Monday, July 30, 2007

Comic-Con sum-up ...

Picture of San Diego Convention Center chair

I am freaking exhausted. But it's that great "I - just - worked - my - tail - off - had - a - blast - met - brilliant - inspiring - people - maybe - have - new - relationships - and - opportunities - on - the - horizon" kind of exhausted.

So I feel great.

In a previous post, I said I was hitting Comic-Con as a comic book & cartoon fan, toy collector, video game aficionado, voice & film actor, for professional (technical and management) opportunities, and for camaraderie.

Other than the last item, these were the roles under which I was going to play at Comic-Con, but as an abstraction, I was going to Comic-Con for camaraderie, passion, and potential.


Like I said, "I'm looking forward to sharing this experience with someone who gets all of this as much as I do." I've been meeting with a mentor pretty much every week, for at least six years. Not only is he a life / religious / business mentor, but he's an incredible friend and comic book and cartoon nut (like me). We mutually encouraged each other (led astray?) to go to Comic-Con this year, and we each probably would not have done it without the other. We were a great pair. There were things I was interested in and he wasn't (largely gaming), and we'd go to our respective panels, then re-sync and share. Or, there would be two panels we both wanted to go to, so we'd "divide and conquer" and fill each other in. Or we'd attend each other's event of interest, and broaden our horizons. Or there were panels or experiences we both wanted to do, and we'd experience them together. That last was the best, because we both "get it", and had common, amazing shared experiences. And we were there with like 100-150 thousand other folks who get it -- to some degree or another -- like us. And we realized we are far less geeky than some other human beings.


Make no mistake, I am a huge fan of all of this stuff. I wasn't there to placate a friend or to exploit people for work. I am a lifetime comic book, toy, cartoon, video game, and film fan. Comic books and toys informed my creativity and story telling as a kid, and continue to inspire me with their artistry. Cartoons and video games got me into voice acting. Film got me into my current on-camera work as I bust my tail on the training front, and come alive under the lights.

I want to act in cartoon, comic book, video game, and film properties because I'm a voracious consumer of all of this stuff. I get it, and I want to give it. I'm like Phil Morris (I so admire and am happy for that guy).

Comic-Con was the place to be to get an inspirational re-charge, get closer to the creative and logistical process that gives me these things I enjoy, meet the folks responsible and say "thanks", and see what stuff is coming down the pipe, before anyone else knows. Sure, stuff makes it out on news wires and such shortly afterward, but it's nothing like being there and watching it for the first time it's ever been shown, with the creators (often seeing it themselves for the very first time), and talking to them afterwards.


I am a working professional. I work ridiculously hard at creating opportunities for acting, for technical development, and for management. I do this for me, I do this mutually for other people, and I do this for people independent of whether there's anything for me. I almost never stopped moving at Comic-Con as I tracked down the right people to whom to give a voice demo, head shot, or resume. I hit up the companies I'm passionate about from a creative or business perspective, and there were so many of those, that I didn't hit many "new business opportunities" while I was in San Diego. That means I was hitting up the folks whose stuff I love, and asking to work for or with them.

There were more than 50 companies and people I wanted to meet in the four days. I knew this was shooting for the stars, but not only di I connect with roughly 30 of those, but some additional, unlooked-for, awesome, what could become "I was discovered" kind of moments. Great stuff.

I also sought out the PR or events folks for booths that I was particularly impressed by, just to say, "Good job." It is important to give the workers their due.

And my new demo has (so far) been very well received.

What sucked:

Nothing bad happened that can take away from the overall amazingness. Plus, I'm going to send a thoughtful note each to Comic-Con and the San Diego Convention Center calling out some of the challenges and offering some suggestions.

But yeah, it wasn't all roses. The "Red Shirts" -- folks who were supposed to help attendees out, were very disconnected and caused some serious pain to my buddy and me. More on that later.

And I had one of those "This is Hollywood, be-otch!" experiences with a biggie that was a good reminder for that I wasn't in Kansas anymore. I reset and changed my tack with a couple of opportunity folks that seem to be not so relationship-oriented. Seriously, I manage multi-million dollar, international programs and services, so if people want to go toe-to-toe on that hard-ass front, I can play.

Oh, and too many people. Lines kept us out of things we'd liked to have seen and done, because the prospect of hours in line with no guarantee of getting in didn't appeal to us. And we had a bad Thursday night experience. More on that later.

Not that we were going to see everything anyway. Between my split personality roles and passions, a top-notch packed programming and events roster, and my working so hard to make sure my opportunities didn't impact my buddy, I knew we were going to miss stuff. Which is fine. As in the rest of life, what should have happened did; what shouldn't have, didn't.

So what happened?

I'm a big tease, so I'm not going to tell you.

Actually, I will, but this post is already too long, so I'll do separate, day-by-day posts of Wednesday through Sunday. I'll try to hit them from the perspective of the roles and abstractions that were my "filters" for attending, and I'll also try to break stuff up by summary, cool stuff, genres, panels, twitterings, and pictures.

As far as pictures, there will be some, but not many, and they won't be overly high quality. The reason is I honored the "no-flash" rule during panels and reveals (I think I may have been the only one). Between that and popping my hand up and down quickly to snap a pict (so as not to block people behind me), the picts are a bit blurry.

And there are some things I snapped picts of that have not been released to the general public, so I won't be posting those picts. Creative and business folks work hard for their IP, and I'm not going to do them a disservice by leaking stuff they're working to release in a controlled, exciting way.

More later ...

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