How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Part 1

Today’s the “last day” of “summer”, so I might as well post a recap of what’s been going on in my life related to MP.

  • Cleaned up the side bar to make it all button-tastic.  I dunno, I kinda like it.  Looks fancy.
  • Increase my role over at Otaku Drive Time, which has eaten up a lot of my time and creative input (and that doesn’t include the numerous FB updates I do).
    • Since OTDT is a good chunk of my free time, I figure I should add them to the side bar.
  • Continue on with Writebet and although I mentioned this earlier, What I didn’t mention was that on one of the days, I went on at length about my feelings on MP.  I’ll re-post it past a cut (or you could just read the Tumblr post)  but this is why I want to do what I do, and why I’ll continue to do it.

My first anime convention was in 2005. It was Katsucon, the one they split between the two hotels in Crystal City, and the year before moving to the confusingly plotted Omni in DC. In April 2005, I did my first panel (a pile of crap), and helped with another (Anime Fight Club, done by the incomparable Brian Beccia, and is still going). Including those two, I have run or co-run fifty-three panels/events totalling over seventy-six hours of programming for nineteen shows. Part of this, admittedly was having the good fortune to live in a place where I can trip over a con every 12-18 weeks, but the rest of it is out of sheer passion. It is first of my personal Three Rules of Fandom: Share what you love with everyone, and I do that with con programming. And now, a decade after my first entry into the world of anime conventions, I want to turn that passion into something more.

At the beginning of last year, I started MelloPanther Productions, essentially a tent for all of my event programming to fall under. I even got a logo from the fabulous BunnyChan and made business cards and everything. The plan is to either do events at shows or other places of nerdity at a professional level. Before you think “That’s ludicrous,” and stop reading, remember those numbers from the first paragraph. Fifty-three programs! In addition to regular information panels, I’ve done game shows, improv comedy, workshops, and tabletop events. I’m always coming up with new ideas and would love to share them with the world.

What makes all my things work? I think I can attribute it to two things. The first is that I understand that convention programs should inform as well as entertain. Sure, you can yell memes at each other for an hour or have the 87th iteration of “Ask An Attack On Titan Background Character” but that’s not a panel. That’s just pretending your on the Internet in real life. Who wants to do that when you can learn about new things or new shows, tell stories, or tell jokes that are actually funny? MelloPanther programming may be aimed at nerds, but the ideas at the root of each program is accessible to anyone.

The second reason I’ve been so successful is because I know that the modal outcome is failure and expect it on a regular basis. By not getting derailed by every little mishap (or every big mishap), and adapting to the situation at-hand, I’m able to still provide entertaining programming even when things are going wrong. It may not be pretty, but it gets the job done and with aplomb.

The major hurdle people may not be able to get over, though, is that I’d like to be compensated for my work. Now I’m not crazy enough to think that I do conventions as my primary source of income right now, and until recently, I never had reason to. However, though my full-time job was eliminated at the end of June, I’d still rather view MelloPanther as supplemental income or at least cost-neutral. Regardless, I feel that my programming is at a level high enough to warrant some offsetting of costs beyond the usual reimbursement. I’d even argue to say that my work is at aprofessional level, and in order to maintain that level, I can’t do it for free. It’d be nice if I could, but I can’t.

So if you know of any events that could use my services, let me know, either through my website, my “business” Tumblr, or just pm me. Like I mentioned, I can do tabletop RPG’s, panels, game shows, improv, or workshops for the above or even other things—I’m even trying to suss out a concept for a pub quiz (to be held at actual pub quiz). You have my eternal thanks and gratitude for reading these 600+ words and hopefully we can make something happen together.

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