I love cons. I love the people who go to cons. And most important, I love performing at cons! I’ll be at several this year (check out my event page for more specifics), but GnomeCon in particular holds a special place in my heart. Savannah’s most popular gaming/geek convention got its humble start with a couple hundred people in a frightening hotel three years ago, and it’s grown in leaps and bounds ever since, exponentially increasing attendance and events every year.
It’s a laid-back event with enough variety and positivity that there’s definitely something for everyone. Even in its fledgling years, GnomeCon is aggressively looking to entertain its attendees, encouraging all forms of geekery with games, cosplay contests, and all sorts of live events. It took place this year over April 11th – 13th, and I was excited as hell to play some games and tell some jokes (sometimes both at once).
GnomeCon was the first convention I ever performed at, and it’s always my favorite audience. Something about this event brings out the best in people. It’s just a simple, fun weekend for people who want to get dressed up and/or play some board games and see some shows. I couldn’t make it to the first day of the event, regrettably missing the glorious likes of filmmaker Larry Blamire and improve troupe The Odd Lot, both of which were absolutely hilarious by all accounts. I have the true honor of having worked with The Odd Lot in the past, and can guarantee you an amazing show if you ever get a chance to see them–they are funny as hell.
I got off on the right foot on Saturday with a rousing afternoon of board games. I tried my hand as a redcoat in 1775: The American Revolution (not bad–though my opponents had the highly unoriginal idea of going with history and stomping my English ass). I was also trash-talked by my friend’s eight-year-old son Logan during a few games of King of Tokyo (which was just as adorable as it sounds). This is all keeping up with what is largely a family-friendly atmosphere. Like any good Savannah-based event, etiquette is mandatory, and there’s no place the adults can go that the kids can’t.
Until I show up, that is.
I held onto my time-honored spot of performing at the Professor Fear Quiz Show, and Professor Fear and his lovely assistant Pinky still have what it takes. Honestly, they put on a great show, and people come out in droves to win prizes and answer horror and sci-fi trivia. They get the crowd pumped, and it’s a hell of a good time watching them–they’re definitely a keystone of GnomeCon, and I know people look forward to the show.
And, once again, the audience didn’t disappoint me. Every year I’m incredibly excited to perform at GnomeCon, and every year I’m shocked and humbled by how much I love the crowd that comes out to see me perform. Just like the general attendees, the my audience grows larger every year, and so does the venue they put me in. I can remember my first GnomeCon show being held in what could easily be two walk in closets smashed together. But I’ve played to smaller rooms, and the fans who came out were sublime. Last year they filled up a meeting hall for me, and this year I felt like I was offering a lecture on the fine art of Nerdy Dick Jokes.
It was an amazing crowd, for what ended up being an amazing show, at an amazing event. And just like that, GnomeCon is already getting slated for next March (and so am I!). If you’re around the Low Country some time next March, I advise that you come in and enjoy the intellectual stimulation of a great southern geek-con in its younger years.
Want to watch me perform while you’re wearing your Dr. Mario costume? In a way that won’t creep out everyone else, I mean? Then I’ll see you at XCON World VII in Myrtle Beach, SC on May 16th – 18th.
Want to see me perform at your local con? Tell your powers-that-be to send an electronic pigeon to me at PhillipKeeling@gmail.com.