I’ve had some good Dragon Cons, I’ve had some great Dragon Cons, and I’ve had some horrible Dragon Cons…but until this year, I’d never experienced a perfect Dragon Con.
More than anything else, this is because I have absolutely found MY PEOPLE. Throughout the past five years, I’ve made friends and lost friends (never by choice, mind you), and among all of that, I’ve grown closer to some people and pushed others away. I’m only human, after all.
But it was this year that I finally realized that I was surrounded by an absolutely amazing group of friends. Some were old, some were new. Some I saw every day, some I saw only twice. What mattered is that we were there, we hung out, and we had fun.
Thursday was my “no way am I going to cosplay” day, and yet we ended up with a roving group of Pokemon Go Team Valor members with a Pokestop and lure. We didn’t get a lot of pictures, but we did get a lot of shout outs…although it was hard to keep our mouths shut when people got insistent about being on Team Instinct or, more especially, Team Mystic 😉
Thursday night was Bunny Hutch, and the first time I’ve participated in the Playboy Bunny costume…thing. We had a group of Hunger Games characters, and though we never did find our Katniss, I had a blast as Bunny Hutch Effie Trinkett!
Honestly, I expected Friday to be an easy day. It was the one day I wasn’t on any panels, and I was just wearing another Cersei cosplay…but I had more people take my picture than the previous two times I wore Cersei cosplays at Dragon Con. I have to be honest…I completely credit my awesome wig 😉
Friday night was something of a mess, if only because Brian and I cosplayed Charlie and Dee from the “The Gang Beats Wade Boggs” episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Yes, we started with the tallies from the beginning of that episode, but thirteen beers later, it was obvious that I was doing my Dee Reynolds best to try to keep up.
Saturday was the day I finally debuted my original Disney Princess Kylo Ren at a convention. Thankfully, my lovely friend Tanya also made a Disney Princess Leia cosplay, and even though my gown was hot as hell and I was on a panel at 2:30 – meaning I couldn’t just hang out and get pictures taken of me all afternoon – I thoroughly enjoyed portraying this original character and can’t wait to do so again!
My first panel was “Game of Thrones: Concepts of Honor” and despite some hiccups I really enjoyed most of my fellow panelists and the discussions that ensued. As soon as it was finished, I was ready to change out of the heavy, hot Disney Princess Kylo Ren cosplay I was sporting, and after a bit of rest Brian and I donned some silly Thor costumes, put together a bunch of signs, and lugged a trash bag full of mini Mjolnirs to the Westin in order to campaign against our friend Scott, who was cosplaying Loki…
Despite the fact that we never met up with Scott at the Heroes & Villains Ball at the Westin (we got in almost right away but alas, he arrived too late and got stuck in line), we did camp out at the Pulse bar in the Marriott and mock several other Lokis…and eventually Scott, as well, who was a very good sport and even had an “I <3 TS” tank top under his Loki cosplay!
Saturday was supposed to be my “take it easy, go to bed at a decent time” night, but as Dragon Con would have it, that didn’t happen. This meant that getting up for my 11:30 AM panel on Sunday was a bit rough, but thankfully I rallied and that panel – “Netflix, Cable, and the Mainstream” – was my favorite of the three I was on that weekend 🙂
When I finally got back to the room, it was time to get into cosplay. I was wearing a tuxedo and a borrowed wig as Pearl from Mr. Greg (thanks again to my friend Carly for lending me her wig!), so it wasn’t a time-consuming cosplay…I was just too lazy to get out of bed and wear it to my panel.
Honestly, I was again surprised at how many people loved my Pearl cosplay. I’m pretty tall, and not particularly slim (not like Pearl, I mean)…and although my friend Bekah did a great job with my makeup, I certainly didn’t go all out like some Pearl cosplayers did. I did, however, get to sing “It’s Over, Isn’t It” several times, which kind of made may day. (Someone even snapchatted me doing it. I wish I could have seen that…)
Also, I got to meet Will Friedle! He was very interested in my current state of affairs (it’s apparently a thing he does, asking what he calls ‘somewhat uncomfortable questions’) and it was overall a fun five minute conversation 😉
Sunday evening I was on another panel – the American Sci-Fi Fantasy Media track’s “The Expanse: Politics and Power” discussion. While I enjoyed the panel, I was previously unaware that The Expanse was based on books – completely my bad, but as someone who watched and loved and knew the show on its own, I suddenly understand how Game of Thrones fans feel when they go to a show panel and people can’t stop bringing up the novels.
I have to admit, that tuxedo ended up being very hot (not generally uncomfortable, just hot), and I was ready to change out of it and into my “Party Hufflepuff” outfit. At this point I was all play and no work, after all, and despite claiming yet again that I would go to bed at a decent time, of course that didn’t happen. This was, after all, the last night of Dragon Con.
In fact, we had an afterparty in our hotel room, and not surprisingly, had security called on us. What can I say? I invited three friends, and each of those friends brought a half dozen or more people with them. I’m not going to say I regret it, though I do understand that at least one of our neighbors was pissed, and I am sorry for that.
We were up and out of the room on time Monday, though I’m seriously considering adding Monday night to our room reservation next year. I love the Hyatt, and I try to use the elevators as little as possible, but when it’s necessary – such as that one thing you can’t carry up or down the stairs during mass checkout time – man is it a pain in the ass. The best part was that we were still able to take our time visiting the vendor hall (finally, the first time I’d done so all weekend), eating a decent sit-down meal, and then still being able to get our car and get home by dinnertime. I even got to leave some Thor signs behind not far from where they were created…
Except for the fact that the Hyatt valet *lost* our car for a good thirty minutes. Don’t even get me started on that.
Were there some snags at Dragon Con 2016? Of course. I ran into one person i didn’t need to see far too many times. I missed a couple of panels because I couldn’t bring myself to walk all the way to the Sheraton to visit disability services (as press, I pick up my pass in the Hyatt). I absolutely ate pizza that was not fully cooked at one point (and that’s why that pizza place in the food court didn’t have a line; lesson learned).
The thing is, I’ve finally found my Dragon Con niche. I enjoyed wandering through the Walk of Fame. I loved being able to participate in three panels. But above all, my friends made this Dragon Con great. I could never name them all, but they know who they are. Thank you. Thank you for reminding me how amazing and fun and drama-free people can be. Thank you for the cosplays, and the drinks. Thank you for the laid back hangouts, and the crazy nights. This Dragon Con was my best Dragon Con because of all of you.