If you have been following Queer Quality since January, you have seen us talk a great deal about the upcoming queer digital series called Kait & Nic. Six months later, the first two episodes of this four part mini series have finally been released on YouTube, making it’s debut appropriately in the middle of Pride Month.
We chatted with the co-creators and co-stars of this new LGBTQ+ comedy to get the run down on what to expect and we reviewed the first two episodes that were released this afternoon.
To watch the first two episodes before reading the Q & A (though it is spoiler free!), skip to the bottom of this page now.
This is the story of Kait & Nic, the queer web series that you didn’t know you needed.
At the end of 2017, Kaitlyn Krieg and Nicole Lee got to work on writing a true life queer comedy. Why? Because as much as queer content has increased over the years, in large part to digital series like Carmilla, Barbelle, and just about everything else coming out of KindaTV, a few aspects of real life queerdom were still missing from the screen. Mental health representation, queer women of color, and an array of body size and image of women, to name a few.
Krieg and Lee went to work, taking the influence of the shows they love, their backgrounds in theatre and improv, and their own personal experiences as queer women and wrote a four part mini web series, appropriately named after themselves: Kait & Nic.
Kait & Nic tells the story of two queer women living in New York City trying to navigate life and love. Kait is a lesbian that far too often allows her mental health to get in the way of talking to girls. Struggling with depression and anxiety definitely hurts Kait’s confidence in her love life, to the point that, that’s all she can talk about. Meanwhile, Nic is a bisexual woman of color, with an over the top personality. Her love for words will raise a few eyebrows, but not as much as her dating habits. These two, along with their two token straight friends (TSF’s), try to turn Kait and Nic’s luck with love around. Will they succeed? Will they just date each other? You’ll just have to watch to find out!
In January, Krieg and Lee launched an Indiegogo campaign to help fund the show they had written. With overwhelming support from friends, family and fans eagerly anticipating the newest queer web series, Kait & Nic reached their necessary financial goal in only thirteen days. By the end of their Indiegogo campaign, the show had generated 141% of their needs, helping skyrocket the project to one of the most anticipated independent queer projects that Queer Quality has supported this year.
This overwhelming support and push for quality queer content helped land Kait & Nic an awesome theme song by a Brooklyn based female led queer punk band. “Chasing” by Worriers, as well as other Worriers music, can be heard throughout the series. And that’s not the only queer music you’ll hear. In fact, there might be an Easter Egg or two for avid fans of other LGBTQ+ content to find. We won’t tell you what they may be, but you’re encouraged to tweet at Kait & Nic when you find them!
We took some time with Krieg and Lee to learn more about the show, what we should expect and what makes this digital series so relatable for the entire queer community.
QQ: What inspired Kait & Nic?
Krieg: I was in the middle of watching another popular web series, “Barbelle”, when a random thought crossed my mind. I thought “Why are Nicole and I not dating?” I remembered that Nicole was allergic to cats and for some reason, it was that line that got me writing ideas. I texted Nicole and the next thing I knew we were sitting in Schnippers (local NYC restaurant) plotting out episode ideas and texting lines to each other.
Lee: For me, a big inspiration was my long-time frustration at not being asked to be in other people’s cool projects and not being cast on improv house teams in NYC. That rejection really weighed on me and I internalized it enough that Kait & Nic felt like the opportunity to prove I could do something creative independently and succeed. I’m so grateful Kaitlyn shared her idea with me to get us started.
QQ: What do fans have to look forward to? What makes your show stand out?
Krieg: There are a lot of things we wanted to do for this show. We wanted to create a web series that showed women of all shapes and sizes and ages. I’m pretty active on Tumblr and something I noticed from younger LGBTQIA is how a lot of them feel like they cannot be loved or won’t find love because of the way that they looked. I am also a person who has struggled with that. We’re so used to seeing wlw [women loving women] characters as drop dead gorgeous and skinny. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed all the things that I have watched, but it’s harder to relate to people who do not represent your body type or the way you look. We’re not all super skinny and in shape. So it was important to me that we had all body sizes because I want viewers to have someone they can look to and say ‘Hey, I look like that.’
Lee: People can look forward to seeing a web series that showcases diversity in many facets. We really wanted to represent people on screen that reflected people we knew in real life. We wanted to showcase women, people of color, LGBTQ. I think our show stands out for having a lead character who has depression, anxiety and self esteem issues. The other lead character is a bisexual woman of color. I don’t think there are many of those in mainstream media.
Krieg: I think we should also mention that our entire crew, minus one amazing man, were female and part of the LGBTQIA. Also all our cast who play queer characters are also in the LGBTQIA. There was no ‘gay for pay’ on this show. I think we deserve to see more of that.
“There was no ‘gay for pay’ on this show. I think we deserve to see more of that.”
QQ: Why did you decide to play the characters on top of creating the show?
Krieg: I think that was the idea from the beginning. I write from what I know and who better to portray myself and my characteristics than me?
Lee: I don’t think we ever entertained any other thought than playing Kait and Nic ourselves. It was always our show and we wanted to do as much of it ourselves as we could: writing, casting, funding, filming, editing. Acting was a natural part of that list. We also wrote these characters based on ourselves and it would’ve been weird directing another actor to do something you would’ve done yourself for this ‘character’ that was essentially you.
