Hello again Internet. It’s been a wild week since my last
confessional blog post, and so much has happened – and so much is still happening.
First off, allow me to remind you that working professionally in the pop culture event industry only became “full time” for me about three years ago. I took a thirty day hiatus from my day job at the time (a company that helps manage business and private debts) to get my “hobby gone horribly wrong” in order. After thirty days, I went back to the office and asked for another thirty days. After THAT thirty days, I went back and the VP at the time (whom I answered to) and he explained that I have an open door to return and to come back when I was ready.
And here I am now, still juggling all the projects within my “hobby”.
The first mistake people make when they hear/read that story is that I am living a dream life where I sleep all day, go to the beach, and play video games. As anyone who has turned their passion project into their employment will tell you: it’s fucking exhausting and more work than an alleged “normal” job. You’re never not working. Going a full 24 hours without doing SOMETHING involving a project (now your job!) becomes impossible. I mean, I did my damnedest today to be lazy, eat pizza, and watch television. (Singing in the Rain and the new episode of Star Trek: Discovery for those interested.) Somehow, though, I still had to take time to review social media elements for an event, research storage units, and reply to time sensitive emails that I just didn’t want to have to deal with on Monday.
As long as cell phones and the Internet exist, a true day off will be a maguffin I’m always chasing.
To the point of the title: a convention called Newcon PDX cancelled their convention (which was originally scheduled to take place over this past weekend) at the last minute. The event, which takes place annually in Portland, OR, was supposed to host it’s sixth weekend long pop culture con and, due to a myriad of reasons (some, unfortunately, self-inflicted), the event’s production came to an abrupt halt. I met the owner and his partner a couple of years ago at an annual conference called Project Anime in Los Angeles. They seemed nice enough, and I took the time to visit Newcon PDX last year for other work reasons. (I was on hand consulting for another company that was there.) When things looked like they were going south a couple of weeks ago, they reached out to me and others for advice on how to navigate the situation. They did the best with the hand they were dealt but, well… it didn’t work out.
I remembered the energy of the crowd at Newcon PDX a year ago. While the show felt a little rough around the edges, it supported a passionate fanbase. Portland, for those of you that haven’t been, is a colorful and intensely creative city. The concept was sound, it was sad to hear that Newcon PDX was going to end. Thus, I asked the owner some further details about his convention: attendance, social media footprint, etc. Between that and my first hand experience coupled with my faith in my crew from Green Mustard Entertainment, I decided to do something a little crazy: I bought the convention. Technically, I bought two conventions: Newcon PDX and Anime PDX. Within a couple of days, we had worked to start doing triage on the severely bleeding event. I worked with the previous owners to start facilitating consistent communication with the fan base about refunds (something that, any convention owner who’s been in that situation knows, is painstaking process – especially if you have a strong pre-reg number); my team came up with a plan to grant access to one of the cancelled convention’s guest this past weekend – and it worked amazingly week (read about it here); we decided that instead on focusing on two different events that we’d focus on making one spectacular – so we merged the two concepts into a new name: Fandom PDX; and lastly we synched up the branding of the new event with our other anime, video game, and multi-genre event: WasabiCon.
Check out the two logos. Pretty snazzy for less than a week.
All that in the first week of 2018. Crazy, right? This year is going to be pretty damn insane. On to week two…