Monday, October 22, 2012

NY Comic Con, Day 2: More Shopping, Some Free Practical Advice & Calling Out a Famous Douchebag

For the second day, we got to enter on our own time and without having to stand in a long line. There was more of a crowd but we had things to look forward to: panels, more shopping & a special trip to Artists Alley for me. We'll get to those in a moment.

While at Comic Con on Thursday, I got a call about an extra gig for the next week (this past week). Being asked & because it was for a company and show I had not previously worked with as well as having free time, I chose to take the gig. When I came in for this second day, I realized I needed to know more about the gig. After all, I can't exactly do any old gig.

Fortunately, the guy I spoke with about the gig on Thursday called me again. I asked what the role was & said he could put in the file on me that I would not do rape victims or prostitutes b/c of my career path. I think it would be damn awkward for me to have to meet some celebrity whose first meeting of me is associated with me being in scanty attire or doing something gross. Not to mention legal ethics concerns with such roles.

That being settled, we started with some shopping. After all, we had The Venture Brothers & Robot Chicken panels to go to later on. To get good seating, you have to sit through things you don't want to see as well as stand in line. Unfortunately, professionals don't get priority over non-professionals. This was the start of the unwashed masses being here (some literally unwashed).

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:

The same basic rules for walking in NYC apply at Comic Con: follow the locals, keep moving & don't be an ass.

While there were people in costume on Thursday, there were more on Friday. Friday started the picture taking for me.

For instance, these guys did Walter White & Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad:

Then I saw this one. She was creepy in her stillness. You weren't even sure if it was a real person or a statue:

I also decided to do a little more shopping. After buying those I Heart Guts plushes the day before, inspiration struck me on a little rant & I decided I had to get a plush uterus.

This will be part of a soon to be performed video rant. I've got a doozy, let me tell you. I told the lady who'd sold me the other plushes about the idea & she liked it as well. They will be getting credited for this one.

I also decided to buy another dress since the white one I got the day before fit me so well. I'd seen a black one with red design that I wanted so badly but the smallest size the vendor had it in was a small.

However, she had this blue one I'd seen and liked as well as the red one.

I didn't realize until I got home and hung them all up that I'd gotten dresses in red, white & blue like the American flag. My intent on getting the red one was that I didn't have anything in that color & I wasn't sure if it would flatter me or not with my hair. Traditionally, I've shied away from bright red, yellow & orange since I felt they didn't flatter me. When I tried the dress on for my husband, though, he said I looked good so I decided I'd keep it.

Also, since I couldn't get enough of the guy with the Clockwork Orlando shirts I came back and got this one:

After some shopping, we went to The Venture Brothers & Robot Chicken panels after sitting through one for Silent Hill 3. Before that time, they'd decided to throw an unscheduled panel for Kevin Smith's reality show on Secret Stash (Comic Book Men, I think it's called). So we had to wait in this long ass line while Kevin Smith droned on (as my husband said). More pics from that:

That was the view in front of us. We had big bunches of columns for a "line" and it was horribly disorganized. Despite feedback, apparently the folk in charge of NY Comic Con have not remedied this. My husband says this has become tradition.

In the meantime, some people farther back in line decided to toss a beach ball around. The crowd got into it & people started cheering. I said "You've got to create your own fun around here." Personally, I think being able to create your fun is a trait people overlook. After all, if you can entertain yourself and find positive things in a situation you tend to have a better psyche & an energy that attracts others.

We got in and finally got to get good seats for The Venture Brothers panel. My husband has never missed that one or Robot Chicken's and he's told me about them for ages. Part of my reason for going to Comic Con was to see what he was talking about & since he kept saying "You have to see them."

Here's a pic you can look at. That fat fuck was in the way of the stage but you can see part of it behind him if you look closely. I was trying not to be the asshole violating the "no photography" rule. There were quite a few of those, especially in the Robot Chicken panel.

My husband loved going to both. I, however, have a few things to say.

* First off, can't we get some intelligent fan questions? I could come up with great stuff but before I join a line, I wish to think things out & not resort to cheesy stuff like asking for hugs, sexually propositioning people or begging for jobs. I'm not your fan, I'm happily married & my record stands on its own. You can find me; I'm not about to beg anyone for anything. Not seeing my awesomeness is YOUR problem, not mine. I'm also not selling anything so you can take me or leave me.

I would have liked a forum to meet with these people in my industry in a professional, pros only setting where I could ask intelligent questions & have a real conversation vs. being subjected to silly fan stuff. I'll say this: some of these people have far more fan tolerance than I do. I'd call you out for stupid shit or disrespecting my spouse in his/her face.

I mentioned this about intelligent questions & my husband says "you can't ask those." So, when pray tell can I do so? My company's moving up in the world & I'm dealing with similar BS now; it's just going to get worse for me. Plus, entertainment lawyer: be nice to us. Business owner in your field: be nice since you're likely going to encounter me or a friend of mine sooner or later.

