Fan Expo 2016

So, I didn’t post about Fan Expo right away because I was just way to exhausted. The weird thing is that I wasn’t exhausted the same way I normally am.

Usually, being at a con fills me with excitement and I enjoy every bit of it – except for not getting into panels I really want to – and it’s just so much fun. This time, was different. Not that I didn’t enjoy myself, it just wasn’t the same.

I had a few panels I wanted to attend, it took me some time to get oriented with the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. It was a bit confusing to say the least. I ended up not doing any panels.

The problem I really had was, even  though I did start getting excited about going the day before, once I got there, I kind of just wanted to leave.

Firefly Team Up at Fan Expo Canada 2016

Morena Baccarin, me, Jewel Staite, Alan Tudyk at Fan Expo Canada, September 3, 2016

I managed to stick it out for my two photo ops, which weren’t too far apart, but photo ops go so quickly.

First, was the Firefly Team Up with Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, and Alan Tudyk.

Getting in, was chaotic. They were not well organized, compared to how Calgary Expo did it in 2013. Once I got it, it was pretty quick. I spent far less time waiting in line than I did in Calgary, so that part was good. We were coming in from the side where Morena is, so I didn’t really get to interact with Alan, more than a quick hi as I walked up. They pushed everyone through so quick!

When it was done, they all said thanks and I quickly got in a gesture to Alan, to draw attention to my Con Man Kickstarter hoodie. He didn’t catch it right away, until I turned away from him and he let out a really excited sounding “nice!” when he saw the Con Man logo on the back.

William Shatner photo op at Fan Expo Canada 2016

William Shatner photo op at Fan Expo Canada 2016

I wandered the show floor to waste time until my next photo op. I picked up some t-shirts. Then headed back towards the photo op area and hung out for a bit and managed to get in much closer to the front of the line.

Nothing really exciting happened in the photo op, but I realized later that they took the picture sooner than I thought. I was still adjusting my shirt. lol

Then I decided to try and get some autographs. I got Jewel first, then Morena shortly after. Alan’s line was too long, and my feet and back were extremely sore.

I wasn’t feeling overly anxious or anything, or at least I didn’t think I was. I was in a fair amount of pain, because I wore absolutely the wrong shoes for and as much as I wanted to be there, I also didn’t want to. While waiting in Morena’s autograph line, I started having heart palpitations. My heart wasn’t racing, it was just skipping every few beats, inconsistently, for about a half hour.

Heart palpitations aren’t new for me. I’ve been having them since 2010, but not like that. Most of the time, it happens one or two times, and then nothing for several days, even weeks. It doesn’t seem to be triggered by anything specific, most of the time, anyway. I have had it start when I’ve been particularly upset, on occasion. Anyway, it was weird, but it went away. However, I think there was some anxiety happening that I was less aware of, and my depression was causing the lack of excitement too. It was hard.

I was debating leaving then. I didn’t want to, but I just really didn’t want to be there. I was getting frustrated navigating the crowd. I wandered the show floor for a while and picked up a few other things.

Sam Maggs signing at Fan Expo 2016

I finally actually got to meet Sam after missing out on seeing her in Calgary in 2014.

I managed to waste just enough time to justify staying a bit longer and heading down to Sam Maggs’s signing.

Got to talk to her for a few minutes and met some cool people in line.

I picked up a couple more souvenirs and then headed back towards the north building, since I had to go there to get back to my car.

I figured I’d check to see if there were any others I wanted autographs from.

Most of the autograph tables seemed to be closed up for the day, and no one was left who I wanted, so I headed back towards the exit to the parking garage.

I was finding myself getting even more angry and irritated as I made my way out. People stopping and cutting me off. I could been my anxiety levels increasing and I started walking faster, as fast as I could with how much pain I was in.

Once I got to my car, I sat with the air conditioning blasting for at least 10 minutes, because I was so hot and sweaty and gross and my legs needed a break! I was so relieved when I finally got out of the downtown Toronto traffic. The rest of the drive home was calming. Much better than the drive home from Calgary Expo, which was a 3 hour drive. The traffic was better, but it was so long.

Next year, I think I’m going to fly, because it’s only 12 minutes, instead of close to an hour and a half. The flights from Niagara don’t start for a few more weeks, so that wasn’t an option this time. I considered taking the GO train from Burlington, but the idea of being stuck in public transit makes me anxious, like I have no control. It’s weird because it’s common to have anxiety while driving, but that’s not generally an issue for me. Except as far as being unsure of where I’m going. As much as I hate being stuck in Toronto traffic, I feel safer in my car. Bizarre, I know.

Anyway, overall, it was well worth going to Fan Expo. Even though I didn’t have nearly as much fun as I’d hoped, it was still worth it. I don’t regret going. I just hope that next year I’ll feel up to going for the whole weekend, at least two days, so I can go to some panels.

My Favourite Moments

Jewel Staite’s Autograph Table

Photo ops are usually too quick, but I like that as a souvenir more than an anything else, but going to autograph tables, you get a little longer and often they will interact with you.

Jewel Staite AutographI went to Jewel’s table first. I was shocked by how nice she was. Not that I was expecting her not to be nice, she just seemed like she really enjoyed being there. Kind of like John Barrowman, only not quite as outwardly. (If you’ve ever seen John Barrowman at a con, you’ll understand what I mean. Meeting him is not an experience you will forget.) I had been talking to the person helping at her table while she was with the person before me, because I was trying to decide whether I wanted her to sign my photo op picture, one of the items I brought with me, or one of the photos from her table.

Since my photo was Firefly themed (having Morena and Alan in it) I decided to go with a Stargate Atlantis picture from her table….course there were 3 or 4 to choose from, so that took a bit longer. lol

As the person before me left, I grabbed one and moved down the table to Jewel. I told her that she was my second Atlantis autograph, and she excitedly asked who my first was. (It was Joe Flanigan at Edmonton Expo in 2013.)

I mentioned why I went with an Atlantic pic instead of having her sign the photo, and she saw the photo in my hand and she said that it turned out really good. I said that I’d had some not so good ones before, and told her about how bad I looked in a picture with the cast of Torchwood because I was laughing so hard because John Barrowman grabbed my ass. She laughed really hard, like she was not at all surprised. Just like anyone else who knows John Barrowman, it wasn’t surprising at all.

Dancing Deadpools

I wish I’d gotten a picture of this, but I didn’t have enough time to get my phone out.

So, going from the north building to the south requires going up two escalators from the floor where the smaller exhibition room was with the photo ops and autographs. (There were two floors below where there were panels and other things going on.) Then you walk along a long bridge-like space overlooking the show floor, and into a hallway like bridge that goes over the GO train tracks, and has a good view of the base of the CN Tower (which I didn’t have the energy to take a picture of). Then you have to go down two more escalators to this one area that I don’t think was being used for much, but people were hanging out there. As you walk to the next escalator, the floor continues around it, and straight ahead was a DJ table with music blasting really loud. As I stepped onto that escalator, there was a song playing with a really good beat (no idea what it was because I don’t really listen to current pop music) and I looked up to beside the DJ table and there were two Deadpools and a Spiderman dancing. It was really funny. People all around me on the escalator were recording it, so I’m sure it’ll end up online somewhere.

It provided a good laugh for me, as it was nearing the end of the day. I was heading over to Sam Maggs’s signing, in the south building. I had to go down 2 more escalators to get there, but I was still picturing the dancing Deadpools so it made it less stressful.

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