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FC2013: The Furnal Frontier

January 23, 2013

Further Confusion touched down softly on the planetary body known as San Jose last weekend, with the theme of the Furbidden Planet.  Space age geekiness oh my, and I was there, having a fabulous con!

After dropping off a project at the county for building permit, I fired my jets over to the convention centre and promptly met up with some friends and began what was a great weekend of ease, grace, fun, friends and frolic.  I met up again with a whack of people, both from out of town and locals, whom, as we joke, somehow never actually manage see each other during the rest of the year.    I’m starting to see and get to know some regulars at my Tai Chi and Shaolin panels, which is doubly great.  For this year I requested the main atrium of the convention centre for both the Tai Chi and Shaolin classes, and had this grand vision in my mind of the Shaolin class looking all the much like the start of the old school kung fu movies with hundreds of people doing moves in unison.  Muahahaha!

Well, alright, I didn’t expect literally hundreds, but the turnout for all the classes was once again great, and the level of interest and fun high.  Many stayed to speak with me afterwards, and if it weren’t for tight schedules with rehearsals I would’ve  stayed even longer… and made the classes a bit longer too, I cut them down a bit to 60 mins and that extra 30 really lets them flourish more.  Also, I need to arrange for someone to take video next time of our epic training montage, so that I can see my mental vision in reality, and have it for posterity.

For the stage fighting seminar, I pushed that one up to 2h in length, and it worked swimmingly.  I don’t think my delivery of the material was quite as good this year as in years past, but I think that’s inconsequential in the face of the enthusiasm and creativity of the little skits/sequences everyone put together in the practical portion.  Wow, great stuff, and again I encouraged them all to sign up for FC:U next year.  There’s creative spirit, and I’m gonna encourage that stuff be shared!

And speaking of sharing creative spirit, Rev and I again put ourselves into FC:Unleashed with an epic skit of epicness.  When the theme was announced, there was really only one idea that came to our mind, an idea so geeky fun we had to do it.  You can probably already guess what it was.  Yep… lightsabre fight!  This year our skit was about 85%ish on video (where we ended up going completely meta in the skit concept/script), with the remainder in a 1 min on-stage set at the end.  Another fur gave us a hand, and we filmed, edited, and special FX-ed it all up, music and sound effects and more.  I probably sunk around 60 hours into the editing and FX work alone.  I’d forgotten how much I enjoy editing, and the FX was fun even if I was bouncing off my limit of rotoscoping by the end.

The final product though, mmm, I love.  And gloriously I wasn’t the only one, for we won 2nd place this year! (despite bongering the on-stage bit somewhat , alas)   And I got plenty of great kudos and accolades on the way out of the auditorium too, which was cool – the intent was to entertain and excite, and I think we doth did accomplish that!

The act that won the audience choice award totally deserved to win, it was a nice piece spoken word/poetry art that touched on themes of society, the greatness we can achieve, negativity and our fun and passion.  In my opinion, he should have won first place as well, I love that kind of work and it was done well (the winner from 2011 also did a similar piece of work).

Oh and I will, of course, post a link to our skit as soon as the vids are posted!  (ed: here’s the link!)

As the weekend wound down I was left with a feeling of warmth and contentment.   I missed participating in improv this year, alas.  I danced a night away with abandon, hooray!  I toured the art show and noted some artists to check out.  I realized there’s a martial fur community to be created, and really I should bring business cards to keep in touch with people between cons!  I hung out with many friends and made some new ones.  I gave a zillion high fives to those in the parade as they passed.  I shared and was shared with.  And my mask actually made it through another year (though I purposefully didn’t walk in the parade  or wear it during class this year to put as little wear and tear on it – and I had to repair it a week before the con!) and I dunno what I’ll do for next year, especially with the house repair bills.  I think it might actually limp through another year if need be, if I treat it with care.   Though it looks a bit ragged.  We’ll see.

I think the most amusing moment came at the end of the weekend when I realized that I was conversing with someone in fursuit, and it hadn’t dawned on me that they were in fursuit – it had become part of my visual lexicon as much as ethnicity.  That was fun.

And so a great con was had.  Thank you to all of you who participated and brought your enthusiasm to my panels, thanks to everyone who was cool, thanks for the kind words, the interaction, thank you to the performers who put themselves on stage for FC:U, thank you to Sprout for all the hard work she put in to make FC:U happen, and thank you to the staff for the work done to have a con like this.  See you all next year!

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