It’s SDCC week and the anticipation is racking my mind constantly. Sleeplessness will likely set in tomorrow. Giddy outbursts will surely begin this evening. And it’s all because there is quite literally nothing like the sheer size and fervor of San Diego Comic Con. As a result, there’s a lot of things that people tell you are MUST DOS at the big event. I’m here to tell you… some of that stuff is poppy cock.
Truth #1: You don’t need to see Hall H.
I’ve done the whole “let’s wait in line all night long and sit through 5 panels we’re uninterested in so we can see the panel we want to see” thing a time or two. I can honestly tell you, it’s not worth it. The Hall H events are usually recorded and the quality and experience are just as good from the camera’s view than from row 104.
Truth #2: You do need sleep.
So many people complain about Con Crud. You know, a wretched disease that sets in at the tail end of a Con and then doesn’t leave your lungs for weeks. These people aren’t sleeping. Most people at Cons are pretty sleep deprived and it’s not great. By day 3, you start to run into some pretty crabby people, which isn’t really that awesome. Be better. Treat yourself better. You will enjoy everything more if you get some solid sleep.
Truth #3: The Convention Center is not the best part.
While there are many great panels happening in the Convention Center and plenty of great people and things to see, I really love hanging out in the immediate vicinity far more. Between the experiences that various brands “pop up” in the immediate area, to the parties, to the NERD HQ panels to the random people watching in the Gaslamp Quarter - you can have an amazing time with no badge around your neck.
Truth #4: It’s about the people.
What do I look forward to most about SDCC? It’s not the parties. It’s not the panels. It’s not the exclusive merch. It’s not even San Diego. It’s the people. The amazing friends I’ve made because we all descend on this crazy party for a few days. I can sincerely say many of these people are friends who I count on for real life stuff long after SDCC is through. So don’t be shy. Say hi and make friends. You will never regret it.
You know what the most popular post on my site of ALL TIME is? It’s the one where I talk about how to get the most out of your Wizarding World of Harry Potter vacation. All that can be found here and I’m planning lots of fun posts about geeky vacations in England (yay!) for the summer months, but today we’ve got a guest post from a vacation expert, Miss Riley White.
Why? Because vacations are hard. No one will say it. But it’s true. A fantastic vacation is always a bit challenging to actualise. How does one choose? Package holidays are perfect for individuals who want to achieve the perfect vacation that has everything they need without having to plan every minute on their own. Bargain travel sites make it possible for people to pick and choose every detail on their own and stretch their cash. However, those two things aren’t nearly as important as these things:
1. Choose a destination that you’re excited about - NOT a popular destination.
What does this mean? Well, last year I was excited about Cardiff because that’s where Doctor Who is filmed. There’s not much else to do in Cardiff, so most travel sites won’t really offer me the most awesome deals there. I had to appreciate it for its own unique qualities, pros and cons. However, if I was traveling as a family or as a group of friends, it is best that everyone chimes in and in that case… well there would have been trouble.
That brings me to my second tip.
2. Don’t be afraid to travel alone. It can be intimidating at first, but it’s always worth trying at least once in life. Even if it’s just a weekend trip to a Con, these experiences will push you out of your usual.
3. Consider your group. If you can’t travel alone, then I understand. Sometimes it’s budgets… and sometimes it’s family! If you have small kids for example, destinations with amusement parks and roller coasters are always high on the list. Consider LEGO Land or the Wizarding World for something other than the standard Disney moment.
4. If you’re going the group route, don’t be afraid to use package holidays
My best girlfriends and I did this when we went to Costa Rica in the butt of winter and it was brilliant. Going on holiday to places you have never been to before can sometimes feel like a step into the unknown, mostly due to limited information about the destination and expectations for what exactly an “all inclusive” really means. People with significant experience in holiday planning and knowledge on destinations usually put these deals together, so they can cater to people from all walks of life and to suit varying budgets. Even just the Orbitz, Travelocity and Priceline group deals can be a win.
5. Do some research before traveling. Just ask a scientist. Going in blind isn’t always the best. At the very least, you should do some research to find out the prevailing weather conditions, political situation if you’re going to somewhere more remote or controversial and learn any laws that may be a bit strange. You’d be surprised how much j-walking tickets will cot you.
6. Be ready for anything. Planning is great, but being open is the key to any great vacation. Adjusting aspects of your holiday to suit the conditions, whether it’s weather, illness, attitudes or even present company can make all the difference. Being flexible allows you to still have a great time even when everything happens as planned.
Post by Riley White. Riley is a wanderlust obsessed traveler who is swearing off social media for a year to travel the world and really see things. Her journey begins Aug. 1, 2014.
San Diego Comic Con is a little more than a month away, which means it’s the perfect time to start considering my wardrobe options. Specifically, I’m trying to figure out what to wear to SherlockeDCC. And then these come along:
So what would you pick? The crop top? Not my normal style, but definitely a trendy potential option. Or the flowy top? Just for funsies, here’s everything I packed last year. I love organized packing picutres. Quite a few of those things will be coming with me again this year.
Things that will definitely return? Well, the backpack is a no-brainer. And of course my camera and gear. I am positive I still own all those underwear. But really, it’s all about the backpack. It’s a necessary part of every Con.
What’s on your SDCC Must Have List this year?
I have long believed that the best treasures are not the several hundred dollar toys or handbags or jeans or even the video games. The things that always improve my mood on a bad day are the smallest of pleasures.
