The Teresa Jusino Experience

Create Like An Activist

Tag: Incredible Girl (Page 1 of 2)

2016 Year In Review

In large part, 2016 was a shit sandwich on garbage bread. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that wonderful things didn’t happen, too. We’ve lost a lot of brilliant weirdos and amazing artists this year. We’ve also lost the United States to an orange demagogue whose administration may well mean the end of many hard-won liberties for several marginalized groups.

But hey, the Cubs won the World Series, amirite? Was all the rest of this the trade-off? #justkidding

As for me personally, looking back on my year, I realize a lot of good happened! I mean, I started off the year newly-engaged, which isn’t a bad way to start. So, let’s look back at what 2016 bestowed upon me.

And this is a long one, so strap in!

Previous Years in Review: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

The Election

The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election was the event that colored everything else this year. After an over a year-long campaign that laughed in the face of unapologetic progressiveness, and then laughed in the face of anyone who thought it possible that a woman could win the White House, Donald Trump became our President-elect in the most devastating election to happen in a long time.

Some have said that this is no different than when other Republicans have won elections and will dismiss opposition to the election’s results as “sour grapes.” Were it any other election, they might be right. But I’ve been on the losing side before. I volunteered for both the Gore campaign and the Kerry campaign. I know what it’s like to work hard and have your candidate lose. This was not that. This was not that, because unlike George W. Bush, whose politics and administration were abhorrent to me, but who nonetheless had been the Governor of a state before and came from a political family, Trump was not only completely inexperienced and ignorant of the duties of the President, but he was, and continues to be, vocally racist, sexist, and xenophobic. He’s appointed an actual white supremacist, and equally inexperienced members to cabinet positions. He ran his campaign with a sexist and anti-LGBTQIA candidate in Mike Pence. He’s out and out talked about the ways in which he plans on chipping away at our civil rights in the press. That is, when he deigns to talk to the press at all, as opposed to shutting them down with an eye on taking away their power, too. Oh, and then there’s the fact that Russia hacked us and manipulated our election, and yet Trump is totes BFFs with Vladimir Putin, who lives to quash freedoms in his own country.

This loss was very different, because it not only had to do with Trump winning the Presidency, but that far too many people in this country turned a blind eye to his hatred, either because they are openly racist, or tacitly allowing racism by prioritizing corporations and the economy, as if issues of social justice and economic advancement aren’t intertwined. As if an economy can thrive if the lives of members of the work force are restricted because of their identities or beliefs.

What was especially infuriating was the idea that people in marginalized groups don’t care about things like jobs, insurance, and “putting food on the table.” As if the very things that cause them to be marginalized aren’t also the things keeping them from jobs, insurance, and “food on the table.” So, what Trump voters are saying, in essence, is that jobs, insurance, and “putting food on the table” only matter if they’re going to the right people. They might not “mean” to say that, but that’s what they’re saying when they say that they voted for Trump “not because they’re racist,” but because the economy and jobs are “more important” than things like civil rights. You might not consider yourself racist, but you just did a racist thing. A homophobic, transphobic thing. A sexist thing. I won’t put a label on a person, but I sure as hell will put a label on an action.

This election cut me to the core, and I wasn’t the only one. I spent most of November depressed, as it felt like much of the country had turned its back on people like me and my wife: women, LGBTQIA people, Latinx, Jews, those riding the poverty line. I sit at the intersection of all those things, and that intersection was obliterated in a single day. People insist that I should “get over it and move on.” It won’t get that bad. And yet, with every passing day, it’s already getting worse, and he hasn’t even officially been sworn in yet.

I can’t understand the mentality of people who could so easily overlook Trump’s abhorrence enough to vote for him, and so yes, this has affected my relationships with people. Even some people in my own family. These are people I don’t want to lose. And at the same time, I can’t look at them without thinking, You cared so little about people like me, and hell like us (Puerto Rico is suffering under the thumb of corporate greed, and yet some of my family members have no problem supporting an opportunist like Trump because he’s managed to convince them that he speaks for “the common man”), that you voted for Trump because you were scared about putting food on your own table. I was fighting for us, and you were fighting for you. 

That’s the difference.

And so there are a lot of people I don’t look at the same way. Even if we’re still talking. Even if we’re friendly. Even if we make polite conversation. I don’t look at them the same. How can I, when they’ve made it clear that I don’t matter to them? That my wife doesn’t matter to them? That my life doesn’t matter to them?

And so in 2017, I’ll be a woman on a mission, fighting the only way I know how. Through my writing, my ability to communicate. And I will do my best to act from a place of love.

From “The Fiancee” to “The Wife”

Speaking of love, 2016 began with me being proposed to…and ended with me getting married! That’s right, The Fiancee became The Wife this month, and I’m so, so grateful. Now, this wasn’t the original plan. We were planning on having a long engagement with a wedding ceremony in 2018, but when the Cheeto-elect got elected in November, and the possibility of an administration like his having four years to chip away at freedoms for women and LGBTQIA folks, we decided to fast-track our nuptials to ensure that we were legally wed before the inauguration.

This caused a lot of freaking out! Both over wedding plans (we pulled together a small ceremony in about 2 weeks) and over the fact that I didn’t have the two years I thought I was going to have to process the idea of becoming someone’s wife. However, as the day got closer, I realized this was my only choice. No matter how scared I was, I didn’t want to risk not being able to marry this woman. She’s my heart. And sure, the ceremony was rushed, but that just meant I got to marry this wonderful person faster! 🙂

We had a truncated Jewish ceremony at Beth Chayim Chadashim and were married by the lovely Rabbi Heather Miller, who was just amazing and gracious (and proceeded to marry us even though her wife had just gone into labor!), and we were lucky enough to have some very special people there even with short notice. The Wife’s mom, brother, and sister-in-law were there, as well as some dear friends of ours. Heather, Adam, Caroline, and Hal: thank you so much for being there for us! And a special thanks to our friend Lexx, a supremely talented make-up artist who made us look amazing for our special day!

