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Stretched Too Thin: My San Diego Comic-Con Experience and my inability to say “No”

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So where does my adventure begin?

Well about 4 months ago I started walking and hiking frequently. I watched my diet and portions sizes, I slept longer, and drank plenty of water. Then once June came around the corner I realized I was not ready for Comic-Con, I stopped working out all together and became so busy with costume prep and planning that I’d forget to get more than one meal in a day. I’d get up early and shop for materials, meet up with friends I was commissioned to make costumes for and attend a few events in costume. I also had several freelance gigs for make-up projects and eventually once that final 3 weeks decided to show it’s ugly face, I realized I still had to schedule my mixers and parties, my networking rendezvous, and schedule all 5-10 (last minute day of, yes day of) makeup and hair gigs. I felt the only way to pull through this was to drink all the booze and stay up very late the week prior… well ok that was an exaggeration.

You may ask was this in prep for what would be in San Diego? Not exactly, but not far off either. You see I cut caffeine out about a month prior so I was naturally able to will myself to stay awake late at night and work on costumes and even get up early.  The occasional Jack and Coke, Blue Moon, and vodka grapefruits were to calm the manic inside my cosplaying soul! That, and it helped to sleep when I really couldn’t.

Now do I recommend this diet regimen? Absolutely not! I did eat here and there and consumed tons of water without a doubt, I’m not stupid, just a little daring you might say. Meanwhile as I lay there at 5am Wednesday morning shortly before my drive down south I sat and thought about my list. Is there anything I’m missing or forgetting? No, because I made a list. I always encourage everyone to make a list and  go to it when need be. Personally, I keep mine on my phone, and am sure to check it off once I’ve accomplished that task or errand. So I packed up ALL the things and the cosplay emergency repair things, and the costumes I would inevitably still be working on once I checked in and was in the hotel room. (Note: If you can avoid this, avoid it, it’s not worth stressing over while you’re trying to have a good time at Comic-Con. ) I also drove two others along with me down to SD and had to drop them off as well.

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Upon my arrival I realized my license had expired the month prior on my birthday and to my dismay, I had to get up Thursday morning, the first day of Comic-Con, and drive 10 minutes north to the nearest DMV.  One hour later, not too shabby, I headed back to my room where I met up with my friends to dress up in costume and hit the floor. Because I can’t say no and why would I want to, I volunteered to do a friends epic joker makeup happily! Finally I was ready for the con! It was fun and I was able to return to my room in time to work on a friend’s wig for her cosplay Saturday and some work on another commission due Saturday as well. Keep in mind I ate Wednesday night… I forgot to eat early enough on Thursday as I was trying to finish up with the DMV and get on the floor! In fact, I had some snacks at the Wired Lounge to hold me over.

I headed back to my room then off to the Machinima party to hang out with friends and well you know, drink some more.  Am I crazy? No it’s Comic-Con right, everyone? Is this thing on? So I mingled and chatted with some amazing friends and colleagues of mine made new introductions with new friends and colleagues, and felt I had unlocked the networking achievement for sure! Now back to the room where I showered and knocked out.

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It was an early 9am call time to apply a pros-aide scar onto an actress promoting a film called “Abducted,” just outside in the Gaslamp Quarter, just outside the convention center.  I arrived promptly however we didn’t get started until 9:40 or so, and of course like one does prior to Comic-Con I scheduled several shoots both Friday and Saturday with photographers. My mission was to at least get the group some awesome shots and I would wait.

I had gone back through the chaos of the Gaslamp Quarter to quickly change in my room and get back to the convention floor to make it to the panel I was on, “All Shapes and Sizes Welcome”.

The "All Shapes and Sizes Welcome" panel at Comic-Con

The “All Shapes and Sizes Welcome” panel at Comic-Con

And what a wonderful panel  it was.  I have to say I love all the ladies involved, so much that I may have jokingly hit on them one too may times, but that’s due to delirium, caused by lack of sleep, pre-SDCC prepping and possible lack of nourishment.

After a fun filled day on the floor, granted I did eat an energy bar, I went back to my room and was attempting to get ready when I all of a sudden it hit me like a hammer.  I sat down in my towel and could not get back up.  My roomie ordered pizza and we sat there watching tv eating a plethora or carbs and heaven and fell asleep. I remember dancing hard at the Machinima party, and squatting as Catwoman all day for poses which did a number on my thighs! By the next morning I was up by 7am for Makeup application number…hmm…. oh who knows, you get the idea.  Then I raced 15 minutes north to help with Darth Make-up #1 for the day. Then back to my room, sucking down all the coconut water I have been able to up until Saturday morning.

