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There is a place people go…

There is a place people go, a place to escape the daily grind for a while,  a place people express themselves and don’t give a damn what others think,  a place where people go to just let go like a pop singer on a coke binge.  Okay so maybe I took the analogy a little too far, but you get the point.

For some people this place is Burning Man, for others they go to Cochella.   For me, at this point and time, it is Starfest.  Starfest falls into the category of a convention, cleverly shorted to “cons” by its participants.  There seems to be a growing popularity of cons ever since the media industry tagged onto San Deigo’s famous Comic Con to lobby next years movies, games and TV shows.  Or maybe it is just because people have so much more to nerd out about as we approach the singularity through hyper media consumption.  And yes, I like to think I know a thing or two about media consumption, or my college degree might be for naught.

Basically your standard convention goes like this: Check into hotel. Put on costume of your favorite show/comic/game/etc. Leave room and check out the other sweet costumes, because we are all friends here.  Pose for admirers of your own costume and feel important for just a moment.  Then go to a few panels, or see what silly trinkets your new friends are selling.

This person happened to be selling the penguin incarnations of my friends and me. I’m the dumbest looking one…no the other one.

Finish the night in a hotel room party and feel young again by repeatedly pissing off hotel security with noise complaints.  Repeat steps as desired while sprinkling in a few conversations you are not likely to forget.

Boxy Brown kept calling me a cracker.

If you really want to feel like a star you can dedicate some effort into making your costume good enough to compete in the contest or fully immerse yourself in your character.  See exhibit “Batman”.

Also this guy.

I guess if that is too much for you you could always just hang out with one of the celebrities at your con.

This is Jewel Staite. No, the one on the left is Lily. I think it’s intentional.

Full disclosure, some conventions are nerdy. And I’ll tell you right now that some of your conversations will be incredibly awkward.  Like when I tried to help an extremely intoxicated Cpt. Kirk find his friends, or when when I tried to ask a furry if it was hot under his fur suit and he mistook my question for an proposition.

Still, on a deeper level, starfest is a place where everyone will stop for a chat.  Where your interests are more important than your name.  Where all your responsibilities and worries give way to planning a fun time for a day, planning that often fails to leave time to eat or sleep.

Johnny Bravo dance off is more important.  Thanks to Snow for this one.

After this last Starfest (it will have been my 3rd a rookie by most standards) I realized that I found a place I belong.  But alas, Starfest is only once a year, and even if I traveled the country going from con to con the only income would be selling dumb looking penguins.  So my con remains what it is meant to be, an escape, while my search for my place continues.