Megacon was the convention I returned to my “con roots” and started working for artists again. In this case, it was my good friend James Christopher Hill, who is an unfairly talented artist. He does oil paintings, he does digital paintings, he does computer animation and rendering… so basically he does everything I have ever dabbled in but WAY BETTER. In this case, James did a rather gorgeous painting of me based off this picture, and Megacon was our big show debut. Neato!
So it's me, him, his wife Kathy (who is, hands down, one of the best sales people I've met, and super nice to boot) and our friends Don and Doireann. Doireann (pronounced Door-in) had just sprained her ankle in Krav Maga class (we told her to tell people she was fighting MANY NINJAS) so she had to limp around all weekend, poor thing!
We load up the van and drive on down to Orlando – it’s about six hours from Charleston, SC, where I met up with James and Kathy. I nap on and off and organize my music and hey! We’re in Orlando.
Unloading the car takes a surprisingly short amount of time, and we get the booth mostly set up by the time the con closes down for the night. And man oh man, is there a huge difference between “setting up an artist’s prints at a booth in a con” and “setting up a costumer anywhere”. It’s so eeeeeasy!
Don, who is a giant scary man, decides to give me an impromptu Krav Maga lesson that night. Doireann helps him demonstrate, proving that she doesn't need two working feet to kick someone's ass. I manage to achieve a very basic level of competency at escaping a grip, though I must confess I was privately hoping to learn how to jump and kick someone's head off.
The con opens at noon. It’s pretty slow – at least, it’s pretty slow compared to the absolute MADHOUSE that we know Saturday will be. Organic Armor set me up with a really gorgeous steampunk ensemble for the show, so I was trying that out…with a full length belly dancer skirt for a base! Gasp! Shock! Actual clothing!
I have to admit, I felt awwwfullly pretty and swishy in that skirt. Belly dancers always have the coolest stuff.
On the flip side of that, every third person I ran into that I knew that day was all, “Hey CHAINMAIL CHICK, where’s your CHAINMAIL?”
All right bitches, I get the hint. You best believe I’m bringing my shiny metallic costuming A-game on Saturday. But Friday I get to be swishy like a pretty princess dammit! >:-O
Also, I was freaking out a bit when I found out J. Scott Campbell was going to be at Megacon – guess who inadvertently ended up chatting with him? Oh yeah, this chick. Then guess who was a total wuss and did not hand him a business card on the spot because she was too intimidated. Then, guess who spent the rest of the weekend trying to get back over to his booth and make up for that grievous lapse in spinal column but his booth was super packed all the time and she missed her chance?
I AM KICKING MYSELF AS I WRITE THIS. Not that Mr. Campbell lacks for models, but dangit, I wanted to throw my hat in the ring.
So after that stupidity, I threw my card at any artist who so much as made eye contact.
It was great seeing con friends again. Fanservice Anakin showed up rockin his new Mandalorian suit (which, sadly, was not shirtless), I saw Conan Dave and his girl (Dave was actually not doing
Conan because “he wasn’t in shape enough”, keep in mind he looks like he could rip most people in half with his pinky. pinky toe, not the finger pinky.), my drow homies (whom I can barely recognize out of body paint), a couple photographer buddies, webcomic artist Jennie Breeden and her awesome SO Oby, Steve Scott, artist Echo Chernik and her mother… no doubt I’m forgetting some people.
After the J. Scott Campbell failure, I decided I wasn’t going to let opportunity slip away from me again – our booth was actually an aisle over from Yaya Han, the renowned cosplay model, and I plucked up my courage and make a pilgrimage to her booth to seek convention wisdom. She’s about my height, which made her mildly less intimidating to approach, but she’s still dauntingly gorgeous and I stammered probably more than was dignified. But she was very sweet despite my apparent retardation and talked to me for a bit, and made some excellent points about working the con scene as a career.
1) “Do it with integrity. Don’t step on people trying to claw your way to the top. The convention scene is close knit and people talk, and you never want to have a negative reputation.”
2) “Find what you’re passionate about, find your niche, what sets you apart from everyone else. There’s a ton of cosplay models nowadays, but you have to find your own angle.”
I’m on it, Yaya! Thanks for the advice :D
Yes indeed, Saturday was an absolute madhouse. James and Kathy went over in the morning and I slept in a bit, then wrangled myself into my chainmail and set out walking down to the convention center (we were staying a little ways down the street). Now, in true pride-goes-before-the-fall fashion, I had a pair of heels that I’ve owned for… longer than I care to admit, and I was debating wearing them because a) they have a history of breaking at cons b) they’re held together by glue and willpower and c) oh yeah, they’re actually broken AGAIN.
Nevertheless! I wanted to feel slinky and sexy and the easiest way to do that is to saunter around in chainmail fishnets and some strappy heels.
So, I hiked all the way down to the convention center – stubbornly turned down a very nice man who kept trying to offer me a ride, possibly because I looked like a barbarian hooker – and sure enough, by the time I got to the con, my feet were blistered and raw. Herrrp a derp. Went barefoot the rest of the day and tried to slink regardless, but goddamn, did my feet hate me.
Kathy and I also worked out a tip system – take a picture, leave some monies – because as much as I do not mind posing for random shots, when I’m trying to sell my own pictures at a booth, it’s a little frustrating to have people snapping camera phone pics and then walking off without so much as glancing at my work. People ended up being really nice about it, though! I think it’s just a matter of doing it right and not being demanding or petulant or entitled.
The infamous Wolf Pack Elite throws their big party, which had some kind of demented circus theme. It was a pretty cool event, but jesus, we had to wait in line for like, an hour. My legs were tired before I even hit the dance floor.
Also, I finally got my “clubbing chainmail” together – hehehe.
Side note, if we go out to a club, be advised that my style of dancing is best described as “spastic”. I prefer “electrified octopus”, but the point is there is a lot of flailing involved. It’s better for everyone’s health and safety that you do not get too close. I have included a helpful PSA:
Pics I Posed For: 695879834652
Pics I Probably Ruined by Blinking: 57989986221
Pics Taken of Me While I Was Eating a Sandwich: more than zero, what is wrong with you people
People Who Started a Conversation by Asking if I Was Single: 3
How Often I Petted Fanservice Anakin’s Abs While We Were Taking Pictures: 45 pets/minute
Hours Slept: 20-25?
Number of People with Free Hugs Signs That I Hugged: 0
Time I Was Mistaken for a Slave Leia Costume: 28738634 – WTF PEOPLE, HAVE YOU SEEN STAR WARS BEFORE. I AM APPALLED
Times I Got to Use My New Found Krav Maga Skills: 0
Times I considered It: Only a couple! Hehehehe.