Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Friday, September 5, 2014

An Epic Tale of Convention Mayhem

Take a seat, my darlings, and let me tell you an epic tale of 2 artists who had a rather busy Labor Day weekend. It may not sound like much to the average person but let don't judge until the end. This starts actually nearly 4 months previously when my good friend Stacy had contacted me about being interested in vending at SacAnime and needed a booth-buddy. Familiar with the venue location and had been a vendor for Sacramento Arts Festival for 4 years, I agreed and helped her with plans and such. Within theory, everything was fitting together perfectly - prime location for our spot surrounded by popular businesses so we would have great foot traffic, everything paid on time, and friendly correspondence with the staff of the event.

 Moving forward to a week before the event, the first indication that this was going to be a bit different from the art festival occurs. Normally for MOST large scale conventions like this gives those who are vending information on what day and time the set up is supposed to be (i.e. for the Sacramento Arts Festival, that information is included in the packet of information when submitting to be chosen as a potential vendor). Stacy ends up sending me a distress message saying that she doesn't know when we were scheduled to do set up. Puzzled, I took a look at the site and noticed that it was never mentioned. It's not unheard of for this to occur from time to time but it was a little odd, especially since my poor panicked partner was not receiving any emails back on her inquiry. So in ultimate Dawn style, I went and called the Sacramento Convention Center (where the convention was to be held) and explained the situation to the head of the events office. Though I didn't receive a call back, my initial phoned in query sparked a response by email to Stacy which let us know when set up was. 

As we move forward to the day of set up, Stacy and I get everything packed up and ready to lug to the convention center. Giving directions to the back where the loading docks were, I figured that things would be set up like how the Sacramento Arts Festival had their event set up- with blue curtained 'walls' dividing the booths and having the company names with what booth number they were on the tables. Oh how wrong I was. Right as we step in, we both got a sense of something amiss. Before our eyes was a room of neatly lined up tables inside of divided up blue taped squares. Nothing was marked and the vendors who were there were as confused as we were about the set up. Let us just say that locating our table was a bit on the interesting side. Of course the entire situation allowed us to make friends with the young woman in the booth behind us for Epic Cosplay Wigs as we assisted her in setting up her area. At some point while we were trying to unload the vehicle we came in on, I jogged from our table which was on one side of the large room to the docking bay. Not a long distance, mind you, but for someone of my... fluffiness... who hasn't run since high school to suddenly sprint any distance was just a little out of my league. As I returned with a cart of merchandise, I wheezed out to my booth buddy the only words I could think of: "Stacy, don't ever let me run again unless there's a zombie behind me." Of course I didn't even think that those around us could hear me but the smirks and giggles from the comment suggested that they more then just heard me. 

An epic Deadpool sneaking around
in a Stormtrooper outfit
(photo courtesy of Stacy J. Garrett)
The convention itself was rather entertaining as I worked on mini paintings while Stacy people watched and talked with customers. There were the cosplayers who did a stunning job on their outfits, those who did a relatively alright job on what they were going for and then there were those who I really couldn't decide if they lost a bet or couldn't figure out which character to be so they mashed up as many as they could together. Of course there were plenty of the latter who caused me to pause in my work and just stare. By the last day, our fellow vendors and we were getting rather punchy. Long days filled with countless costumed customers does sort of wear on a person but the fact there was a lot of positive energy and smiling faces certainly made things much more tolerable. That is unless you're stationed right under the speaker system and they decide to give the microphone to someone who is nearly yelling into it. Nearly all of us were plugging our ears and several were commenting that someone should go up to the table to talk to them about it. A little irritated, I finally set my work aside and headed over to the table to ask them to lower the volume. The gentleman armed with the microphone apologized for not knowing and by the time I returned to the booth, they were doing a mic test to the cheers of nearly every vendor in the room. It was later when I thought the situation over that I realized that from an entire room of people of vendors and cosplayers alike, I was the only one that actually went forward to save our eardrums. Not too sure how that worked but oh well. To lighten the mood, Stacy and I ended up coming up with a random drinking game which we agreed would have either caused me alcohol poisoning or be in a drunken stupor well into the coming week days. Good times, good times. 

There was so much more to say but if you would like to see things from Stacy's point of view, feel free to check out her blog post SacAnime Recap!

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