It’s currently 9:05 PM, we’re listening to the Scandinavian Depression station on Google Play Music (well...I am), and the “junior members” of SLS are painting more rocks in our hotel room instead of partying with the other attendees and exhibitors. The rocks flew out of the bowl today and we’d love to thank everybody who stopped by the booth and everybody who might stop by the booth throughout the next two days. We’re making more rocks, so you know...incentive.
Well, here we are. Our first time/day at RTX has been a wonderful day of firsts. They say your first time is messy, occasionally bumbling, and even a little painful. Today was certainly all those things, but oh, how glorious and satisfying it was. I now present Day 1 to you in the form of a diary.
8:47 AM: I encountered an attendee in the elevator. I wanted to say something to promote SLS, but, unknowledgeable of the finer things in life like non-sketchy social skills, I could only think of the phrase, “Is this your first time?” Sensing that this would have been slightly creepy and off-putting (especially to the third party in the elevator not even attending the convention), I desperately tried to think of something better to promote SLS. But alas, before coming across the gem of “are you excited for RTX?” the elevator ride ended, and the window of opportunity was lost. I returned to Max and Emily, dejected and soiled from an awkward elevator ride. I was berated harshly.
9:34 AM: Max, Emily, and I set out to run a few last minute errands before the Exhibition Floor opened at 12. We needed a power strip and to pick up a banner that Fed Ex Office had made (shout out to Ruth for making our banner in one night!). Before we made it out of the parking lot, however, I stepped on a random BBQ packet on the floor of the backseat. It promptly exploded all over the car and my pants...and the lower half of my body. We were forced to spend the next seven minutes cleaning it up with toilet paper. Things weren’t going very well...
9:57 AM: Success! We had gotten the power strip and all we had to do was purchase the banner that Fed Ex made.
10:05 AM: Except we got marginally lost on the way to Fed Ex.
10:06 AM: Also, we may or may not have called and asked a Fed Ex 200 miles away to make the banner.
10:09 AM: We found a Fed Ex.
10:10 AM: Thankfully, this was the one we had called and they not only had our banner, but also a second one that they had messed up slightly! We got both! Huzzah! Nothing bad could happen now!
10:10 AM: While Max was in the bathroom, another customer angrily yelled at Emily and me to help her checkout because she was in a hurry. To be fair, Emily and I were dancing and checking our phones and not doing our damn jobs in the slightest, but that was also because we didn’t work there. The woman promptly realized this and walked away, but it was our first time being mistaken for important people. That was interesting.
10:30 AM – 10:40 AM: Parking in tight garage spaces is fun. We also realize that this garage is $16 for 0-6 hours, then $26 for 6+ hours. We make plans to move the car at 4:00 PM to avoid this fee.
10:47 AM: Finally inside the convention floor, we went about setting up the video feeds to the computers and had great success. The day was looking up.
11:30 AM: Nuclear fallout occurred.
11:31 AM: Max took writing privileges from Daniel and sent him to his first panel because he abruptly stopped being funny.
11:40 AM: Emily and Max realize that there is nothing more to do but to wait. The calm before the storm had begun.
11:50 AM: The rumble of music from the lobby is palpable within the convention hall. Max and Emily look to each other and to their fellow exhibitors as each prays to his or her respective god in the face of the oncoming hoard of convention visitors. We all keep glancing at the door in anticipation.
12:00 PM: We suddenly begin seeing people with visitor badges, but we’ve been flanked—they’re all coming from another entrance! Everyone shifts their attention to the correct door. There are cheers and screams and one person’s cosplay outfit emits what looks like pressurized steam. The Exhibition Floor had opened.
12:02 PM: We receive our first visitor! He listens to our explanation of Hoboken and Hamlet, and seems to be quite enthused! We’re then surprised by amazingness when he explains that he is one of the organizers of the future RTX Australia. He suggests that we try and attend the Australia convention too. We consider how amazing this would be, provided that we’re able to afford a trans-global work-cation in January. Fingers crossed!
12:30 PM: After a string of successful visits to our booth, we’re greeted by Stephen—whom we met with his father at a restaurant the night before. Stephen looks at our materials and listens to us discuss our projects in more detail, then invites Max to autograph his Minecraft sword. This is the first time that anyone from Stage Left Studios is invited to autograph anything, so Stephen, if you’re reading this, in ten years that sword will either be much more valuable or not affected at all by Max’s signature. We’ll see what happens.
1:00 PM: We’re informed by another visitor that apparently we were mentioned in a Rooster Teeth podcast one or two weeks ago. Emily immediately tasks the home-team with scouring the backlog of RT podcasts to discover the exact context. Result is pending. Rooster Teeth, if you’re reading this: (1) OMG THANK YOU SO MUCH! (2) Can you help us find it?
1:30 PM: Max realizes that it may be effective to place a sign advertising the rocks themselves, and moreover the fact that they are free, to passersby. Emily brusquely proclaims she shall make it pretty. The result is a cheery sign reading “Free Rocks!!!” [author’s note: font is a creative interpretation of Emily’s handwriting] to all who see it. This tactic serves as a wonderful conversation opener to any whose gaze lingers on our booth in confusion. Eg- “ Would you care for a free rock?”
