Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Awesome comes in 3's: C2E2, Wanee, ACEN

For the past three weekends I have been busy mixing business and pleasure.  From Chicago Comic and Entertainment Exposition(C2E2), to Wanee Festival 2012, and ending this past weekend with Anime Central(ACEN); I have been busy enjoying myself as much as I could possibly have hoped.  Each weekend was filled with different kinds of excitement and amazing memories that will not be forgotten anytime soon.

C2E2 was my first experience covering a convention as a member of the press, and I felt that there could not have been a better choice than having it as my first dabble.  I tried to hide my giddiness and excitement as I was able to cover separate panels with Chris Hardwick, artists and writers from Womanthology, as well as members of the famed 501st Legion. 

Panels were not the only exciting aspect of C2E2.  Seeing all of the people running around in their very detailed cosplay made me enjoy the experience that much more.  I find myself constantly reiterating the amazement I had for costumes I saw at C2E2, but I feel that is the least I can do to show my appreciation for every costumed character’s time and effort put forth.

Contrary to my time spent at both C2E2 and ACEN, I was not covering Wanee Music Festival as a member of the press.  I took advantage of the opportunity Wanee Festival presented to me, and drove from Chicago, IL, to Live Oak, FL, to see some historic artists such as the Allman brothers and Further.  As soon as I arrived at the Spirit of Swanee camp grounds, I was in awe at the massive amount of people who congregated for a weekend full of good tunes and fun-loving hippy attitudes.

Further was perhaps the most intriguing out of all the artist as they have former Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir.  Phil, Bob, and the other members of Further rocked out three hour sets of music both Friday and Saturday night, grooving through a smooth ride of jam tunes that would leave almost any music fan satisfied.

The most eye opening experience of the weekend was finding out about the band Eoto.  Consisting of Michael Travis and Jason Hann from The String Cheese Incident, Eoto is an electronic, experimental band with some aspects of dubstep.  Their amazing, in-depth music is created live as they switch through playing a variety of instruments. Though I do not find myself having the desire to listen to dub-step or electronic techno very often, I found myself immediately downloading Eoto onto my MP3 player as soon as I got back home.

The last of my trio of amazing weekends was ACEN 2012.  As it pertains to what I could have wanted out of a convention as a member of the press, ACEN could not have been more accommodating and incredible.  ACEN’s press office provided my co-contributor and I the ability to sit in on some amazing press specific panels. Jamie Marchi, Vic Mignogna, and the Japanese pop band L.M.C. were just a few of the panels we were able to take advantage of.

ACEN was even able to power through some unavoidable issues, such as a fire alarm on Saturday night that caused the Masquerade to be delays a couple of hours.  The Masquerade itself was reduced to less time then had initially been planned, but those who ran the show were still able to show their appreciation for all those who had skits planned by offering free passes to next years ACEN.  With my dissappointment at missing all the skits having now subsided, I am still grateful for the ability to have seen the costumes that had been assembled.

I had a great time being involved in the press panels for Jamie Marchi and Vic Mignogna, and could not possibly show my gratitude to them for providing some heartfelt, honest answers to the questions we had.  Between Vic telling about his experiences as a Sci-Fi fan dressed up as a Trekkie, to Jamies advice to never take anything personal as it pertains to job rejections in voice acting, I was able to really connect with who they were as people. 

What could I possibly find to do with myself this following weekend?  I am almost heartbroken at the thought of not finding myself in some life changing experience. 

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