Friday, 6 May 2011

FedCon XX: Day 1

A very good night's sleep, that says something, as I normally do not sleep that well first night in a 'strange bed'. First thing after breakfast is for me to get rid of my digital art pieces that I am carrying around. So, way before the official opening of the convention area, we are allowed in to set up my presentation. A change! Graphics and Models are now in one room, shared happily with the Klingon pub run by “Khemorex Klinzhai”. Klingons and fine art, I hope for the best at that combination!

I set up my presentation into what I hope is an attractive showpiece,a nd when asked if I want to participate in Art contest, I'm all like “Sure, what the heck?”. I don't believe human creativity should be the subject of competitiveness, but participating never hurt anyone.

After we're done we get into the dealers' room finding all our dealer friends in a frenzy cause “Where are all the customers?” . We try to reassure them that even though they're on the second floor, they will be found! Eventually! If I havce to run around the con areea with R2D2 on my head (which I actually did!).
But even though we do some of the autograph shopping tehy keep being a bit antsy about it. And then we found out that there is a perfectly logical explanation for everybody's absence: the convention hasn't opened yet. Oops, that's not what the programme said...

Around noon we finally get and at 14.00 it is time for the first official event (for us at least): the photoshoot with Richard Dean Anderson. When he finally comes down I am happily suprised, as I was led to believe that “Colonel O'Neill” had gained quite a few pounds. Well, he did but it is not as bad as some might have anticipated and for such a high-profile guest he is actually quite a jolly fellow. Of course these photoshoots go quick and there is just enough time to exchange some pleasanteries, but it's always quite a thrill to be standing next to someone of a more or less legendary stature. We meet RDA again at his autograph session, which takes an unexpected turn as our presigned autographs are personalized. Richard takes some time to look at my art piece for this year and then signs it, taking care not to make his autograph too big. We joke a bit about this poses quite some stress to “do it right”! Later that day we also pose with Wil Wheaton and then it is time for the opening.

Everyone's of course quite excited to see how Garrett Wang will fulfill the demanding Master of Ceremonies function for the very first time. When he enters the stage, a loud applause fills the auditorium. The usual opening issues commence: a word for the sponsors, a list of Do's and Don'ts and then Garrett invites Dirk Bartholomäe, Mr Fedcon himself, on stage. As this is the 20th anniversary, Dirk is presented by a marvellous birthday cake in SciFi style, to be consumed by everyone later that night. Dirk is visibly touched by this, but being as modest as he is, leaves the stage as quickly as is humanly possible.

And then the guests are introduced, showered with the warm FedCon welcoming applause,and given the opportunity to say a few words or practice their first words of German. My cold chills begin when Scott Bakula enters the stage. I have been waiting quite long to meet “Captain Archer”, the captain from the Star Trek series that is dearest to my heart as I witnessed its inception (and demise) from the very start. Great to have him here!

After the opening I move to the small room to sit in with Kate Hewlett, who admits she's a bit nervous and wonders if we're all misplaced as Lance Henriksen is on themain stage. She need not worry as she puts on a very nice and interesting and -shall I use the word?- cosy Q&A session, with lots of inside stories and jokes about her dear brother, David. After Kate, I return to the main adutorium to listen to Wil Wheaton's panel. He was really amazing, very witty as we have come to know him from his blogs, tweet and books. To me his was the most inspiring of them all!
(To read it from his own perspective:

After all this (and three panels in a row is not such a good idea) it was party time. Or at least a serious attempt at partying. As in Bon we had a ginat dancefloor available, we where sort of expecting something equally magnificent. NO SUCH THING. Just the dancefloor in the bar which was smaller than the one in Bonn, the same DJ we had before and that was it. It beat me how 1000+ people were supposed to have a party theer and the answer is of course: they could not. After an hour of sweat and too many people to really dance, I gave up and went to bed around 1:00 am, infernally early for a FedCon (where sleeping is optional).

Day One is gone and it was already a blast! See what comes tomorrow! And Garrett? He´s already doing just great! As if he´s never done anything else!

Me in my R2D2 Disney hat, bought from Kenny (KIF's collectibles).

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