Just back from ConnectiCon, a geeky fan-run, multi-genre convention in Hartford, Connecticut. I’ve been attending for the past decade. I don’t have passes for 2012 or 2014, but I only remember skipping one year so I must have lost a badge. Darn. It was big to me when I first went in 2006, about 5,000 people on one floor of the convention center. (There was a juggling convention going on at the same time which was a perfect group pairing.) I had only been to one other con ever and that had at most 200 nerdy people at a local hotel. I spent my time admiring costumes, playing games with my friend (who had encouraged me to come), and writing down recommendations for all these nerdy things like anime, which I had only just been introduced to.
Now ConnectiCon has grown to have over 10,000 attendees taking over the center, the hotel, and locations downtown as well. This year I had my son with me and we spent our time admiring costumes, playing games with my same friend (and his family), seeing guests of honor (Gimli!), and swearing we will watch more Steven Universe.
As a musical performer, it was tough to get a good audience (they have since moved all music to downtown venues), but it was always fun to sing at the Masquerade. One of the highlights of being a mom singer was a year my daughter came with me to the Con. I sang Two-Dimensional Love about falling for an anime character (Renji from Bleach). She was sitting in the front row watching her nerdy mom sing for an excited audience of a couple thousand people that got it.
The first couple of years it was just me going, but then I brought my geeky, DDR obsessed nephew who had a blast. Then I felt my daughter was old enough, and finally my son. The earlier years of the Con were definitely PG-13, but now it has become a family friendly convention with kids’ programming. Here is a review of the first time I brought everyone with me.
We spent a couple years in Artist’s Alley as TeaPunk, and it was a great experience meeting the other artists and talking with lots of people who came by our table. Because we had plenty of people with us and friends around, we all got to do other things besides table-sit. I did enjoy boffer sword fighting while it was still there (sadly not anymore).
The first year I went as press was very different because there was nothing specific I had to do besides enjoy the event with my children and write about it. I ended up having the perfect nerd vacation. Although I did have a little identity crisis at first…
What to wear? What to wear? After the first year where I felt I stood out because I was dressed “normally”, I always brought my favorite funky tights and odd shirts. I cosplayed sporadically over the course of the decade, and last year I went as She-Ra and had a ton of fun.
I’ll write more about this year’s con in my next post. So here’s to ConnectiCon for ten years!
Looking back at photos, I also found this video of me singing at the Masquerade to I Love You Japan. Enjoy!