EXP Con 2009!

Wow, what a weekend.  Let’s see, we all left Thursday morning and arrived Thursday night at the beautiful Renaissance hotel in St. Augustine.  It was just as awesome as we remembered from last year.  After settling in the hotel room, we unleashed the Pre-Con Pool Party.  It was fun, just as many people as last year (read: not a whole lot) but it was a good way to relax before the convention.  Sibby decided to piss off Little Eevee so she started to sing a song about how she was going to torture and kill Sibby.  Thankfully that didn’t happen, though it would have been entertaining.

After the pool party, Winrich, Animebelle, and I all settled in to watch wrestling.  It was fun to joke around at how bad some things were.  But soon con things started getting in the way, and she had to go do work.  What a pain.  I couldn’t say too much, because soon I was being called down to help out with Concept Galaxy.  We were handed an outline for a script for Anime Night Live and essentially were told we would have to write the script ourselves.  It was a parody of the infamous Need More Cowbell skit.  I thought it was be a relatively easy write, but Jeshua and Kerby had never seen it, much to my surprise.  We tried using the computers downstairs, to no avail.  I tried to get on with my laptop, but no free wifi (and I wasn’t going to be paying).  I even tried to find it on youtube and pump the sound through my car, but I couldn’t find it.  So with no other options, and since we were in my car already, we decided to just drive and find some place where they could watch the original skit.  We ended up in a Denny’s.  20 minutes and 3 cups of coffee later and the script was done.  And it was awesome.

Friday started out good.  I woke up early, meandered around, and ended up in Main Events.  Nothing was going on till about 6PM, so we had some time to practice for Fairytale Theater.  We also needed to begin practicing our bit for Opening Ceremonies.  Sibby, Kerby, Jeshua and I were all “EXP Con Agents” there to stop V.I.L.E. from trying to take over the con.  It was fun to do.  Opening Ceremonies went off without a hitch, and Rayne didn’t forget to introduce us like last year!  In fact, he even went along with our plan of introducing us last so we could jokingly thank our “opening acts”.  We got a much bigger cheer than I expected, and it sent my adrenaline pumping.  When the skit went on, it was awesome.

After opening ceremonies, most of us changed out of our suits, and I watched Kerby’s AMV 101 panel.  I’ve wanted to get into AMV and video editing, so it was informative.  Then we knocked it out of the box with Anime XD.  Good times were had by all.  After that, it was time for some well deserved rest, but not before me and Kerby worked on our performances for Fairy Tale Theater.

I went to bed on Friday feeling pumped and fresh.  However, waking up was a different story.  I just couldn’t seem to get that “morning haze” out of my head, even after showering.  I shrugged it off and went meandering around at the con.  I had some ramen, at an orange or something, but I just couldn’t shake that “groggy” feeling I had.  Finally, I just turned on the TV and waited for us to get dressed for the Fairy Tale Theater.  I had one of the simplest outfits, so I was dressed and ready in no time.  But by the time I got down to main events, I knew there was a problem.  I sat down to relax, and next thing I knew the room was spinning.  I lied down, got on the ground, but it didn’t help at all.  Soon my girlfriend arrived and a load of people were crowding around me.  An aspirin, cough drop, nasal spray, and several cups of water later I was feeling a little better.  We deduced that because one side of my nose was completely stopped up, it had just messed up my inner ear and made me dizzy.  The dizziness had gone away, so I felt a lot better, but moving around too much was a no-go.  Animebelle asked if I wanted to still go on.

I was the only one who knew my lines for both of the speaking roles I had.  The show had to go on, so me and Kerby put our heads together and figured out a way for me to go out on stage, and do our parts with me sitting on the edge of the stage with my mic.  The first skit went well, and since I had about half an hour to rest between my next one, I was feeling a bit better.  The second (and newest) skit went smoothly, but as I “ran” backstage I knew I wasn’t anywhere near 100%.  So Kerby took my place in the final skit which had no spoken lines.  He did 4 different roles that performance, so I have to commend him.

I was feeling better and better, so when Anime Night Live rolled around, I did my part.  Of course, I shouldn’t have “headbanged” as much as I did, but I still got through it.  Hell, I even saved some lady from the stage collapsing on her.  The stands that held up the lights started falling, and while the left side was easily caught by the group of people behind the stage, almost nobody noticed that the right side started falling.  I made a mad-dash across the room and caught one of the poles inches from the lady’s head, and Sibby and Kerby lept on stage and put it back upright.  They had turned the lights off at the end of the previous skit, so not many people saw what was happening, and it made it harder for us to actually do what we needed to do, but we got it back up and nobody was hurt.  It was a bad incedent, but I had to say I felt kinda heroic.

We hung out with the crew after Anime Night Live, and then headed off to get some food.  When we got back, I went and hung out in Animebelle’s Comedy AMV panel, and it was agreed upon that we would get a chance to hang out and go over things for Whose Line afterwards.  Sibby and Dashi went to The Man Power concert, so I said to go back up to the room afterwards.  At midnight we went up to the room, and Jeshua ended up being asleep.  He was told by someone that the meeting was going to be at 11, despite the fact that nobody had set a time last time we talked to him.  We finally drug Sibby and Dashi out of another panel, went over our lines for a new skit we came up with, and went to bed.  Or at least, I tried to.  People didn’t quiet down till about 3am, but it was ok.  I was already feeling better.

Sunday I woke up with my head completely congested.  That sucked.  But the show had to go on!  And Sunday was the day I finally got to cosplay.  I was going to do Nathan Drake from Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, and Kayla was going to be Elena.  Well, I gt up first and got dressed, and while waiting for Kayla to get ready, I flopped onto the bed.  Next thing I knew, I had fallen asleep and was out for almost 2 hours.  We got down to the con, walked around the dealer’s room for a little bit, when I realized I was feeling dizzy again.  This time I assumed it was just hunger, and we went to find food.  I devoured it, went to prepare for our whose line panel, and tore down the house with that performance.  Even though we “failed” in Party Quirks, people still laughed and had a good time.  Our new games were a hit, and our Scenes from Anime and Video Games You Wish You Could See was a big hit, with only 1 flub!  Ask aniRAGE was a great way to end it as always.

Afterwards, we were told we would be doing something for closing ceremonies, but it was optional.  With the high of the Whose Line performance gone, my headache was returning, so I bowed out and went and rested in the room for a litte while.  Closing Ceremonies was fun, and unlike last year it was really packed.  We got to see Steve Downes, Vic Mignogna, and TC Carson one last time.  I thanked everyone who we got to work with, took some last-minute pictures, then headed off to find some nasal congestion medicine.  It helped a little bit, but through the night I was thankful that we were leaving Monday, rather than that night.

Monday I woke up feeling a little better, but my medicine did nothing to help.  Regardless, we packed up the car, ate at Denny’s, and headed off.  I was able to make it most of the trip no problem, but with about an hour and a half left in the trip, I knew I was gonna have to pass the driving reigns over to someone else.  Thankfully, Kayla took over, and I slept for the rest of the trip until we got home.

So we are all here, safe and sound!  It was a great trip!  We’ll have lots of pictures up (there are 4 GBs of pics and vids from my camera alone) as well as videos of all of our performances soon!  Hopefully, Kerby and Shaggy can find a way to decode the HD Video that Shaggy’s new camcorder uses, I’d hate to loose all that great work.

We don’t have another con on the schedule till about March of next year (Anime Express 12) but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a ton of great stuff planned for the future.  Stay tuned for more videos, more reports, and more awesome from aniRAGE!


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