Friday, May 15, 2015

Regal Con Day 2

Day 2
On Saturday, I decided to go for a little cosplay so I donned my white dress and wig that I wore as Snow White for Comic Con last year.  I put Ella in the wrap carrier to go with the look a bit better. The first photo ops were that morning, so we decided to go there and hang out for our photo with Emilie. After thinking about it, I realized I'd rather my pic with her have me with my real hair rather than my cheap wig, so I took it off.  Unfortunately, without it, no one could tell I was in a costume!  Oh well...I'll do more cosplay next time.

Most of the room was there for Lana Parrilla- I realized later we probably didn't need to be there so early, but we chatted with people and played on the floor with Ella.  I was amazed at how calm I was feeling despite being about to meet someone I've dreamed of meeting for at least two years. At EnchantaCon, I'd been physically shaking each time I had a cast encounter.

When they finally called for Emilie pics, we were led out of the room. There was some line confusion and some trouble on clarification on whether or not my sister needed her own ticket to be in my picture (they did end up allowing it without a ticket), but soon there we were- walking right up to Emilie de Ravin! As I had predicted, she went straight for the baby- so cute!  She commented that, oh, she must not like to smile at all, being sarcastic of course as Ella was flashing her usual big grins. We took the picture, I thanked her, and she cooed over Ella again. :)  The whole time I managed to not freak out. Both Lana and Bex were actually in the room while we were there- Lana passing through and Bex sitting off to the side.

The first panel was with Eion Bailey (August), Lee Arenberg (Grumpy), and David Anders (Doctor Whale).  I was nervous about how Ella would handle being there.  However, my seat was right up front and off to the side- perfect for bouncing back and forth or making a quick exit.  A volunteer dressed as a spot on Mary Margaret  helped us to our seats.  I swear, I kept staring at her because she looked so perfect! Again, we were given a bit of a run around trying to figure out if my sis with a GA pass could still sit with me- they eventually decided she could.

The panel was fun- I don't remember a lot of the details, but I'm sure there are plenty of recaps out there for you.  Ella started out pretty well.  In fact, at first her loud noises were happy sounds.  At one point, she let out a loud shriek in the pause after a question was asked, and one of the actors said, "Yes, I'm hungry too, sweetheart!" and everyone laughed. Well, that's one way to get remembered! Soon after that, she was just making too much noise for me to be comfortable keeping her in the room, so I bolted outside and nursed her.  I tried to listen outside the door, but I couldn't make anything out from the hallway. Oh well- I can read recaps later.

Lana's panel was that afternoon too, and to my relief, Ella stayed in good enough spirits for us to stay in the room for the entire thing as long as I distracted her with her bag of toys.  The crowd went nuts for Lana, of course.  She is old hat at these panels and delightful to listen to.  I love that she pulled a few Evil Queen cosplayers up front for everyone to admire. I've never done a Regina costume myself.  She is one of my favorite characters, but I just can't picture myself as her.  It would be SO against type!

The first autograph sessions were later that afternoon and went a bit smoother than the photos earlier. I bought stills to have each actor sign.  I had four tickets and chose Emilie, Sean Maguire (Robin Hood), Beverley Elliot (Granny), and Rebecca Mader (Zelena). Lana's photo ops and autograph were expensive and popular, so I decided not to for it, but now I'm wishing I had as I ended up not meeting her at all.  Oh well, next time.

Ella was fast asleep as I entered the autograph room and went up to each table where an actor sat.  They all adored Ella.  Emilie asked to address the autograph to both of us.  I had rehearsed in my head what I wanted to say to her- that anyone who played Belle was automatically my hero and I've met the voice actress from the film as well as the original Broadway actress.  Her reply was that she hadn't. Ha ha

To Rebecca, I told her that she was the first OuaT actress I had seen prior to the show- in the American Girl movie!  She told me that I was the first to tell her that and that it was a sweet movie.  She also loved Ella and said she had noticed her when we were having our picture with Emilie earlier.
Beverley and Sean both loved Ella too and I told them I am such a big fan of the show that I brought my baby because that was the only way I could come. I also told Beverley that I had dressed as Red at EnchantaCon.

I was very excited for that evening's events as the banquet was probably the one thing I was most eager for! Since I was a Regal package holder, I got to be among the first to choose my table and picked Emilie's- hurray!  Some delays due to Lana's popularity caused dinner to be an hour late.  I was so hungry. Lana wasn't going to be at dinner but did host the Queen's Reception.  I had debated going, but ultimately decided not to pay $50 for the chance that I might get to talk to Lana for 2 seconds. I did enjoy the time I had to socialize with other Oncers while we waited for dinner though- having the baby with me during the day made it harder to do so because I was distracted.