Here’s a few of my guaranteed favorites… they always feel like a bright light on a cloudy day:
An air plant ($2 and up depending on the size and shape… a delightful a phenomena of horticultural science I can’t get nearly enough of)
LEGO Blind Bag Mini Figures ($3.99)
Ridiculous socks ($1.49)
A new art print (Lots of under $5 options on Etsy, but I love this vintage coral for only $2.49)
Kinder’s Happy Hippo Biscuits ($4.49 for 8)
FoxGram’s Instagram Magnets ($2 each)
So my bad day is on its way to being brighter… what are your favorite cheapo methods for getting over a crappy afternoon?
I’m finishing my sophomore year in high school. The year before I was in the fall musical and somehow managed to get a hold of a supporting role in the mainstage musical The Who’s Tommy. I played pre-pubescent boys in both of those shows. Because of some Tommy problems that I won’t detail here and because I was one of the two freshmen in the cast, I was left feeling confused, insecure, and unacquainted with my fellow actors.
This year, I wanted to start my theater career anew. I decided to enter a new realm of high school theater: Unhinged. Unhinged productions are entirely produced by students: the directing, acting, tech, costumes, you name it. I was in three out of the four Unhinged shows this year and the mainstage musical again. This was an experience entirely different from last year’s, and I am grateful to have been able to work with such wonderful people.
But now, the list you’ve all been waiting for.
10 things I learned From High School Theater that apply to all of life:
1. Don’t be intimidated by others. This is serious. It’s easy to feel intimidated by the “cool” upperclassmen who are so good you want to ask for an autograph (or at least a hug) at auditions. Many people are scared of approaching members of this theater group but do not be! Once I was in Unhinged shows acting alongside and being directed by these guys I quickly learned that they are some of the kindest, most approachable, funniest, and overall greatest people. If you shy away from these people, you’re missing out.
2. It’s not you, it’s the part. This is something that every actor – high school or otherwise — has to go through. Rejection. Being turned down for a part does not mean you’re a bad actor. You just don’t fit. DO NOT GIVE UP! Don’t do it.
3. Okay, it actually might be you. This does not mean what you think it does. Everyone has potential to be an excellent performer. This is about reputation. People will not cast you if you have a bad name. To prevent this, all you really have to do is be a decent person. Memorize lines on time, show up, don’t be rude to your directors. Common sense, really.
4. Theater secrets stay secret. Sorry, I can’t say more.
5. There is always room for improvement. Though it’s great to be confident, it’s important to remember that you can always improve on your skills. Someone who starts with no natural acting talent but works hard can do just as well, if not better, than a person who is plenty talented but doesn’t work at all.
6. Don’t look down on others. Everyone’s learning. Be nice.
7. Learn to work in chaos. It’s tech week and there’s only half of a set? Your scene partner hasn’t learned their lines? All part of high school theater. Get used to it.
8. Enjoy yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to be perfect, but a production can’t be good if the people involved are not enjoying what they’re doing. Though it may be hard sometimes, have fun. You’re acting! That’s the best, right?
9. Don’t exclude others. Shows are only fun when all of the cast and crew get along. People can be ostracized enough by outsiders just for being in theater. Don’t let it happen in the cast as well.
10. Be yourself. As cheesy as it sounds, this is so true. If you’re not being yourself, it’s hard to stay relaxed and have a good time. Once you let your guard down and are able to be yourself in front of other people (see number one), high school theater can be one of the best communities to be a part of. It’s just so damn fun.
Thanks to everyone I worked with this year and a special shout out to my high school’s amazing casts and crews of Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Nerd, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. I love you all.
Post by Natalie El-Hai. Natalie enjoys science and all things theater. She spends her free time reading and snuggling with her cats. She will be a sophomore at Southwest High School this fall.
A huge portion of the United States is literally being attacked by clouds filled with snowflakes. It’s lovely when you’re sitting inside your warm place, fire roaring, coffee brewing. Then you go outside and the oppressive cold and impossible driving make it completely unreasonable to consider leaving the house again.
So don’t. Just stay inside. Watch these great movies on Netflix instead:
I know, this is hardly some amazing recommendation. It’s freaking astoundingly perfect as far as Bond movies go. It’s like recommending ice cream. All the flavors are good. Who doesn’t love at least five flavors of ice cream? BUT! As you are listening to the fire crackle and admiring the flakes outside, take a moment to appreciate the insane gorgeousness of Scotland in the winter. This is undoubtedly one of the most perfect film sets in all off Bond movie history.
This isn’t for everyone, I get that. And the accents are hilarious. But as a Minnesota native, this movie just GETS winter. Like, real winter. Not Christmas movies winter. Not the final scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary winter. Real winter. And it’s great.
How can I say that this movie is one of the most under rated movies about robots ever without sounding trite? Ok, I guess I can’t. How about I just tell you this: this movie is astoundingly underrated. It’s such a critical and beautiful take on aging, technology and loneliness - all of which don’t get enough attention.
Want to escape the snow? Want to feel like it’s not 10 degrees outside for even one minute? Then partake in this Alfonso Cuaron masterpiece and thank me later.
The alternative title for this movie should be: Black Friday. Huzzah. Tim Burton has never really been better. It’s on Netflix this very minute. You have no excuse. Just enjoy it.