Selfie with Kerry Washington, Met the Bloggess and More: My BlogHer 2014 Recap
BlogHer 2014 was my 5th one in 6 years and it might be the most memorable one yet. This was also he 4th one where I was speaking. It was also my first time in San Jose. It celebrated BlogHer’s 10th anniversary so it made sense that this had to be the most epic one they’ve had.
I picked up my badge and headed to the EPPA party, where sangria was flowing, food was everywhere and I ran into some of the homies (like Justice Fergie, Anu Prestonia and more). I ate, drank, took selfies with folks and had a great time. That party was a good start to 3 days of celebration. I also connected with my 2 favorite Frans (Chescaleigh and Hey Fran Hey) and took a pic with Lisa Stone (one of the founders of BlogHer).
Day 1 of BlogHer kicked off with a welcome from the BlogHer founders (Elisa Camahort Page, Lisa Stone, Jory Des Jardins), 2 10×10 project speakers and a keynote by Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess), who I’ve been a fan of for YEARS! I’ve actually used her blog in presentations I give as an example of someone whose voice is distinctive and awesome. She was interviewed by Jory, and she had the room rolling. I loved it! When it was time for Q&A, I was the first one who asked a question. My query was “Is the red dress you’re wearing an homage to the traveling red dress you had?” And it was!
Other stuff that happened: I took a pledge with the Timeline Project, encouraged by my girl Chesca, that I will publish my book by the age of 30. This means I have 1.5 years to make that happen (whew). I met tech OG Guy Kawasaki and I gave a Geek Bar presentation on WordPress Plugins (in case you missed it, you can read my post on 5 WordPress Plugins Every Site Should Have). And then the Voices of the Year readings blew me away. A’Driane Nieves’ “America is not here for us” had me and Kelly Wickham (aka MochaMomma) on our feet clapping. SHE. DID. THAT. Go read it.
Feminista Jones, BlogHer’s relationship and sex editor had the idea of bringing together the Black Bloggers at the conference for an informal gathering. Word spread through Twitter and it ended up being one of my favorite parts of the conference. About 40 of us met at the Hilton bar for an hour and a half, introduced ourselves, said what we do and gave each other tips on moving forward and upward.
It was empowering, inspiring and something that I hope becomes formal for future conferences. Being in that space let us all know how necessary it was. The fellowship of brown and black women was powerful. Many of the Black women at the conference missed it though, because they didn’t know about it. Imagine if we were all there.
The evening ended up with dinner with the Microsoft team. Not even the fact that one of my Samsung Galazy S4s shattered like mosaic tiles when it dropped face don on concrete could kill my vibe. It was a good day.
Day 2 of BlogHer was the BIG DAY! Beforehand, I met with MochaMomma and the Bloggess. I love how casual I just said that. I MET THE BLOGGESS!!! Apparently, she’s a fan too. Within seconds of meeting, we were already cracking each other up. She is just as I imagined: Awesome.
The day was winning already. Then I showed up to the Grand Ballroom at the San Jose Convention Center and was taken backstage to prepare for my 10×10 talk. Elisa met me and went “Kerry’s here. Want me to introduce you now?” Me: “Yes please!”
So I go to the backstage that was backstage, where Kerry Washington was talking to my girl Demetria Lucas of A Belle in Brooklyn (who was going to be interviewing her). Internally, I was like “OMG OMG OMG” but I kept my cool. Elisa takes me over and we shake hands and I told her I think she’s amazing. I can’t remember what she said to me but I just remember her being super nice and gracious and I was like “OMG OMG OMG” on the inside.
Demetria was like “She’s being humble. She’s your biggest fan.” Kerry remembered that we’d met before (YES WE HAVE! 2 Years ago at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon). She told me that my caftan was beautiful. I LIVE. I forget the rest of our convo because I was in my head like JD from Scrubs. We did talk about ashiness and how California water was softer than everywhere else. I remember that. HA!
Anywho, the tech guys mic’ed me up and I went over some of my speech again. Demetria told me “Don’t be nervous. You’re a gladiator!” and Kerry nodded and I was like EEEEEEEEE!!!
Thennn Demetria and Kerry took fierce selfies and then me and Kerry took one.
The Mrs. band performed on stage and then Morra Aarons-Mele went up and slayed her 10×10 talk. I was on standby and had 2 minutes to go when I was told that they had to move Kerry’s keynote to before my talk because she had to leave earlier. Hey, business/life calls!
Demetria wrote all about the keynote with Kerry. Check out A Belle in BK’s site for the synopsis. Cliffnotes: It rocked! She asked her questions about being a public figure who still maintains private boundaries, about her activism, about Scandal. I’m a fan of hers not just because of the Olivia Pope thing but because people who use their platforms to elevate others and talk about what’s important are heroes.
Plus, I subscribe to her ideal of shutting off her family from public scrutiny, and never inviting people into her relationships. I am ALLLLL about that. What is there not to love?
