(I'm splitting this overview into parts because I did a lot of things so each part will be long.)
I attended Kin-Yoobi Con 2012 as a staff member, Friday, August 10th - Sunday, August 12th. The convention took place at the Hilton hotel in Newark/Fremont. Kin-Yoobi Con 2012 kind of hit me like a tornado. It snuck up on me, flipped me on my head, drove me insane, and then left. I'm not going to spill all the dirty little secrets of staffing this convention, here's a little insight into what went on.
|Photo by Kei Tsubasa Photogaphy|
On Day One of Kin-Yoobi, I cosplayed as female Link (The Legend of Zelda). (*My cosplay is based on an "Ocarina of Time" fan art that I found, and I added details from Link's outfit in "Twilight Princess" to it to make it more interesting.) My convention day began when I was still at home and got a text message that we didn't have the Bingo cards we needed for the first event of the day. I had asked about these months in advance, knowing that I was the one hosting and not wanting to look like a fool. I was told that they were taken care of. I asked multiple times and was occasionally even told that they had already been printed andw ere ready to go. So much for that. To add to this spectacular start, both my laptop and my boyfriend's laptop refused to read my printer, despite it working just fine the night before when I printed cosplay cafe menus and cosplay contest certificates. As much as I didn't want to, we left for the convention without Bingo cards and agreed to improvise once we got there.
We arrived just in time for Opening Ceremonies, which I didn't really participate in, but I felt I should be there because I was running the main stage. Even though Opening Ceremonies was supposed to last for half an hour (or maybe it was even an hour?), it only lasted fifteen minutes. This gave us a few minutes to decide what to do, even though we were interrupted when we were told we couldn't use the laptop that we thought we were using. Luckily, my boyfriend had his because we were hosting a panel later in the day.
We decided to make giant Bingo cards by hand with a sketch pad and Sharpies. It took about half an hour to get five done, and the event was only supposed to be an hour and a half long. We involved more people by having them play in teams of two, but an attendee who didn't get to play and had apparently been waiting got kind of snippy with me. She had watched me rally as many people as I could to make the cards and berated me the entire time, claiming it "wouldn't work" and telling me that I was doing things wrong. I don't know if she thought she was helping or if she was intentionally rude, but I don't know why she thought I'd want her to play after all of that.
Anime Bingo is played by watching an episode of an anime and marking things that you see or hear off on your Bingo card. This was pretty difficult because we didn't have a sound system, and players could only hear if they were close to the laptop, but we managed. We decided what anime to watch by taking a vote, which took up a bunch of time. We ended up watching an episode of "Soul Eater", which I had never watched before, actually. It was pretty good, but I barely watched because I was trying to figure out if there was time to make more cards and play another game. We ended up only having about fifteen minutes after the game was over, so we just finished watching the episode of Soul Eater.
After Bingo, we had Anime Comedy Hour, which ended up being more of an Anime Improv Hour. People seemed to have fun, though I was disappointed that there was no standup. The next scheduled Main Stage event was Vic Mignogna's panel, so I scurried off to set up for the Swap Meet.
The Swap Meet was so tiny! It was also really far away from the convention, out in the parking lot, and the view of it was obscured by parked cars. I was the second person to set up, and only one person set up after I did. I picked a spot next to the other seller in the shade, but of course when the sun moved, I was no longer totally in the shade. I sold a good deal of things and chit-chatted with the seller who set up after I did. She seemed to enjoy giving me a hard time for "being cute" and selling a lot of stuff, especially after I was asked to do an interview for someone. She was really nice though, and we traded off watching each-other's stuff when one of us needed to get food or use the bathroom.
I needed to leave the Swap Meet early to set up for the Cosplay Contest.The cosplay contest was sort of a blur, since I was really rushed. We ran late. Super late. I'm not sure how it happened, but it did. Vic Mignogna was supposed to guest judge but ended up not doing it, mostly because we were running late. He came down from his hotel room with the staff member that was working with him, and the staff member asked me if we really needed Vic. I ended up speaking with Vic, and he told me, "I don't like being put in a position where I judge the fans, because then if someone doesn't win, sometimes they upset and make me out to be the bad guy. Plus, if you're running late..." I legitimately did not mind that he didn't want to do it. If we had been running on-time or had been waiting for him, I probably would have asked him to do it anyway, but we were running so far behind, and he didn't want to do it in the first place, so I wasn't about to make him wait around to do something that he didn't want to do. Plus, he didn't have that much pull over the contest anyway, I had two other judges, and it wasn't advertised that he would be judging, so it wouldn't let down the attendees if he didn't. I'm not even upset with him for not doing it. I am however upset with whoever told me that he would do it. I don't even remember who told me he would, especially since I'm pretty sure I asked multiple people, but whoever it was is a jerk. If I had known that he wouldn't do it, I would have taken the time to find a third judge. Luckily one of my friends (a cosplayer, of course) stood in as a third judge.
