Claire Cassidy is the founder, owner, all-aroud creative muse of GeekStar Costuming…and a long time supporter and exhibitor of GeekGirlCon! She recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to further her creative vision. Claire wanted to take her already very popular wearable cat ears and make them that much more luxurious by adding multi-colored, customizable LED lights! With the campaign ending tomorrow, June 29th, I chatted with Claire about her business, her time with GGC, and her interest in crafting these adorable, fuzzy accessories.
Q: How did you first discover GeekGirlCon? How long have you been showcasing your work with us as an exhibitor?
A: I discovered GGC year one because it made such a darn huge splash on the scene! I have been making and selling accessories at geeky events for darn near half my life, and it’s been my full time job for the last 5 years. I pay very close attention to the geek convention scene, and when GGC was announced I got SO EXCITED! Here was a convention that not only was a perfectly geeky event, but was also for geek girls AND was obviously well thought out and run! A dream event!
I was impossibly even more stoked when the event went off so well, it was a consummate success from my point of view. I personally know three or four artists that decided to go full time pursuing their dream to sell their craft based off the success of *that first show* alone. So of course I have gone out to my way to try to be at the show every year since, and I am happy to say I have succeeded! I am in this one for the long run, it’s my favorite of all the cons.
GeekGirlCon 2016 at Washington State Conference Center in Seattle, Washington. October 2016. Photo by James McDaniel.
Every year, our volunteers bring GeekGirlCon to life. We wouldn’t be able to host the convention each fall without our team of stellar Agents behind the scenes, setting up equipment, handing out passes, and so much more. From dawn to dusk, our Agents are on the convention floor helping make sure that everything is running like a well-oiled machine, and we’re currently looking for even more model citizen geeks to help us put on our biggest year yet!
There are a couple requirements to be an Agent with GeekGirlCon. During the weekend of the convention, which will be held on September 30th and October 1st at the Conference Center at the WSCC, you must be available to work two shifts that are 4 to 5 hours each. You must also be at least 16 years of age at the time of the convention. That’s it! Most Agents will help support panels, set up, hand out passes, and help guide guests as they make their way through the Conference Center.
We’re also looking for some more specialized volunteers, such as ASL interpreters and photographers (who are able to bring their own equipment). If you are able to perform either of those roles, please make sure to check them off while filling out your application.
Applications close July 15th, at 10pm PST, so make sure to fill yours out today and we’ll see you in September!
The Seattle Public Library will be hosting Jim Henson Con, a free, all-ages-friendly convention honoring the work of Jim Henson and his creation of The Muppets. Jim Henson Con will take place on Saturday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Central Library. Various activities will take place throughout the day, such as a “Labyrinth” sing-along, various puppetry performances, crafts, costumes, and more!
Date: Saturday, May 13, 2017
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Level 1, Microsoft Auditorium
This event is co-sponsored by GeekGirlCon. We will be at the event, so make sure to stop by and say hello! If you have any questions about the event, feel free to contact the Central Library (206) 386-4636 or via Ask a Librarian.
I was raised a gamer, by a gamer. My dad, whose roots are strong and true from playing Dungeons & Dragons in the ‘80s, put a controller in my hands when I was barely old enough to build a comprehensive sentence (I’ve written about my youthful adoration for Zelda and its impact on my creativity numerous times before). Gaming has always been a big part of my life, even spanning into my professional career through writing fiction. Watching E3 conferences was a family affair, and we were always first in line whenever a new console dropped. Every member of my family was an active participant, except my mother, who took on a more passive role until recently. For the last 23 years, she’d watch us play everything. Cheekier titles like Mario Kart and other Nintendo classics like Zelda, more involved and darker titles like Square Enix’s Final Fantasy X, Bioshock, Skyrim—she watched us play them all.
Although she was a “backseat gamer” for the vast majority of my upbringing, she was always participating. Telling us where to go when we walked past an obvious story marker, giving suggestions on a tricky boss. She wasn’t holding the controller, directing whichever character we embodied, but because she had been there observing, taking it all in from beginning to end, she knew the ropes just as much as we did (sometimes even better).
Since moving to Washington, I’ve been able to spend more time with my family, a lot of which still revolves around playing video games since I’m actively involved in the industry. A few months back my mom finally asked, “Will you help me pick out my first game?” and I dropped everything and went to work.
Do you have a stellar idea for a panel, or have you been working hard on developing your first tabletop game? Own a trendy DIY business, and have a great idea for a workshop? Never fear, it’s not too late to submit Programming Submissions for GeekGirlCon 2017!
Whether you and a small group are geared up with an idea for a panel, or you are an individual interested in being a panelist or moderator, we’re looking for mission-aligned panel ideas for #GGC17. We’re also accepting applications for performance and event submissions (such as musical performances, variety and game shows, and networking events), workshop submissions, and tabletop game host submissions.
Photo via Danny Ngan, GGC Flickr.
So make sure to mark your calendars, because the following forms are due on April 30th, 2017 at 11:59 PST:
Sarah Elmaleh & Ashly Burch, who immediately ignited this gamer’s heart as the voices of Katie from Gone Home (Sarah) and Tiny Tina fromBorderlands (Ashly), graced us with a casual Q&A about their journey to the geek life GeekGirlCon 2016.
