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I did not have a sterling time at OVFF.
Now, there were moments that were wonderful. Spending time with Melissa and David. Watching Roper play Shai'Nuf for the ladies in the dealers' room. Having Cat faber sing her Judy Miller song for me as we were packing the table Sunday afternoon. (I had missed it when she played it on stage.) Having the jam sing "happy birthday" to me through the wall.

But compared to the con reports I have read here from a lot of people, it just didn't rate.
I was stuck in the dealer's room during the days, missing the concerts and workshops.
Some folks did come along to chat, but nature of the beast is that it's pretty quiet when there is a concert going on and gets impossibly busy in between.

And the quilt that I had made for the interfilk auction did not get the interest I had hoped for. Frankly, I've seen chocolate oranges go for more. I can only assume that that isn't the sort of thing that interests people and I will likely not try it again.

I didn't sing. Well, that's not true, I'm always singing. But I didn't sing in a circle. Things were just too late, too crowded, too... not welcoming.

So, I'm gonna ask.
How do you get to be one of the cool kids?
How do you learn to shine and sparkle?
How do you fall into those quirky, charming conversations in the hall way?
How do you be one of those people that other people want to hang with?
How do you get noticed in a good way?
How do you get to be Hot Filk du Jour?

GHR

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
poltr1
Oct. 26th, 2006 04:56 pm (UTC)
Commiseration
I wish I knew the answer, Gretchen. I've often felt the same way that you do.

*hug*
daisy_knotwise
Oct. 26th, 2006 04:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Commiseration
Hey, tootsie...
When you are at a con and feeling left out, come over to the table and chat.
If nothing else, we can make fun of the cool kids.

GHR
poltr1
Oct. 26th, 2006 07:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Commiseration
It's a deal!
kitanzi
Oct. 26th, 2006 05:17 pm (UTC)
Frankly, no idea. Um, I had the vague impression you WERE one of the cool kids. *hangs head*
fireskin
Oct. 26th, 2006 05:44 pm (UTC)
I was thinking YOU were one of the cool kids and wanting to be like you. (hug)
madfilkentist
Oct. 26th, 2006 05:51 pm (UTC)
People came out of the concerts and were mobbing you to buy filk? That's not too bad for being noticed in a good way!
alymid
Oct. 26th, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC)
to a certain extent I am going to "me too" kitzani and fireskin's comment, but the more I read the posts going around, it is clear that the "cool kids" are almost always "someone else" having "more fun". For what it is worth, I *always* enjoy having you in a circle I am in, and am very pleased when i see you perform, and really wish you would come in and join us more often.

I can't imagine that I am ever going to be a "hot filk dujour" and being that I am WAY more shy than most people think I am, I am absolutely dependant upon the people I already *do* know to help me know the people I don't already know.

I can imagine getting stuck at the table while "fun" is going on, must be very frustrating, I would be happy at some future convention to help you out by covering the table for a few hours so that you can get out and just roam around or go to a program or concert or three.
msminlr
Oct. 26th, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
This is where MY thoughts were tending, also.
Having tended a table in my time, though NOT, as I recall, AT a filk con, except for Harmonicon in Kansas City in the early 90's.

At a normal con, tending a table of filk stock GOT me the cool kids to talk to.
beige_alert
Oct. 26th, 2006 06:12 pm (UTC)
I did have a great time and at least briefly met lots of people, but for whatever reason this year wasn't really a very social con for me. No long conversations. And oddly, more hugs from people I hardly know at all than from closer friends.

I always thought you were one of the cool kids. Well-known in fandom, and even if not one of the really prolific songwriters and performers, you have a hand in a few well-known and well-loved (and award-winning) songs.
catalana
Oct. 26th, 2006 06:38 pm (UTC)
Hell, I don't think *I'm* one of the cool kids either. (Are there any cool kids in the US East of the Mississippi? Hmm, Ookla I guess.) So I don't have a clue.

I'd rather hang with you than with the "cool kids" though. *hug* You're much more fun! (But as I think I sang a grand total of four songs other than X-Libris this convention, and that includes being up past 4 Saturday night and hitting the dead dog, I'm probably the wrong person to ask about getting into the circles at OVFF...)
tigertoy
Oct. 26th, 2006 07:33 pm (UTC)
I guess it all depends on who your cool kids are. In my mind, it conjures the people whom you just want to hang around in the hope some of their talent will rub off, and while some people in that class were missing this year, like Moonwulf and Joe Giacoio, if min0taur, bedlamhouse, and quadrivium don't count as cool kids, I don't know who could.

I'm generally more interested in people I want to hang around with because they're friends; it is nice when that overlaps with people who knock my socks off when they perform, but when I have to choose one or the other, I stay with friends.