When Saturday morning came, I got to work on finishing up my Steampunk Star Wars Darth Maul chest piece until his arrival, and then I prepared his transformation for about an hour. He was oh so kind to run to Subway and feed me. You get to a point in all this havoc when your friends start sticking straws to beverages and bits of food in your face. Gotta love them! I had a slight makeup crisis that was quickly averted with my Steampunk Twilek body paint because I decided to tell the artist who was supposed to apply it not to worry and I would take care of it.

Saturday at the convention is well, sort of like the Black Friday of comic conventions. It took me a good 25 minutes to get onto the floor then another 15 to find my friends. My poor friends covered in convention and sweat from shooting just prior to the floor we got several good shots in there and thankfully my friend Pete, (photographer) followed us to shoot some more before everyone was tired and some literally falling apart… It was 3pm and I had to take my friend back to my room to grab some things and then race back onto the convention floor to the Geekscape booth for the panelists signings. I was lost, frantic, and eventually late to that too, but I made it in time to sign and pose for pictures with my lovely panelists.

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 11.22.34 PMBy the time 5pm came around it was back up to the second level over to the masquerade to apply a bald cap and makeup for one of the entries, Bioshock Infinite Cosplay. I was not opposed to this at all. Just  couldn’t wait to pull my Twilek Lekku head off! About an hour and half later I left and ventured down the hall to get stopped several times for photos where I finally run into some familiar friends I’d been looking for.  Sometimes I swear important friends are internally connected in any venue no doubt.

So it was back to the room and out of costume. I took the best shower I ever had besides the post Hellboy cosplay from WonderCon shower. 😉 It’s funny when you can stroll out of the bathroom in a towel and run into the roomie and her guy friend and not care at all cuz it’s been such a long week of dressing up and dressing down and dressing others and just moving. We eventually met up with some others and decided to hit the Quarter for more drinks, I know shocking, food, and back to another friend’s room to talk about the menacing and yet exciting week that was San Diego Comic-Con!

Now after that night you’d think I was done, and ready to enjoy some casual time on the convention floor, to shop for art and stock up on comics I was missing. Oh no, no no no, I had to be at the Marriott Marina next door to the convention to apply 5 lace beards and mustaches for a hilarious Duck Dynasty cosplay group. I actually was asked on the spot to do beauty makeup and for one time in SDCC I HAD to SAY NO. I could not do it if I tried. Meanwhile I was set to wear Wolverine/Logan in regular clothes and meet up with my lovely friend as Emma Frost. After all, I made her Emma Frost cosplay from X-men First Class and I was damned if I wasn’t going to take some pics with her! So it took me an hour to get back to the room due to traffic and a lack of parking that I barely had an hour on the floor with her. We separated later on and I had one last awesome REAL MEAL with my roomies before our late departure from San Diego.

I had done 4 makeup FX gigs, dressed about 3 people. Styled hair at least 3 times, done a couple random makeups and fixed a lace front wig, why? Cuz I can’t say no, never could, and I’m a helper who’s passionate about perfection and the art.   I lost probably 3 extra unintentional pounds over the week and you bet your butt I ate Monday, I will get those lbs back! I’ll start my walking and hiking next week, but I have to say when people ask me which would you prefer to do every Comico-Con, makeup work or Cosplay? I have to say, I can’t say no. But time management, and a firm schedule will definitely make things run a hell of a lot smoother, I might even bring on an assistant, who knows. Until next time my lovelies I’ll see you on the con floor!

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About Chrissy Lynn

Born and raised in Southern Ca, Chrissy Lynn had an eye for design and detail. As a cosplayer and designer she thrives on perfecting her craft and learning new techniques in hair styling, special FX makeup, prop and fabrication as well as costume and wardrobe. Her passion for the arts growing up has lead her to the Los Angeles area taking on positions in film/television, new media and marketing. In between working, Chrissy actively participates in non-profit charity work be it coordinating/planning, events/donation drives, cosplaying or digital marketing. She thrives on networking and making introductions. You can call her a matchmaker for collaborators as she firmly believes that artists should work with other artists and make s**t happen! She currently co-runs Nerdy-Girlz.com, a site dedicated to lady geeks in the community who regularly participate in cosplay photo shoots, charity events, comic conventions and more.