30 Day Challenge Day Three: What was your favourite convention experience?

If you’re interested in participating in the Geek Out Challenge, read this post here! Each day I will be posting a question for that day for the next 30 days. Follow along each day with your own post or feel free to wait until the entire challenge has been released and take it on when you like! Be sure to link back to the master post at the end or link back to each post for each day.

Day Three: What was your favourite convention experience?

I attended my first convention in May of this year, the MCM Comic Con at the Excel in London, a slightly overwhelming experience but an enjoyable one with a few treasured memories to take away from the day. I had the good fortune to meet a couple of gaming voice over artists from some of my favourite titles, it was a real treat, however certainly in my opinion it wasn’t as well attended by film and television stars for whatever reason and there was no great compulsion to see those in attendance. I hadn’t intended to go to another event in the summer however I realised London Film and Comic Con was being held at the Olympia venue and certainly had a wide variety of actors and stars there were more tempting to see. My resistance held for a short while, and then broke when I realised William Shatner himself would be attending. I discussed my first fandom on day one of this challenge, Star Trek holds a special place in my heart, it was the first show I took as my own investing a lot of time, energy and imagination into bringing it to life. My first Captain was Jean-Luc Picard, however, in no short order I became aware of Captain James T Kirk, the original and first commanding officer of the Enterprise. He played things a lot more, fast and loose than his predecessor, he was a maverick leader doing things his way, he was an actor I desperately wanted to meet.

That day, was centered around William Shatner and thankfully, whether planned or just good fortune each event was spaced out giving me ample opportunity to meet and see others in attendance which was a treat. First of all the signing and the opportunity to have a few brief words with the actors. I’ll readily admit, I do get a little star struck and just didn’t know what to say or how to act so reverted entirely to good natured English gentleman mode, the persona I adopt when passing through American customs and immigration, smile and berate yourself for the terrible weather. Having made a bumbling idiot of myself I had enough time to witness a couple of panels being held and to meet Robert Picardo of Star Trek Voyager fame before Shatner’s paid talk. This was remarkably busy with a very long queue however swiftly manager and shortly after the scheduled star time he came on stage to hold an hour long question and answer session across the entirety of his career. I had anticipated the questions would be a little more Trek focused however it was enjoyable to learn a bit more about this actor and the depth of his career long before he donned the yellow tunic of Captain Kirk. He’s an actor that knows how to hold an audience, sharing anecdotes and stories and never seeming to shy away from a topic of conversation.

I had a chance to stretch my legs and explore the venue between the events before finally the photo session with the Captain himself. I’ll touch on this briefly tomorrow, the queues were very long and the venue had barely any functioning or working air conditioning. I suffer in the heat and did find it unpleasant. I’ll regularly tease my better half for her attention to detail and appearance, boy do I wish I looked less hot and tired when meeting one of my idols. The queue when moving went swiftly enough, the organisers have run these events before and know how to get people in and out. If this was my only experience of meeting the Captain that day I would have been slightly agitated as I felt disgusting from the heat. However thankfully I had met him earlier in the day, this was just a nice closing experience to the day. As a fan of the actor and series I had picked up he can be difficult to work with, a divisive individual, all I can say, this wasn’t work, he was a perfectly charming and agreeable individual to meet for even a brief moment. Taking pictures, meeting fans, answering questions, you couldn’t ask for a better guest. And for me, why was it one of my favourite convention experiences? I finally got to meet someone I’ve idolised for over two decades, the experience and memories are one’s I’ll cherish.

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