* Clare Grant, I understand you are Seth Green's wife. Let me just say I admire your patience & tolerance for the whorey female fans trying to proposition your husband. You're a much nicer & far more understanding person than a good 90% of us. I know my husband would never have the self-control you displayed at the Robot Chicken panel unless maybe he was heavily medicated (and this is a man who thinks maybe 95% of the men who strike up conversations with me want to sleep with me, either secretly or openly). He even comments to me after we left that he couldn't believe some of these fans just disrespecting you & your relationship like that. Seth Green is a lucky guy & I hope he's treating you right.

Working in this industry, especially if you're a household name, is hard & there's so much misconception of it by people who don't work in it. Even the entertainment law field is glamorized by lawyers who don't do it or know people in it.

Finding someone who gets it & doesn't get pissy at you for not having the traditional job or thinking like everyone else is a blessing; you don't throw that away or take it for granted unless you're plain stupid.

If I were doing stuff & someone tried propositioning me, I'm certain my husband would grab my boob or something. I know if someone tried that w/him, I'd have to employ that trick Simon Le Bon's wife used to deal with overzealous groupies. Putting your hand on your spouse's crotch is a pretty unmistakeable signal of "That's mine; back off, bitch!" Let's face it, you have to be primitive with some people since they have no respect for anyone or anything.

The fact that you didn't do it shows you are a much better person than I am.

* You can ALWAYS blame the lawyers for something that didn't come through for a fan like merchandizing issues. We're used to it. Little hint for you folks at Robot Chicken. If you don't believe me, ask your lawyers if they're used to being blamed for stuff. You don't have to name them individually: just say "the lawyers." God knows enough people blame us for stuff (am I right or am I right?). If my CEO wants to use a general "it's the lawyers' fault" in a fan event, that's okay. Part of being a lawyer is being "the bad guy."

* If you don't want to give jobs to random fans who ask, free advice to Seth Green: don't ask people about being in SAG, especially if you're in NYC. You could encounter someone who's SAG eligible, a SAG member or even someone like me who has their own company, their own contacts & could get membership easily. Plus, there was that merger with AFTRA recently & some people may have bought their way into AFTRA to now be members of SAG/AFTRA.

A better idea is not to ask it in the first place. I heard it as "an excuse not to have to audition these nobodies who might be psychotically obsessed with one of more of our team." Come up with a different excuse: say you're not hiring or you already have a pool of people you know & trust to work with. Even go with "Could you move to [where ever you do the show; is it LA or someplace else?]?" Most people can't or won't do that. Maybe even tell them the wage is really low or they'd have to intern first. Something that sounds more plausible, would be unsavory to most people & might not bite you in the butt later on.

Go with your gut on this one but as the person handling the HR stuff for an entertainment company (among my other tasks), that's my tip. Or just offer an e-mail address for later on & then make sure your gatekeeper doesn't respond. Maybe even a fake or spam one (think of it as a woman giving the phone number for the time lady or some Christian Tell a Story line to some guy she doesn't like but is being pressured to give her number to). There's plenty of clever dodges to things if you're smart about them.

Plus, anyone who's been in the business long enough knows that you can get SAG eligibility if you get one line in a SAG feature so if you really liked someone enough getting them SAG eligibility is nothing.

Hell, maybe you can blame the lawyers for that one as well. Just a thought.

If you're curious about the "Tell a Story" lines, ask (that goes for any reader of this blog). Me, I like a business owner who's got a sense of humor. Maybe I should remember this for myself in the future.

Before I went to the panels, I took that visit to Artists Alley. I had a particular guest in mind for that one. First, it's necessary to give you some back story.

During my college days, I was in a sorority (as I've mentioned before). Now typically, once you go through the pledge period you're in a sorority for life. However, you can kicked out of one for violating sorority by-laws or chapter by-laws/rules of conduct. One such member, in fact, did get kicked out of my chapter. I wasn't there for the event that caused it but I do know it involved alcohol, a fellow sister, massive intoxication & leaving a fellow sister in a delicate condition. Thankfully, the abandoned sister wasn't raped, sexually assaulted or harmed in some way. I'm sure that's what our brass was thinking when the decision was made to kick out this first sister.

I heard about it after I returned to start the next semester. I really didn't feel bad for the first sister since she was not nice to me. For one thing, she was the sort of person who thought you were nothing if you didn't dress like her, have her interests or agree in lockstep with everything she said & did.

In short, one of the types of people I hate since they shun everyone who is different from them & refuses to entertain points of view that are different.

She also used the phrase "redheaded stepchild" in my presence & had zero to say about it. Not even "no offense!" To a natural redhead, this is the equivalent of using the actual "n-word" in front of a black person or some other racial slur in front of someone from that race. The minority in those situations will generally get pissed. I was no exception & fair warning that if you debate me on this one, I will debate you on any slur that offends you as a member of any particular group.

She also got attitude with me when I'd not tolerate her BS or disrespect to me. I remember times when I spoke at events or gatherings & she'd try slamming me down with cutting remarks and tone like some clique bitch from my past.

Had I been asked about kicking her out, I probably would have been fine with it. Being shitty to your fellow sisters is certainly grounds for dismissal from a sorority. You don't have to like them but you do have to at least be civil & respectful to them.

