There was something a little different hanging up the badge after FanX 2017.
For some reason this time brought back a flood of memory. I was taken back to the first year when I first started hearing about a ComicCon in Salt Lake City. I knew I had to be a part of it. Who knew if this would ever happen again. I looked at my budget and realized the only way I could go was to be a volunteer. The volunteer page asked for a resume. The last events I worked along these lines were ConDuit and the first year of Life, the Universe and Everything. So I sent them the resume I used to get the Business Analyst job I had just landed. It showed my MBA and work in financial services and sales.
The only thing I knew was Emily Farr emailed me and told me I would be working with William Kircher. I was excited since I loved Lord of the Rings. The day of the Con arrived and I arrived for the team meeting and training. I found out that someone else would be working with Mr. Kircher and I didn’t have an assignment. Those of us without assignments walked down celebrity row with Emily and peeled off as we reached booths that interested us. I saw the banner for Simon Fisher-Becker and went to peel off since these were my Fandoms – Dr. Who and Harry Potter. Emily told me that she thought someone was already with Simon and then decided it might be a good idea to have 2 people work the booth. I met Tammy and we worked that Con. Saturday was amazing. My daughter was drafted Friday for line control when Tammy put her volunteer badge on L and told her to keep the line wrapped and moving. My husband was drafted Saturday when it was clear we didn’t have enough volunteers returning. He handled Walter Jones and was told how money bags grow legs on the last day, so he should just sit on the bag. The other big issue was change. We ran out of fives and tens quickly and the Con had no way to make change. We were next to Lou Ferrigno and he had plenty of change. So everytime I needed change I asked Lou’s volunteer for it. The first time he wasn’t sure and asked Lou about it. Lou came over put the hundred in his wallet and told them to give me 20 fives. We repeated this several times.
On the last day of Con, I knew I would have some down time before the hall opened and so I was working on my Dr. Who quilt. Simon arrived while I was still working on it. We staged some pictures and during one, he autographed the Tardis block.
And thus was the autographed Who quilt born…
The next request for volunteers which I applied for was the George Takei event at The Leonardo.
We were all assigned to line control. After the signature on the Whovian Quilt, I thought about doing a Star Trek quilt and found a fun pattern using the com badges. I had traced it onto a piece of fabric and was hoping to have time to buy an autograph. Instead, my daughter’s roommate’s sister was in line and found out that meet and greets would be a maybe at the very end. She offered to get the autograph for me so she would have a better chance to meet George (he didn’t sign inside the lines). At the end of the evening, all the volunteers were able to have Mr. Takei sign their badges.
And then came the first FanX – I worried, would working it be as fun as ComicCon had been? I shouldn’t have worried. Not only did I get to spend two fantastic days with Jonathan Frakes. I spent a fun day with Tom Kane and Roger Jackson. They came before Salt Lake really demonstrated their love for voice actors. I would love to see those two on Twisted Toonz. Jeremy Bulloch signed the Whovian Quilt and I missed the Star Trek Experience looking for Gates McFadden’s glasses. The volunteer at the infobooth on Saturday knew we were looking for Gates glasses and brought them to John (I was up in the green room with Jonathan Frakes – yes, back then we joined the guests in the green room if they requested). John had her take them to Gates who came up to the green room so excited to have recovered them. Thelma was the hero of con! I had my first ever fangirl moment when Sir Patrick Stewart took my hand and I could not remember how to shake hands or speak. He told me “Thank you for directing our director, “Though she be but little, she is fierce.”
Then came FantasyCon – Not sponsored by Dan Farr productions – but Dan and Bryan Brandenburg encouraged the Salt Lake ComicCon volunteers to volunteer for FantasyCon. I learned more about cash out and guarantees during that event. And Tinsel Korey taught me the secret to stillettos on the Salt Palace floor.
ComicCon 2014 – Is when Cary Elwes leaned out of his booth to see what Stephen Amell and John Barrowman were doing to make so much noise. In doing so he accidentally sent Colin Baker’s pictures to the floor. He wanted to clean them up but I assured him I had it. Paul McGann’s handler was a great friend and the two of us sold lots of double table photos. And there were lots more signatures on the Who Quilt. Stephen Amell winked at me when I accidentally made eye contact. I was looking for Colin who had escaped again.
