Salt Lake Comic Con Fan Experience has come and gone, but the memories will live on! I had a great last 3 days spending time with family, friends, and fellow geeks and nerds. It was a bit exhausting, and quite the experience going to a convention 6 months pregnant, but it’s definitely something I would do again. I hope you’ll enjoy my report of my experience at FanX. For those who are on the edge about whether they want to go to a Dan Farr Production in the future, I hope this will convince you to go!
The first day of FanX was a Thursday. Salt Lake Comic Con events go from Thursday to Saturday and don’t extend into Sundays. The reason I believe is because of the predominant religion in the area(LDS, which I am a member of as well as the founders). While many wish they would extend to Sunday, or do a Friday-Sunday event, I’m actually quite glad they don’t have it on Sunday as it’s nice to have a day to rest before heading back to work.
Anyways, back on track here. Thursday was only a half day. I woke up about 9 AM to work on cosplays for the next day. Sean is always saying how I procrastinate working on Cosplays at the last minute. He’s right, but I wasn’t stressed or worried about getting these done.
We had gotten Gold badges for Christmas from Sean’s parents, which allowed us access to the Expo Hall an hour early, along with VIP, but Thursday we were more anxious to get into the first two panels of the day that started at 4 PM. We told Sean’s brother Jared and his wife Camille that we wanted to leave around 1:30 PM. This would give us time to get in line, as well as park underneath the Salt Palace Convention Center. We had parked there for Salt Lake Comic Con last September, and while it was a bit more expensive than some other parking places, we loved the ease of being able to drop things off at the car quickly. We didn’t end up leaving until about 2 PM, but we made it in plenty of time to be able to park and get in line for the South Ballroom. Our favorite thing to do for parking this time was to park on the 3rd level. This way we didn’t have to wait for an empty elevator.
While we were in line, Jared and Camille went to the merchandise booth to pick up their shirts, lanyard, and Comic-Cash. They then switched us places and held our place in line so that we could pick up ours. Last year in September, they only had one location to pick up your shirt and we only had the one style we could choose from. We waited over an hour or so in line just to pick up our shirts. This year they made the change to have multiple locations and multiple styles to choose from that you used a voucher for. Sean and I decided to pay extra to get the little bit more expensive designs. I got a black one that says “Salt Lake Comic Con” on the front in blue letters and then says “FanX” on the back. Sean chose a blue grey one that has an image of the “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” from Guardians of the Galaxy and it said “Salt Lake Comic Con” on the back. I was glad that we decided to get our SWAG at that point, because then we didn’t have to worry about it for the rest of the convention.
Sean and I then relieved Jared and Camille of saving our spots in line and commenced the waiting ourselves. We spoke to some of the people in line to pass the time. Finally they started letting VIP in, and then it was our turn to go inside. Since we were closer up to the front of the line, we were still able to get good spots up front on the side next to my friends who were VIP and near the microphone that was used for audience questions. I had wanted to be close to the microphone for the second panel we were to attend so that I could ask a question.
Sean waiting in line for the South Ballroom
Me waiting in line
The first panel was Mark Pellegrino. I knew him mostly from his role as Jacob in Lost, but since Sean and I have been watching Supernatural, we also knew him as Lucifer from that show. The panel was really great. He was his own moderator, and he was so sweet to each of the fans who asked a question. The majority of the question were about Supernatural, but there were a couple of Lost questions that I was really excited about. I learned that he was filming Lost and Supernatural at the same time, so he had to fly back and forth between Hawaii and Vancouver.
The next panel was Karen Gillan, who played Amy Pond in Doctor Who and Eliza Dooley in Selfie. I had been wanting to ask her a question about Selfie, because I was devastated that the show was prematurely canceled. As soon as the Mark Pellegrino panel was over, I went up to the front to stand in line to ask my question.
I had planned on asking her who she felt her character Eliza should have ended up with at the end of Selfie, but in talking to the girl behind me, I found we had similar questions, and I liked the way she was going to ask instead, so I went with one of my back up questions.
