Thursday, December 3, 2015

Chicago TARDIS 2015 Wrap-Up

Thankgiving weekend is always the highlight of a Chicago Whovian's year: Chicago TARDIS!  Every year is better than the last, and this year was no different.  We had the most amazing time, saw a bunch of old friends, and made lots of new ones.  We also did a really bad job of taking photos this time around ...

We'd been planning since January to make Clara and Robin Hood from Robot of Sherwood, but when Jenna Coleman was announced as a guest, we upgraded to Priority memberships and purchased a photo session with her.  However, only a few weeks before the con, she had to cancel due to her filming schedule.  While I was relieved (for some reason, I was ridiculously anxious at the thought of meeting her in our costumes), that meant that we had spent a whole lot of money on nothing.  Even though we'll get a refund for the photo session, we hadn't gotten the upgrade for any other reason.  So, we skipped going to my in-laws' Thanksgiving dinner on Friday night and attended the con together on Friday for the first time.

Dalek Jo
Dalek Ten
One of the other guests was Katy Manning, who played Jo Grant during the Third Doctor's era.  When we watched The Curse of Peladon, I fell in love with her Oh-So-Seventies dress.  Because Katy was going to be a guest, I decided to make the dress.  I also decided to wear it and take part in the Chronological Cavalcade, a costume "parade" of sorts.

Jo and the TARDIS together again ...

After the Cavalcade was over, we stayed for Lobby Con, which is essentially just a big party out in the lobby, with everything from drinking to games going on.  Matt and I played a round of Cards Against Gallifrey, hung out with a bunch of friends from past cons, and met a whole new group as well.

On Saturday, we arrived at 10am dressed as the Clockwork Droid and the Eleventh Doctor.  I lurked for a while in the lobby, and several guests went past and checked me out, and a few complimented the costume.  At one point, an older British gentleman kept trying to talk to me, telling me how great I looked, but I stayed in character and didn't reply.  He then wandered over and struck up a conversation with Matt, who was holding an extra Clockwork mask (I wanted the people at my panel to be able to pick it up and look at it, and not have to touch the mask that had just been on my face.  Yuck.)  It turns out that he was Richard Franklin, also known as Captain Yates from UNIT.  Honestly, I hadn't even realized he was there!  He told Matt how amazing the Clockwork mask was and tried to buy it off of him.  When Matt told me this later, I told him he should have just given it to him!

We then went to the panel that I was hosting with my friends Brandon and Amanda.  It was really well-attended, but I think that next year we need to move past the "beginning" cosplay, as we had few true beginners in the audience, and so the things that we were talking about were a bit more complex than they were ready for.  Apparently, not everyone dives right into sewing!  A lot of the information from that panel can be found here.

After the panel, I met up with my friend Valerie, who cosplays a female Clockwork Droid.  She's an actress, and her movement and portrayal is absolutely brilliant, and I felt a bit intimidated by her.  While I think I do a great job, she's leagues beyond me, and I found myself sometimes just standing and watching her, but not wanting to try it out for myself because I thought I'd look pretty silly.  We wandered around for an hour scaring people.  It was one of the best experiences I've had at any con so far.  There was a large party staying at the hotel that had nothing to do with the con, and they were going around on Friday night and Saturday morning taking photos with people.  There was one family with three or four boys, and the boys were getting their photos taken with me.  A little girl was hiding behind her mother during that time, and when they suggested she also get in the photo, she started WAILING.  I have to admit that it made me laugh.

Matt had entered us Friday morning for Saturday night's Masquerade, and turned in all of our reference and construction photos.  We went to the Masquerade meeting at 3:00, and then went home to have lunch and change.  We were supposed to be back for judging no later than 7:30, and we almost didn't make it.  Apparently, even with giving ourselves more than three hours to get ready, it wasn't enough.  When we got to the green room, the judges were nowhere to be found.  We kept getting updates: they'll be here in 30 minutes!  20 minutes!  And then the updates stopped, so finally I went over and asked where the judges were.  One woman stood up and said she was a judge, and she'd already seen our documentation.  But if there was anything else we wanted to add ... I was a bit confused.  The other two times we've entered, the judges were very thorough, taking photos of our costumes and examining them.  However, she didn't look at anyone else's costumes any more thoroughly than she did ours.  Okay ...

One of the other contestants was a young Robot of Sherwood Clara.  She made her entire costume herself.  I was utterly impressed, and I'm glad that she won an award in the Young Fan category.  I still can't get over what a great job she did.

Two Claras
My friend Stacey was also in the Masquerade in her gorgeous Missy costume.  In fact, one of the best parts of the weekend was that I spent a lot of time with her, and we were even next to each other in the lineup.  Though we live only about 20 minutes from each other, we can't seem to get our acts together to meet up between cons.

Missy loves the Master Minion.

Back to the Masquerade!  We had a great time, and we ended up winning Best in Show - Workmanship.  That was pretty awesome.  After the Masquerade, I changed out of Clara so that I wouldn't ruin the dress, and we joined Lobby Con.  We couldn't stay too long, though, as we were both absolutely exhausted.

Lobby Con, where Clara, Davros, and Leela hang out together.

On Sunday, we suited up as Clara and Robin again in the morning.  After lunch, Matt changed into civvies and I put Jo back on.  We went to the UNIT and Torchwood panel, which consisted of Burn Gorman and the three guests from the Third Doctor era.  As John Levene (Sergeant Benton) got on stage, he asked if anyone had filmed his cabaret panel Friday night.  Well, our friend Alyssa from Space Gypsies had, and so she raised her hand.  He told her he'd like a copy, so after the panel she left her business card with the staff.  That was pretty neat!  I hope that he does contact her and get his copy.

Gotta love Alyssa's K-9 outfit!

Overall, I think the person who enjoyed the con the most was Samual Anderson, who plays Danny Pink.  Every time we saw him, he was having a blast.  By Sunday, he was wearing a poncho and a pink paper crown from a Christmas cracker.

L-R: Richard Franklin, John Levene, Dan Starkey, Sam Anderson

I'm sure I left some stuff out, but we're still recovering from the weekend!  We LOVED seeing everyone, and we can't wait until next year!

Why a spoon, Doctor?
First Doctor Era

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