• Days of Geek,  Podcast

    DoG Ep 14: George Takei at Fan Expo 2013

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    00:00 Episode ID

    Days of Geek, Episode 14: From Fan Expo 2013, actor, activist, and breaker of stereo types, George Takei.

     

    00:10 Music

    Split In Synapse courtesy of Kevin McCleod at incompetch.com.

     

    00:18 Intro

    A brief intro to Uncle George and how, to me, he’ll always be Mr. Sulu. Of course, you probably also know him as a social media giant and human rights activist.

     

    01:02 The Q&A

    George Takei speaking to the fans and taking a few questions.

     

    39:50 News

    Sadly, we missed Montreal Comic Con. I whine for a moment in hopes that someone captured some audio. I have found a teensy bit of video online, but not nearly enough. I also mention that we’re planning to attend Quinte Mini Con.

     

    40:27 Geekness & The Real World

    Where I share my thoughts on online activism―slacktivism as it’s often referred to―and why it’s actually a good thing.

     

    32:14 Anime Corner

    Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. The first of the Studio Ghibli films, before there was even a Studio Ghibli, and unquestionably a masterpiece of animation spearheaded by Miyazaki Hayao. There’s a manga too, and I suddenly need to read it.

     

    45:45 Outro

    In which I offer contact info:

    Closing music George Street Shuffle, courtesy of Kevin McCleod at incompetch.com

     

    Creative Commons licensing info (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 Un-ported License).

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  • Conventions

    After Action Report: Fan Expo, Day 4

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    Sunday, crowd-wise, is a lot like Friday at Fan Expo. Crowded, but you can still move around. It’s also the last day of four at the con, so the overall speed of the crowd is often a little faster since time is now very limited.

    But some things aren’t faster. My son and I got in line at the top of the escalator to go to the bottom of the North Building and The Walking Dead panel. The line did not move. At first, this seemed to be because the escalator was malfunctioning. Again. After a few minutes, staff made it clear that the panel had no seating left. We arrived at the con at about 1015, only 15 minutes after they opened the doors, showed our passes and walked in, taking a couple of minutes to establish where we’d all be for the next little bit. To make the panel, apparently we would have had to have been near the front of the line before 10 (clear when we got there) and run for the theatre. Disappointing, but the light of all of Fan Expo’s other organization issues, not all that surprising that they didn’t pick a larger room based on the popularity of the show.

    So we rearranged our plans a bit and went to see Mr. Takei again to get our photo from the day before signed. Not a bad line up, but he’d been signing all weekend, so we just picked a good time.

    Taken by my oldest daughter, Mr. Takei signing our photo.
    Taken by my oldest daughter, Mr. Takei signing our photo.

    Meanwhile, my wife and youngest daughter had gotten into a big line to get Tara Strong’s autograph (she’s another principal VA on MLP). While the rest of us went to the con floor for a little last day shopping.

    Tara Strong with my youngest.
    Tara Strong with my youngest.

    Aside from MLP and Sailor Moon, my youngest was there for Princess Leia’s autograph, which was next up. (Sorry, no photo. They weren’t allowing pictures and I haven’t scanned the autographed photo yet.)

    My son actually walked the floor with me for a while, slowly looking more and more dejected. Didn’t take a lot of brain power to figure out he wanted to go find his friends if they’d arrived. I turned him loose with instructions to answer texts and my oldest daughter and I went upstairs to check out the LARPers again.

    Ready for battle.
    Ready for battle.

    If you’ve never heard of it, LARP is an acronym for Live Action Role Playing. If you’re a pencil and paper RPG fan, subtract the pencil and paper, dress up, and work on your acting ability. It was actually pretty fun, though the group of players we had the sessions with mostly wanted to kill things and damn the story, and she wants to try finding a group in our area who allows minors to play.

    Which just about brought us to the big event for oldest daughter, the screening of a Vocaloid concert. Youngest daughter came as well. Both loved it, but since oldest daughter was in Vocaloid cosplay, she gravitated towards the other cosplayers and wound up making a bunch of friends (who have now created a Facebook group and are planning to get together at other upcoming cons). The concert was a lot of fun, but nothing like being there. Even I enjoyed the music. Of course, I’m the one who actually found out about the Vocaloid concept and pointed my children in that direction.

    The gang's all here.
    The gang’s all here.

    In the meantime, my wife went to (and recorded) the Carrie Fisher Q&A, and my son got roped into the Tara Strong Q&A with two girls just a little older than he is. A nice end to the con all the way around.

    From there, we retrieved the van and went for Chinese BBQ on Spadina Avenue, something that used to be a lot more frequent on my experience list, but now is a rare treat.

    A few other bits about the con to follow, and I’ve posted some photos, mostly of other cosplays, to Facebook, as well.

    Be well, everyone.

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  • Conventions

    After Action Report: Fan Expo, Day 3

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    A little delayed, but lots of time for the first paragraph to contain useful advice.

    If you’re only going to Fan Expo one day next year, don’t make it Saturday. Really. It’s the most crowded day and suffers from the most line and traffic mismanagement by staff, not to mention the escalator breakdowns that happen every year. Saturday is the reason Fan Expo and I are on the rocks. Well, the ticket price is getting a little steep, too.

    My wife and daughters getting trapped outside the building because apparently they were over capacity, and then suddenly they weren’t.

