Hey, Staffer! An Interview with Alyssa Askew

Alyssa, wearing a sweater with Darth Vader on it, and holding a stuffed Chewbacca toy and a bag of popcorn. (Source: Alyssa Askew)

New Year, New Staffer! We’re kicking off 2018 with an interview with Alyssa Askew, our Assistant Games Manager. Alyssa has been working with us since early last year, and works with our Manager of Gaming, Alyssa Jones. (Yes, there are two people working on our games team named Alyssa. What are the odds?) Here, she tells us about moving to Seattle, her love of Star Wars, and what it’s like to be a girl detective.

 

Who are you and what do you do at GeekGirlCon?

I’m Alyssa Askew and I am the Assistant Games Manager. I help the other Alyssa and the rest of the awesome Gaming team create Tabletop and Video Game content for the convention and beyond. My position fluctuates based on what Alyssa and the rest of the team need and I jump in to help wherever I can. This year that meant organizing some tournaments, coordinating signage, writing volunteer job descriptions, and having a whole lot of fun with the team!

What do you do for your day job, when you’re not being awesome as a GGC staffer?

I work in video games! I am currently working as an Administrative Assistant (aka Professional Organizer of things) at Big Fish Games and learning as much as possible about the production and creation of our games so I can continue to work towards my dream of producing games. On the side, I am producing an indie horror game with friends to hone those skills!

Sounds awesome! Tell me more about your indie game!
Horror games are not usually my jam (I spook easily!), but helping my friends get organized to make things is a lot of fun and they are super talented. Play throughs have been entertaining because I think I get even more frightened when I know what is about to happen in the game. I can’t wait to see how it shapes up.

Alyssa concentrates as she plays Centipede on an arcade machine. (Source: Alyssa Askew)

Have you always considered yourself a geek?

Oh, probably… When I was about 9, I wanted to have a Star Wars themed sleepover and watch the entire original trilogy in one night. I LOVE geeking out over themes. I invited all my friends over and decorated the living room. We got through half of Episode IV and my friends took over and we watched Titanic. I still hate that movie and I still love Star Wars so I guess I have always considered myself geeky.

Alyssa holding her super cute BB-8 mug! (Source: Alyssa Askew)

What sort of (geeky) things do you like to do in your spare time?

In case it wasn’t already evident, I love gaming! These days, you can most often find me playing Stardew Valley, Overwatch, and a variety of mobile games. When I can recruit friends or family, I love a good board game too.

I am also in my happy place while munching popcorn at the movies or curled up with a novel or comic book with tea (in a geeky and adorable BB8 mug).

What are you currently geeking out about?

Right this second, I am most excited for Black Panther to come out. It looks phenomenal and I’ve probably watched the trailer 30+ times. Spider-Man has been my favorite superhero since I was twelve, so I’m also looking forward to his starring role appearance in Infinity War and try my best not to think too much about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse because December is so far away.

Gaming wise, I just purchased a bundle of twenty or so Nancy Drew games from Her Interactive and they are golden! I’ve been dedicating a fair amount of time to solving crimes as a teenage sleuth.

Girl detective games? That sounds awesome. Who would you recommend these to?
I think anyone who read Nancy Drew, watched Veronica Mars, or played detective of any sorts when they were young would enjoy the Nancy Drew series. I mean, who doesn’t want to solve crimes about haunted carousels or mysterious old clocks? They are easy to pick up and play without being hardcore, and while they are a bit silly sometimes, I’ve had a lot of fun with them.

Alyssa dressed as her character from the game Stardew Valley (Source: Alyssa Askew)

Okay, let’s talk about the org. How did you get involved with GeekGirlCon?

