לקריאת הפוסט בעברית לחצו כאן (לידיעתכם: הפוסט בעברית מכיל תוכן מעט שונה מהפוסט באנגלית)
I'm not an average geek, those who answer to labels will not call me a geek at all.
I'm not a gamer, never really read comic books, fell asleep while trying to watch "Lord of the Rings" like three times and I'm not really sure what's the difference between "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" but shhh…don't tell anyone.
And yet, I consider myself a geek.
I've spent my teenage years in front of the computer screen, I used to spend hours building and designing websites, spend hours installing and uninstalling every possible software and even reading and writing fanfincs (of teen shows but still).
I made friends online, people that I've met when I was 14 and now consider to be my best friends and I was an obvious computer geek through my military service (where I did tech support) and continued on to work as part of Microsoft Israel support team for a while.
So yeah, I'm a geek.
A little bit over a year ago someone (a group of my online friends) convinced me to watch "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", a show that I've objected to for years. I don't watch shows about vampires or teenage slayers, not from today and certainly not from the nineties, but I've decided to give it a try and after 3 seasons (In less than a month..) I fell in love.
After I've finished watching the show I did my usual of reading about it, writing about it, knowing everything I could possibly know about it and I even started reading the comics! (which is really not me but It's nice. I am now stuck somewhere in episode 8 because of my big disliking of Faith).
As a new Whedon fan people recommended that I'd watch "Dr. Horrible sing along blog" and so I've listened and watched, laughed a little bit, watched again and got addicted. After listening to the songs a hundred times I was told I absolutely must listen to the commentary..a musical commentary? how very odd ! that's what I thought (well, I still kinda think that).
I don't need to even tell you that it's brilliant, right? but that's not the point..the point is that the commentary introduced me to "The Guild".
I've actually heard about "The Guild" a couple of years ago and tried to watch it but didn't really get it. I didn't get that it's a web series, I didn't get the warlock jokes and I didn't get the online gaming thing but this time around I did get it, without gaming I could still understand and laugh from the jokes.
As I started following "The Guild" I've entered the Feliciaverse that's what I call it because it's like a world of its own. She has her own shows, her friends' shows, her account on every possible social network and now she even have a premium youtube channel called "GeekandSundry" (and yes, I do love "The Flog" and even occasionally watch "TableTop").
I was not only addicted to the show, but also to the person and to this world I wasn't really part of (It's a weird feeling because I do feel part of it but at the same time I'm not part of it).
I'm currently a student in Tel-Aviv university in Israel and was fortunate enough to go on an exchange student program in Venice, Italy. A couple of days before I left for Venice I saw an update from Felicia that she's going to attend a convention in London! I immediately checked the dates to make sure it's happening when I'm in Venice and gladly saw that it's during my semester there and that it's on a weekend. I checked to see the other guests who were going to attend the convention and realized that I only really knew Felicia, two other actresses from "The Guild" and Eliza Dushku that I knew from Buffy and "Tru Calling" (No, I haven't seen "Dollhouse" either).
So I left to Venice without booking a ticket to the convention, knowing I still don't know how the semester is going to be, how busy I might be and also fearing a cancellation because the convention's website is full of warnings that a fan should not book a ticket for one guest only but I only had one that I really wanted to meet.
After a month or so in Venice I've decided I have to do it. I hoped Felicia wouldn't cancel, thought I'd be happy anyway to meet Eliza, Robin and Amy and that I just can't miss this opportunity. The decision to go came with a lot of worries - going alone, not knowing the guests, not getting the references, not being the right kind of geek but I got over those, bought my ticket and was ready to go.
I came to London for a long weekend, got there really early on Thursday morning, went to some of the touristy places (I've been to London a couple of times before so it wasn't that exciting), did some shopping (Topshop is wonderful for window shopping, too expensive for me..but yay Primark!) and ate at some really nice restaurants.
The convention I attended was called "Inva2ion" and went on from May 11th until May 13th, 2012. The guests were Eliza Dushku, Felicia Day, Elyse Levesque, Alaina Huffman, Alessandra Torresani, Amy Okuda, Robin Thorsen, Dichen Lachman and Aaron Duoglass.
The first day of the convention was kind of weird as I didn't know anyone, didn't know what to do or where to go so it was a little bit awkward until the opening ceremony started. The opening ceremony was a short introduction of all the guests and was very surreal but so much fun.
After the ceremony there was the first party - Toga themed party. I'm not a big party person, I don't really dance but somehow at the con with those nice people I didn't know yet and the funny dances I've just learnt I had a lot of fun (maybe the beers I drank also had some influence..)
Anyway, first party was surprisingly great and I'd realized I'm going to stay for those every night even though the hostel I was staying at was really far from the hotel (a beginner's mistake, will not happen again).
The second day started with a photoshoot. I've signed up to individual photos with the guild cast- Felicia, Amy and Robin and the first one was Felicia.
I couldn't believe I was meeting one of my biggest idols (Tina Fey is my number one, Felicia Day is my number two) for the first time and Felicia was so nice to everyone, walking through us like she's one of the gang, talking to us and making the whole room laugh while taking a picture after a picture and having small talks with every fan approaching her, I was amazed.
Obviously when my turn came I was kind of shocked and lost for words. I took the picture with a ridiculously happy smile and stumped away thanking her (This picture makes me laugh every time I look at it).
The next photoshoot was with the lovely Amy Okuda who I can probably go shopping with and have a great time. We had a short review of her pretty dress and shoes (and PERFECT hair) and she asked about my dress and where I got it from (and again I wish I could afford Topshop dresses, mine is H&M).
The last photoshoot was with Robin Thorsen. Lovely, friendly and extremely funny Robin. As far as I can remember we didn't discuss much but she was very sweet.
After the photoshoot I went to all the guest talks and they were all fascinating.
Between them there were episodes of Felicia's Flog and this was probably the most amazing experience for me, that made me call the con "heaven-like": sitting in a room full of strangers, watching Felicia's episodes and hearing everyone laugh from her jokes. Because Felicia's jokes are very specific, whenever I try to introduce her shows to my friends they do not find them funny at all and I'm left laughing alone, so this was truly an amazing experience.
Evening came and with it the costume competition. I entered the big ballroom but didn't know a lot of people at this point. I've made some friends the night before but I couldn't find them or even just an empty chair. The only tables that had empty chairs belonged to the Golden Ticket's holders which I was not amongst. Anyway, I asked nicely and no one really minded me joining one of those tables so I got a great view on the competition and tried not to stalk but elegantly stare at the guests on the other side of the room (Don't tell me you wouldn't do the same!) The table I sat to turned out to be the best table I could choose! I've met the nicest people who later became my friends.
After the contest there was the Hogwarts themed party and all the guests decided to stay for the party, which means we went all out and really partied..from 9 pm until..well some made it until the morning.
For me it felt unreal, me dancing on the same dance floor with people I admire, with actors (Yes, rationally I know they're just people). The guests were all friendly and really danced with us and not just amongst themselves so it was easier to just dance and be all normal about it. Somehow a limbo thing started and I had too much fun with it.
I've made a lot of friends that night and while talking to one of them realized that I can take another picture with Felicia and fix that shocked face picture I took that morning. I left to go home at around 2 am and woke up early to sign up for another photoshoot with Felicia. (Obsessed? What do you mean obsessed?)
My strategy for the second picture was being funny, which is something I'm good at..sometimes, I think. After realizing I can't act normal around her (yay! ><) I thought making a silly face would hide my nerves and hoped she would cooperate with it (Why not? She's proven to be super nice!)
At the third day of the con when my turn came, I could hardly speak (again) but I've managed to ask Felicia to make a silly face with me and she agreed and here's the famous picture which I show to everyone I know (and most of them react with : "Who is she?" or with "wow, She's really white" lol.)
After the second photoshoot there was another day of guest talks which I gladly attended and then there was the signature session, the one I was dreading and anticipating.
I didn't really understand how many signatures I can ask for, what I can get signed, what I should get signed, what should I say to the guests when I meet them and so on but again, I've made some friends just standing in line and waiting and they've explained pretty much everything I needed to know.
In the beginning I didn't ask for a name dedication but after I saw how fast I was moving from one to another I started asking for it which turned out to be a smart decision because it seems that my name outside of Israel sounds very unique (I already knew it but it still constantly surprises me...).
So first thing I have to say is that in Israel Ayelet is a very common name.
Second thing is that it's pronounced like: I-Yell-At
Thirdly, it's kinda the name of the animal deer in Hebrew... a deer is Ayala and I'm Ayelet, close enough (Some people tried to name me Bambi because of it, it didn't really catch on).
Now that we got that out of the way…most of the guests just asked for where I was from and how to pronounce it. Felicia asked the additional question of what it means and I tried to explain. I mentioned her Israeli DVD story which I must have miss-explained because she immediately clarified she has no problem with Israelis (oops. and if you don't know to which story I'm referring it's really not important).
Anyway, all was good at the end, I was told that I have a beautiful name like 10 times, never got so many compliments in a row and was just over all jumping on imaginary pink clouds with unicorns happy.
The con ended with a wonderful closing ceremony where Sean Harry said some amazing things about Felicia and too many things about Eliza (oops again) and there was the last party.
I can't remember the theme but it was again great fun. I had to leave early to catch a flight and even made it back on time to some of my classes the next day (told you I'm a geek)
A few side notes:
Even though I didn't know Aaron and Alessandra at all, their guest talks were hilarious.
Thank you Jonathan Woodward for showing up and being crazy.
Con attendees are amazing- friendly, nice, fun, shamelessly obsessed like me and just overall great.
The con was small which made it better - no long lines and you get much more attention.
You can see some of my pictures from Inva2ion at my facebook album here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150994565778699.445634.577538698&type=3&l=b1b59d66c3
Thanks for reading, would love to hear your comments and thoughts.