This may surprise some of you out there… but I’m a geek.
Phew. I’m glad I got that out in the open.
As many of you know, the annual San Diego Comic-Con is just around the corner. Why do I mention it? Because I’m not going. While that does suck that even living as close as I do to Nerdvana, I won’t get to partake. And that makes me a little sad.
I had a conversation with a fellow actor the other day and we were talking about conventions in general and SDCC in particular. He has been a few times and is (I believe) on a panel this year, for which he was relieved. I asked him why and he quite honestly sad that if he wasn’t on a panel, he probably wouldn’t go. The overwhelm of media companies promoting projects (including his) and the sheer numbers have made it so big that it’s almost impossible to do anything there.
As he described the image of thousands upon thousands of costumed people cramming into panel halls at the convention center, I was reminded of being at the Louvre for the first time back when I was in high school (tl;dr
Anyway, I find that I really enjoy conventions and trade shows. Not necessarily because of the people (huge introvert here) but I love the sense of community that a good convention creates. Everyone’s there to put their geekiness on display and share it with other geeks of all stripes. My very first con was a Creation-run event in Anaheim back in 1991. I got to briefly meet Denise Crosby, shake hands with Kevin Peter Hall (he was the original Predator!) and even share some non-verbal witty repartee with Bill Mumy. Since then, I’ve met a number of really cool people: celebrities like Jeremy Bullock (BOBA FETT, yo!) and Wil Wheaton(!); a few authors, notably G. Harry Stine, who wrote the Warbots series; and a few behind-the-scenes folks like Star Trek‘s Mike & Denise Okuda, horror director John Carl Buechler and Babylon 5 story editor Larry DeTillio (a real class act, that one). I managed to do this by overcoming by own innate fear of looking stupid and just talking to them like people. Now if I can just get myself to the next level as a contact, especially now that I’m in the same industry of making things for people to enjoy.
I haven’t been to a good con in a while (most recent was Phoenix Comicon 2008, before they relocated to the huge convention center). I’ve been to some industry trade shows (specifically, Actorfest and the ShowBiz Expo when they’re in L.A.) but they don’t really excite me as in the same way. SDCC is — or was, depending on who you talk to — the place for fans of comic books, science fiction and fantasy to come together and really commune with one another over the vital issues, such as whether the Enterprise could actually take out a Star Destroyer. (I prefer to stay neutral in that debate…) And I’m glad that so many go to San Diego every year to do so. As for me… I’ll wait until I’m invited. Because by then I’ll be ready to walk up on that stage when introduced and truly say, “These are my people…”