The rest of our loved ones on the East Coast (and anywhere else, really) were able to watch our ceremony via live stream! The Wedding of the Future! 🙂 It meant a lot to us that we were able to share our wedding with family and friends across the country, especially since we know that they were heartbroken that our impromptu plans prevented them from coming to celebrate something they otherwise would’ve made arrangements for. HOWEVER, we still plan on having our larger ceremony (complete with ketubah signing, glass breaking and reception) in 2018, and we plan on having EVERYONE there. In the meantime, if you missed it, Douglass-Jusino Vol. 1 (as I’ve been calling this first, legal ceremony) has been archived at the BCC website, and you can WATCH IT HERE. If you don’t see it on the homepage, you can do a search for “Marriage of Ada Douglas and Teresa Teresa Jusino, Beth Chayim Chadashim.” Yes, Teresa Teresa. Because apparently I have a name that’s so nice, they had to type it twice! 😉 And yes, they spelled The Wife’s last name wrong. Just go with it, okay?

So, there was a lot of turbulence this year…but 2016 started and ended by my love and I confirming and reconfirming our commitment to each other. Bring it, 2017. We can take whatever you can throw at us.

My Family Grew This Year

Ours wasn’t the only big wedding this year! The Wife’s brother married the love of his life in a gorgeous ceremony, one at which I cried like a baby (and I never cry at weddings!). This was an event I want to mark not only because it was a beautiful (and way fun!) wedding, but because they are amazing people. I’ve gotten to know these two over the course of my relationship with The Wife, and I’m so grateful now that I get to call them family. They’re wonderful, generous, hilarious, and kind people that I love spending time with.

2016 meant that my family expanded in a beautiful way. Not only do I get to call these two crazy kids siblings now, but I have amazing parents in law in The Wife’s parents. From the very beginning, they have always treated me with nothing but kindness and warmth, and I feel so lucky that they’ve been so welcoming. With my own parents no longer around, it feels really good to know that I’ve got parents in my corner, even if they’re not mine by birth. Thank you Judi, Joe, and Bonnie! I love you all!

Speaking of my parents, I observed the tenth anniversary of my mom’s passing on April 5th, and the 2-year anniversary of my dad’s passing on April 19th. There’s so much that’s happened to me this year that I wish I could share with them. I hope that, wherever they are, they’re proud of me for being the outspoken, independent, compassionate and tolerant person they raised me to be. I’m trying.

And speaking of family (both blood and chosen), I did get home to New York this summer and got to see all the usual suspects. It was both a fun trip, and an emotionally draining trip. But I got to see my oldest niece before she headed off to her freshman year of college, had a really great conversation with my brother, and got to spend quality time with my dearest friends.

I Came Out as Bisexual, So That’s a Thing

Aubrey Plaza, Stephanie Beatriz, Evan Rachel Wood, Rebecca Sugar, me. What do we all have in common? I mean, other than being sexy and talented AF? We’re all bisexual women.

It all started when I saw Ghostbusters: Answer the Call. No, seriously. It was during a scene in which Chris Hemsworth as Kevin and Kate McKinnon as Holtzmann were interacting. I found my eyes darting from one, to the other, and back again really pointedly, like it was a Hot People tennis match. A couple of minutes in, I literally grabbed my armrest with the realization. Holy crap. I’m bi! I told The Wife, and she was like Well, duh. I told my close friends, and they were mostly like Well, duh. I told my brother, and reminded him that he basically tried to tell me this when I first told him about The Wife being trans, and he said some version of Well, duh before wanting to claim credit for my realization.

Sorry, man. But credit for that goes to Kate McKinnon. Seriously, how is every woman not bi after this?

You’d think that me being totally down with dating a woman would have tipped me off to this fact, but…well…it wasn’t. Because it’s really, really easy to make excuses or rationalize exceptions when you’re afraid to face something. Especially when it’s something that, even in 2016, people don’t quite know how to handle. A part of me feels like if I would’ve come out as a lesbian it would’ve been easier. People are certain of that box. You like women. Done. But there have been a couple of people in my life who, at first, weren’t really able to wrap their heads around what bisexuality is or means. My coming out wasn’t entirely pleasant, but I’m happy that now, my support system continues to be behind me. My friends are still my friends, my family is still my family, and all is well as far as that goes.

Plenty of people talk about “liking men” OR “liking women,” but people really talk about this OTHER thing you can be without dismissing it as being “on the road to gay,” or (usually if you’re a woman) doing it “for attention.” Even within the LGBTQIA community. It’s a big umbrella that often gives the “B” and the “T” of that acronym short shrift. And yeah, I identify very definitely as bisexual and not pansexual for reasons that I might write about at another time, but not in my Year in Review. 🙂

Growing up, I knew that I liked boys. So, whenever I found myself drawn strongly to a girl, wanting to be her friend really badly but not knowing why, I thought, Well, I know I’m not a lesbian, because I like boys, so…this must just be something that happens to girls. Girls just get really close, right? It’s different for girls. Girls are just more open about finding women attractive, right? I wish more kids knew what their options are. That there aren’t just two choices. And I wish it hadn’t taken me quite so long to figure it out for myself. But I did. And I feel freer this year than I’ve ever felt.

Building a Relationship With Judaism

This year, I’ve started doing more Jewish learning and, well, living a little more Jewishly. I’ve been going to shabbat services at IKAR fairly regularly. I’ve been lighting candles every week with The Wife. And a couple of months ago, I started an Intro to Judaism class at American Jewish University.

That class has really made a difference. First, we have a wonderful teacher in Rabbi Adam Greenwald who makes every class super-fun and interesting. But secondly, the more I learn about Judaism, the more I realize that my thoughts about religion as a Catholic were really very Jewish. Recently, I opened up my confirmation Bible, and saw a bunch of handwritten notes in the margins from when I tried to read it cover to cover years ago in my twenties. A lot of those notes are frustrated ones. Acknowledging contradictions, but wondering why those contradictions weren’t ever taught to me as the entire point, rather than something to be explained away, or ignored entirely. This isn’t to say that Catholics don’t ever question things, or experience doubt, but questioning and challenging, studying and reassessing seems to be inherent to the DNA of Judaism in a way that it isn’t in Catholicism, and I love that.

The more I learn about Judaism, the more I realize that I’ve always kinda thought like a Jew. I didn’t take the Intro to Judaism class to convert, necessarily, but it’s looking increasingly likely, as I’m feeling more and more at home in this space.

