Tuesday, October 26, 2010

At last, we meet for the first and the last time: X-Con World

This is my first “con report”, and it’s gonna be an odd one. Because one on hand, I had a really fun time.

On the other hand, it was one of the most poorly put together cons I’ve attended, and I can’t, in good conscience, recommend it to fellow vendors/artists/guests.

Why not? In a nutshell, here’s what was lacking:

-          Advertising (I can’t tell you how many people, both in Myrtle Beach, and from the con scene, had NO IDEA what X-con was)

-          Organization (The convention took place on the ground floor and parts of the second floor…and then all the after hours stuff took place 6 miles away at a strip club that you had to pay an extra $15 both nights to get into. Oh, and it was 21+ only, so half our booth staff was basically stuck with nothing to do. There's something really sad about a nearly empty club on a Friday night.)

-          Staffing (this is a bit misleading. They had plenty of staff, but every person you talked to had a different answer for your question. They were downright rude to one vendor when she was trying to ask where the afterhours activities were, and during the entire show, no one stopped by our booth to make sure we were squared away.)

-          Attendees (this year was the most attendees they’d had yet! Awesome, except they charged people as though they were an established con with a good sized attendance.)

-          Location (we were at the very end of a road with no outside traffic, in a hotel prone to water pipes breaking and lights flickering...)

-          Honesty. Because we spoke to the show’s coordinators before hand, and they deliberately lied to us about their show.

I certainly sympathize with conventions that are just getting started, but outright lying about your attendance numbers to get vendors to attend… There were vendors, artists, and guests who had traveled from Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Georgia, New Jersey, and freakin’ London to be at this con. Factor in transportation costs, booth fees, hotel rental, food money, and comping booth help – and lost time that you could be doing a more profitable con, or working on more inventory – and my sympathy ends there.

Dealers/artists/guests are part of the backbone of conventions. They help make the show lively and interesting; they draw crowds who want to shop around and ogle the cool merchandise they can’t normally find elsewhere. And while they don’t help organize and run the show, they put in just as much work making sure they have interesting products and displays, traveling to and from the events, and doing setups and breakdowns. Conventions need to recognize that vendors are not customers; they’re collaborators.

Anyway, now that I got that frustration out… what was good about the show?


I’ve been bitten by the burlesque bug, guys, and you can blame the ladies of Purrrlesque (yes, that’s three R’s). They did a smashing show on Saturday night that was funny, sexy, and impressive. Great costumes, choreography, music...oh, and I won a t-shirt for my mad skills with ice and tight pants. And I’m leaving it at that.

The Beach!

We went out and walked along the beach at 2am under the full moon, and it was stunning. Watching the waves turn silver as they crested in the moonlight is really something else.

No Sleep!

This actually wasn’t all that good but I did learn I could do a show on 5ish hours of sleep, which is useful knowledge… also useful to know is that my speech functions are one of the first things to go. Towards the end of the weekend, I’d start talking and then just give up because the sentence came out like a word salad.


One of the advantages of sleeping three to a bed…snuggles! I am fueled by cuddling.

All in all -- fun weekend, lousy con, and more incentive for me to put on AwesomeCon.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Will travel by...tiny skateboard!

Side note: We ended up hitting another McDonald's at 3am after Decadence Project, and I got another Happy Meal...and it had the exact same Yoda skateboard.

Naturally, I made Cord ask the guy working the window if I could get a different one. He chuckled, instead of throwing ketchup packets at me for being an idiot customer, and I ended up with General Grievous and now he can battle Yoda! Bwahahah!

This past weekend, I recorded lines for a fan-made commercial (with an atrociously affected French accent), I did my first stage performance, and I danced onstage in body paint and latex lekku. Sometimes I wonder if this is really my life. In the immortal words of my friend Joss - "I think I've died and gone to Heaven. Or Narnia. Because this is not my life!"

