In Anticipation of BAMCon, I am pleased to be hosting a “behind the scenes” interview with Amelia Ritner, Assistant Organizer at BAMCon!
Q: Well for starters, what are one or two (or a few) things that you hope to see at next month’s BAMCon?
Amelia: We definitely hope to see a large attendance; I think that’s always number one on our list. But I’m also looking forward to seeing more Cosplayers as well as people genuinely interested in our con in particular (maybe wearing a t-shirt from last year’s con.) 🙂
Q: And how did you wind up falling into your job in regard to the convention?
Amelia: I started going to Berkshire Anime Club Meetings. When I heard they were in the planning stages of their first convention, I offered to help out. I ended up taking a much bigger chunk of work than I thought I would, but I’m happy with it.
Q: Take us “back-stage” at a fantasy convention. What would you say is the most surprising thing about working on one of these projects, something my readers might not guess?
Amelia: I’d have to say you’d be surprised at how much planning is still going on so close to the actual convention date. Some jobs still aren’t quite finished yet.
Q: How about the most rewarding aspect of the job?
Amelia: Seeing convention fans recognize me as an organizer. It’s nice to feel appreciated. 🙂
Q: And what about the most challenging part of coordinating a convention?
Amelia: That would be finalizing a budget. It’s harder than you think getting a concrete number together for something like this.
Q: The “BAM” in BAM stands for “Berkshire Anime and Manga”, are there some specific anime or manga that you would recommend to a newbie who are unfamiliar with the genre?
Amelia: That would depend what they prefer. There is some anime that attracts everyone, like a Miyazaki film (My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle), but there is also sort of “boy anime” versus “girl anime.” I’m partial to Sailor Moon, personally, but I do enjoy some “boy anime,” like Hellsing and Berserk.
Q: Who (or what) is your favorite anime character?
Amelia: Sailor Jupiter from Sailor Moon.
Q: Fantasy, gaming, comic book, and related conventions seems to be gaining in popularity. Do you have any theories about why that might be?
Amelia: Honestly? Nerds are growing up, and wanting to see more of the things they remember from childhood. Nostalgia is becoming a good business to be in right now, and nerds from back in my day are having little nerdling kids to create a new generation of love for an entertaining escape from reality.
Q: Complete the following statement: “If I see a ____________ at BAMCon next month, I will just ___________…”
Amelia: I know this is a bit more mainstream than fans are used to, but if I see a good Archer cosplay group, I will just squeal with joy.
Q: Finally, if any of my readers happens to bump into you at BAM-Con, what should they say to you?
Amelia: If I’m sitting down, by all means, say hello! If I’m walking with a purpose, then just stand back– I’m probably about to avert a crisis. It’s going to be a stressful weekend for me.
Thanks Amelia for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this interview!