That doesn’t mean this has been easy. On the contrary, as someone who was not only raised Catholic, but wholeheartedly believed in Catholicism – so much so, that I went to church by myself from the time I was in high school, sang in the children’s choir, then as a leader of song, and eventually became a lector – I’ve been hugely conflicted. It’s not an easy thing to leave behind a system of belief and traditions that are a part of your foundation.

What’s more, just before my wedding, I had a mini-panic attack about having a Jewish wedding, because I suddenly felt like I was being a traitor to my parents, throwing away everything they’d ever believed and taught me.

Then I remembered some things:

  1. The Catholic Church wouldn’t marry me and my wife, whether I wanted to be married in the church or not, so…there’s that.
  2. I hadn’t been to church in years, not because of any big rift, but because it simply wasn’t calling me anymore. It had stopped being home a long time ago.
  3. Related to #3: I realized that what kept me coming to church week after week had less to do with religion than it had to do with community. God, to me (and I guess, to Richard Linklater via Before Sunrise), has always existed in the space between people. I had a home at St. Boniface Church, where I spent the majority of my Catholic life, where I had a church family. When I moved too far away to attend, finding a replacement seemed pointless. I found community elsewhere, and my relationship with God remained personal.
  4. Also, as I told The Wife the other day, my parents raised me to find God where I found God, and not to do things because of what they’d think or say, but because I thought it was right. I remember my mom giving me an out as I prepared for my confirmation when I was twelve, saying that if I didn’t truly believe that I didn’t have to be confirmed. That I should only make this commitment if I meant it, and that she wouldn’t think less of me if I decided not to go through with it. At the time, I was confirmed, because I meant it. Because it mattered to me. If she were to tell me that with me knowing myself the way I do now? I might have given her a different answer.

I’ve changed, and so has my relationship to God. Or rather, I’ve changed enough that I feel confident enough articulating the fact that my relationship to God has always been closer to this. It’s funny, I feel about Judaism much the same way as I do about my bisexuality. It’s something that’s always been there under the surface, and I’m only now mature enough to recognize it and brave enough to assert it as my identity, rather than keep it buried, or rationalizing it away.

TL;dr – My parents raised me to think for myself. I think that, if they were still around, they may or may not have been disappointed if I convert to Judaism, but I know they would respect my choice and love me regardless. That’s who they were, and I’m being as independent and thoroughly myself as they raised me to be.

And I will always be grateful to Catholicism for giving me a strong foundation in this world.

The End of My Podcasting Career (For Now), and Letting Go

After co-hosting Supergirl Radio with Rebecca Johnson for a year, I decided to move on in February of 2016. While I had so much fun doing the podcast (and developed what I think will be a lifelong love of Supergirl/Kara Danvers as a character), regular podcasting was taking its toll on my personal bandwidth.

A lot of this year was about prioritizing and streamlining. 2016 was a big year for me when it comes to articulating what I want, and also articulating what I don’t want. Career-wise, what I want is to be a screenwriter, specifically for television. So, I started eliminating things that don’t serve that goal. That might be fun, but take time away from the work I really want to be doing. Not that I don’t do things OTHER than write scripts, but if I’m going to be taking on a certain level of workload, it should be in service of the life I want.

In addition to letting Supergirl Radio go, I also let go of something else that I’d been holding onto for years. Being a novelist.

There’s a story that’s been living in my head and in my heart since I was 15 years old, a world that has only gotten bigger and more elaborate in the subsequent 22 years. I’ve been trying to write it as a novel for years, even as my writing desires turned toward scripts and away from prose. Yet, just as giving up the “actor” label to more fully focus on writing was difficult, since I’d spent years identifying as an actor, so too was giving up on the idea of “finishing my novel one day.” But this year, I finally admit to myself that, while I still need to tell this story, I don’t have to tell it in a book. At least, not right now. It might even serve the world better as a film – a female-led sci-fi/dystopia with the potential to be a Star Wars-level game-changer. Hey, you never know. Point is, the world needs more women doing big things in film. Not that we couldn’t use a more diverse cross section of women in contemporary literature, but the film industry is a harder thing to crack, and I want to go at it with a sledgehammer. So, this year I said goodbye to being a novelist. I may write a short story or two, because some stories are just meant to be prose, but I won’t be publishing a book of fiction any time soon.

And I also said goodbye to podcasting for now. Meanwhile, Supergirl will always have a special place in my heart, and Supergirl Radio has been kicking tons of ass without me. Keep it up, ladies! I’ll be listening! 🙂

Hanging on Through a Burn-Out, and Other Work Stuff

I’m still an assistant editor at The Mary Sue, and I still love the people with whom I work, and I’m grateful that I work at a place where, for the most part, I have autonomy over what I choose to write about.

That said, online pop culture writing has gotten increasingly frustrating this year, not because of my workplace, but because the environment of the internet has changed so much in the past few years.

People rail against click-bait (basically calling everything click bait, including interesting headlines and/or headlines with which they disagree), and yet don’t click on the more meaningful articles we try to publish about issues of importance.

People expect a certain level of quality, but don’t expect to have to pay for what they consume. Especially when it’s online.

People claim to be on the side of inclusion and tolerance and nuanced discussion, but they have no trouble “eating their own” at the merest whiff of “not SJW-ing correctly.” There’s no room in which to make mistakes and learn and grow, because too many people are in it for the “gotcha moment,” and not enough people are in it for the “teaching/learning/sharing moment.”

An advertiser/click-focused shift on our writing at work, coupled with the general internet environment that was already deteriorating, but was stoked by this year’s election really burned me out toward the end of the year and had me questioning whether or not I even want to do this anymore. I felt a lot of pressure, and basically wanted to throw in all work-related towels for most of the past couple of months.

I won’t be leaving The Mary Sue anytime soon, if I can help it, but my feelings of burnout have started to reinvigorate my desire to get to the writing I really want to get to. As I said above, this year has been a lot about reevaluating my priorities and putting more energy into the things I want, rather than letting that energy get sucked dry by the things I don’t.

