Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo is the biggest convention in Western Canada, and you can really tell. This year was no exception. Read my full post below about my trip, friends, and over all experience!
Kamloops to Calgary is about an 8 hour drive, and I was going straight through to Drumheller to stay with WinterLights Cosplay. The drive was long, the gas was expensive, but Winter made me home made macaroni and cheese when I got there and I couldn't be more excited. AwesomenessLu came over and we worked on a few costume things to get everyone ready for con.
The morning came to early and we got up slowly to do makeup and get ready for Friday at the expo. Winter got out her body paint and started lathering up and I struggled to put eyeliner on. We clearly do mornings differently.
AwesomessLu showed up just in time to help Winter with the rest of her paint as I struggled to put on my tights and cincher under my Pocahontas cosplay. We were finally ready to go... like an hour late... but ready nonetheless. We made the full hour and half trip and got ready for a fun day of con!
After getting our passes, and clearing weapon check, we did a few touch ups in the washroom and then immediately ran into Chris! It was the only time I saw him all weekend, so I'm glad we bumped when we did. He surprised me with the most adorable Stitch key-chain from his trip to the Star Wars Celebration. I attached him to my belt and he became my new sidekick for the day. THANKS AGAIN CHRIS!!
Since we barely ate breakfast, and the day was flying by, we stopped for lunch before actually heading up to the con. I got a hot dog to make Riley jealous, and then Austin found us and got some much needed subway healing. And then the table became a hub of friends as everyone found us. Queue all the selfies!!
And then (forgive my memory here) I guess we wandered up to Cosplay Corner and visited with more friends, made some new friends, and took all the selfies!! We spent quite a while in this area, chatting back and forth, and then we went outside for a little photoshoot!
After the shoot, we headed over to meet one of their friends and he wanted to introduce us to his wife at her booth, so we slowly made our way into the vendor hall. Between the Gengi and the Widowmaker in our group, we got stopped Every. Five. Seconds. For photos!
Hours later we made it to the booth for a quick visit, and then Winter and Awesomenss had a panel they wanted to attend, so I wandered off to meet up with Shelley and Adrestia in the vendor hall.
Oh, and of course, more selfies!
We drove back to Drumheller for the night and battled it out for who got the shower first (I won muhahaa) and then after watching scary game play-throughs and cat videos, we all went to bed.
**I ramble with dramatic story telling throughout Day 2; so for the TL;DR version, read the bolded sentences!!
Day two was a slow start for all of us, but I was adamant to leave early enough to get decent parking at the park. On one hand, I was lucky enough that I only had to do my makeup to get ready, but on the other hand, that meant I'd have to suit up in the parking lot.
This was my last night in Drumheller, so I packed up all my things and loaded up the truck. AwesomessLu got to the house just in time and we threw the last of everything in the truck and headed out an hour before Winter.
I'm just going to prelude this next part with: I would not have survived Saturday without AwesomenessLu. She completely held me together - LITERALLY and I am forever grateful for her kindness and patience with me.
Honestly, I love her. I do!!
First of all, we got a little turned around on our way to the park and Awesomeness got us to the con with little issue. We managed to get decent parking - it was a ways from the main parts of the con, but it was close to the exit and empty enough when we got there that I could occupy two parking stalls to get ready.
Getting into my Jasmine cosplay is an absolute circus to begin with, but after my modifications on the breastplate and the addition of a harness, it was not going as planned. My harness snaps kept coming undone and my pauldrons kept sliding forward. I had done a test run with the harness, but I guess once I added the entire costume together, it was just too much strain.
We were at the truck for close to a half hour I'd guess (a circus... I told you...) before we (I) were ready. Awesomess had to tie on my hip armor, my breastplate, help me slide my ears through my hood, pin some loose hair back on the wig, adjust my harness, and clip the pauldrons together in the back. At least I put my pants on all by myself....
I was so flustered, we didn't have time to take selfies, so sorry for the wall of text here. We quickly ran through weapons check, and then beelined past the long line of women waiting for the restroom so I could fix myself in front of the mirror. We were there for probably another 10 minutes, pushing, pulling, and adjusting. We finally got it to a place that seemed stable so we hurried like busy bees to meet everyone at pre-judging.
On our way there my pauldron flopped forward, pulled the harness loose and fell on the floor, chipping the edge off one of my spikes. When we got to pre-judging I was seconds away from either crying or punching someone. Both sounded like awful options. Awesomess didn't even bat an eye as she started to put me back together. We decided to just tie the problem side on instead of using the snaps. This ended up working much better and held everything tighter.
I had a few minutes while waiting to go in for pre-judging to compose myself, and in that time the other girls showed up in their glorious costumes. I was so honored to be competing against them rather than with them this time.
