You’d think that waking up before the sun every morning would start to wear on a person but for me it was… Oh who am I trying to kid here? Waking up every morning, hours before everyone else in the house was up, sucked. But it did provide me with some much-needed time to work so… Yay? (Hey, I’m trying to be optimistic here!)
Once the rest of the house was up, the delicious breakfast yummies we’d bought the night before had been eaten, the coffee had been drunk and we were all gussied up and ready to go, (Did I just use the word gussied???) we headed out the door, each of us excited about all that the day held in store. With so much to look forward to, the time spent driving to the convention center passed quickly and before we knew it, we had arrived.
This was it! We were here! After a year of waiting and hoping and planning and dreaming, the time to turn all those dreams into reality had finally come! I’m not gonna lie. I was so excited as I stepped out of the car, I had to mentally talk myself out of skipping my way across the parking garage. I just couldn’t help myself! Being back at KCON felt like a literal dream come true and I WAS JUST SO DARN EXCITED!
Of course all my excitement was channeled into a more professional demeanor once I actually stepped into the convention hall. Something about wearing those “panel” and “press” badges kinda puts a damper on my more spazzy fangirl side but only on the outside. (No matter what, my inner fangirl is always a spazz.) With work to do pretty much the moment I arrived, I left my friends to navigate the security lines while I ran off to meet up with Angie (my super awesome magic working KPopStarz supervisor) to finalize the details for the interviews we were scheduled to conduct over the course of the day. With 2 panels of my own and Angie’s own ridiculously hectic schedule to work around, it had been challenging, trying to find times that would work for both us and the 4 indie bands we were supposed to talk with on Friday, but somehow we’d managed. Sort of. Our scheduled interview times got a bit shuffled as the day progressed (which is pretty normal in this line of work) and we actually ended up only interviewing 2 out of the 4 bands (which I was a bit bummed about) but such is life.
With a bit of free time before the general craziness of my day hit, I caught up with Lola outside the convention hall and together we wandered through the maze of booths, sampling goodies, snagging free loot and such. It was really a lot of fun, talking to vendors, exploring all the booths, scoping out the flower boy cafe while sighing over the fact neither one of us had been able to snag a ticket… With so much to see, we barely covered a quarter of the booths before I had to run off but it had been a fun and relaxing way to start off our KCON adventures.
Meeting back up with Angie, we set off to interview our first band of the day, Dead Buttons. (Sweet!) Hong Jihyun and Lee Kanghee are a couple of pretty awesome guys and they were nice enough to humor us with photos with them after the interview. From there I (literally) ran across the convention center, desperate to make it to my first panel of the day on time. Arriving slightly out of breath and more than a little hyped up on nerves from my very first KCON interview, I plunked down in my seat with just enough time to say hi to all of my amazing co-panelists before we got started. The Return of the Secret Life of K-Pop fans Over 30 is always such a fun panel to be a part of (even if it means I actually have to own up to my age) and this year’s panel was no different. The incredible combination of amazing panelists and even more amazing audience makes this panel one of my all-time favorites and I am so honored to be able to play a small part in making it such a success. Though really, we all know the reason any of these panels are successful is because of you, the amazing people out there in the world who are willing to support us panelists on a daily basis. Just so you know, we all appreciate you and we’re honored that you’re willing to take time out of your busy KCON scheduled to sit in on our panels, cheer for us from the audience, and chat with us afterwards. You’re all awesome! (Just wanted you to know that.)
After chatting with friends, both old and new, at the conclusion of my panel, it was time to make another mad dash back across the convention center to try to meet up with another band and squeeze in another interview or two before I had to run off again for my second panel of the day. It took me a while to track down the right people but once I did, I was able to chat with the lead singer of Sultan of the Disco. Again I was led backstage, introduced to Nahzam Sue, and then the two of us were escorted outside to actually do the interview because by that time, the K-Pop Night Out was in full swing and it was incredibly difficult to hear or speak, while backstage.
With another successful interview completed, I headed back inside to snap a couple of photos of the band and then I set off to find my magically vanishing contact man, in the hopes I might be able to squeeze another interview in before I had to run off again. Sadly, it took me a while to find him and he was so harried and frazzled from all of the chaos that was K-Pop Night Out, that he asked if we could reschedule the other two interviews for another day. Of course I said that wasn’t a problem though to be perfectly honest, I was crying a little on the inside. (All that research! All that work! All that stress! Augh!) Still, the look of relief on his face told me I’d made the right call so I can’t really be sad. I was able to interview 2 very awesome bands and that was more than enough to make me happy.
Finding myself suddenly free, I wandered around the convention hall a bit before heading back over to my last panel of the day, The Evolution of K-Drama Genres from 2010 to Now. Meeting up with my fellow panelists and friends, we were quick to dive into the wonderful world of K-Dramas, discussing (oddly enough) the evolution of drama genres over the past 6 years. It was really quite an interesting discussion and one I loved being a part of. (Thank you Lisa for inviting me to be a part of this panel and for just being your awesomely amazing self!)
The end of my panel brought with it the end of the convention activities for the day. So after the usual post-panel chatting, I set off to find my friends. Catching up with them was pretty easy (thank you KKT!) and together we made our way to the car, chatting about our day’s adventures. Too tired to bother with going out for supper, we all agreed that grabbing drive-through Mexican food on our way home was more than okay, so that’s exactly what we did. Gathered around my friend’s dining room table, we whiled away our evening doing nothing more than enjoying the simple pleasures that come with good food and even better friends.