1:45 PM: Max and Emily restock the paper goods on the table. We notice that the Sebastian art prints are the most popular, followed by the Hamlet graveyards.
2:00 PM: Emily’s hunger gets the better of her and she decides that she must eat lunch. Pfft. Human. When prompted, Max suddenly realizes that he has a hole in his stomach and should probably eat something or else collapse. He requests a sandwich. Pfft. Human. Around the same time, Daniel calls Emily on the way back from his panel hopping and also requests a sandwich. Or, to be even more correct, “something with meat.” Pfft. Ginger.
2:30 PM: Daniel returns from his panel and tackles Max to get writing privileges back.
2:35 PM: Emily returns with the sandwiches/meat. Luckily, Max has not passed out. In fact, he has been powering through the hunger and using it to figure out the perfect pitch formula. He feels like he’s close to getting it right. He’s started incorporating Daniel, and all three are learning to fill in each other’s gaps and play off one other when there is only one person or group to pitch to.
3:45 PM: Everything is going smashingly. The pitches (to our small brains) are received with fervor, happiness, and excitement! The art prints are a hit! The rocks are a hit!
3:47 PM: At this point, we collectively remark that there have been a random spattering of people who did not want the free rocks.
3:57 PM: They won’t be missed.
3:59 PM: Jk, we understand. Not everybody wants a rock. But also, really...they won’t be missed.
4:01 PM: We kick Emily off to her first panel. Max and Daniel must keep the booth from burning down (i.e. Max must keep Daniel from burning the booth down).
4:32 PM: We realize that we have not moved the car. Oh well.
5:00 PM: The floor is ever so slowly starting to wind down. Wait...no. It’s not at all. People are coming from left and right. They’re flanking us still! They’re coming from behind our curtain! They’re in our backpacks and satchels! Dammit, they’re not purses! They’re satchels! The weight of the day is starting to hit us all, and it’s only Day 1!
5:40 PM: Emily returns. She did not have meat. The ginger was not pleased by her lack of offering.
6:00 PM: The Exhibition Floor closes after a long day of awesome.
6:02 PM: But there are still totally all the people there.
6:05 PM: Our neighbor from the booth across the way comes over to ask us if we know how/when all the people are going to be shuffled out of the floor.
6:07 PM: The awesome RTX guardians (shout out to Manny and ’Stache!) all performed a sweep and shuffled the stragglers out the door.
6:10 PM: We finally get the chance to talk to our neighbors for a little bit! We’re all very tired. But we get to come back tomorrow! At 9:00! That’s before the BBQ incident of today even happened!
6:12 PM: Right before leaving, we determine that we should go buy new rocks (hence the opening paragraph) because the rocks went even more quickly than expected.
6:30 PM: We have Thai for dinner. I don’t why the hell this is relevant, but dash it all, you’re going to get the whole day.
8:00 PM: We buy some rocks at Michael’s to paint! These are slightly different from the ones we bought off Amazon! To paint.
8:30 PM: We also went to Barnes and Noble and Old Navy, because books and clothes are...things!
8:44 PM: Daniel was once again mistaken for an employee for a place he didn’t work at when a Barnes and Noble customer called out to him. In her defense, our spiffy RTX badges do make us look pretty official. Also, she didn’t yell. But seriously, if it happens another time, he’s going to pretend he works there.
9:03 PM: Bracing ourselves, we hopped into another elevator carrying a new 15 lbs of rocks. There was also a shirtless man with us who had just gotten out of the pool. He asked us if we were “saving lives with those crosses” (we think the d-pads on our shirts? Pfft. Human.) We explained that we were here for RTX. He looked confused. We explained a little more, and he cryptically left the elevator while muttering something about “Oooooooh. Rooster Teeth. Yeah, I’ve heard of them.” To be frank, we’re still not sure if he actually had. Rooster Teeth, again, if you’re reading this, maybe keep an eye out for hairy, shirtless men with dreadlocks.
9:05 PM: We return to the hotel room and begin our rock painting party. Daniel begins work on the blog post.
9:24 PM: Max kicks Daniel off of writing duty for the nuclear “joke.” He switches out and paints more rocks!
9:44 PM: Daniel returns from painting rocks and tackles Max to get blog writing privileges back.
9:55 PM: Daniel remarks humorously how the blog post goes from first person past tense narration to third person present tense narration pretty not so subtly a third of the way through.
11:15 PM: WE’RE STILL PAINTING ROCKS AND FIXING THE BLOG POST!
11:16 PM: Edit: We’re only a third of the way done with the rocks.
11:18 PM: We’re starting to talk to the rocks.
11:20 PM: ...I have to go paint rocks.
11:23 PM: Daniel realizes he’s bleeding. Emily replies, “Yeah...you have been.” Daniel and Max share concerned looks.
11:33 PM: [Editor’s Note: He won’t be missed.]
(TL;DR...it was a good day. It was our first time. Elevator = Comedy. ROOOOOOCKS!)