If you read this blog, you’re probably familiar with A Very Potter Musical, or, as I like to think of it, the funniest, smartest, most heartwarming piece of fan art of all time. What you might not realize, though, is that since the show premiered on YouTube in July of 2009, Starkid has grown into a fully-fledged theatre company that’s produced eleven full-length comedy musicals (all of which are available on YouTube) and is currently working on its twelth, which is due to open this October.
Being the tenth anniversary of A Very Potter Musical and Starkid’s inception, this year marks a huge milestone for them, but also for us, their fans. I’ve been following Starkid since the beginning. I watch the shows the moment they come out, I buy the soundtracks and listen religiously, and I have been known to launch into convoluted but exuberant explanations of the chronology of their works to anyone who loves me enough to pretend to listen. I even follow their careers outside of Starkid, everything from sketch comedy groups to planetariums to Buzzfeed.
Welcome to Geek Girl Talk, a (biased, subjective, opinionated) conversation about the pop culture we’re currently loving, hating, and obsessing over. For our first installment, we’re unpacking queer representation in Roswell, New Mexico.
Who We Are Vaguely and in Terms Only of the Media We Seek Out Most Often:
Teal (roman type!) Literally any teen TV show, YA, women’s and feminist media, everything Star Trek
Hanna (italics, baby!) Reality TV, memoirs, romance novels, anything British, any podcast ever
[Spoiler disclaimer: If you’re not caught up, this post won’t be too spoiler-y, as we just talk about general interpersonal stuff between the characters. We might recommend watching the first episode, though!]
While I’m not (yet) familiar with its source material, I do consider the original Roswell TV series to be an important piece of teen media—not to mention one that I specifically harbor a lot of fondness for. And so, the new CW adaptation, Roswell, New Mexico, is a series I’m both excited about and slightly skeptical of. That being said, I’ve found that this version does have a lot of things going for it. The characters are older by about a decade, the show addresses current social issues directly instead of relying solely on the ambiguous implications of the alien-human metaphor, and the blatant whitewashing of the original cast is being backtracked. In other words, there’s a lot to be hopeful about. If I’m being honest, though, what’s struck me the most about this retelling is what it’s doing in terms of queer representation, and with one of the alien protagonists, Michael, in specific. I won’t argue that it’s the most radical or robust depiction one could imagine, but something about the way they’re writing his bisexuality is affecting me personally and, by extension, shedding light on the way this particular facet of queer representation has been failing us even as popular media is beginning to do a better job of normalizing non-hetero characters and relationships overall.
The sad thing is that I probably wouldn’t have even started watching this show unless you’d told me about the queer representation and the way that this show is highlighting racism, immigration, and classism. But wow. I can’t say that this series has incredible acting or non-cheesy dialogue (an actual exchange between the central characters:“Your heart’s racing.” “It’s not racing because I’m scared of you.”), but what it does have is a pretty central, pretty satisfying queer storyline that is making me FEEL things. One of the first things I texted you, Teal, after I started watching the show was that every time Michael and Alex share a scene I audibly gasp. I’m a sucker for a good ship, but I never GASP at every scene. When they’re on screen, I’m basically giddy, and I think there are a few different reasons for that. But, just to backtrack for a moment, let’s get into the basic gist of Roswell, and Michael and Alex’s plotline in particular. Our main character, Liz Ortecho, left the small town of Roswell ten years ago following her sister’s tragic death in a car accident—an accident that left two other girls dead and might not be an accident at all… Since then, the Ortecho family has been targeted by the bigoted and bitter citizens of Roswell, who also happen to be alien-obsessed due to a rumored UFO crash decades ago. Now Liz is back in town, and trouble is a-brewin’! Along with Liz, we have Max, Isobel, and Michael, three alien siblings doing their best to live double lives as both a Nice Guy Sheriff, Preppy BDSM-Enthusiast, and Misanthropic Cowboy, respectively, and extraterrestrials with supernatural powers. The youngest alien sibling, Michael, has nursed a decade-long crush on his high-school-sweetheart-turned-decorated-war-vet, Alex (Caleb from Pretty Little Liars!). Suffice it to say, the two have C H E M I S T R Y. Teal, like I said, I have plenty of reasons for appreciating their dynamic, but what’s stood out to you?