I moved to Seattle from Canada early last year and wanted to get involved and volunteer in some capacity straight away. Up in BC, my volunteer life was a huge part of who I was, and organizing STEM events for the Girl Guides of Canada was one of my favorite things to do. I had attended GeekGirlCon and kept checking the volunteer page because I love everything the org stands for, but was intimidated by most of the roles, having never organized a con before! When I saw the Assistant Manager of Gaming position I was really excited because it seemed like a great introduction to convention planning, I had the skill set, and also I really, really love games. I applied for the position and now I’m here!

What is your favorite thing about being a staffer for GeekGirlCon?

The wonderful humans I get to interact with as a result. Being in a new city is scary, but everyone in the org has welcomed me with open arms, taught me so much already, and made me feel at home. The Agents I got to work with at the GeekGirlCon last year were exceptional and their commitment to the convention is inspiring. I can’t wait to work with them again. Finally, our attendees are what make GeekGirlCon so special.

What were your thoughts on GeekGirlCon ‘17? Did you have a favorite moment?

I LOVED my experience at GeekGirlCon ‘17. The whole event was nothing less of magical and I was humbled to be a part of the staff organizing the convention. My favorite moment surrounding the con weekend actually happened virtually. Part way through the weekend, I was checking twitter and saw a friend say they were thinking of attending and asked if GeekGirlCon was a safe space for them. I let others answer, because I thought maybe I was a bit biased, and my friend ended up attending on Sunday! I got to say hello in the midst of running around, and they seemed to be having fun. My favorite moment came on Sunday, the attendees had left, we were cleaning up and winding down from a great weekend. I checked Twitter again and saw the same friend post about what a great time they had at GeekGirlCon ‘17, how glad they were that they attended, and that they definitely would be back next year. Seeing that post made my heart so happy. I love the space GeekGirlCon has created and am proud of how hard everyone is constantly working to make it truly safe and inclusive.

What are you looking forward to for GeekGirlCon in the future?

I can’t wait to see how GeekGirlCon continues to thrive in the coming years. I feel so lucky to be a part of the team and I know the wonderful people involved will make it better every year. I look forward to seeing how the programming changes and grows to be as inclusive and diverse as possible and I am excited about all the wonderful content that I’m sure we’ll line up for next year!

 

If you think you’d like to be like Alyssa and support GeekGirlCon all year around, check out our available volunteer staff positions!

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Hey, Staffer, Whatcha Geekin’ Out About? An Interview with Andrew Chan

Image description: Andrew Chan wearing a glowing Iron Man hand.

Here’s one last Hey, Staffer interview for the year. Meet Andrew Chan! Andrew is our merchandise assistant but also spends a lot of time dabbling with cool technology, fighting with lightsabers, and watching his favorite scifi shows! We ask him about what it’s like to be a Trekkie, technobabble, and the lengths he will go to for a good geek convention.

 

Who are you and what do you do at GeekGirlCon?

I’m Andrew and I help Shubz run the merchandise department. This includes climbing through stacks of boxes in storage to count our inventory, ordering new stuff, processing online orders (and getting the online store running), and helping set up and run the merch booth during the con. I’ve also taken over as an interim sysadmin running the internal infrastructure.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Geek About Town: January

The New Year is (almost) upon us, which means that we can finally bid goodbye to the unfortunate, terrifying mess that characterized most of 2017. The good news is that there is SO MANY incredible and exciting events coming up in January to help beckon in a better and brighter new year!

 

Source: Giphy. Image Description: The character Rachel Berry from “Glee” wearing a Happy New Year Crown. The image text reads “The countdown begins.”

 

Tuesday, January 2nd: Kit Build! Adafruit LED Goggles

  • 1pm – 4pm
  • Living Computers: Museum + Labs
    2245 First Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
  • $68
  • Kill two ravens with one stone and learn how to solder while you create your newest costume headpiece – a wicked pair of Adafruit LED Goggles – in this 2-hour entry level workshop. Space is limited for this take-home activity.