What’s encouraging, is that this year I’ve gotten to a place where I’m actively being recommended for opportunities in a writers’ room, and I’ve had several leads sent my way that I’ve applied for. While I didn’t land any of them, the fact is that I’ve gotten to a point where I’ve nurtured relationships and accomplished enough that stuff like that is possible. I’m doing all the right things, and if this incremental progress is any indication, it’s only a matter of time before I get where I want to be, so long as I stay focused and keep doing what I’ve been doing.

And in that vein, Incredible Girl had a big year this year! We had a crowdfunding campaign, and while we didn’t reach our $50,000 goal, we did raise close to $10,000 on IndieGoGo and in doing so, built a relationship with a wonderful production company that’s been invaluable in providing us with professional expertise and advice. While they are currently not working with us directly (they were only hired through the crowdfund), they remain great friends of the project, and remain there for us in a way we truly appreciate.

Incredible Girl also represented at GeekGirlCon 2016 in Seattle, where we brought back the panel we did at Emerald City Comic Con last year, “Incredible Girl Presents: Geeks and Kink,” about the correlation between the geek community and the kink community. We were joined by popular sex educator, IG cast member, and all-around awesome chick, Sandra Daugherty, A.K.A. Sex Nerd Sandra.

We had an awesome panel, even after some people in the audience responded negatively to our screening of the original IG short film, which many of them saw as a glorification of no consent. The reaction prompted a really great discussion during the panel – one we hope will inform the show as we continue to produce it.

This reminded me of exactly why I want Incredible Girl in the world. Indeed, it reminded me of why I want to write for television at all. I want to start conversations, not just between myself and my viewers, or viewers and my work, but among the viewers themselves. I want to help people engage with and understand the world a little better. Hopefully, in my small way, I can make the world a more tolerant, open, and loving place to be through my work.

Which is why I’ve made my mantra, “Create Like An Activist.” I want everything I do, from caring for the people I love, to the way I interact with my community, to the way I approach my work to all dovetail into my desire to make the world better through my participation.

It amazes me how much 2016 has changed me and everyone I love. Deep, internal changes. Not just the usual changes that happen over time…but there’s been a fundamental shift in all of us. It’s something I feel in the air and in every conversation I have with anyone these days. Ultimately, I think this shift is necessary.

But there’s a reason why they call them “growing pains.” They’re gonna hurt.

Still, we can help each other heal and get through it, and I’m very lucky that I’ve managed to surround myself with some pretty spectacular people. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know that as long as we each think a little less about “I” and a little more about “we,” that we can get through the turbulence and find some kind of peace.

I look forward to loving you all a little better this year. Happy New Year.

Incredible Girl Teaches Us About Bathroom Pervertables

The Incredible Girl crowdfunding campaign is going strong over at IndieGoGo, and as of this writing we’ve broken $2000! If you want to help us reach the next milestone ($3000), click on and share this link: http://bit.ly/IncredibleGirl

In the meantime, please enjoy Incredible Girl’s first in a series of videos she’s done on “pervertables” – those items around your home that might have more uses than you think! 🙂

I can’t wait to bring this, and all the other colorful characters that are a part of this series to life by producing our pilot! Join the effort to make a show like this a reality!

And thank you!

The Incredible Girl Crowdfunding Campaign is LIVE on IndieGoGo!

FINALLY. After over two years of working on this project – and ending up with a pilot script that I’m immensely proud of – Aurora and I are finally ready to start sharing Incredible Girl with the world! And it all starts with the above video!

For more content, as well as to find out how you can help us produce the half-hour pilot of Incredible Girl, click on THIS LINK: http://bit.ly/IncredibleGirl 

If you’re compelled to back the campaign once you’ve visited our IndieGoGo page, please BACK THE CAMPAIGN TODAY! Campaigns that raise 25% of their goal on the first day are statistically more likely to succeed in reaching their goal! Help us be one of those campaigns!

Also, it would just make us really happy and reassure us that we’re not just screaming into the void.  🙂

But seriously, even if you don’t think that the subject matter is your bag, check it out anyway. You may be pleasantly surprised. At its core, Incredible Girl is a story about love and finding your voice. I think those are things you all can get behind, right? 

Whether you can back us or not, remember that sharing is caring! Share the link to the campaign with anyone you know who wants to see more smart, female-led, inclusive, and sex-positive content in the world! http://bit.ly/IncredibleGirl 

And we’ll be releasing fun new content throughout our campaign! So if you’re not already, make sure you’re following Incredible Girl on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and on YouTube so you don’t miss a thing!

Stay tuned! The Incredible Girl adventure is just beginning!

(HUGE thanks to Jenny Doll for designing our awesome IG logo, Alec Bernal and Miguel Amodio of Inner Image Media for editing our pitch video, and Kevin Boot for shooting it!)

2015 Year In Review (and Happy Sixth Blogiversary TJXP!)

Another year bites the dust, and January 1st, 2016 marked the Teresa Jusino Experience’s SIXTH Blogiversary here on WordPress! Whoa. Looking back at old Blogiversary posts, I realize that I’ve been off on the count some years (when I remembered to acknowledge it at all), but 2016 does mark six years of bloggitude. You can check out my very first post HERE. Thank you for joining me for the ride!

2015 contained some of the biggest changes in my life since I made the decision to move cross-country. I’m going to do my best to capture it, because I like to document stuff, but it might not be terribly thorough. Broad strokes. Partly because much of my year was more internal than external, and partly because I’m writing this with a bit of a cold, and I can barely think for all the congestion going on in my nose right now.

Previous Years in Review: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. (I’ve been doing these for over ten years. Dang.)

Let’s get crackin’!

20150310_134634

My first day on the job, posing with my very first TMS post. Because I’m cheesy like that.