As to sitting in the dealers' room -- isn't there supposed to be a feed from the sound system to satellite speakers in there, so you dealers (and your customers) can hear the concerts? When I was in the dealers' room I really noticed that it wasn't there when I expected it to be.
mdlbear
Oct. 26th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
I agree. If I want to hear great performers (and I often do) I'll go to their concerts. Hanging around in the hallway what I'm looking for is good friends and great conversations, with maybe a song or two thrown in.

I'm lousy at starting conversations and meeting new friends, but between LJ and filk one can often come up with a good excuse.
ohiblather
Oct. 26th, 2006 08:30 pm (UTC)
You know, I have to feel sorry for these "cool kids", whoever they are...they seem to be getting crucified in LJ these days. I remember the Cool Kids when I was back in school. They were a different breed, to be sure, hanging out with each other. I never thought badly of most of them, tho, since none of them were mean to me and my nerdy pals. In fact, I still hang out with the same nerdy pals as well as making new nerdypal friends. :-)

I recently posted on the whole "Cool Kids" thing in Eloise's journal, by the way. Here's what I wrote:

"Y'know, I'm all for inventing one's own 'Cool.' :-) I strongly feel that Cool is a matter of perspective. I've been in the filk community for many years (I officially qualify as an Old Fart Filker) and have been on both sides of the camp. Still am, actually, since I still read wistfully about jams or parties or whatever that I wish I could have been a part of. I remember feeling so alone and so timid in filk circles that I wouldn't take my flute out of the case the whole time. I remember seeing Julia Ecklar in filk circles, adoring her music, hearing rumours of secret room parties and music jams, knowing I'd never be invited.

I started hanging out with other filkers who were in similar situations. We supported each other, listened to each others music, became friends, encouraged one another. As a result, we all kept improving and gaining confidence, our bonds of friendship growing deeper. I can't help but find it ironic that some think I belong to a 'Cool Group' considering I started out as anything but. I'm glad I don't believe the Cool hype, else I'm bound to be disappointed and resentful when I inevitably relinquish up any perceived 'Cool' status to others.

I do what I do because I love the filk community and enjoy being part of it, but also because I love my friends. 'Cool' may come and go, but friends remain. If I ever stop being able to write songs or play the flute or being a part of Urban Tapestry (god forbid), I know that they'll still want to hang out with me. :-)"

To Gretchen: I'm so sorry you didn't have a good time at OVFF. :-( And it's such a shame that your gorgeous quilt didn't go for more money! I had assumed that it would be beyond my price range; I spent the Interfilk auction sleeping because I was feel pretty crappy.

Hope your next con is a better one!
allisona
Oct. 26th, 2006 08:51 pm (UTC)
Applause and support, Deb. I find reading LJ recently I've kind of had the energy knocked out of me to want to post about OVFF in my journal anymore.

Gretchen, your quilt was BEAUTIFUL. I loved it when you posted a photo in your journal. I knew instantly it would likely be out of my price range at the auction, as beyond flight, hotel and food costs I don't have much money at cons. I never bid in the Interfilk auctions (though UT tries to donate as often as we can), but it doesn't mean I don't majorly covet many of the things that are on the table! :)

I'm sorry OVFF didn't go well for you- I hope you'll get a chance to have more time away from the dealer table at your next con.
chaoticgoodchic
Oct. 26th, 2006 07:16 pm (UTC)
My Lady Love,

About the quilt - I'd have bought it, but it was too small for anything I could conceivably use it for, not having any kids. If it had been as big as a queen-sized bedspread, it would be mine now.

This has been my 2nd OVFF and after having been traveling all over the country and tasting many Filk cons, Media cons and General Sci-Fi cons, OVFF is like "the best of the best" Filker con. I go to OVFF to hear "them", not really to participate. Upon that basis, OVFF was as awesome as I had anticipated.

The Jam was the most "inclusive" event at the con and it certainly did not last long enough. I wanted to feel a part of the group and feel like I belonged, but even sitting in the center of the circle did not help breach the schism between the "popular/almost professional" crowd and me. The music was wonderful, but the attitude of being the "welcoming arms of the community" was not embraced by every person there, some, but not nearly all.

You, my friend, are beloved by all. Never lose your security in that.

If one isn't "cool" in a room by oneself, then one cannot be "cool" in a room full of people either. BE cool and BE the center of fun things going on in your universe and you won't need to worry about what others are doing.
thatcrazycajun
Oct. 26th, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC)
What she said, times three.
joecoustic
Oct. 26th, 2006 07:55 pm (UTC)
*hugs*
I'm sorry you didn't have a better time - but I'm happy for the good stuff that did happen.

I too always thought of you as one of the cool kids!

