I’m back in LA after a very exciting trip to Austin and the SXSW Interactive Festival! I would summarize SXSW attendance as paying for parties from 4pm to 4am with the option of going to panels on off-hours, LOL. The emphasis is definitely on the party scene, which is not necessarily bad. The parties are a chance to catch up with people you know from the web, even meeting them in person for the first time. I met MANY people I know primarily through Twitter or the ‘net only, so it was a pleasure to see them in flesh. I had a great time bouncing around the convention hall, watching panels and chatting with random web strangers. Amazed at all the Twitters of people who spotted me and didn’t say hi, but observed I was “smaller” or “way paler” in person. Like a cave mushroom or something, LOL.
@feliciaday is not at our show, but I’ll still be rocking my Guild t-shirt on stage during Jonathan’s set, because I don’t hold grudges.
I had to prove them wrong. Of course, I should have stopped by regardless, but whatever If you aren’t aware of Sir Jonathan or Masters Paul and Storm check out their tunes, great Geek music.
Other than that I participated in a GREAT panel called “No Budget to Low Budget” that was crossed with the Film/Interactive conventions. I was amazed by all the questions from filmmakers about web content, and am excited that the Film community, which had previously had a bit of an attitude towards web stuff is finally warming to the venue. Here’s an awesome summary of the panel and a short video clip of me talking (pretty slowly) at the panel. (I was tired, it was a very early panel!! )
I went to some parties, but primarily loved running into people around the convention center during the day. I don’t drink much, but especially avoid it at parties out of town. Basically one of the ONLY cool things about my face being sometimes recognizable is that I don’t have to brave the “cold open” with strangers at parties, which I am DISMAL at! Without people coming up to talk to me, I’d probably be sitting in a corner, total wallflower. I especially hate when the parties have loud music and I end up losing my voice trying to scream in people’s ears, paranoid I had onions for dinner. My agent George Ruiz was nice and accompanied me around to the few I attended and walked me to my car when I left, very nice! Here’s a cute photo of me posing at a party by Clintus McGintus. Yes, I was posing, and yes that’s a Sprite.
Of course, one of the biggest treats in going to Austin is seeing my family, and as you can see from the photos I’ve embedded, my Dad and I spent some “quality” time together at the shooting range. It’s Texas Baby!! I have never shot a gun before, if fact I’ve resisted all my life. But lately I’ve been called on in acting auditions, and even had a job, where I had to use a gun.
There’s nothing worse to watch than an actor who is:
a) Holding a coffee cup with no liquid in it
b) Lugging a suitcase that is empty
c) Wielding a gun like they’re an idiot girl.
Sooooo, much to my father’s delight, I asked him to take me to the range. Ooh, what fun! And actually…it WAS fun. I shot 5 different types of guns, 4 handguns and the rifle you see me with above (not my favorite, too hard to target!). It’s amazing how each gun shoots differently, and how easy it is to pull the trigger of something that can kill people. I’m still in horrified awe. That said, shooting the 45 below was pretty empowering (although not as fun as the Glock, woot!) That stupid grin is my video game side coming out, hehe Anyway, hopefully the sense memory will translate if I’m ever called on to pretend I’m a cop or something!
EDIT: My Dad sent me a video of me shooting the rifle. I wish I had smiled at the camera or something, but it’s still cool to see it fire like that
To top it off, my most surreal/cool experience was totally random. I was several blocks from the festival waiting for someone to pick me up when I heard three dudes sitting on a park bench muttering under their breathe, “Zaboo! Zaboo!” I turned and asked them if they were saying what I thought they said. One of the dudes jumped up and went crazy. “I knew it! You’re that strange-ass girl on that random-ass web series I downloaded off of Xbox!” Nothing to do with the festival at all, just a random sighting. Surreal and cool. Strange-ass girl indeed
Upshot, fun times, and an interesting experience meeting people I know, but don’t “know”. I guess I’ll be heading back to Austin next year!
BTW, while I was gone, “The Guild” was nominated for a BUNCH of Streamy Awards alongside “Dr. Horrible” GASP! I’m very torn between my love of both projects, but am in the great position of being happy whoever wins. BOTH web series are up for the Streamys Audience Award and you can vote 1 x PER DAY until March 28th. Please click if you can, and I will not personally urge either way, just whatever you liked best. Whatever wins, this is a great year for web video, hopefully there will be a greater year ahead of us!