    My son got trapped in a line up to get up the escalator from the main con floor to come meet me in the photo op area.

    I had a great time on Saturday—we all did, as long as we were already at the place we wanted to be. Getting there was always a problem. And the con floor got crowded fast, so crowded we had to get out.

    Now on a positive note, I met up with an old friend I only get to see a couple of times per year. That was nice.

    He and I, both being Trekkies since shortly after birth, went to a screening of the first episode of Star Trek Continues. It’s a fan-produced series with Vic Mignogna at its head that picks up where the original Star Trek show left off. Fun, but it’s trying a little too hard to begin with and the writing is a teensy bit awkward. Vic as Kirk is trying to Shatnerize things too much and there were a couple of scenes where it seemed like they were just trying to squeeze everyone in. It is worth checking out for fans of the show and I’m sure they’ll iron things out eventually. I’m interested enough to see what they’ll do for their second episode.

    For several members of the family, the big event on Saturday was our photo op with George Takei. This is the one place I was glad for the con’s complete lack of crowd and line management because it allowed my wife and son, victims of problems I mentioned above, to make it before I got to the front of the line. Mr. Takei was a gracious and pleasant man who had a quick word for each of the three of us in the photo and more or less made my day.

    My son, George Takei, my wife, and I.
    My son, George Takei, my wife, and I.

    Next up for me, the Crypton Vocaloid presentation which ran more like a business presentation for the English version of the Vocaloid software about to launch. Interesting, but a little dry, though my oldest daughter claimed to enjoy it.

    She enjoyed the Yuu Asakawa Q&A more, though. One of the Vocaloid actresses live and in person. Her English is limited, but her pronunciation is excellent, so she had a translator present. A long line up for her autograph came next, long enough that I couldn’t get to the screening of “Almost Human” my son and I were planning, but he hadn’t been that keen, really, and had more or less already decided not to bother.

    My oldest daughter with Yuu Asakawa
    My oldest daughter with Yuu Asakawa

    As a side note, Saturday is “Meet the cast of whatever show CTV/Showcase thinks has genre elements” day, running through Lost Girl, Murdoch Mysteries, Defiance, Storage Wars, and Helix. A couple of those really don’t make sense to me at what most of us think of as a SF con, but I’m sure they made some people happy. But, in some strange twist of organization, the panels were pretty much all in the same room and each was followed by an autograph session in a different building on the other side of the convention.

    Even though it meant the con was ¾ over, I was glad to get out of the building on Saturday and head for the exciting sushi restaurant we’d picked out.

    Be well, everyone.

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  • Conventions

    After Action Report: Fan Expo, Day 2

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    Friday is the first big day of Fan Expo. The crowds have come and it gets worse the later in the day it is.

    The con floor is pretty huge at Fan Expo. If you spent two minutes at every booth, you might be able to see them all in one day, but not after you add travel time in and only if you ignore Artists’ Alley, which is absolutely impossible to do.

    And there’s a little more in the hallway just outside the giant area enclosing the con floor.

    Which is where we found half the cast of Sailor Moon signing autographs. Sailors Moon, Mars, and Jupiter, plus Tuxedo Mask and the show’s Voice Director. For youngest daughter, who’s recently discovered the show, it was pretty neat.

    I went to the Richard Dean Anderson panel by myself, where I realized that I’d put a broken memory card into the Zoom so had to record on my phone.

    Thinking I could get back to the hotel, get a working card (no, I wasn’t carrying 2 <sigh>), get oldest daughter to an anime panel, and still get back in time for David Hasselhoff’s panel, I didn’t take the poor traffic flow conditions of the con into account. My wife took pictures and a little video.

    FE2013 - RDA FE 2013 - DH

     

    But we got pretty good seats for George & Nichelle.

    George Takei, one of the primary reasons my son wanted to come this year (me too, but for different reasons) is an engaging speaker, very involved, and fun to listen to. He talked for about twenty minutes, took questions for as many more then introduced Nichelle Nichols and left the stage.

    George Takei
    George Takei

    Nichelle didn’t take questions, instead spoke to an audience on the importance of following dreams and making sure your children have the freedom to follow theirs. In between, she wove in a few anecdotes about Star Trek, family, and the space shuttle. I feel like her health isn’t as good as she’d like to have presented and have learned since the con that she’s in a wheelchair most of the time, able to walk only short distances. I was glad to hear her speak and disappointed to have missed her signing autographs.

    Nichelle Nichols
    Nichelle Nichols

    This is a good place to note that George is the youngest of the Star Trek Seven (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, Chekov) at 76. Presented without comment.

    My son and I (and a friend of his) stayed in the room for Ian McDiarmid, the Dark Lord of the Sith, Emperor Palpatine. Also an engaging fellow. I’m struggling to recall any question he answered that wasn’t Star Trek related, even though his done a fair bit of work on film and stage. A formal guard, provided by the 501st Legion, stood at attention during the entire panel, and accompanied him the next day on the con floor.

    Ian McDiarmid
    Ian McDiarmid

    The con proper was over at that point, with the floor closed and most things wrapped up, but a little later, after dinner, oldest daughter and I returned for the J-Pop dance (a little less pop than I might have liked and a little heavier) and late night gaming (the gaming room was open until ten, with people playing right up to the end).

    All in all, a pretty good day.

    Be well, everyone.

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