The DeadpanMMMMM Gathering: A Review
In Episode 8 of J. Daniel Sawyer‘s current fiction podcast, Down from Ten, Katie, one of the characters, says of the retreat she’s on, “This is our heaven.” This past Saturday night, I felt exactly the same way about the event I was at, albeit to a lesser degree. I was sitting in the Love Long and Prosper Studios (a.k.a. Dan and Cj‘s living room) with a whole bunch of people from our podcasting circle and friends of those people, and we were recording a live Duel of the Fates for the Deadpan Podcast. I love all the people I know from podcasts for who they are online and on-pod, and they’re just as wonderful in real life. When we were all together in one place, doing what we loved, it felt amazing.
The DeadpanMMMMM Gathering was a meetup of several of the regular members of the community over at the Deadpan Podcast comment boards. We decided to have a meetup in the Phoenix metro area over Labor Day weekend because two of those members, Kris M. and Ryah “The Energizer Bunny” D., were coming to town for the North American Discworld Convention. I attended and had a fantastic time. I stayed with the wonderful and gracious Dan and Cj for three nights (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night), and we partied hard all three of those nights. Jack, Ryah, and Cj also got together for meals on Thursday before I got there, and on Monday after I left, so the gathering really lasted five days in total.
The first night I was there, Friday night, I finally got to go to #EVFN (East Valley Friday Nights), which I had been reading about and wishing I could go to for at least a year. It was exactly what I had hoped for. I got to see Evo, Sheila, and Jack again, plus Kris, Ryah, Debbie, and Eliza Sea, and I got to see Studio 5C, one of the venues in the East Valley where #EVFN has frequently been held before. Afterwards, nine of us walked down the street to the nearest Irish pub, Rula Bula, and had a delicious dinner.
Saturday was my favorite day of the gathering. I went grocery shopping with Cj in the morning, and in the afternoon, I made party favors and watched the 1980 Flash Gordon movie and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, neither of which I had seen before. Then it was time for the barbeque. Dan made delicious burgers, and we had a wonderful group of people there. Before and during dinner, ditto, EssBee, and Vanamonde joined us for the fun via Ustream, which added to the fun. After dinner, we set up the recording equipment and recorded a live Deadpan Palooza discussion of the aforementioned Flash Gordon movie. Once again, Vanamonde was a trooper, staying up until the wee hours of the morning to talk with us over Skype. When we were done with that, we took a break, made and took shots, and ate cake. Then Evo and Sheila arrived, and we did our second recording session of the night, this time a live Duel of the Fates. Jack, Evo, and everyone else there were their usual entertaining selves. It was a really, really special experience to be in the same room with these people while they were demonstrating their show-hosting talents. I am immensely proud and privileged to be a part of this group of friends.
On Sunday night, we rented one of the party suites at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, where the Discworld convention was going on, and hosted a room party. There was beer, pizza, Canadian candy, good music, and good conversation with good friends. When other convention-goers started arriving at the party, I stepped naturally and happily into my role as the Deadpan Ambassador, greeting the newcomers and explaining who we were and what our podcast was about. I enjoyed doing that.
I had to get up early the next morning to get to the airport. The DeadpanMMMMM Gathering was a wonderful weekend of fun that was over all too soon. More content related to this weekend can be found here:
#deadpanmeet on Twitter (That was the hashtag we used for this weekend. Warning: some tweets NSFW!)