You know the drill. I make a vague tweet, I write a blog to explain things, everyone reads it and become so enlightened by my insights they throw grand amounts of feels at me so I don’t think I’m just talking to myself and thus wasting my time. Oh who am I kidding, the latter happens pretty much all of the time, so whatever. Ever I need to get my thoughts out of my head, given there’s usually a mess in there if I don’t organize them in some fashion. Onward to breaking down key moments of Anime Central 2013, Sweet 16.
Corset – Two-parter. One, I finally bought myself a corset from Draconas Creations, the dealer I had pegged the previous year. I had thought I would eventually drive down to their locale and order that way, but no, just waited till the very next ACen. That works. The other half of this deals with the fact I dressed myself up in my pink dress getup. It was my first public outing in the costume as well, and what better place than at ACen where no one will really bat an eye? Save the sexist males who will slap your ass and think it’s totally okay because I’m a man, but as it goes. I’m still looking for pictures of me during Hardcore Synergy because I know they were taken (some with permission too). So if you’ve been wondering who that smiling and dancing fool was while the bass dropped, come at me bro.
UPDATE 12/2014: I do not recommend Draconas Creations. Paid money for a corset in ACen 2013, and it’s been almost 2 years with communication had with the company. I’ve yet to see the corset I paid for. Shame.
csandreas – Two years ago I grabbed a business card of this hopeful YouTuber while wandering the con and still have it to this day. Mostly because I fail at spreading the word of folk I appreciate, but as it goes. Since then, Chris has become a YouTube Partner, and not just anyone who can randomly monetize their videos like myself or through another netwrok, but a full fledged Partner backed by YouTube itself (last I recalled at least, poke me if wrong). In addition, he’s now part of the group which is YouTube Next Vlogger 2013. Don’t know what that means, but it sounds impressive? Anyway, met the man last year and had a small tired conversation on the final day, while this year I contacted Chris on the phone whilst he was entering my location. Got to love awkward moments like that. He was a member of the Press this year, so be sure to poke him about presenting ACen awesomely. But who am I kidding, he always does. Looking forward to what Chris got for 2013.
Sausage – There was more delicious sausage in the staff suite this year. Italian sausage I believe. And it was glorious.
Social – By far, this was the most social I have ever been at ACen, and that’s with the understanding that I still felt severely subdued this year (more on that later). As staff you’re expected to talk to a lot of people during con, but off shift? You could curl up into a ball and disappear if you wanted. This year, I made phone calls/texts to people throughout con, hoping to make plans for awesome, and while some fell through I kept on trying till the very end of con. Likely fueled by my social anxiety, which also brought on bouts of sadness, but hey! This year I actually made an effort to speak to (some) people, which is something I’ve never done before. And in comparison to the past year of isolation I’ve dealt with, it’s amazing I’m still functioning. It’s things like this that make me look forward to the future I will share with people. When I’m not in a spiral of loathing that is. Again, more on that later.
Pokémon – A staff member put out a call to other staff for items they had in their Pokémon collection. The reason? Someone needed them for a certain burlesque at a panel. Not knowing how large the response would be, I thought I would help out by going through my collection. My collection amounted to a single Poliwhirl plushie (missing nostril) and foam Poké Ball. I made a tweet about how sad I was about this. All the same, I brought the items to con thinking it couldn’t hurt, and it turned out no one but me brought items forth. You know that feeling when you believe what you’re giving isn’t enough, and it turns out to be more? I got that. Now I’m just curious what was done with my tiny collection for the burlesque, though it serves me right for not going when I was free. Can live with it, because good was done that day.
MissMcSpaz – Fellow staff and YouTuber I got the honor of knowing last year. When Mick manages to catch up with schooling and keeps her focus on the goal of a finished project, she comes out with some amazing material. Life is like a mountain, however, and sometimes that mountain likes to have an avalanche, covering you under tons of rubble. I know that feeling well, so I am hopeful she manages this coming year. Didn’t really have much conversation with Mick this year, but she comes to my mind because of a moment during one of her videos which show how she would act as a fangirl. Thing is, I thought she was exaggerating the acting. As I found out during the Kalafina signing, Mick was portraying exactly how a proper fangirl acts. There were fans there who would stick around just to look at the singers, and every time they moved the fangirls would inch just a little closer. I had no idea how to cope other than to laugh and think back on Mick’s video.
Hulk – There was no Hulk related moment at ACen, save him (or should I say his son) being a bit of the inspiration for a caricature of my father I commissioned. My father’s birthday was during ACen weekend, and I wanted to return from con with something special for him. Deciding upon original artwork, I ran into Serena Guerra, and asked if she would be willing to finish a commission in under 24 hours. Would have loved to see her on Friday, but con working hours and prior plans made things a little chaotic. Despite the tight deadline she did amazingly well, and my father is now immortalized as the strong barbarian warrior I tend to see him as. With eyeglasses, of course, always the eyeglasses.
