did you get involved with QFX?
I met Holly through some friends, while I was working at another con, actually. We got to talking and she told me about this idea she had for a new direction she wanted to take. After attending many events as a fan (and working them as well) I had seen enough oversight when it came to inclusivity and safety to know I could do something about it. When she told me about QFX, the opportunity felt like it was meant to be. A little while later I found myself a part of a very dedicated and fun team made up of a cool roster of individuals including one of my best friends! Can’t ask for anything better than that.
There are a ton of conventions out there, some that do cater to the LGBTQ+ community, how do you feel QFX is different?
I think we are different because of our transparency, willingness to listen and the fact that we are putting attendees safety and comfort first. It all comes down to practicing what we preach. Hopefully we can continue that mantra in all our endeavors.
Of all the guests that one could possibly ask for, who would you love to see or meet?
Michaela Conlin: Angela Montenegro aka the first bisexual character on tv that I can remember making an impact on me. I used to watch Bones with my mom and it would be so cool to get to have her at one of our events and bring my mama along for the ride.
Rita Moreno: Puerto Rican royalty who just so happens to be on one of the most beautifully accurate Latinx AND Queer shows on TV??? No brainer there.
Katie McGrath: an elusive unicorn of a human being who I have heard nothing but wonderful things about and who I would fully embrace my fangirl side for.
Lana Parrilla: another Puerto Rican QUEEN (pun intended) who made me fall in love with her version of a Disney character I otherwise never really cared for. Her range and talent are beyond me and it wouldn’t hurt to get to ask her some Qs about what could have been between the Evil Queen and Emma Swan.
Those are just con guests... if I can extend that to music guests I have a whole music festival roster prepared!
QFX has made it quite clear they are all about diversity, inclusivity and accessibility. What does this mean to you?
Simply put, I hope that no matter who you are or where you come from, you feel welcome and accepted once you cross the threshold of our doors. The world can be a hard place sometimes so if we can create spaces where absolutely anybody and everybody can feel safe and have fun, we have succeeded in making our corner of the world a better place.
We’ve all heard the phrase “representation matters”, but it can ring hollow in our current times. What do you feel or think when you hear it?
It’s a bit of a double-edged sword these days honestly. On one hand I love that it’s a conversation MANY people are having but on the other I’m sad it still has to be had. It’s a shame that marginalized communities still have to fight to be seen, however, I am beyond grateful for the strides that have been made even in my short time in the industry. I think as an artist and creator I try to focus on projects that I feel further the conversation on representation and the importance it holds. Through the creation of our art we have the power to influence generations. That’s not a power we should take lightly. For that reason I try to surround myself with people who have a similar mission and who are just as passionate about representing who they are in an accurate, positive and unapologetic way. Every baby step counts and hopefully the space QFX is creating will foster connections between people who feel the same.
If we were sitting in your living room, wanting to watch a show or movie, what are the top five you would recommend we binge?
The Harry Potter Series (in conjunction with reading the books PLEASE)
One Day At A Time
School of Rock
Four Weddings and a Funeral
What’s the last concert you attended and what show would you love to see in the future?
The Jonas Brothers! It had been 10 years since I have seen them live. They were my boy band, so it was hands down the highlight of my summer. At the top of my list right now are probably Pentatonix, P!nk, Ricky Martin and Shakira (not necessarily in that order).
You’ve travelled a lot, but where do you still want to visit that’s on your bucket list?
I’ve never been to Europe, so that’s up there but honestly if I had to pick a place to fly to tomorrow it would probably be New Zealand.
Name one thing you do (hobby, quirk, or something else) that people might find odd?
I’m fascinated by technology, especially smart tech. I have all voice and phone controlled lights, devices and music in my apartment. I think it’s the coolest direction technology has taken recently and most definitely want to learn even more about it.
To game or not to game… Do you? If so, which systems and what is your favorite.
I love a good game! Currently I own a PS4 but I stand by my statement that the Nintendo GameCube is still the superior console. I could spend the rest of my gaming future playing Legend of Zelda and Mario Kart on that thing.
You said at the moment you’re listening to Tori Kelly. Any specific songs? Has that changed to a different artist recently?
Coffee off her new album is a JAM and on days when I need a little encouragement, her gospel album Hiding Place gets me through; specifically the songs “Sunday” and “Masterpiece”. I also currently have FLETCHER’s EP you ruined New York City for me on repeat.
You’re a Gryffindor, but that’s Universal/WB. I have to ask what Disney character would you be?
Pocahontas was always my favorite growing up, but I think I admire her more than I can say I actually am her. I probably fall more so in the world of Tinker Bell. Loving, adventurous, passionate and stubborn to a fault... very Gryffindor actually.
Part of me wonders if that’s cheating… oh well. Final question, what do you hope people who attend QFX leave saying or feeling?
I hope they leave feeling and spreading happiness, acceptance and love. And maybe with a new friend or two. I have the fandom world to thank for all of the best people currently in my life so I’m hoping that’s the kind of energy we foster at QFX next year.
Another interview in the books! Follow Frances on Twitter @fmnieves13 to get to know her better and maybe find out more movies to binge!
**Until next time, this is Kimberly “the princess is in another castle” Amato, signing off.**