Monday, April 19, 2010


Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, or C2E2, was held for the first time at McCormick Place, and it was a rollicking good time;) There were quite a few heavy weights there too: the actors from Kick-Ass, Carrie FisherNeil Gaiman, and artists like Jim Lee and Jeff Smith, to name just a few. I didn't get to see any of them, because I was busy being a faery at Bristol Renaissance Faire's Renquest booth;)

I was a little concerned that it would be difficult to do our thing in such an odd space; the McCormick Place floor was a huge, hot, crowded mass of tables and booths and people, with nary a bit of nature in sight (unless you stood and squinted towards the high windows, where you could see the tops of a few trees). I brought along sticks lovingly gathered from around my house (the addiction begins early this year, apparently), and dragon tears, hoping they would be enough to keep us occupied. I didn't really know what to expect going in, as this was the first year for this convention.

I needn't have worried;) Katie and I found plenty of children to play with, and it felt like we had transplanted a little bit of the glen to that spot by booth 1305; children passed into our sphere, and if they had been overstimulated, vibrating masses of energy before, they were willing to sit still and play with sticks and glass marbles for twenty minutes straight, and in absolute silence. There were some truly fabulous children there, and some really wonderful interactions.

The sticks and dragon tears were just what we needed; Katie and I would get absorbed in this complex game with absolutely no rules that involved moving the stones around like faery checkers; we even got several kids to play, and one little girl seemed to understand it better than we did!

My favorite interaction was the little girl dressed as Wonder Woman; she was such a sweetheart, and she seemed to like shiny things as much as us!

Then, there was the best part of the weekend. Faeries don't tend to do bits (comedic improv scenes planned ahead of time); they just don't work for us. But, I think this interaction almost fits the bill, and it was comedy gold: a fantastic performer who goes by the handle Kitty Zombie came over. He may look fearsome with diseased skin and red flashing goggles, but he plays the part as a mime who is rather childlike, which is a hilarious contrast. He was comically frightened and confused by us, and we played that up; at one point I offered him a stick and he bit the end off and ate it! We played with him for ten minutes at least and drew quite a crowd, and afterwards I got the chance to thank him when we were both out of costume and makeup; he said it was a joy to play with people who understood how to play with him!

All in all, it was a fun, successful weekend; Bristol did a brisk business, with my sister and A. and several other performers busking for the show and the faeries helping draw in a few crowds over the two days. I learned a few things too:
1. No matter what the conditions, you give me paint and an airbrush and I can paint you.
2. The same apparently goes for myself; I painted myself completely, from start to finish, and I was pretty proud of the results!
3. Fantastickals can draw a crowd, even in the oddest of settings
4. Microphones are not as tasty as they look;)

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