How I Spent My First Geek’d Con
Since school just got back in session for the 2017-2018 school year, I thought it was appropriate to harken back to our elementary school days; to those essays we all wrote at one time or another.
I spent my first Geek'd Con in an odd state of bewilderment and amazement. My job for the 9 hours I was there over Saturday and Sunday was to act as a kind of assistant to actor Gil Girard who is most famous for his role as Buck Rogers. Buck Rogers In The 25th Century ran for only two seasons from 1979-1981, but the show has been in reruns many times over the years, and it still has its loyal fans.
Gil is in his 70's now, but still appears at a Comic-Con-style event about once a month. He says it's a great way to stay active, and gives him the ability to trade on the popularity of his name. Even though there were only 37 episodes produced in the two seasons the original show aired, there was a steady stream of fans that stopped by Gil's booth. Most bought a picture that Gil would personally autograph. Others brought their DVD collection of the show, and Gil would sign the inside flap. Gil was warm and funny, and the patrons all left the booth with smiles on their faces.
Our booth was situated right next to that of Andy Field, the guy who is the voice of Hand Unit, the animated character in the video game Five Nights at Freddy's. In talking with Andy over the two days, we learned that he just recently left his job as a middle school teacher in Oxford, Mississippi, to become a full-time voice talent. He's new to the conference circuit and is still amazed that people want to meet him. And boy do they. Dozens of little kids, tweens, and teens stopped by the booth just to chat with Andy and have their picture taken with him and the wooden replica of his animated character.
So now comes my bewilderment and amazement. I have never seen such a motley crew of people gathered in one place at one time in my entire life. There were people dressed up as Deadpool, Stars Wars Stormtroopers, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and the Stay Puft Marsmallow Man from Ghostbusters. There were television characters, video game characters, movie characters and a few characters I would have never figured out if it weren't for the two millennial women working in Andy's booth next to Gil's.
I was constantly seeing someone walk by dressed as something I could not identify. My millennial mentors would calmly explain, "Oh, that's so-and-so from YouTube", or "That's such-and-such that went viral on Vine a few years ago."
To illustrate, a group of kids sailed by our booth dressed in various costumes, and one of them was encased in a full shark costume. I turned to Ginger in the next booth, and she said, "That's Left Shark." I responded with, "What is a left shark." She said, "Don't you remember the Super Bowl a few years ago when Katy Perry performed at halftime? There were two people dressed as sharks on stage with Katy, and the one on the left apparently couldn't hear the music because it was dancing completely out of rhythm with the music, just flailing around everywhere. Well, the video of the performance went viral and the character became known as Left Shark because it was on the left side of the stage." (That's basically the internet in a nutshell. Not only can you become famous without even a hint of discernible talent, you can become famous because you have no talent.)
Suffice it to say, I learned a lot this weekend. Most importantly I learned that the people who attend Geek'd Con have a lot of fun. I certainly did. It was the greatest two days of people-watching ever.