NOTE: This is the SECOND section of Alana King’s interview. We talk about her current campaign with To Write Love On Her Arms and her previous involvement in the Wayward AF movement. This interview is available in video format towards the middle of this post. For the FIRST part, click here. Hope you enjoy!!
Q: Here’s your chance to promote it and gush about it!
A: So this campaign. Where do I start? This was a long time coming. Ok, so for a really really long time… well… everyone knows that everyone in the Supernatural cast and fandom is 1000% in on charities and supporting really amazing causes. I think that’s fantastic. I mean, you’ve got Jared with his Always Keep Fighting campaign. You’ve got Stands, which is an amazing platform for different actors to come together and support their own individual charities that they enjoy. The Wayward AF Movement that I really love.
And you’ve got the fans organizing stuff as well. I’ve always been very moved by all of this and I try to support as much as I can. I’ve supported like every single “Always Keep Fighting” campaign since I first joined the fandom. And I try to support each of the actor’s individual campaigns as well.Sometimes it's hard to because you know, monetarily, there's a lot going on and I have to sometimes cut some of them which sucks. But you know, I try to support as many of them as I possibly can. Click To Tweet
At first, I was just trying to support as many of these campaigns that I possibly could. But as my platform began to grow, people started asking me, “Alana, are you ever going to do a campaign?” I was like, I would love to but I don’t know how to do that because I’ve never done that before. I figured they were talking about what Stands kind of does and I thought, I have no way of doing something like that.”
But then I started thinking more and more because people started asking more and more. And I’ve been wanting to do something to help people and give back. Especially with something that has to do with mental illnesses because that’s really important to me.
So it was a week before Christmas and I was like. “I want to do something, I just don’t know how to do it.” But I was seeing a lot of GoFundMe campaigns going around and I was like, “I could probably do one. I could probably set one of those up.” So I decided to set one up to raise money for “To Write Love On Her Arms”, which is personally one of my favorite charities in existence.
And the only reason I know about it is because of Jared.
Jared’s “Always Keep Fighting” Campaigns, a portion of his proceeds always goes towards different charities and one of those charities was “To Write Love On Her Arms”. I’ve been following them and their message ever since I supported the first “Always Keep Fighting” campaign back in 2015. I was like, “I would love to do something to give back to them”.
So because I am a YouTuber and I do a lot of Supernatural content on my channel, I was like “let’s start a campaign where I say all of the money’s going towards “To Write Love on Her Arms”. And we also do it in honor of Jared and his “Always Keep Fighting” campaign.”
He’s the one that introduced me to the charity and I just want to perpetuate the idea of “Always Keep Fighting”. That’s his thing. So I don’t want to take credit for taking his slogan and I want to do it in his honor cause he has inspired me so much.
So I figured to dedicate a start and end time for this campaign. We’d start it right before Christmas and end it right before the first Supernatural convention that I will be going to which is Supernatural Seattle. And since I can’t give people merch for donating because I just don’t have the resources to do that, I wanted to offer another thing. I wanted to put together, I actually have it down here *takes out campaign notebook*
I said you don’t have to do this, but if you want to, you can write a letter to Jared and email it to me. I’ll put it in a book for him and give him the book at Supernatural Seattle. That was my way of trying to give back to people who donated. Because Jared does know who I am and he has seen my stuff online. So there is a chance that if I give this to him then these people’s stories will be told, will be heard by him.
Most of these people can’t go to a Supernatural convention. And I am very blessed to be in a position where I can go and reach these actors. So I try as hard as possible to bring other people along with me, even though they physically can’t actually be there. This is a way to do that.
I’ve spent countless hours writing up these people’s stories in this book for him. I could just print them out but I feel like things are a lot more genuine if they’re handwritten. So that’s what I’ve been trying to do.
And there’s no monetary limit. I can’t say “Oh if you donate $20 you can write a letter. If you donate $1, you can write a letter. It doesn’t matter.”
The most beautiful thing I think about this campaign so far is that people have been donating what they can. And people will come to me and apologize and say, “I can only donate a dollar, I’m so sorry”. I’m just like … don’t say that.
Like, you donated a dollar because that’s what you could donate. I mean, most people don’t have the means to or they just won’t. That’s not saying anything negative about them. But you had this dollar and you chose to donate it to charity. That is amazing to me. People are just donating what they can and it’s just completely blown me away.
