Any comments will be relayed back to Mysterious Stranger, so feel free to let him know that this was a pretty kick ass thing to do. ;)
This was posted in a thread titled 'What are we getting into?' and I just thought it was an excellent list and that it could help several Farscape con newbies that don't hang out over on Terra Firma.
I remember my first con (the year of the cancellation) and I knew absolutely no one other than my online buddy PkGrl (whom I had never met up to that point). It was a bit overwhelming at first but once I warmed up to folks (I'm a bit shy at first contact, hard to believe huh?) I had a great time.
Here are my Top 10 Scaper Con Virgin Suggestions:
1) Be prepared for spontaneous hugs. I don't know what it is about this group of fans but everyone hugs. I'm not a touchy feely person and I tolerate the hugs thrust upon me for this one weekend a year.
2) Don't be afraid of the "cliques". There are several smaller groups within our big Scaper family. Folks that have formed long-standing friendships through this wonderful thing we call Farscape. But we are all in Burbank for the same reason ... to get drunk! HA! I kid. Seriously, we're all Scapers at heart. So don't be shy. It can seem pretty intimidating to come across such a tight-knit group but we're quite harmless if you give us a chance (and we'll point out the ones who aren't so harmless ... what? why's everyone pointing at me?)
3) If you don't know, ask. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Not sure what the deal is with the party passes? Ask. Wondering about the con books being passed around? Ask. Not sure what to wear to the dessert party? Ask. You might get a snarky answer from some of us (again with the pointing at me?) but we'll never steer you wrong. And who knows, that question you ask might be the start of one of the most memorable conversations of the weekend.
4) Be ready to exchange email/phone numbers/etc with folks. Carry a pen with you at all times. (I prefer the Fisher Bullet Space Pen myself) Nothing is worse than getting on the plane Monday morning and realizing you forgot to get the email of that guy in the bar you had that memorable conversation with. Some folks hand out business cards with their contact info on it. Whatever you prefer, just be sure to get the info. It'll save you hours and hours of posting on boards trying to connect with Tom from Florida.
5) Hell Yeahs! At any given moment someone may ask for a "hell yeah". It may be in line, across the lobby or at the table next to you in the bar. You won't know its coming but you'll know it when it happens. The appropriate response is to yell "Hell Yeah!". It can happen at any moment and will most likely come when you least expect it. So just be ready.
6) Sleep on the plane. If you do Burbank at full speed like a lot of us do you won't get much sleep. Closing the bar at 1 or 2 a.m. then hanging out in the lobby til dawn (or they kick us out) will eat up a lot of your normal sleeping hours. Just know that you won't get much sleep so stock up the week before.
7) Andy Ajar's T-Shirts, buy 'em the first day. Andy's designs are classics and I hear this year's is going to be equally awesome (approvals pending). They sold out one year so get yours (if you plan to) the first day. Otherwise you may be out of luck.
8 ) Lines, oh dear sweet merciful gods the lines. Lines to get in. Lines for tickets. Lines for autographs. Lines for photo ops. This is where you make up some of that sleep you missed the night before partying like you're 18 again. Autograph lines are not the cattle-calls they used to be. Creation has softened up on their autograph line "rules" in recent years allowing for personalization of items and even a moment or two to say hello to the cast member. While this is something we all wanted the side-effect is that it makes the lines go really slow. So as you wait in your seat to be called into line, kick back and relax. Write up some notes of the days events, run to the restroom etc. And when you're in line, its a great opportunity to make a new friend. I suggest chatting it up with whoever you're standing next to because odds are you're going to be there a while and silence only makes the wait even longer.
9) Jean's Rules Its basic common sense but if you break these rules we will shun you like you've never been shunned before. m'kay? 'nuff said.
10) Have FUN! The weekend can be exhausting and will be over before you know it. The best way to handle it is to just hang loose and have a good time. Don't stress about getting to your photo op on time or worry about missing dinner because you are standing in an autograph line. Those friends you made at the bar the night before? They'll help you get where you need to be and though they may start dinner without you (cuz we Scapers gotta eat, helps us recharge for all the drinking) we'll save you a seat. The most important thing is to remember this is all about the fun. So don't let the newness of the situation overwhelm you.
These are just a few things I've learned over the years. I may not have covered everything but I think this sums up most of it. Experience as much as you can because even though we all do this year after year, each year is a unique adventure with a personality all its own. Enjoy it all. Its worth it.