Outside of the judging situation, we hit a few more snags. In my rush to keep things moving, I mixed up everyone's audio. A lot of people gave me their phones or iPods as their audio, and it was really confusing. I had the audio sitting with the matching contestants' entry forms, but I had to give the forms to the emcee and keep the audio for my boyfriend to play, and despite my best efforts to keep the organized, I failed. On top of that, most of the cell phones and iPods didn't work with our audio system. Usually I emcee the contest, but I didn't want to, since I'm not a good emcee, and my boyfriend also didn't want to, especially since I had him running audio. We got another staff member to emcee, and while he's an excellent emcee, he's never hosted a cosplay contest before, and ended up taking too long talking to each contestant, which made the contest run even later.
Before the contest was over, my boyfriend and I had to run off to host "Rattata: Top Percentage". Our audience was incredibly small, probably the smallest we've spoken to. I attribute this to a lot of things, including the fact that the cosplay contest was still running, but also I think that not many people knew where the panel room was. The main stage, dealers' hall, and game room were all near each-other, and then the panel room and the viewing room were elsewhere, kind of out of the way. Anyway, our panel went pretty well, we ended early as usual, we're still not sure what to do about that. A member of our audience was also very informative and helpful and filled in some information that we were missing. Sometimes stuff like that annoys me, but the way that he told us was very respectful, as opposed to the way other people have told us things. Normally people start their "helping" with the words, "Umm... Actually....!" and then end up coming off as a know-it-all. This guy more often used the phrases, "I read that" or "I've found that" and never interrupted us when we were talking. I'd actually like to find that guy again to thank him and possibly ask for his help with future panels.
After the panel, my boyfriend went to participate in "Anime Con of the Dead", a zombie run. I had time to kill, so I hung out with friends and watched the Anime Dating Auction. I was told that I couldn't participate in the auction this year because it was for singles only (a rule I'm pretty sure was made just for me). A couple of my friends were sold together as Panty and Stocking, and I'm pretty sure they got the record for the night at $65! I was really disappointed that a lot of people didn't sell for more. As usual, most people didn't take the auction seriously enough, and some people ended up not getting to spend time with their dates because they disappeared somewhere.
I changed my outfit into a schoolgirl to get ready for Hentai Nights. I don't know why it amuses me to dress up for it, but it does. I went to set things up and the door was locked. Con of the Dead had been in there and locked the door behind them. (This made sense because they left their stuff in there, but we needed the room!) Once we got in, we found that there was no laptop. Out of principle (because we were told there would be one to use), my boyfriend and I didn't want to use his. There was a laptop in the panel room, but surprise, surprise, that got locked too. Hotel staff came to unlock it and we got the laptop fairly quickly. Meanwhile, I was managing the small line that was forming. Once we got the laptop, we found that the laptop didn't have a VLC player (which we needed), and then there was no sound system. I started checking IDs and letting people in while they downloaded the VLC player. We started playing the hentai, but there was very little sound, thank goodness for subtitles.
Once we got a sound system, everything went smoothly. I alternated checking IDs and sitting inside making sure everyone was behaving. I also sat people, since everyone was too socially awkward to find a seat and opted instead to stand in the back. A majority of the time, I sat outside and chatted with people. I had some interesting conversations, though I can't for the life of me remember a single one, haha!
After Hentai Nights was over, I wanted to dance at the rave. My boyfriend was exhausted, but he went with me and sat off to the side while I danced with a group of attendees and volunteers. I was peer-pressured into dancing in the middle of a dance circle, even though I'm really shy, but it was fun anyway. I ended up having a good time and ending the day on a high note, but the entire day was very stressful and frustrating.