Geek Speed Dating

Finding love is hard for anyone but finding love when you are a geek? Now that adds a whole new level of awkward.

Trying to date outside the geek circle, aka trying to date a normie, can be hard and often frustration. It can be really hard to explain to someone why you love what you love, especially for nerds who often have hobbies and intrests that could be considered ‘childish’.

I’m not saying dating someone outside the geek circle is impossible, it can just be harder.

A growing trend at cons is the introduction of Geek Speed Dating.

The event first became popular at large American cons like Comic Con but the events were made even more popular after TLC aired the show ‘Geek Love’, which followed the experiences of one nerd per episode as they tried to find love at New York Comic Con. The show helped make Geek Speed Dating a popular event at many cons including Toronto Fan Expo, Anime North and Con-G.

Basically Speed Dating involves people sitting across from one another and engaging in 3 to 8 minute mini dates, which are basically just conversations. Throughout the event both parties write down who they like and if it’s a match you receive the other persons email address!

Most of the times Speed Dating is an 18+ event so you don’t have to worry about flirting with an underage geekling.

Geek Speed Dating is basically the same as any other form of speed dating except for the fact that everyone present are geeks!

But enough about what the event is. Now I am going to give some advice on what to do and not to do at Geek Speed Dating.

  • Dress Appropriately: Now is not the time to break out your t shirt with inappropriate imagery or slogans. Yes it can sometimes be a conversation starter but it may scare some people off or send out the wrong message. I’m not saying you need to wear a tux or an evening gown but look presentable. Make sure you are well groomed and
  • Keep the twins at home: I’m not saying you have to wear a turtleneck but ladies, wearing a low cut v-neck may make some guys nervous or other guys may prove to not really be interested in you for what you have to say when the twins are also on the date. Now is really not the time to break out your sexiest duds. Leave somethings to the imagination. This goes for guys as well. Showing up in a topless cosplay will get you attention but it may not be the attention you want.
  • Don’t tell them your life story: These are very quick dates so the other person really doesn’t need to know that you had a cat named Spot when you were 6. Only share the basics so then the other person has time to talk as well
  • Try not to interrupt: If you interrupt the other person too often, you may make them feel like what they are saying isn’t important or interesting. It’s okay to interrupt occasionally with comments like “Oh I like that too” or “Who is your favorite character” or even to ask questions but don’t interrupt to start your own story.
  • Don’t corner people later: Basically this means do not corner people later at the con to ask who they wrote on their sheet. It comes off as pushy.
  • Don’t question why someone likes what they like: This is just a general nerd rule, but it is especially important during speed dating
  • Be positive: If you go in there thinking its going to be a hopeless failure it will be. Go in with an open mind and know that not everyone will fall head over heels for you.
  • Understand that not everyone will like what you like: If you meet a guy or girl who doesn’t like what you like, don’t get too insulted or completely brush them off. You may have other things in common and you never know, you may convince them to go to the dark side.
  • Decent handshake: Kind of like an interview, a decent handshake is important. No one likes a limp-noodle handshake but no one likes getting their hand crushed either. At the same time, not everyone will offer you a handshake, but don’t take it as an insult.

If you at least try to follow my guidelines your bound to have a good time. You won’t always meet your soul mate but you will meet some great people!

Have fun my geeky darlings!

 

 

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How to Run a Photoshoot

Last year at Anime North the convention decided to offer an incredible incentive to ensure that the days would be packed full of awesome photoshoots.

What did they do?

They decided to hand out the con badges to people running photoshoots in the DoubleTree Hotel rather than make them wait in line and man did that seem to help encourage people to try and run a shoot of their own!

Running a photoshoot is a LOT of work though (I have run two personally with another coming up in Anime North 2014) so to help anyone who is considering running a shoot at any convention.

Choose a good location: Anime North is great for putting up a map that shows all of the possible locations so make sure that you take a good look at it before you choose a spot. If you know your photoshoot is going to be large (such as the yearly One Piece shoot) try to grab a larger area to ensure for optimum photo room.

Also consider:

  • Certain areas may have trees or poles and they could be great ‘props’ for certain series shoots (always ask before you start climbing though)
  • If you are interested in an indoor shoot make sure it is not going to be in the way

Bring a megaphone: This is especially important if you have a large group or if you have a naturally quiet voice. Trying to control a group of rowdy cosplayers and photogs can be quite difficult so having a megaphone to cut through the noise really helps.

When I ran the Western Comics and Movies photoshoot last year I made the mistake of not bringing one and man did my throat hurt afterwards!