THE MARY SUE

One of the biggest changes in my life this year is that I became a full-time writer for the first time. In March 2015, I became an Associate Editor at The Mary Sue, and it’s the first salaried writing job with health insurance I’ve ever had! I’m grateful that I get to write for a living, and about stuff that I find interesting and fun! Now, this hasn’t been without its ups and downs. I needed to overcome my freelancer mindset and get used to writing quickly and prolifically, and things were bumpy in the first couple of months. However, I think I’ve found my rhythm, and I’ve written some pieces I’m really proud of – as well as some pieces that have generated either controversy, or just straight-up trolling. Either way, it’s been an interesting ride so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing where TMS takes me in 2016!

supergirl radio banner

SUPERGIRL RADIO

2015 was also the year I got into podcasting! An acquaintance of mine posted on Facebook that someone she knew was looking for a host for a new podcast about the upcoming Supergirl show on CBS. That someone was Andy B, host of The Flash Podcast, who wanted to expand his DCTV empire by jumping on a podcast for Supergirl! I threw my hat into the ring, and ended up being chosen for the gig along with my fabulous co-host, Rebecca Johnson. Thus, Supergirl Radio was born! Since the end of January 2015, Supergirl Radio has been posting new episodes every week. Season Zero focused on educating listeners on Supergirl in comics and other media, while Season One has been focused on Season One of the new show, which we love! Working with Rebecca has been amazing, and I really feel like, with all the Superman family knowledge and work she puts into the podcast, she’s the real star. I’m just the person who shows up giddily shooting her mouth off every week! And Andy’s one hell of a podcast producer. Supergirl Radio is part of Andy’s larger DCTV Podcasts network, which you can check out HERE.

Supergirl Radio has deepened my geek knowledge about an awesome female superhero, as well as made me some new friends. It’s been pretty rad.

The Future Residents of Shady Pines.

The Future Residents of Shady Pines.

NEW YORK

I got to go back home to New York to visit twice this year. Once for two weeks to celebrate my birthday in July, and the other to go to New York Comic Con for work. What made this visit different than my previous visits home is that, for the first time since I moved to L.A, thanks to my new full-time job, I could actually afford to enjoy myself. I was able to book myself Air BnBs, so I didn’t have to crash on people’s couches. I was able to eat out, go places, and have fun without too much fuss. It was nice to be able to visit home like an adult for once.

Sis, bro, and me. July 2015.

Sis, bro, and me. July 2015.

I got to get away with some of my best friends for a Girls’ Weekend out on Long Island. We rented a suite near the beach and enjoyed each other’s company in a way that’s not always possible with spouses/partners, kids, work, and distance keeping us apart. We laughed, we cried, we drank and ate a lot. It was very necessary, and I hope that we Future Residents of Shady Pines make it an annual event.

Got to hang out with other friends and family, too, and that was pretty rad. Sadly, I didn’t get to see as many people on the work trip as I did on the summer trip, but hopefully if I make the trip to NYCC this year, I’ll be able to make it a longer trip so that I can see more people.

Rebecca Sugar and Me. NYCC 2015.

Rebecca Sugar and Me. NYCC 2015.

In addition to some amazing interviews with great creators I got to do throughout, as well as seeing some acquaintances I never get to see except at conventions, it seems, the absolute highlight of NYCC this year was not only getting to meet and chat with Steven Universe creator, Rebecca Sugar, but having her do a sketch and autograph a copy of her latest book, The Steven Universe Guide to the Crystal Gems, for The GF. Steven Universe is one of Our Shows, and the GF is obsessed, so I was so delighted to be able to bring this home for her. She loved it!

Veruca Salt - El Rey Theatre - 7/11/15

Veruca Salt – El Rey Theatre – 7/11/15

MY 36TH BIRTHDAY

Before my trip to New York, however, I spent my actual birthday with The GF, and we spent my 36th birthday seeing Veruca Salt play at the El Rey Theatre. It was an AMAZING show, which I wrote about HERE. What made it doubly wonderful was that it not only made me feel better about getting older as a woman, but it was the night The GF wore a dress in public for the first time. 🙂 The evening encapsulated femininity at its most badass. Speaking of…

Me and The GF

Me and The GF on my birthday.

SHARING THE GF WITH THE WORLD

The GF had come out as trans to her family (and I told my family) at the end of 2014, 2015 was when she decided to come out to the world (at work, on social media, etc), and I finally got to shout it from the rooftops that I have a girlfriend! 🙂 I wrote about the experience at The Mary Sue in a post about how grateful I am for the depiction of Nomi and Amanita’s relationship on the Netflix show Sense8.

I’m so proud of The GF and how far she’s come. She’s become so much more social and confident this year, and I’m thrilled for her. Her coming out publicly also meant that I could stop holding in the secret I’d been holding in for two years! That was nice, too. It’s really hard for me to keep my mouth shut. 🙂

Oh, and speaking of trans/queer friendly shows on streaming services….

Gaby Hoffmann and Me. Summer 2015.

Gaby Hoffmann and Me. Summer 2015.

THAT TIME I WAS NAKED ON TRANSPARENT

2015 was also the first time I was naked on a TV set when I got to be a background performer for an episode of Amazon’s Transparent, which is one of my favorite shows. I wrote about this at The Mary Sue, too! (Apparently, TMS is becoming like my blog away from blog!) It was an amazing experience that I was really grateful for, despite the severe heat and the fact that I came home after each shoot day covered in a thin layer of greasy sludge that was part sunscreen, part desert dust, and part dirt from the woods. If you wanna catch my naked butt in a scene from Transparent, check out Episode 9 of Season Two called “Man on the Land.” I’m in the crowd watching the Indigo Girls play. Actually, do yourself a favor and watch the whole show. It’s good, and the second season makes the first season its bitch.

Me as Cupcake Dominatrix.

Me as Cupcake Dominatrix.

INCREDIBLE GIRL CONTINUES

This is gonna be one of those things where Incredible Girl will eventually, finally be a thing, and we’ll all be able to laugh at how long it took for us to make our dream a reality, etc, etc. But I gotta tell you – it’s hard when you’re going through it. We’ve experienced some ups and downs….BUT, we’ve also begun to rebuild an all-new team that’s amazing.

We’ve also done some incredible events this year, like doing a panel on Geeks and Kink for a standing-room only crowd at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, and hosting opening night ceremonies, taking part in various performances, and providing a spanking booth in the vendor area at L.A’s Dom Con! Incredible Girl and Cupcake Dominatrix were working HARD this year trying to rustle up grassroots support for the series. I’m pleased to say that the kink community seems to dig what we’re trying to do: represent them (ourselves) accurately, lovingly, and without stereotypes.

