Just got back from my first Star Trek con and had a blast. My wife and I decided to go to the Tampa Away Mission for out 12-year anniversary (yes she is a Trekkie too). We decided to splurge and get the ‘Platinum’ package and it was worth it. Not because we got photo opts and autographs that more than made up for the higher price. Not because we had great seats up front and didn’t have to wait in line for anything. No, the thing that made it worthwhile was getting to hang out with some of the celebs at a mixer.
While I was smoozing with John Delancie (Q from Star Trek TNG and Voyager), my wife was flirting with Kevin Sorbo (Hercules and Cpt. Dillon Hunt from Andromeda). We also had drinks with Saul Rubinek and Eddie McClintock from Warehouse 13 and I had a long conversation with Sasha Jackson (Blue Crush 2) she’s hilarious and really nice.
Most of the celebs were very nice, open and approachable for the most part, I found that surprising. Kevin Sorbo is funny and engaging. I talked to Delancie about Italian opera and he showed me pictures on his phone of his production of Tosca and Madame Butterfly. I nearly had a fangasm.
I attended a few panel discussions held with some writers. None that I knew about, they all appeared to be self-pub authors – nothing wrong with that. But their discussions didn’t go that in-depth or get into the nitty-gritty or writing.
The brightest part of the weekend wasn’t the Skyping with Leonard Nimoy or sitting within spitting distance of William Shatner as he goofed on staged and wowed the crowd.
No, the best part was meeting a couple from Tampa who shared our love of all things SciFi and geeky. During the con we hung out together and afterwards had a great dinner at a local restaurant they suggested. Many thanks to Mike and Deeanna for making our trip fun, relaxing and memorable. They made the con priceless.
Cons can be great events for fans and writers just as they can be huge wastes of time and money. But then, writing itself can be a huge waste of time and money the same way gardening can. It all comes down to what you get out of it.
Sure, can sell my autographs online and make a few bucks the same way I can sell a story or blackberry jam for a few dollars. What I can’t sell are memories.
If you haven’t been to a convention, get to one. You won’t regret it.