Roomies – Since I’ve started working staff, most rooming worked by request, allowing people to be with others they knew and appreciated. This year that was thrown out the window because too many people liked each other (or something to that effect). As such, I was roomed with people I hardly knew, and thus didn’t make proper “party plans” with them. While this could be seen as a bad thing, it was an exceptionally well intentioned decision. Previous years I would always end up sleeping on the floor because almost all of my roomies would in the room at the same time, rather than in shifts like we are supposed to. I got to sleep in a bed throughout this entire con. It may have been with a fellow who was pushing me off the bed, but in a bed I was, and ever thankful I am.
project_famous – Weeks before ACen, I was letting folk know I was going to con and wasn’t going to be available to help out with things, communicate, etc. for that weekend. During those weeks and through ACen, Project Famous, the Madison artist collective I am part of, was running a Kickstarter for a short film, and was seeking people who believed in the message. And guess who thought it might be a good idea to spread advertisements through a convention of over thirty thousand attendees at the very last minute? This guy. Stopped by PF HQ to pick up some fake money, business cards, and buttons, then off I went to spread the word of a bunch of awesome people I believed in. Problem being, because of the work I was required to do this year and what time I had needed to actually enjoy the con, I spread little word about Project Famous. It could be argued some effort could have been put forth, especially if I was a more social creature, but I’m willing to just let it go. Did what I could, though I wish I did a little more.
Crazed – So that social awkwardness I always seem to talk about? It was rampant throughout con. Not that you could tell, because when things were rough there I was smiling, seemingly enjoying myself and showing others a good time. Truth? That was me just trying to survive through the panic all the emotions were putting me through. I’ll admit there was a bit of joy through the majority of those moments, but looking back on it just gives me fear. I was crazed, and did things (good and bad) I otherwise wouldn’t normally do if I was comfortable. I don’t “wing it” because too often I’ve done the wrong thing in the past, and those crazed moments I had freak me out. That I will have to continue dealing with them till I’m socially comfortable bothers me a lot. Will admit the benefits of being in the state I was (always happy, can handle anything attitude, capable of cracking jokes with congoers, etc.), but do I ever prefer to remain in control, especially when I’m feeling great. These consequences just make be feel rotten. More on that later…
Totoro – While working the Soap Bubble line, I informed two congoers they would need to find a place to put their baggage, because it would not be allowed into the rave. They were thankful for the information, and asked I stop by the artist alley the next day to pick up a Totaro. You know, from My Neighbor Totaro? It’s a nice film. Stopped by the table the next day and instead of taking a tiny Totaro, I supported the artist bought two for a fiver. Now I just have to figure out what to do with these two little guys.
cubecrazy2 – Nothing of too much importance, other than the fact I wanted to know of Jake’s return to ACen. I had an overly long conversation with the man last year, and wanted to at the very least say hello to him this year. Did just that, and I’m glad I did rather than waste his time. He had plenty more people to meet and greet other than me, you know? Will again state that the man’s art makes me smile, and I’m certain it will do the same for you.
Peanut Butter – My mother is allergic to peanut butter, to the point that a wrapper a day old could send her to the ER. This means I can’t have anything peanut related in the household, and I adore peanut butter and the possible snacks you can get from them. So guess who had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day of con this year? This guy. Best. Meals. Ever. Sausage too, but peanut butter. Seriously.
Yo-yo – Post-con depression. It’s a real thing. Problem being, I’ve been suffering from regular depression since the beginning of Winter. As such it’s hard to tell the difference between how I normally feel and PCD. I came into this ACen crazed and depressed, got happy due to survival, and left quite the self loathing mess. Ever the emotional yo-yo is my life. It took almost an entire week to get back on my feet in terms of working and getting things done, leaving me with quite the mess to catch up with (writing, moving, filming, socializing, etc.). I actually have it fairly easy in comparison to other congoers, who had to drive more, spend more, and all with more responsibilities than me. I had the luxury to take it easy after con, though actively thinking on this only made me feel worse. In the end I managed to keep somewhat sane and even finish this blog off somewhat on time. All while neglecting more important matters like bills, but one thing at a time, right?
And that was ACen 2013. Very likely not all the best or worst moments of my time have been mentioned, but these are the keywords that either came to mind or I was willing to share. In fact, I even missed one of the best moments while writing the original tweet, making a new one to note of the error. How did it happen? No clue, though hopefully I can make up for it in the now?
In summary, I got to meet Axel Shokk, the fellow who is making Kat Attack. Mind you I know him mostly from my years of lurking at 4chan and his meme worthy call to Tom Green (since taken down due to copyright claim via Tom’s House), but I’ve been following his work, so…whatever! Axel passed me by while getting into line for an event, and I awkwardly asked if he was him, identifying myself as the guy who attempted to spread word for his Kickstarter…twice. This led to Axel choking me a bit in a hug and giving me his phone number. He asked me to keep in touch so we could chill later on, though it pretty much amounted to schedule conflicts, me bumping into him at random in my pink dress, and him bumping into me with his own dress. I didn’t want to take advantage of the number he gave me too much, because I have enough stress believing I’m wasting the time of good friends when I call them, let alone strangers. I’m happy with the chance meeting we had, and it just makes me look forward to Kat Attack and future project all the more.
And thus I look forward to what next Anime Central can bring. Yes, I do intend to work the con again and for the foreseeable future. Maybe not the brightest financial choice but it’s certainly a fun social one. Ever is the event a pleasure to go to, and it continues to get better. I’m certain there will be a peak moment when the con starts to become the same ole thing, but that is not this year or the next. So much more joy to be had with fellow staff and strangers. To the future!