CONvergence 2011

Thursday | Thu/Fri | Friday | Fri/Sat | Sat/Sun

 So let's review here... I didn't start cosplaying until a couple years ago, and both characters wore glasses and basically matched my hair color and style. Nothing crazy. Also, there have been mixed messages about my affinity for Harry Potter. Namely because I still have that ongoing webnovel (now on book seven!) that treads some common territory and often spoofs and satirizes many of HP's themes. I've also never been a terribly huge Draco Malfoy fan. Not because he's a jerk, but rather because up until recently he hadn't been a properly utilized jerk.

So why the heck am I cosplaying him? It's just way too much fun.

Wingardium Leviosa

Seriously, after spending so many room parties welcoming total strangers and inviting them to eat, drink and socialize, it's pretty sweet to be able to sneer at them and wonder why we're letting their Muggle asses in the room to begin with. And not only that, but people are actually happy that I'm scowling at them! This was especially fun when some of the other staffers stopped by and I was somehow able to get through the initial encounters in character.

Much fun as it was frowning on the visitors to the Slytherin room, what was really awesome was interacting with the other characters. Particularly the ones in Gryffindor. While their balcony served as the Great Hall, Slytherin's was used for storing all of our stuff. Which meant they would have to sneak through once in a while if they needed one of their personal effects. Once they did, I made it a point to grab Harry or Ginny and throw them back into Gryffindor. Harry did it so often I began ranting about how he secretly wanted to be a Slytherin all along.

Also, the butterbeer was crazy delicious. Non-alcoholic too- a mix of cream soda and butterscotch and topped with whipped cream.

I made sure to check out the other room parties around the convention as well. Here's a big captain's chair outside a pair of rooms done up like the Enterprise.

With help from whatever house elves were behind the walls, the replicators in the back actually opened and served food. Saturday night, Scott and I ran through the Fish scene from Red Dwarf.

Shelf from the elaborate Zelda room party. Their balcony was lined with pots... that seemed to disappear as the weekend went on.

And the ever-popular House of Toast. Multiple kinds of bread, a plethora of toppings and a true challenge for anyone daring enough to say they don't care what ends up on their toast.

Back in the room, I get a picture with Professor Snape before we call it a night.

Okay, one random cosplay photo, then we can call it a night.

 Despite my house affiliation, I ended up sleeping in the Gryffindor room after we pulled the mattresses out from behind the Great Hall. Since there were a good deal of commuters in our group, the rooms were sparse enough to afford me my own mattresses. Slept pretty damn well.

When I woke up, the boffer guys were already raring to go in the atrium. I couldn't hit the floor too hastily as we had some shopkeeping to do before Friday night's party. Some strange draconian Convergence room party law mandated that we have the balconies open to visitors, meaning that we'd have to find a new home for much of the stuff we had stored in Slytherin's back room (which we totally should have named Knockturn Alley). While I was able to hide my duffel bag in Gryffindor's closet, my beloved con bag ended up resigned to my car for the remainder of the convention. This will be important later.

Now that the room was properly set up, I could take in the convention a little more leisurely before the mad rush of activity that night.

Now this, this is a staff room.

Just because it's cool, the Minneapolis Media Institute had a motion capture demonstration outside the mainstage.

And if you could catch it when it was open, Connie's Space Lounge, offering smoothies, comfy chairs, music and random games.

This included a ball toss, 3D Twister and life-size Connect Four. One night I randomly strolled in to find a tournament for an old-school Burger Time table. Complete with overhead camera to project the action on a big screen for spectators.

While I didn't get any pictures, I also finally got into the dealer room. It was more cramped than it should have been, but that somehow didn't feel like such a bad thing. Instead of having primarily manga, DVDs and keychains, many of the vendors sold old books, costuming accessories and bladed weapons. Add the prominent smell of incense to the room and it felt like an old street bazaar. It was lively and different and seemed to make up for the massive crowding problem. I bought a copy of "Let's Kill" so we wouldn't have to steal Sarah's for Anime Iowa.

You may have noticed that there's been minimal discussion of flagrant Geek.Kon promotion thus far. That's because other than posting a bunch of flyers Thursday afternoon (and an ad in the program book), this proved to be a much-needed reprieve from all the hawking. After all, Draco Malfoy isn't exactly the best person to be shilling for a friendly convention... which will make Iowa interesting since I'm bringing him there as well.

Anyway, our big plan for promotion (or at least to do our small part to help CONvergence out) was for as many available staffers to take a shift together in the con suite area for an hour or two, preferably in con shirts. We ended up with a pretty good group- myself, Sarah, Sari, Brian, Scott and Mike all chipped in. John had been taking more than his fair share of hours elsewhere.

Sari and Brian ended up in soup prep duty. The rest of us got off with restocking duty- making sure the chips and snacks were plentiful.

Mike watches over the rice line as happy congoers add sauce and seasoning.

At some point the milk dispenser ran empty and the staffer was on hand just long enough to make sure we had a refill, but not long enough to actually insert it into the machine.

Thankfully, an attendee in the room was familiar with such contraptions and helped get everything working again.

After an hour and a half, I checked out to put Draco back on. There were going to be precious few opportunities to do so later that evening, and I had a busy, busy schedule ahead of me.

Let's hop to it!