- FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2013
First day of my first big convention! I went as Megara and my boyfriend, James, went as Captain America. As soon as we arrived, I realized I had forgotten ibuprofen, which wasn't a pleasant realization with my enormous wig. We got in what we thought was the line for picking up pre-purchased entry badges, and were in that unlabeled line for quite a while before someone finally came around and announced that pre-paid folks were supposed to be in another obscenely long line.
It took us about half an hour in the new line to reach the booth and be given... wristbands. Three day con-goers were supposed to put on their plastic wristband and not take it off for three days. I''m lucky to have tiny wrists and hands, because I was able to slip it on and off every night. It would've driven me crazy trying to sleep and shower with the wrist band on. James had to wear his all three days and finally cut it off when we got home on Sunday.
The first thing we did once we got inside was attend Hardware Store Props in Room 221DE from 1:30pm – 2:20pm. (Join Scott Will and other members of the 501st Legion to learn how to make accurate movie props from common material. Tips on constructions, how to weather items for realism, and mold making are just some of the topics on the agenda.) It was well run and interesting, but I feel like a lot of prop making truly comes down to artistic ability which is something that simply takes time to cultivate. Yes, you can make a blaster out of PVC pipe, but you have to be able to paint it convincingly.
After the panel, we wandered around Artist Alley and all of the vendor booths. It ended up taking a very long time to see everything because James and I got stopped for photos what seemed like every 5 feet. It was very flattering, but also frustrating because sometimes people stopped us when we were in the middle of talking to someone. Later in the day, I even got asked mid-chew while I was hidden in an alcove trying to eat a bagel.
When I did really feel like I needed ibuprofen, I was lucky enough to find a friend who had some. I couldn't find First Aid to save my life. It was labeled on the map and when I finally located it on Sunday it had a very small sign that blended in with ever other sign. The door was also shut.
I think the true highlight of the day was meeting Allen Bellman. He worked on Captain America in the 1940's and told James how he loved his kite shield but hated drawing it because he had to do math for it. He even had James crawl under the table to take a photo with him, and was so cute and funny making sure they were both posed right.
- SATURDAY, MARCH 16, 2013
Originally, I planned to go as Kaylee, but knowing it would be the most crowded day I went as Merida for day two. Honestly, I didn't last long. We ended up going home around noon because I felt so crummy. I was dehydrated, didn't eat enough for breakfast, hot, claustrophobic, and had my wig on WAY too tight. I definitely learned a lesson, that the busiest con days in the future should be when I plan shoots because I can't handle too much time in the jam packed hall.
One disappointing happening was being scolded by a volunteer for trying to take a picture of Patrick Stewart signing autographs yards away from me. I wanted to take a picture to depict the setup where he was, and a volunteer yelled at me that photos weren't allowed. Bummer. Is this normal practice at conventions? I honestly don't know, so feedback would be greatly appreciated.
We did make it to the one Q&A we wanted to see that day: Am I seeing Double? in Hall F from 10:20am – 11:00am. (No you’re not seeing double it is a Q & A with the Phelps brothers better known as Harry Potter’s Weasley Twins.) We got there over an hour early and the line was huge but we got in and "saw" James and Oliver Phelps. I say "saw" because a girl with giant My Little Pony cyberfalls sat in front of me and I couldn't even lean around her to see. So, I listened to them talk. They were funny and charming, of course. They expressed how much they love The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and how, on their first visit, everyone was knocking on the walls (The sets are hollow facades, but the Wizarding Worlds walls are all actual buildings). Their moderator, however, made some silly pronunciation mistakes (J.K. Rowling's last name and the Weasley name) that had the audience booing.
Heading out we saw a fantastic Thor, who ended up being the only cosplayer I photographed that day (along with his wife, dressed as Sif). We tried walking around the hall, but it was human gridlock. James saw that I was out of it and took me to sit outside the actual con and get me water. We made the decision really quickly that it was time to go.
I ripped my wig off as soon as I shut the car door and had an indent in my forehead so deep that you could still see traces at bedtime. Not only was it terribly tight (a problem I didn't have when I wore it for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party), but I discovered that it retains a ton of heat. It was almost like wearing a thick winter hat. Or maybe there was just that little airflow inside with the crowds. Feeling the breeze when we hit to outdoors was beyond welcome.
It's probably not a good idea for me, personally, to do large wig cosplays two days in a row. Megara and Merida are beautiful, but the wigs are hot and heavy.
- SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013
A day of freedom for my head and hair. I went as Kaylee and had a lot of fun flouncing around in my cupcake of a dress. A bunch of sweet little girls asked for pictures with me thinking I was a princess (and not a mechanic :P). We took a quick walk through some of the vendors before getting in line to see Captain Jean Luc Piccard – Professor Xavier in Room 224 from 1:50pm – 2:40pm. (Don’t miss this informative Q & A with Sir Patrick Stewart.)
After a while in line, they decided to switch the panel into the significantly larger Hall F and they had us all walk down. People were freaking out about being cut in line and I felt bad for the volunteers. I don't know why they didn't just put Patrick Stewart in Hall F to begin with. Room 224 only would've fit about a 25% of the people, and Hall F was completely full.
Patrick Stewart was absolutely wonderful. He was extremely funny and talked about how they could make an X-Men movie with just Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, and himself in which Hugh sang, Ian recited poetry and Shakespeare, and Patrick Stewart "did a little dance". Um... I don't know about you, but I'd actually pay to see that, haha. They begin filming in Montreal soon for the next movie in the X-Men saga. In addition to being funny, he recited from Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream superbly.
Unfortunately, to see Patrick Stewart's Q&A James and I had to miss every other panel we wanted to see. We wanted but were unable to see the following panels:
• From Cosplay to Costumer - How to Take Your Costumes To The Next Level in Room 221DE from 12:15pm – 1:05pm (This panel is more than just about fabric and glitter, costumer Alexia Jean Grey and Carlos Blanchard owner of Rage Custom Creations will be your guide on how to make better than movie quality costumes. This panel will not only show amazing costume pieces, but how they were done (even on a budget!) From sculpting to painting to sewing get all your advice and tricks in this panel!)
• Advanced costume techniques for the not so advanced costumer in Room 221C from 12:20pm – 1:10pm (Join the Wolf Pack Elite as some of its talented members discus some of the ways they make good costumes into great costumes. For beginners to experts, learn tips and tricks that will help with your next costume project.)
• Bringing Captain America to Life in Room 222 from 12:50pm – 1:40pm (Listen in on Captain America creators past and present as they discuss working with the star-spangled crusader with Mike Perkins, Steve McNiven, Steve Epting, Allen Bellman, and Mark Waid)
It seems silly to have planned two very similar costuming panels at the same time, but to attend any of these panels we wouldn't have been able to get into the Q&A. I guess we just had very bad luck with the panels we really wanted to attend. I had planned on attending the Disney costume meetup as well (when I was planning on wearing my costumes in a different order), but that also ended up falling at the same time as all these panels.
We walked around the vendor area some more and took some pictures. I bought a Pabu hat from Wonderland Creations. It started to get a little more crowded and we decided to take my 6 hoop skirt out into the wide open convention center lobby. James and I looked for someone to take a picture of the two of us together, and we thought we found one. He asked if he could take some on his camera first, took said photos, asked us who we were because he didn't know, and then just walked away without taking the shots on my camera, hah.
Finally, we decided we had seen everything we wanted to see, lamented our panel luck, and headed home.
- MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS
When I decided to attend MegaCon, I was determined to get a photo with the Phelps twins in my Hermione dress. Then the pricing came out and I knew I couldn't afford it. After seeing the quality of the photos people did buy, I'm glad I didn't shell out the money. The pictures seem so gray and it's sad. The lighting in the convention center wasn't good, and it really shows in the photos. The only way I can really describe them is dull/drab. I feel like even the most vibrant costume would've looked dull in one of their photos.
One thing I found... gross, to be honest, was the tattoo booth set up right out in the open. I don't know if it's normal practice to have a con tattoo parlor, but I'm very squeamish and we had to swing wide of that area. Just hearing the buzzing noise of the needles made me feel a bit squirmy. If I ever had the courage/desire to get a tattoo, I'd want to do it in private.
The actual convention center is pretty sterile and we really couldn't find any scenic spots to do a nice photo shoot that didn't scream Florida. It would've been nice to find a fountain or a garden area outside. Really, all we saw were a few areas with some palm trees and grass. I looked out every window I passed, and just didn't see anything that would've fit with our costumes.
The most popular costumes James and I observed were The Doctor (Dr. Who?), Finn/Fiona (Adventure Time), Deadpool (X-Men), Misty (Pokémon), and Slave Leia (Star Wars: Return of the Jedi). I think that sums up the costumes we saw the most. All the Misty cosplayers reminded me of my sister because that was her very first costume.
All in all, I had a fun time and I'm excited for attend MegaCon next year. I just wish we had been able to get more out of it panel/event-wise.
• TOTAL: $91.00
• 3 Day Pass: $58.00
• 3 Days of Parking: $33.00 ($9.00+$9.00+$15.00)