CONvergence 2014 – People

July 8, 2014

Another year of CONvergence behind me. I’m not even sure how many years I’ve been going, but it is minimum eight, maybe even nine or ten. I started writing this and realized I would need to split it into multiple posts, so lets start with some of the people that really made this year for me (not an exhaustive list by any stretch). My second post about the panels I was a part of can be found here!

The People

Melissa Kaercher – She is in the top few partnerships I’ve ever had when it comes to projects. She is a machine (not literally). I love and respect her so stinking much, and the panels we have created together continue to be favorites of many people at CON, including Killer B’s Improv Movie Show, Drinking with Geeks, and for our second year Judging a Book by its Cover (Here is the video for 2013).Melissa with sock puppet

C. Robert Cargill – This man. Oh this man. A native of Austin, TX that Cargillleaves a wake of energy and delightfully structured chaos in his wake. I’ve gotten to know Cargill over the last few years, but it is only after the last few visits I felt like we really became friends, not just geeks in the same circle. He is a passionate, talented writer (see: Sinister, Dreams and Shadows, and Queen of the Dark Things and more…), and a natural host. In geekdom it can be easy to be exclusive and judgmental, especially when you have his kind of chops and knowledge, but this man accepts all into the fold. It’s great to know that in his industry there is someone rising that has such a strong sense of honor and goodness, in business and with friends. Plus he is going to teach me about Warhammer 40k! P.S. MEGAFORCE!

Lamp in shape of a legJessica Cargill – You know how they say, “Behind every great man…“? Well, Jess isn’t behind her husband, she’s right up alongside him. This is a power couple folks! This woman is a rock of support, insight, and humor to say the least, and not just to Robert, but the people around her too. She isn’t a passive supporter, but has been learning all about the industry right along with Robert, tossing out clever insights like candy. Over the years, in the midst of chaos, I’ve had the pleasure of many random conversations with her. Some when I was in a rough place, some when life was crapping on them, and thankfully most just having a great time. She is hilarious, and slips in wonderful quips that I think too many people miss. Finally, when I was at a particularly low point near Christmas, when I was still probably half-stranger, she sent me a Christmas ornament for my tree so I wouldn’t feel so alone. I heart her.

Barb Abney – One of the magnanimous personalities on 89.3 The
. I’ve had the pleasure of running into her many times over the last year, from post Wits chats after they kick us out of the building to close, to friends parties, and now CONvergence! After first seeing her again she was afraid that she had offended my Barb holding coffee mugsgirlfriend at least meeting because of some of the hilarious, messed up stuff coming out of her mouth. I assure you, it was hilarious, and no, Megan wasn’t offended in the least. 🙂 I think Barb and I are kindred spirits when it comes to spouting crazy stuff to see the kinds of reactions we get, and running around to see the sort of chaos that developed in our wake. We spent a lot of time hanging out in the bar, laughing our butts off, as well as exploring the party rooms and chasing cosplayers to get pictures. I enjoy The Current, but hanging out with Barb is a blast. Plus she introduced me to Emily Reese of classical MPR who covers two huge loves of mine, classical music and video games! She has a Skyrim tattoo, and is badass. I need to hang out with these two again soon.

Tim Wick – Here is a man that every time I hang out with, I get frustrated that I’m not working with him on something. Obviously this needs to be remedied, and it will be, but I love this guy for so many reasons. He has a great blog you should already be reading, is a hilarious and clever writer, and damn if he isn’t smarter than I will EVER be. I’m looking forward to making movie swedes, and hopefully so much more with this guy, and I can’t wait for Top Gun: The Musical!

Jeremy Stomberg – He isn’t an immediately likable person. First impressions are often bad jokes, and hitting on any woman you happen to be with (not as bad as it sounds :). It’s actually part of his charm though, as he isn’t actually a douche, but a goofball and a jokester wrapped around a very intelligent, ACTUALLY funny, loyal, and kind person. I love his discourse and debate, and as a performer I never know where he is going to go next. Plus his wife Amy is super rad, and they have TONS of Legos. His (and Bill Stiteler’s) closing sketch for CON this year was really well done, and I got to strangle Bilbo to death as Frodo. The lovely Romeo Azar also did a great job on the video segments. Thanks for having me be a part of of the sketch! Seriously, I love this guy. (And Tyrion says hi…)

Bill & Sharon Stiteler – These two crack me up in epic ways. I LOVE when they are on panels together because of the amazing and messed up chemistry they abuse for the sake of comedy. Sharon is a brilliant bird expert and writer that I’m dying to get working on more Choosatron stories (with learning in them!). Bill knows way too much awesome stuff about movies (and much more), has an incredibly fun dry wit, and puts together some of my favorite comedy shows like Powerpoint KaraokeI love just watching him sometimes when people around us are being strange and silly. His expressions are priceless.

Paul Cornell & Caroline Symcox (and little ginger Tom!) – This is a fantastic family. Like many of the others, I’ve gotten to know them over the years, mostly at CONvergence. I’ve been fortunate enough to perform Just a Minute with Paul numerous times, and got to visit the family for dinner while I was in London last! Their son Tom has gotten so big, running around like crazy this CON. They are such delights to have around, with a quirky British humor that never gets old. I’m so happy they continue to attend, even with (especially with) their wonderful child. Look how blissful Paul is here…

Cornell Family

Thankfully some of my absolutely closest friends also attend. People I spent time with as much as possible all year, and would be completely lost without! JD, Brandy, Dan, and Kari are a few of the best people on Earth, and I’m glad they put up with my practically schizophrenic behavior, and attend CON. Next up, a rundown of my CONvergence panels and performances!