Sunday, June 04, 2017

A Brief Visit To Britishfest

This weekend the Britishfest convention is in town.  The convention centers on all things British media such as Harry Potter, 007, the Beatles, and, occupying at least 50% of the convention, Doctor Who.  The convention is three days long from Friday to today.  I decided to stop by on Saturday.

I've been to similar conventions before.  During a work trip to Pearl Harbor I had the chance to go to a Star Trek convention in Waikiki.  On other occasions similar fan conventions were held in hotels I was staying at.  In every occasion, including Britishfest, you always were exposed to some very interesting people.

I stopped by the hotel where the convention was held and checked in.  It took me only about fifteen minutes of wandering around to know I'd seen enough.  Most of those fifteen minutes were perusing the vendor tables to see if there was anything I couldn't live without.  The rest of the time was looking at people in full Cosplay regalia without looking like I was looking.  It was the Cosplay that was the most interesting frankly.  I looked through the schedule of the events and panels and decided that the only thing I was interested in was the Cosplay contest later in that evening.  I thought about getting an autograph from one of the several Doctor Who stars but all the autographs were fairly expensive (in my opinion) with the cheapest being $20.  The one actor I was interested in - He played Davros in Doctor Who - charged $40.  No thank you.  I went home and curled up with an interesting book instead.

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Peter Pan and his Shadow.
I went back later that evening to watch the Cosplay contest.  There were about a dozen or so contestants and several more in the audience who, for some reason, did not participate in the contest.  There were some interesting costumes.  My favorite, which came in third place, was also the most original.  Two girls, one dressed as Peter Pan and the other, all in black, played Peter Pan's shadow.  I think some of the costumes in the audience and wandering around other venues were as good as, if not better than, the contest participants.

I haven't decided if I'm a fan centric convention person.  Britishfest was a bit basic.  The Star Trek convention that I went to and the other more established ones like San Diego Comic-Con are much larger affairs and there is a better chance of seeing something that would be of interest.

Also I feel strange around hard core fans.  Many of the fans are just normal people that you wouldn't give a second glance if you passed them on the street.  Others come to the convention in costumes.  They are definitely more hard core than I would ever be.  A third type leave their parent's basement only a few times a year, have every line of dialog memorized, and, during Q & A sessions, ask the most obscure question about some trivial factoid that no casual fan would even notice.  These are the scary ones.  They too may wear costumes but they often stand out even when they are not wearing one - they are that unusual and odd.

I was once close to being a member of that third type.  My poison was Star Trek and, while I never dressed up, I knew way too much about the show.  Fortunately in the 90s I backed away from it.  Maybe that's why I felt so strange when I went yesterday - "There but for the grace of God, go I."

A few more pictures of the Cosplay contest can be seen in my Britishfest 2017-06 Flickr album.

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