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About alabaster

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    Grand Vizier
  • Birthday 07/10/1970

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    Columbia, MD
  • Interests
    anime, duh.

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  1. Leave the Quadcopters at Home

    I'm sure that your noble stand will long be remembered. Meanwhile, they are not allowed inside Otakon and generally not allowed inside DC.
  2. Bring Back Fan Parodies

    As I understand it, this year there simply weren't enough submissions (or enough of sufficient quality) to put together a good show. Resting it for a year may allow creators to build some new stuff.
  3. Anisong World Matsuri Set Lists

    Expect that stuff via official press release soon.
  4. Charity Auction This Year Was a Disgrace

    There are probably quite a few backlogged items; I agree we need to do a better job of pushing this auction.
  5. Overheard at Otakon 2017

    mea culpa. My year as chair (2006) saw some significant escalator issues. Still salty.
  6. Otakon 2017 panel feedback

    We did something similar for the 20th, and I wouldn't be opposed to it, but there are rather a lot of us, and some of hte greyest greybeards aren't involved anymore. Maybe a tighter focus on moments of transition?
  7. While my role was confined to the Anisong events, I *really* wanted to get to the sunday show and I wasn't able to. I was the one who pushed hard for traditional stuff years ago, with Yoshida Brothers and other acts. We'll see what happens next year, but I expect a few changes. Having Sunday act preview during OC is a great idea -- but the logistics of doing that are a bit tricky, especially given the tight schedule to get 4 other acts set up and rehearsed.
  8. Let me be clear: nobody was thrilled with the idea of doing bag inspections. They're a pain for everyone involved, and much like a lot of what the TSA does, they're not terribly effective against a determined rulebreaker. They do catch lots of dumb stuff, and they make it more difficult to carry in a weapon that might be a problem, but there is no such thing as fool-proof security. But they are at least a cursory level of security that can be applied and failing to do them means we open up a very nasty can of worms. As someone else noted, the "recommendation" is one that is essentially a mandate, because we ignore it at our peril. And the venue will probably make it a requirement by next Otakon, unless I miss my guess. As will pretty much every similar venue. As a member of the board (on and off for more than a decade), there is a special responsibility we have to look out for the health and security of the organization, as well as the members. Every event I've attended in that venue in the last year or so has required the bag inspection. It is unlikely to go away. The challenge is for our folks to work with the venue/security employees to run it in a way that minimizes the annoyance for all concerned.
  9. This was an issue with the contractors, and one I tried to correct a few times. The issue was mostly limited to two or three replacement staff (or, frankly, one or two of the less...mentally flexible members of their staff). By and large the red-vest crew were quite good, but between that issue and one other involving a frankly lazy guard not paying attention at all, I will be sending some feedback their way. There was also an issue where the spacing was meant to be cordoned more effectively with stanchions, so that there was more of a sorting corral. It was one of a handful of minor issues we had to manage on the fly. We'll do better next time.
  10. Autographs 2017

    Scheduling of autographs is really tricky -- because scheduling itself is really tricky. It's even worse with musical guests like this time, where their schedule was so intense that it was rough to fit everything in at all. As a rule, most guests stuff happens between 10 and 6, and Otakon has a lot of guests. Most guests have two "live" obligations and two autograph sessions that need to fit in between that window, primarily on Friday and Saturday, with limited availability on Sunday. Add up the guests available, and you wind up with a really intricate puzzle, and that's before you have to juggle all the other programming like industry premieres, concerts, etc. There are also press interviews to add to the mix. Press and Autographs are usually the last things added. For the AWM folks, we had their timing down to 15 minute windows from morning through late at night, and i'm very proud to say that we were never more than 10 minutes out of sync -- despite multiple crossings that had to be coordinated with both buildings through underground docks, and everything else about learning the ins and outs of a new facility. That is frankly amazing, especially considering there were four groups and a ton of competing priorities. Even a slight delay in the concert was still within our internal window for recovering lost time.
  11. Anisong World Matsuri merch preview

    AUtograph sessions are coming. Was really tricky to work out schedules between all the needs they juggle and other timing requirements. Just one session each though. Also, if you bought VIP package for concert, the poster evolved to something a little better, IMHO -- you'll get a signed show-specific glossy with protective sleeve for each artist in the concert you have the VIP for. Concert tees in the real world are typically $25-50 each; I rarely buy them but my sister does all the time. I think Cher was like $45 for a (nice) T-shirt. Last one I bough was in the $30-35 range and not even for an A-list artist.
  12. Re: Anisong World Matsuri

    Look for an announcement shortly -- it was tricky to schedule, but we DO have signings for all four acts. Yousei Teikoku and FLOW will be on Friday morning around 10, and TMR and JAM project will be on Saturday but I'm blanking on times right this second. We basically had to schedule around other commitments, rehearsals, press, etc. AND squeeze them into the Autographs area.
  13. The Otakon 2017 Weather Forecast

    Yeah, I've been eyeing that with suspicion too. We have something like 80 people coming in on Thursday.
  14. Pro Tip: Parking

    I'm at City Center about 3 blocks away (where I usually wind up parking anyway when I'm there) for $104 -- but that's weds-tues. Logistics means I need a car to get back, but realistically, I don't plan on moving it until Monday afternoon, and it wasn't worth the $75 upgrade for in/out. Regarding Bag Checks: I don't think they'll be a giant pain in thee butt based on how things went at Awesomecon -- once they got the rhythm going. They won't be checking your bag going out, anyway -- just need to make sure you're not bringing anything in that you shouldn't. If the issue is that you're parked far enough away that you don't want to make unnecessary runs, do what I do when I have time to buy stuff: shop first, then go back and buy anything you must have at a time when you can more easily walk back to the car. 90% of what I buy at cons is small and light.
  15. AWM VIP after-party--how long is that expected to go?

    Probably no more than half an hour. Long enough for the bands to clean up a bit first, I suspect. Friday should be in the venue itself, but Saturday will likely involve moving the group to a different area, as we need to empty out so Masquerade can get loaded in. More info as we have it.