“Sometimes I tweet about my parents because I can’t resist. I do tweet about my dog but not my marriage or my kids. As an actor, I feel like it’s harder to lose yourself in my work if you know too much about me. You may have to do a little more work as an audience member to dive into my relationship with my coworkers. I like to keep my life a mystery so you can enjoy the story more.” – Kerry Washington
When they got off stage, Kerry told me to rock my talk. And then we took one more picture together and hugged.
My heart sang because Kerry Washington is everything you can expect her to be. Smart, incredibly grounded and really kind. She’s basically a unicorn.
Afterwards, Demetria told me that before I got backstage to even meet her, Kerry let her know that she reads my recaps and was looking forward to meeting me. EEEE!!! BlogHer’s founders told me the same thing. They were like “Do you know she reads your blogs?” WELL I DO NOW! So awesome. I live.
RT "@Luvvie: Kerry reads my recaps and told @abelleinbk that she was looking forward to meeting me. <<< co-sign.
— Demetria L. Lucas (@demetriallucas) July 27, 2014
So on to my talk. The subject was about how you can be awesomely authentic online and how I’ve managed to use my voice to get me to where I am.
I was nervous when I stepped on stage with my iPad mini (that had notes) and my clicker didn’t work so they had to get me a new one. I looked in the audience and the room was half empty (Khloe Kardashian was in the expo hall. I can’t compete with that) but I saw my people in the front and I was good.
Then I started talking and I got in my groove and I killed it. People were cracking up, but most importantly, they got what I was saying!
11 minutes later, I stepped off the stage and high-fived Elisa. I am not sure what I was worried about but I did what I wanted to do and I did it well. I checked Twitter and my mentions had gone NUTS! So much love! Folks came up to me afterwards to give more props. Apparently, many almost peed their pants. That is an ultimate compliment, if I ever heard one. SCORE!
I think video of it will be up in a couple of weeks on BlogHer’s site.
Anywho, the day ended with BlogHer’s #McDBlogHer party, sponsored by McDonalds. It was THE BEST PARTY EVER!!! OMG! Rev Run performed and has us rocking to old school jams for 2 hours. Yall should have seen the turn up that happened. The party was outside in a parking lot and San Jose weather was perfect. I came out my caftan into a racerback tank and got my entire life.
When the Rev was done, DJ Rashida took over and we did the wobble, the electric slide and showed out in other ways. After that was done, somehow we ended up singing Joyful Joyful and had a gospel jam session because: Black folks. My partners in crime were Natasha Nicholes, Jasmine Banks, A’Driane Nieves, Grace Sandra, Arnebya Herndon while Kelly Wickham took video of us. There may or may not be a vid of me on Instagram doing a church scoot. Lawd.
2 days later, my body still hurts. My shins. MY SHINS HURT! HOW?!? It was all worth it, though. We had A BLAST! BEST. PARTY. EVER. We had to let the McDonald’s man know how epic it was. What an epic closeout to BlogHer’s 10th birthday celebration?
How I’m remembering everything is I’m going through my Instagram account and the pics in my phone. I didn’t post MOST pics I took, actually.
This conference experience was especially affirming for me. Basically, my lesson is that I continue to underestimate myself and I don’t have a right to. I know I’m dope but I need to KNOW I’m dope.
I met so many great people, reconnected with many homies and I wish I could name everyone but I can’t. You know who you are! If we shared hugs, high fives and hella squeals, you were part of the reason why the weekend was so epic. Thank you!
Congrats to BlogHer for 10 years of creating necessary space for women who love words, who live through words and who are saved through them. I am honored to have been a part of this great conference, and amongst great company in the 10×10 project.
Onwards and upwards, my peoples.
I’m having all kinda fits knowing that Kerry reads the recaps. Lawd. #ResuscitateMeRa
DYING @ #ResuscitateMeRa!
So sad I missed it this year. Sounds like it was epic.
P.S., I had no doubt you’d rock it! Hi-fives and fist bumps!
Ok, so everything about this post makes me wiggle in my seat…
You met Jenny (The Bloggess) – she has me looking for metal chickens so I can have one in my yard…I promise not to name mine Beyonce…well, maybe Bey instead…
Kelly – MochaMomma is my best GF in my head.
Kerry – class, class and more class. I don’t watch Scandal (got interested too late in the series) but I LOVE that she isn’t locked away in some bubble but actually reads what the fans (YOU and us) want.
Luuvie – YOU ARE BRILLANT. I cannot wait to see your video.
Ok, enough fangirling…back to work…
Love it! Looks like you had an amazing time. Your selfies = ***FLAWLESS. And I can’t wait to see video of your talk. YAAAASSSSS
Ma’am….you rock #nuffsaid #imsuchafan
thanks for letting me get all fan girl on you (uh…multiple times) – you are the anti Diva and everything that is right about community and kindness. Also – YOU BROUGHT GIFS!!!
Congrats, Luvvie! I’m so happy for you! It’s great to see all of your hard work paying off and your exposure growing. Well done and well deserved!
This has me pumped for Blogalicious in November. It’ll be my first blogger conference ever!
Thanks for sharing your experiences, Luvvie. You may a girl wanna keep following her dreams!