I am always glad to share a circle with you and would love to talk to you and get to know you better. I sort of have my own level of shyness - I'm not sure if it comes off that way or not - and sometimes might come off snobbish (or so I've been told) but it's really not that as much as, possibly unnecessary, self protection.
fireskin
Oct. 26th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC)
Something kind of bothers me about this post though. What is it that makes a "cool kid"? Is it being liked by people? Is it being a more professional performer? Is it being someone forceful enough to get more singing/playing time? I'd hate to think someone resented me because they thought I was a "cool kid" when that's not my reason for being there. (note: I don't think I'm one of the cool kids, this is just for comparison purposes)

I wonder how many of the cool kids think they are? Kind of like Gretchen (who is very cool). :)
ohiblather
Oct. 26th, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
I agree with all of the above. (See my above post)
ohiblather
Oct. 26th, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC)
And perhaps a better response to the whole "Gretchen, you ARE one of the cool kids" or "Gretchen, *#&$% the cool kids" is better said as you did in your comment, Taunya:

Gretchen, you're cool to ME.
persis
Oct. 26th, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC)
My dear girl, I have to agree with what they all said. And I have to say, you are among the first filkers I met, way back in 1994.

Re quilt: even though I was doiing the Interfilk bookkeeping, I some how missed the bidding on the quilt (and didn't even know who won it until the next day), otherwise I would've bid on it. Yes, it is smaller than my bed, but it would make a lovely curl-up-in-while reading or listening to music comfort.

I feel as though I didn't get to spend *any* time with people, other than several late evenings sitting in the hall knitting... it was all Interfilk. I wish we didn't live 20 hours away from each other. (and please, I can sit your table for you sometime... I've done it before!) *hugs*

(she who is clearly way far behind on her LJ flist)
smoooom
Oct. 26th, 2006 09:28 pm (UTC)
To answer your questions I don't know. But you are the person I would love to hang out with, and when you sing with Bill you positivly shine and sparkle. I'm not sure what a "Hot Filk du Jour" is hold on, Du Jour is Day, Hot Filk of the say? Wear an extra sweater.
sposter
Oct. 26th, 2006 09:59 pm (UTC)
OK, it wasn't my favourite OVFF, but I kind of thought that was because I was distracted.

You ARE one of the cool kids - it's obvious from all the wonderful people who have run to convince you that you are extremely well thought of in the community, by posting their comments in your LJ.

As for being stuck in the dealers' room, it seems you have several choices: ask a friend to sit your table for you, close the dealers' room during the big concerts, or make music in the dealers' room! I never saw any rule that says you can't get a filk circle going in there!

I'm sorry about your quilt. I didn't bid on ANYTHING in the voice auction this year which is unusual for me. But I love the jacket you made for me, if that's worth anything to you!

I would love to get to know you better, but you always seem so busy!
rms_butterfly
Oct. 26th, 2006 11:54 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I'm sorry that your quilt didn't go for more. It's lovely, and if I'd had more cash, I would have bid. I was surprised that it didn't go for more, too. Not sure why.

It seems that a number of folks had not-so-great OVFFs, and I'm sad about that. I had a good time, but I'm not a performer, either, so my expectations are different. And, I also would be happy to watch your dealer table sometime so you could go watch stuff, esp if it's at a con that I don't work.

I think you do amazing sewing work; I think the shirts you've made for people are awsome. Ditto for the quilt.

And, finally, I also would put you (and Bill) in the "cool kids" list, if I had one, but more important than that (to me, anyway) you're nice, friendly, fun, and you sing. :-) I don't know that I mentioned it, but chatting w/you at FKO in the hall this year was really alot of fun. I'd not ever really talked much w/you before.

*hugs*
vixyish
Oct. 28th, 2006 05:26 am (UTC)
I have a theory on the quilt-- and on several other items that I was surprised went for so low. It's just a theory, as I haven't been to very many auctions.

But it seems to me that at the beginning of the auction, people are still feeling sort of shy or nervous or whatever and nerving themselves up to bid. And so, anything that's right at the beginning doesn't get bid on as much. So a big item like that doesn't do well if it's presented early on in the auction.

This was amplified by the professional auctioneer, who some bidders (and some wenches!) have difficulty understanding and following.

'Cause I was surprised too-- I thought it was beautiful.
filkertom
Oct. 27th, 2006 01:11 am (UTC)
You heard it! I'm so glad. :)
gclectic
Oct. 27th, 2006 07:57 am (UTC)
I'll agree with everyone else above, but I'll throw in some very concrete extra points:

1) Advil! I've spent all or part of many cons feeling like you describe, and eventually figured that some of it was travel/stress-induced migraine. It's hard to feel like you fit in with a headache making you grumpy, and it's hard to make sparkling conversation when you are in that state. The sad thing is that I never consciously noticed the headache -- just the "not fitting in".
2) Things that might or might not work for dealer tables: (a) Talk to the sound man (or concom) about piping the concerts in. I think I've seen it done before at filk cons. (b) Convince a costumer to help run your OVFF table in return for helping him at his CostumeCon table. Also, dunno about others, but I would have understood perfectly -- and still flung money at you later -- if you'd shut down the table for a few favorite concerts.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )