Hey guys, I just wanted to tell you guys a bit about my time at A-kon in Dallas to share my fun weekend and getting to have fun with people. To me, this weekend was a perfect combination of multiple things that gave me a good boost and recharge that I wanted.
So first, A-kon itself was incredible. It’s way larger that what I’ve experienced in terms of anime conventions, since Texas has a huge anime community that puts this thing together. The whole event spanned about three buildings though I spent all of my time in the main convention center where a lot of stuff was happening. Usually, I hate being surrounded by crowds but just the buzz and energy of nerdiness filled me with excitement and the desire to happily skip instead of the usual need to hide in the corner.
The people were great too. Not only were there super amazing cosplays, but everyone was so friendly! Anyone who you’d stop to ask for a cosplay picture loved talking about their cosplay and loved sharing their love for shows. Artists that were selling their wares asked what your favorite stuff was and either agreed or disagreed with you on things about anime. Even hearing words and phrases like “best girl” or “nyan nyan” or “waifu” which are terms only used for me on the internet or with my deepest circle of friends who at least tolerate my anime addiction, was music to my ears. The sounds and song of my people truly.
Now on the the Dungeons and Dragons related stuff. I got to meet the famous voice actor as well as the Dungeon Master of my absolute favorite Dungeons and Dragons related show, Matthew Mercer. Now for those of you who don’t know, Matthew Mercer runs a game of Dungeons and Dragons on the Geek and Sundry twitch channel with a bunch of other voice actor friends called Critical Role. It’s an amazing show that really delves into a lot of action, character development, and drama that I just eat up every single week. I can’t really express how much I love this show, because it’s just exciting and really sparks my own imagination. Honestly speaking, I binged watched the show to catch up during a period in my life that I personally felt that I was having a bit of a tough time.
Just out of nursing school, I and honestly many people around me expected me to do well as a nurse. But really it took me a whole two months out of school before I even got a job offer. I know this doesn’t sound too awful but it really made me feel terrible and anxious for a while. Many of my friends already had job offers months before they even had diplomas or nursing licenses. I spent two months after school of filling out job applications and interviews to be rejected from 3 interviews and a large volume of no responses from job applications before I got the job I have today. I felt incompetent in comparison to the expectations I had for myself.
It was that two month period that I found Critical Role and really delved in, escaping from my own feelings to dive in the heroic story of Vox Machina. The stories and the challenges Matt put for his players and watching them in character deal with their personal faults and issues was cathartic and eye-opening for me. And the player’s constant reminder that DND could be very therapeutic was truthful, even just by watching someone else’s DND show. I felt inspired to Dungeon Master for my friends again, even though I had been burnt out on it and had really been one of two main causes of the hiatus that our campaign had taken. I felt motivated to keep chugging at my job applications and trying.
So when I met Matt, and he was just as kind and awkward as I thought he’d be it was great. I had two chances to meet him, and he was kind enough to accept my requests for signing my DM’s handbook, a picture, and an autograph for my friend. But my favorite moment was when I had first lined up to get him to sign my DM’s handbook. My handbook already has signatures from my dear friends who had played for me, and I asked him to sign on a page next to him. He told me that I had quite a collection, and I felt embarrassed, having a famous person such as him put his name next to people he didn’t know. But told me that it was great, that it was good that I took my friends on adventures and really told them stories. He commended me for taking on the task of Dungeon Master, and thought that I was doing something really amazing. I know he probably said it to a lot of people that day, but to hear someone I personally admired and look up to, tell me I was doing great, nearly made me tear up in public.
I met him the second time at the Charity banquet, lining up to have him sign a present for one of my players who also watched Critical Role, and he took the time to listen to the same story I’ve told you here. He was so attentive, and just genuinely seemed happy that he had influenced me to keep telling stories. A picture and signature later, I really felt happy.
Long story short, A-kon was happy, just a lot of happy. I’ve got some more motivation to keep writing my stories and keep working hard at my career and my life. And I thank all of you, whosoever is reading my long spiels.