Experience By Panel…
- Tropes & Trends in Yaoi
- This was my first panel of the con & also one of my best panels, which is great for ego boosting. I had a great audience, they seemed entertained throughout the panel, seemingly loved my jokes, &, if I lost a few ppl, I quickly had that many ppl. come in to replace the ones that left. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my audience & it seemed to be reciprocal with them enjoying me as a panelist. Although I was originally wary that this panel was going to be too short, it wound up lasting pretty much the full amount of time for my panel’s time slot. Interestingly enough, since I was in too much of a limbo state from being sleep deprived & over-worked to notice at first, there were a decent amount of guys there…definitely going to make sure I’m in a more awake state the next time I give this panel to notice something like this >.>
- Guide to Buying ALL the Things
- Since this was more info. heavy, there was a lot of me talking & no one really responding. I wish I had encouraged more audience participation than what I did & asked if they had questions/comments throughout the panel, but alas, knowledge for next time. This was the first panel I had in a larger room, but looking at the turnout, I could have had a slightly smaller room. I started out with a decent sized audience & lost about half of them by the end of the panel, but I did get complements that it was very informative as well as having the most questions post panel, so there’s that. I guess if I were to do this again, I would rework it into more of a dedicated Q&A after talking a little bit vs. having it purely lecture style.
- I had a pretty good audience that all seemed to be mostly engaged. Although I had way too much time for this panel (I should have requested a short session [75 min.] vs. a long session [165 min.]), due to 2 hours+ for a Bleach panel is just too much ~.~, I did take up the whole time slot, I would just rework it to ensure that it falls within a shorter time slot, so it isn’t so overwhelming with how long it is, at least just from looking at the program book & pocket guide & seeing that 2+ hour chunk for Bleach >.> In either case, I had a good experience, the audience seemed mostly engaged (although there were moments where ppl. seemed a little bored), I got a good laugh out of them multiple times, & everyone seemed like they wanted to be there b/c they wanted to vs. just going through the motions until it’s over/something more interesting starts.
- Weeaboos, Japanophiles, Race, & Actual Japan
- This panel took me the most work, the longest to do, & the most info. heavy, & also had the most what I call ‘audience shrinkage.’ If I started with 20 ppl., I ended with about 8 ppl., just to give some perspective & what I mean by ‘audience shrinkage.’ This was the most info. vomit heavy panel, but I did have a lot of (welcomed) audience commentary at first, there was a bit of a lull in the middle, but then it kicked back up again near the end (more or less). Although I did receive a complement on how informative & thorough it was, as well as some much appreciated critiques from a more experienced panelist & staff member, I still was disappointed in the severe audience shrinkage by the end of the panel; granted, it could have been due to ppl. just not taking kindly to the truth about japan & weeaboos to being bored at the lack of opportunity to comment to thinking I was lying to clusterf**k who knows, so it didn’t bother me too much, but I definitely noticed. Another problem with this panel is that I had too little time for how much I needed to talk about, which I realized too little too late, but, ultimately, I realized I needed to structure the presentation in a way that encouraged more audience participation vs. being more of a lecture style. In the end, it’ll probably be a while before I do this again, &, either way, I need to seriously streamline this presentation into more of a Q&A/guided discussion.
