I reprised my role as Booth Babe this weekend, working for Marc Gunn selling CD’s over in the music area of Starfest. I’ve known Marc, and worked for his former band, the Brobdingnagian Bards, for … a very long time.
One of the things that struck me this weekend was the very different kinds of experiences you get, depending on where you’re working. I’ve worked band tables at many conventions across the country, and more recently I’ve worked author tables, and my own author table. Naively perhaps, when I switched from one to the other, I thought they would be the same. While there are some similarities, they are very different experiences. Music fans are not shy about coming up and handling the CD’s, talking to the band, and cheering when the band is on-stage, even if they’ve never heard the band before. Sometimes they even appreciate the fact that music is, in essence, thrust upon them whether they wanted it or not. It’s how they discover new music.
It is much more likely (from my observations) for a music fan to stop at every music table, at least briefly, and look over the CDs and chat with the musician, without the fear of the ‘buy me’ pitch, than it is for that same fan (or even any rabid a book fan)to stop at every author table and give their books the same scrutiny.
The closest equivalent to music concerts for authors is paneling…. and it doesn’t have the same effect. I wonder if conventions would be interested in improv performance storytelling, and if they would give it the same main billing they give musicians… and if it would have the same sort of effect. Feel free to leave thoughts in the comments!
On the whole, the convention was a blast, and I and a few others brainstormed some cool new projects over the weekend, so keep an eye out for interesting things to come!