I received this message from a fan and wanted to share my response with everyone, since odds are there are others out there with the same questions. Enjoy!
Message from JT: “PCC is going to be my first Con and I was hoping you could help answer a few questions/advice. How does registration work? Is that in addition to buying my ticket? What kind of stuff do you recommend I bring? Must haves? Best practices? Any advice is highly appreciated, can’t wait to meet you.”
Registration is the same as membership is the same as tickets. If you bought it online, you should have a receipt. If they’re doing it the same as last year, you walk into the registration area and either purchase your ticket there, or go through a special line to pick up your ticket (if you already purchased it online). Guards check to make sure you have no weapons, and then you go in! 🙂
Some events cost extra, but the PCC website should outline that nicely for you. Always carry extra cash though. You never know if that artist who was promoting free sketches earlier is gonna bump it up to $5, or you get hungry and need to eat a $12 hotdog or if you decide at the last minute that you really do want to go to Geek Prom. Always have a little extra on you (some vendors don’t take card too, so heads up).
I suggest eating before and bringing bottled water with you. It’s gonna be a long day, wear something comfy (like a metal bikini!). Take a break if you need it. A lot of people try to do the whole con all at once. You will be tired and sore and cranky if you do this. My strategy: go early, take a long lunch break to refuel, and come back refreshed and ready for more.
If you want a photo with someone in costume, don’t be shy! We’re in costume for a reason! Just ask and most people will be happy to pose for you, or even grab someone to take a photo with you in it with the character. 🙂
Do NOT touch anybody without their permission. This sounds like a no-brainier, but if someone has a cool cape or an authentic-looking raygun, ask first! You don’t know how expensive or fragile it is! Most costumers are glad to share props (especially for a photo op!) but there are certain things even I don’t let people get their hands on (again, see: metal bikini, lol).
On that note, do not FOLLOW us everywhere. We appreciate the attention and getting our costume acknowledged, but do not follow someone in costume, or ask them for multiple photos in the same costume on the same day. That sounds mean. Here’s a story: when I was dressed up as Power Girl, there was a group of 3 boys following me around all day. It starts as flattering, but after the 4th photo, they were just wasting my time and kind of creeping me out. If you want multiple photos of someone, ask if you can do a mini photo shoot in the lobby. We love that! 🙂 Or even mention you already have a photo, but the lighting was bad or whatever. We want your photos to look as good as you do. We will help in any way we can, but just don’t keep coming up to us like it’s your first photo. That’s obnoxious.
Other than that, take tons of photo and share them. Costumers LOVE seeing their work online, especially if you allow us to tag ourselves so everyone can see us and know it’s us.
And as cheesy as it sounds HAVE FUN! Some people get caught up in the bustle and get cranky and feel obligated and stressed. Chill out, take a breather, polish off your light saber and enjoy yourself! You’re amongst your people. Chances are, no matter how dweeby you think you are, there are at least 5 other guys dweebier.