Attending a convention is a rite of passage and I still recall my first time, gawping at geeky celebrities from afar and bemoaning how damn expensive everything was. Aside from a trip to Destination Star Trek a few years back, I’ve limited my con-going experience to smaller events because of budget. For the last year, it was having a new born on our hands that precluded Elisabeth and I from attending. But all that changed last weekend after we took Lorelei to her very first con.
It was a smaller convention with maybe a few hundred people in attendance and a few cult guests from the world of sci-fi and fantasy. On the Star Wars front there was Paul Warren who, among other things, played Varmik in The Force Awakens, and Brian Wheeler, one of the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. But truth was we were there mostly to meet Virginia Hey, the talented Aussie actor that brought Zhaan to life in Farscape. We met her for the first time back in 2013 and, would you believe, she even recognised us. So it was extra special being able to introduce our daughter to her.
At this point, Lori wasn’t sure where to look. There was so much to take it, with cosplay, Lego demonstrations and even a lip sync competition. Speaking of cosplay, when we were still chatting with Virginia, two guys walked passed dressed as screen-accurate predators, complete with sound effects. Lori looked absolutely amazed. She was definitely more comfortable when I was talking with a chap dressed as Ben Kenobi. He even had a stuffed Yoda with him. Having held Lori for so long that morning, I would have happily swapped him.
After a quick visit around the trade stalls to snap up some Phantom Menace merch, Lori had clearly had enough. Having attended cons alone in the past, it was quite something visiting one as a family, immersing my young daughter in a world of sci-fi, fantasy, anime, collectables and cult entertainment. It was a baby step, the first into a larger world. A few more of these and we’ll soon be ready for Celebration.