May 31, 2012

FAE + Terri Hawkes.

Hello crazy Moonie lovahs!

Today I have a story to tell you. A story of bravery, travel, adventure, uncertainty, deception, betrayal and love. All this related to Sailor Moon! Sounds cool right? I think so! :p

A few months ago it had been announced that one of the most iconic actresses who provided the voice for Serena, Terri Hawkes (eps. 12 - 82 + movies) was to have a Q + A panel in an upcoming convention in Florida. The second voice actress for Moon (the first one being Tracey Moore and third was Linda Ballantyne) was probably the one who had the most impact on the way the Serena character developed in the English speaking dub. Terri's ability to raise her voice to a drum-piercing note landed her the role at the spot of her audition and to this day, the acting energy and personality trait she poured into her work has imprinted itself into the memories of thousands of Moonies who deeply revere the American dub of the anime in spite of all its well-known flaws.

At first I had no intention of attending this panel. As a fan of the original Japanese and the LatinAmerican version I grew up with, I cannot say that I like the American dub very much. I cannot agree with the dialogue tweaks or Luna's old English lady voice and the music changes. This, however, does not mean that I cannot appreciate others' love for it. I have become more and more aware of just how much this version impacted on US audiences and its followers who will defend it, even with their own RPG wands and transformation toys if necessary!

As the time came closer, I heard that Terri Hawkes had never attended any anime conventions before and this would be the first time she would do so as a guest of honor! This sparked my interest. It is always very interesting to learn how it all went down behind the scenes and this is information that has never been shared before. The hype in various forums/blogs/twitters just made me realize this was a once in a Moonie lifetime experience that I could not miss, specially since it the convention was located only a few hours away from where I live.This was also a first experience for me. All of my life I've attended conventions in Mexico. Just to give you a general idea of what I'm used to, almost all conventions in back home are wildly crowded, untidy, unorganized, overpriced and hard to take seriously. In other words, my whole experience with anime conventions is one of "going to that anime thing and see what you can find". You basically buy a ticket and they let you into the mess. I had no idea how to deal with registrations, clean restrooms, organized lines, schedules and -get this- STAFF MEMBERS! .... I know right? It's all so new to me!

Apparently, I wasn't the first one living through new experiences either. As mentioned before, Mrs. Hawkes was at a panel for the first time but even the convention itself, the Florida Anime Experience was celebrating its SECOND event ever. The location of the hotel is quite central, right on the very important International Drive, cornered between Universal Studios, the Wet &Wild water park and the huge Sling Shot ride that can be seen from miles away. I can't agree with their choice of Convention Center though. The place wasn't *bad*, it was just not designed to have a meeting quite like this. Every room was perfect in size for its determined purpose, but the hallways were so narrow and placement so awkward that lines for one event became mixed with others and there was hardly place for passerbys who just wanted to enter the gaming or anime exhibits.


The sales floor was pretty tiny, nothing I couldn't have ordered off an online store, but it seemed to have been great for local comic shops. The artist alley was cute, but again, tiny in comparison of what I'm used to and while the artists were GREAT, I personally wouldn't have driven through Beryl, the tropical Storm (which I DID on my way back home) just to come see the fan art.


Because Terri is such a huge guest to have at any convention, the weight of her presence shifted all of the event's focus from just anime, to mostly Sailor Moon. I was only able to attend one day but there was so many Sailor Moon activities going on, that I even missed a few! Also, even though the staff was trying to keep things organized, they were visibly unprepared for so many attendees. Personally I would like to add that the whole reason why I didn\t get an autograph was because of this whole disorganization. They expressed that they had no idea so many people would show up to see Terri, but in any case things should have gone a lot smoother.

