...Or, my favorite moment at MAGFest 2012.

I think I used up every last bit of luck I had for 2012 in one glorious fell swoop. I probably should have been a little more stingy with it, saved it up for a rainy day, but I blew it all at MAGfest...


“…The DEUCE?” you say.

This weekend I was down in National Harbor, MD at MAGFest (Music and Gaming Convention, for those of you who don’t know.) I went last year, and while I don’t consider myself much of an audiophile or gamer, I still had such a blast I became a bit of a MAGFest proselyte.

MAGFest for me is more about meeting new people or old friends than geekery—although, there was geekery in SPADES. It’s the running around hijinks, the filming crossovers, the dance offs, the 5 AM room pow-wows.

And in the case of Saturday…it was ADVENTURE.

The Adventures of Tintin, to be precise.

In my chatting with friends and fans, the subject of my newly acquired love of Tintin kept coming up. I couldn’t help myself, I raved like a loon about that movie. And while a few had seen it and loved it as well, more people than I could count hadn’t seen it yet. Some were interested but had just been too busy, others had been interested but were wary based on some reviews they’d read. And most, after hearing my gushing reviews about it, agreed they had to check it out.

But the wee Nella voice in my head that sounds a bit like Pinky Pie from MLP said, heh, wouldn’t it be fun if we got a group going to the theater to see Tintin while we were all together?


I mentioned it to everyone I ran across, friend or fan. I had it all planned--6:50pm at a theater 3 miles away. AWESOME!


There was the Channel Awesome panel at 4:30 pm that afternoon (which I was on). And then afterwards there was the Channel Awesome autograph meet-and-greet (which I was a part of).

About 15 minutes into signing autographs, I realized a 6:50 movie time was a FANTASY. I was at the beginning of the autograph line, and some cohorts that wanted to come were at the END of the looooooooooooooooooooooong table….and the line had still no end in sight.

So, I moved the time to 7:50pm at a different theater with a 7pm rendezvous in the hotel’s front lobby. Ok, no problem, right?

I run out of the autograph line up once the last person passed me by. It was 6:45pm. Just enough time to grab my things from the room and eat a sandwich for my supper.

But then our numbers jumped from 5 people to 20 people.

So…I frantically found a taxi cab service, because I figured there was NO way we had car room for ALL those people. And all while desperately hoping we would leave early enough to ensure we all got a ticket, that the show wouldn’t be sold out, and ALL while shoving a turkey sandwich down my throat cause, dude, I was STARVING and there was no time for a proper dinner.

I run down to the lobby, and….


Deep breath, Nella. Let’s separate the Cars from the Cabbers first. “Who has a car, and is willing to drive people?” I yell, flailing a bit as I did.

Hands shot up. Wow. There were quite a few people with cars. So I started shoving people into car groups and…

There was a seat for everyone. NO CABS WERE NEEDED.

“Who has a GPS? Who needs the theater address?” I bellow. “Do you have the directions!? Do you have your party?! GO GO GO GO!” I roar, shoving people away like some sort of maniacal parachute dispatcher.

And in 15 minutes, we were OFF.

Now I found myself sitting shotgun, worrying that after all that, what if it was sold out? What if there weren’t enough tickets for everyone? What if this, what if that—

It was a very long 7 mile car ride for me.

We get to the Marlow 6, a small, local theater. We line up at the ticket booth outside the theater, and yours truly first in line. 2D only (YAY!), tickets only $8 (be still my NYC-price abused heart!)

“One for Tintin, please.”

Money exchanges hands. A ticket is given. I go inside to scout it out.

The place is empty.

No, really. It’s EMPTY. We are not only the only people to see Tintin, we are the only people IN THE THEATER.
Slap me with a fish and color me gobsmacked.

Granted, it was a pretty dilapidated theater. But the popcorn was freshly made, the projectionist focused the image pretty quickly when we complained, and the theater was OURS.

The lights go down. The movie starts, and from the back, someone yells—


And THUS the riffing begins.

I say riffing, but it was riffing out of pure pleasure. We laughed. We cheered. We hooted and hollered (and screamed “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO” when Tintin declared Haddock sober). We sang the Indiana Jones theme at the looooooooooong no-cut action scene. We declared death to real world physics in the face of pure AWESOME PULP ADVENTURE. We snarked with our hearts on our sleeves and shit-eating grins on our faces.

All movies should be experienced like this, with these people and this kind of happy serendipity.

I don’t know how we pulled it off. I think the Gods of Geekery smiled down upon us that day. It was the highlight of my MAGFest, to be certain. And based on how people were talking about it the next day, it was probably a highlightfor them as well.

To everyone that came along with my half-mad scheme, thank you for making me feel like a cross between Mary Poppins, Pinky Pie and a Rock Star. I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did. All I know if that next MAGFest, there had better be a movie as good ready for us to descend upon it.

In the meanwhile, I’ll save up all my luck to see if I can’t create that magic once more. ;)

PS - this experience has taught me that I should add "Professional Cat Herder" to my business card. Because as Holly (Channel Awesome HR) can attest, getting CA people ANYWHERE is like Cat Herding, and I didn't do so bad myself. XD

From: [identity profile] cinfulcritiques.com

Truly Nella it was amazing and your ability to herd the species of cat known as 'Internet Reviewer' was nigh-awe inspiring. I hadn't had any intention of seeing Tintin in theatres (largely because going to movies alone is often a dull event) but now having done it I may have a favourite film for 2012, if only because no other movie-going event will manage to match the magic of what we did in that scuzzy little theatre.

If there's something decent out in theatres around next Mag I propose you attempt to channel this magic once more and have us return to that same dirty little theatre. Maybe next time I will even get into the group shot rather than stand back and take pictures. ^_^

gethenian: (change the world)

From: [personal profile] gethenian

This was totally the best "panel" at the con. Totally. ;)

Also, your organization skills are legendary.


From: (Anonymous)

Shifting Bodies in the name of Geekery

What's your day-to-day job again? Office Manager you say....*rubs chin* hmmmm. Sounds like you had a cracking time, and the picture shows too...from the Sylvester McCoy-a-like at the back (is that Linkara?), to the girl in the pink hair hangman choking her friend, to the lady standing next to you wondering if she should really carry on with her shopping. Good show, if I had a cap I would surely doff it in your direction.

mnky ;)

From: (Anonymous)

I went to MAGfest but I was so bummed I missed out on this TinTin adventure. Sounds like a ton of fun. Well that's what my friends and I get for driving down every day instead of getting a hotel room. But we will definitely be staying at MAGfest the entire weekend next year so I hope you guys plan another awesome adventure like this one!

From: (Anonymous)

KittyMarie here

Tintin was by far one of my FAVORITE parts of that weekend. Sure, I had to totter around the theatre in the most uncomfortable high-heeled boots EVER because of my Jareth costume. Yeah, the theatre was creepy and scuzzy and ghetto as hell.


Like a lot of people, I really didn't have any desire to see the movie anyway, but I gotta say that it was the best movie experience of my life, aside from seeing The Room in Hollywood. People STILL get jealous when I tell them. AND DAMN IT, I MISS IT.
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