Keysmash: StacheCon 2014


keysmash howler con tyler hoechlin photo op liz meg mustache

 

This weekend Liz and Meg attended Howler Con, a fan run Teen Wolf convention in Elizabeth, NJ. We sponsored the event, and we’ve been posting about our excitement for months now. We were not disappointed.

We were unfortunately late to arrive on Friday and missed the first event – the Not Another Teen Wolf Podcast’s live taping – thanks to construction and a stop for rum that we ended up not even drinking. We’re old. We were able to make it to registration to pick up our kits in time for the welcome party at least. A quick rest in the lobby, admiring our logo on the sponsor page of the convention book, and meeting the first person to find us thanks to Liz’s bright ass hair, and we headed in to the party.

keysmash howler con sponsors

The party wasn’t a party so much as it was a chance for attendees to mingle. We were a little confused at first, we didn’t know if a staff member was going to come in and officially kick off the con. We were able to meet up with Diane, who runs the Leftovers Daily Twitter, and three of the ladies from Not Another Teen Wolf Podcast, and a couple of our other Twitter pals. There is nothing cooler than being introduced to someone and asking, “Who are you on Twitter?” and then going “OH! I KNOW YOU!” We were also able to meet up with Yan, who came from Brazil and brought us candy, and gave Meg the opportunity to attend the Tyler Hoechlin meet and greet, and was generally one of the sweetest humans ever.

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Oh, and Eaddy Mays crashed the party. Because that’s what she does. But more on Eaddy later.

All of the panels that weekend were set up to be mainly Q&A, and what really impressed us was how well thought out and respectful all of the questions were. Howler Con staff screened all the questions, but only in the interest of keeping things PG and weeding out people asking for pictures and autographs in the panels. As far as I could tell, they didn’t have to turn anyone away. All in all the attendees of this con were more upbeat and chill and lovely than most other cons we’ve attended.

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The atmosphere all weekend was pretty great, actually. Not just the attendees, but the staff, the volunteers, and the cast members that attended, all over the convention there was this feeling of excitement and respect and love that was really cool to be a part of. In the “Boys Will Be Boys” panel someone asked what their theme song would be when they walked into a room, and Orny Adams started playing Don’t Stop Believing by Journey on his phone into the mic. The ENTIRE ROOM burst into song, for one verse and a chorus. JR Bourne filmed it, and afterwards he and Tyler Hoechlin agreed it was the coolest convention moment they’d ever participated in. Every panel felt that way, that there was something in the air that made the cast feel looser, that there was an energy in the crowd. There were times we were laughing so hard we were crying.

There were times we were legitimately crying as well. Like during the charity auctions. Howler Con called for fan artists to donate works for an auction, the proceeds of which would go to funding cystic fibrosis research, in honor of JR Bourne’s niece who has CF. JR himself, along with Eaddy, ran the first leg of the auction. Linden Ashby and Melissa Ponzio also attended, and JR kept offering his castmates’ signatures as a way of making more art. Some of the pieces went for hundreds of dollars, and it was clear that JR was moved by the generosity of his friends and the fans.

keysmash howler con charity fan art auction jr bourne eaddy mays

In the guest of honor auction, the cast actually offered things of their own for auction. Charlie and Haley auctioned off an interpretive dance, where they would perform with the winners to a song of the winners’ choosing. Holland offered to make someone a custom candy statue/Christmas ornament. She used to make candy statues when she was a child, and said the cast got so much of the fans art she wanted to give some of her own art to the fans. The ornament ended up going for $340, and Holland not only came to give the winner a hug (and told Charlie Carver, who doubted the worth of Holland’s offering, to suck it) but she went out to a drugstore immediately and sat in the lounge and made the ornament. Eaddy offered up a coffee mug, then Melissa stood up and said she’d have coffee with the winner, then Linden stood up and said he would too. Orny auctioned off a tee shirt and a personal video message, and when he found out how much people were willing to bid he decided to do three of them so more people could win and they could raise more money. There wasn’t a dry eye in the ballroom by the end. What generosity and thoughtfulness on behalf of the cast. It was a really cool thing to be a part of.

The vendor room was also pretty awesome. Seeing all the amazing artists and creators that are inspired by this show. Walking through and seeing all the stuff for sale, and how each booth was constantly crowded, was inspiring as hell.

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We had the chance to help out with Teen Wolf Wiki’s trivia contest on Saturday, and we want to say thanks to her for letting us hang out on stage. I sat in the same chair Tyler Hoechlin did. It was pretty darn cool.

Were there some things that could have been better organized, or clarified more? Sure. But they were tiny details that barely mattered, because the spirit of the thing was so relaxed and fun. All the staff and volunteers did a great job, and we’re already looking forward to 2015!

Now, let’s talk about Eaddy Mays. We knew from day one we wanted to try to get an interview with her this weekend, and she was kind enough to take time out after her work day was over to sit down with us and talk about fandom. In her panel she ended up saying a lot of what she told us in her interview, but as there was no video allowed in the panel we have a bit of an exclusive. We’re working on getting the video uploaded and edited and posted so everyone can see. She has a lot of interesting views on the fourth wall – or lack thereof – and a ferocious protectiveness over the fans. It was an emotional interview, and we can’t wait to share it with you!

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