The line to meet her was ridiculously long, most of us were just there for this signing. As the fans began to pour into the meeting room, I noticed that they never seemed to come out. We stood there for 10, 15, 20, 45, 50 minutes and the line hardly even moved. Apparently the first fans to go in were still inside chatting up and taking pictures with Mrs. Hawkes. I made it the first time to about 10 feet from the door, when they said time was up and we'd have to wait till next signing. It was maddening that just as he said this that the first fans who went in were barely coming out. The second and third time happened almost the same. The line did not move and people were taking way too long inside the room. As I have seen from various videos posted from fans, Terri was being a great guest and was talking, meeting and taking pictures with each fan. But she didn't know how many of us were still waiting outside. The FAE staff should've kept the crowd moving in and out a lot fast. I know that you love her, but many of us were still waiting. Any fan would want to stick around Terri, but this is why the organizers need to make things move. Get your autograph and get out. They had to improvise a late night signing just to accommodate many other single-day pass attendees who were still trying to see her. This was a huge problem for me and probably a bunch of other Moonies who had driven all the way here and returned empty handed. 

The panels themselves were pretty fun! Cool events like "Traveling to Japan", "Cosplay Dating Game", "Anime that doesn't Suck" and "AnimeOpoly board Game" made it worthwhile hanging out before the main events took place. FAE was pretty much Sailor Moon oriented. There were so many Moonie related activities like "Sailor Moon Yoga" (which I couldn't take pictures of lest I interrupt the flow and harmony of the class), five autograph sessions and two panels with Terri Hawkes and many more! Here are some highlights.

Terri Hawkes Panel.







It's a  bit shaky at the beginning because I was figuring out how to record with one hand and tweet with my iphone with the other. I learned that tweeting at panels is awesome for fans from all the Twilight related accounts that I follow. I love to feel like I'm there, listening to the funny stories or tidbits the artists share! I tried to do the exact same for you guys! This is how my tweets read (from bottom to top) :

@SMObss #terrihawkes has never been called "meatball head" but now that her kids heard it she's afraid they'll get ideas
@SMObss http://twitvid.com/YWVM4 - WATCH THIS NOW!! NOWW! #sailormoon #TerriHawkes #MoonPrismPower
@SMObss #terrihawkes kids love Harry Potter. They went to Wizarding world :p
@SMObss At first #terrihawkes refused to point out her fave scout other than #sailormoon, and she got away with it saying she liked them as a team
@SMObss #terrihawkes admires Linda Ballantine because she had to take on an already formed characterization.
@SMObss She is thankful for #sailormoon she met this girl because she is so inspired  ‏
@SMObss The poor girl died and #terrihawkes assisted her funeral :(
@SMObss #terrihawkes favorite moment is a story about a sick 6 y/o at home and she called her as #sailormoon
@SMObss teehee! @Googgirl18 is making a question in her cute #supersailormoon cosplay x3
@SMObss #terrihawkes can't remember her fave episode(too long ago) but her fave dub session was done in a single taping. #sailormoon
@SMObss #terrihawkes gave a beautiful speech about how the transformation is metaphoric. You'll have to wait for the vid. #sailormoon
‏@SMObss #terrihawkes agrees that transportation scenes were long but it was everyone's fave part :D #sailormoon
@SMObss #Terrihawkes is not dubbing ATM, she is a grad student in women studies
@SMObss #terrihawkes says that if she had the opportunity to do it again, she'd be honored because it was an important part of her life.
‏@SMObss She says she had no idea how popular #sailormoon was until she had tiny Moons knocking her door on Halloween #terrihawkes
@SMObss #terrihawkes is talking about how she got the job. It was offered on the spot of her audition. #sailormoon
@SMObss #TerriHawkes in da house http://twitpic.com/9piy7h 
@SMObss #TerriHawkes q+a about to begin. I will tweet if I can, prepare for Moonie spam xD #sailormoon #FAE

Playstation Sailor Moon SuperS Tournament 
 
 

Sailor Moon Puppet Making
 

Cosplay Contest
 

Anyway, here is a video of the convention, If you have been following my tweets and/or the Moonie Tunes Facebook page, you might have noticed that I said I was going to give away a box of chocolates to those who saw me and said what Brad says at the end of every podcast. The second half of the video features @Meiruechan and @Googgirl18 went home with squished (but full of love) Moonie Tunes boxes. xD!



Cosplay picture compilation
 

 

All in all I'd consider the event a success in spite of the inadequate facilities and organizational flaws. These were minor hiccups in an otherwise fun event.  

