Experience vs. Expectation
By Garth Phoebus
For years I have seen people attend comic cons and wondered what those conferences (or adult playgrounds) offered to people, aside from people walking around in costumes of their favorite characters. There are interactive panels for question and answering, there are breakout sessions with writers of specific shows, and much more. As G.I. Joe would say, “There is more than meets the eye” here!
An opportunity arose for me to attend Awesome Con 2016 as a guest of The G & T Show, hosted by a friend and colleague Nick Minecci. On Friday, June 3, 2016, I ventured to the Washington Convention Center for my first con. This was the first event I could be a fan and a press professional.
My expectations were pretty high, seeing how I was attending on a press pass. Press passes allow you to enter and exit any time you want and allow you unfettered access to any breakout, any area, and ability to photograph anyone without asking permission. So, consider myself stoked!
I was stoked because the other events I enter with a press pass, I get to see local celebrities, politicians, musicians, etc. No, not this con! This con, I got to see international celebrities such as Brett Dalton (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), David Prowse (Darth Vader), John Barrowman (Arrow), Will Friedle, and Cosplay professionals Maki Roll, Monika Lee, and Riddle. Those were just a few I was able to capture images of the first day of my venture.
Grey DeLisle is a voiceover actor for many characters. During her question and answer period, she broke out into a story about how as a young girl, she would randomly select married couples to prank call in the phone book. She said, “Is John home?” The wife would ask, “Who is this?” Grey stated, “Oh he knows who this is, can you tell him I am the phone?” The wife would be upset completely at this point and she would hang up. Later in life she realized she MAY have been the cause of many divorces, but that experience to play different voices paved the way for her do perform voiceover work. She was definitely all smiles and hilarious as she talked to her crowd.
After my first day of being an adult child with a camera asking people for their permission to capture a photo of them, I decided to come back the next day. I was excited because I thought I would be able to get in to see celebrities Georgina Haig (Elsa from Once Upon a Time), Karl Urban (Dr. McCoy from New Star Trek), Michael Rooker (Walking Dead), and Robin Lord Tayler (Penguin on Gotham).
Guess what ladies and gentlemen, that is not at ALL what happened. What I will tell you about is that I was able to walk around meet interesting and talented vendors, meet great attendees from the event, and capture a photo or two of the guests in attendance because they spent all that time and effort on their costumes.
That day was the Costume Contest for the attendees. I must say that some of those costumes were very elaborate and creative. While I could not guess the numerous cosplay individual costumes, all of them were unique. I thought a lot of the vendors had talent, some of the mothers who created these outfits with or for their children are also quite talented.
I did notice children under the age of 13 at this event and dressed up as their favorite character. A lot of them were adorable, but I did not ask to photograph any of them because I would not want my kid plastered all over the internet at that age.
If you have not attended a Con before, I would advise bringing lots of cash. One autograph photo would cost anywhere from $30 to $100. A photo op with the celebrity will cost about the same. What I did think was great was the folders with individual sleeves to hold the autographed image so it would not ruin the image. I found all the celebrities there to be quite approachable and friendly; speaking only from a fan standpoint. (Press is a whole ‘nother issue!)
My experience with a con is that even though you may have a press pass, it is no different than having a VIP pass because there is no special privileges for press at these events. But, cons are more than just their celebrity guest appearances. It is about networking, selling, and enjoying the creations of others. While there were hundreds of attendees, I was able to capture a portion of them on my camera and for the efforts of this blog.
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.
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