Dragon Con 2016 Trip Report: Part 3: Saturday Afternoon/Evening

I had no concrete plans in mind for Saturday afternoon, so I browsed the con event schedule via the dedicated Dragon Con app. I was amazed and very happy to see that this convention was so big and so diverse that, in addition to the big main Masquerade, several of the tracks had their own costume contests. When I saw that the second pre-judging session for the Star Wars costume contest was coming up that afternoon, I decided to live in the moment and show up for it. After lunch, I went back to my hotel, put my robe away in my room (it was finished enough to look okay to parade viewers, but not enough to be presentable to costume judges), switched to my better tabards (the ones that hang down in the back as well as the front), and made my way back to the Marriott. I got there at 2:30, only to be told that someone had mistyped the times into the info field for the costume contest and they were actually starting pre-judging at 3:30. This gave me time for one of my absolute favorite parts of con-going: wandering around, admiring all the costumes and taking pictures of them. Most of them are posted to my Flickr, but here are a couple of highlights:

Yuna from Final Fantasy and a random Jedi try out each other's weapons.
Yuna from Final Fantasy and a random Jedi try out each other’s weapons.
I met Marc Gunn! He wrote and performed the theme song for the first season of The Ghostlight Podcast, “Oor Hamlet.” We had a very nice conversation about podcasting and music.
I met Marc Gunn! He wrote and performed the theme song for the first season of The Ghostlight Podcast, “Oor Hamlet.” We had a very nice conversation about podcasting and music.
I overheard one of the Imperial officers in this picture say to the other when they saw each other: “There are way too many freakin’ Jedi around here.” I laughed because it was true; I was one of many people dressed up that way.
I overheard one of the Imperial officers in this picture say to the other when they saw each other: “There are way too many freakin’ Jedi around here.” I laughed because it was true; I was one of many people dressed up that way.
This talented woman knitted that entire vest herself!
This talented woman knitted that entire vest herself!

I really loved that the panel room for the Star Wars track was all decorated with scenic backdrops from the Star Wars universe:

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Prejudging for the costume contest was not as formal as I had expected. I had to fill out a form with my real name, my character’s name, and a few words that I would like the contest emcee to say about my costume. Then I had to stand in a short line to talk to the judges, who were sitting on the other side of a panel table that was up on a low stage. I had to talk about my costume-making experience; I said I had been making costumes on and off for at least 10 years, but this was my first contest. Based on that, they decided to put me in the intermediate level. I said a little bit about my costume, such as which items I had and hadn’t made myself, but I couldn’t think of much of anything interesting to say, probably because I was running on six or seven hours of broken sleep and was still tired from all the walking I’d done earlier that day. They had me step back from the table and turn in a circle so they could see my whole costume, but they didn’t inspect it up close, as some judges in more formal convention contests do.  At the end of the short conversation, they assigned me a number indicating in what order the contestants would appear on stage, and then said I was free to go.

Now that I knew I was going to be in the costume contest the next day, I figured I’d better try to keep my Jedi costume looking as nice as possible, so I went back to my room at the Westin to change into one of my other costumes, Sora from Digimon. My roommates invited me to have dinner with them at Crazy Atlanta, across the street from the Sheraton, so I did. After that, I had a date to play Dungeons and Dragons in the Westin lobby with several of the cool people from the Dog Days of Podcasting challenge. The D&D game and the parade were the best parts of my Saturday.

Scott had volunteered to DM a one-shot session, which started with each of us choosing our favorite of a selection of mini-liquor bottles, each of which corresponded to the pre-made character sheet we would be using for the evening. I picked the American Honey whiskey because I’d had it before and knew I liked it; I ended up playing the Monk (it was a D&D 5e game), which was really cool. The scenario involved our adventuring party getting killed by a dragon, then being sent on a quest through hell for a chance to be returned to life. We only got through part of the quest before it got to be midnight and we all ran out of energy, but I still had a lot of fun playing. I got to show one of my roommates what D&D looks like in real life for the very first time, too, which was a nice thing to do. All the people around the table were cool and fun to play with, and it was a perfect ending to the night.

Fitbit stats for Saturday: 14,896 steps, 6.44 miles, 107 active minutes.

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