Heroes & Villains Fanfest: Confessions of a Con Geek


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I attended my first convention when I was 15 years old (I won’t tell you how long ago that was). It was a sci-fi convention in New York City – guests included cast members from classic Star Trek, Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, authors like Isaac Asimov, and more. I’ve attended quite a few since then – Creation Cons, I-Cons, you name it. I admit, many things have changed over the years, but some things remain the same.

A sense of joy, enthusiasm, community, and creativity pervades these events like nothing else I’ve ever seen. Luckily, this remains the same. For shy, quiet nerds like myself, there’s a sense of belonging – an opportunity to express yourself (costumes are optional, but a marvel to behold – sadly, I don’t have that level of creativity or dedication). It becomes a party with strangers you feel you already know – a celebration of fandom – weird and wonderful. One where you are welcomed with open arms.

At many conventions, fans have an opportunity to meet and mingle with the stars of their favorite films and TV shows. I remember meeting George Takei (Sulu – Star Trek) as a teen, hearing his booming laugh from across the room, and the late James Doohan (Scotty – Star Trek), whose smile lit up the auditorium as he regaled us with Star Trek stories, sporting various accents (which he learned by ear). I met Jimmy Doohan several times. He is sorely missed. These memories still make me smile.

There are some changes – the crowds are a good deal more diverse and more women and families attend these events now. It wasn’t cool when I was growing up to let my geek flag fly, especially being a girl, and a Latina. Now it’s downright chic to be geek. I admit it, I wear it like a badge. I’ve been out of the “Geek Closet” for a long time and proud of it.

Attending as media, I feel an obligation to be a bit more restrained and behave (not that I aim to misbehave – wink to Firefly fans) and not geek out. I feel the need to step back into observation mode but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still get a bit star struck after all these years  – I’ll always be a fan first.

After a 6 month wait – thanks to Snowpocalypse January  2016 – I finally got a  glimpse of the irrepressible John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Arrow), the fun-loving Stephen Amell (Arrow, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows), the adorable David Mazouz (Gotham, The Darkness), and others from the DC Comics TV EU. It was certainly a treat.

With thousands in attendance (over the course of the weekend, or so I’d heard), the main floor was buzzing with activity – vendors tables, cosplayers, and actors running between panels and autograph tables, kindly greeting fans with smiles. I can only imagine how exhausted they were. There was so much to see and so many people to squeeze through, I was exhausted just being there, but I enjoyed myself and met some great folks.

I had a quick, but lovely chat with Sean Pertwee (Alfred on Gotham – IMHO the best and most badass Alfred to date). He recalled his experiences with conventions growing up, attending with his father, the late Jon Pertwee (Doctor Who/The 3rd Doctor). I met Jon at a con a few years before his death and he was larger than life. Sean saw fandom full throttle then and he’s a part of it now. Sean is incredibly gracious and kind to fans, as evidenced by his struggle to speak with a hoarse voice (his signature raspy voice even raspier), he kept going, signing autographs, taking pictures and attending panels with co-stars. Like his father before him, Sean Pertwee is beloved by fans and quite the mensch.

I also had the opportunity to meet and speak with actor Maximiliano Hernandez (The Last Ship, Hand of God, Winter Soldier, Sicario). I caught up with with the busy film and television actor at HVFF and we chatted about his career and becoming part of the Marvel EU. I hope to have that interview up soon.

I also met some fellow writers and musicians, and remembered why I started this journey in the first place. 15-year-old me would be proud.

If my muse cooperates, I hope to have more for you in the coming weeks. Until we virtually meet again…

SylverWhisper

Celebrity Sci-Fi Hotties Take The ALS Challenge!

Social media is buzzing with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The goal is to raise awareness and money for research into Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). ALS is a devastating illness, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. There is no cure for the disease. Truthfully, I knew very little about it myself, that is until I heard about this campaign.

FAN FAVORITES TAKE THE PLUNGE

Thanks to celebrities like Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Robert Downey Jr. (The Avengers), subjecting themselves to buckets of ice water poured over their heads, news is spreading like wildfire, and donations are literally pouring in.

Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Serenity, Castle) then went on to challenge Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, Thor). Stephen Amell (Arrow) challenged co-star John Barrowan (Arrow, Torchwood, Doctor Who), to take the plunge (insert evil laughter here).

It’s brilliant to watch some of my favorites take up the cause. Not to mention, it’s a great opportunity to see them in wet t-shirts… but I digress…

TAG! YOU’RE IT! 

Then Hiddleston went on to challenge Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness), Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter, Dark Shadows) and Luke Evans (The Hobbit).

Next up, Barrowman challenged co-star Colton Haynes (Arrow, Teen Wolf), Misha Collins (Castiel in Supernatural) and David Tennant (The 10th Doctor – Doctor Who). I knew that was coming! I can’t wait to see Tennant’s reaction.

This is getting interesting…

RECOMMENDED LINKS

So far, the campaign has raised more than $15.6 million to raise awareness about this disease and it is building even more momentum – exactly as it was designed to do.

To learn more about ALS and The Ice Bucket Challenge  please visit The ALS Association Website. 

To follow the campaign on social media type in the hashtag #icebucketchallenge.