I can’t really just come out and say this was a good day – cos it wasn’t. But nor can I say it sucked – because it didn’t. This day is the perfect metaphor of “making the best out of what you have” and often that results in something completely awesome.
Let me set the stage: the original plan was for me to interview Mike Costa at 9 and Ron Marz at 1. You folks know this from listening to my podcast. Now, if you read yesterday’s post you know that my writing panel with Stefanie DeLeo was pushed to Saturday (Day 2) at 10. Got it? Good.
Now here’s what really happened:
I get stuck in traffic and show up at the expo at 9.18am. (I was looking at the clock with OCD-like precision.) This one is my fault people – I hadn’t slept for a while because of all the nerves, I was disappointed from Day 1 and quite honestly my spirits were very low. Also, certain authors are lazy and like to watch late night reruns of Mrs. Brown’s Boys. But again, I can cop up to the responsibility and say this is my fault.
What isn’t my fault is the clusterfuck (oh bdw, yes people I am going to swear – when I do it it’s artistic) I found coming in. The guests (including my interviewee) had now shown up, the doors hadn’t been open, the line outside was help up and the entire staff was running around scattered. All we needed were a few Hamtaro costumes and the scene would be set.
So I find one of them, ask them what’s going on and find out I should start setting up for the 10 am writing panel instead. Fair enough – and I do so. Meanwhile I wait and wait and wait for the sound guy (this turned out to be a recurring problem) and also for the guests. As it turns out, Stefanie was being ushered (or dragged) all over the damn place with each staff member providing a different location.
Finally at 10.30 we’re ready to start, only there are no people there – well that’s not exactly true. Some genius forgot to update the timetable, meaning we were taking the spot reserved for Star Wars. I had to turn kids away, and despite hating children, it’s really not cool for me to have to crush their expectations.
So how did we solve this issue? I did my own announcement: loud, brash and with the kind of energy that makes you go “what the fuck?”
Still the line was help up (god knows what was going on there) and so by the time people started showing up it was 10.55 and they were there for the Anime Diva panel.
Which means that there is no writing panel – ever. (Never fear, I’ll figure something out for you guys and still give you that material one way or the other – I gave my word and I will keep it).
But here’s the silver lining. The Anime Dive turns out to be Jennifer Cihi (whose surname I insist on mispronouncing – even on the podcast. Sorry Jennifer. She’s cool). And she was to be interviewed by Stefanie DeLeo – who was on my non existent writing panel.
So I suggest that instead of having Jennifer run around the place and start late, why not bring her in our room where I have all the audio stuff set up and we can do an interview there? Stefanie agrees, Jennifer is hopping like a schoolgirl (Yes, she’s that happy) and thus the FIRST panel of the day starts.
And you know what? I have it recorded. It’s today’s podcast episode in fact, which will drop in a couple hours.
I loved that show. The three of us had good chemistry on stage and it showed. Hell, at one point we turned the tables and began talking to our audience members – all of which were cool. Seriously, having that kind of interaction more than made up for the near empty room we were in.
Now that could have been a happy ending, but this is me we’re talking about and there are no happy endings – just the uncertainty of death and destruction that is almost George RR Martin-esque in nature.
My second interview with Ron Marz was quite the adventure. First off, they push it by an hour so all of my friends who were attending the expo missed it and now it clashed with another interview: one with Yanick Paquette (who’s surname I CANNOT remember nor pronounce). His interviewer does not show up and I have an idea. When clusterfucked, clusterfuck back. Chaos begets chaos – fight fire with fire and all that.
So I say “What does he do?”
I am told he’s a comic artist.
“Put him on my panel and we’ll have a double interview,” says I.
At that point I actually thought the organizer was going to kiss me. (No offense dude, but thanks for holding back).
Now, both of them are cool, but this was late in the day and clearly none of them wanted to be interviewed. Hell, I was ready to fuck off. But I understand the concept of duty and responsibility – hence we start the interview (Which will be next week’s podcast episode).
It’s cool but two things go wrong:
1. They keep giving me generic answers. You know how I interview. You know I like honesty. You know I hate this “careful what you say cos the agent is right there” crap. I don’t believe in any of it and they gave way too much of it. It’s not their fault. They come from a world and generation where that was your only option – suck corporate dick or perish. I get it. Doesn’t mean I like it. So I dance around and get some good material – not bad for an interview where I had no idea who the guests were.
2. I had my first heckler. Yep. Some cunt decided it was cool to fact-check everything the guests said and yell the correct answers out loud.
It’s in the audio recording people and I will not take it off. Hell, no. I’m not gonna take off the two minutes I spend tearing this guy a new asshole. Oh yes I did – I went Joe Rogan on this motherfucker and it felt AWESOME.
Don’t heckle. Worse yet don’t heckle a comic panel – how lame are you? And never heckle a panel I am on, especially when the guests are being guarded.
It will not end well.
So anyway. Once the gig is over and I pack my stuff I decide to play tourist and go around. There’s not much left cos it’s late but at least I catch my Tai Chi club give their demo (shout out to you awesome folks) and catch up with some old friends.
And the best part: Both Jennifer and Stefanie have agreed to an interview on the Lurking Voice Podcast, so I have that to look forward to.
Stay tuned for Day 3 and Episode 43 of the podcast: Interview with Jennifer Cihi and Stefanie DeLeo – Coming in a few hours,