The thing I’m proudest of now? The new script. We decided to create this as a half-hour show so that we could pitch this to streaming services like Hulu and Amazon, and so I had to start from scratch, scrapping the ten episodes I’d written for a web series and writing a completely new, half-hour pilot. Aurora and I sat for hours building the story anew from the ground up, really getting at the nitty-gritty of these characters, their histories, and their motivations. Once we figured out a stronger foundation, the script just flowed through me. It’s the most confident I’ve ever been about something I’ve written, and – whereas other versions of my IG scripts have gotten extensive notes, this one has been so well received by everyone I’ve gone to for notes.

I can’t wait for you all to see this. 🙂

The GF and Me during our Third Anniversary wine-tasting trip to the Santa Ynez Valley.

The GF and Me during our Third Anniversary wine-tasting trip to the Santa Ynez Valley.

THE END OF THE YEAR (AND NEW BEGINNINGS!)

The more I write here, the more I realize that much of my 2015 had to do not only with my own goings-on, but with The GF and my growth as a couple. We had our share of ups and downs this year, too, but love prevailed, and we joyously made it to our third anniversary in December!

On the evening of our anniversary, we made our annual pilgrimage to Mother Dough where we had dinner on our first date. That weekend, we went away to the Santa Ynez Valley – about two hours away from where we live – to spend the weekend in wine country. We got this $40 Winter Pass from the Santa Ynez Wine Association that allows us to have free tastings at fifteen different tasting rooms! In two days, we made it to ten of them. (Those remaining five are getting a visit from us in January before the pass expires!) We also saw a random rockabilly show at Maverick Saloon – the Crown City Bombers – after meeting their female lead singer while wine tasting earlier in the day when she was hilariously and charmingly tipsy and invited us to the gig. They were awesome! When we weren’t eating, drinking wine, or seeing random rockabilly shows, The GF and I were holed up in our comfy Air BnB in Buellton.

New Year’s Eve brought another big change for us (and those of you who follow me on social media already know about it!), but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the whole story! 🙂

All in all, 2015 was a positive year for me and during which I felt more freedom, joy, and excitement than I ever have before. Recently, after I spent a good five minutes complaining about problems, my therapist asked me “OK, so what would it take for you to have the happy life you want.” My response? “Love and safety at home. Creative fulfillment and excitement in my work.” And when I really thought about it, I realized that I already had it! For all that I only see what could use fixing in my life, the fact is that the ingredients for my “happy life” are already there! And I’m so, so grateful.

As for New Years Resolutions, mine is really simple:

I will be kinder to myself, and to others. 

Simple, but not easy, and it encompasses so much. However, I do put myself first in that statement. Because just like on an airplane , where you have to put on your own mask before you can help anyone else, I need to treat myself well and fill myself with kindness before I’m equipped to give any away.

 What were some of the highlights of YOUR 2015? What resolutions will you be trying to keep, or what are you focusing on this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Lastly, I wish all of you an amazing 2016! May the New Year bring each of you exactly what you’d like for yourselves. Thank you for joining me here!

The Experience Podcast, Episode 1: Introducing the Experience

Heidelberg, Germany - 1986 - Me

IT’S HERE, IT’S HERE! (Finally!)

Welcome to The Teresa Jusino Experience Podcast, in addition to my new, fancy domain! 🙂 Check it out! It’s teresajusino.com from now on, y’all! Because I’m an ADULT.

TJE Podcast, Episode 1: Introducing the Experience

In the first-ever episode of The Teresa Jusino Experience Podcast, Teresa shows you what you can expect from The Experience. She also fills you in on what’s going on with her writing, talks about why she loves Mindy Lahiri on The Mindy Project, and starts to tell you the story of the time she almost got left in Berlin when she was a kid. 

Show Notes: 

Check out my column at Beacon.

Find out more about supporting WriteGirl!

Incredible Girl online:
website
Facebook
Twitter

Follow Mike Schmidt (the composer of my awesome theme music!) on Twitter!

 

Incredible Girl and Supergirl Radio Events This Weekend! (Also, Sorry I've Been MIA)

Cupcake Dominatrix character poster - featuring me!

Cupcake Dominatrix character poster – featuring me!

Hey there, everyone! I’m sorry that I’ve not been blogging much lately! Between The Mary Sue and getting scripts ready for writing fellowships with Adam this year, I’ve been crazed. But I wanted to pop in to tell you about two events going on this weekend that you may be interested in if you’re down with the projects I’m working on!

So, what’s the deal with the poster of me bound? 🙂 This is one of the first poster images from Incredible Girl, the digital series I’ve written and am currently co-producing and fundraising for. In an effort to build our base and support, we’re going out into the BDSM community – which features prominently in the series – to raise awareness and make friends! So this weekend, from TONIGHT through Sunday, May 17th, we’ll be appearing at L.A’s DomCon – the world’s premiere professional and lifestyle domination convention!

IG Poster (IG-sub)

Our main Incredible Girl character poster featuring my partner-in-crime, Celia Aurora de Blas, as the titular Incredible Girl!

We’ll not only have a table in the vendor’s hall (complete with a spanking booth and giveaways Fri, Sat, and Sun!) all weekend, but we’ll be hosting the Opening Ceremonies in character as IG and Cupcake, screening our teaser footage, and appearing at Friday night’s Play Party AND Saturday night’s Fetish Ball! So if you want to pop by, indulge your curiosity, support our show, and see me in a cute new corset I just bought, come check it out!

DCTV_Banner-1024x449

Whether learning more about BDSM is your thing or not, I’m sure there’s something all of us can agree on. Fuck cancer, am I right? As you may know, Supergirl Radio – the Supergirl fan podcast I host with the lovely Rebecca Johnson – is part of a family of podcasts called DCTV Podcasts, which includes Quiver: The Green Arrow Podcast, Legends of Gotham, and The Flash Podcast (as well as the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow Podcast!). We’re all teaming up for a massive super-powered marathon this weekend to raise money in support of the Winship Cancer Institute, to which we all have a very personal connection through my co-host, Rebecca. Check out the details about the fundraiser/marathon and find out how you can donate HERE. Our goal was a paltry $500, which we’ve already raised thanks to our generous listeners. But we’d love to raise as much as possible, so give the marathon a listen and donate what you can! Sadly, I won’t be able to participate, because I’ll be at DomCon, but one of Supergirl Radio’s fabulous regular guests, Michael Bailey, will be joining Rebecca to talk about Supergirl in the DC Animated Universe! It’s sure to be a great time!

