I’ve been attending Comic Con’s and Conventions for almost a decade, and speaking on panels for a few years now, but just a few months ago, I got a taste of what it feels like to be a VIP Guest at a Con.
And boy, did it feel GREAT!!
I was invited to be a VIP Guest to the first ever Pop Culture Expo held just outside of Boston, Massachusetts for Memorial Day Weekend. The event was produced by Gary Sohmers and Image Meet and Greets; and a ridiculously awesome time was had by all.
I arrived via a complimentary round-trip airfare, at the airport to be greeted by a representative from the Con and shuttled to the hotel (also comped). I soon found myself in the shuttle with actors and actresses from Game of Thrones, Supernatural, Disney, and much more.
We spent a weekend together, being treated to complimentary meals, dinner parties, autograph signings, and panels. The staff was extremely polite and helpful and continually checked in on our booths to make sure we were well fed and watered.
I was scheduled to appear on the Voice Actor panel two days in a row, and at the last minute was also asked to moderate Alaina Huffman’s panel for the weekend. Both panels were amazing, but the highlight of my weekend, was inviting actor Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), to join our Voice Actor panel, and having him take time away from his booth to show up! Here I am reading out loud a scene from the script, thinking, wow the actor next to me REALLY sounds like the real deal from Ghostbusters…. CAUSE HE IS!!! What a fantastic moment.
I truly felt at home. Sitting there at my booth, which I had prepared by ordering 8x10s, stickers, and a banner. I spoke with fans all weekend, and learned a valuable lesson. I lost a sale, due to not having any photos of me in my Deadwood costume. It doesn’t matter that it’s 8 years later, and I probably couldn’t fit even one arm into my costume! In fandom, it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since the show aired, fans want to see you as you were, during that show
And as always, professionalism pays off, I made so many new friends in the business, have had lunch with quite a few since returning to LA, and was approached by the same manager who books Mr. Hudson for convention appearances, and have now signed with Iconic Management for con appearances.
I’ll be honest, a few times during the weekend I thought wow, how did I end up here? But here’s the catch… I was the only one thinking that! To everyone else, I had earned my place there right along with the rest of them. A running theme in my life and career, so it’s important to remember, just lasting all of these years in Hollywood is a SUCCESS story in and of itself, but add some television, movie, and producing credits, now you’re success rate is higher than the average and something to really be proud of.
Remember, as you go along this journey, most folks will glance at your credits, check out your imdb page, and assume you’re successful and happy unless YOU tell them otherwise.
I hope you join me in celebrating the successes, and shifting perspective to what we HAVE accomplished, rather than what we haven’t.
Would love to hear from you on any shifts you’ve had lately, career or otherwise!