Wednesday, September 13, 2017

POTTERVERSE: A Fast Look Back


The very first PotterVerse! What a weekend (well, more like a week for me). What a weirdness. What a frankly awesome time.

Any first-year con is going to have bumps, even from a veteran company. Our bumps? We had literally no idea how popular many of our events and panels would be. Sparsely-attended educational workshops from other cons were packed to the back walls. This did cause a few problems for crowd flow -- but at least now we know.

As social media and an interviewer, there was no way I could see the whole event. I can only speak to what I made it to... which was largely what I worked.


We Are PotterVerse

This year I did something a bit different -- I "interviewed" Oni and James for the con's opening panel! Rather than opening ceremonies, we take a side panel room and chat with early arrivals about what Onezumi Events does, how the con works, and what to expect.


Interview with Chris Rankin



Chris was my first interview of the weekend, and he's one I actually asked very specifically to go onstage with. In recent years, he's become a production assistant, working on shows like Atlantis and Downton Abbey. We did talk about his time on the Potter films a bit, of course, and turn it over to audience questions, but chatting about his behind-the-scenes work was extremely fun.

Chris is so chill and so friendly. Plus he's a Blue Man Group fan, which is always A+ in my book.


Wizards' Council Tea Party

Usually I am not nearly posh enough to make it into our VIP tea party, but this year I chatted with the attendees about what they're enjoying so far and their own experiences in the fandom. It was breathtaking -- largely because a fire alarm went off in the middle! Fortunately, it was just an issue in the parking garage and we all recovered from the interruption.

Our catering staff is insanely good, and it was great to get to try some of the tasty scones firsthand this go' round!


Interview with Afshan Azad



Afshan is lovely and hilarious, an actress-turned-presenter who was a Harry Potter fan long before she found herself in the films. The audience turnout for her was impressive (of course), and chatting with her about joining the cast midway through the franchise made for some entertaining chat.

And yeah, no, she did not like her Yule Ball dress. At all.


World-Building Panel

I joined writer friend John Peel, collaborator Ginger Hoesly, and editor Christina M. Frey about the art of world-building and writing. It was a great, full panel -- which was so heartening in our first year integrating Intervention tracks into fan cons!


Self-Publishing




Ginger and I teamed up again to teach attendees how to self-publish without going through third-party publishers. We had a packed house, full of fans-to-be (thanks to everyone who downloaded our first book at the con!), and got to chat about the world of Owl's Flower as well as our own experiences as new publishers.

Our limited-edition collab art for the con (seen above) flew off the tables, too!


I Can't Believe It's Not Potter

Dave and Monica of Tangent Artists invited me to join them for a panel show in the style of Big Fat Quiz of the Year, full of trivia about knockoff Harry Potter books from around the world. It's some of the most fun I've had at a con event, and I pray if they ever do anything like it again they ask me along.


Managlitch City Interactive

Once again, we climbed aboard the Voidknife for a live recording of the show-within-a-show Captain Shadow. Oni Hartstein returned as the Captain, with myself as her companion Billie and audience members (including Ginger) as Voidknife crew and the members of a magical alien race. The episode will be available to hear later this month to listen to on the Managlitch website!


Yule Ball

DJ Kangal dropped beats and Antipode danced for the crowd. But first, I gave a quick waltz lesson to the gathering crowd. It was only a few minutes, but it was so fun. And everyone's outfits looked amazing!


School Is in Session

... yes, I went and asked for the all-cast interview. Natalia Tena had to be on her way, but I was reunited with Chris and Afshan, joined by Devon Murray and Sean Biggerstaff. The four of them led the way, honestly. My job was just keeping things rolling and having the best seat in the house for their reminiscences. The audience had fabulous questions and, again, made my job easy.


How Did We Do?

Attendees gather to give feedback. As I said before, there were a LOT of things to account for -- a whole different fandom, a whole different set of interests, and perhaps underestimating what we do well. Looking forward to distilling and using what we heard!



An amazing, big, crazy, fun, and exhausting weekend. By the time you read this, I might be awake again.

Next con is Nekocon. I think. I'll check on that.