They called me in for pre-judging finally and I was so nervous. Luckily the girl at the registration table was super nice and kept chatting with me to keep me distracted! Then I finally went around the corner to talk to the judges face to face and impress them with all the cool stuff I did with my costume!
I was looking down at my costume for clues of unique things to talk about and they eventually had to ask about my wig! I had completely forgotten about the massive balls hanging down my back xD So with their helpful prompts, I explained how my ears were craft foam, and the earrings were hot glue, and the wig was made using styrofoam balls and fits over my own hair bun!! For more details, check out my write up blog here.
They were super nice and seemed impressed with some of the innovative ways I made things. As a frugal cosplayer, I was pretty proud! Nervous and shaking like a leaf, but proud nonetheless.
And then I dropped my phone on the way out and couldn't pick it up. #Awkward
We waited for Adrestia, Shelley, and Winter's group to finish being judged and we all chatted and gushed over each other's costumes.
We decided it was time to eat so we suffered through the 40-person-deep lines to get some overly priced con food, and Shelley thankfully had found a spot to sit. After a much needed break (as much as I could in armor) we all went outside for a little photo shoot and had some fun goofing off with Jeff.
Again, we wandered up to Cosplay Corner and visited for a while before making our way down to the corral before the costume contest! I get very nervous when I'm waiting by myself, and we had a LONG wait ahead of us. I think we were backstage for a full hour before I walked the stage.
Right before I walked on stage I was given some brief directions; head for the mat on the centre of the stage - it has the best lighting for the photographers. So in my mind, I was just going to walk to the mat, do a few poses, spins and fake stabby stabs before walking off.
But as Mark Meer yells my name, and I head into the bright lights, I realize I'm ten steps in and only half way to the mat - I should probably do something.... I'm nervous, my palms are sweating, (#MomsSpaghetti), my pauldrons are flopping forward, but I lean into my step with a dagger slice and then make it to the mat and do a wide lunge thing, turn around and do it again, and then turn around AGAIN and do the same thing more or less and then walk off.
I remember hearing all the cheering and feeling really proud, and at the same time I was so nervous to not trip in my curly shoes, or have my pauldron fall off on stage. So I was smiling like a goof, and because of the pauldron (and my shaking nerves) I couldn't fully throw myself into my poses, so it looks like I'm dancing and swatting flies.
Enjoy this GIF of my performance provided by AwesomessLu - her name really says it all. She is SOO awesome!
To recap: I was happy for the experience at least....
After the contest wrapped up, we lingered for a bit and congratulated our friends that had won, and then decided to head back to the hotel. AwesomessLu directed me to the nearest liquor store where I picked up my dinner of choice - a bottle of wine xD and we zipped over to the hotel we would be sharing with Shelley and Travis for the night. It was a blast.
After a few sips of wine and realizing I was already feeling buzzed, it occurred to me that I really did not eat that day, so we quickly ordered two greasy pizzas and curly fries and wings, and anything else deep fried that Pizza 73 served. We stuffed our bellies and then AwesomenessLu and Shelley went for a dip in the hot tub while Travis and I decided to play a drinking game.
It ended up being a very fun and very relaxing night which was much needed going in to day 3!
We woke up.
We got ready. I checked in with my cosplay group and there was a message from Alana saying she wanted everyone ready for the shoot at 10am...
I check the clock. It's 9. OMF. I thought the shoot was at 11. I squeak on my makeup and wig and the clothing I could wear to drive. AwesomenessLu to the rescue again, being patient and ready to go and putting up with my craziness.
We leave as soon as we're done and get to the park at like 9:50am or something ridiculous and walk as fast as we could to the park. I split off with Awesomeness at this point because she was off to meet her group for the day! I found my girls and panic mode they put me together.
And then we find out the photographer cancelled. The only reason we had to be there so early in the first place. Luckily Alana had booked a few other photoshoots and we took some selfies in the meantime.
I hung out with the other Steampunk princesses for most of the day, but the con started to wear on me and I wanted to see my family in Edmonton, as much fun as I was having at the con. So we all met up in the Cosplay Corner, and I said goodbye to everyone and then Shelley walked me out to my truck.
I got all un-cosplay-dressed and ready to drive. Shelley gave me some leftover pizza, and then we got emotional. It's HARD saying goodbye to your cos-bae!!! She's my cosplay bff and I hardly see her enough. <3
I had such a blast this expo. Ironically, I didn't even see any of the expo.... but with no money to spend, who wants to look at all the amazing things to buy anyways? ;)
I'm sorry this was such a long post, but it's hard to talk about an experience without adding my emotions and personal feelings into my writing. So if you made it all the way down here, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back! You're awesome! <3