Thanks so much for your continued support of my work and my various projects. I promise, I’ll be getting back on the blogging train soon. In the meantime, enjoy those fun photos up top! 😉

 

 

5 Reasons to Be a Patron #3: Monthly Limits

Incredible Girl is one of the many projects your patronage will be supporting!

My upcoming digital series, Incredible Girl, is one of the many projects your patronage will be supporting!

If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that I’ve already given you two great reasons to consider becoming a Patron of mine at Patreon:

5 Reasons to Be a Patron #1: You Want My Work to Continue

5 Reasons to Be a Patron #2: As Much or As Little As You Like

Today, I wanted to bring up one of the biggest reasons why Patreon is such a great site, and it has a little something to do with Reason #2. In addition to being able to set your “per story” patronage to whatever amount you’d like, you can also set a Monthly Limit! 

A Monthly Limit means that, no matter how many stories I create on Patreon, once you set your limit, you’ll never have to pay over that. So, let’s say I start out with creating 4 stories a month, and you agree to be my Patron for $1/story and set your Monthly Limit for $4…if I suddenly become more prolific and create 7 stories in any given month, you still only pay $4.

But you remain a Patron and still have access to all of my Patron-exclusive material! 

What’s more, your monthly limit can change. You’re never locked into any amount. Ever! Pretty damn cool, huh? 😉

Now, I’m currently at 3 Patrons as of this writing. I would love to get to 10 by the end of this week. Are there 7 of you out there willing to step up? The stories will start coming next week, and I’d love for as many of you as possible to have access not only to the stories I’ll be releasing to the general public, but also to the Patron-exclusive short stories I’ll be writing. Join me!

Check out my Patron page by clicking HERE. And thank you!

Nanowrimo-A-Thon! (or, Help Me Help Incredible Girl!)

A scene from the upcoming Incredible Girl teaser!

A scene from the upcoming Incredible Girl teaser!

There are two pretty big needs I have at the moment. Well, two pretty big needs OTHER than more income.

The first big need is to raise money to be able to shoot the Incredible Girl pilot. The team and I have several ideas in motion at the moment in order to accomplish this goal – but every little bit helps, right?

The other big need is my need to write prose fiction.

I’m sure many of you didn’t even know that I did that, and those of you that did have probably forgotten that I did that – or assumed I’d stopped. I haven’t. There’s one story in particular that, if I write no other prose fiction in my life, needs to be out of me and in the shape of a novel.

Given that I have these two big needs, I thought of a way to kill two birds with one stone.

Introducing THE NANOWRIMO-A-THON!

For those of you who don’t know, Nanowrimo is short for National Novel Writing Month, which happens to be the month of November. It’s a non-profit that promotes the written word, and the point of Nanowrimo itself is to take the month of November to finish a 50,000 word (about 200 pgs) novel. You might have missed the key word, so I’ll repeat it: finish. The point is to just keep writing without stopping to second-guess yourself. At the end, you might have written a load of crap…but you would’ve finished something, which is the thing that most people have trouble with. You can edit later. You can realize what’s crap later. The point is simply to finish.

I’ve never completed Nanowrimo, which has always disappointed me. You know what I have completed? 100 pages of a great webseries. 🙂 And now, I’d like to use one endeavor to help the other.

He’s how it will work:

** 50,000 is about 200 pages. If I can get 50 people to donate $0.50/page ($100 if I finish!), I can potentially raise $5,000 for Incredible Girl (BTW – we’ve budgeted the pilot at about $15,000!) so….

THE GOAL: $5,000

** Email theteresajusinoexperience[at]gmail[dot]com with the amount you’d like to pledge per finished page. Put “NANOWRIMOTHON” in the subject.
** Starting TOMORROW, I write furiously for 30 days. Donors can check my progress at my Nanowrimo page. I’ll also be keeping you updated here!
** Hopefully, throughout November, you will SHARE THE LINK TO THIS BLOG POST to tell others about this endeavor!

** I will alert donors of their final amount, and they can go to THE NEW INCREDIBLE GIRL WEBSITE to make an online donation to Incredible Girl in that amount through our fiscal sponsor, FROM THE HEART PRODUCTIONS via PayPal. These donations are tax-deductible! (If you prefer to write a check, we can make arrangements for that via email)

That’s it! Very simple, and it will help get two original works of art out there – work that I hope will help us look at issues of gender and sexuality in a new light.

So? Wanna help me write a novel and produce a webseries? 😉

INCREDIBLE GIRL DIARY 1: The Road to Now

Aurora and Me (with severe Nervous Face) at the first public reading of an Incredible Girl script. December 2013

Aurora and Me (with severe Nervous Face) at the first public reading of an Incredible Girl script. December 2013

If you’ve been following my blog or social media feeds at all, it’s likely that you’ve heard me talk about being involved in a digital series called Incredible Girl. Now, as our growing production team has started ramping up our pre-production and fundraising efforts, I figured it might be nice to keep you posted by keeping an Incredible Girl production diary!

But before I can keep you posted on where we’re going, I wanted to fill you in on where we’ve been so far.

Me at the Ms. In the Biz launch in 2013, the night I met Aurora. Photo by Michael Jackson for ChileJam!

Me at the Ms. In the Biz launch in 2013, the night I met Aurora. Photo by Michael Jackson for ChileJam!

APRIL 2013

I attended the Ms. In the Biz launch party at the Tropicana Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel where I met lots of wonderful female creators including actress/producer Aurora de Blas. As we chatted, she mentioned that she had recently produced a short film called Incredible Girl, which she’d entered into film festivals. When I went home and watched it, I thought it was really cool – and it also seemed to me like the beginning of something. When I asked her if she had additional plans for it, she said she didn’t, but that she wanted to. She thought it a shame for the festival circuit to be the end of the line for this short film that she’d poured her heart and resources into.

She asked me what I thought it was the beginning of. I messaged her some initial ideas. We wrote back and forth. We agreed to meet up.