QQ: How close to your characters are you really?
Krieg: Spot on for me, I’d say. I didn’t hide too much of myself, but I think that’s what makes the story more real. I’m playing a real person with real issues and real problems. Everything I say in regards to myself is definitely something I have said to someone at some point.
Lee: I keep saying Nic is a caricature of me, with qualities I have that we exaggerate in the show. (I might change my mind once I’ve seen all of the episodes and get called out for being exactly like Nic). I will also say that I really enjoyed writing for our straight BFFs. One of them in particular represents the part of me who wants to be un-apologetically myself.
QQ: Why was it important to portray a character with mental illness?
Krieg: Because it is the most relatable thing, in my opinion, being in the LGBTQIA. I have depression and anxiety, and I feel like it’s rarely shown on screen. I can say that I don’t think depression necessarily has to be portrayed as sad so we’ve added a little humor to it, but it still shows my truth. And I want people who do suffer from depression or anxiety to know it’s okay and that doesn’t have to stop you from doing what you want to do. I’ve had a lot of doubt throughout this project because my brain is really good at sabotaging, but I pull through because I know we’ve made a good show with a good message.
Lee: Diversity of representation was a major goal for me with this show. There are people with mental health issues and they deserve to be represented positively on screen. We tried not to generalize Kait’s mental health as representative of others with anxiety and depression. But seeing someone on screen who makes you feel seen, valid, and not alone is what I hope we achieve.
QQ: Are either of you actually logophiles? So we know who not to play Scrabble with!
Krieg: NICOLE! She’s so incredible smart and definitely will have you using a dictionary in some scenes. But I am pretty good at Scrabble.
Lee: Guilty! And I wish I had a more expansive vocabulary! My favorite game is Bananagrams and I also enjoy playing Boggle on my phone.
QQ: Tell us about some of the characters and their actors.
Lee: We tried to spin the function of tokenism on its head by having two “token straight friends” for Kait and Nic. Yes, there are two instead of one, so it’s technically not tokenism. And we never name their characters in the dialogue, so we try to play on the superficiality of tokenism. These friends are played by our friends Emily Johnson and Talia Page. They’re both (non-practicing) lawyers and super smart and kind and funny. They are great actors to play off of. We also have a love interest for Kait and Nic each. They are played by our friends Mari Stein and Tea Ho. Suffice it to say our heart rates increased playing off of these two.
QQ: Describe your show in 3 words:
Krieg: Oh geez… um. Fun, relatable, and NYC? Nicole, help me out.
Lee: Those words are great! I’d add Honest, Diverse, Female.
QQ: Any Easter Eggs we should watch for?
Krieg: I think we’re going to keep all our Easter Eggs a secret. You’ll just have to watch and find out, but there are a lot so if you spot them, tweet them out to us!
QQ: Anything you want to say to your fans?
Krieg: I think the most important thing we have to say is thank you to all the people who donated to our Indiegogo because without your support, we would not have this little show. I hope everyone who watches it can see themselves within our characters and feel like they have positive representation. And just because, if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the YouTube channel. There are a lot of things we would like to do, but cannot do that until we have more subscribers so please.
Lee: Thank you to the support from our Indiegogo donors. Some were not close friends. Some were relatives we never expected would support our show. We couldn’t do this without their generosity and love. If you are discovering this show and are strangers to us, we hope you enjoy the show for the comedy, feel represented by its characters, and share it with others.
The eagerly anticipated first two episodes of Kait & Nic are now live on their YouTube channel and we are here to watch, re-watch, and review them! This section definitely contains spoilers, so make sure you click the videos to watch each episode!
Episode 1 introduces us to Nic and Kait, their two token straight friends (TSF’s) and some potential lady loves. You’ll laugh, shake your head at all the awkwardness, and completely relate to both Kait and Nic.
Things we loved:
- Calling out the bi-erasure! Bisexuals are still bisexual, even if they have only been dating one particular gender for a while.
- Kait’s fantasy. We’ve all done it and boy is it hilarious to watch!
- The TSF’s. If you’ve ever felt too queer to be in a group of straight friends, you’ll definitely relate to the the things the token straight friends say.
Did someone say speed dating?? Episode 2 is all about an intense round of NYC speed dating. Nic and Kait meet some interesting ladies… so does their TSF.
Things we loved:
- The leather cladded ladies! Nic and TSF 2 rock it like a boss! Honestly the entire wardrobe is on point for the whole cast.
- ALL THE LADIES!! You will find someone that looks like you in this episode and that representation and validity is needed so much in the queer community. Krieg and Lee cast thoughtfully and it is much appreciated!
[Just one note: This episode might sound a little faint. Those little booths must not have been easy to film in. But if you listen with ear buds, it sounds perfect!]
Only two more episodes to go and we can already tell that this won’t be enough. It is beyond refreshing to see a comedy portraying the honest truth about dealing with mental health, bi-erasure, and the lack of confidence in the queer dating world. With a cast full of beautiful diverse women, Kait & Nic has surpassed even our highest of expectations. We cannot wait for episodes 3 and 4!