I left off telling about our day at Disney World. The next day was Friday, the first day of the final anime con of the 2006 season that we were planning to attend. Because I had been quite busy the previous week, I still wasn’t quite done with my Hatsuharu costume, nor had I done very much to prepare my section of the panel on fanfiction that Vanessa and I were scheduled to present Saturday morning. So I really had my work cut out for me before I could head off to the con, especially since we had decided to stay in a hotel downtown that night, so I needed to pack as well. Anyway, I was going to hitch a ride with Mark and Vanessa, but somehow our wires got a bit crossed on what time we needed to leave. Vanessa had been envisioning leaving early in the afternoon, checking in to our hotel, and generally chilling out until the evening events got started. I, on the other hand, knew that I still had a lot to do before I’d be ready to head downtown, and since our group is usually pretty comfortable with being fashionably late, I didn’t think it would be a big problem if we checked in and registered in the early evening range, right before the real events at the con got started. Anyway, as it turned out, things took me even longer than I had anticipated, and by the time we got on the road it was even later than I had expected. Naturally, Vanessa, who had had a different time table in mind altogether, was even more upset by this. And it turned out to cause several problems, too, because the registration area was closed when we got there, and we had some people who wanted to go to the hotel room before the events were over, but I was the only one who could check in because it was on my card, etc. Basically, the whole late-ness bit sucked, and I’m going to be more careful to not plan on doing a lot preparations the day a con starts in the future, even if I don’t have to be there until 6:00 or so, and especially not if I’m getting a ride with people who are planning to be there at 4:00. Although, in this case, I’m not really sure that I could have prevented it anyway, since I’d been spending almost every spare minute that week on my costume, and I had started working on it pretty far in advance. A lot of the problem was the panel, which we didn’t know for sure we were doing until pretty close to the con. Plus, I had to go into work a day or two that week, and I just had a lot going on. I don’t know if there was really any way for me to have finished up everything prior to Friday, but I do know that next time, I’m going to try a little harder to keep my schedule light on the day the con starts. But I digress.
Anyway, we did finally manage to get registered and to get into the con Friday night. The first thing we went to was the screening of the entries for the fan film awards: the AFOscars. My friends and I had made a goofy little parody film called Miami Rice, which is available on YouTube. I’m going to make a separate post with the embedded link—assuming I can figure out how to do that—and I hope some of you will check it out. It’s a little under 10 minutes long. For those of you who don’t know me well enough to recognize me readily, I play A-ko, the sultry henchwoman of the evil Dr. Kawasaki (even though my last name is misspelled in the credits. *sulks*). Because we did it with the help of some people Christie works with at Full Sail (a school for film, recording arts and other such media), the film is pretty high quality. Several of the other entries were also quite entertaining, but I think very few, if any, were as technically well-made as ours.
The last event we attended Friday was a panel run by Chris Sabat, a voice actor who will probably be best known to my flist for voicing Ayame Sohma on Fruits Basket. He also did Armstrong on FMA, and several DBZ characters, including Vegeta. He talked about some aspects of working as a voice actor, particularly auditions, and had people from the audience do cold readings from a script for a show he’s going to be directing soon, to give an idea of what the process is like. It was a cool panel. I’m only moderately interested in voice acting, but Sabat is charming and funny, and I probably would have enjoyed hearing him talk about, I dunno, jellyfish or something. He was just entertaining regardless of what he was talking about. Despite having several near-opportunities, I managed to utterly fail at getting his autograph all weekend. :(
After that, most of us went to the hotel room to chill out and do last-minute work on our costumes. I can’t recall any details of that session, but I remember it being relaxing and fun.
Saturday was the day I dressed up as Hatsuharu Sohma. I’ll talk more about my costume and post pictures in the next post. Vanessa and I had our panel first thing on Saturday at 10:00 AM, so there was a bit of a scramble to get dressed in the morning, and despite my best-laid plans, I was almost late. The panel went quite well, I thought. Vanessa is the experienced fic-er, whereas I was there more for the technical grammar/good writing aspect. We didn’t have time to cover everything we wanted to, but we had a responsive audience, and I thought it turned out to be an enjoyable and productive hour.
Much of the day Saturday was spent walking around the con, especially in the dealer’s room, showing off our costumes, posing for pics, etc. Most people in our group were dressed as Furuba characters. I’ll give more info/detail on that when I post the pics. Again, cosplaying is, to me, the main attraction of cons. I love the attention I get for myself, and I love seeing what creative ways of portraying their characters people come up with. In the dealer’s room, I was pretty reserved with my spending. I just bought the FMA beginning/ending theme collection, and a baby T with Emo!Kyo on it.
After lunch at Wendy’s, we went to another couple of panels. Several of us went to check out a panel on making AMVs at my behest. As some of you know, I have long since been whining about wanting to learn to make music videos, because I think I have a lot of good ideas for them. Unfortunately, the panel was useless. Most of what they talked about was over my head, and really, the guy who led the panel kind of lost me when he said that he didn’t recommend making AMVs with any of the low-end software, that the cheapest decent software he would recommend was about $1200, and that—he hinted but wouldn’t say directly—you could just pirate a copy of that if you couldn’t afford it. Um, no thanks. We also went to a kendo (Japanese fencing) demonstration that afternoon, which was quite cool.
In the evening, we attended the AFOscars. Since my friends and I had entered a film in the contest, we got VIP treatment. We got to walk down a “red carpet”, were seated within the first few rows during the ceremony, and got to rub elbows with the celebrity guests—mostly FMA voice actors, including Vic Mignogna (Ed), Aaron Dismuke (Al), Travis Willingham (Roy), and Chris Sabat (Armstrong)—during the after party. Our film got lots of nominations, including Best Overall Film (we lost to a mockumentary about Sailor Moon falling from grace and becoming a drunk). I am most proud that we were nominated for Best Stunt Coordination, because I did a lot of the fight choreography (we lost that to another film with more elaborate fight scenes). We won Best Use of Location, and Best Action Film, and we took quite a few pictures of all of us huddled around our little gold statues. Then we danced the night away at the after party and didn’t get home until the wee hours of the morning.
I spent the night at Christie’s that night, and we went to early service at church the next morning. After that, it was time for more con-ing. I don’t remember much about Sunday. I wasn’t planning on cosplaying that day, but at the last minute Christie let me borrow her Momiji costume, as she was going to be Ayame that day, and I think I just had a lot of fun skipping around and sucking on lollipops and stuff. The only event I recall attending on Sunday was the costume contest. It was a very well-run costume contest, which, based on my experience so far with anime cons, is really, really saying something. Yeah. But the best part was that Vanessa won 2nd place in the Novice division (one or no previous costume contest awards) for her maternity version of Neo Queen Serenity from Sailor Moon. After the contest, most of us just chilled in the hotel’s café. We posed for several pictures and played around in our costumes. It was probably at some point during this time that we met orcapotter and her friend, but I’m not really sure. Then we left the con, had a subdued dinner at an Italian restaurant, and headed to our respective homes. Our con-ing for 2006 had come to an end.
Coming soon: Embedded video of Miami Rice, pictures of the con, and a few notes on my Haru costume. Also, I’m still planning to make posts about my trip to NYC and my various theatrical endeavors (with pictures and possibly video clips). Stay tuned!