 

Wednesday, January 3rd: Reading Through It: Weapons of Math Destruction

  • 7pm
  • Third Place Books Seward Park
    5041 Wilson Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
  • Free event!
  • The Seattle Review of Books and Seattle Weekly aim to help you cope with the next three years thanks to Reading Through It, a “monthly book club exploring who we are as Americans, where we’re going, and how to fix it.” Weapons of Math Destruction is a former Wall Street analyst’s warning against “the mathematical models that pervade modern life—and threaten to rip apart our social fabric.”

Source: Giphy. Image Description: The characters Bones and Kirk from Star Trek: The Original Series nod at each other.

Saturday, January 6th: Extraterrestrial Architecture in Space

  • 10am – 12pm
  • Center for Architecture & Design
    1010 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
  • Free event!
  • All-ages event!
  • We’re bored with Earth. What about Mars? Participants will learn about the very different problems architects would face if building for the surface of other planets….and moons…and asteroids? The sky is not even the limit…

Source: Giphy. Image Description: The characters Steve and Nancy from “Stranger Things” dance at a party.

Saturday, January 6th: Laser Stranger Things

 

  • 4 dates – January 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
  • 8:00pm
  • Laser Dome at Pacific Science Center

 

  • Follow our Laser artists into The Upside Down with this laser show tribute to the music of Stranger Things. A synth-heavy score and dark 80s soundtrack contribute to the spooky nostalgia of this popular Netflix Original hit. Performed, as always, by our talented laser artists, don’t miss this limited run in January of Laser Stranger Things.

 

Saturday, January 6th: Children’s Storytime at Elliott Bay Book Company

  • Every Saturday of the month
  • 11am
  • Elliott Bay Book Company
    1521 10th Ave, Seattle, Washington 98122
  • Free event!
  • Join us for this fun hour of readings from picture and storybooks with one of Elliott Bay’s bookfolk. Go to the castle in the children’s section … and the stories begin!

 

Thursday, January 11th: Gay City Arts presents To Exist Is To Resist

  • 4 dates – January 11th, 12th, 20th, 21st
  • 7:00pm
  • Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center
    517 E Pike St, Seattle, Washington 98122
  • General Admission $15, Discounted Tickets $12, Radical Hospitality Tickets free!
  • What would Marsha P Johnson, Leslie Feinberg and our sick and disabled queer grandparents have to say about fighting to survive and win? Sick and disabled queer/ trans people have always resisted, from the first colonial invasions to nursing homes to freak shows to street based queer and trans activism. We are heroes, fighters and survivors and we have the medicine we need to survive Trump. In this star-studded sick and disabled QT/POC show, curated by billie rain and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, come witness Seattle based disabled queer/ of color artists performing new work reflecting on the resistance wisdom of our disabled queer ancestors.This performance is also part of a star studded ALL SICK AND DISABLED QTBIPOC ALL THE TIME DOUBLE WEEKEND! Come see us, and then check out Neve Andromeda Bianco Mazique’s one femme show, Betcha Ungodly Things! Support all of us! Come for this living altar of disabled QTBIPOC testimony, genius and love. 

Thursday, January 11th: Art Spiegelman, Anita Kunz, & Steve Brodner on Art Young

  • 6:30pm – 9:30pm
  • Society Of Illustrators
    128 E 63rd St, New York, New York 10065
  • Non-Member and Member tickets $15, Students and Seniors $7
  • Join us for an evening with comics art giant Art Spiegelman and acclaimed illustrator Anita Kunz as they discuss the lasting influence of 20th century political cartoonist Art Young, with master caricaturist Steve Brodner moderating the discussion. The three will examine the historical significance of Young’s work, and its relevance in today’s artistic and political landscape.

    Images for discussion will be drawn from the 2017 retrospective To Laugh That We May Not Weep: The Life & Times of Art Young (Fantagraphics) by Glenn Bray and Frank M. Young. Copies will be available for purchase after the event.

Source: Giphy. Image Description: Characters from the movie “Jumanji” sit down to play the game “Jumanji” together.