Plus, the level of support that people have been giving this. The original goal for this campaign was $500 and at this point, we’ve raised almost $7,500. I can’t believe that we have done this.
It's just so important to me because this money is going to help people. It's going to help break down the stigma surrounding mental illness because that's what To Write Love On Her Arms is trying to do. Click To Tweet
To Write Love On Her Arms also tries to spread the message of hope and love by giving people the resources they need to get better. This money is going to help them do that and that’s what the goal was.
I’m just so incredibly blessed to be in a position where I have a platform to put something like this out into the world and just let people go free. Oh my god, it’s been amazing and so heartwarming and I’ve cried many times. Many, many times. People have been amazing and incredible. And I never expected it to blow up like it has. A lot of other fans have been really generous with their time. They’ve donated some really amazing things for me to raffle off to donors and yeah, people have just been coming together to support it. It’s incredible.
Q: It’s definitely taken on a mind of its own and become a whole beast in itself.
A: Yeah, I never expected it to take off like this. I was just like “oh let’s raise $500 for charity” and then I was like “oh god, we’re not raising $500, we’re raising a lot more“. I had to slowly increase it as we kept going until I finally just raised it to $10,000 once it got to $5,000.
We’re almost at $6,000 dollars donated to To Write Love On Her Arms in the name of the Always Keep Fighting movement! C’mon #SPNFamily, I know we can do it 😊 Check out the campaign page for the full story and perks/giveaways going on for donors! https://t.co/22udICVylT #akf pic.twitter.com/N2mowINFKt
— Alana King (@_KingBooks_) January 15, 2018
Q: Did you contact To Write Love On Her Arms personally to set up this partnership? Or do they have no idea?
A: No, it was really funny. I didn’t contact To Write Love On Her Arms and I didn’t tag Jared or email GoFundMe. But the other day, I got an email from To Write Love On Her Arms saying “so um… you raised how much money?” And I was like “uh huh, it wasn’t me, it was all of them”.
So they did reach out to me but I never expected that because I didn’t tag them in anything. I was just doing it. But I realized, when they contacted me, it was around the time when they would’ve gotten the deposit the first time. So I’m guessing that may be how they connected the dots. But they reached out to me and they were very kind and supportive. They are actually going to be sending me some To Write Love On Her Arms stuff to give away to donors which I’m really grateful for. So yeah, they’re really supportive.
Q: That’s really exciting! And I love that on your YouTube channel, you made a video not even talking about the campaign and trying to get people to donate. But instead just to say thank you to everyone who donated and to express how overwhelmed you felt with the support. It really shows who you are as a person.
What’s interesting about this campaign though is that I’ll email people saying, “hey, send me your address and I can send you a letter and a pin”. And some people are just like, “nope, no need. Just happy to donate”. I’m just like, “aw that’s so cute!” and then I’ll send out the letters to those who want them and I’ll be getting these really sweet tweets from people saying, “I got your letter!”
I’m just like “aww I’m so happy that it got to you”. It’s been really cool to see people getting these letters… [watch the video 44:58 for really cute moments]
Q: Yeah, and let’s talk about the other project that you just recently got finished with, the Wayward Documentary and that entire whole movement.
A: That was… that was insane. It was really random because I started the documentary … oh gosh, I got the idea for it because I was in a class called ‘Culture, Race, and Media’. I had to make a final project for that class that was in my major. So I was like, “ok I’m going to make a movie. Cool.”
You had to address some topic that we discussed in class and one of the things we talked about in class was gender representation in media. I was like,Ok um... Wayward is literally about this. So I decided I would make a documentary about the Wayward Movement, the spin-off, and why it was important. -- @_kingbooks_ Click To Tweet
I got this idea right before Supernatural DC. So I talked to Lynn and asked her what her thoughts would be on possibly interviewing Kim and Bri at the convention. Because I had no idea how to go about it, I asked her for some advice. Because she always gives me really good advice.
So I contacted some people and the answer was, unfortunately, no which really sucked and I was really discouraged.
But then I was thinking about it a little bit before I went and after I had calmed down my emotions a little. I was like, “you know what, I’m going to do it anyway. I’m just going to interview some fans.” Because this whole thing happened through fans asking for it. It’s going to be great.
So I went to the convention and you know, I was doing my normal vlogging work there, and I was pulling people aside. I was pulling Lynn and Shelley and Scout and one of my friends Michelle. We were kind of going off and I would be asking them the same three questions and building a foundation off of that. […]
Rachel Miner, who I’m very lucky to call one of my friends, was at the convention as a guest and for a while, she was at the Random Acts table. So what I wanted to do was to pull her aside for an interview. And Louden Swain was signing autographs at that time.Their table was right across from the Random Acts table. So because a lot of people were getting their stuff signed by Louden Swain, not a lot of people were walking around the rest of the vendors’ room.
And my mom loves Rob and she loves Louden Swain. So we had gotten t-shirts, the Saturday Night Special t-shirts, and we were going to get these shirts signed. While we were waiting in line, I noticed that Rachel wasn’t really busy at the moment so I told my mom, “I’m going to talk to Rachel and see if she has a moment to do this.” I hadn’t even brought it up to her before.
So I gave my mom my shirt and went over to Rachel. I was like “hey, got a minute?” and she was like “sure”.
Then after that, I had the meet and greet with Kim and Bri and I had done the Wayward DC project where I had gotten everyone online involved.I was,”oh write a letter to Kim and Bri and put it in this binder. We’ll include some pictures and stuff like that and I’ll give it to them.” Everyone came together in a really short time to do that. So at the meet and greet, I gave them the binder and they’re really supportive. I can’t say enough good things about them.
Afterward, I had autographs with Kim and Bri. I didn’t want to bring up the documentary to them because I didn’t want to make it seem like I was asking them for something. I didn’t want to seem pushy.
It kind of goes hand in hand with the anxiety thing. I feel like I should never push. But Robbie Thompson gave me a great piece of advice. He said, “if you never ask, you’ll never know, and the worst thing they can say is no. A lot of times, people don’t mind being asked and if they do, then that’s their problem.” So I was just like ok…
I was kind of remembering what he had said. Like the worst thing they can say is no. So when it was my turn, I told Kim about the documentary. I didn’t even ask her for anything. I just told her, “hey I’m making this documentary about Wayward” … and she remembered me from the meet and greet. So I was like, ‘hey I’m making this documentary” and she was like “what do you need me to do?”
I didn’t have a business card and I was kicking myself for not having my contact information on me. But you know I never think… I never go into these things thinking… whatever, I’ve learned.
I was like, “oh no, she’s not going to be able to find me.” So she goes, “tweet at me. Just tweet at me until I see it. Tweet at me rapidly.”
So I was like ok. I sent out one tweet. A little bit after the autograph session was over. Almost immediately, everyone that follows me started tweeting at her too. It was the cutest thing because my entire notifications just blew up with “Kim!! Over here!!” I was just so humble and blown away by everybody. I literally just sent one tweet like “hey… um.. you asked me to tweet at you so hi…” and everyone just jumped!!
Literally an hour or so later, I got a DM from her like … hi. I was like “what is happening?” This was during Saturday Night… Saturday Night Special was literally about to start and I was sitting in the audience when I get this message from Kim Rhodes. I’m just bursting into tears.
So I got a DM tonight.
From miss Kim Rhodes.
— Alana King (@_KingBooks_) November 12, 2017
But she is the most supportive, down to earth, sweetheart I have ever had the pleasure of speaking with in my entire life. I got to Skype her for like an hour […] and then after I asked her all of my interview questions, we just chatted.
Then I put the whole thing together and released it a week before the Wayward Sisters episode. And it just blew up, which was fantastic, because those ladies deserve every support that they could possibly get. Then a fan asked about it at the Orlando Supernatural Convention and Kim talked about it for a little bit which made me sob … a lot.
A fan asked a question about my #Wayward Documentary at Supernatural Orlando. @kimrhodes4real very graciously talked about it & made me sob (happy tears Kim, I promise). I don’t know who asked the question, but thank you. I wish I could give you a big hug.
P.S. Love you too, Kim. pic.twitter.com/bPzrg3ekZb
— Alana King (@_KingBooks_) January 19, 2018
But it’s been really great to see how it’s impacted people. It’s educating people and showing them facts about women that they probably didn’t really know before.