And when we met up, after a long, great conversation, she asked me if I’d be interested in writing a web series based on her short film. It would be a paying gig to write something really interesting and thought-provoking and work with an awesome person whose values and work ethic I share. I said yes.

And so it began.

My notes for revisions during my early drafts.

My notes for revisions during my early drafts.

MAY 2013-JULY 2014

I started developing some ideas inspired by the original film. The sexual energy that surges through the film inspired me to bring the world of BDSM into the story. That led to Aurora and I meeting regularly to hash out what the story and characters should be. Our conversations led to the introduction of a religious element in the mix – after all, a great way to examine an extreme lifestyle is by contrasting it with its extreme opposite. We named the “Innocent Girl” of the short film Sarah, and gave her a family, a life, a conflict. The character of “Incredible Girl” stayed Incredible Girl, but this time for a reason, and she, too, was given a life, friends, a conflict. They were each given a love interest (or two, or three!). Aurora and I went through about three drafts of the 10-episode series.

We had the opportunity to read Episode Two of the series at the December 2013 International Academy of Web Television meet-up, and received a wonderful and generous response! The gathered writers and producers seemed to really enjoy the script, and while they had some notes for me, all the notes came from a place of being really interested in the story and wanting to know more about the characters. Of the four scripts read that night, Incredible Girl generated the most conversation. That night was the first night that I really registered that we really have something here. 🙂

And then came Sabrina! 🙂 At the beginning of 2014, Aurora reached out to potential directors, and we met and fell in love with the talented Sabrina Doyle. She had the vision, the storytelling ability, and the personality best suited to work on this project, and after meeting her once and checking out her previous projects, I knew she would be perfect for this story. She’s also been amazing to work with, and despite not having filmed any episodes has already made the series better. After the initial three drafts, the scripts have gone through two more courtesy of Sabrina’s insightful notes and way with a story. Through Sabrina, we’ve added key elements to the characters and story that have made the series as a whole stronger, more specific, and even more daring.

AUGUST 2014-PRESENT

Once the scripts were, for the most part, locked, we started moving on to other production matters – making contacts within the BDSM community both to build our fanbase and seek funding. We’ve started pooling our resources and seeking out sponsors and locations. We’ve shot a trailer that we hope to be releasing soon! We’ve been meeting with additional producing partners, because Aurora and I both know that the scope of what we hope to do with this project is bigger than the two of us can handle on our own, and I think we’ve found some great ones in Lauren Fash and Susan Graham, with whom we met a couple of weeks ago to come up with a plan of attack and next steps.

First step of that plan? Raise the funds needed to produce a kick-ass pilot episode.

Me and Clem Jeffreys in a shot from the Incredible Girl trailer, which is actually Scenes 1 & 2 from the pilot. 2014.

Me and Clem Jeffreys in a shot from the Incredible Girl trailer, which is actually Scenes 1 & 2 from the pilot. 2014.

And that’s where we are! Between now and the beginning of next year, we’re focusing on fundraising – but we’re going to stay away from crowdfunding for the moment, so you don’t have to worry about being bombarded with Kickstarter/IndieGoGo links just yet! We’re hoping to take a more intimate approach to building our fan base and creating this one episode by doing in-person fundraising events and approaching supporters one-on-one.

Our first attempt to do just that is TOMORROW! 🙂

1622043_10152766625482741_3087219765880536867_n

Tomorrow is our first fundraiser, courtesy of Veggie Grill in West Hollywood. If you stop by that location tomorrow between 5-10PM, whether you’re staying or grabbing food to go, and mention Incredible Girl (or our fiscal sponsor, From the Heart Productions), 50% of the proceeds from your order go to our effort. So if you want to help out, PLEASE:

1) RSVP at our Facebook invite to let us know if you’re planning on coming!

2) SPREAD THE WORD by spreading THIS FLYER to anyone you think would support our project and/or go out for a vegetarian dinner. Remember, they have to go to THIS location tomorrow night between 5-10PM in order for it to count.

That’s it! Easy-peasy. What’s more, Aurora and I will be there, and will be handing out Cupcake Dominatrix buttons, so you’ll be able to take home the first-ever bit of Incredible Girl merchandise for free as a Thank You for supporting our cause.

I hope I can count on my Los Angeles peeps to come out tomorrow night! But don’t worry – those of you not in L.A. will have plenty of opportunity to show your support later! Stay tuned to this space for regular installments of my Incredible Girl Diary, as well as future fundraising efforts and events.

And don’t forget to Like the Incredible Girl Facebook page and follow Incredible Girl on Twitter!

L.A. INCREDIBLE GIRL FUNDRAISER OCTOBER 2!

DSCN1019

I haven’t been very prolific on the blog front lately, because this has been a huge time of transition and success for me! New writing opportunities, new part-time job, and ramping up production on Incredible Girl!

I’ll be writing more about all of this next week, but right now I wanted to tell you about Incredible Girl‘s first fundraiser and how you can help! (If you live in L.A, this one’s for you!)

Veggie Grill has graciously allowed us to do a fundraiser at their West Hollywood location! It’s super-easy: if you go to the VeggieGrill at 8000 Sunset Blvd on October 2nd, purchase dinner and mention Incredible Girl or From the Heart Productions (our fiscal sponsor) – or print out or show THIS FLYER on your phone – Veggie Grill will donate 50% of what you purchase to our project that night! Anything we raise will go toward recouping costs on the recent Incredible Girl teaser we shot, toward hiring a graphic artist to create an Incredible Girl logo, and other costs that are starting to creep up as we move forward with this project.

Whether you stay and enjoy your meal, or quickly grab something To Go, IT ALL COUNTS! But Exec Producer and star Aurora de Blas and I will be there the whole time if you want to stay and eat and say hello. 🙂

And if possible, join the Facebook Event for the fundraiser! This way, we can have an idea of how much help we’ll be getting on the 2nd. It’ll certainly boost morale over at Camp Incredible Girl!

So, if you’re in L.A. on October 2nd, consider having dinner at Veggie Grill and mentioning our fundraiser! It would be a huge help and be a great start to what I know is going to be a long, exciting journey!

Thank you so much. 🙂

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén