This past weekend I attended Melbourne Supanova and for the first time in a very long time I didn't have any of the usual pre-show excitement and no real desire to go even though I knew I'd enjoy seeing friends. This feeling and having no motivation to do things has been a feeling I have been dealing with in general this year so it wasn't really anything new exactly, but I definitely missed that pre-show excitement. I think the fact that last year was the first year that went by without an Armageddon/AMCE event has a lot to do with the lack of excitement and general unmotivated feeling, it was such a massive part of my life for ten years.
Anyway, I managed to push myself to go and I really am glad that I did because I really did have a great time. Although over the last few years the number of guests that I have been interested in meeting has dwindled either because I'm simply not interested or I've met them before, this is good for the bank account though so not complaining. This year there was one guest I was interested in meeting and that was Elizabeth Henstridge as I am still very much into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this and Criminal Minds are basically the only shows I watch week to week nowadays. And a HUGE thanks to one of my best friends Ashley, who flew back to America the month before so asked me to get Elizabeth's Autograph for her - without that push I may not have ever attended.
I'll start off with a quick review of the event... First off the parking had made a jump from $10 up to $15, which seemed rather expensive to me given that you can park in city secure car parks for less but unfortunately there are no other places to park in the area so you don't really have a choice unless you use Public Transport instead. Otherwise the event was pretty much the same as previous years, not a whole lot had changed lines were still a bit confusing and different staff gave different directions, I know these things happen but it's still annoying. At least this time the staff I spoke to throughout the weekend were nice enough and not as rude as I've experienced before. There was one issue on the Saturday morning, as a friend and I were leaving the main pavilion to head over for a photo we spent about 10 minutes getting through the crowd to the main doors to be advised that the Exit was all the way at the back of the building so we had to spend another 15 minutes getting to the back and as far as we could tell there were no signs or anything to advise of this.
I do love the fact that you can pre-purchase tokens and that you don't even need to print them out you can just take your phone up and they will scan the tokens off your phone - I understand that this system would be harder the more tokens you have but if you only have a few like I did this was perfect, no chance of loosing tokens... just make sure your phone is charged... I also noticed that the Photo Booths had signs on them that said 'No Hugs Please' my first thought was 'fat chance with John Barrowman here' but it seemed like an interesting addition although the guests seemed to be doing it anyway. The only other comment I have and I know that this is because of the venue used for the event but I think that everything seems to be quite a walk from each other... the main pavilion with exhibitors makes it quite a trek up the hill to Artist's Alley and where the Photos and Autographs are,I can imagine it would've been a struggle for people with disabilities or who have trouble walking...
As previously mentioned there was only one guest who I was interested in meeting and I had thought of a good idea for my photo op with her and was looking forward to the opportunity, I was concerned after seeing the no hugs sign but Elizabeth was amazing and had no issues with my idea - the conversation went along the lines of... "I have a favour to ask, will you jump on my back and pretend to strangle me?" first there was a look followed by a "Are you sure? I'm heavy" I just looked at her and was thinking she's one of the smallest guests I've ever met but I responded with "It'll be fine" ... So she jumps up on my back, pretends to strangle me and the photo is taken whilst laughter is heard from the line still waiting for photos including my mate Jodie and new queue buddy Megan (unsure of spelling). As she jumps down she asks if she hurt me but of course she didn't and I was just glad I got the photo I wanted and then we went and picked up the prints straight away.
As Jodie and my other mate Kara disappeared off to queue for the Doctor Who guests, I caught up with my friend Sarah whose birthday happen to fall on the same day so it was great to see both her and her husband. We hugged and chatted as they waited in Tom Welling's autograph queue, then when their line started moving I decided to go get the autographs I wanted from Elizabeth - there was no one there when I arrived so I just wandered up, placed the photo in front of Elizabeth to show her and as I had her minder scan my tokens Elizabeth pulled out the photo to take a photo of it on her phone (she asked beforehand) then I asked her to sign it and I love what she wrote - I did the years of attending events and just getting the usual smile photos but I love the fun of doing something different, it makes it much more memorable not just for me but for them as well and that's special!
I also got an autograph for my friend Ashley of course and this turned out even better, as Ash had met Elizabeth the following year and she had actually put a video of Ash in her Instagram stories so I had that video on my phone and said to Elizabeth "Now this next auto is for a friend of mine, you may remember her" showed her the video and Elizabeth totally did remember her and when she asked what photo to use I told her she could pick one, she did but then just before signing it goes "Actually I think she got this signed last time" so she picked another one I just had to comment "If you are right that you have a fantastic memory! I'll have to check with her" - as this was happening another friend of both myself and Ash arrived in the queue behind me and we were both telling Elizabeth how Ashley had been so bummed that she couldn't stay the extra month to see her again - Elizabeth was so sweet about this that she signed her picture with 'I missed you'. I of course texted Ash straight away and she was extremely happy, her excitement rubbed off on me a bit too!
I also asked Ash which photo she had gotten signed when she had met Elizabeth and when she sent me the photo and I saw that it was indeed the exact one Elizabeth thought she'd got signed - I was amazed so Steph and I decided to go back and let her know, I told her she had a good memory to have remembered that... Elizabeth's response was that she has always thought she had a mind that remembered useless information and we advised her that in this case it was not useless and made fans like us respect her even more and it definitely made Ash's day that's for sure. I've met many many guests over my years of attending events but wow I still can't believe she remembered a photo someone got signed over a year beforehand - AMAZING!
I spent the rest of the day hanging out with friends, and of course showing off my photo with Elizabeth because it was awesome and it made people smile/laugh which is my favourite thing to do. I spoke to friends who were Exhibitors and hang around the First Contact Conventions booth for a bit which resulted in some fun chats and talks of the future. I also spent some time wandering around with my mate Shona who was cosplaying as Lara Croft and her husband Dave.
I also caught up with a mate who I see maybe once a year, over 11 years ago we used to work at Officeworks together we were named Zig and Zag by a trainer once and it stuck we even had the names under our actual names on our badges, we were a good team and got on well but once we stopped working there we didn't really see each other until she started working in PR and would be at different events I attended as Media we clicked again and it was like nothing had changed... Now she works for Nintendo and I just think she is amazing and I'm so glad I saw her at this event though because we had a great chat and a real 'deep and meaningful' one and it helped and I think back and go 'Wow' we worked together so many years ago and really it wasn't even for a hugely long period of time but now so many years later we can see each other again and it's like we're back there - friendships like that are unique and I'm glad to still have that and am hoping to cut that seeing each other once a year down a bit!
All these people I spent time with and I hardly got any photos, a friend of mine Tamara takes selfies with friends at these events and I am going to have to start doing that too because these people are so important to me as friends and Con Family that I want the reminders of times spent together, especially when its only once or twice a year. I think I will be doing this from this con forward.... if I remember.
I had no intentions of returning to the event the following day, in fact I had told everyone I had seen Saturday that I was only going the day. That all changed when I found out some friends of mine were going to be there the Sunday and I had not seen these friends in a long time so decided that I would drop in to the showgrounds to catch up with them, I was heading to the other side of the city anyway so figured it wasn't that out of the way to stop by on the way through. I'm glad I did too because even though I was only there for an hour I got to catch up with not just the friends I went in to see but others as well.
When I arrived my friends Laura and Rachel were in the line to get their photo with Elizabeth so I couldn't help myself and decided to get another one, I arrived JUST in time to buy the token and then went and met the ladies in the queue. They let me go in for my photo first - most of my friends know I like to get different kinds of photos and sometimes I guess they are entertaining to watch from the sidelines, although this time I was only going to get a fairly normal photo with her no funny business... As I walk in for my photo Elizabeth just looks at me wondering what I'm gonna ask her to do this time so I just told her I wanted a normal photo, so that's what I go just a nice smile photo!
After the photos Rachel went off to a panel and Laura and I went for a wander around the show, everyone I saw who I had seen the other day I just told them I wasn't there and was a figment of their imagination! Whilst looking at different exhibitor stalls in the main pavilion I bumped into some other friends or well bumped isn't quite the word she came up behind me and surprised me but it's all good, because we are friends and I was just super happy to see her as I hadn't seen her since the last AMCE event in 2016, so Lily and I had a good chat and brief catch up with both her and her partner Mark another fellow AMCE Volunteer - so happy for these two I just had to keep saying it... Lily helped me through some major life realisations back in 2016 and I am still very much appreciative to her for that and our friendship, in so many ways we are completely opposite people but we still have a great friendship.
Unfortunately as I had to be somewhere else I couldn't spend much more time than this at the event so after some more wandering with Laura we went up to meet Rachel as she came out of the panel, I took a selfie with the ladies and then headed off... Overall it was a great weekend for catching up with friends and remembering just how important to me these events and this family I have created from them is to me... And it was an absolute pleasure to meet the lovely Elizabeth Henstridge and have such great moments with her during the weekend.
Complete Guest List: Elizabeth Henstridge, Austin St. John, Masako Nozawa, Vic Mignogna, Alan Tudyk, Daniel Newman, Tom Welling, Michael Jai White, Pearl Mackie, Peter Capaldi, Bob Morley, Walter Jones, John Jarratt, John Barrowman, Michael Rosenbaum, Darrel Guilbeau, Nolan North, Carolina Ravassa, Anjali Bhimani, Stephanie Nadolny, Jen Brown, Al Barrionuevo, Mike Grell, Mike Krome, Katie Houghton-Ward, Bruce Mutard, Arryn Zech, Arthur Adams, Joyce Chin, Darren Close, Todd Haberkorn, Dean Rankine, David Tardin, Jon Sommariva, Stewart McKenny, Tom Taylor, Patricia Briggs, Victoria Aveyard, Corey J. White, Terry Brooks, Maria Lewis, Lynette Noni, Keri Arthur, Ian Irvine, A.K. Wirru, Floksy Locksy and Meri Amber.