Don't get me wrong, there's parts where I've wondered if I died and went to Hell (late night solo car trips and insane travel schedules come to mind...) But they're outweighed by the good, like the gold leaf photoshoot I did this weekend with Timeline Photography. Photoshoots can sometimes be Serious Business, but we were cracking up and having a blast like old friends. It didn't hurt that he provided food. (Pro tip: Feed your cast and crew! an army production team marches on its stomach)

And I've been learning how amazingly encouraging my friends are -- people lending me crash space, helping me with costuming, letting me know about events, even something as simple as commenting on a picture or sending a message. It is so very appreciated! I like to think that if/when I hit it big, I'll have a thank you party. I shall call it AwesomeCon.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lonely Saxophone Radio

So, that was my last night... I stumbled back into the house around 3:30am, and Shaun took one look at me and promptly started hugging/patting me. Factoring in that I'd been up since 10, and got about 5 hours of sleep...yeah, I was probably approaching the zombie stage. Never fear though, Tanner has promised to put me down old Yeller style (backyard, shotgun) should I start craving delicious...succulent... tasty... braaaaaaaaai--- sorry, where was I?

This week has been and will be insane. I was in Hickory for a little one day con. I was in Charlotte for show rehearsal (sci fi themed fetish show Decadence Project on the 9th!). I was in Winston Salem for a commercial photoshoot. I was in Greensboro to see some friends and pick up some books.  I will be in Raleigh for a big job interview. And then I'll be back in Charlotte, for the show, and then in Asheville.

The big thing I like/dislike about driving (besides, y'know, doing it) is how much time it allows me to introspect. A little introspection every now and then is good. "Have I been as diligent as I could be about sticking to my work and sleep schedule? Should I look into business insurance?" I can ponder while the radio plays music about traveling filled with lonely wailing saxophones specifically designed to make you miss being home.

Too much of it, alone in a car with nothing else to do, leads to questions like, "What if my occasional jealous/petty thoughts about other models results in karmic retribution and I am hit by a car and am paralyzed from the waist down and can never walk or model or dance agaaaaain? I didn't mean those thoughts! I'm just envious of her long legs and tiny waist! AUUUGH!"

...I should probably invest in more audio books...

Speaking of which, I've been listening to the "Wee Free Men" series, by Terry Pratchett, and if you're looking for an audio book, MY GOD, GET THEM. I was in tears laughing the first few times I listened to Wee Free Men. I really wish I could master the blend of horror, hilarity, and wonder that Pratchett always captures in his tales.

Tomorrow is chainmail day! I'm helping Shaun get stuff ready for three upcoming events. By helping, I probably mean playing in a corner with the shinies. But I'll be there to offer my tasteful opinion/hold things so shut up I am totally helping.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hello world!

Today I was on the road to Hickory and decided to start a blog.

I was on my way to HickoryCon (surprisingly fun for a tiny one day event), leading my friend Cord (surprisingly tolerant of my bad driving), and feeling inordinately cheerful for (unsurprisingly) having gotten little sleep. I've become a total night owl, and the clear sunny skies were doing a number on my brain.

"I want to get up this early from now on," I thought. "I want to go running and make breakfast and clean the house and do all the things that productive adults do."

If you've ever had to pry me out of bed for something, you can guess about how long that chipper little resolution is going to last!

But the blog! I was composing the most poignant first entry in my head as I drove. It was witty and fun and I have completely forgotten it and am instead typing this entry at a level of sleep deprivation that's probably comparable to mild brain damage.

Why a blog? One, it's better for keeping in touch with folks than, say, facebook statuses. Two, I need to keep up whatever writing skills I developed in school.  Three, I want to chronicle (at least to some extent) my decision to eschew a regular career in favor of cobbling together a model/artist/costumer/booth girl career, for better or for worse.

Four, I'm curious to see if I can post my painstakingly drawn stick figure comics at their actual resolutions.

So here goes an adventure in chronicling. I promise three things right now: I will never ever have a regular updating schedule. I travel a lot and internet is still not a constitutional right. It'll just randomly happen. I will try to keep things interesting. And I will not require human sacrifices from my readers.

(actually, the last one is iffy.)