Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A&G 2014: The Rundown

Not quite.

 It's that time of year again.  You know, it's the time of year where I run around with a video camera at a convention recording everything I can while also getting roped into various events?  Yup, it's A&G Ohio 2014!  My everything hurts, so sitting in a chair and typing this up is low-impact enough that this shouldn't take too long.

Thursday

-Got there the Thursday before the con started to find the wrestling ring already set up.  Unlike previous years, the ring is in a separate room so other events (read: concerts) can go on while the ring stays up, especially since the rasslin' event happens for three days this year instead of one.  For those people portraying multiple characters in multiple matches, this was a godsend.

-My first act as a con staffer was to disinfect the ring.  This bodes well.

-I had two matches on separate days and got to work out the first one with the guy who would eventually win the A&G title belt.  It's decided that since I'm going to be a huge dickbag (Bandit Keith) I'll spend the majority of the match cheating my ass off before eventually losing.

-Maffew (he of Botchamania fame) is there already, referencing wrestling things I either barely remember or never saw.  I'm probably the least knowledgeable wrestling person involved in the entire event.

-The ring is... uh... Let's put it this way.  I legitimately thought about using a lint roller to try and clean the thing.  The canvas looked like someone wearing a white shirt had a black cat sit on them for an hour or five.  Also, one of the other wrestlers/staffers discovered the support beams were uneven after a bit of practice.  Safety first, kids.

-The convention center closes down entirely at 11pm every day and opens at 8am.  The con used to run 24 hours a day so this cut down on the amount of programming available, but the staff seemed appreciative of the chance to, you know, sleep.

-I get to sleep on the couch.  In a sleeping bag.  And the couch is a foot too short for me.

 This will be remedied swiftly.

Friday

-I get to the convention center well before anything needs filmed to go over more match stuff and make sure the ring won't somehow kill us all.  Technically I'm on staff for the cosplay repair station, even though I'm not handy at all with that kind of thing.  I mainly used the back of the room as storage for my laptop and various props and costume pieces I'd need for the Multiverse Rumble (read: wrestling).  The only other people working that station were in that room almost the entire con.

-Filmed some of Nerf Warz day 1.  This year I managed not to get shot by people thinking I was someone on the other team trying to flank them.

-It's the first time this con has taken place in an actual convention center, and as people start filing over the course of the day I notice one major positive about the move.  The hallways are much larger.  This was the first A&G where I never found myself trying to weave through the one-inch gaps between people's shoulders to try and get somewhere.

-I spent the entire weekend guarding my USB drive with my life.  This drive had all of the wrestling intro videos and music as well as the subtitles and audio for the Avatar: The Last Airbender Musical (yes really) on it.

-It's time for the wrestling show.  I couldn't find a camera man so I had to set it up in a corner of the room and hope the footage looked alright.  The moment I saw some guys end up outside the ring way away from where the camera was pointing, I shook my fist at them like an old man who just had his peach tree stolen.

-For my match (in which I was Bandit Keith facing Chef from South Park) I managed to botch twice before the match even started.  I forgot to take off my staff badge before going out and knocked off my American flag bandana trying to get the badge off of me.  As a bad guy I spent almost the whole match cheating like a motherfucker, but still lost.  Whatevs, he was going on to win the title later that weekend.

-Kaiji Tang was one of the guests this year.  Cool guy, by the way.  Kaiji voiced in a lot of things, one of them being Owain in Fire Emblem Awakening, as of now the only 3DS game I own.  The guest relations head offered me the chance to get something signed by him, but all I really had was the tiny-ass game cartridge.  Instead I handed him my 3DS and asked if he could sign that.  This is the result:

CAN'T... CONTROL...

Saturday

-Woke up a bit late.  Not sure if it was due to my bed being a couch and foot rest pushed together, the room being noisy with people making costume fixes for con events, or both.

-The musical happened.  At one point I put in a fake error message as part of a filler for when the audio tracks changed over, which apparently the con chair (who was in the musical) didn't know about and dropped several F-bombs before and after he realized it was fake and nothing was actually wrong.

-A Dick Tracy cosplayer?  Holy shit, there was a Dick Tracy cosplayer!

-At one point I wound up having a short conversation with Michael Raven, another guest of the con.  We somehow wound up reminiscing about high school marching band and how it sucked to march and play with a trombone.

-At some point, this happened.  Too bad I didn't see it in person since I love the first game and don't completely hate the second one:

  MediEvil cosplay: a phrase I never thought I'd use.

-I was Kanji from Persona 4 for the wrestling, going against Tiger Jackson from Tekken.  The guy playing Tiger wrote up a massive list of match notes ahead of time so we both had a decent idea of what to do, though since we didn't get to practice as much as we wanted the finish was altered a bit.  I did okay for the most part, but for the finish I wound up landing ass-first on the edge of a steel chair doing my finisher.  Victory comes with a price I guess.

-Maffew was doing a tournament in the game room for WWF No Mercy.  I went there to film it and wound up filling in for a guy who no-showed/was busy.  I got a first-round bye in which Maffew claimed I defeated Scott Hall.

-I faced Maffew in the second round.  I barely remembered how to play, but still gave a decent effort as Taka Michinoku against Faarooq (how it was spelled in-game).  Maffew flipped his shit for a moment when I somehow managed to kick out of his finisher, but he still won.

-After the tournament he had some extra time and did a fatal four way match, in which I played as Trish Stratus because why the hell not.  Somehow I lasted until the final two, threw both the steel steps from the ring into the crowd, and kicked out of a finisher as well as several follow-up maneuvers including a stop sign being thrown into my throat.

Sunday

-There was a table flipping competition, but midway through two legs broke off of the table.  Then it was thrown again and everything else broke off of it, so it turned into a chair tossing competition.

-For the final day of the Multiverse Rumble I refereed one match and cut a promo from backstage as Bandit Keith to set up something for next year.

-Total damage from the wrestling: cuts on two fingers on my right hand and one on the palm, a cut on one of my left knuckles, bloody scrape and bruise on my right forearm, another bruise above that, burns on both elbows, massive bruise on the front of my right shoulder, bruise on my chest the size of a golf ball, marks all over my back from the ring ropes, a very sensitive lower back (also bruised), and one busted right ass cheek.  I had a Taekwondo class less than 24 hours later.

-I missed closing ceremonies since I was helping tear down the wrestling ring.  I left the con a few hours later after helping some with clean up and main events tear down, but Maffew caught me for a photo right before I left the convention center.  Apparently I left an impression.

I guess I did something right.