Friday, January 12th: GeekGirlCon Board Game Night at Wayward Coffeehouse!

  • 7pm – 10:45pm
  • Wayward Coffeehouse
  • 6417 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
  • Free event!
  • Do you love board games and enjoy teaching others how to play? Explore the board/card game hobby and meet folks happy to teach you their favorite board games! Come and play with folks who love playing games. And the best part about the GeekGirlCon (http://www.geekgirlcon.com/) game nights with our friends at Wayward (http://www.waywardcoffee.com/)? They are absolutely FREE with no cover charge!

 

Monday, January 15th: BlackLivesMatter- Let Black Liberation Ring

  • 6pm
  • Westlake Park
    401 Pine St, Seattle, Washington 98101
  • Free event!
  • We strive for #BlackLiberation – we strive for freedom to not be treated like animals and for our justice system to treat us equally or be abolished – we strive for fair and equal taxation so that people of color can not only survive but thrive – we strive for a day were we are not discriminated against for our skin color or our culture but treated equally for content of our character – we strive to not be shot and killed by police and then our image be slandered on the news. We ask you join us and say Racism and police brutality and unfair and unequal treatment of Black people has to stop and freedom has to begin because until Black people are free no one is free.

 

Sunday, January 15th: Cine-City: A Community Exposé

  • Seating at 6:30pm, show at 7:00pm
  • Naked City Brewery & Taphouse
    8564 Greenwood Avenue North, Seattle, Washington 98103
  • $8 in advance, $10 at the door
  • Cine-City is Seattle’s only consistent film night with bi-monthly (every other month) screenings of local short films. We will fill up a block of films 45 minutes to an 1 hour, at the end of the night the films will be voted on and the most voted film will be announced the next day and will move on to the Best Of in November. All proceeds help the Film Non Profit Ardor Creative Media. http://ardorcreativemedia.com/cine_city/

 

Monday, January 16th: MLK Seattle Rally & March

  • 11am – 4pm
  • Garfield High School
    400 23rd Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98122
  • Free event!
  • Educate yourself at workshops from 9:30-10:50am, then at 11:00am, join the pre-march rally in the Garfield Gym to become inspired and informed with speakers, performers, and more. View the full schedule at www.mlkseattle.org/index.php Following the rally (12:00-12:20), the march line-up starts in the Garfield parking lot (across the street from Ezell’s chicken). The march will begin at 12:30, heading to the Federal Building at 2nd & Madison. The Downtown Program is estimated to start at 1:30 p.m. Marchers are welcome to return to Garfield for a late lunch or to join employers and more at the Opportunity & Information Fair at Garfield (1:30-4:00pm).

 

Wednesday, January 17th: Literary Arts Series: Jesmyn Ward

  • 9pm – 2am
  • Benaroya Hall
    200 University St, Seattle, Washington 98101
  • Tickets between $10 and $80
  • Jesmyn Ward has been called “fearless and toughly lyrical” by the Library Journal. Her novel Salvage the Bones, the story of four motherless children trying to protect their home in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, won the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction. Her unflinching portrayals of young black men and women struggling to thrive in a South ravaged by poverty and natural disaster have been praised for their “graphic clarity” by the Boston Globe, and for their “hugeness of heart” by O, The Oprah Magazine.
    Ward’s follow-up to Salvage was Men We Reaped, a memoir that confronts the five years of Ward’s life in which she lost five young men—to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that follows people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Lauded by Kirkus as a “modern rejoinder to Black Like Me [and] Beloved,” Men We Reaped is a homage to Ward’s past, her ghosts, and the haunted yet hopeful place she still calls home. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, it was named one of the Best Books of 2013 by Publishers Weekly, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, NPR, Kirkus, New York Magazine, and TIME magazine.

