As many of you know, recently SDCC released an announcement about some changes they are making with badge sales this year. An overwhelming amount of angry tweets and Facebook posts are all saying the same thing: “it’s just not worth all the trouble.” I’ve seen quite a few posts from people who have always wanted to go that are now thinking they won’t even try for badges. This made me want to share my story of my first time at SDCC and why I think the hell of badge sales is worth it.
My husband and I had tried to get tickets in 2012 and we failed to do so. It sucked. We ended up still being in San Diego that weekend. We had just had a wonderful dinner in downtown San Diego when we came across an amazing occurence. Standing on the sidewalk just chatting away was none other than Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk. Being huge Firefly fans. my husband and I were PSYCHED! I asked for a picture and they graciously agreed. Point here: Even if you don’t have tickets, you never know what you might see or who you might meet while in San Diego during this time!
We tried again in 2013. We went into badge sales not expecting to get tickets. We were fortunate enough to get two 4-day badges! We were ecstatic!! I was so excited and freaking out the closer it go to SDCC.
Let me break down my trip for you day by day.
We decided to leave Arizona on Wednesday morning in order to get there in time for the Psych the Musical screening that I was dying to attend. We arrived in San Diego only to find out that our hotel reservation had been canceled and we wouldn’t have a room. We almost drove back to Arizona that night! Luckily, a wonderful women at the hotel helped us find another room somewhere else. It was farther away from the convention center, but at least we’d have a place to stay. By this point, we were both tired, hungry and just frustrated. We missed the Psych screening. Our first SDCC adventure was NOT turning out well.
Thursday arrived and we were off to the con! That morning, we separated for the first time. My husband went to get in line to get into the exhibit hall while I braved the lines for signings! I was in line anxiously hoping I would get a ticket to the Psych cast signing! I was a nervous wreck. I felt sick between being all alone, not knowing what to expect and just the sheer amount of people. I met a really nice man in line. He helped calm my nerves and, being a con veteran, he helped explain a lot of the events to me. He told me how signings would work out, tips for the exhibit floor and gave me the most important tip I would have all week. He said that with everything going on, I wouldn’t be able to do everything but the most important thing to remember was to have fun! I definitely took that to heart. I got through the massive line and was finally queued up for the Psych drawing! As I stepped up to draw, I was so nervous! I pulled my ticket, took a breath and flipped it over! SMILEY FACE! I had won a spot for the signing! I was THRILLED! I was to report back a little later for the signing but I already had another place to be. Felicia Day was signing over at the Geek and Sundry space at Jolt ‘N Joes. I was determined to meet her before I left San Diego. I was running through Gaslamp trying to find the spot. After getting lost multiple times, I finally found it. I was so nervous I had missed the signing. Fortunately, Miss Day decided to sign until the very last fan had been seen. Bless her heart, she is an amazing woman. I met her, I got an autograph and I got a photograph. I was not only happy, but I felt like even if I didn’t have an awesome moment like this the rest of the weekend, SDCC would still be a success. It was back to the convention center for me where I would queue up once more for the Psych signing! I met a new friend while in line who loved the show just as much as me. We were lead through a line where the cast signed my copy of Psych’s Guide to Crime Fighting for the Totally Unqualified. I met one of my favorite actors Timothy Omundson. Our conversation though brief was AWESOME!
Me: I just wanted you to know that you’re one of my favorite actors and Lassie is easily my favorite character on the show.
Omundson: (turns to James Roday) Did you hear that?! Yes! That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that!
He high-fived me! I was beyond ecstatic! It was such an epic moment.
Thursday night I was fortunate enough to get invited to the party at the Geek and Sundry space. I attended with a few new friends and had a blast! I met a few of the cast members of the Guild: Robin Thorsen, Sandeep Parikh, and the fabulous Vince Caso. Meeting Vince is actually a hilarious story. I was completely star struck when I saw him. I have no idea why I freaked so hardcore, but I did. I couldn’t bring myself to go up to him and introduce myself. My husband, knowing how much I loved the Guild and Vince, struck up a conversation with him (without me knowing). He told Vince that his wife (aka me) would really love to meet him but I was too nervous to talk to him. He brought Vince over who introduced himself to me and my friends. It was such a beautiful moment in many ways. Vince is so cool with fans and such a nice guy. My friends and I struck a pose with Robin in the photo booth. We saw Jason Mewes, Felicia Day, Phil Lamar, John Barrowman and Alan Tudyk. I met quite a few of the Geek and Sundry vloggers. One of my favorite encounters was meeting Amy Dallen. She currently produces a vlog for G&S about comics. We were in the photo booth when Alan Tudyk showed up! He actually jumped in on one of our photos and it was such a cool moment! The whole night was just unforgettable.
Friday we got a late start. Neither of us NEEDED to be at the convention center super early so it was a relaxed day. We spent a lot of time just walking around Gaslamp seeing all the really cool exhibits and special events on the street. I can’t remember if it was Friday or Saturday that this happened, but I was on the floor as security led Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz to the Bones signing. I just about died. I turned to the person next to me and (I’m afraid to admit) fangirled out loud with a “Oh gosh! Did you see who that was!??”
Saturday we tried to get tickets for the Captain America signing. Neither of us did, but we had fun doing it. We got autographed cards featuring Marvel characters signed by the artists and writers of the series. I picked up a fabulous Marvel SDCC exclusive: a Rocket Raccoon mug! I use this mug every single day for everything I drink. It was another day of wandering the exhibit floor just getting free swag and having fun. A plus side to wandering around out on the streets was running into random celebrities. I met Richard Speight Jr from Supernatural, I saw Rob Benedict from Supernatural but didn’t get the chance to meet him officially. I also was fortunate enough to run into the entire cast of Being Human. I had just met Sam Witwer at Phoenix Comic Con back in May, but seeing the whole cast together just blew me away! I’m hoping to officially meet them at SDCC this year if I get fortunate enough to go back! I also got to live a Buffy fangirl moment this day! I met Nicholas Brendon aka Xander! Words cannot even begin to describe how happy I am that I got to meet one of the Buffy cast members FINALLY!
Sunday, I was a nervous wreck. I was trying to win a wristband for the Supernatural signing. I so desperately wanted it! As myself and my fellow Supernatural fans waited in line, I seem to be the only person who saw something amazing. Standing in line, getting impatient: that’s when it happened- Misha Collins went jogging by. I was so excited. I couldn’t believe that I had just laid eyes on THE Misha Collins! Castiel had just been there right before my very eyes!! They ran out of Supernatural signings wristbands a few people in front of me and I was devastated! I really wanted to meet the cast and I was bummed knowing that I wouldn’t get that chance. At least I got to see Misha! That same day, the husband and I tried our hand at drawing for Thor: The Dark World signing tickets! The girl in front of me didn’t get a ticket. My husband didn’t get a ticket. As I pulled my card out of the box, I almost walked off the stage without even looking! I’m glad that I didn’t! I had pulled a winning ticket! I was going to meet Alan Taylor and *gasp* Tom Hiddleston! Loki is by far my FAVORITE character in Thor. That afternoon, I lined up for the Thor signing. I had people offering me hundreds of dollars for my ticket. I couldn’t imagine passing up the opportunity to meet THE Tom Hiddleston for cash and I was right! As I approached Tom Hiddleston, I was once again nervous yet totally excited! He was so nice and chatted with each fan. We talked for a bit. I got an amazing photo that I still can’t believe exists! I also high-fived Loki. I high-fived Tom Hiddleston. I felt like an insta-legend! Alan Taylor was just as kind to fans and it was an honor to meet such a wonderful director! The day was just amazing.
I had so many amazing moments at SDCC. I met some amazing celebrities I never thought in a million years that I would be fortunate enough to meet. I had an adventure with my husband and got to share some wonderful experiences with him. I met some amazing new friends that are truly some of the coolest nerds ever. San Diego Comic-Con changed my life. I made life lasting memories and friendships. Even though getting there was hell, ticket sales were insane and a hotel mix-up almost ruined my weekend, I wouldn’t change it for anything!
Thinking about the experience I had last year, I would say without a doubt that all of the trouble is worth it. When you’re there and you’re creating those memories, nothing else matters!
Have faith, geeks and nerds alike! Take part in sales! If you get tickets, excellent! If not, try again next year! If you already live in San Diego remember that there’s so much more than just the convention center! There are all kinds of fan events you can attend that you don’t need a badge for!
Good luck to everyone this year and may the odds be ever in your favor!