This year, I had the pleasure of going to my first Comic Con in San Diego. This is not a review of Comic Con, just a summarization of my experience. This was a birthday trip for my friend, Cheryl. I went with two of my BFFs, Cheryl & Marianne, and out of the three of us, I’d have to say I had the best time. I had gone to Wondercon back in April so I felt that that experience really prepared me for Comic Con. I made it a point to make this trip work for me so I looked through all the programming and found all the events I wanted to attend.
In order to avoid any kind of meltdown, I was prepared to stand in lines and sit through panels I wasn’t interested in so that I catch the ones that were of interest to me.
Key events I wanted to see were:
1) The Dungeon Master screening at the SDCC International Film Festival
2) The Thundercats premiere
3) Photoshop CS5 Demo
4) Comic-Con Film School 102: Production
5) Comic-Con Film School 103: Working with Actors & a Crew
6) Cartoon Voices II panel
7) An Evening with Kevin Smith
I caught all of these except for the Kevin Smith program because I had to choose between Kevin Smith or Photoshop as they were happening concurrently. Really glad I chose Photoshop because I learned a LOT. Now I have to get the program and start using it.
Anyway, the thing that really made this event for me was seeing The Strong brothers & their short film again and meeting Danielle Fishel & Jason Marsden. If it hadn’t been for them, I wouldn’t have considered my first Comic Con experience to be so spectacular. Reason being that I grew up seeing their faces on my TV, especially with Boy Meets World. Considering I had a Boy Meets World marathon(twice), for my birthday this year, it makes it even more special to see them in person. My heart is truly content right now.
The best part of seeing Rider & Shiloh was that I was shocked that they recognized me. After the Dungeon Master screening, Shiloh came up to ME to say hi. How weird is that?? I guess I should give them more credit. I told him I didn’t even think he remembered me. I didn’t take a photo with them because they were wearing the same thing they wore at the Sonoma Film Festival where I first met them and I didn’t want to embarrass them by posting a pic with the same outfit. Hey, we all have our “Go to” outfits. :O) I gave Shiloh a hug and he thanked me for his support but really, I should be thanking him and Rider. Their passion for creativity really inspires my own creativity as well. Marianne gave me the idea of asking Rider to sign my copy of Whiskey Island, a literary publication from Cleveland State University that published a short story that he wrote. I actually just brought it for Marianne to read. I didn’t think of getting it signed because I don’t usually like to ask for autographs but I thought it was a great idea so I asked anyway.
I walked around the floor and watched artists do demonstrations of their imagination. This one artist said that whatever creativity you want to make, just do it. When you are fueled by your passion to create something you think is beautiful, chances are, there are going to be other people who will also find your art beautiful. That hit home for me. I’ve never been the type of person to toot my own horn, to give myself credit, or to reveal the products of my creativity. I’ve been lectured over and over again about this by fellow artists but have still been unable to accept it. A good example is when my friend failed to put me down as Assistant Director in the credits for a video we shot & I was completely okay with that. However, the artist in me came to her senses and added my credits to it. Another example was when I was an understudy for a short stageplay and at the 1st rehearsal, the director, who is a fellow artist I truly admired and respected, said “Ava! You’re a REALLY GOOD actress!!” I was in complete disbelief and it was difficult for me to take her compliment. Why, I don’t know.
So after this weekend of being around so much art, magic & technology, I’ve decided to take my imagination, blow it up, and spread my ashes wherever there is a place for them. Whether it be monologues, scripts, jewelry, drawings, puppets, acting, films, comedy, etc., I’ll take responsibility; I’ll give myself credit; I’ll love it, own it, & work it.
Okay, I went off on a tangent. Back to Comic Con. I also wanted to meet Danielle Fishel and knew she was going to be at the Dungeon Master screening so I took a photo with her. God, I wish Comic Con had come 2 weeks earlier when I was 5 lbs. lighter. It really shows for me and I hate that. Damn gravity, you’re killing me! Anyway, Danielle was a sweetheart, she loved my NKOTB sweater. She was with Lea Palmieri, who is the producer for “Cocktails with Patrick” on Cosmo Radio. Lea was a sweetheart too.
On Sunday, I was able to attend the Cartoon Voice II panel (thanks to a generous friend) and see Jason Marsden in action. I had always wanted to see that in person and it was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience! They did an example of a cold read with Snow White & The 7 Dwarfs and it was so titillating to watch live. I can see why these actors fell in love with voice acting. It could have been my imagination but I thought Jason waved at me in the beginning of the panel but then I thought, “There’s no way. He doesn’t even know me. Is there a famous person sitting behind me? Who is it?” But when I went up to him after all the crazy autograph hungry fans dissipated, the first words he said to me were “Hey Ava!” On the inside, my eyes got 10 times as big, my heart dropped to the floor and my brain exploded. I couldn’t believe he knew my name. He’s so much cooler & down-to-earth than I expected and I truly appreciated it, but my mind still thought, “OMGWTF! *THUD*” Hahaha! But luckily, I’m celebrity-jaded so all I could muster out was a smile and an undercover enthused “Hey.” How’s that for acting? No one knew that the younger me on the inside was jumping up & down, running all around in fangirl status so I’d say……WINNING! I later found out from Twitter that he was indeed waving to me so now, I feel like an asshole for not waving back. Hope he at least saw me smile. I had so much I wanted to say to him, questions I wanted to ask him but I kept getting interrupted by other people who wanted to talk to him. Ah well, that’s just the way it is and I was used to that. At least my wish came true!
I also got to check out The Aquabats show at House of Blues because my friend Amy, who works for The HUB Channel hooked us up with tickets. They are a very entertaining band, I must say, complete with spandex costumes, masks, and theatre-like superhero shenanigans onstage. Other highlights included delicious meals at Extraordinary Desserts, Cafe Zucherro, and Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza. Oh, and of course, the famous San Diego carne asada fries!! Got them at Santana’s, which is now Fresh MXN Food. Yes, had a dose of that at midnight and LOVED it!! Getting hungry just thinking about it. I also went shopping at a couple of bead stores & bought supplies (because y’know, might as well do business if you’ve got the chance).
The lowlights of my trip were:
1) feet were killing me. I need a foot massage now.
2) Will didn’t come. Too bad because I was ready to let him pound me into the ground. (hey, I’m allowed to throw my mind in the gutter every once in awhile.)
3) umm…that was pretty much it so nevermind. :O)
Here are some pics. Enjoy!
Some kind of Transformer? Voltron? I dunno
Dungeon Master panel
Met Danielle Fishel (she’s a sweetie, so beautiful!)
Rider Strong autograph (I don’t usually do autographs but this short story was rare)
Aquabats Show at House of Blues
Thundercats panel (watching the premiere episode gave me goosebumps, it was so good!)
With Captain America
Met Jason Marsden (he’s super down-to-earth, very nice guy!)
Cake from Extraordinary Desserts
Forno Ziti from Cafe Zucherro (it was the BEST I’ve ever had!)
San Diego’s Famous Carne Asada Fries (got it at Fresh MXN)
Snow White & The 7 Dwarfs Cartoon Voices Panel