The panel started and she walked out. I’d met her before during my photo op at FanX last April, but I’m always amazed at how beautiful she is in person. I was second or third in line to ask a question, so I knew I’d get my chance to talk to her. She had a moderator who wasn’t too bad, but I enjoyed hearing about her stories more than listening to the moderator.
Before I go into my experience about asking my question, and what it was about, I wanted to tell you about something awesome that they did this year. Before the panel started, they repeated some rules about questions and volunteers went through to ask you about your question. Thank goodness the girl behind me understood my question because I hadn’t formed the words properly yet(I needed to write it down in my phone to help me when I was at the microphone). She helped me explain it to the volunteer. The rules were pretty basic. No asking for hugs, photos, or autographs. Don’t ask for a personal message that you could send to someone. No relaying personal stories. Keep your question simple and short. These helped to save on time and to be respectful to the celebrity.
I don’t remember what the guy in front of me asked, but I was up there quickly. As soon as I got up there so told me I had a cool TARDIS dress on. The TARDIS is the Doctor’s space traveling time machine in Doctor Who. I thanked her and then told her that my question was about Selfie and that I was sad that it was canceled, which she thanked me for watching. My question to her was about an episode where she sang a cover of the song “Chandelier” by Sia, that was emotional and moving. I asked her what helped her to prepare for that scene. She explained to the audience quickly the scene entailed, and told me that she just thought about what would happen if she was in a situation where there was unrequited love. I also mentioned to her that I loved her cover of the song and wish it was released.
It all went pretty quickly and I felt like I was watching her answer my question, but also that I wasn’t exactly seeing anything that was going on around me. Sean got it on video for me, but because they asked the official media team to not take videos or photos or something(that’s what Sean said to me), I won’t be posting it on here. Sean also was quick to get part of the question after mine on video, as he didn’t know I’d changed questions and that the girl after me was asking my original question. The girl had asked about her to tell her in Eliza’s voice who she would choose. Karen then pretended as if the girl was Henry and told him, “Henry, it was always you.” I loved hearing the reaction from the crowd when Selfie was mentioned. The support for the show is there, but unfortunately the ratings system is flawed.
The rest of the questions were mostly about Doctor Who, but there were some great Guardians of the Galaxy questions mixed in a well. There were some really cute kids who asked questions. My favorite was a little girl who asked if she cried when she cut her hair(she shaved her head for her role as Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy). Karen said she actually laughed when she did it, and that it was funny because she was now bald. She told us about how Marvel made her a wig for her to wear with her own hair. I thought that was really cool of them to do. One of my favorite stories she told was about how Matt Smith(he played the Doctor), was flirting with this guest star/super model on set during filming for the episode “Curse of the Black Spot.” He put his arm on a light stand and it fell over, but he continued flirting as usual. It was a funny story, but the best thing was that Karen continued to laugh after the rest of the audience laughed. I looked at Sean and we both laughed because that’s something I do too, and there’s a joke that Karen Gillan is my non-existant best friend.
The panel was great but we were done with the South Ballroom for Thursday after it was done. Sean and I met up with Jared and Camille and we walked the Expo floor.
The Expo floor is full of so many great things to look at, but sometimes it can feel like a blur or you notice that some shops are carrying the same things. Sean and I bought a print of one of YaYa Han‘s cosplays, which she signed. YaYa is a professional cosplayer who has been on King of the Nerds and Heroes of Cosplay. She was so nice and lovely! Sean asked her more questions than I did even! Afterwards, we grabbed some food and then checked out Artists Alley.
Me and YaYa Han
Sean and I love Artists Alley because we love buying new art prints. We have a portfolio that we store all of them in from the different conventions that we have been to. I bought some lovely art from my friend Kiersten Hale, but we decided to think about it on some other prints. After we were done, we decided to head home, as I had to continue working on our cosplays for the next day.
Thankfully, as you’ll see in my post about day 2, I finished what needed to be done for Sean’s Han Solo cosplay by about 1 AM. I wasn’t too tired and was actually awake, so I was fine staying up that late.
Can’t wait to tell you about day 2!