RTX London 2017
Hosted at the Excel Centre, RTX London was the first con for Rooster Teeth and all its affiliated companies to debut here in the UK. And boy, what a weekend it was. As a forewarning, this is a long post, as there is just so much to cram in, and I only saw about a third of the convention as a whole!
But before I start I would like to praise the events team and all the Guardians for their amazing work. Despite being the first time this event was run here in London, the staff established a well-oiled system, and the stewards were knowledgeable and kept smiling, even when they were under immense stress. Job well done guys. So, on to the event!
The most treasured item of the whole con. Never, ever lose your badge
Having picked up my pass and a lovely bag of goodies the day before, I was able to rock up bright and early on Saturday to go into my first panel, Plumbing the Deathstar. For you regular readers, you will remember this show from my Top Three Nerdy podcasts posts. So obviously, I was very excited to see the Sanspants Radio guys in action. This particular show starred Jackson Baly, Adam Carnevale, Joel Duscher and Joel Zammit. And they did not disappoint! The subject of this show was entitled "What job does Mario have now he is no longer a plumber?". There were some absolutely stellar suggestions, including a performer for the Cirque du Soleii, a negotiator between the UN and the Mushroom Kingdom, and (now that he has nipples in Super Mario Odyssey) a beach model. The general consensus for everyone though was that the most suitable new career direction for Mario would be an international assassin. Mainly because he would be the last person you would expect, and he could take people out with his deadly fireball. Throughout this piece I've decided to include my favourite panel quotes, but without the context. So from this one, I personally enjoyed the following: "Wario seems like the type of guy to hit on your wife WHILST you are home." "A turtle comes with its own soup bowl..." "Where are Toad's elbows and knees?!"
Front row seats for Sanspants Radio, yeeaah boi
This panel was an extremely chilled way to kick off this manic weekend. Plus, I got to meet the guys afterwards and get their autographs. They also remembered my blog, which was absolutely wonderful..
Next up was the panel that I had been dying to see, Always Open. My favourite show on Rooster Teeth discusses life, sex and everything in between. Hosted by the creator of the show, Barbara Dunkelman, the panel also consisted of Chris Demarais, Bethany Feinstein and Lindsay Jones. After receiving a huge warm welcome from the crowd, the panellists discussed their favourite things from their trip around the city of London.
As per usual, we also had the stories about embarrassing moments, including being a third wheel in other people's sexual situations, uncontrollable queefing and many many poop stories. Although, Barb's parents were in the audience so it possibly didn't get as dirty as it could have done. There was also a mention of Piers Morgan. I won’t go into detail, all the info is available on Twitter.
The Always Open crew, photo credit to Barbara Dunkelman
One heartwarming message that came from this panel was how much this show means to Barb. She created Always Open for those fans that didn’t quite feel represented, and to showcase the awesome female talent that Rooster Teeth has to offer. In return, the support she has received for the show has proved it to be a success, as it has filled a gap that was missing within the community. It is a supportive outlet where people such as Lindsay feel comfortable enough to discuss topics such as their sexuality freely.
Key lines from this session are as follows:
“Wouldn’t this be a fun time to announce that I’m pregnant?”
“London Bridge is just mediocre. Sorry guys.”
“She pulled out her tampon, and started to whack the over girl around the head with it repeatedly”.
As I said before, I love not giving context.
I also got to meet this smol bean after the panel! The events master, Bethany Feinstein
With my first big panel out of the way (and my first queue survival!), I took time to have a mooch around the exhibitor hall. There I saw my good friends from Forbidden Planet and lots of other exciting stalls, some of which that I will be covering in a future post.
Since I was already in the Centre Stage hall, I decided to stick around for Off Topic, the Achievement Hunter podcast. Starring Michael Jones. Gavin Free, Geoff Ramsey and Jeremy Dooley, this episode also featured special guest, James Buckley. Otherwise known as Jay from The Inbetweeners!
(I admit, the pedo moustache threw me off at first. Before you get offended, I’m allowed to call it that, all the other fans do as well. We have a warped sense of humour,)
As a standard Off Topic podcast, the guys explored a wide range of subjects. These included a heartwarming story of Gavin and his granddad, discussions of office drama and of course, a half hour segment on shit. Literally.
Michael, Gavin and guest star James. Photo credit goes to Rob Howard
After such a long and tiring day on my feet, I trundled back to my flat to get some much needed rest for….
Bleary-eyed and covering my bedhead with an Eevee hat, I started day number two with the Ladies of RT panel which featured the same three women from Always Open, plus Megan Castro. And wow, what an intense way to open the morning. This panel meant so much to me, as a female fan within this community. The love and support in this room shone through.
Many in the audience also got a little weepy when Barb shed a tear over her professional journey, from starting off as a fan of Rooster Teeth, to becoming a full time cast member. She couldn’t put into words what that experience was like, and I think she truly understands the enthusiasm and love that us fans carry, as she was one herself. It was truly a special moment.
Can you tell I stan her?
I wish I had made more notes at this panel, but I couldn’t because I was too busy ASKING A QUESTION AAAAH.
Ladies of RT, taken from the Twitch stream
As somebody who had missed out narrowly at asking questions at another convention (damn you Asylum 18, damn you), it was great to go up and speak to them all in person and hear their advice first-hand. As I am building up my own presence within media, seeing what these women have done is a massive goal to aspire to, and their words of wisdom are something that will stick with me for a long time.
Also Lindsay complimented my Eeevee hat, which made my morning!
Then to take a break from all the panelling, I went along to my autograph session (which doubled up as a photo op) with Barb and the myth himself, Gus Sorola. When I shuffled my way to the table, Barb remembered who I was, leaving me the happiest ginger on earth. It’s the little things such as this that truly makes a fan's day.
I told Gus how much I respected the RT documentary that he created on conventions, which is very apt for this post and I highly recommend viewing it. It’s available here. He visited various different cons across the USA, in an attempt to understand what brings people to these events, and why people hold their interests for particular areas. Gus said to me that he would love to make more, and I stand with him on that front. I bet there are a million more cons just waiting to be explored.
My idea for the photo op came from myself and Barb’s mutual love of the adorable cartoon kitty, Pusheen. I have built up quite the collection at home, and thought that it would be a unique and cute little picture to treasure in my memories.
Think the photo speaks for itself to be honest
In addition, I partook in an awkward-Gus encounter, in which we both fumbled whether to for a handshake or a hug. Classic.
My final panel of the weekend was with the notoriously bizarre crew of Funhaus. My boyfriend had forewarned me that this panel would be an absolute shitshow. And boy, was he right.
Funhaus, almost Live! consisted of Bruce Greene and Adam Kovic putting together an ‘apologetic’ PowerPoint presentation to a scorned RTX attendee who was demanding a refund for the event. Every fan who came up to the mic had the tough job of trying out their improv skills, by adding suggestions to each slide.
I'll give you a taster of what it looked like...
They literally transcribed people word for word. Screenshot taken from the Twitch stream
This session also had a sneak peek of an upcoming Funhaus short, paying tribute and homage to “Mothers Be Aware”.
...I wish I could explain more. I really do.
The final favourite panel quotes are:
“We have Elyse, which is way better than a streamy!”
“Demo Disk is 25% dancing, 25% games, 25% breaking disks and 25% porn.”
“My girlfriend only watches Funhaus because she wants to **** Adam.”
All panels and events done with, I took once last trip around the Excel (mainly because I went to the wrong exit, oops) before meeting up with my friend for a drink and a reminisce of the weekend. Even there, several other lovely fans sat down to join us and chat about our experiences. It was the perfect way to round off RTX London.
So, how do I even sum up this event? Well, it's a convention that has left a lasting legacy. On the Facebook group for attendees, so many have posted about what a positive experience they had, including those who attended alone and aren't usually comfortable with social situations. This con has instilled a sense of confidence and joy within the RTUK community.
On the whole, it was a triumph of a convention, and I'm already in the queue for RTX London 2018.
Centre Stage at the Excel. Photo cred goes to Matt Hullum