Last month, the 2019 convention season kicked off and kicked off with a grand time out west. My wife-of-infinite-awesome, Pip Ballantine, and I were Guests of Honor at Clockwork Alchemy, a steampunk event just outside of San Francisco, California. It was a good time, without question, with an additional bonus of a terrific sushi place across the street from the convention. Very convenient. Very nommy.
We have quite a few events ahead of us in 2019, but the one upcoming is more about me than about me and Pip, and this is where and when I begin to feel the butterflies kick up in my stomach.
I’m not a stranger to the spotlight, but I’ve grown accustomed to Pip being there. Our tag-teaming shenanigans have become something I expect when I appear at conventions. When it’s just me and Pip is in the audience as a spectator, it feels a little off to me. I can handle it, but I’m digging deeper when it comes to presenting. There is also a level of expectation I set for myself when I go it alone, especially at an event like AwesomeCon. This isn’t about me. I’m a small part of a larger machine, and standing out is going to be a lot harder.
AwesomeCon is one of those events that features authors, cosplayers, and gamers of all backgrounds, but the focus — as you see in the event’s poster — is on the media stars. At this particular AwesomeCon, the event is more than living up to its name. Amidst Jon Bernthal, Mike Coulter, and Jason Issacs, there’s a planned Star Trek: TNG reunion, a Karate Kid/Cobra Kai reunion, and the Eleventh Doctor himself, Matt Smith, in attendance. So when I say “Hey, they forgot to put me on the poster…” on social media? Yes, I’m joking. I may have an ego, but it’s not that big.
That doesn’t mean I’m not being given one heck of an opportunity. AwesomeCon agreed to have me give a talk two years ago. Apparently, they not only remembered me from then, but they really, really liked me, inviting me, Nick Kelly, and Brandon Kelly to speak this year.
Friday, 5:30 – 6:15 PM
So You Want to Podcast?
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’ll be talking on this topic, but it is always nice to do so. When Becky fund out that I was one of the authors behind Podcasting for Dummies , that piqued interest. The big question is “What am I bringing to the table this go-round?” Quite a bit actually, as I’m going to be there alongside Nick, talking about the different kind of podcasts we produce. I can also offer the AwesomeCon audience a look at exactly how podcasts have evolved from a complete mystery to a punch line in pop culture to the crux of a recent Twilight Zone episode.
UPDATE: There was a hiccup in scheduling and sadly, we’re unable to give this talk. So we’re going to tweak the streaming panel and talk podcasting during our streaming panel.
Saturday, 2:30 – 3:15 PM
So You Want to Stream Content?
Perhaps this was what grabbed Becky’s attention, though, when we met in January at MAGFest. I happened to have a copy of Twitch for Dummies with me which did make her eyes widen a bit. Now I’m being given a platform to share the process from soup to nuts on how to stream. I will be joined by Happy Hour co-hosts Nick and Brandon Kelly so we can talk about the feeling about working LIVE on a stream and how the two platforms — podcasting and streaming — are both similar and dramatically different.
Saturday, 6-6:45 PM
THE BIG SCORE: A Celebration of SciFi Soundtracks
Maybe you have seen me give this talk before. Maybe you’ve heard me mention it. This is my own musical journey of the science fiction soundtracks. From Darth Vader’s entrance music to the modern suites for superheroes, this is the evolution of film scores from science fiction, fantasy, and horror. And while you think you know the story the soundtrack tells, you may not know the story behind the soundtrack itself. Come with me on this wild ride through cinematic history.
Saturday, 8:30 – 9:15 PM
Slightly Off-Key: Great Soundtracks to Bad Movie
I have enjoyed amazing success with THE BIG SCORE. I enjoyed so much success with this talk that I teamed up with Nick Kelly to create THE BIG SCORE’s sequel: SLIGHTLY OFF-KEY. This presentation reaches into the darkest corners of entertainment to bring into the light amazing soundtracks from some of the silver screen’s best composers — John Barry, James Horner, and Graeme Revell, to name a few — that appear in some cinematic clunkers. We celebrate the musical backdrops and some of the most amazing trivia behind these cringeworthy productions.
And while you can find me here and there on Friday and Saturday, keep in mind there is a LOT to do at AwesomeCon. Signatures. Photos with casts of your favorite shows. Cosplay. Shopping. If you are into pop culture, science fiction, or just overall geeky stuff, this is the event you want to attend in Washington D.C. Come on by and join in on the fun, and if you come to one of my panels, please make sure to stop me and say “Hi!” I’d love to meet you.
You might also catch me in line for Jason Issacs, too. I’m still pissed about Awake being cancelled, truth be told.