MegaCon Wrap-Up

Whew! MegaCon, you helped me knock off some of the rust, but I am truly in need of some recovery time after these last few days! When I last visited MegaCon 13 years ago, it was a fraction of what it is today. When NPR local called it “the Beast of the Southeast,” I chuckled, but they couldn’t have been more on the nose. What was once a modest local convention is now one of the biggest batters in the country. One of the best things about hitting up MC this time around, was that I was able to experience it with a friend who is more familiar with the modern con experience and two friends who experiencing their VERY FIRST CON! Care to see how we made some memories happen?

MegaCon 2016 Barowman.JPGNerdy Girl Squad Goals with International Nerd Treasure, John Barrowman!

Friday

All plans were scrapped as I dropped my phone and the screen shattered while at a meet and greet in another part of town. More on that later. There was some good to come out of it! I headed home after a jaunt to Kissimmee to run over my convention survival check list and blow off some stress before turning in early for the night.


Saturday

Casual Cosplay of Cersei Lannister and how I made my shirt!

Parking – My wonderful GPS took me to the North Concourse, but I parked quickly and hopped the shuttle to the West Concourse. The shuttles were regular, but the long uphill walk once we arrived at West Concourse was a little bit of a workout first thing in the morning.

Ticket Pickup – I was fortunate that Zelda kicked me out of bed early, so I hit the market and got to the pick up line before there was a terribly long wait. If you are meeting with people have a designated time/place within the venue. It may look small on paper, but once you are there it is easy to feel itty bitty!

Artists’ Alley and Exhibition Floor – Even the best planned out action plan failed me, but I did walk away with some amazing finds. Sailor Venus was my very first purchase because for nearly 25 years, she’s held a special place in my heart. Thanks to Your Favorite T-Shirts for digging her out from the depths of the viewing cages for me!

Cosplay Kiddos – There are so many costumes at events like this, it’s hard to keep up and capture all the moments. For some reason, I really loved the personality that many of the children had because too many adults forget it. { Cinderella | Carl Grimes | Black Canary | Rey } I always ask the parents for permission before asking the children if I can take their photo before asking the child to make sure they are okay with it. Sadly, there are still bad people everywhere, and I never want to make anyone worry for their child’s safety. Those unfamiliar with the reasoning and meaning behind “Cosplay is NOT Consent,” this is a powerful movement aimed at making conventions and Cosplay safe for ALL.

Funko Pop Vending Machine! – In the DC universe, I am very much a Team Batman girl, so I was happy when I selected the Mystery Edition! There was a fair bit of crane game/roulette feeling to it, but I sort of dig my new Batman. I do wish that there was an option to narrow down the fun because many of the reactions to their mystery pops was underwhelmed or disappointed.

John Barrowman Photo Op – Originally, I purchased a photo op for Lena Headey, but she canceled at Wednesday prior. Then I figured I would go for John Cusack, but as I waited in line for customer service, I simply changed my mind. As I had three friends and I could take three family members or friends, I extended the invitation to Danielle, Jessica & Liz to join me. The moment with Barrowman was brief, but I did get a hug and we all piled into the photo. Amongst ourselves, we photoshopped some of our out-of-town friends into the photo to further enhance our Nerdy Girl Squad Goals!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer “One More With Feeling” Shadowcast – While I watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show back in high school, I still have NOT seen it live! I have only watched the BtVS Musical only a handful of times, but it was great to see how beloved it is by the fans. Kudos to the performance troupe because they reminded me why I adore that episode. I would like to know all the appropriate inside jokes for the BtVS and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog performances.

John Barrowman Q&A – I have heard the epic tales of the side-splitting shenanigans of our beloved Barrowman. When we saw the queue outside the Chapin Theater, I feared that we would simply continue relying on living vicariously through others. We managed to snag some of the remaining seats– and hot dog– did we laugh and cry. Things took a sharp turn to the emotional when a young 12-year-old asked one of the questions most of us ask: “How did you become so confident?” You want to talk about a heartbreakingly honest question that many of us “nerds, geeks, and freaks”constantly seek clarity on? This young one hit the mark, and my eyes did not stay dry. John brought down the house by singing “I Am What I Am,” and everyone knew it was for that lil one. It was inspirational and worth the wait in the epic line.


Sunday

Fresh out of storage after five years, I threw on my old yukata! Engage: Matsuri Mode!

After seeing plenty of yukata (a casual type of Japanese cotton robe) among the convention attendees, I dug out my beloved purple yukata from my storage bins. It has laid dormant sine 2009 when I returned to the US after living in Japan for five and a half years. My obi-musubi (sash-tying) skills were definitely rusty, and I know I tied the bindings without forgetting to leave room for my rib cage to expand. I did have a blast with my hair and make up, but I had forgotten how tiring it can be to wear a proper yukata for an extended amount of time.

Artists’ Alley – I found two items I desired and then some! I have to up my frame game, so I can deck the walls with nerdly pretties!

The Project: A CosPlay Portrait Study – I wandered past a photo booth with a long queue of CosPlayers having their photos taken. Talking with the staff, I learned of their brilliantly ambitious plans to capture the essence of CosPlay through photography. The photography sessions were free, but participants were given the option to purchase afterward. Rose was my photographer and she reminded me so much of Brandi during out head shot session at Blog Fete back in September. I am certain my photographs won’t be selected because I wasn’t a specific character, but I felt triumphant that I conquered my shyness.

O-ren Ishii Funko Pop –  This is one I’ve wanted for a long time, but the locating the Kill Bill series Pops are growing in difficulty. Perhaps my yukata and my inner Japanese spirit brought me the luck necessary to finally find O-ren at the ToysBot booth!

While I had gradiose plans of shopping, panels, and toughing it out to the very end, by 2PM I called it quits. As I thought, the yukata was too tight and try as I may to be as authentic as possible, flipflops are an absolute terrible idea for a convention. For the more popular panels, I wish there was a location where folks could watch the on goings via video link because I wouldn’t have minded plugging in if I couldn’t get a seat.

My mind is already swimming and planning for GeekyCon, Tampa Bay Comic Con, and now MegaCon Tampa Bay. Perhaps by next MegaCon Orlando, I’ll have a solid cosplay that is con-fortable.


Answer Me, These Questions Three

  1. How do you decide which panels to attend and how early do you get there?
  2. What tips do you have for financing the convention adventure experience?
  3. How do you priortize which events to do a convention when there is so much going on?
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3 comments

  1. Danielle @ From Girlie to Nerdy · June 1, 2016

    I had the best time! Thanks for spoiling us with cupcakes, Funko Pop goodness, and lots of fun ❤ John Barrowman was THE best!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Friday 5: Summer Convention Season | Karen Nerds Out
  3. Pingback: Defining my Wizarding Identity with Harry Potter | Karen Nerds Out

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