This sounds so awesome, Luvvie! I’m a 23-year-old Journalism major in GA and I’d really like to get involved in this type of work. Blogging subjectively is not one of my strengths, I’ll admit, but BlogHer and other events in the past I’ve read about that you attended seems SO awesome and so welcoming. It looks like so much fun and extremely rewarding. I’ve been reading your blog since I was about 21 and I enjoy every minute. Love to you and congrats on everything. You’re amazing!
You are completely awesome!!! AND one of the best things to come out of BlogHer for me was hearing you speak and finding your blog to read – I am so re-inspired!! Oh and besides being very jealous that you got to meet The Bloggess and Kerry I am super happy for you!! Congrats!!
I am so happy for you and glad to hear that Kerry is as gracious we had hoped. Maybe she will put in a good word with Shonda and you can become Scandal’s official rec-capper — the dude from ABC is kind of dull.
Thank you, Luvvie, for bringing us the fan-tab-u-lous-nous of this event! Congratulations on giving an awe-inspiring speech too.
Great pics, and truly believe you describe Kerry Washington’s authenticity.
OK so I totally fan girled when I saw you at the expo, yup literally told my girls “OMG thats Luvvie”. I did this spin thing and said hi lol. Thanks for the picture and you slayed at your 10×10.
It was great meeting you.
So glad I was there to witness your presentation. You were/ are amazing! People that were in attendance walked out after you were done and told everyone how brilliant you are! Next time, don’t be nervous as those of us who get you, will go and explain it to those that don’t.
Thank You for being a great example of what being true to yourself truly means. Continue to be great, we are all routing for you!
You killed us dead. SO DEAD. If I could do gifs I would because no words to how you slayed us. A blogher highlight in my mind forever.
Love love loved your spirit. You a girl after my own heart, not afraid to speak your truth, lover of kick ass shoes and funny as hell. You got a new fan for sure.
Congratulations!! And just think this is just the beginning!! I can’t wait to see how much more awesomer you will become!!
I’m not a blogger, just a faithful reader of your site. Just happy that you’re happy. Rock on!
I had a challenging time putting into words how much I got from this conference. And the black blogger think tank could’ve been its own session. Attending blogher14 is by far the best last minute decision I’ve ever made.
reading this recap is exactly the kick in the ass i needed to get back on my blogging game – i want to go to BlogHer so i can meet YOU! You’re my Kerry!!!
Congratulations Luvvie! So happy that you got the opportunity to meet “our” Kerry and even happier that she was kind and down to earth. There’s nothing worst than meeting someone that you adore from a distance and they turn out to be a stuck up cold fish! I just want you to know Luvvie that you inspire me to get back on my path. I was side tracked life’s interruptions, but reading all of the great things that you are doing encourages me to regroup and live my dream! Who knows……someday I just might meet you at a Blog Conference!
Bummed I missed your 10×10! I had a serious case of the naps coming on. You know, first BlogHer and all. Can’t wait to see the video!
Wow, sounds like you had a totally amazing conference! That is so cool. I also LOVED Kerry’s talk. I’m sure I saw you at conference – I remember your name – but I’m not sure we had a chance to meet. SOooooo many people there! 🙂 It’s fun. 🙂
Your 10×10 was definitely a highlight of the weekend for me! I wanted to tell you in person but didn’t get the chance mainly because you had so many people surrounding you with love and admiration as you should! It was awesome, you are awesome.
It was epic! And that’s me & hubby in your IG photo at the Rev Run Closing Party… lower right hand corner! LOL!
Great update! Fun times and glad I was able to make it to my 1st BlogHer. Whole. New. World. Hate I missed your 10×10 rushing off to an event that was rescheduled for later.
Luvvie, congrats on a job well done. You have inspired me to get my butt to a blog conference!!!! This will most definitely be a goal for 2015!!!!
Same here. I’m going to BlogHer next year 🙂
” Basically, my lesson is that I continue to underestimate myself and I don’t have a right to. I know I’m dope but I need to KNOW I’m dope.” So many women need to read this line to themselves on a daily basis, including me. Congratulations on all your success!! I am so glad someone posted one of your Scandal recaps on my page some time last year! You are what goes with lunch.
Khloe K. had nothing on you! Your 10×10 was one of my favorites. Absolutely hilarious and truly authentic. It was an honor listening to you and meeting you.
This is so full of amazing I have no real words…one day when I make it big I will be there (LOL)
But I NEED ANSWERS as to why Khloe Gargantuan was at BlogHer? I mean what??? Why? For how? For whom? I jut got questions…….LOL
Yes you are dope!!! Own it. It’s your time to shine!!
[…] short presentations, titled 10×10 talks, some of whom, such as Deb Rox, Alexandra Rosas, Awesomely Luvvie, and Katherine Stone were other highlights for […]
You met Kerry!!! And she reads your recaps!!! This is a victory for us all!!!
Oh my god this was epic. I’m so jealous of you, do you know that? Kerri is such a doll, I would have met if I saw her, lol.
You rock!!! I would love to see you in your element one day!!! Such a professional, poised, and witty young lady you are! Glad you had a wonderful time!