As I sit awake waiting for the con to start, it occurs to me that I am excited about a great many things. I am excited about all the great actors I will meet and get to know in a better way than when separated by the TV Screen. I am excited for all the smiles of joy on my wife’s face when she gets to talk to her personal heroes, when she gets to fangirl out. I am excited about running into all of the fans who are part of my community.
Yes, I expect it to be crowded. Yes, I expect there to be some signatures I regret having due to time and budget constraints. Yes, I even perturbed that we will probably have to deal with costume snobs and mouthbreathers picking apart the fact that I don’t look like a playboy centerfold in straps and spandex, but rather a second rate copy of an immortal rogue time agent. I know the food will be expensive and that I won’t be able to attend all the panels. I know these things because I am part of the experience, for good or bad.
So I am going to make a list of commandments for the convention. In hopes of the Utilitarian Imperative / Golden rule, I will do the following so that others will do the same…
I will be patient with the rest of the attendees because we are all here to be part of the awesome.
I will remember that the panel attendees are real people with real feelings and not their characters, and thus will not call them Hodor, Tron, FishHead, or “that guy from that thing.” This means learning their real name and high-fiving or fistpounding them for making the entertainment experience that much better. This also means not asking them the most obscure questions ever about things outside the actor’s jurisdiction like wardrobe, background work, catering or prop maintenance.
I will schedule the panels I want to see beforehand rather than showing up late and trying to squeeze in the front at the last minute.
I will shower, shave, brush teeth, and use an appropriate amount of cologne for an enclosed space rather than being nasally reminiscent of the inside of a used diaper bag and belching an old garlic bagel at the rest of the attendees and
I will not in any way test or quiz anyone to see if they are “real fans”. Real fans don’t do that because it is confrontational. Nerds get bullied in school, their outlet is not being bullied here. I will ask if they saw that amazing clip of that one episode of the show where that guy did that awesome thing, you know the one I mean. If they haven’t then, I will do my best to avoid spoilers.
I will honestly thank anyone I photograph for dressing up, because that is the end result of time and energy. Drive-by flashing is not cool. If you do not have time to say thank you, then you don’t have time to ask for permission and thus cannot take my picture.
I will not follow the hot actress and hold my phone up high to get a picture of them as they walk through the halls. If they talk to me first, I will stop hyperventilating long enough to tell them they are awesome, maybe get a high five and go on my way because they have places to go and want to be treated like they are in the company of friends rather than freaks. This is also so I can nerd out away from them like a big boy.
I will endeavor to ask questions that the person has not heard quadrillions of times before and will not ask anybody to say their catchphrase. I have it on tape, so if I have to hear it, then I can just loop that sucker in my free time. This is my chance to hear all new things and get the exclusive.
I will try to join one new fan club and I will not bash anybody for their fandom. It happened to me when I considered being a Brony, and since I did not like being treated offensively, I will not share the experience with others. The Potter fan club welcomed me in with open arms and I had a blast learning Cards against Humanity although I still can’t confirm if I played it “right”.
I will try to support local artists and mouth word the good ones to others because good work should be shared with others.
I will not take pictures of only the spandex hotties, but will let the simple costumes know that their work is appreciated too, like Family Guy Meg, Manly Denaerys, Marty McFly or the Sandperson.
I will not insult any costume or its flaws. I will encourage with smiles and cheers and avoid constructive criticism because any problems are already known and me reminding them just makes me another costume snob. Constructive criticism is never taken well when strangers do it.
I will clap, cheer, and fistbump random people just to make the con more fun. I will imply that everyone is dressed up like background extras, serial murderers, aliens from earth, Texans, and/or members of the Milky Way galaxy.
I will not funk up the public bathrooms in thanks to all of the people who did not funk it up before I got there and the housecleaning staff who were kind enough to defunk the impossible.
I will not assume my badge means I am better or more important than all the other fans because we have to stick together to keep our shows on the air.
I think all of these are attainable goals.