As I lie here in my hotel room, relaxing and slowly decompressing from the craziness that was this last weekend, I decided I should write-up my thoughts and feelings on GeekGirlCon while it was still fresh in my head.
First of all…OMG! It’s amazing that I have been a part of this amazing group of women! (And men too of course!) I have found my extended family and I wish that I lived up here instead of down in the non-geek friendly Emerald Triangle. Could that change? I certainly hope so…but I digress.
For those that don’t know, my journey from being a closet geek to being board treasurer for the first ever GeekGirlCon began last July. I was on twitter, living vicariously through those who were actually able to attend San Diego Comic-Con, when I saw a tweet that said “Why don’t we have a GeekGirlCon?” Um…yeah…I was all over that. A few weeks later I was driving up to Seattle for the first ever meeting at Wayward Coffee. I went from potential street team member to Accounting Manager. In January, I was elected to the board of directors as Treasurer and made my second trip to Seattle. I worked in other aspects of the convention in the last couple of months such as assisting with operations, helping organize the vendor room and mentally preparing for the chaos of the registration table.
Lets just say my multitude of nightmares did not come true…yay!!
Got up at 4:45AM Saturday morning in order to be at the Northwest Rooms of the Seattle Center by 6:00AM sharp! After a brief period of panic with missing tables and chairs (which were quickly sorted out by the responsive staff of the Seattle Center) we set up the lobby and helped the vendors get checked in and set up.
Seeing the line outside scared me to pieces. Major props to Rose and the other volunteers that were there to help us out in the face of all of those people! In fact the first few hours of registration went quickly…and then I was able to leave for the Very Special Dudes panel over at the EMP. Unfortunately, due to the inherent sexism within most creative industries, without these men behind us, we will be in for a difficult battle to be taken seriously. Thanks to men like Greg Rucka, Alan Kistler, Mike Madrid, Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Sean McNeil, it will be possible for my nine year old daughter to actually be a comic book author or graphic artist in 15 years. (or, as Greg Rucka told me, “hopefully in 10 years!”)
After that wonderful panel, I stayed for the Oral History Live with Jane Espenson! Wow! I was majorly stoked to finally get to see this amazing woman writer who has made such a name for herself!
I did head back to registration where I found that we had sold out of Saturday only badges. Shortly thereafter, we sold out of two-day badges. To a few of the people who I encountered who were very upset with us that we were sold out, I do apologize. If we could have allowed more passes to be sold, we would have. On the whole, everyone was very nice, excited for us and making plans to join us for 2012.
Later that night, I headed back over to the EMP for the Viscera Film Festival. Shannon Lark was there to discuss the festival which is a nonprofit organization showcasing works of horror written and directed by women. If anyone thinks that we’re the fairer sex then they haven’t seen the horror that is Mockingbird (a couples worst fear is played out on a baby monitor) Doll Parts (serial killers beware of hitchhikers!) and several other shorts whose titles I didn’t catch but showcased a level of horror that mainstream Hollywood would be wise to begin to allow into theaters.
After Viscera, I headed over to the sold out Whedonesque Burlesque which combined sexuality, drama and the mastery of Joss Whedon. (Though Captain Hammer should have been a whole lot more naked! And why did Wash have to die so many times??) Also, you’ve never seen a sweater vest strip tease like this before!!!
Sunday morning was a little less chaotic but we did sell out on our last Sunday pass quickly! Hooray! I also got to finally meet the Twisted Twins, Jen and Sylvia Soska! I learned about their film, Dead Hooker in a Trunk after listening to their interview on Altered Realities Radio and fell in love with their work! Their director/editor/producer (and GGC photographer!) CJ Wallis was there as well sporting his American Mary haircut. Jen and Sylvia are amazing and I am so glad that I got to meet them (and look forward to getting to hang out more when it’s not a completely crazy time!) though we never did get to celebrate the wonderfulness that is the Wonderpets! The Soska sisters were there for the Women in Horror panel held Sunday afternoon. That panel was held Sunday afternoon and all I can say is…fucking hell!
The panel started with a warning by moderator Hannah Neurotica: if there were minors in the room then it was highly advisable for them to leave the room for 11 minutes. The (I am assuming) dad who brought his two young kids in did not take that advice. They screened two more films from Viscera. The first was simple, creepy and shocking but the second (starring panelist and Viscera director Shannon Lark) is still running through my brain today. It was sexual, depraved, violent and bloody…and only had one character. I am still cringing and crossing my legs and can still hear the chorus of “Oh my god” that echoed through the theater when it became clear as to where the film was going. No I won’t discuss it in detail here. I just can’t right now. After that, we heard from Hannah Neurotica (who founded Women in Horror month), Jenna Pittman (GGC Progamming Assistant), Shannon Lark, Jessica Dwyer (the only female staff writer for HorrorHound Magazine), and Jen & Sylvia Soska. They talked about the difficulty of being women in a very, very male dominated genre and how they are working on getting female work in horror the recognition it deserves.
The last panel I attended Sunday afternoon was Writing in Real Life. The women on the panel were wonderful, especially saying that we women writers need to give ourselves permission to write and forgive ourselves if the laundry isn’t done everyday or if we let television be a baby sitter every now and then. Honestly, it was a speech that I needed to hear.
At the end of the day? The Labyrinth screening and sing-a-long! The audience was only slightly less rowdy than a house of tame Rocky Horror fans..and there were some very freaky puppets! (I’m convinced that one was possessed and wants me dead…it was staring at me!) All in all…a great end to a great weekend.
Yes we will be planning a Seattle GGC in 2012. No we don’t have a date as of yet..but we will soon! Just give us a chance to recover…most of the staff need a little breathing room before we say “Ok, who’s ready to do this again!”
Thank you to all of our panelists, vendors, special guests and attendees. And a special thank you to all of the people who gave money, time, and/or support to make this convention happen. It was a success and without all of you it would never have happened. Thank you!!