Friday morning I was up and downstairs a little after 8am helping put the framework used to hang artwork for the art show up. Patrick is a master of organizing PVC.
I hung out in the space around the registration table with a bunch of other fans as we waited for things to start around 10am. We just talked about random stuff.
First out I hit up the Costuming Basics panel run by Cindy Kinnard. Having zero experience in anything remotely related to creating costumes I learned quite a lot. I was surprised at how simple materials like felt and foam were so heavily used to create all sorts of leather and metalic looking costume pieces. Lots of gluing and sanding and layering. It seemed a lot like making fiberglass or carbon-fiber panels (if that makes sense). The panel made costume building feel like something I could actually do myself.
Got in line for the radio play auditions. Greg has used the same sides for all the previous radio play auditions, but some Spectacular Spider-Man sides were included in this one, so I had to do one of the new sides. I couldn’t decide who to read, Venom or Harry Osborn. I only decided on Venom when I was let into the audition room and Greg asked who I was reading. It went okay. After my first crack at it Greg asked that I try and mix up the reading a bit. I had done the whole thing in a cool, in control manner. Greg suggested I should lose control or let the anger slip through a bit on a couple lines and I gave it another go.
Later, during the radio play, I found myself paying very close attention to how the pros handled their reading. Every line they would read would have different emotion or feel than the previous. It was much more interesting to listen to. I think it gave me a new appreciation for voice action and a realization of just how good these pros really are (and just how not good I was).
After the auditions I hung around the registration table for a bit and talked with lots of people. I saw some of the con guests arrive and it finally started to sink in that we really were going to have a ton of guests this year and how cool that was.
I attended the Ben Diskin mug-a-guest later that day. Ben is the voice of Eddie Brock and Venom in Spectacular Spider-Man. Ben talked about how the voice for Venom is done. First he reads his lines as Eddie Brock, then re-reads them in his Venom voice. The two are layered together to produce what you hear in the television show. No computer tweaking of his voice, that’s all Ben Diskin. And because he has to read through his lines twice he’s often left at the recording studio after all the other actors have gone to record the Venom track. Ben was cool; he seemed like a normal guy.
After the panel I ran into Scott outside. Scott did all the A/V stuff for the con and I was also sharing my room with him. It turns out he went to elementary school with someone named Ben Diskin, but he wasn’t sure it was this Ben Diskin. As Ben walked out of the panel Scott went over and talked to him and, sure enough, this was indeed the Ben Diskin he went to school with. They chatted, Ben shared an embarrassing story about Scott, and Scott was left wondering how the hell Ben had remembered that story after so many years and, dammit, why’d he have to say that in front of other people.
I helped Scott setup the ballroom for Opening Ceremonies with Seth and Sammy. We had about an hour to setup and Scott really needed an hour and a half. By 5:30 we were ready (it was scheduled to start at 5), the doors were opened, and the Opening Ceremonies began. Lots of the usual. The con staff were recognized for the insane amount of work they put into the con and how awesome it turned out. Patrick and Jen were given special prints of their characters and awarded fan guests of honor (immensely deserved). Greg talked about Gary Sperling and the huge impact he had on the show and introduced Gary’s family. He then presented them with a copy of Bad Guys and a piece of artwork done by Karine (artist on Bad Guys). A very touching moment. And then it was on with the usual array of Gargoyles videos and stories by Greg. Since this is probably the last con it’s probably the last time we’ll get to see some of those videos.
After opening ceremonies I had dinner at a place in City Walk that served, I think, Cuban food? I had a BBQ chicken salad which was really good. Even though they gave me salad dressing for it, you really didn’t need any — the BBQ provided a ton of flavor. Although I’m not a huge avocado fan I still downed all the big avocado slices in the salad.
Later I went back up to the 24th floor where a bunch of the con staff and friends were hanging out. Just friends talking and having fun. It was cool and a nice way to unwind at the end of the first day of the con. I crashed a little after midnight, which I noticed was 3am Eastern according to my watch. I reset my watch for Pacific time before I went to bed.