I am writing this on my flight down to Los Angeles to start the five city tour of w00tstock. This trip will be my first tour to cross the nation (from LA to New York) and I am excited to see what will happen. This job is one of my favorites. Every day I “work” on this show I feel so very lucky to be a part of a spectacular show. The talent and people brought together for each w00tstock continue to amaze me.
With that in mind, I created a list of what I am looking forward to:
Super awesome surprises in Los Angeles
Going to New York for the first time and performing at the Best Buy theater in Times Square
Mini-reunion with Enforcers on the East Coast
Working with Neil Gaiman (again!)
Meeting new and talented performers
There will certainly be many exciting adventures this week. I hope to report them all. For instant updates, follow me on twitter.
At long last my update from w00tstock San Francisco. I am preparing for the w00tstock tour coming up next week and with w00tstock on my mind it is time to write. The tour takes us to LA, New York, Boston, Austin and Dallas. The excitement for this trip continues to build as new and exciting surprises develop. I plan to update from the road, but we shall see. As a side note, it is unfortunate that “Boston” and “Austin” sound so much alike. I have had multiple instances of confusing the two.
San Francisco is a great city for a w00tstock. In fact, it is so great we had two sold out shows! I have many favorite memories from these shows.
I surprised Wil with a cardboard stand up Dalek. He hung out backstage with us for the first show and finally made it on the stage for the second. He was kind enough to fill the Finn spot, since our drummer Jason Finn (of Presidents of the United States of America fame) was not able to make the second show. Before introducing Wil to the Dalek, he was equipped with a sonic screwdriver. He was prepared as the Dalek ambushed him in the greenroom. Due to Wil’s quick reflexes the Dalek was quickly defeated and the greenroom hummus was safe once again.
Surprises such as the Dalek are part of our w00tstock tradition. In San Diego we surprised Paul and Storm with themed panties. What shall happen next week?
Friday morning a few of us drove out to the bombing range on the Mythbusters set. I have to say this was very cool. I continue to make fun of Wil for the fact he preferred to sleep in rather than see an explosion, but you know, that’s an everyday thing for him. Part of the fun of this trip was riding out of the city in a car with Paul, Storm and Phirman. These guys are hilarious and the car ride was quite entertaining. We joked back and forth and shared cool internet videos we had found. Thank god for iPhones.
Molly Lewis and her boyfriend Chris met us at the bombing range. (I just love typing “bombing range”). The explosion was on the smaller scale, but the excitement was being on the “set”. Recognizing the range from the show and laughing with friends.
Grant Imahara made a special robot for the show, the now famous beerbot. Thursday night was his premier and he walked on stage to much applause. Of course, it was Grant in costume. It was quite an ordeal trying to get beer bot to the stage. We picked up the costume that morning, a great excuse to see M7, and it had not been tested fully. We didn’t have much room to dress Grant backstage, and with his lack of mobility we needed to set him up as close to the stage as possible. I staged him in the hallway behind stage left. This was a great location to access the stairs and offered some set up space. Unfortunately, it was also the path to the kitchen for all the servers. Grant and the dressing crew did a fancy dance with the servers trying to suit up and not knock over plates of nachos passing by.
As we prepped for the show I measured the stairs and discovered beerbot’s “feet” were bigger than the steps and Grant would need to side step or tiptoe to get on stage. We compromised with a crew of us escorting him on stage. I ended up as back up so that he didn’t knock over the microphones and keyboard. Once on stage beerbot performed his intended task and opened a beer. Well, he tried to. The beer opening had never been tested and proved…difficult. With some assistance, beerbot succeeded to cheers from the crowd.
After beerbot’s first appearance, Grant went on stage in partial bot costume, to introduce Molly. His entrance was greeted with chanting from the audience, “BEERBOT! BEERBOT!” I don’t think Grant was expecting this. It is safe to say that beerbot was a success; another fun addition to the w00tstock list of surprise appearances.
I always enjoy watching w00tstock from the side of the stage. It has become a tradition to have the performers on the side of the stage watching. There is definitely and added element of entertainment when the group is in plain view. Their reactions are priceless. As Wil and Molly hold up special drawn pictures on their iPads while Paul and Storm perform (and try not to laugh) you can’t help but laugh along. Looking at the group of friends I get to work with was pretty amazing. I was standing there watching Paul and Storm perform next to Molly Lewis, Wil Wheaton, Adam Savage, Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Bonnie Burton, Mike Phirman, and so many others. I love what I do and I can’t wait for new adventures next week.
PAX Prime is this weekend and I am gearing up for the fun and excitement that comes with a convention such as this. PAX is not only about video games and the culture that surrounds it, this convention has a community. There is such as sense of belonging by all of those who attend. I continue to hear stories from attendees who enjoy feeling “normal” at PAX. Such an event offers that connection with others who share the same interests. This subculture is more prominent than it used to be, and it’s growing.
Today I read an article describing the next Comic Con in the Middle East set for March 2011. It reminds me how popular these ‘pop culture’ conventions have become. Reed Pop (New York Comic Con, C2E2, Star Wars Celebration V) has a new comic convention in Singapore. These geeks are taking over the world.
Our passion for comics, gaming and anime are shared around the world, it brings us closer together with a common interest. Who knows, geeks may save the world by uniting nations with a common love of comic books and D&D. That’s a movie I would love to see.