I’d never been to CONvergence before.
Other cons, sure, but nothing quite like this one. I was used to various cosplay, panels, gaming… But this convention was like all of those things had gone super saiyan and then ALSO added comedy, shows, amazing guests, a ton more people, music, art, a movie theater, a whole other hotel full of things, AND party rooms that transformed into various movies and games. Seriously, I went into a Fallout vault, a pirate ship, a scene from Harry Potter, and a fancy tea room. And they all had booze. Not to mention the Fearless party room, which had a green screen to literally put you into any geeky scene of your wildest imagination.
The con was definitely impressive on it’s own, but I got the bonus of seeing it through the eyes of a new Fearless member. I didn’t know this at the time, but this meant being swooped up by close friends and shown all the beautiful parts of this convention. And, being invited to perform during the half-time show on the Mainstage during the Masquerade. *record scratch*
So… I joined Fearless on May 17th this year, making me fairly new to the crazy. Throughout the weekend, I watched (and cackled at) various Fearless shows on various stages and panels, and watched my hardworking friends put together and run a party room complete with challenges, booze, green screen photos, coffee, fun decor, and general merriment and joy. I sort of expected to remain an observer and stare at them all in awe for the most part, until Eric Thompson turned to me and asked, “Do you want to be in the half-time show?”
I think I just squeaked at him at first. I found out someone had to drop out of the show due to a sickness, and they needed someone to fill in. I looked at Eric and the other incredible performers around me to whom I look up to so much and they all immediately encouraged me to do it, saying things like “you’ll be great” and “we believe in you.” So, I choked out a “yes” and followed them backstage.
The rest was sort of a blur. I recall yelling, “hot pockets are people!”, I recall Nathan Gerber in a giant cat head, I recall an incredibly fun and enthusiastic audience, and I recall several members joining together to be some sort of squid. Then it was over. The smiling and laughing faces of the crowd echoed in my head as I walked away from the stage, and a mild ache hung out in my stomach from all the laughing I had just uttered.
Throughout the rest of the con, friends and strangers approached us with quotes from the show and kind words, and I found myself trying to suppress happy tears each time. But even more rewarding was my team telling me I had been Fearless.
So, I’d say my first CONvergence was a good one, especially thanks to Fearless. I could have expected mermaids, Portal guns, anime characters, and new friends, but I could have never expected to walk away from the experience feeling like I’d become a part of a family. And that’s sure as hell what happened.
– Kayla Sotebeer