October 15th - 20th, 2010
Nashua, New Hampshire

Convention Stats:
Location: Radisson Hotel Nashua
Event Year: Fifth
Reported Attendance: 2,000
Theme: "Gothic Horror"
Sketch's Costumes Worn:
Mal Reynolds, Firefly
Captain Hammer, Dr. Horrible
Jack Harkness, Doctor Who
Shiva's Costumes Worn:
Inara Serra, Firefly
Rosette Christopher, Chrono Crusade
Amy Pond, Doctor Who
Miku Hatsune, Vocaloid
Our Performances:
Masquerade: Guest Performance
Sketch's Special Activities:
Artist Alley: Guest Artist
Convention Photos:

Photo Credits:
Christa Newman Photography (x2)

For its fifth anniversary, Another Anime Convention returned to the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, aptly nicknamed "The Castle." The convention’s theme was “Gothic Horror,” although the only “horror” at AAC 2010 was the convention itself; instead of improving with age, AAC has deteriorated from an enjoyable local event to an obnoxious, poorly run, immature debacle. Gross errors bogged down the entire weekend from unavailable and incorrect program guides to abandoned guests, and a masquerade mishandled so badly by its organizers that they stopped the show halfway through to apologize to everyone in attendance for their own incompetence. The aggressive and rude attitude of the convention staff continued to escalate from last year, and attendee behavior has gotten so out of control that it culminated in several con-goers stealing and setting fire to a Hetalia cosplayer’s flag on hotel grounds. The entire weekend was a disgrace, and nothing could convince us to attend AAC again.

Sketch and Shiva's Weekend Breakdown:
After a poor experience at this event in 2009 we were reluctant to return, however when we were invited to bring the TARDIS, host an art table, and participate in a guest performance for the masquerade, we decided to give it another shot. We arrived Friday morning, and after assembling the TARDIS in main events we picked up our badges but due to printing errors, only attendees who arrived on Thursday were able to receive a program. We soon discovered it would have been useless anyway, as panels constantly changed times and rooms throughout the weekend and many of those scheduled to run them didn't bother to show up. It was also difficult to navigate the con as none of the rooms had signs posted outside unless the panelist made the sign themselves. Some guests’ panels sat empty because attendees were without programs, accurate schedules, or appropriate signage to inform them of when events were happening or where to go. That afternoon Shiva was assisting with a photoshoot in the conference room when one of the guests entered alone and she witnessed him struggling to sit; she helped him get seated, check his e-mail, and then escorted him to his panel and was shocked he had no con staff assigned to assist him. The only fun we had Friday was attending Steve’s party panel that evening, but that was mostly because we were drunk.

Saturday the attendees were once again out of control, running through the halls and blasting music from boom boxes which drowned out panels with open doors. Con security did nothing, but continued to rudely demand badges at random from people walking down the hall. That evening we got into our Doctor Who costumes for our masquerade performance, however when we arrived at main events we were informed certain staff members wanted to block us from performing. After witnessing some grossly unprofessional staff infighting it was determined we should perform, though our enthusiasm to participate, which was precarious to begin with, became non-existent.

The masquerade itself was a disaster; the coordinator failed to organize, test, or in many cases even UNZIP the audio files sent to her by contestants prior to the convention. As a result, the majority of skits went on with the wrong audio or it became messed up halfway through and they had to start over. The tech crew similarly didn't test their cues and were rife with errors, and the list given to the emcee was out of order so most announcements were incorrect. We felt terrible for the young, nervous performers who had to worry about their tech going wrong, being announced incorrectly, and having to start their skit over multiple times. Even worse, no one bothered to secure the stairs up to the stage, and we witnessed two performers hurt themselves badly when one exited with another in his arms and the stairs gave way. Nobody on staff came to see of they were OK while we tried to attend to them. Finally, the masquerade coordinator interrupted the show more than once to apologize for her own incompetence. It was shameful, especially considering some of the performances themselves were excellent and deserved a better show. We especially liked the Majora’s Mask skit and the girls who performed a Moulin Rouge parody had the audience on their feet. As for our own performance, it’s a good thing they kept it as filler between the show and the awards, as they took forever to deliberate.

Sunday morning we helped Steve and Lindsay advertise their trivia panel in the hallways to ensure people knew about it; they were giving out free badges to Anime Boston 2011 as prizes and wanted to make sure somebody showed up to claim them. We managed to recruit a decent crowd and several attendees did successfully win free passes. That afternoon we broke down the TARDIS with the help of a couple of AMV editors Shiva had competed against for years: Bashar of the Ages and Lantis. She's usually too busy with cosplay things to attend editor meetups and therefore had never met them in person though she had admired their work for a long time; similarly, they joked, “We always wondered who Shiva was!” The TARDIS secured, we headed home; we had enjoyed hanging out with friends but the convention itself is no longer worthwhile.