Back in February I went to my very first convention for The 100 and I had an absolutely amazing time. After about a week of being home I knew there was absolutely no way I could wait another 14 months before I went to my next convention. I had definitely been bitten by the con bug everyone warned me about.
I started looking around for other conventions that I could go to and ended up coming across Polaris Con. It was a good length of time away, had an amazing line up, and was taking place in Barcelona, a city that was on my travel bucket list. I immediately bought my pass and started counting down the days until the event.
The event was amazing, and I’m so glad that I took the plunge and went to the event despite knowing no one else that was going before I arrived. One of the things that I love about these conventions are the Q&A panels. I’d seen both Nadia Hilker and Tasya Teles at Survival 3, so I knew that their panels would be good. Luckily both Rhiannon Fish and Eliza Taylor were just as good. In fact, special props to Eliza Taylor, because she was not well all weekend and still powered through.
I think that sometimes the panels are a bit like a box of chocolates: you’re never 100% what you’re gonna get. Sometimes they make you crack up laughing, sometimes they make you cry, and sometimes they tell you stories that resonate with you. Quite often you’ll get all three in the same 30-minute panel.
There were two main times that one of the cast’s stories hit me pretty hard. The first was with Tasya Teles who was telling us how she’d become an actor. She explained that as a kid she had dreamt of becoming an actor, however like so many young people she had been told that acting wasn’t a viable career choice. So, she decided to get a “proper job” and went into finance. She hated it. So, at 24 she quit finance and went into acting, giving herself three years to make it before going back to finance. Luckily, she ended up on The 100 and the rest, as they say, is history.
This hit me because as a kid I wanted to be writer, but that’s another field that isn’t exactly considered a reliable career path. So I went to do finance at university and two degrees later I decided that maybe finance wasn’t really what I wanted to do for the resat of my life. In fact, I hated it.
Since finishing university I’ve been pretty undecided what to do with my life. I wasn’t sure if I should go into a career in finance (especially with so many people reminding me of the degrees I’m currently wasting working a retail job), or if I should follow my heart and give writing a shot. Tasya’s story gave me that final push to decide to stick with the writing route, and if it doesn’t work out I can go back to finance. I even told one of my best friends the story and her response was something along the lines of ‘maybe that’s the sign you’ve been needing.’
The second story that hit me pretty hard was one that Nadia Hilker told. Now Nadia is quite happy to admit that she’s a weirdo and, like me, she’s got to a point where she’s a firm believer that being a weirdo is one of the best ways to be. But more often than not, being a weirdo comes at a cost, especially as a child.
She explained that as she had been bullied at school, and whilst now she’s gotten over it it’s still left its mark. Even now, at almost 30 and despite with being happy with who she is and where she’s at in life, hearing teenage girls whispering still manages to make her feel incredibly insecure about herself. This is something I’m acutely familiar with, so the fact that someone I look up to and respect a great deal has been through something so similar is incredibly comforting.
One thing I’ve learnt pretty quickly is that the cast are all lovely. They are honestly such truly beautiful humans inside and out; however, I think Rhiannon Fish deserves a special shout out. When I spoke to people who had met her before they all said she was one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet.
Everything everyone had said did not do her justice at all.
She had so much time for everyone, and when I was talking to her in the autograph she recognised me from asking a question at an earlier panel, and realised that she hadn’t met me before, that I was a “new person” as it were. The next day (after I’d caved and bought a meet and greet with her) we got onto the subject of therapy and found out she’s a pretty big advocate for positive mental health. When I spoke about being on the waiting list for therapy she told me how happy she was for me and told me to keep her updated.
Whilst I love meeting all the cast and getting the photos and autographs, one of my favourite things about these conventions are all the amazing people I get to meet. Everyone is so friendly and we’re already united by our love of the show, so making friends is pretty easy. Before I’d even arrived at the event I’d already made friends with someone else going to the event via twitter.
By the end of the weekend I’d made new friends from all over the place and bumped into people that I’d met at previous conventions. Through these conventions I’ve made friends from the U.K., from Spain, from France, from the Netherlands. People that I already can’t wait to see again at other conventions.
May we meet again
P.s. Apologies for the terrible photo quality. I really need to invest in a decent camera.