    Ward is also the editor of the critically acclaimed anthology The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race, which NPR listed as one of the Best Books of 2016. Taking James Baldwin’s 1963 pivotal examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, is a jumping-off point. The groundbreaking collection features essays and poems about race from the most important voices of Ward’s generation and our time—from Edwidge Danticat, Natasha Trethewey, and Isabel Wilkerson, to Mitchell S. Jackson, Kiese Laymon, and Claudia Rankine.

    In the forthcoming Sing, Unburied, Sing, Ward will return to Mississippi and the themes of her earlier work. Confronting the realities of life in the rural South, Ward gives us a road map through Mississippi’s past and present that explores the bonds of family as tested by racism and poverty. Her work is all set on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi where Ward grew up, and each new publication makes her a fitting heir to the rich literary tradition of the American South.

Source: Giphy. Image Description: Beyoncé and Lady Gaga dance together in a music video.

Thursday, January 18th: BEYONCÉ vs. GAGA vs. BRITNEY vs. MADONNA SING ALONG

  • 8pm
  • Central Cinema
  • $12 General Admission
  • Four of music’s finest divas join you for what’s sure to be one of the best nights of your life. The Queen of R&B, The Queen of Pop, the Princess of Pop, the , and the Mother of Monsters team up to get you singing, dancing, and so much more. Telephone on the big screen is worth the price of admission alone.

 

Sunday, January 20th: 2018 Pantsuit 5k Run/Walk

  • 9am – 11am
  • Green Lake
  • $22.09 entrance fee
  • Bring out those pantsuits ladies (& gents, kids, dogs ok too). Fun run/walk around Greenlake. The primary purpose of the event is for the unification of the Pantsuit community and to continue to strive for change. Last year we had over 700 attend, let’s make this event bigger & better. Event is not timed. It is a fun run/walk. No refunds or transfers. Rain or shine. This is a no frills run/walk. 30% of the proceeds go to Planned Parenthood!

 

Wednesday, January 24th: #MeToo in Tech: How Men Can Help

  • 6pm
  • Northwest Film Forum
    1515 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
  • $12 tickets
  • This event will be a forum for men who work in the tech industry in Seattle to discuss ways that we can show up for women, trans folks, and other non-cis-male-identified folks who often experience harassment and discrimination in our industry. More details will be posted at this URL as we get closer to the event.

 

Monday, January 25th: Children’s International Film Festival

  • January 25th – February 10th
  • Northwest Film Forum
  • 1515 12th Ave. Seattle, WA 98122
  • $12 General Admission, $9 Students, Seniors, and Children
  • Over the past 13 years, Children’s Film Festival Seattle has become the largest and most respected film festival on the West Coast dedicated to children and their families. Each year, Northwest Film Forum selects more than 170 children’s films from 50+ countries, reaching more than 10,000 people during festival screenings in Seattle and a subsequent festival tour of 15-20 U.S. cities. What we stand for: Racial equity and diversity, inclusivity, social justice, global awareness, and the best in age-appropriate, visual storytelling for young people. Produced by Northwest Film Forum, Children’s Film Festival Seattle includes live performances, features, shorts and hands-on workshops, all crafted with care for the next generation of movie lovers.

 

Friday, January 26th: Lovett or Leave It

  • 8pm – 11pm
  • Moore Theatre
    1932 2nd Ave, Seattle, Washington 98101
  • Ticket prices vary, starting at $47
  • STG Presents & AEG welcomes Lovett or Leave It to The Moore Theatre on Friday, January 26, 2018. The Lovett or Leave It podcast, as part of Pod Tours America, has announced additional tour dates and will be live on stage January 26, 2018 at 8:00 pm at The Moore Theatre. Former speechwriter for Hillary Clinton and the Obama White House and co-host of the wildly popular podcast Pod Save America, Jon Lovett brings his Lovett or Leave It podcast live to Seattle. Get ready for a night of lively and humorous discussion of politics and top news stories with special guests along with other popular Lovett or Leave It segments.

 

Friday, January 26th: GeekGirlCon Board Game Night at Wayward Coffeehouse!