Finally, they let us in for dinner.  I wore my Storybrooke Belle blue dress. Each table was decorated differently.  Emilie's featured a rose and a book.  I also saw green apples, a model ship, and a lantern among others. It took a while for the actors to trail in, so eventually, I got too hungry to wait and grabbed my food- salad, tri-tip, chicken, and a really yummy ravioli (plus a divine selection of desserts which I grabbed later). While we waited for Emilie, Rebecca walked by me and said "Hello!" followed by "Where's the baby?  Under the table?"  Ha!  I explained to her that my sister was caring for her in the hotel room.  I got asked where she was about 3 times that evening!

I was excited when Emilie arrived and again surprised at my own calmness. I wonder if maybe it was because thanks to social media and all the interviews I've read and other panels I'd seen, I almost felt as if I already knew her.  She no longer seemed like such an enigma to me which was nice. I didn't pay for one of the seats immediately next to her because I figured I'd enjoy her company in any seat, but it was a little harder to hear the conversation from the others seats- oh well.

 I don't remember everything that was talked about, but there was a lot of laughs.  One of the girls commented that it was easy to miss the actors walking right by you because they blend in, and I added that actors look just like the rest of us out in the real world.  Emilie quipped that she was hiding her 3rd leg. *snicker* Ok, for the record, I do know that actors are human!  We talked about continuity errors (I mentioned this even happens in animation- such as the disappearing/ reappearing mess of food on the Beast's face in Beauty and the Beast), Disneyland (She still has never been! I wish I could remedy that! We all gave her a hard time about that.), and how she wears those crazy high heels.  Betsy had one of the seats next to her and talked to her quite a bit about Belle.

I showed her pics of my cats and told her how one of them liked to sit on the baby lounger.  She said it wasn't the baby's anymore.  Ha! I showed her a pic of the Belle dress I'd made for EnchantaCon out of my wedding dress. She replied that was a good idea.  I also took out one of my teacup earrings to show her. She started letting us take selfies with her, so I hastily tried to put the earring back in- took a few tries! Technically, the pic wasn't a selfie- Betsy took it for me- but yay for a pic with Emilie! Bex was also doing selfies, so I grabbed one with her too.

There was supposed to be an hour between dinner and the ball, but since dinner started late, there wasn't. However, I had bought a dress just for the ball, and gosh darn it, I was going to wear it, so I ran back up to my room to change.  It was a really pretty retro style dress of bright pink with an overlay of iridescent blue.  It reminded me of Aurora so I added a lavender shawl and a tiara- technically it was a Giselle from Enchanted tiara, but hey- whatever works, right?

The ball was very similar to EnchantaCon's ball- although it lacked the fun decorations from the latter and the actors weren't announced and escorted in as they were last time. The early music was fun, light stuff I like such as "Hey, Mickey" but it wasn't long before it got into the real head pounding base sort that I really don't care much for.  I tried to mingle a bit with the actors, but they were always surrounded by people, and it was too loud. I did get eye contact and smiles from David and Eion. I also saw Gil again, and he mentioned seeing me with a baby.  He asked how it was going and said he will probably be there in another year or so.

I always think I come across as a bit creepy at events like this because I'm shy.  I really want to talk to people, but I don't know what to say, so I sort of just look at them a lot and smile and hope they will talk to me. 

Like EnchantaCon, there was a costume contest.  Unlike EnchantaCon, pretty much everyone who went on stage got acknowledged instead of actually having winners.  There were some great Reginas, a spot on Marian, a kid in a perfect Blue Fairy replica, and a mascot character style Jiminy Cricket. I debated going up there myself, but I didn't feel confident enough that my look would read as a costume. In hindsight, I wish I had just gone up.  Both Michael and Faustino jokingly went up on stage as themselves. Goofballs!

I usually like to stay late at events like that because I like to wait for when everything calms down- that's usually when the great memories happen.  However, I was exhausted and my sis was waiting for me, so I only stayed for about an hour and a half or so including time outside in the hallway to soak in the quiet. I made a new friend- a cosplaying Evil Regal named Kelly. She had a great red velvety Evil Queen costume.

I was surprised to see that there was another family there with little ones- a woman dressed as Belle had a small child strapped to her back and a little princess holding her hand.  Just as they were leaving, she turned to me and told me her little girl had been repeatedly pointing out my bare feet after I'd taken off my shoes, saying "See? There is a princess with no shoes!"  Teehee!

After that, it was back to the room to sleep before my usually early morning baby wake up call.

RegalCon recap!

Well...looks as if I haven't done much with this blog in the past year.  I was little preoccupied with a new baby:  Ella born this past December. :)

My last post was about EnchantaCon- and now I have another OuaT convention to report on!  I just returned from Anaheim where me and the little one as well as my sister, Paula, spent 3 days in the company of Oncers and cast.

Day 1
This time around, I decided to spring for the big ticket package which included the cocktail party, the banquet, the ball, a photo op, and a selection of autographs.  My sister got general admission and so she took care of Ella for me in the evenings so I could attend the Regal package events.

