In a couple of weeks, Steel City Con will take place in Pittsburgh, PA. This convention holds a soft spot in my heart as it was the first one that I ever attended. Going in, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that it was somewhere to find a deal on toys.
That first year, I wasn’t prepared. Not for any of what I would encounter.
There were people everywhere, the line snaking out through the parking lot, even though it was November and really cold. But it didn’t matter. We had to park in the outer lots – so far away that it took us over 10 minutes to walk to the building. And like everyone else, we impatiently waited in line to get in, wishing we would have purchased tickets online.
Vendor tables were packed, people crowding for the best deals. Cosplayers happily posed – showing off their efforts. The air was electric, charged.
I’d never seen anything like this before. I was instantly addicted.
I walked around staring, looking simple. I didn’t expect the cosplayers to look so professional. To be so personable. To have lines memorized. Poses ready. To smile, their inner light glowing.
How wonderful it was that people felt free enough – comfortable enough – to transform themselves!
It almost made me sad. It had taken too many years to discover this world. All that time lost could never be regained.
But there was no point in mourning. All I could do was make sure that my next convention experience was as memorable and that each subsequent one would be enjoyed as thoroughly as possible.
After that first convention, I learned my lesson. I make sure to grab my camera, take plenty of pictures and more pictures, dress appropriately – even if that simply means with a character tee or bookbag, and to take plenty of cash.
That’s the wonderful thing about conventions: you never know what you might bump into. You just may find that item that you never knew you really wanted but now that you’ve seen it, you can’t walk away without it.
And although we will not be attending this year’s Steel City Con, my sister and brother-in-law will be there. All the credit for us joining the world of cosplayers goes directly to them. I hope they end up with some great deals and pictures – just as I do for anyone else.
If you are fortunate to attend this convention or any other, enjoy! And as always, feel free to share your experience with us!