Monday, December 10, 2012

A Pressing Engagement: At New York Comic Con

Yes, New York Comic Con was almost two months ago. No, I do not have a good or even semi-decent excuse as to why it's taken me this long to write about it, unless being a lazy procrastinator counts.

This year I was able to register as press, which was excellent for a number of reasons, but primarily because members of the press get in free, and even though passes to NYCC are less than $100, I have been financially strapped since getting back from San Diego in July. Being press also means that you're able to interview the guests without seeming like a total creeper, although this isn't something that's just handed to you -- you actually have to work and get yourself on those lists. (Don't laugh, as someone who has never been press for anything, I didn't realize you had to do that yourself. After all, DC called me, I was kind of expecting that to be how things worked. Though to be honest, the only people I wanted to interview were the two people for whom I actually was able to get in the press room, Tyler Posey and Jeff Davis from Teen Wolf.)

Having gone to NYCC the previous two years as a regular ticket-holder -- not one of the fancy VIP passes that cost several hundred dollars and are well out of my price range, especially considering in 2010 and 2011 I was unemployed -- to be honest, being press wasn't all that different of an experience. Other than, you know, the getting in free and getting to interview Tyler Posey and Jeff Davis.

NYCC is primarily a fan-oriented convention, as I'm sure most conventions are. Press pass holders are not guaranteed anything except entry. We get a special entrance, which means I didn't have to wait in the massive line every morning (except I still did, because the Javits Center is under construction and there's not much room for queuing up outside). The convention center opened at 10am, so 10am is when I showed up, and more often than not, I was able to walk right in with minimal fuss. I did, however, on Saturday (by far the busiest day of the convention), have to listen to numerous exhibitors piss and moan about having to wait in line with the rest of us, continually going, "I'm an exhibitor, let me through!" only to hear the person they were trying to line jump in front of going, "I'm an exhibitor, too, douchebag, wait in line like everyone else." Ah, New York.

As being press does not guarantee anything, I too had to wait in line for entry into the panel rooms, getting there early if I wanted a good seat. For the 12:15 Teen Wolf panel on Saturday, I lined up as soon as I was able to get inside the Javits. And I still ended up in the fourth row. (But that's okay because 1) I still had a pretty decent, relatively unobstructed view of both the screen and the guests, and 2) I got to interview them later anyway.) I still count myself lucky I was able to get into Friday's Robot Chicken panel, an NYCC staple that is consistently extremely popular, even if the questions asked by fans are always exactly the same.

Those in the press don't even receive preferential seating. If I got to a panel room late -- as in the case of FOX's new show The Following, which is the show Kevin Bacon was promoting when I met him at SDCC -- I have to scramble for a seat wherever I can get it. Most of the regular ticket holders were pleased when I mentioned this, although I don't see the harm in saving at least one row of seats for members of the press. They don't have to be front row center, but somewhere close enough that you can see what's going on. Studios send their current and upcoming projects to conventions not only to interact with fans, but also to spread the word, and the easiest way to spread the word is through the press, and the easiest way the press can spread the word is to be able to get into the panel in the first place.

The only "press" thing I did at the convention was, as previously mentioned, interview Tyler Posey and Jeff Davis from Teen Wolf, which was by far one of the coolest things I have ever done. I contacted the MTV press people a couple of days before the convention and expressed interest in being included on the list into the press room, assuming that little old me with my Flip and myself would be seated at one of the round tables. Imagine my surprise when they instead stuck me on the press line! I got approximately three minutes with each, three minutes all to myself, three minutes that I had to fill up with questions when I had absolutely nothing prepared, assuming that I'd be at a round table and get maybe one question in. I think I did rather well, considering that it was my first time, although I felt like a gigantic idiot and fretted about the interviews the rest of the day, until I was able to post them. (My interview with Tyler was even turned into a .gifset on Tumblr. I feel like that's a sign of acceptance.) I have new respect for people who do this on a regular basis, although they're probably used to it in a way that I am not.

It is my wish that I will one day be able to do this on a regular basis and not be a total goober about it. Will I be able to attend as press next year? Here's hoping!

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