Make sure the time works with everyone: Well maybe not everyone as it really is hard to keep everyone happy. But make sure to choose a time that does not coincide with a big events like the masquerade or with panels that your cosplayers may be interested in.

You should also remember the lighting conditions based on the time and style of cosplays. Silent Hill cosplays will not look as good at high noon as say a Naruto photoshoot.

Ask for help: Whether it be from a friend or a volunteer at the shoot, it is always nice to have multiple people running a photoshoot to help keep things running smoothly.

Plan out your poses: This can be done online via a con specific board or facebook group. Planning your poses can really help keep the shoot running smoothly and allow for everyone to share their ideas.

Popular poses include

  • Villians
  • Heroes
  • Famous character specific poses
  • Heroes versus villian
  • All girl
  • All guy
  • Rivals

Set Ground Rules (as suggested by Megan Notman on Facebook): If you have certain things you really don’t want to see during the photoshoot make sure people know right away. This can be anything from telling photographers what shots they can’t ask for to telling cosplayers no outright PDA.

A few random notes

  • Try to keep PDA to a minimum, doing public yaoi, yuri or even boy/girl is a quick way to get you in trouble
  • Let everyone have input in the pairings – not everyone likes just one pairing
  • Yell spoiler alert before taking plot specific shots such as character deaths
  • Cater, to an extent, to the photographers
  • Don’t let people bully each other out of shots
  • Time each pose so nobody’s legs or arms fall off (I find a 30sec max is good)
  • If you know that the shoot is going to be big, consider having two

Hope this helps!

How to Behave at a Convention

So I recently discovered the popular Tumblr Blog/Page (whatever you call them) known as WeebStories and it got me thinking about the behavior of some people at conventions.

Come on you all know the types I am talking about – those annoyingly loud and hyper people who charge around anime conventions making strange whale noises and generally making fools of themselves.

In the nerd community, particularly amongst anime fans, we tend to call these type of crazy congoers – Weeaboos, but really you can find bad con-goers in ANY nerdom whether it be Anime or Sci Fi.

Anywho, today’s topic is ‘How to behave at a convention’

1.) Don’t Act Like a Weeaboo

Weeaboos are defined as a person who “is obsessed with Japan/Japanese Culture/Anime and attempt. Ways to avoid to acting like a weeaboo include:

  • Using Japanese words out of context of overly frequently
  • Don’t use Japnese honorifics (chan, san, kun etc) out of context

It can be noted that some series get worst Weeaboo ratings than others and these include ‘Hetalia’, ‘Homestuck’ and ‘Naruto’.

Now I am not saying that you shouldn’t cosplay from these series but just remember that they do tend to have a larger weeaboo stigma attached them than most series due to previous events so it is best to be as polite and ‘professional’ as possible while cosplaying from them.

2.) Don’t Stalk People

It’s okay to follow a cosplayer ONCE if you want to get their photo but after that, back off! These are fans just like you – not Disney actors who are paid to deal with your shit.

3.) Always ask first!

This means before you hug, take a picture or do anything at a con always ask first! If you don’t you could end up with some real life charges like assault, get yourself kicked out of the con or even hurt someone.

4.) Remember that not everyone shares your ships

Just because you ship Naruto with Hinata doesn’t mean everyone else will and when you do meet these other people don’t flip your shit. Just agree to disagree and move on. Don’t call them stupid or instigate a fight, just let it go.

5.) Stay in character only to a limit

One of the most enjoyable aspects of cosplay is acting like the character you are portraying. HOWEVER sometimes acting in character can be inappropriate such as cosplaying Sanji from One Piece and acting too flirty towards female con-goers. Just because you are cosplaying a flirt doesn’t mean you should hit on every girl and besides some people may not understand what is going on and get upset.

6.) Know when to ask for photos

Though taking photos made be fun you need to understand when it is appropriate and not appropriate to take photos. So never take photos when:

  • A cosplayer looks upset
  • They are eating
  • Fixing a cosplay
  • In a visible rush
  • In the process of a purchase

7.) Be careful while walking

Long dresses, poofy petticoats, delicate wings and most props are all easily damageable so always be careful where you step.

8.) Be polite

Just because you don’t like the other persons cosplay or artist piece doesn’t mean you have the right to open your trap! Remember – If you can’t think of anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.

9.) Be nice to convention staff

They are giving up their spare time to make sure that you have a fun convention experience so the least you can do is treat them with respect.

10.) Cosplayers are not your personal puppet

These are real people so don’t go around asking them to fulfill your little nerdy fantasies. Some cosplayers are willing to do some things like take picture with you if you are the other half of your ship but don’t expect too much fan service.

