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My Experiences at Fan Expo 2015

I went to Fan Expo this year on Saturday, September 5, 2015 which runs from September 3-6. I didn't plan on going for the whole weekend, so I didn't think it was necessary to get the weekend pass to try to go on both Saturday and Sunday. Fan Expo happens every year near the end of the summer in Toronto at the Metro Convention Centre right beside the CN Tower and the Rogers Centre (formerly known as the Skydome). It's a place where Sci-Fi, Horror, Comics, Anime, and Gaming fans come together to hang out, cosplay, buy merchandise from retailers or from the artist alley, play some games, and/or attend panels. With that said, I don't believe you could see properly see everything on just one day but Saturday had a lot of the events so I decided to go when it was the busiest as usual. This wasn't my first Fan Expo that I went to as I think I went in 2012 and 2013. I don't remember if I did go in 2011... I have no recollection so let's leave it at that.

I was thinking of going to Fan Expo this year, but I delayed the action of pre purchasing my admission online until it pass the deadline to do so. I groaned at the thought of waiting in a 2+ hour line to get in on Saturday. Then I thought of the idea of going Friday evening where the lineup would be minimal and buy my admission for Saturday. I could do so, and sighed with relief of skipping the Saturday line to buy admission. I had a game plan on Friday night of what I was roughly going to do. I saw that Amy Acker (costar on the TV show Person of Interest) was going to be there as a guest so I decided to get her autograph as well as buy the photo op to take a picture with her. I bought the photo op on Friday night to avoid the chance of missing the time slot on Saturday. Once again, I was thankful for ordering it online as the prices increased at the venue. Surprisingly enough, her photo op was the cheapest out of all of the other celebrity guests. Photo ops are pretty expensive and I never done it before so I wanted to try it this year. I figured if this was going to be the first and potentially last photo op I would do with a celebrity guest, Amy Acker would be a nice gift for myself as souvenir ^^

After getting into the Metro Convention Centre, I purposely entered from the North Building so that I would be in the same area as the celebrity autographs. I wanted to get there early so that the lineup for Amy Acker wouldn't be so long which I was right. I didn't check later in the day whether the lineup increased, but I was glad it didn't take so long. In comparison in 2013, I went to get Nathan Fillion's autograph and even when I was there after 10 (when it opened), I had to get a ticket before lining up. Due to that, I didn't get a chance to have a short conversation with him. On the while end, since the line was shorter in the morning, the staff wasn't pushing us away and we were allowed an extended amount of time to talk to the celebrity. Amy Acker looks so beautiful in person. She's super nice. As usual, I froze up what I wanted to say and couldn't say everything out. As I waited in line, I tried to take some pictures on my phone. I thought of what I wanted to say, but as I got closer, I kind of forgot and went up unprepared. I could have asked more questions, but I just didn't remember at the moment. Honestly, I didn't have anything prepared aside from seeing Amy Acker at Fan Expo. After getting her autograph, I had time before the photo op in the afternoon at 3:15 to roam around so I decided to head to the South Building where the Artist Alley and retailers were located.

Since it was in the morning, I noticed in the video game section that the lineup to demo Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift weren't that long but I didn't want to wait for so long and miss out on the everything else in the convention centre. If I was going for the whole weekend, I would have consider splitting my time but I had a limited amount of time to try to see everything. I walked down the aisles in the South Building in the retailers section, video games, and artist alley. It's been more or less organized the same way as last time. I saw lots of cosplays by people, and some of them were good! I could see how much effort some people put into their costume. It was unbelievable. I was shy to ask to take some photos of some of them, but near the end of the day, I had gotten some confidence to ask to take pictures. I know that for most cosplayers, they would most likely respond with a yes if you ask them for pictures as they want pictures to be taken of them. I think that they think that they want to show the effort, passion and time they put into their costume. I just honestly feel shy towards strangers and social situations. I like to admire from faraway. It's probably a few places where I tried to step out of my comfort zone to try to talk to strangers even for a short time.

After a couple of hours of meandering through the South Building, I decided to head back to the North Building for the photo op. I severely underestimated the amount of people going between buildings and fortunately, I decided to head there 10 minutes than I thought it would take me. I arrived back at the North Building at like 3. This was my first time doing a photo op so I had no idea of the procedures. I was lucky that people that ordered the photo op for Amy Acker didn't get called up, but it was just a huge clump of people waiting for the Fan Expo employees to call people up when ready. I was feeling nervous as I didn't know what was happening, but some nice fans told me that Amy Acker wasn't ready so it was all good.

After getting called up into the photo op booth to line up, I was getting pretty excited to get a picture with her! When I was next, she smiled at me as I walked up towards her. She said something along the lines of "Hi again." That made my day as I'm glad she recognized that I had been at her autograph booth a couple of hours earlier. It was too fast, and I regretted for not saying anything. I think I said thank you, or see you? I know she did, but I was too nervous to say anything as I got rush off to the exit of the photo op booth. One thing that surprised me was how fast the photo was printed from the photographer to the printer where I picked up the photo.

Near the end of the day, I was pretty hungry and wanted to get something to eat before heading to the Masquerade Show at the end of the Expo. I decided to get a hot dog, and a chinese woman was working the stand. I had asked for one hot dog and she started to prepare it. I paid for the one hot dog, but she smiled and asked, "Are you super hungry?"

I smiled back. "I'm super SUPER hungry." I laughed a bit, and tried to emphasized the world by repeating it.

Then she said, "Do you want two?"

I was like, really? Sure, why not?

"Do you want another bun?" I shook my head as it was fine as it is.

She gave me two hot dog in one bun. The woman didn't charge me for the second hot dog and I gave her some change as tip for that kind gesture. I thought she was probably going to throw out the remainders at the end of the day, so she probably wanted to get rid of as much as possible. But it was still nice of her. I appreciated it ^^

Overall, Fan Expo was a blast. There was lots of walking, and people. I had been to Fan Expo in the past, so I knew that. There was tons of lineups and cosplayers. At the end of the day, I went to the Cosplay Masquerade and enjoyed the show of cosplayers that signed up. Some of them were really nicely made! It was enjoyable and funny! The organizers split the masquerade event into categories for the youth, novice, intermediate and then masters. I liked the young girl in the youth category that did the cosplay from the Pixar movie Monsters Inc.  I think the character was Boo? She was super cute! Sorry for the long post, but tried to keep it short. I think I may go to Fan Expo next year? Possibly? I haven't gone to Anime North (happens in May every year) for quite some time, and I do want to go again. I wanted to go this year, but didn't.... Well until next time!

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