Tuesday, March 1, 2016

[Convention] Mysticon 2016

Mysticon 2016 was the first con of the year where I was a guest, and not staffing the convention, so I actually got to see and do a lot this past weekend in Roanoke, Va. This is my fifth Mysticon and I love it every year!

As always I come in on Friday (a lot of people came in on Thursday this year.) I roomed with two of my favorite people in the world Cami and Matt, who I was super excited to get to see since it had been forever since I had, had a chance to hang out with them!

Parking this year at the hotel was so much easier too! Last year it was a bit crazy since they only allow guests to park at the hotel, so I was relieved when it was not a hassle this time around!

I knew Mysticon this year was going to be crazy since the Guest of Honor was George R.R. Martin. And the con had sold out of tickets back in Sept. So it was going to be a packed weekend!

I had a bunch of panels on Friday evening, along with dressing the con chair for opening ceremonies!

Photo Michael Ventrella
Doesn't she look awesome! Carla rocked that dress, sadly this is an action shot from opening ceremonies since I was silly, and didn't take a photo of her after we got her into costume!
I got to be moderator on a fun Doctor Who panel titled, "The Doctor Wears his Sonic Sunglasses at Night" which was a lot of fun talking about series 9 of Doctor Who! I then went and was a part of a panel titled "Remakes, Revamps, Revisits, where we talked about films we would like to see remade or ones we do not think should be touched!
Photo by Michael Ventrella
This panel was a blast and Bill had contacted us all before hand so there was a really nice slide presentation of what movies we thought should be remade or not touched, the panel went great and we had a pretty full room of people too!
From there I went on to Iron Costumer, which is a panel I was hosting where three groups have an hour in a half to make a costume based on a theme, they have lots of items to use and then one the con supplies. The theme was fantasy and dragons and the item was duct tape, the three teams made some great costumes in the time they had!
After that I headed to the panel The Star Wars Expanded Universe, where I got to talk about some of the character I wish would show up in the now Star Wars universe, my favorite books and stories from the old Star Wars Universe and just nerd out on Star Wars! Which I love doing!
Once panels were done for the night for me, I checked out the Con Carolinas and Charlotte Geeks room party, which is always fun! Hung out with the Roanoke Valley Whovians for a bit and just took in the con at night! Panels went on until late (Mysticon has no lack of programming, lots of it!) I turned in somewhat early though around 11pm.
I was up bright and early for a 10 am panel on Functional Cosplay: Making your Costume Fit You! Which was a fun panel on how to make costumes that are comfortable and functional for your needs.
I got to check out the dealers room after my panel, which is always nice, Pixel Who and lots of other great dealers where in there! Mysticon always has a nice dealers room with a great variety of books, art, henna/glitter tattoos/ hair tinsel, pottery, gaming stuff, elf ears and so on! Lots and lots to choose from!
I then got to go sit at the Guest Signing Table and sell some Cook Books and talk to a lot of wonderful people! Thank you everyone who bought my cookbook and stopped to chat with me! (and thank you John Hartness for loaning me some book easels!)

At 1pm I had Zombie Makeup for Kids! I love doing makeup panels about getting kids into makeup and what to let them use to play and experiment. I got to be on this panel with Anita Allen and Bill Mulligan. Bill and I have worked together a bunch on films doing makeup and acting, so it is always fun to get to nerd out about Fx makeup with him!
After my makeup panel I was really lucky to be asked to play White Guardian in the Mister Adventure Radio Show Podcast that was broadcast live at Mysticon! I have always loved sitting in on this at other cons, and since there are two characters in the Mister Adventure Universe based on me, I was really excited to get to play the voice for a character (not the one based on me though.) This was so much fun and we all had a blast and a lot of good laughs during this, once it is available to download online I'll post a link here!
Once Mister Adventure was all over I finally had a small break! So I went and got into my TARDIS Yukata dress and finally got some great photos in it! I had a lot of wonderfully talented people grab photos (Mikki, Jarod, and Dee) so I am so excited to see them all once they are finished with them!
For the next few hours I took in some of the convention. I sat in on some of the panels the Roanoke Valley Whovians had going on in their programming room, Looked around at all the artist tables and convention hallway tables. Chilled out at the RegenerationWho table and the Charlotte Geeks table.
Then came time for prejudging the costume contest! This is always a really fun event! Anita puts on a great costume contest! It is always organized and there is always a great turnout! So many wonderful costumes! The choices are always so hard to choose who gets what award, since there are so many great costumes!

Photo of the costume contest judges by Michael Ventrella
Then (yes it was a REALY full day for me!) I ran to the screening of my new film I co-directed with my best friend Mariah, titled "The Thicket". This was its world premiere and it premiered along with my friend Jaysen Buterin's new film "Don't Let the Light In". I sadly missed Jaysen's film since it played during the costume contest. The room was full, standing room only, which was nerve wracking. I snuck in and stayed at the back while The Thicket showed (I wanted to see the audiences reaction more so than the film, since, ya know, I have already seen it.)
The audience seemed to really dig the film, and I must have been grinning from ear to ear, because the audicne was laughing at the right parts and people were jumping at some of the scary parts. So I was THRILLED!
Photo by Christopher Moore
Oh and the film got Best Horror Short Film in the conventions film fest, so Mariah and I got to celebrate it winning its first award!
I then changed out of my TARDIS dress, had one issue, which was my only huge issue of the con, it was taken care of, and hopefully will not happen to anyone else again. However it ruined me for the night and I spent the rest of my night somewhat  scatter brained so I didn't do anything else for the evening.
Last day of the con! There was a HUGE line for George R.R. Martin autographs in the hallways for his last signing. Luckily I got my book signed at ConCarolinas a few years ago so I wasn't too worried about getting anything signed. I loaded up my car and the day was beautiful! Like super warm!
I had no panels on Sunday (which after my marathons on Friday and Saturday, I was very happy to have a break) I hung out with Mariah for most of the day, we checked out the dealers room (I got a cute Pixel Who pin of the 8th Doctor.) Sat in on a few panels, chatted with some of the other filmmakers at the con (who I seriously admire, I love my indie filmmaking family!)
Mariah and I ready for closing ceremonies!
And then went to closing ceremonies! They handed out awards for the film fest, so Mariah and I got a nice framed certificate with our awards title on it!
I then grabbed some dinner with Mariah and we headed back to C-Ville!
Overall a fun con, it had its ups and downs. But it had a lot of awesome moments that I am so happy about!
You can find out more about Mysticon online here.

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