QFX Staff Interview: Gloria
Updated: Feb 9, 2020
Position: Talent Programming Manager
Hogwarts House: Hufflepuff
Today we have our Talent Programming Manager, Gloria! Why don’t you start off introducing yourself to the QFX readers.
I grew up in Puerto Rico watching a ton of TV and obsessing over it. I moved to Texas when I was 15 and attended a Friday Night Lights type of high school where I experienceas a linkd exactly that, I danced on the drill team and took dummy math with all the football players and cheerleaders that had to pass the class in order to be on that field Friday night, no excuses. But I was also nerdy enough to join every AV club and became the News Director for our Friday morning newscasts. I think I’ve always known I was made for the world of TV, but it wasn’t until then that I decided I wanted to work behind the scenes, specifically. I went to college where Dan Rather graduated from and left with a degree in Radio and Television. Simultaneously, I produced my first convention for a TV show (South of Nowhere) in Los Angeles. I couldn’t afford to stay then, so afterwards I went back to Austin where I worked for a music company for 3 years before finally moving to LA for good. Spent 6 years there building my career before moving to Vancouver, BC to pursue work in scripted television. I currently reside in Atlanta.
How did you get involved with QFX?
I knew Nikki and Holly prior, and I knew that they were working on a new event, so I just made myself available to them. I put on a fan convention fresh out of college and have been working closely with talent ever since, so I felt like I had good experience to offer. Once we sat down and discussed what we wanted to accomplish together, I was sure I wanted to join this all-star team! I feel very fortunate to be here, everyone is so genuine and talented. I’m super excited for our first event in May.
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’re less concerned with competing and more with just offering more safe spaces for our community to feel welcomed in. We might not be everyone’s jam, but the goal is to be as inclusive as possible. We don’t want anyone to feel left behind, on the contrary, we want to amplify marginalized voices within our own, and we’re working really hard to make our events as accessible and safe as possible for everyone involved, from our attendees to our staff and talent.
Of all the guests that one could possibly ask for, who would you love to see or meet?
Alyson Hannigan is still on the bucket list! Willow on Buffy was the first time I saw myself reflected back at me on TV in a much more personal way. She was the first queer character I related to right around the time I was becoming acquainted with my own sexuality. I’ve met almost everyone from that show except Alyson, so she’s my unicorn.
QFX has made it quite clear they are all about diversity, inclusivity and accessibility. What does this mean to you?
Not to be dramatic, but THE WORLD. I often feel lost amongst “my own” so finding spaces like the one we’re creating here is really difficult sometimes. And I know I’m not alone, so I want to work towards making sure these types of spaces not only exist but are also more available to all of us.
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?
I don’t know, I have a mutual on Twitter (s/o to @its_willyu) that tweets “representation matter today” almost every day and he’s never been wrong. I’m in a constant state of evolution, every single day I learn and unlearn and grow. We all have our blind spots, and we have to keep working towards finding those and unlearning ingrained behaviors that don’t serve us or those around us. Representation will always matter because someone will always feel unrepresented. As long as we keep working towards inclusion in our own lives, it shouldn’t ring hollow.
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?
Six Feet Under, Marvel’s Runaways, Euphoria, Russian Doll, and Watchmen. SFU is my favorite show ever written and it is timeless for me. The latter 4 are my favorite shows at the moment and if we were sitting in my living room, I would 100% make you watch one of them.
You’ve worn many hats over the course of your career, is there one you prefer to wear most often?
I love to direct! The dream is directing for scripted television. I’ve directed for live TV before but I recently spent a year in Vancouver making the jump over to scripted and I’m still working my way up. I’m hoping to start applying to director programs in about a year. I’m in Atlanta now trying to get some more experience under my belt.
As a producer and associate director, what kinds of projects do you find yourself drawn to?
I’ll be honest, I’m a good producer but it can be really stressful for me so it’s not my favorite. I prefer to produce and direct my own projects, but I also really enjoy shooting or directing live music shows. When I was living in LA, I was doing that for a while and really loved it. It’s funny, a lot of producers tell me live directing is way more stressful but I actually enjoy the adrenaline rush. Dealing with money and budgets on the other hand is anxiety inducing for me. I prefer the rush! I do well under pressure.
Name one thing you do (hobby, quirk, or something else) that people might find odd?
I started collecting subway posters* when I was in college and I’m still carrying those around. I have nowhere to put them, they’re far too large, I just really love subway posters for whatever odd reason. (As in TV, Films, and Concert ads in NY Subway stations*)
To game or not to game… Do you? If so, which systems and what is your favorite.
I go through seasons in life. I grew up on Nintendo systems, so Street Fighter II on Super Nintendo is my ultimate favorite video game. When I lived in Austin after college, some colleagues got me really into World of Warcraft for about a year. While I lived in LA, I bought a PS4 and played Destiny non-stop for months and then sold it to my little sister. Basically I love them but don’t always have the attention span for them. I’m either all in or nothing. I get super into things for a period of time then get bored and move on to the next.
As a Lin Manuel Miranda fan, what project has he done that you can’t get out of your head? For me, it will always be Hamilton.
Most people would say Hamilton and who can fault them? Hamilton is a masterpiece, full stop. But for me it will always be In The Heights. And once again, it’s about representation. That was the first time I saw myself on a Broadway musical. Like, really saw myself, my people, the music I grew up with. It was surreal. Lin did what I’ve always dreamt of doing. He gave voice to people like me who had sat in Broadway audiences and listened to show tunes their entire lives never quite seeing themselves reflected back in those spaces. It’s how I personally discovered his work many moons ago and I’ve been a giant fan of his ever since.
You’re a Hufflepuff, but that’s Universal/WB. I have to ask what Disney character would you be?
Alice in Wonderland. I watched this movie on repeat growing up because I was a very sensitive kid and it was the only Disney movie that didn’t make me cry. My mom said it was fitting because my head was always up in the clouds, anyway. I can confirm that is still 100% true.
Final question, what do you hope people who attend QFX leave saying or feeling?
Well, I don’t wish post con blues on anyone but that’s the ultimate sign of a good con, isn’t it? I want people to leave already making plans to attend the next because they had such a wonderful time. At the very least, I just want them to walk away with a full heart.
I want to thank Gloria for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions. If you want to touch base with Gloria, talk In The Heights or something else, find her on Twitter @gloriabrenes.
**Until next time, this is Kimberly “which way did he go George” Amato, signing off.**