- Fate Universe
- This was by far my favorite panel experience, was the panel I was most confident in, my best panel, & my best audience, even though I got cut short near the end, which I really don’t blame on myself anyway since they cut my panel short by an hour, even though I told them I pretty much needed every minute of the long session (165 min.) they originally approved me for vs. the B.S. short session they gave me (75 min.). The audience seemed thoroughly entertained & captivated throughout the panel, they seemed very responsive, & were all too obliging when asked to fill out a feedback form at the end of the panel. To give some background, every panel had feedback forms the audience could fill out near the end of the panel, & most of my panels ppl. did fill these out, but this one pretty much all of the audience were all to ready to fill these out despite being a little pass 4am. I was very impressed & pleased to say the least. That was definitely a panel that, if I started with 20 ppl., I ended with the same 20 ppl. I started out with. It was a very good experience. I can only hope every time I give that panel I have the same type of audience. My only point of contention is, due to them cutting my panel time slot short anyway, despite approving me for the long session, I was unable to really get to the ‘18+’ material of my panel. So, hopefully, whenever I give this panel next, I will have time for the…adult part >.>
I had a generally positive experience while presenting at this con. However, I would say this con’s organization in general was very poor, regardless of the effects Super Hurricane Sandy had on it, my only benefit of a doubt would come from the fact that this was a new venue, & with new venues comes new problems. Still, the biggest hassle that I had with this con is how late they put my 18+ panels. For both Friday & Saturday, I had my 18+ panels –Fate Universe & Tropes and Trends in Yaoi- placed on the schedule at 2:30a…in D.C. …& I had to drive both to & from the con …yeah, you can imagine the ear-full I got from my parents when I came home around 5 in the morning (understandably), especially when I kept them blissfully unaware of where I was since they utterly despise anything that I do anime related (which is a whole ‘nother discussion entirely ~.~), so that was a problem X/ To add on to that, when I mentioned originally that these times were absolutely too late & that I needed them scheduled earlier to the programming chair, since these times also prevented me from taking Metro to & fro the con which shot the traveling expenses from around $20 to $60+, I pretty much received a ‘tough s*it, make it work’ response, which pretty much makes me want to either never do late night panels here again or never come back again. Granted, the attitude & everything else of the volunteers & staff was outstanding. They were very approachable, very respectful & polite, & very easy to strike up a conversation with, so that’s one super positive.
Personally, I don’t know if I’ll try to come back here to present next year, I had an overall good experience but, due to the lack of parking & transportation options, the disorganization, & the fact that it’s D.C. (to further elucidate, if I’m living on my own, whatever; if I’m still living with my parents, no), I’m really on the fence.
I mean, quite frankly, it’s a s*itty venue if you basically have only 2 options to getting there (driving or Metro), in which one of these closes after a certain point, which can really screw you over if you’re a panelist with a late panel, & the parking options are just as bad. $30+ for the hotel parking, but then there’s metro parking…assuming you aren’t commuting there every day & don’t have a late night panel (like I did). So, I wound up having to drive there late at night, had to pay $30 in parking for 2 days (& then a third day), & had to drive back home at nearly 5am -.- Yeah, that’s a s*tty venue. I’m used to Otakon, which gives far more parking options, has more hotel/motel options, cheaper parking in general, a better area to do things in besides the con, & just better in general. I don’t know what they were thinking when they chose this venue, but let me tell ya’, they weren’t thinking all that clearly ~.~
Besides that, in general, every panel’s audience’s response ranged from pretty good to amazing. To me, my best panel’s were my 18+ panels (Fate Universe & Yaoi) & Bleach. The audiences for both of these were really involved, they laughed, & they genuinely seemed to enjoy my panels. Guide to Buying…the things & Weeaboos…Actual Japan were okay; although I received more questions at the end for Guide… & more audience participation in general during Weeaboos, I had more of a reduction in my audience than my best 3.
Put it this way, as mentioned before, if I started with 20 ppl. in my Yaoi & Fate Universe panels, I ended with that many (Bleach a little less but the audience seemed to be engaged through a majority of it). People may have left, but I still managed to pull in others to keep it around the number I started at, which was pretty high for the rooms I was in. However, in the case of Weeaboos & Guide…, if I started with 20 ppl. for Guide…, I ended with around 10-12, &, in the case of Weeaboos, I ended with around 8 ppl., & that’s just for approximations. So, I felt I did better with Bleach, Yaoi, & Fate Universe, with Yaoi & Fate Universe being my best panels overall, than Weeaboos… & Guide…, which both tended to be info. vomit heavy. Honestly, if I ever presented my Weeaboos… &/or Guide… panels again, I would rework them so that audience participation is built in & guaranteed, & change it so it’s less me talking & ensures the audience stays active & engaged in my panel that would be more Q & A style. Of course, this was all a learning experience one way or the other, with the best 3 needing less to be changed around & reworked –with the exceptions of changing the amount of time for these presentations- & the ‘worst’ ones (even though they weren’t that bad), having more reorganization done to ensure more audience participation & being more of a guided discussion. All in all, a pretty awesome first time panelist experience ^.^
Link to podcast on AUSA 2012 experience (new material)