In my opinion, the coolest thing about GeekGirlCon is how much customization can go into everyone’s individual experience of the weekend (besides the epic congregation of a bunch of feminist nerds all in one place, that is). Whether that means spending most of your time gaming or cruising the Exhibitor Hall or deep-diving into our panel offerings, there’s truly no right way to GeekGirlCon. For a lot of folks, I know that a key part of really experiencing any con is by volunteering. At GeekGirlCon, we call our con-weekend volunteers Agents, and we seriously could not do without them, the perfect and irreplaceable extended family that they are.
If you’re interested in joining our ranks again or for the first time this year, here’s what you need to know before applying:
We do need Agents to be at least 16 years old.
This year, the con falls on Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17. We ask that Agents are available to take two shifts (4-5 hours each) over the course of the weekend, though we’ll be able to work with you to make sure that you get to any programming you’re especially excited about!
As an Agent, you’ll be required to review some training materials and adhere to our Code of Conduct before hitting the floor.
And also, there are perks!
You’ll get a free pass to the con and access to our Agent Headquarters! And an Agent t-shirt, the best of all event-specific clothing!
You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at con operations.
You’ll be connected with other Agents and year-round staff members; we’d love to meet you!
If you’re at all interested, here’s this year’s application. We’ll contact all those who applied after the applications close in September.
This year’s con falls on the weekend of November 16 and 17. We’ll be gathering at our usual haunt, the Washington State Conference Center (across the street from the convention center you’re picturing!). One of the items on our GeekGirlCon ‘19 To-Do List is enticing exhibitors to apply for space in our Exhibition Hall and Artist Alley.
Here’s the application form if you already know your way around these matters, but we also have this super useful FAQ page that’s full of specifics. Before I leave you to the application, there are a few things I’d like to bring to your attention,
First, there’s $10 non-refundable application fee. Of course, we’d love to be able to accept applications without a fee, but charging a bit per person helps keep the burden of expanding this piece of con operations from falling solely on one group. If you’re accepted, we’ll apply the $10 to the cost of your booth/table.
Second, applications are due May 31 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Any applications that come in after that time will be automatically added to the wait-list. We intend to respond to applications by the end of July.
Third, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns. We’re beyond happy to help.
As you’ve probably noticed, we’re now accepting programming submissions for GeekGirlCon ‘19. That means panels, workshops, performances, and other kinds of events—we want it all! We’re also, as always, accepting submissions for panelists/moderators who are not yet associated with a specific programming proposal.
We have a little over two months until the deadline of May 31 at 11:59 p.m. PST, and we’re here to support y’all as you put together your teams of geeks, experts, creators, and performers and we all gear up for what will probably be the most epic con yet.
We’re planning to roll out more submissions-related content in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, I’ll direct you to one of my favorite places on the internet, the GeekGirlCon Contributor Forum on Facebook. We’re processing requests to join super regularly, so please jump on in! This is a great resource to find everything from co-presenters to feedback on programming ideas to proposal troubleshooting from GeekGirlCon staff and our wider community. Additionally, here’s our web page detailing the submission process in more detail for your reference.
And, do remember that this year’s theme is Share Your World. Our community is founded in collaboration, coming together in a physical place to collaborate and celebrate. What media is important to you? What is your community’s relationship with geek culture or pop culture generally? What are you creating that you’re excited about? If you have programming ideas that respond to one or more of these questions, we want your proposal!
As always, feel free to reach out to email@example.com with questions or concerns, but until next time, SUBMIT!
New year, same GeekGirlCon-attending you. Or, in other words, passes for GeekGirlCon ‘19 are on sale now!
This year, we’ll be convening on Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17 at the Conference Center in downtown Seattle. If you’re able, snag your passes now! They are currently at their lowest price, so be sure to take a look.
Here’s a quick rundown of the prices for your reference:
Saturday Pass: $25
Sunday Pass: $25
Two-Day Pass: $40
While we have tons of very adult-oriented programming, we also have tons that’s very much for kids. So, for all of the kids in your life:
Kids 6-12: $10 (one of these is good for both days of the con!!)
Kids 0-5: FREE
Besides the base pass prices, there are a few minimal service fees ($1-$3, depending on what pass you’re getting) and a standard Seattle Amusement Tax.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s all for now! Get your passes and keep an eye on our blog and social media for more updates—especially all of the programming goodness that’s sure to come!