May 31, 2012

FAE + Terri Hawkes.

Hello crazy Moonie lovahs!

Today I have a story to tell you. A story of bravery, travel, adventure, uncertainty, deception, betrayal and love. All this related to Sailor Moon! Sounds cool right? I think so! :p

A few months ago it had been announced that one of the most iconic actresses who provided the voice for Serena, Terri Hawkes (eps. 12 - 82 + movies) was to have a Q + A panel in an upcoming convention in Florida. The second voice actress for Moon (the first one being Tracey Moore and third was Linda Ballantyne) was probably the one who had the most impact on the way the Serena character developed in the English speaking dub. Terri's ability to raise her voice to a drum-piercing note landed her the role at the spot of her audition and to this day, the acting energy and personality trait she poured into her work has imprinted itself into the memories of thousands of Moonies who deeply revere the American dub of the anime in spite of all its well-known flaws.

At first I had no intention of attending this panel. As a fan of the original Japanese and the LatinAmerican version I grew up with, I cannot say that I like the American dub very much. I cannot agree with the dialogue tweaks or Luna's old English lady voice and the music changes. This, however, does not mean that I cannot appreciate others' love for it. I have become more and more aware of just how much this version impacted on US audiences and its followers who will defend it, even with their own RPG wands and transformation toys if necessary!

As the time came closer, I heard that Terri Hawkes had never attended any anime conventions before and this would be the first time she would do so as a guest of honor! This sparked my interest. It is always very interesting to learn how it all went down behind the scenes and this is information that has never been shared before. The hype in various forums/blogs/twitters just made me realize this was a once in a Moonie lifetime experience that I could not miss, specially since it the convention was located only a few hours away from where I live.This was also a first experience for me. All of my life I've attended conventions in Mexico. Just to give you a general idea of what I'm used to, almost all conventions in back home are wildly crowded, untidy, unorganized, overpriced and hard to take seriously. In other words, my whole experience with anime conventions is one of "going to that anime thing and see what you can find". You basically buy a ticket and they let you into the mess. I had no idea how to deal with registrations, clean restrooms, organized lines, schedules and -get this- STAFF MEMBERS! .... I know right? It's all so new to me!

Apparently, I wasn't the first one living through new experiences either. As mentioned before, Mrs. Hawkes was at a panel for the first time but even the convention itself, the Florida Anime Experience was celebrating its SECOND event ever. The location of the hotel is quite central, right on the very important International Drive, cornered between Universal Studios, the Wet &Wild water park and the huge Sling Shot ride that can be seen from miles away. I can't agree with their choice of Convention Center though. The place wasn't *bad*, it was just not designed to have a meeting quite like this. Every room was perfect in size for its determined purpose, but the hallways were so narrow and placement so awkward that lines for one event became mixed with others and there was hardly place for passerbys who just wanted to enter the gaming or anime exhibits.


The sales floor was pretty tiny, nothing I couldn't have ordered off an online store, but it seemed to have been great for local comic shops. The artist alley was cute, but again, tiny in comparison of what I'm used to and while the artists were GREAT, I personally wouldn't have driven through Beryl, the tropical Storm (which I DID on my way back home) just to come see the fan art.


Because Terri is such a huge guest to have at any convention, the weight of her presence shifted all of the event's focus from just anime, to mostly Sailor Moon. I was only able to attend one day but there was so many Sailor Moon activities going on, that I even missed a few! Also, even though the staff was trying to keep things organized, they were visibly unprepared for so many attendees. Personally I would like to add that the whole reason why I didn\t get an autograph was because of this whole disorganization. They expressed that they had no idea so many people would show up to see Terri, but in any case things should have gone a lot smoother.