These are just a few of many con rules but there are way more! But really the main rule should always be – Be polite and have fun!

Technikitty’s Guide to Preparing for A Convention

Hey everyone! So online it it’s pretty easy to find long term or extremely short term guides to preparing for a convention.

You know the ones.

The types that say remember to pack your tickets and your money and such while long term are more decide on where you are staying and who you are staying with.

Well this guide is more of a mid-range con guide and it will hopefully help prepare you for a convention that is a week away.

STEP 1 – Prep those Cosplays: If you are a cosplayer than the week before a con really is all about cosplay preparations.

  •  For those who make cosplays: Make sure that your cosplay is ready! I know that a lot of cosplayers leave things till the last minute but it is hard to enjoy the pre-con excitement when you are finishing seams and fighting with your sewing machine!
  • For those who buy: Make sure that you have all your cosplay pieces together and if you don’t plan a back-up cosplay!

STEP 2 – Check the weather: This is especially important if your con is primarily outdoors. Check for things like temperature and weather conditions.

  • If it’s going to hot – go for Kamino over Batman.
  • If it’s cold – wear Witch hunter Robin not Yoko.
  • If it’s going to rain – than maybe the long trained dress may not be a good idea

STEP 3 – Print of your tickets and hotel registrations: Computers are the devil so always do computer based projects the days leading up to the con rather than the day of.

While printing out your tickets you may also want to look into special rules on the ticket such as most pre-reg cons allowing

STEP 4 – Do Cosplay Grooming: Brush wigs, get out stains, touch-up hems. Just do the little things that help make your cosplay that much more polished.

Nothing is worse than arriving at a con only to discover that you have a massive stain on your cosplay and no time (or room) to clean it.

STEP 5 – Break in Cosplay Pieces: Contacts and shoes can be total bitches so you want to break them in before the con. Otherwise – YOU WILL REGRET IT!

I once made the mistake of wearing a pair of hiking boots for a cosplay that I have only worn once to try on. End of the story, the Technikitty tore most of the skin off of the bottom of her feet.

So yeah, break stuff in.

STEP 6 – Make sure your group is ready: This is only applicable to those of you who attend cons with groups. You have to make sure that they are ready as well as yourself. Ask these questions:

  •  Is their cosplay ready? If not – is there anything you can do to help?
  • Have they printed their forms off?
  • When and where are you meeting?
  • Who is driving?
  • Where are we staying?
  • Who is bringing what?

But be careful! You don’t want to turn into one of the nagging friends that no one wants to go anywhere with!

STEP 7 – Plan out what you want to do: If the con has a schedule available online than look it over and decide the things that you HAVE to do and the things that would be fun.

STEP 8 – Get your finances in order: Do I have to explain this one? Decide how much you want to spend and get it together.

The last thing you want to do is find something that you desperately want and not have the money for it OR overspend like crazy on all the qavvailable swag.

STEP 9 – Get Pumped: For people like me, that means watching convention videos on YouTube and reading con reviews! Do whatever it is for you that makes you excited for YOUR convention!

Happy conning geeklings!

Cosplay Makeup

Okay, I know us geek girls are not known for a makeup expertise (which is bull by the way) but I am going to tell you now that whether you are good with makeup or not if you want to get into Cosplaying you may want to pick up a few makeup pointers!

Seriously though, makeup is a big deal in cosplay. As a cosplayer you will be thankful for the effects makeup can do for your face when you see the after shots.

My advices is watch Youtube videos, look at tutorials, and pay attention to what other cosplayers have done when Cosplaying the same character as you.

Figure out whether you need to achieve crossplay makeup and the type of character you are Cosplaying. A Lust cosplayer from Fullmetal Alchemist will be doing their makeup in a manner that is way different to say a Konata cosplayer from Lucky Star.

Realizing whether your character is a bad girl or a delicate young lady will help you decide what type of makeup you will need.

For example, if you are Cosplaying Lust than dark lipstick and pale foundation are a must while Konata would need a more fresh face with warmer foundation and no lipstick since she is a school girl.

A few major pointers I would offer include:

  • Always use waterproof mascara
  • Make sure to use a base for your makeup to help it last longer
  • Use either a decent mascara or false eyelashes to keep your eyes from getting ‘lost’ in your face
  • Wear the right colours to both compliment your skin tone and your wig
  • If you are wearing a wig that is very different from your natural hair colour than remember to colour your eyebrows (you will thank me later)

REMEMBER TO SEAL YOUR MAKEUP

Hope this helps and for a few extra pointers check out these awesome links!