Gatecon 2001

Valerie's Con Report, Part 3

My plan for Saturday involved spending as much time in the dealer's room as possible, since Dawn was going to be stuck there until early afternoon Sunday while I was on the studio tour, and then had to leave shortly after I got back from that. Wearing the CrankyMongolianSam costume all day wasn't too bad, especially because I took the headdress off at intervals for a rest. I initially had trouble with the hook on the face veil (finally got used to it later), and couldn't hook it up without taking the whole contraption off my head; so I spent most of the morning with it across my face. This would come back to haunt me! ;-) Don Davis came through the dealer's room at one of those points where it was dead because everyone was in the events room, and complimented the costume: "You did a beautiful job. And that's quite a... *gestures at neckline*." *chuckle* (BTW, several people asked, but for anyone who may have wanted to and didn't: I didn't have to worry. It was safety-pinned to my bra. It wasn't going anywhere. It's the Evil Push-Up Bra From Hell, and I might burn it when I eventually retire the costume; but I spent plenty of shopping time making sure I got one that would fit right and keep everything where it belonged! *g*)

About five minutes after that, Shadow, The World's Best Roomie (TM), came zooming into the dealer's room saying "You have to go in there right now! Amanda's here!" I'm not ashamed to admit it: My brain broke. And stayed broken. It was truly pitiful. After the several seconds it took to actually register what she was telling me, I went into the events room just in time to catch Amanda's explanation of "The Puff and Ruffle", which I hadn't heard before. It's something she and her stand-in Tracy Westerholm came up with to describe the various guys' different reactions to an attractive woman walking on the set. Don't remember exactly what she said about RDA (I think it was more a dead-on body language impression than any verbal description, actually -- I was already in awe of this woman's nonverbal skills but after seeing her in person... *jaw unhinges*); Michael does "that shy thing", Chris is endlessly charming, and Don is very forthright in walking right up and saying what he thinks. This, of course, had me on the floor, because it was exactly what Don had done with me not ten minutes before!

She answered a few more questions, which I know I was interested in but can't for the life of me remember a thing about, before I got called on. I started out by saying that my friend had come and fetched me from the dealer's room because "I'm wearing this today by choice", but she couldn't see me and gestured me down to the lights. When she finally caught sight of me, she completely cracked up and gave me a big hug. *beam* In case anyone was wondering, $200 in materials and 30 hours of work were worth it for that alone!! Then I heard a voice call out (thanks, Michelle!) "She made it!", and Amanda's jaw about hit the floor. "You MADE it???" She circled all the way around me with this incredulous look on her face while I asked if her opinion of the costume was similar to Sam's. She asked me a couple questions which, again, I remember nothing about. :-) I hope I didn't sound like too much of an idiot. Then I went ahead and made the crack (familiar to all my friends) about "We're supposed to believe she was wearing that bra under her uniform?", which if my brain had been functioning I would never have said, but which mercifully she seemed to find funny, turning to the audience and saying "You hear that, guys? She's got your number. It's so easy to fool you guys." And as I headed back to my seat (feet never touching the floor, you better believe it!), she finished up with "You did a great job. I don't ever want to see that outfit again." *bouncebouncebounce* If my weekend hadn't already rocked, that minute or two alone would have made it.

Alas, I ducked back out (she was only going to be there for a bit, and Dawn deserved to see her too) before JR joined her onstage. Guess I'll have to wait another year to catch the legendary silliness of the JR & Amanda Show in person. But not complaining!!! Of course, she has no idea who the heck I am or what I look like, since realized after I got back into the dealer's room that I never got around to unhooking the veil. D'oh!!

People started coming up to me after lunch and saying "Did you hear? You're famous!" after Peter and Alexis mentioned the banquet skits. Still floored by that one. And when Erick stopped by my table and was asking about my costuming business and I explained that "It's how I support my theatre habit", he said "Oh, you're an actress? I figured. You were great last night." Like I said, my ego will be running on this con for years. Maybe I should use the charge to go back to New York and let them kick me in the head some more... Or maybe I'll go out to LA and audition for Alexis' theatre company. ;-)

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came up and made nice comments about the costume and the skits. Reminded me all over again that fandom, in general, is so much more supportive than society at large. Very, very welcome haven from a culture that equates cynicism with intelligence. *bounce*

The costume contest is a bit of a blur, as they always are in my head. Peter presenting the awards (and hugs, and compliments) was a nice plus. It was so nice to see so many people come out for a first-time masquerade at a second-year con. Whoo-hoo! Everyone looked fantastic. Things that stand out in my mind: Nelleke as Nem's daughter, no explanation needed. Dara's (Bastet) creativity with accessories, especially her original take on the ribbon device -- I wish everyone could have seen the detail on that! Ditto on Scout's gorgeous headdress and absolutely exquisite collar. I can't guess how many hours she spent stringing hundreds of bugle beads and little scarabs, and it was a great design. That sort of thing is the reason every masquerade needs a workmanship pre-judging -- you just can't do justice to detail work like that on stage. The workmanship judging is often done by a separate set of judges with some background, who check out each contestant and interview them a little about the work they did. This allows them to point stuff out when the prizes are awarded, so that interested audience members can find the contestant afterward and admire it up close. Wearing our costumes all day for the attendee voting helped in that regard -- usually hall costumes and masquerade costumes are separate -- but it would be great to have an experienced costume person do a pre-judging too. And I'm digressing into stuff that I should be sending as suggestions to Peggy (who did an AWESOME job her first time out, and deserves a huge round of applause), and some of which she's already planning to implement next year.

What else... Crystal's (Garshaw) nifty Tok'ra neckpiece and regal bearing. (I was stunned to find out that girl is eighteen!) Layla's (Sha're) stunning hand-embroidered vintage galabaya, which belonged to her grandmother. Karen's engineering ability and sheer chutzpah in actually doing the Hathor striptease! Oma Desala (sorry, sweetie, I'm blanking on your real name *blush*) proving that you don't have to do all kinds of elaborate crafty stuff to have an idea that works. The Touchstone-planet native (whose name I never caught), also with the impressive engineering. Trust me, folks, keeping scraps like that in place ain't easy, but she built it very well and had nothing to worry about! Tiffany's very crisp attention and about-faces (and good recovery--those sectional stages are tricky! Never, ever wear pointe shoes on one. I speak from painful experience.). Allan, the "galaxy's sexiest Tok'ra" and the ONLY brave soul valiantly representing his gender...where were you guys? Linda's "undercover" Goa'uld joke and very well-made ribbon device. And thanks to Kc for letting herself get roped in, and showing off more of my handiwork after actually paying for it. :-)

I then changed OUT of the costume for the auction. 12 hours or so was long enough, thanks! :-)

Ah, the auction... The best description I can come up with is "insane multi-ring circus, with JR as ringmaster." I'm not even going to try anything more detailed. You had to be there. It's really that simple. Lipstick, flying clothing, lap-sitting, guests running madly from bidder to bidder. Sheer unadulterated bedlam. And way, way too fun, even for people like me who didn't have a prayer of affording any of the items. Those people expended enough energy to light Vancouver for a week.

Part 4 coming soon (hopefully before I forget everything!)

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