Sunday, November 27, 2011

ChicagoTARDIS Recap

Today was the last day of ChicagoTARDIS 2011, Chicagoland's annual Doctor Who convention, and I led my very first panel.  A call came out a few weeks ago for panelists, and I volunteered for the Costuming Basics panel.   It was very exciting to see my name listed in the program, along with two other presenters.  However, I was nervous that everyone would show up and have no real idea what to talk about, and I'm the kind of person who gets anxious if if there isn't A PLAN.  So, on Friday, I sat down and created a pretty good outline, just in case.  I doubted I would end up using it.

When we got to the convention, we lurked around for a while.  I scared quite a few kids just by staring at them, but most worked up the courage and bravely came over to give me a high five or have their picture taken with me.  One little guy saw me and literally took two steps backward.  I really could just stand around all day without moving too much, just freaking people out.  I love it when they think I'm a statue ...

My panel was at 11, and I'm so glad that I did create an outline, because only two of us showed up, and the other panelist didn't really seem to have a plan.  There were about twenty people in attendance, which isn't bad, considering that ChicagoTARDIS is such a small con, and we were opposite a big panel in the main programming ballroom.

I kind of took over the entire panel, going off of my notes and comments from the audience.  Everyone seemed pretty engaged, so I hope they learned at least a little something.  I absolutely want to do this again next year!  I had a lot of fun, and let's face it, I love telling people what to do.

After my panel, I put my Clockwork Droid mask back on and went to the Dealer's Room to get my book, Running Through Corridors, signed by Rob Shearman.  He and Toby Hadoke sat down a few years ago and started rewatching Doctor Who from the very beginning.  Matt and I have been reading it since we started watching the classic series, and it's fantastic.  Not only that, it's gotten us through some of the horrible reconstructions!

Rob loved my Clockwork Droid costume.  He said that I was so scary, and that he imagined that if I took off my mask, there would be nothing but a void ... we chatted for a bit (me through the mask).  He was so lovely, and he seemed very impressed by the entire costume.  He even drew a Dalek in my book!  Tony Lee, a fantastic graphic novelist and writer whom I follow on Twitter, was signing next to Rob.  He kept chuckling over my costume, and at one point took a picture, saying, "this is Rob signing for a Clockwork Droid!"  Rob kept saying that if I saw him later sans mask, I should say hi.  Because we weren't planning on sticking around for too much longer, I said, "I'll just take off my mask now", and lifted it off enough so he could see me.  He said something like, "oh, it is a real person, and it's rather nice, too."  He said I didn't look very evil.

That just made my day!  Later, after attending a panel called The Good, the Bad, and the Torchwood, hosted by David Vox Mullen of the DVM Podcasting Empire, Matt and I decide to walk around a bit more.  We went back to the Dealer's Room, where we both were a huge hit.  As we wandered towards the back, lo and behold, there was Rob, talking to some people.  He saw me and introduced me (by name!  He didn't even look at my badge, he remembered my name!) to the people he was with.  I grabbed Matt and motioned that he should introduce himself.    Rob then felt bad because he's autographed the book "To Nat", instead of Matt.  He offered to fix it, but we'd already put the book in the car, and it wasn't a big deal.  But he chatted with us for about a minute about Running Through Corridors.  He is really a great guy!
We lurked around a bit more before heading to one last panel.  We left the convention feeling pretty good.  Matt's Inspector Spacetime costume (from Community) was a hit, we both met Rob Shearman, I got to talk to some of my new Doctor Who friends, and my panel went really well.

Oh, and I just checked my Twitter feed, and Tony Lee tweeted a few hours ago that he heard there's an Inspector Spacetime cosplayer, and he needs a photo.  That's Matt!  He even retweeted a picture of him!  Even the actor who plays Inspector Spacetime retweeted a photo.  Matt is famous!


  1. I wanted to stop by and say that I really appreciated the effort you put into being ready for your panel. If all the other panels had at the very minimum an outline like yours, I think they would all be much more successful. You had a lot of great information for newbies and oldbies (and middle-bies like me) alike. It's nice to hear about people's costumes (like the other panelist was doing) but at the same time, most of the people there wanted to learn basic how-to and get tips on creating their first costume and I thought you did a great job of covering a lot of basics.

  2. Thanks for the kind words! Thanks for attending the panel. Are you the girl with the amazing corset?