It was immediately obvious that the two are close, the friendly chemistry on stage could light up the room. You weren’t just watching a Q&A, it was a conversation between friends. No different than meeting someone for coffee to talk about their career and get some adivce, we got a little glimpse into how these two successful women grew as actors, writers, and dreamers.
The GeekGirlCon staff is abuzz with activity as we get preparations rolling for GeekGirlCon 2017. We’re extremely excited to put on another great con, just as I’m sure you all are excited to attend one! While we’re busy scheduling panels, perfecting layouts, and planning another spectacular weekend, here are five things you can do right now to prepare for #GGC17, commencing on September 30:
Early last September, the GeekGirlCon copy team huddled together to discuss and assign some of the most important jobs at the con (well, to us). With a nearly finalized schedule in hand, we gathered around to pick with panels we would each be covering to write up, as I am now, to help invoke all of those con feels we all felt in October.
When I first learned about The Women of Pixar panel, I knew that I needed to cover it. Before realizing my personal calling to become a writer, I started my college career at Ringling College of Art & Design in their Computer Animation program. Although I ultimately decided to switch fields and focus solely on storytelling through writing, my love of animation (especially Pixar) is strong and true. Although I was never introduced myself, some of the contributors on the panel worked closely with a handful of my friends and former mentors, so I was already familiar with some of their work and stellar reputations. It may have been because I looked mildly crazed as I requested it, but I was unchallenged when I asked to cover the panel.
I set up camp right in front of the main stage, as I was assigned to the first three panels that were being hosted there: Inclusion & Evolution of Female Role in Modern Animation, the Q&A with Ashly Burch and Sarah Elmaleh, and finally, The Women of Pixar. By the time the first of those panels had come and gone, the convention floor was just starting to buzz with activity. More people filed in for the Q&A, but then it happened. Like there was a mass consensus, what seemed like hundreds of attendees swarmed the hall the minute the Pixar logo was flashed across the two large screens that flanked the stage. So many people, in fact, that it immediately turned to standing room only. Guests young and old, readied with notepads and cameras, collectively gushed about their favorite animated films in anticipation of the panel. Current and prospective animation students, curious passersby, and fans alike gathered together in what I thought to be one of the liveliest crowds at the ‘16 con thus far.
In the late 1990s, I rushed over to my best friend Haley’s house so we could watch Sailor Moon every morning before school. Her favorite Sailor Scout was Sailor Venus, and I swore that I was the reincarnation of Sailor Neptune as we both swam and played the violin (I even dyed the tips of my hair turquoise as an homage to Michiru years later, which was pretty edgy when I was fifteen). We were also obsessed with Pokemon, slightly less obsessed with Digimon, and weirdly addicted to a short-lived anime about hamsters called Hamtaro. We walked around with Luna and Artemis plushies and acted out some pretty “vivid” scenes from our favorite episodes. We were fearless, and it didn’t hurt that just about every other little girl we knew was in love with all of the same things.
I moved a few times after that, since my dad was in the military, but my love of anime only grew with age. By the time I was fourteen and just about to enter high school, I had a massive collection of manga, a pretty impressive knowledge of the “hit” anime series of the time (regardless of whether or not they were being shown in the states), and a budding interest in Japanese literature. At that point, I was living near Seattle, and Japanese popular culture seemed to be far more common than any other state I’d lived to date.
As a writer, and a fictional writer at that, reading takes up a great deal of my time. I love perusing the shelves at the local bookstore, searching for new books to add to my library. In celebration of a fresh start as we welcome 2017, I set a fairly lofty goal for myself: to read at least one book per week, aside from the arsenal I already read in professional pursuits. I set this resolution in order to force myself to rethink how I utilize my downtime. Whether it’s a more thoughtful memoir by someone I admire, an educational anthology that’ll help inform my work, or an epic fantasy for pure leisure, I want to make sure that I’m actively enriching my mind with a good book.
For those of you who share my love of reading, and have set similar goals for yourselves, I’ve come with an author recommendation that is bound to keep your reading time well occupied.
Last summer I was introduced to the world of Sarah J. Maas. I was immediately enamored with her work, and read everything that she had published (at the time) in the span of one month. To date, Maas has written two stellar young adult series that are ongoing, currently totaling in eight novels, that are bound to interest readers young and old — she’s easily become one of my favorite modern authors. I even included her debut novel, Throne of Glass, as a part of our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide out of admiration.
A manifesto of sorts, I’m going to do my darndest to tell you why these books are absolutely fabulous, and worthy of a good read (all spoiler free!):
Both series take place within the same meta-universe, and are high fantasy “epics” about some pretty stellar girls doing some pretty stellar things. Throne of Glass, which currently sports six novels (one of which is a little collection of short stories that take place before the events of the first novel), and A Court of Thorns and Roses, which currently has two. Both series are scheduled to wrap up this year, with spin-off novels of the latter, ACOTAR, in the future works. That’s over 3,500 pages of material to blast through.