When I first began attending Cinevent in 2007, I was very much a loner. I was so focused on all of the movies and memorabilia that were available that I had no time to try to meet people too. It was very much an experience in isolation, which was how I experienced classic films at home too. This was a hobby that was truly my own.
As time has gone on, I've become more and more social. It would only make sense that my experiences at conventions would become more social as well. Because of the people I have met at Cinevent, I have attended not one, not two, not three, but four conventions this year.
The latest was the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention, which is run by my friend Martin Grams. For years I have heard good things about it, but felt the distance from my house was too prohibitive. Luckily, I have great friends, like Rodney Bowcock who offered to drive me there.
The great thing about MANC, which is different from most movie-related shows, is that there are celebrities there. Unlike many autograph shows, the celebrities are there to chat as well as sign autographs, and they each give short formal talks about their careers which end with audience questions.
The big highlights of the show, besides meeting the celebrities, was spending time with friends I only see at these events. Old movie worship is rare, so when those of us stricken with the bug find each other, we bond quickly and form lasting friendships. I had a blast hanging out at the Radio Once More table with people like Neal Ellis, Ken Stockinger, Rodney, my roomie Kathy Meola, etc. talking about nonsense. And the best thing is that I feel like I really belong.
When I came home, I discovered that there had been a comic book convention in town and several people I know got to meet members of The Walking Dead cast, a show I watch faithfully, but meeting icons of Hollywood cannot compare to the temporary excitement of meeting modern celebrities who rarely have staying power. How many people can say they met Margaret O'Brien?