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[personal profile] plasmoids
Now it is time to write about Escapade and convince you all to go.

(All people mentioned and named will be referred to via fandom names & accounts if I have/know them.)

For those of you who don't know: Escapade is a small slash con held annually in Los Angeles, CA. It usually gets maybe 100ish attendees, has a tiny dealers room/artist's alley, no guests, and focuses more on fandom creation and discussion via panels, an art show/auction, and a vid show.

I was able to attend this year through the scholarship fund, along with two other fans. Escapade actually has two scholarship funds: one for fan vid makers and a general one. We all came on the general one, and while one of us got a full ride (a former attendee who had not made it in recent years), the other two got partials to help us get there.

And I'm extremely glad I did. I drove down Thursday with [twitter.com profile] nakedbee and Barbana, two lovely ladies who have been going to Escapade for a while. It's about a 7 to 8 hour trip from the Bay Area to LA, but we spent most of it chatting about fandom-y things, jobs (or lack thereof), and dolls. We also stopped at a restaurant called Tina's Diner, which Barbana found on Yelp, and we were sold on when we read she kept a doll collection in the restaurant. Tina ended up being the owner, sole employee, and cook, as well as a super nice lady with an amazing bunch of dolls. I suppose the only problem was that she thought [twitter.com profile] nakedbee and I were related, so she combined our checks, but if you know what we look like, that's not surprising.

During the trip [twitter.com profile] nakedbee co-opted the felt Chintsubu plush penis I made [personal profile] franzeska for her birthday for the art show she was running at the con. I didn't take any pictures of it, but if you Google "Chintsubu", you'll get an idea of what it looks like. (Pics will clearly not be safe for work.)

We arrived around 9PM on Thursday and checked in. A bunch of my East Bay friends were already there, and we hung out in the lounge and filled out each other's bingo cards. ([personal profile] franzeska helpfully told everyone I could fill in their "is not wearing underwear" square. Thanks again, Franzi.)

The next day, Friday, a few more people arrived, and I spent a lot of it getting my bearings. I'm bad with directions and navigation, so I spent a lot of time just trying to learn where all the rooms were. I attended the "Welcome to Escapade" panel at 11AM (mostly because that's around the time I was able to crawl out of bed), met much of the concom, and watched many returning members decide on "flashback" and "wild card" panels. The "flashback" panel was picked from 2004's Escapade program (Did I mention this con was 24 years old?), and the "wild card" was taken from ideas people shouted out and then voted on. It's a very interactive convention.

After that, Gentle Nonnie (who does not seem to have any linkable social media accounts that I know of) and I had a "working lunch" to plan the Almost Human panel we'd be running at 4PM. We decided to focus on the fact that Fox was again making the poor decision to air an interesting SF show out of order to boost ratings. The panel went over really well and was my first time modding any sort of panel for any kind of convention. I have to say Nonnie's excellent notes really helped out.

After the panel, I volunteered in the con suite for a few hours, where I was able to meet quite a few new people, including [twitter.com profile] calystarose, who I would be modding the Tumblr panel with the next day, and [tumblr.com profile] katiecrenshaw, another scholarship recipient and artist from Texas.

After volunteering, we were all herded into the ballroom for the very beginning of the Vid Show Dance Party, and so we could celebrate the birthday of one co-chairs of the con. There was a cute vid (made by [personal profile] franzeska) and some pretty fuckin' good cake. I then did a quick change and came back for the rest of the festivities. [tumblr.com profile] queersherlockian (who arrived just in time for the party) likened it's quickness to a teen movie makeover scene, except after I took my glasses off and shook out my hair, I put my glasses back on. Accurate.

We danced and hung out until at least midnight, and I then went off a Teen Wolf party thrown by another attendee whose name and social media I also don't have. I really only caught the tail end of what was the latest episode at the time, but we hung out and watched vids for a bit instead.

