MOMOCON! Ohmigosh Momocon! I’ve worked it for two years now (my husband tons more), and it’s just getting better. I even got to join the media group, and entered some artwork that they used around the con!
Shameless plug for my portfolio, but seriously, they were super fun to do.
Other than working, it’s always fun to see everyone dressed up in costumes, play games, go to interesting panels, browse the artist’s alley and support the talent, and of course hit up the dealers room with your spare cash (or maybe not so spare). This year I also learned how to play Settlers of Catan, and even tried it out in a few different versions (Space Catan, Catan: Cards, even epic 3D Catan)! So I’m kind of obsessed with it now. I even have the game on my iPod.
“I’ve got ore for spice.”
But probably the highlight of the time for me was going to the panels. This year was the first time MomoCon was charging, and because of that they could get REALLY amazing guests, including Little Kuriboh (and his new wife!), creator of “Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged”, Wendee Lee, dub voice of lots of beloved anime characters, including Faye in “Cowboy Bebop,” and Ellen McLain, voice of GLaDOS from the “Portal” video game series.
Ooohhhh my gooooosh.
We went to both Little Kuriboh’s panels, during which he was an absolute darling. He’d even let people go up on stage and hug him right there. He had funny stories, left voicemails and called people’s friends on their phones, did the character’s voices, and even told us a little about his wife (who he just married in October. I was actually the first person to ask a question at the first panel, and asked about his wife and told him how glad I was that he was married again and seemed so happy! Long story…I’m a nerd). It was just fun being in the same room with someone who’s been so prolific with his creativity, and who’s made so many people laugh. I definitely bought a tshirt from his booth, got him to sign my artwork in the program, got a photo and a hug, and even asked him to make me a Youtube bump for my channel (STAY TUNED! I’m gonna post it!) I also took lots of video from his panels, so I’ll be posting the best parts of those too.
I also had a chance to attend a webcomic marketing panel, with three webcomic illustrator ladies who I didn’t recognize, but I will look up their names. They had such good advice, that I’m going to post it in another entry that includes all the good advice I got this weekend for writers, freelancers, and those who do online marketing. I’ll link it when I write it!
We went to two panels with voice actors, the first one was with Wendee Lee, Marianne Miller (Little Kuriboh’s wife who’s also a voice actor…okay, fine, his name is Martin Bellamy), and Ellen McLain! The first one was crowded but we got to hear lots of fun anecdotes about being a voice actor, and heard them answer many insightful questions too! Lots of people interested in doing voice acting mostly, and they had many interesting things to say. I was especially impressed with Ellen: intelligence and a warm good-naturedness just seemed to emanate from her.
I was very pleased that the final voice acting panel we attended the next morning was a lot more sparse (thank you, Atlanta Marathon that made it nearly impossible to get there). This meant we were going to get a more intimate experience! And we did! Thanks to the marathon, the only two people on the panel were Ellen and Marianne, and I have to say, this more intimate setting was probably my very, very favorite of the ones I attended, probably because I felt like I had a chance to connect with the women up at the front.
One of the coolest things I remember is that Ellen mentioned that she had a history singing opera, and the way she and Marianne were talking about it, it sounded like Marianne had a history with it too. This prompted me even more to go to the mic. Before my first question, I told them how happy I was to see such intelligent, cultured women doing such great work, and they both looked very flattered, and Marianne came right back with, “How much money do you want?” I laughed, but I was being totally serious and wanted to give them a boost: they made me so happy! Marianne also thanked me for buying a shirt from her husband (which I happened to be wearing). I loved how comfortable and chill I was talking with everyone on the panels. There were some nervous, star-struck people there, and that usually happens to me, but I was so glad I wasn’t dysfunctionally fangirling!
I should have written this down sooner, my brain is failing me, but since there weren’t many people, I went up to the mic twice! The first time, I asked them about what to do to get into the voice acting biz if you have been focusing on a different career your whole life and have no background (always wanted to do a bit of voice acting), and since her husband is actually a sci-fi writer (John Patrick Lowrie. My husband has since bought and started reading his book “Dancing With Eternity”), I asked Ellen some questions about getting a book published. It was really a fantastic opportunity!
I was so taken with the fact that they insisted that they were regular people who had to live from job to job most of the time–seriously, I know the feeling–and they had lots of good advice for anyone who’s a freelancer. Don’t give up or get discouraged, diversify your talents so you have a broader net to cast into the hiring cloud, and Ellen suggested to set apart 10% from every paycheck so that money can carry you along when you don’t have work. This is something I’ve done for years, but Wendee Lee mentioned the previous day that not many people actually do that in the freelance world. Interesting!
The second time I went up to the mic, I asked the ladies how they met their husbands, as they had been mentioning them many times during the talk and I was dying to know. Marianne met Martin through a friend, and they just never stopped talking to each other. Ellen said she met her husband when she was in an opera, and he was in the orchestra, and she had to play guitar for the part but wasn’t doing so well. The conductor directed her to talk to him, and as soon as he walked in, she went up to him and said, “Have they told you how pitiful I am?” That was the first thing she ever said to him! And so, he was her teacher, and she told us that she latched on after that and didn’t dare let go. 😀 They sound like they have great marriage! I even told them both how my husband and I met, also starting with an awkward introductory sentence from the girl. I met my husband asking where the trashcan was 😛
And when the panel was over, and my husband and I were chatting with a new friend, Ellen McLain was leaving, and as she passed us, she stopped specifically and shook my hand (SQUEE!) and said “Nice to meet you!” I told her that I loved opera too, and she looked pleased and impressed and said, “Amen, sister!” I have a video where I geek out about it after it happened. (Coming soon…wait for it!)
That was probably the highlight of MomoCon for me. Ellen McLain coming up TO ME! TO. ME. And shaking my hand and thanking me for coming by. You know how I said I wasn’t dysfunctionally fangirling before? Eh, no one is immune!
My only regrets from the con is that I didn’t get a chance to get a picture with Ellen, and that I never told her I lived in Nashville for 3 years, as she’s lived in Nashville. >.<
But this was an AMAZING, AMAZING con, and I can’t wait til DragonCon in a few months! What a fantastic time!
HAPPY MOMOCON! SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!
Oh, and if you want to read about the advice I picked up from all the panels, I’ll link it here! No fear!