Experience By Panel…
Let me put it this way, I was told (unofficially) that I had 6 panels approved, then found out (officially) I had 8 panels approved, & when they put out the schedule (which also happens to be when I found out my panel times/locations) I had an additional 2, giving me a record-breaking 10 panels accepted for AUSA @.@ Incidentally, this was also my first ‘record-breaking’ turn down of a panel (Valkyria Chronicles: Love, War, & Snipers) due to not having nearly enough time to make that panel good, needing to work on the other ones, & the realization that if they approved it once, they’d probably approve it again. Never mind that 4 panels that were long sessions wound up being approved for a 3 hour time slot meaning I had to lengthen 3. One was perfectly fine, that one being Obscure J-RPGs You Should Play which incidentally wound up taking the full 3 hour time slot. All of this giving me a grand total of 19.5 programming hours, which prompted me to ask the panels dept. to list me as a featured panelist. Of course, this was in name only with no benefits; i.e., the con pays for the room, possibly board, & travel, but it’s still a good starting place.
Despite the lack of benefits, it sure as hell paves the way for this to be a possibility come AUSA 2014. It also helps that a staff member sitting in on my Obscure J-RPGs panel put in a good word for me, so here’s to hoping that I get to pimp in with the full benefits of a featured panelist next year.
So, in short, my best panels –in my opinion- were Obscure J-RPGs You Should Play (Available in America) & Bara vs. Yaoi: A Look Into the XY/XY Love Categories as far as attendance & audience participation were concerned. I was also pleasantly surprised at how many showed up, & how many stayed, for my Timey-Wimey Anime panel; granted, that doesn’t necessarily mean they liked it; however, this does shine hope on the next version of this panel, Timey-Wimey Videogames. I just don’t know when I’ll do it. The rest were so-so attendance wise with me almost missing out on presenting How to Con: Staying in a Hotel panel, due to running late but I just barely made it in, & BlazBlue: Info. & Other Time-Paradox Buffoonery panel, due to there being a communication mix-up & the guy watching the room not realizing I was the panelist & not letting me in until 10+ minutes later. To expand on the BlazBlue issue, after clearly stating I was the panelist I was let in. To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t really tell what he was saying because he had a relatively thick accent, so it was just about as much my fault as it was his but, hey, these things happen.
It was also at this time that I realized I needed to retire the Guide to Buying ALL THE THINGS panel. As it is, it’s getting to be too long & with too many branching points & I need to separate it into individual smaller panels; i.e., one for figure collecting, buying anime, buying art books, cosplay, etc. I already have a cosplay one, I’ve submitted one for both figure & art book collecting respectively, & it wouldn’t be all that much to construct panels based off the other numerous sections in that macro of a panel. So, bon voyage Guide to Buying ALL THE THINGS & salut smaller concentrated panels. At least this way I can get panels that are an hour-&-a-half or less vs. 2 hours or bust (like how Obscure J-RPGs has become).
Lastly, I keep forgetting to do this but major thanks to any con-goer who attends multiple panels for me & stays to the end. Super appreciate this ^.^ If I’d remember to do this, I’d have give-away items for this & would give them to those special bros…on the down-low so no one would start showing up & staying at my panels simply to get some free s**t. Still, thanx for being such brosy bros & choosing my panel over any other event happening at that time >.<
Anyway, these were the panels I presented. Mind you, Friday if not for cancelling one I would have had 5 panels back-to-back (wound up only having 3 + 2 later on), had 3 back-to-back Saturday, & Sunday was essentially Obscure J-RPGs, since it was 3 hours long & there were only 5 hours of things to do in that entire day. That being said, panel list, GO~!
- How to Con: Staying in A Hotel – Friday, 9/13/13 1-2:30p in Panels 3
- Becoming a Panelist – Friday, 9/13/13 2:30-4p in Panels 2
- The Sengoku Era is Alive with the Sound of Anime – Friday, 9/13/13 4-7p in Panels 1
- Guide to Buying ALL THE THINGS: Shut Up & Take My Money – Friday, 9/13/13 8:30-10p in Panels 5
- Bara vs. Yaoi: A Look Into the XY/XY Love Categories – (18+) – Friday/Saturday, 9/13/13 1a-2:30a in Educational Panels
- BlazBlue: Info. & Other Time-Paradox Buffoonery – Saturday, 9/14/13 10a-1p in Panels 3
- “The World” of .Hack – Saturday, 9/14/13 1-4p in Panels 5
- Timey-Wimey Anime – Saturday, 9/14/13 4-5:30p in Panels 3
- Obscure J-RPGs You Should Play (Available in America) – Sunday, 9/15/13 10a-1p in Panels 2
So, in general, I had an overwhelmingly overwhelming awesome time with panels this year, even though it resulted in me getting next to no sleep Thursday night. Never mind I was working up until the day before & almost missed my first panel, still a delight to do so much & get so much paneling experience under my belt.
Unfortunately, since I joined so late & one other issue I couldn’t begin work as a part of the social media dept. on con staff. Hopefully I can do so for AUSA 2014. Besides this, I thought the panels dept. were way less organized this year than last. I’ll admit, I was kinda in a so-so mood last year which somewhat affected my mindset towards the con a little (a little but not a lot) but what was the excuse this year? On one hand, they were really helpful with my panel stuff, getting me listed as a featured panelist on the site super short notice, & a few other things, but on the other the dept. was wholly inefficient this time around. I don’t know what happened but I do know at this point the departments are having a reorganization/restructure of their organization, hopefully that will (somewhat) fix things for next year. I still had a great time with paneling since I had an entire year to get used to the rigmarole of things. If nothing else, I’m just thankful that I didn’t have to pre-reg to be reimbursed later & could just get a free pass b/c the turn-around for reimbursements can take months with conventions.
I also was amazed at how much I was able to socialize with people despite how many panels I had this con. I’ve probably talked to people more than what I would have any year & I greatly enjoyed it. Another fun thing is that I roomed with some peeps I met at Katsucon & met some people I knew from other cons. In general, I had a great time just hanging out, chillin’, & getting to know people better. I missed out on a lot of the panels I wanted to attend (including meeting Travis Willingham [voice of Roy Mustang from Full Metal Alchemist] in person [again]), didn’t get to spend that much time in the Dealer’s Room, & was generally tired at any given point of time…I did make a tie out of duct tape, so all is forgiven >.<
It was a pretty good experience this year (if nothing else, better than last year) & I had a great time. I’m especially hype that this con will probably be the first to invite me as a featured panelist but time will only tell. I can only hope it improves with 2014 & every new year but it’s still an enjoyable con that’s definitely worth your time & $$$ if you’re in the area/are looking for an anime convention to go to.