Sunday, February 17, 2013

TempleCon: Not The Usual Experience

I will be the first to admit that I have been going to Anime and or some sort of Fandom conventions since I was 13 years old. Some would be reluctant to tell such truths, as they might find it to be something to be ashamed of, or it shows their age (not that I care too much about revealing mine). As such, I am used to the usual con experience: Screaming fangirls, smelly con funk, long lines for panels ala Disneyland, maybe some pocky on the floor with a hint of drama from the Artist Alley floating among conversation. But what I have never experienced is an actual tame convention - one that reflects similar to the last few hours on a Sunday at a typical convention as mentioned. So, when invited by my boyfriend to volunteer at TempleCon, a small Rhode Island convention for that of gaming and Retro Futuristic Fashion, I was on for the challenge.
(Left to Right: My boyfriend, Stefan with friend, Jenny. Steampunk Mermaid and friend. Han Solo Style Frozen Elmo)

I will admit that when I arrived to the first day of the convention that there were no screaming teenagers, no Yaoi pads or Cat Girls to be found and to be completely honest, this was strange for me. I am used to the insanity, for it is my norm and the symphony of my usual con experience. For it to be so peaceful and almost like being in a weekday at the mall was unsettling for me at first. I believe this comes from the attendees of TempleCon, for which most cons have a younger target demographic, this convention houses a more "mature" sort. Not to say that many of its attendee's aren't children at heart with many of the fun things I look for in nerdy con friends, but I believe it to be a nice change of pace to be going to a convention with it being almost completely adults.

Now in no way does this mean this convention didn't have its moments of pure entertaining insanity or lacked any sort of energy. No, no, my dear readers: TempleCon is a ton of fun but in its own unique way. First off, for those that are into the Steampunk movement, this is like finding paradise. For my boyfriend who is really into the style, it was incredibly cool to have an excuse to see him and many other congoers dressed in the best of Victorian and Edwardian clothes, decked with big brass homemade prop guns and incredibly detailed accessories along with some big shoes (my boyfriend's being the coolest, in my opinion!) Also, I did find some Lolitas, who looked fantastic!

(Left to Right: Rhode Island Lolita in AP's Tear Drop Print. Awesome Antler Girl)
Another fun thing I got to do was assist at the big fashion show, were some of the neatest most unusual clothing was shown. As you all might know, I am not new to working the fashion show circuit as I assist a lot of the east coast lolita shows at cons every year, most notably Otakon's indie brand show and Angelic Pretty's show at ACEN last year. So most of the time I am used to working with either Japanese designers or my friends, so this was an unusual case of working with people I have never met and an array of fashion styles I am not as familiar with. Though there were some technical difficulties, I was really impressed with what was shown (especially from brand, Clock and Dagger) and many of the beautiful models involved. I definitely would love to help out again.

Finally, my favorite event of the convention was the multitude of presentations, presented by a performing group called RKO Army. They are famous for putting on those infamous Rocky Horror Picture Show live performances (in which they act out the scenes along with the movie playing in front or behind them, usually with a silly bits of twists for fans.) I was treated to see them perform a marathon of Joss Whedon properties, including FireFly, the famous Buffy musical episode, and of course, Dr. Horrible (the boyfriend's favorite of favorites). You could either sing along, or just watch the insanity performed in front of you. If you live in or near Rhode Island, check them out if you can. Seriously a treat for the senses.



But I have to admit the best part was meeting so many incredibly cool people that I never would have experienced if not for this convention and volunteering for it. I met beautiful people, funny people, inspiring people, and just all around interesting. But on the other hand, it really was incredibly cool to get more bounding time with my man. Usually at cons, I have had the unfortunate series of experiences were being with a significant other isn't fun - where I am made to feel like I did something wrong or that I ruined their experience or secretly they ruined mine - but this isn't the case at all!  

First off, my guy is a great person to travel with, which made the almost three hour car ride a breeze. Also, I learned he is incredibly even more charismatic then first realized and truly enjoys making people happy. Also, he is a great dancer - I wish he could realize how cool he looks doing it. Plus, we even played some hardcore rounds of Magical Drop 3 on an old school arcade. He beat me on numerous occasions but it was still really fun! In general, he really is an incredible person and I am really lucky to have learned that from this weekend and to be with him.

So, would I go to TempleCon again? Definitely. I should probably get more appropriate clothing and such, but in general I would love to help out again - if it not for getting to see my guy having the best time ever and to meet these incredible individuals again. Now my mission is to get him to one of these big anime conventions mentioned previously and maybe he can write a review of the insanity. We will see if he is up for the challenge! 

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