Can you believe it’s been three (plus!) weeks since we all said goodbye at the end of GeekGirlCon ‘18?
While it’s almost enough to begin prep for GeekGirlCon ‘19, I’d like to just take a second to revel in what we made and experienced this year. Here’s some of what our community had to say about that glorious weekend.
GeekGirlCon owes its lifeblood to a nearly unquantifiable host of individuals and groups who dedicate themselves to bringing us all together once a year. From our year-round staff to our con-weekend Agents to our Featured Contributors to our attendees, the light and love coming from our support network is seemingly infinite.
That all being said, we also couldn’t do the thing—the hosting our big, lively family all together in one physical space for a weekend thing—without the help of our annual sponsors. Our sponsors put their faith in us, and we couldn’t be more grateful. So, without too much more fanfare, I’d like to take moment to thank some of the folks who’ve come through for us this year. After all, we’re all in this together.
This month is the month, people! GeekGirlCon has arrived (basically)!
Throughout October, look to our blog for everything you need to know about the weekend, from Panel Highlights to Cosplay Contest announcements, we’ve got you covered.
Though our epic panels are what attract a lot of folks to GeekGirlCon (me included), they don’t comprise the whole of the weekend’s festivities. Today, I’m going to walk you through some of the other kinds of activities we have in store.
First up, meetups, the perfect event for meeting like-minded attendees to share the weekend with. To name a few of our offerings this year, we have meetups for first timers, Black Panther fans, Star Wars/Star Trek enthusiasts, and more! Meetups will take place throughout the duration and venue of the con, so check out the schedule for specifics.
[Image Description: Data from Star Trek saying to Worf, “You have friends here.”] Source: MRWGIFS
One especially exciting meetup we have slated for this con is Meet & Geek: A Networking Event for Mavens-in-the-Making. This is the event for folks who are looking for mentors and advice to assist with anything geeky-career related. Bring your questions and look forward to discussions of everything from writing to digital media to game design. In addition to the meetup, GeekGirlCon will be hosting a Mentor Booth in the Connections area of the Exhibitor Hall where you can sign up for one-on-one sessions with a mentor who can look at your resume and give you tips for breaking into the geeky career of your dreams!
[Image Description: Winston from New Girl at a job interview saying, “I know Word. I can open a document, Save, Save As, Print, Print Preview.] Source: Rockwood Search
Also in the Exhibitor Hall will be VAIN’s booth for impromptu hairstyle sessions. Need a touch up on your cosplay look? Need a general spruce? VAIN, a longtime supporter of GeekGirlCon, will be there to save the day.
[Image Description: River Song fluffing her hair and mouthing, “The hair!”] Source: Giphy
And last but far from least is the QUEST, our con-wide scavenger hunt. We set up this event each year to help folks touch base with everything GeekGirlCon has to offer, and this year is no different. To play, you’ll need just your program and sense of enthusiasm. There are six checkpoints: attend a panel, play a game on the gaming floor, attend a workshop/meetup, post on social media using #GGC18, do an experiment in the DIY Science Zone, and complete the con survey. You’ll receive one stamp per activity you complete, and each stamp gains you an entry into a raffle for a bag of the sweetest goodies from our vendors. It’s up to you whether you collect one stamp or six! If you do complete every step, you’re rewarded with a pin of the GeekGirlCon avatar of your choice. And if you fill out the con survey at the GGC QUEST table, you can receive a second avatar pin of your choice!
More details about the checkpoints and how to get your stamps will be included in the program, but until then, get your game face on!
[Image Description: Sherlock walking out of a door saying, “The game, Mrs. Hudson, is on.”] Source: SteemKR
One of the many aspects of GeekGirlCon that sets it apart from other conventions is its commitment to welcoming geeks of all ages. We don’t just tolerate our kid attendees, we design the weekend with their interests in mind. Whether that means keeping our 18+ programming scheduled in the evenings or setting up a kids-only cosplay contest, we’re serious about keeping our evolution reactive to the needs of even the littlest con-goers.
In terms of kids programming, the now-classic GeekGirlCon event we’re proudest of is our DIY Science Zone. This year will mark the Zone’s eighth iteration, with each con bringing bigger and better additions. Part of the reason we’re able to keeping growing and changing when it comes to this special-ist of events is because we’ve got a community that shares our values and knows that accessible science education needs funding.