On Saturday, I spent much of the day in panels, from at least noon to 4. At noon was the aforementioned Tumblr panel with [twitter.com profile] calystarose. She distracted people while JetPackMonkey, [tumblr.com profile] fishiemishie, and I tried to get the TV to recognize my laptop. We spent most of the hour trying to educate older fans on how to use Tumblr. It was definitely a 101 class: how Tumblr works, why it works the way it does, how to create a blog and make posts. We also covered useful extensions, Tumblr culture, and tag searches. If you're interested, you can view the Power Point we made here. We're already talking about doing a 202 panel next year. :)

After our panel ended, I went to ones on preserving past fan culture (zines, mostly, and I heard a lot of debate on the topic), a Festivids review, and a panel on the importance of Joan Watson in Elementary. (The last was co-modded by [tumblr.com profile] fishiemishie, who did an awesome job. ;D) I then stumbled into the artist alley and bought some of the cool stuff, including a print, some stickers and a commission of Draculaura from [tumblr.com profile] katiecrenshaw. I also bought some awesome costume/goth jewelry from another vendor, but I didn't get her name or business card. ): Another woman named Sian was there selling tshirts, signed photos and other merch, and we had a great conversation about the sorry state of fangirl tshirts. She recommended a site called Her Universe that specializes in fitted fannish shirts.

Saturday night was the vid show, though I spent half of it working the con suite again, which I certainly don't mind, because Escapade gives out DVDs of the vid show every year! Here are a couple of personal recs:

)
The Green Horent (2011) - "Paul Revere"

)
Person of Interest - "Big Spender"

)
Pacific Rim - "King and Lionheart"


Once the vid show ended, it was time for [personal profile] franzeska's birthday/20 years in fandom room party. We spent the rest of the night talking, playing with and eating the "booty" in our goodie bags, watching MORE vids, and sticking tiny, decorative drink umbrellas in our hair. Well, that last one might just be me. But we had lots of fun and no one called security, so I think we were good.

It was hard to get up the next morning after such a long night, but I dragged myself out of bed at 9AM to go to the art show auction and raffle. Every year, the pieces in the art show that get two or more bids go to auction. (Except those that aren't for sale, like the little felt penis. ;D) While [twitter.com profile] nakedbee heads the art show, a woman named Shoshana does the actual auction calling, and I was sorry when I had to leave around 10:40 to shower and change so I could go back to volunteering in the con suite, where I was until 3PM.

A lot of people were leaving at this time, so we saw them off, or in my case, said goodbye while I sat around a table and handed out vid show DVDs. A bunch of us then went to Umami Burger for a late lunch, though I didn't end up eating since I was going to be meeting [tumblr.com profile] rubato later that evening for dinner.

I met [tumblr.com profile] rubato around 6:30 in the hotel lounge and we went to an amazing place called KC'S Crepes. ([tumblr.com profile] initalshh recommended it, but she was sadly in New York that weekend.) The crepes were pretty much amazing, and we talked there for a couple of hours before going back to the hotel and hanging out with the con stragglers. [tumblr.com profile] rubato and I tried to go to an Oscar room party, but it was ended right as we got there. Oh well, neither of us really cared about them anyway! Rubez eventually went home and the rest of us settled in to sleep.

[livejournal.com profile] cellia left early the next morning, so [personal profile] franzeska and I were the only ones left in the room. We packed up the stuff remaining from the party and I took all of it and my things downstairs to [twitter.com profile] nakedbee's van. We packed up and were on our way by about 1PM.

Despite stopping a couple of times to eat and rest, we made it back to my place in about only 6 hours, which feels like record timing to me! I guess it helped we spent most of the time on the road in the middle of a Monday. We talked about her film projects & anime and learned a surprising amount about bees.

I got home at 7PM, ate dinner, hung out with Erik and crashed at 9PM for about 14 hours. I'd call that a record, but I know it's not.

This post got rather wordy! I don't think I've written a journal post this long in YEARS. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but I'm honestly not good at them, and other than this awesome quote from the Almost Human panel, I didn't take many.

But overall I had an amazingly relaxing con weekend. And if anything sticks with me from this con, it's the great atmosphere and acceptance that I immediately felt from all the attendees. That, and the food. Never have I spent so little on food at a convention. I didn't have to when there were tons of great ladies always offering up their culinary services!

The bottom line is: you should come to Escapade.

And as a total aside: [livejournal.com profile] curiositykate is doing tarot readings for a small fee here!
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