And I’m really glad that it kind of circulated around for a while and people are still watching it. Because I just wanted to make it to support Wayward as much as I could. I want it to succeed.
Q: Yeah I feel like you were supporting it right from the get-go like when the idea was just only a seed.
A: Oh yeah, I mean, I joined the fandom in 2015 right when that whole Wayward Daughters thing was starting. I was following the movement right from the beginning. I hadn’t been an active participant in it until recently because I didn’t really know how to get involved. I mean, I was supporting it through the campaigns that Stands was doing and I was tweeting about it of course. But when it was finally announced that it was going to be a spin-off, I was like “all right, it’s go time.” I was like, “you know what, we got to do everything we can for this.”
Q: What sticks out, what is it about the show or concept that you love so much?
A: I absolutely love…well I love all of the characters first of all. I think it’s amazing what they’ve done with setting up and establishing everyone. I love Jodi and Donna. They’re my two favorite characters in this pilot and I love them to death.
I just think that it’s really important that we see this diversity. And not only physically, but that we also see women who are represented as real women. Not hypersexualized women. But women who are real and strong but who are also vulnerable. They are real.
Like, I can relate to them. I don’t see them and think of them as some unattainable goal. I look at them and can relate to different aspects of different characters and it’s something that’s really really needed.
So I’m really excited to see if it gets picked up which I hope it will because it got a really really great response. I want to see more. Yeah, I just want to see more.
Q: Yeah, I definitely feel like we got so spoiled with being in the Supernatural fandom. Everyone is just so supportive and kind. And I know, unfortunately, not every fandom is like that. So what would you say to those who are kind of on the outside wanting to dip their toes into fandom but are scared of being attacked or unwelcomed by rabid fangirls? Or maybe they’re just scared of having a bad experience?
A: Um, I think it really depends on the person. If you’re not really sure if you want to get into it then I think you should do what you feel is comfortable. I don’t want people to jump in and then explode in the fandom and then be like “I’m not comfortable”.
I want people to feel like they can be themselves and express and share their love for their fandoms without being uncomfortable. Like, I know you’re going to be uncomfortable sometimes, but I don’t want them to be like “oh god!”
Yeah… but I feel like, if people really wanted to get into fandom, you just gotta go for it. Everyone starts out the same. Everyone starts out on like Twitter or Facebook. You make an account and you start interacting with people. And you make friends.
The way I started out was on YouTube. I think the thing that I did wrong, was that I was comparing myself to people who were already in this group and had this established core of friends. Plus, BookTube was unfortunately very cliquey and it wasn’t right for me. I mean, it was fine for other people, but it just wasn’t the right fit for me.
It’s hard to sometimes make friends online and put yourself out there. But if you keep pushing and interacting with people, people will engage with you. And if people don’t respond, or they aren’t as supportive as you are towards them …
Just gravitate towards the people who you clique with and that you connect with and that you think, “oh I could make a friendship out of this and we could share our love for fandom together.”
It’s just kinda along the same line as making friends in real life. You just gotta put yourself out there and see who you clique with. It could be hard. It could be scary.
They’ll have the exact same passion for Supernatural or for fandoms that you do. And that’s really great because you can fangirl together and be like they understand me. Yeah, that was just a lot of word vomit.
Q: No that was great! It was all good. What other fandoms are you a part of?
A: Well, Supernatural’s my favorite. But I’m also, my first very big fandom was Harry Potter and I’m still in love with it. I love Star Wars. And I love Marvel. I use to love Once Upon a Time… I’m not going to go into it… but it use to be great. Um… Hamilton… Always. There will never be a time when I’m not into Hamilton.
READY FOR LIGHTING ROUND ALANA?! Tell me the first word that comes to your mind when I say these following words.
|HOPE… JARED||MONSTER… FEAR||GOD… CHUCK||FAN… FAMILY||CONVENTION… PARADISE|
|PIE….. DEAN||SACRIFICE…LOVE||JARED PADELECKI… SUNSHINE||QUEEN… KIM RHODE|
|FAMILY… FANDOM||ALWAYS KEEP FIGHTING… LIFE…like my life motto||WAYWARD… STRONG|