Second Place, Live-Action Drama
Fan Music Video Contest
Dragon*Con is one of the largest pop-culture conventions in the world, with four days of events broken up into "tracks" of interest covering everything from science fiction, fantasy, gaming, comics, film, theatre, literature, and art to music, robotics, engineering, space exploration, and paranormal investigation. Held annually over Labor Day weekend in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, programing includes celebrity panels, autograph sessions, workshops, screenings, concerts, art shows, contests, beauty pageants, a film festival, a parade through downtown, a blood drive, and attempts to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.
For its 25th Anniversary, Dragon*Con hosted almost 50,000 attendees over Labor Day weekend in a sprawling four day party which invaded downtown Atlanta. Thankfully, the convention finally implemented a computerized registration system which allowed staff members to distribute tens of thousands of badges faster than attendees could pick them up. They even included 25th Anniversary luggage tags with our badges! Also the ever-popular parade, which used to allow signups for marchers at the convention, also streamlined its organization by enforcing a pre-registration policy with all marchers to be accounted for prior to arrival in Atlanta. The programing itself was impressive as always, and headlining guests included Christopher Lloyd of Back To The Future fame, the surprisingly frank and very funny Star Wars Princess, Carrie Fisher, Sylvester McCoy, AKA The Seventh Doctor from Doctor Who, and legendary comic artist Stan Lee, as well as personal favorites Gates McFadden and Brent Spiner from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Bill Corbett and Trace Beaulieu from Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Kate Mulgrew from Star Trek: Voyager. Of course, no Dragon*Con would be complete without an attempt at a Guinness World Record, and this year it was for the largest gathering of people with Steampunk gadgets in one location. With all of the changes, this year's exceptional con was well-deserving of the title "silver anniversary."
Hurricane Irene knocked out my electricity before Dragon*Con, and after struggling to pack by flashlight, I somehow ended up in Atlanta Thursday morning with all the correct costumes. After Sketch and I checked in at the Marriott, we made our way to the registration. With the new system, it only took 40 minutes to get inside the building, and when we entered the ballroom attendees were practically jogging in opposite directions back and forth along the ropes the line moved so fast. We waited a grand total of 45 MINUTES, down from six hours last year. Enjoying our newfound free time, we walked downtown to check out Centennial Olympic Park, a remnant from the 1996 Summer Games, which is absolutely beautiful with reflecting pools, fountains, and statuary.
Friday morning I got into Eternal Chibi Moon for our Eternal Senshi shoot with Judy Stephens. It was a blast, and some of the shots will appear in Judy’s new book! That evening Sketch and I got into our Firefly costumes and met up with several of our friends for a Firefly shoot in the fading sunlight with an industrial backdrop that really fit the characters. Later we changed into regular clothes and pre-gamed in the room before hanging out with Brian Brushwood and his entourage at Pulse. Brian posted a pic of my nerdy “Coexist” T-Shirt to his thousands of fans on Twitter, prompting Sketch to go around bragging that his girlfriend’s boobs were now “Famous on the Internet.” I also met several actors from The Guild, Doug arm wrestled people while wearing the Infinity Gauntlet, and Iceman, still dressed as Jayne from our Firefly shoot, was egged on to throw replica Alliance money to the crowd below Pulse and yell, “I’m Jayne, The Hero of Canton, and I’M MAKIN’ IT RAIN!” which he refused to do, so Doug had to do it for him. Fabulous night.
Saturday I wore my Amy Pond wedding dress with PatD as the Doctor for the D*C parade, and any insecurities I had about not being able to finish all of the flower detailing vanished when the other marchers thought I’d bought the real dress used on the show. There were lots of great Doctor Who cosplayers joining us for the parade; my favorites included several ladies who had done excellent Iridis costumes, a little girl who was the spitting image of Amelia Pond complete with galoshes and yellow suitcase, and a girl in a Steampunk Dalek dress who had roller skate shoes on under her hoopskirt! Marching in the parade was a blast; PatD and I danced our way along the route, doing a little ballroom number before running around doing the Doctor’s crazy reception dance.
After the parade, we headed to the Hilton for the Doctor Who photoshoot; the 11th characters were stuck all the way in the back of the group shot, which meant we had to stand the longest in the scorching midday sun while they arranged everybody else. I thought I was going to melt! That afternoon it got so hot that as Sketch was walking to the Sheraton in his King Kandy outfit for our Candyland shoot his COSTUME started to melt. Gingerbread was falling off of him, berries were falling off of him, and we pissed off at least two dozen people who begged us to stop for a picture as I hurried behind him in Queen Frostine trying to carry the pieces of his disintegrating costume. We managed to hold it together for the shoot, then Sketch spent two hours putting Kandy back together in the hotel room before reemerging to wander the halls with us, much to the delight of Candyland fans. After dinner Sketch and I changed into our new Princess Leia and Han Solo costumes from Star Wars. We had a few drinks with friends for before crashing the “Last Night On Alderrann” party for the rest of the evening.
Sunday morning we headed to the Walk of Fame where I met Gates McFadden and Brent Spiner, aka Dr. Crusher and Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and got both their autographs for my poster. Gates is still absolutely gorgeous and both she and Brent were incredibly friendly and talkative, which I did not expect. We then went to Centennial Park to take pics of my Padme Lake Dress from Star Wars and Sketch and Bry-Chan as Flynn and Rapunzel from Tangled. That afternoon I wore Peppermint Crunch from the 1985 My Little Pony series “Sundae Best,” and met up with Gale, Stardust, and Chinako for a Sundae Best shoot at the Hyatt. Later that evening we went to dinner at Hooters; while we were seated eating, a little girl came in and starting jumping up and down and screaming “MY LITTLE PONIES!”
Monday morning we checked out the Art Show; one woman had a series of unique drawings of humans contorted into poses reminiscent of carousel horses. I also bought several "My Little Demon" prints from Heather Kreiler of Shaman Soul Studios, a series depicting adorably evil versions of My Little Ponies with names like “Electrocutie” and “Corpsie Puff.” That afternoon we went to the Georgia Aquarium with Sketch's sister, niece, and nephew, which is the largest aquarium in the WORLD. They had huge displays, countless unique species to gawk at, and it was all presented in a awe-inspiring and very accessible way. A wonderful way to end the weekend!