Things I learned, getting there early is ALWAYS the key and the stars are amazingly sweet and patient and you can approach them more than you think.
I feel amazingly lucky that I got to see Stephen Amell 4 times, 3 face to face. I doubt that the situation where he decides to come a day and a few extra hours early and came back Sunday morning even though he wasn't originally scheduled to be there any day but Sat will happen every year. He is very sweet and is very genuine when interacting with his fans. We spoke a bit about parkour, Tempest, taking in the heat to store it up while he is acting in cold weather at night in Vancouver. I didn't do any fangirl faints or screams, although some of my friends were thinking I had to be pried off of Stephen in the photo op. I think that comes from photography and being able to focus on a goal vs the fact that an amazingly attractive person is in front of me. I'm also incredibly interested in finding out what motivates people and how they interact with others.
Stephen's panel was very enlightening and he does a great job with time management on his answers. It is very obvious that he really wants to get to as many people as possible in the hour he is allotted. He was, as always, very generous and funny with his answers. Panel in full is here, my question is the very last one.
Day One - Thursday, was standing in line, doing a fire evacuation and helping my friend Spidey/Michael out by pre buying a slot for Stan Lee autograph. I caught up with some friends, wandered the exhibition hall looking at artists and networking for cover artists.
Day Two - Friday AM - Manu Bennett's aka Deathstroke/Slade Wilson's panel. First off..that accent! He can just talk for hours, I'll listen, don't really care what he is saying lol. He had some of the funniest stories, his audition for Arrow story was the best, he went a bit "method" on an unsuspecting cameraman. He was very open to interacting with the fans, wait until you get to the end. This was the first ever panel I had ever attended so I was a bit nervous to ask anything so I just sat and enjoyed it and it was very worth it.
Then it was to Jim Butcher and other authors on a panel regarding writing comedy is hard. Jim played the straight man to most of the authors but his facial expressions were as hysterical as what the others were saying. It was interesting to see how when the crowd erupted when he was introduced he tried to deflect the applause politely. It felt like he didn't want the other authors to feel like he was the main draw to the panel. Both group panels of his that I went to he appeared to be very cognizant of letting others talk, which I found intriguing. There was a lot of interesting things that were mentioned on the panel which made me think about how I write my humor in my stories. I feel like I have a decent handle on it but I'm biased. The most eye opening thing was everyone's processes and how they varied.
After that panel I had planned to wander the exhibition hall looking at all the talented, creative, mind-blowing artists that were there, until I looked at Facebook and saw that Stephen was coming at 330 instead of 500. So I sidled over to his signing area, asked a favor, got the cash to get an autograph and had him sign my book. This was the first time I met Stephen and I felt very awkward giving him a book I wrote to sign but seeing as how Arrow and Supernatural got me writing it all links to my book. He seemed to think the idea of signing my book was a bit different and cool so it all worked out. I managed to be fifth in line. The best part was you could tell who are "real fans" and follow him on Facebook because people started drifting towards his signing line around the time I did, other people thought we were lining up super early. Suddenly I was a true member of a fandom because I was in "the know." I felt a bit tingly and slightly superior ;).
After I got my signature I mulled around the exhibition and went home.
Day Three - Jim Butcher's Spotlight panel which is when Jim's true nature came out. Fall on the floor funny, slightly sarcastic and very willing to share his knowledge and experiences. Once again, much wisdom was absorbed. I did get to ask him about something in the Dresden Verse which resolved some questions for me.
Then it was on to Bruce Campbell's panel which I attended only to get to Stephen Amell's. Bruce took minimal questions and tended to abuse, be overly sarcastic and jackassey to the audience. People loved it but it bugged me. I was rather happy when he was done.
Then it was Stephen Amell's panel which I already discussed, my friend Kiko and I attended Campbell's and Amell's but her goal was Nathan Fillion's. His panel really opened my eyes to how an experienced con circuit actor who understands how to treat his fan base is. Stephen is fairly new to cons and handles them very well but you can see that he is in some ways trying to adjust to his recent skyrocketing fame. Nathan is smooth, sweet and very sneaky with how he handles his own individual "gag." One thing that stood out to me was he made sure he got everyone's name who asked him questions, he made a point to let people know that that was an important part of the process. Nathan also played with the fans who were in costume, there was a fan who dressed as Dr. Horrible who is Nathan's nemesis in Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog and the two of them dropped into character immediately and Nathan rolled with it. So much fun!
That was the end of Saturday.
Sunday : Two more panels with Butcher, one which discussed how to keep a long running series fresh and the other was how to write rogues. The Rogue panel introduced me to several authors that I must read. The discussions in that panel were of such an intellectually intense nature mixed with subtle but profoundly funny humor that I never wanted it to end. Kiko came with me and she loved it too.
Sunday morning was the icing on top, Stephen Amell posted on his Facebook page that he would be at the Con again and so I managed to get his signature on my friend's bow on which he has collected Green Arrow comic book illustrators signature and quickly speak with him again. The best part was being first in line and getting to joke with him before he got settled in to sign.
All in all an educational, inspirational and funny as hell experience. I will be back next year.