Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Balticon 50 Part 2: Saturday, what a day Groovin' all week with you

Part two of our trip to Balticon 50. Part One, Part Three.

Return to the Con

We made it back to the hotel for some early morning panels. Jen had gone through the schedule and highlighted panels and activities of interest. One of them was scheduled for ten o’clock: The creators of Intervention Con and (Re)Generation Who talk about what the process is like of taking a convention from a good idea to a successful event.

The panel was run by Oni Hartstein and James Harknell. I wasn't actually interested in learning how to run a convention; I was just there so I could tell them how much I liked (Re)Generation Who. That said, I was extremely impressed by how Oni laid things out. More on RegenWho crew later, but she seemed like an exemplary showrunner. She mentioned her leadership position in the real world and how she applies that expertise to running conventions. Honestly, that’s something our fandom could use more of, as too often we try to substitute passion for expertise, and the exchange rate is seldom very good.

She explained the whats and whys very clearly, and methods seemed practical and data-driven. The two (R)GWs were well run, and I can see now that this wasn’t an accident. I’m pleased that something I enjoy so much will be around for so much time to come.

She was wearing a Sixth Doctor costume, but I didn’t realize it until she came out and said so. In my defense, she was seated at a table for most of the panel and I only saw the top of her body, and on top of that, the crossplay threw me, as the Sixth Doctor, outside of certain fan fics, rarely wore a corset.  I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t even recognize it as a costume; I just thought “Oni’s taste in clothes is kind of tacky.”

After that we went down to their table, and I had the chance to talk with them about how much I loved the con.  The thing that had struck me at the time of (Re)Generation Who was how enthralled Kara Dennison looked when she was listening to the thoughtful responses of the guests when she was moderating the panels. She confirmed that impression when I mentioned it, and spoke briefly about how lovely all of the guests were. It’s wonderful to see your faith in the people you admire affirmed. I was talking with Nicole afterwards, and she mentioned that she had the same concerns I did. What happens if these people you were so excited to meet turned out to be giant jerks? I’m so happy this wasn’t the case.

 Jen’s Weeping Angel costume was very popular too, with both the (R)GW crew and the convention crowd as a whole. She got a lot of “Don’t blink!” comments and had a really good time.

The Foodie

Later on, we ran into Scott Edelman.

I follow his blog, so I recognized him from his picture. (And bravo to him for using a profile picture that actually resembles how he looks in real life.) Jer was talking to him. I looked over and thought "Hey, that guy looks like Scott Edelman." Tick. "And that's what his name tag says, too."

Jeremiah didn't know who he was. He's just friendly. He has some kind of strange mutant power hitherto unknown in my circle of socially stunted introverts, where he can go right up to someone and just start talking to them! It’s downright astounding.

I filled him in as we were walking away from the hotel to get some lunch. "That was Scott Edelman. He’s a very well-respected genre editor, and he has a blog and a podcast called Eating the Fantastic.”

We saw Scott in the crosswalk and Jer was like "So, I hear you're a foodie..."

Heh heh. That’s awesome.

While J. was in the bathroom,  Nicole and I were waiting outside and a woman who had seen him go in remarked to me. “That little kid has the best Batman costume I’ve ever seen.”

J. can be very exacting about the language used to describe his interests.  That’s hardly an uncommon trait in the geek community (and it’s a one I certainly share) and it’s certainly more pronounced in children. The problem with this was that he wasn’t Batman; he was the Falcon.
Me: Did she just call J. Batman?
Nicole: Yeah.
Me: J. would have lost his shit if he’d been here.
Nicole: Yup.
Me: We’ve got to tell him.
Nicole: Of course! 
We had a superhero escort as we  returned to the hotel in the late afternoon. Jen went back for masquerade rehearsal, and Lily wanted some downtime, so we swam in the pool and watched some TV. The masquerade wound up being a bigger commitment than Jen had expected, so she opted not to participate. That was the end for us for that evening.

Continue on to part three!

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