Arisia ’03 – The Report

So not much happened at Arisia on Friday. I met up with Adam and Derek briefly, checked out what was going on, went home, and that was about it. I burned the 3rd season Digimon theme to a CD in preparation for Arisia’s masquerade the next day.

On Saturday, I rolled in to the Boston Park Plaza between Noon and 1pm. I didn’t think I would be allowed to check in until 4pm, but they let me without any hassle. I dropped off my stuff and registered for the con and then the masquerade. There were only something like 12 entries last year, so I figured I might as well give the audience something else to look at. Given how anime costumes got no reaction at all during the previous two years, I wasn’t expecting much. (…especially when I handed over my reference photo of Renamon and got a cold reaction of, “You’re wearing that? What is that?”…which was said in the tone of voice as if I handed them a photo of Fred Flintstone.

Shortly after registering, I bumped into Michi and she registered for the masquerade too. I let her dump her huge bag in my room. We found LadyFae and Victor in dealers’ row and I introduced them. Adam came by my room for a while before the masquerade rehearsal.

My rehearsal was scheduled for 3:45 pm. I figured that would work out good since I wouldn’t take long and I wanted to see the “Anime” panel at 4pm. …but since Junkyard Wars ran way over, rehearsals started late and I didn’t get to talk to the tech crew and do my bit (which was about 30 seconds of stage time) until 5:10. I missed the panel, but I didn’t miss much from what I hear about it.

One thing I noticed about Arisia’s schedule this year is that it seems they decided to schedule panels by saying, “Okay, we’ll put all the panels in these dozen rooms at 3pm, the next panels will fill the panel rooms at 4pm, more at 5pm, and then we’ll just stagger the handful that are left all over the place.” The Boston Park Plaza has a lot of rooms on the conference level and most were being used as panel rooms…at the same time. Then later (or earlier) in the day, there wouldn’t be much going on. The scheduling was very poorly done.

Michi, Adam, and I sat around until it was time to go to the green room for the masquerade. At 6:30, we were in costume and headed down to the basement and checked in. More waiting with some photos in between.

There was a girl who was dressed as GIR from Invader Zim. Robot GIR. I wished I had my camera since she was SO CUTE! “Doom!”

The show started at 8:30pm and it wasn’t long before I was led through the bowels of the Boston Park Plaza and being led into an elevator, up two flights, through the kitchen, and to the rear door of the stage. I was the second-to-last entry to go on (and the last competing entry).

I stood at the side of the stage with the same nervousness that I felt up at Anime North. Fortunately, this time my lenses in the mask didn’t fog up and there were no steps for me to trip on when walking on stage.

The “Genericostume” group in front of me finished, Renamon was announced, and up came the 3rd season Digimon theme. I started walking out right at the first guitar riff, walking to the beat. The crowd cheered wildly. (If they booed me, my plan was to flip them off with one of my paws. Instead I waved.) I did a clockwise circle near center stage then headed over towards the sign language interpreter on stage left (who was just standing there looking at me) and struck an attack pose. Then I turned and headed over to the emcee on stage right. With the spotlight on me and limited visibility, I wasn’t exactly sure where I was headed. I spotted the front of his podium and realized I was pretty close to the front of the stage. (I forgot the podium was angled, so I wasn’t as close as I originally thought.) I struck a pose in his general direction and then circled around and exited on stage left. It was probably just over 30 seconds.

After leaving the stage, I marched right down the stairs to the backstage area. I decided to wait for the final two costumers before heading back down and went back up and stood on stage left to watch their “Alice in Wonderbra” skit. There was a CO2 cartridge that was supposed to inflate her bra…but unfortunately it decided to konk out while they were on stage. (Probably because they had set it off multiple times that day already.) I felt bad, but they weren’t a competing entry so at least they didn’t lose any awards because of it.

We headed back downstairs, got more photos taken, and waited. After the photos (which seemed unnecessary since we had them taken BEFORE too), Adam, Michi, and I went up to the ballroom to wait for the awards. LadyFae and Victor showed up shortly before the awards began.

Michi was awarded a workmanship award for her “Totoro-chan” costume. I didn’t enter workmanship judging because Jody wasn’t there and since she was responsible for most of the work it didn’t seem right. In retrospect I probably should have entered anyway and given her any ribbon I might have won. Of course, I didn’t expect an anime costume to win anything anyway.

For the performance awards, I was sure I wasn’t going to get anything. I had no performance. All I did was walk across the stage with the Digimon theme playing. Zero effort and planning on my part. So they get to the Journeyman awards and hand out a few. Then the judge says something like, “This next one was very close to winning Best in Show. For Best in Class, Journeyman…Renamon by Patrick Delahanty!” …and I’m in complete shock and look at Adam and Fae in stunned disbelief. I get up and walk to the stage and the Digimon theme starts up. It was really cool. 🙂

On my way back to my seat, one of the judges asks why I didn’t enter workmanship. Oh well. :/

So I spent the rest of the night wearing the costume. Michi insisted on eating, so we waited in the lobby while she ran up for her money. We talked to Collette from Katsucon while we were there. Every couple minutes someone would come up to me and ask “Who are you supposed to be?” and I’d have to explain. Fae eventually made me a sign. 🙂

At one point, a woman ran up to me and asked if I’d pose for a photo with her friend who is getting married. “Sure!” I put the head on and am suddenly surrounded by “twenty rich, horny women!” Yikes! They’re hanging off me, doing unspeakable things with my tail, and rubbing themselves all over me. Woo! 😀 One of them asked, “Are you cute in there?”
…and then one of them said, “Hey! A man in uniform!” They all ran over to a pilot who was checking in and I was free. Fae pulled me to safety.

After everyone headed off, I hung around the dance for a little bit (but didn’t dance) and then went up to crash in my room.

I slept in and checked out a noon. After dumping my stuff in my car, I got my masquerade certificate award, bought a photo of myself that was taken just before the masquerade, and measured the room Anime Boston will be using as the art room. I spent most of my time doing nothing and just wandering.

Arisia had about 2350 people. It was a big, disorganized mess and I hope that Anime Boston can learn from their mistakes and pull off a good anime con in the same hotel. We’ll find out in under three months.

January 21, 2003

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