01 Jul Sophie reports from Indy PopCon!
Here’s Sophie, ‘doing what she does best’ she called it when she emailed this photo .. and here’s her report from last weekend’s Indy PopCon!
One of the joys of doing conventions is starting the day with a big stack of beautiful SiS cards, both red and blue, and really looking forward to handing them out to people and telling them they are going to be able to get something for free!
This is especially true in America, where not so many people have heard about the Strangeness… yet.
I’ve just got back from Indianapolis from a huge event called Indy PopCon which was a celebration of pop culture in all its forms. My stack of cards dwindled rapidly and I really enjoyed the look on people’s faces as I explained what Strangeness in Space is and the smiles grew. As someone said “sci-fi, comedy, adventure… what is there not to like!”
I met some amazing people; Firstly Jeff, an interpreter for the deaf, who sat by my side and signed both at the signing table and for my panels. American sign language is very different from British and I watched out of the corner of my eye, in awe at Jeff’s speed and ability to really perform what I was saying. It was totally amazing to be having long conversations with deaf American teenagers and get into their world. Jeff is also an American history re-enactor and a history teacher for deaf teens. He believes in bringing history alive for his pupils and he threw out the textbooks long ago and teaches from his vast knowledge and enthusiasm. Lucky kids.
It’s made me think how we could bring Strangeness to deaf people, perhaps eventually publishing scripts online. Ideas anyone?
Then there was Jany, Keith and the team at Who North America. Jany is Malaysian by birth, has been a legal secretary, and wife and mother, and is now mother to a whole load of Dr Who fans who come to their shop and warehouse gatherings in Indianapolis. She is warm, funny, thoughtful and kind; “Allow me to introduce you to my other daughter, my other son, my friends…” she has a smile and a hug for everyone and her team of volunteers are devoted to her.
The big stars of the convention were not science fiction guests at all, but come from the relatively new genre of You Tube video gamers. I know vaguely about them because of my 15 year old Adam who queued for two hours at Excel a few weeks ago to meet some of them and get their autographs. Markiplier, Jacksepticeye and friends spent the whole weekend being screamed at and fainted over by teenyboppers. Their panel attracted around 3000 people (the most they could cram in the hall) and by Sunday night they had every right to be exhausted, grumpy and want a bit of privacy. Except they didn’t. I bumped into them in the hotel lobby as I was waiting for my cab to the airport and sat with them for about an hour chatting. They were as normal as can be, funny, charming, sweet and polite. Later at the airport I googled a You Tube session to see what all the fuss is about. And although it’s not at all my cup of tea (after all I am 52 and their average demographic is probably 15) … I really get it; they are totally authentic, having fun and connecting with all the things young people like.
Which brings me back to Strangeness. Having missed my flight for reasons which I’ll explain in another post, at Indianapolis airport I logged onto the wifi and managed to download our genius editor’s latest mix of Episode 1. As I listened a big smile crept over my face. It’s very nearly ready.
* Strangeness in Space will be released over the summer as a FREE podcast for anyone aged 8-80 to enj0y anywhere they are on any of their smart phone, iPad, kindle or computer gadgets; at any time that suits them! Those who helped fund it through Kickstarter, or buying perks from our shop, will have a sneaky-peak listen in advance of that general release.