This weekend I attended my second Con. My first was last year's Penguicon, which was akin to a religious conversion experience for me. This time I expected a powerful revival, but it didn't hit the level of fervor I was expecting... perhaps a sort of Sophomore Jinx, or just the inherent danger of having expectations. Nevertheless, I had a great time, once I stopped expecting magic to happen-- (which is just what magic needs you to do before it can happen).
Day 0 (Thursday): I spent most of the day doing recording and sound editing work for the Dr. Horrible soundtrack, then did a magician gig at a school before heading over to the hotel. I was expecting more to be going on, but I didn't get there until almost 10, and there were just two sedate room-hangouts going on. I went home to bed.
Day 1 (Friday): I let my agency talk me into taking a clown gig for Friday, despite the fact that I told them two months ago that I had absolutely no availability this weekend. The upshot of this was that I arrived at Con in clown makeup, which got me lots of attention (I'm a whore) and people taking my photograph (I'm a ham). I wore my ribbon shirt, and got lots of compliments on it. Most of my day was spent distributing ribbon orders. I attended the Beltaine maypole ritual, and I think the organizers were nervous about having a clown in their ceremony, but when I asked if Jesus knew about what they were doing, they demonstrated a sense of humor which dispelled my reservations. I also rolled dice to determine how much I should play along or f*** sh** up. The dice said to play nice.
I played Dr. Horrible at opening ceremonies, in which I claimed I had deliberately infected Wil Wheaton in order to prevent Penguicon from happening (mwahahahaha!). I rounded out the night with some parties-- the ConFusion party had by far the best atmosphere and the best music-- wandered into the Polyamory panel post-discussion, went to some more parties, and then went home to bed around 2:30.
Day 2 (Saturday): In the morning, I went to the Prop Weapons & Nerf Mods panel. Alex showed an amazing array of things he made, from mediaeval/fantasy swords to steampunk laser-guns with ornate filigree or whatever you call it. I also went to see Jane McGonigal and Andrew Plotkin talk about creating a game world... I didn't take notes, but I took away McGonigal's one-word key: "affordances" on how to tell people what to do without telling them.
I spent some time distributing ribbon orders, and more time rehearsing for Dr. Horrible. I didn't have time to wait 2 hours for Brazilian beef, so I ended up giving away my ticket.
I was on a panel called "Fun Theory." This panel was suggested by Eliazer Yudkowski of the Future Humanity Institute (http://www.overcomingbias.com/2009/01/fun-theory-laws.html)
who apparantly had an agenda, and some idea about what this panel was supposed to be about that he didn't really share with the other panelists, who took it upon themselves to be independent Fun Theorists. For my part, I took dice and a chart with random disruptive activities, and I periodically rolled the dice and, for example, proposed a toast, or made a new friend, or sang a song. About halfway through the panel we were going around the room asking every attendee what kind of Utopian world they would want to live in for a million years. One of them said "I would live in a world where I could be a conference panelist disguised as an audience member," and joined us behind the table. Well played, sir!
Between panels, ribbons and rehearsals, I didn't manage to get any food into my body. By the time I was about to have a performance, I was literally weak with hunger. Molly Zu Zu appeared as the food fairy, and gave me Brazilian beef right off her plate. She saved my life.
Saturday night I starred as Dr. Horrible in Geralyn's live production of Joss Whedon's <a href="http://www.drhorrible.com/
Horrible's Singalong Blog"</a> along with Fringe, Krissy. Ger's brother Andrew stepped up to do some important stage hand work, and the FuMP guys stood in as Bad Horse's messengers. The show was a hit & many audience members actually sang along.
I attended the Elven Toast, which of course was full of humor and pathos; went to the Flirting for Geeks panel in order to flirt with the lady panelists (shout out to Jessi and Dawn), and then went party bouncing. Oh, the crazy things that go on behind closed doors at Con...
Day 3 (Sunday): Sigh. When I arrived at 11, many people were already leaving with packed suitcases. My highlight was getting naked in a panel. It's not my fault. Someone said "How fast can you get naked?" Some questions cannot be answered verbally.
So there's my threads for the tapestry. I could complain about some things, but everyone else is already complaining about them. In sum, I had an amazing time once I stopped expecting to be amazed. That's how magic works.Tags: penguicon