She totally started problems with me, as it's against my nature to start problems with people who didn't bother me first. I even got her a birthday gift one year when I was working at Godiva.

In a random meeting one day, during the announcement period when members could share their news & what they'd done since the last meeting, she proclaims that her dad draws Spider-Man. His name? Mark Bagley, a name many have heard of.

When I've shared this story with people who read comics (including my own husband), they immediately get all impressed. I vowed that if I were at some event he was at, I was going to make a point to meet him. However, in my typical fashion, I wasn't going to lie about my experience with his offspring. She wasn't my friend & didn't even stay in my chapter.

In fact, after she got kicked out she refused to speak to anyone from our group & didn't bother keeping friendships she'd had with any of us. I went to a Halloween party at Georgia Tech with some sorority sisters & one happened to see and talked to her. This girl only spoke to her and did not even say "hello" to me. Gee, is it any wonder I don't like this person?

So I made my effort to go there. My husband warned me there would be some long line so I made sure to give myself time in case that was happening so I would not miss those panels. It turns out there wasn't one. I also noted that he was charging money to autograph things. I had nothing to autograph, as that was not my point in showing up.

I went in, did my thing & mentioned my connection. However, instead of calling his daughter a bitch outright, I said "she wasn't particularly nice to me." I also mentioned what I did, handed out my business card & mentioned that if you want to work with my company, you have to go through me. That if you tick me off or I don't think you're professional, you won't be working with us (which is true, by the way).

One observation about this guy: he's a guy who lies then plays it off like nothing. I saw him do that with people in front of me. He also did this in telling me what his daughter was doing now. His account didn't match what I knew so I said "Really?" (not with shock or anything but more neutral). I learned a little more about what she was doing & said there was no need to pass my info along to her.

The next morning, on my anniversary, he apparently calls my house at 8 a.m. to leave an angry, nasty message. I was asleep so I didn't hear the phone ring. I deleted the message after hearing him say "Thanks for coming up to tell me how my daughter was a bitch at 17." I felt it was unnecessary to listen any further.

Gee, when I was 17 I had some maturity. I also had some class & didn't go starting shit with people who'd done nothing to me. I'd even mentioned being an old soul forever when he'd talked about how his daughter had started college at 17. This probably explains how I dated a 35 year old guy at the age of 21 & later dated a 30 year old guy at 22.

I had told people I was going to do that if I met him but he'd have never known. I never told my sorority sisters or anyone who knew that crowd. I made that choice when I lived up here & was talking casually to people involved in comics, none of whom have any acclaim. My husband sure doesn't know him.

Now, you'd think if a person of acclaim was going to call up some random person like me (s)he'd do it with a non-listed number. You'd also think Mark Bagley would have much bigger things on his plate than dealing with some former college sorority sister of his daughter whom he never met before & would probably never see again.

Nope! Apparently, like daughter like father. I also have a phone number that must be a cell phone since I know he & the lady he was with (possibly his wife & the former sister's mother) were in NYC and the call came from an Atlanta area code. I highly doubt he'd have skipped out on Saturday and Sunday of Comic Con to go back to Atlanta & then call me up at 8 a.m. Saturday is the biggest day for it. I didn't return to that area but logically speaking, that would make no sense.

Did I have a nefarious intent? Perhaps. I was also attempting to invoke a teachable moment (basically, don't be an asshole to people since you never know what they're going to end up doing in life & how long they hold grudges). I don't regret doing it since I got it out of the way & I can close the book on the situation.

I had no idea what his relationship with his daughter was like either. For all I knew, he was an absentee father & didn't have involvement in her life. A lot of famous people are that way with their kids. He also could very well have hated her guts or disapproved of her behavior for all I knew. My former friend's father sure wouldn't defend her recent actions & would probably be the first to condemn her for it.

If you went to my parents & told them about my being a bitch to you, they'd probably say "That's our avenger." If it happened today, they'd probably think you were dumb for expecting niceness if you'd been a jerk to me or that I was going to kiss your ass when I'm a lawyer.

Plus, I kind of got the last laugh since I now have his number. Literally.

Oh, and when a famous person or someone well known goes off on a random person, who ends up looking bad? The anonymous person or the famous one? It's the famous one. They look like they've got nothing better to do than get into little battles with folk. Plus, you've made the combatant famous if you talk about it.

So, what did Mark Bagley accomplish with that phone call? Bad publicity, proof of being a jerk (ensuring my husband totally dislikes him), giving a personal phone number to someone who could easily give it out to others (he's not or ever been my legal client, his daughter's not my sorority sister & there's nothing on me to keep that secret) & getting on my permanent blacklist.

I share this tale since too many people have found me from the past anyway and I already made preparations ages ago to avoid having to deal with her. Plus, the public should be aware of douchebags & it's not my task to enable them or let them flourish. I also have zero hesitation to call out jerks since my stories are true & always have documentation and/or witnesses.

Final lesson: watch how you treat lawyers. If they didn't represent you or have any ethical duties to keep your information private & you are nasty to them without cause, you should just dig your own grave. Especially if that lawyer is a natural redhead.

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