  • 7pm – 10:45pm
  • Wayward Coffeehouse
  • 6417 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
  • Free event!
  • Do you love board games and enjoy teaching others how to play? Explore the board/card game hobby and meet folks happy to teach you their favorite board games! Come and play with folks who love playing games. And the best part about the GeekGirlCon (http://www.geekgirlcon.com/) game nights with our friends at Wayward (http://www.waywardcoffee.com/)? They are absolutely FREE with no cover charge!

Source: Giphy. Image Description: Ryan Gosling works on on an exercise bike while wearing a onesie on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Saturday, January 27th: 2018 Onesie Bar Crawl

  • 14pm

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Agent Profiles: Part One

GeekGirlConAgents

GeekGirlCon Special Agents play a vital role in making sure each Con is a success. This year, a record-breaking 180 Agents from 7 states and 3 countries have volunteered to help us keep everything running smoothly. I interviewed three of these Agents to learn a bit about who they are and what made them sign up to help out this year. Here’s what they had to say:

Caitlin Foskey
“Rock On!”

Hey, Staffer, Whatcha Geekin’ Out About: An Interview with Marina Martinez

For our July Hey Staffer post, we’re talking to Marina Martinez, about anime, what it’s like to play quidditch in real life and what those things have in common!

Who are you and what do you do at GeekGirlCon?

I am the Marina Martinez and I am the Panel Program Manager with GeekGirlCon!

What do you do for your day job/when you’re not being awesome as a GGC staffer?

In my everyday life I am a Project Manager at Artech, which is a fine art services company. We pack, transport, install, and provide collection management services to institutions and individuals throughout the Pacific Northwest.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Celebrating Five Years of DIY Science

At GeekGirlCon, accessibility is everything. Putting together a packed weekend of accessible and inclusive geeky programming is fundamental to GeekGirlCon’s mission. One event that reflects this commitment is our DIY Science Zone. The DIY Science Zone is one of GeekGirlCon’s most unique bits of programming, and this year we’re celebrating its fifth anniversary. Equally as exciting for both kids and adults, the DIY Science Zone brings together scientists, science educators, and science enthusiasts alike to participate in hands-on activities and experiments, chat about various scientific fields, and celebrate accessible learning.

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Get your passes now! Apply to be an Agent!

By now I’m sure you’ve all noticed a theme in my updates: plan ahead! As I’ve mentioned before, I love not only the calm but the increased anticipation that comes with making plans early. In terms of GeekGirlCon, there’s even perks to prepping in advance. First of all, the sooner you take care of the mundane task of acquiring Saturday, Sunday, or Saturday-Sunday passes for you, your parents, your kids, your friends, and your Dungeon Master, the sooner you can start sorting out the epic costume you’ll be entering in our cosplay competition. Second of all, the sooner you buy passes, the less likely it is that you’ll forget and have to contend with the upcoming price increase. And if you prefer, passes will go on sale in local Seattle stores in late July!

Us on our way to buy passes Source: Giphy

 

Alternatively, if you’re interested in participating in more of the behind-the-scenes of GeekGirlCon, apply to be an Agent now! Agents receive passes in exchange for eight to 10 hours of volunteer work during con weekend, which this year will be September 30 and October 1.

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Support Geeky Women and Girls Celebrating Who They Are and What They Love: GiveBIG to GeekGirlCon!

Written by Michele Carrico Domingo, Executive Director, GeekGirlCon

GeekGirlCon connects geeky women, girls, and their allies in order to build an empowering and inclusive community. Our mission is to celebrate and honor the legacy of women and girls in the fields of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), comics, science-fiction, arts, literature, and game play and game design. Our impact centers around providing a safe and welcoming place to share our passions, amplifying underrepresented voices, and celebrating who we are and what we love.

michele_d
“Rock On!”

Join The Discussion #GeekGirlCon

Thanks to the GeekGirlCon GeekGirlCon Super Sponsors

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