I arrived on Thursday evening.  Paula wasn't going to be arriving until Friday, so I was on my own getting everything to the hotel room.  Thankfully, I've discovered that I usually get help when people see me struggling with a baby- sure enough, a kind woman helped me carry things.  That night, I grabbed some dinner at the hotel by myself- I didn't see anyone I knew yet.  I overheard some OuaT talk at the next booth over.  I tried to say hello, but I guess I was too timid- they didn't notice me.

Since registration didn't start until Friday afternoon, I decided to take the opportunity to go to Downtown Disney.  It was rough to be so close to Disneyland and not have plans to actually go into the park, but Ella is only 5 months, and I would also like to save her first Disney visit for when my husband is there to witness it too. I did take a selfie with Ella in front of the main entrance though, and when I posted the picture, I discovered one of my CM friends from Florida was there visiting too.  It was fun to get to catch up- I hadn't seen her since we moved.  I then bought a few baby clothes and an Ariel shirt for me that I couldn't resist and grabbed a shuttle back to the hotel.

There was a long line to check in- a bit awkward with a baby and all the baby things (stroller, etc) but we made it in eventually with only mild fussiness. I ran into a couple friends from EnchantaCon- Zach and Laurie- there weren't many of us there, but it was fun to see them.

I attended 2 panels on Friday- a Once Upon a Time fan podcast and a cosplay panel.  Ella did really well- she only cried once.  I was playing with her on the ground when she face planted.  (Don't worry, she was fine- just startled.) The panels were fun- we met some cosplayers with fantastic get ups.  I didn't do much cosplay on this trip because I had the baby with me and didn't want to deal with all that extra stuff, but I really missed it!  Since I'm shy, I love using costumes as an ice breaker.  I also love posing for pictures!  A few of the actors from the OuaT parody Once Upon a Anonymous were there- I kept wondering why they looked familiar until I heard who they were.  I've watched those videos before- they're funny! I also saw the hosts of the Skywalking Through Neverland Podcast whom I had first met nearly 2 years ago at the D23 Expo.

I had wanted to go to the welcome reception, but when I got there with baby Ella in her carrier, they were doing sound checks for the 45 Spacer concert that night.  A woman helping with security told us she couldn't allow us to go in there with a baby.  She must have thought I was nuts!  I didn't want the loud music...the concert wasn't supposed to be until later! Finally, the sound test was over, and we went in and walked to the back.  Unfortunately, once they started talking, a scary loud feedback sound came from the speakers, and I covered my baby's ears and bolted out of there almost in tears. I decided to listen from outside.

Paula was there at that point, and followed shortly after- also not interested in the concert and we still had to get her things to my room.  It was during this time that I met a Oncer in person whom I'd only known online before- Betsy.  Betsy and I have had an interesting relationship.  In fact, online, we have gotten into huge debates before and driven each other mad!  In person, however, I discovered she was actually pretty nice and helped us with Paula's things. And while we stood in the lobby area chatting, who should walk by but Beverley Elliot who stopped and cooed at Ella for a moment.

Paula and I grabbed a salad from the coffee shop downstairs since we didn't have time for a full meal before I headed off to the cocktail party. I decided to wear my new dress from Hot Topic which is covered in quote from Disney princesses as well as my handmade chipped cup earrings.  Paula took over Ella's bedtime routine while I headed down to the party.

The cocktail party had a small selection of food- trays of fruit, cheese, and crackers as well as wontons and such.  I should have eaten more at dinner- I was pretty hungry!  It was freeing to finally have some time without a baby. A lot of people came dressed in Storybrooke ensembles- I saw several variations on Mayor Regina, a few blue sundress Belles, and some red leather jackets.

The cocktail party was nice, if a bit loud and crowded for my taste- the space we were in felt too small for the number of people.  I felt a little overwhelmed and did my usual awkward bouncing from cluster to cluster, trying to chat with people. Every actor had a group of people around them, and assertiveness isn't my strongest suit, so I mostly just said hi.  I got a lot of compliments from other fans on my dress and earrings though.  Gil McKinny (Prince Eric) did indeed remember me from EnchantaCon, and Faustino di Bauda (Sleepy) remembered a conversation that I mentioned we had once had on Facebook about getting some memorabilia for my high school's theater department's annual auction and got on my case about being too shy to follow through on it!

I hung out for a while because my favorite time is when the music gets quieter and the crowd thins out.  I like when I can actually hear people.  I overheard some girls talking to Michael Coleman (Happy) about theme parks, and I thought ah ha, here's my in! Now that's a conversation I can join, so I was able to chat a bit with him.  His wife and little girl were there too.  Little Belle was darling!  I'm totally more at ease with kids than adults.  I wanted to play with her, but I didn't push it in case her parents thought me strange. I miss all the little girls I got to interact with at WDW.

I met my 2nd online friend here, Marguerite.  We've tweeted each other bunches of times in the past.  She's very sweet. And I totally didn't intend to write a poem- haha.

I returned to my room to the news that Ella had finished her bottle and was asleep- yay!