I almost lost the Whovian quilt at FanX 2015. I had Karen Gillian on the first day and her agent told me I could have a free autograph at the end of the next day before she left. He also lectured me about never letting other agents talk to his guests. I was assigned to photo ops the next day and had next to no time for a break since I was taking a long break at the end of day to use my ticket for the Who panel. The volunteer working Karen’s booth said he would get it signed and get it back to me. I checked before I left for the Who panel and the volunteer told me Karen hadn’t signed it yet. I knew him and trusted him but knew things got busy so I asked my daughter to check on it in about 15 minutes when Karen would leave for the panel. My daughter was 2 booths down and saw Karen signing the quilt. It took her a few minutes to finish up with a customer and excuse herself to go get it. She got to the booth just as the agent was about to put the quilt into Karen’s suitcase. The volunteer had left with Karen and left the quilt behind. My daughter assured the agent it was not a gift but was mine. He remembered me and gave it back to my daughter. A few minutes more and it would have been gone. What was even better was the next day, during my break, Billie Pyper had no line and I was able to get her autograph and she told me it was a beautiful patchwork.
My favorite story of that con was the cosplayer who arrived about 15 minutes before the end of photo sales for the celebrity she wanted only to find that her wallet had fallen out of her bag (it had a hole in it). The crowd got her the money through vouchers and small donations. Another person had the same photo op and promised after they got their photos they would go looking for her wallet together. It was so great to see the crowd come together.
Prior to ComicCon 2015, I put together a slide show for volunteer training. I had a ton of fun gathering pictures for the training slides. So remember the agent from FanX? I was working for him and rotated among his people. Friday morning was Dean O’Gorman then Jenna-Louise Coleman.
We were done by 3 pm and that’s when I learned that I can’t just be an attendee – 45 minutes later (and after I had met Jim Butcher without any of my books on me) I was begging to be put back to work. I ended up with Jess Harnell – and I had a blast. It was also the ComicCon where Kayla and Julie outdid themselves with the guest requests. Dean got dancing dwarves, Felicia Day got a pony, and another actress got a pony with ribbons in it’s hair and poodles to keep them company. The ponies were My Little Pony stuffed toys from one of the vendors and the poodles were comfort animals from a service animal group with a booth. I can also guarantee that Chris Evans tasted Fry Sauce since my youngest was the runner who brought him fries from Crown Burger. Oh, working for Jess Harnell on Saturday, I used the knowledge that Tinsel taught me about heels on the Salt Palace Floor.
Last year for FanX one of my stitching friends flew out because Matt Smith was going to be there and I was part of team classic Who. Sylvester McCoy has a reputation for being a free spirit so I was prepared for trouble. I only lost him once but that wasn’t my fault, he escaped from photo ops. This was also the FanX where I had a padawan, and she learned quickly. I also got to take Peter Davison on a tour of Salt Lake City. The two highlights were when Alex Kingston put “Hello Sweetie” on the heart of the Whovian quilt and Jess Harnell told his crowd that I was his ex-girlfriend. Sylvester brought me to the Who panel which was fantastic – Sylvester and Alex stole the show.
In the fall, I got to be a captain over voice row. Where I made a mistake in not putting Soldier 76 on Fred Tatasciore’s promotion sign. I think we would have sold more if I had done that. As a captain, I get a radio and the best thing I heard all weekend was Volunteer voice: I have Lou Ferrigno and John Cena in photo ops but I don’t have anything on the schedule, why are they here? Emily’s voice: They are there because they are John Cena and Lou Ferrigno – take the picture and send them back to their desks. We also got tickets to the ComicCon Bash where we witnessed the sweetest interchange with Manu Bennett and his wife. Talk about a cute couple who are definitely in love… Soldier 76 bought me a cranberry juice with club soda. Finally, on Saturday, I brought a belly dance costume to wear for an actor who had been urged to to ask for a belly dancer but management decided that we were done with over the top requests… So I settled for wearing heels all Saturday instead. I loved working with the voice actors. They are so easy to work with and as one told me – SLCC treats us like we are real celebrities.
And that brings me up to the current FanX where I spent Friday selling autographs and selfies with Bonnie Wright.
Saturday was spent attached to Christopher Lambert. I was either at his desk or walking to scheduled places with his arm around me “So I don’t lose you.” I feel like this con was the one where I’ve worked the hardest. I was focused on what needed to be done. So focused that one of my non-con co-workers was at the booth next to me, within 3 feet and I didn’t hear or see him.
Oh, remember that agent who told me to never let other agents talk to his guests? He asked me if he could talk to Mr. Lambert, I told him no ( in a tone of voice that hopefully conveyed, I can’t believe you asked me). He smiled and nodded, so I think he understood I was doing what he taught me.
This is also the first con where I bought photo ops. I planned to have a picture with Stan Lee and when he cancelled switched it out for Zachary Levi and the Highlander combo and discovered it’s more fun being behind the camera, counting the number of clicks for an agent and watching others get their pictures, than standing in front of the camera. But I did get my Zachary Levi hug and the donation is in the picture.
Thanks for wading through all the nostalgia. Next up is DevOps days, then Gamer Con and September will be here before you know it. I can’t wait to add another memory and tag.