Marscon is almost upon us. Later today, I meet the first couple of people for the trip. However, like almost everything in life, Marscon is not perfect. Here is a list of things that can make my weekend more difficult than it can and hopefully by writing this, I can get these thoughts out of my head now.
1. Organizing the trip: In 2005, I realized most of the people in the Chicago area do not have a car and since rented a vehicle to drive others there. Once I get behind the wheel things are great. Until then, it is a hassle. Eventually others have come from out of state to join me and after it got nicknamed the bus people started to think it was an actual bus. Of course it has been common over the past 7 years for people to ask about it, say they are riding, then back out and this year is no exception.
I have been financially burned by this too. Every year gas prices would increase the 3 weeks before the trip and it would cost me more than I quoted. I now give 2 quotes and collect twice; once for the vehicle and again for gas once I get an idea on mileage and cost. A couple of times there were too many people for the vehicle(s) obtained and after quoting the trip as everyone riding, I ended up forking $500 to make up the difference.
2. Non music con attendees. One year the music track went 7 minutes long even though we got a late start due the the panel before running long. The person who ran the masquerade that year which happens after the music track ends while going through rehearsal with me there wasted about a half hour complaining about the "shit music" and when everything ran 90 minutes long stated the music track running late was the reason. Since then things have been very tight with music especially considering the large number of acts that want to perform.
There have been times where the effort needed to keep everything exactly on time has created a rush in the performers and forced people to cut songs from their set list.
3. The cost. 4 nights in a hotel even splitting the cost with others is not cheap. Unlike other areas where a con suite can provide the occasional meal, the Marscon con suite is underfunded and every meal needs to be purchased. Over 5 days, that cost can be large. Almost every performer has stuff at the awesome table 27 to purchase. I can easily spend a grand over the weekend without blinking if I am not careful.
4. Drama. In any group where you get 50-75 people together where they are out of their normal routine and where many of them are drinking, there will be drama! Since there are male and female people there and the con nighttime atmosphere is like that of Vegas stupid things can and will usually happen.
In our on line community, things can happen and when people meet IRL, those conflicts can become IRL. I am definitely no exception to this rule. The worst was the time where a person's comment at 2AM triggered a reoccuring nightmare that I had and I woke up sweating and angry. When that person screamed something to the performer right behind me that afternoon so loud it hurt, I wanted to grab that person and scream back in their face. Eventually in front of others I ended up punching the wall in the elevator and when that person made a stupid comment to me later that evening, I saw three people get up to prevent me from putting that person's impression in the wall though I replied professionally.
Granted that person also creates conflict with me by posting the result of the hosted countdown show in the chatroom during my show. I have asked for years that all I want is for that person to respect my time slot and ask for permission. Instead of asking me for permission that person records the show later in the evening to avoid that conflict.
Anyway, I need to get my suitcase packed and clean the house.