I often remember my mom saying to me, “It doesn’t matter so much where you go, it’s who you’re with that counts.” I think at certain times I mistook this advice for her trying to prevent me from going places I wanted to go (probably with people who weren’t necessarily the best influence), but as I get older and add more places to my travel log, I realize there’s a grain of truth in her words; maybe even a very large grain. It’s not the places I’ve seen that stick in my mind so much as the jokes I’ve shared, the questions I’ve asked, or been asked, and the stories I’ve heard about people and places I can only imagine. Case in point, I’ve been to a lot of conventions in my veteran years as a sci-fi tv star. I’ve visited different countries, stayed in fancy hotels, not-so-fancy hotels, eaten great food, eaten frozen dinners, you name it. And while all of those things are interesting and certainly entertaining at times, what impresses me most is always the people. The reason I returned to I-CON last weekend, having attended it only two years prior, was exactly this: the people. I had such an incredible time, both with the other actors and the staff, it was kind of a no brainer when they asked me to return. The word that came to mind when I thought about what was different at this convention than many of the others was “community.” The word that comes to mind after attending the con for the second time, is “family.” And not just because I refer to the media chair as “Ma” and spent the whole weekend with one of her eight children whom I care for like a little sister (even though she spent most of her time taking care of me). No, not only because of those things. It also feels like family because despite all the chaotic events and activities and the massive amount of man power and organizing that must have gone into the event, everyone there seemed to be enjoying themselves. Like a high-stress holiday dinner, people coming and going, gears grinding, sparks flying, people were still smiling and having a good time. They still cared about being there rather than just getting the job done. In a world, and often an industry, where product trumps people, it’s refreshing to remember what’s at the heart of all this madness. The sci-fi community never ceases to be a good example of keeping this principle real.
Anyway, I’m keeping this short and sweet, but thanks for the good times everyone at I-Con. Hope to come back again soon!