The line to meet her was ridiculously long, most of us were just there for this signing. As the fans began to pour into the meeting room, I noticed that they never seemed to come out. We stood there for 10, 15, 20, 45, 50 minutes and the line hardly even moved. Apparently the first fans to go in were still inside chatting up and taking pictures with Mrs. Hawkes. I made it the first time to about 10 feet from the door, when they said time was up and we'd have to wait till next signing. It was maddening that just as he said this that the first fans who went in were barely coming out. The second and third time happened almost the same. The line did not move and people were taking way too long inside the room. As I have seen from various videos posted from fans, Terri was being a great guest and was talking, meeting and taking pictures with each fan. But she didn't know how many of us were still waiting outside. The FAE staff should've kept the crowd moving in and out a lot fast. I know that you love her, but many of us were still waiting. Any fan would want to stick around Terri, but this is why the organizers need to make things move. Get your autograph and get out. They had to improvise a late night signing just to accommodate many other single-day pass attendees who were still trying to see her. This was a huge problem for me and probably a bunch of other Moonies who had driven all the way here and returned empty handed. 

The panels themselves were pretty fun! Cool events like "Traveling to Japan", "Cosplay Dating Game", "Anime that doesn't Suck" and "AnimeOpoly board Game" made it worthwhile hanging out before the main events took place. FAE was pretty much Sailor Moon oriented. There were so many Moonie related activities like "Sailor Moon Yoga" (which I couldn't take pictures of lest I interrupt the flow and harmony of the class), five autograph sessions and two panels with Terri Hawkes and many more! Here are some highlights.

Terri Hawkes Panel.







It's a  bit shaky at the beginning because I was figuring out how to record with one hand and tweet with my iphone with the other. I learned that tweeting at panels is awesome for fans from all the Twilight related accounts that I follow. I love to feel like I'm there, listening to the funny stories or tidbits the artists share! I tried to do the exact same for you guys! This is how my tweets read (from bottom to top) :

@SMObss #terrihawkes has never been called "meatball head" but now that her kids heard it she's afraid they'll get ideas
@SMObss http://twitvid.com/YWVM4 - WATCH THIS NOW!! NOWW! #sailormoon #TerriHawkes #MoonPrismPower
@SMObss #terrihawkes kids love Harry Potter. They went to Wizarding world :p
@SMObss At first #terrihawkes refused to point out her fave scout other than #sailormoon, and she got away with it saying she liked them as a team
@SMObss #terrihawkes admires Linda Ballantine because she had to take on an already formed characterization.
@SMObss She is thankful for #sailormoon she met this girl because she is so inspired  ‏
@SMObss The poor girl died and #terrihawkes assisted her funeral :(
@SMObss #terrihawkes favorite moment is a story about a sick 6 y/o at home and she called her as #sailormoon
@SMObss teehee! @Googgirl18 is making a question in her cute #supersailormoon cosplay x3
@SMObss #terrihawkes can't remember her fave episode(too long ago) but her fave dub session was done in a single taping. #sailormoon
@SMObss #terrihawkes gave a beautiful speech about how the transformation is metaphoric. You'll have to wait for the vid. #sailormoon
‏@SMObss #terrihawkes agrees that transportation scenes were long but it was everyone's fave part :D #sailormoon
@SMObss #Terrihawkes is not dubbing ATM, she is a grad student in women studies
@SMObss #terrihawkes says that if she had the opportunity to do it again, she'd be honored because it was an important part of her life.
‏@SMObss She says she had no idea how popular #sailormoon was until she had tiny Moons knocking her door on Halloween #terrihawkes
@SMObss #terrihawkes is talking about how she got the job. It was offered on the spot of her audition. #sailormoon
@SMObss #TerriHawkes in da house http://twitpic.com/9piy7h 
@SMObss #TerriHawkes q+a about to begin. I will tweet if I can, prepare for Moonie spam xD #sailormoon #FAE

Playstation Sailor Moon SuperS Tournament 
 
 

Sailor Moon Puppet Making
 

Cosplay Contest
 

Anyway, here is a video of the convention, If you have been following my tweets and/or the Moonie Tunes Facebook page, you might have noticed that I said I was going to give away a box of chocolates to those who saw me and said what Brad says at the end of every podcast. The second half of the video features @Meiruechan and @Googgirl18 went home with squished (but full of love) Moonie Tunes boxes. xD!



Cosplay picture compilation
 

 

All in all I'd consider the event a success in spite of the inadequate facilities and organizational flaws. These were minor hiccups in an otherwise fun event.