On my list of "Reasons Not to Kill Yourself," fan conventions will always feature, right after "There's always another musical to audition for" and "Sometimes you get to eat pie with people you care about." (Wow, did that start out bleak or what? I think I'll stick to the prepared material from now on.)
This is my fifth convention (I can't believe it's been two years since James Marsters told me I had a great smile!) and I feel like I'm becoming a pretty experienced con attendee, at least here in Salt Lake. Maybe that means it's time for me to start cosplaying, as I'm sure that adds a bunch of new rules for how to Comic Con correctly.
Since tonight's recap is super short (I was only there for three hours), I'd like to start with a few things I've learned about the Salt Lake Comic Cons.
1) You cannot do everything.
The faster you accept this, the happier you will be. Even with the three day multipass, there is a lot you aren't going to have time for. And that's okay!
2) You can do the things you make a priority.
Certain things are at the top of my list, and those always get done. If there is a panel I'm fascinated by, a celebrity I simply must meet, or a souvenir I HAVE to find, I will. My mom always says, "We have time for the things we make time for," and that's true here as well.
3) Prioritize your budget.
This one is like the first two combined: you can spend money, but not on everything. Decide beforehand whether you want your money to go towards celebrity autographs, original art, merchandise, clothes, etc. Allow yourself to buy things, but make sure they're the things you want most.
4) Schedule breaks for yourself.
Even Comic Con gets to be too much sometimes. By the end of the third day I am usually looking for a quiet corner to seclude myself in, speaking to no one. If you're going to be at the convention all day, make sure you're planning time where nothing is planned.
5) Take pictures!
My first con I took hardly any pictures. Make sure to document the crazy atmosphere that is a fan convention, especially the cosplayers! Don't be afraid to ask for pictures; in my experience people are flattered to be asked.
Now that I'm done dispensing unsolicited advice, on to the first day of Fan X!
I showed up to the Salt Palace around five. I was going to go to a speed dating event, but they canceled because not enough guys showed up. Wheeee™. (I'm obsessed with the ™ symbol lately.) Ehh, it's fine. Instead I went to a live taping of a Star Wars podcast called Full of Sith.
Favorite quotes: (the panelists were all right up my alley)
"What do you think was the name of the cantina band? Maybe they were just whoever was sober in the bar."
"If Revenge of the Sith Anakin fought Return of the Jedi Darth Vader, Darth Vader would get rekt."
"We love entry level questions." (Man, I love experts who still connect with fans on the more basic level. One of the panelists described fandom as a buffet: you take what you want. I want to be one of those people who doesn't make people feel dumb while they're trying to get into something.)
"ET is basically a Jedi." (This led to a whole discussion about crossover between ET and Star Wars.)
The quote that really resonated with me was, "Don't begrudge someone their fandom." You know, if you didn't like a movie that someone else loved, there is no reason to slam on it in an effort to convince them that you are right. Let them love the thing. You can disagree about the thing, but let them have their thing. I think that's what conventions, and fan culture itself, is about, really.
After the podcast I walked around the vendor areas and Artist Alley. I'll be here ALL DAY Friday, so I was just getting the lay of the land tonight. Already so many things I want to take a second look at (although my souvenir budget is sadly limited this year; see number 3).
Thursday is the least crowded day for conventions, but the cosplayers were already bringing their A game. To no one's surprise, The Force Awakens cosplayers rae out in full force; I love it. Tons of Reys and Kylos. I even spotted two Matt the Radar Technician. (If you haven't seen this skit stop reading this blog and go watch it.)
|"I heard Kylo Ren is shredded. That Kylo Ren has an eight-pack."|
|"I'm looking forward to having some real talk with some real folks."|
Family cosplays are one of my favorite things, and I spotted several today.
Though I'm not over the moon about any of the celebrity guests this year (what will I do with the extra two or three hours I'd normally spend waiting in an autograph line?), the few hours I spent at the con today reminded me how glad I am they exist. I had a Really Bad Week, and this is the pick me up I needed. I promise that tomorrow's recap will be much longer and much more detailed. Friday is always the best day anyway ;)