AER: Plano International Festival, 2007|
What an interesting event! This was a wonderful opportunity out of the blue. Here we are minding our own business, gearing up to work the Plano Con this weekend, when out of the blue from somebody of whom I have never heard invites us to participate in the 3rd Annual Plano International Festival. They even waived the entry fee and provided a table for us.
The good news is that the City of Plano has heard of us and wants the IKV Melota to represent klingons at this inter-cultural event. The bad news is that this is the weekend of the Plano Con of which we usually attend. Therefore most of the crew was already committed and occupied for the day. Dragen and I responded to this request so that there would be the requisite minimum of two necessary for combat.
For us this was a very fun and productive day. We were provided a table upon which to set up. We did so and had weapons and flags on display to teach about our culture. We were also scripted in to the days stage events. Earlier in the day Dragen was interviewed and he explained that he was looking for somebody. Later, I was worked into the staged events except that I had been "found" so instead of an interview it was a very brief challenge and fight. It was planned that since I was wearing my heavy armor that I would "die" and Dragen would really whack me. The whole audience went "ugh" when I got whacked. They were expecting a stage fight and got a serious fight. As I lay there on the stage, I could hear various languages muttering about what had just happened. I did not understand a word except for the English commentary. They were surprised about what had happened and the ferocity of the event.
We had a blast entertaining and explaining to any guest that dropped by our table or stopped us during the day as we wandered around looking at booths. Many pictures were taken. I hope that some actually do show up in our email inboxes. We already have had at least one person send us her pictures.
I hope that next year we might be able to field more Warriors and get more stage time. It is possible.
Strength and Honor
Cdr. Salek Sutai the Sunburned
Plano, Tx International Festival
My first thought upon hearing of us being invited to the festival is "What the heck?" Klingons invited to a cultural event about real cultures. But, I figured it was free publicity so rather than drool all over all the goodies at the con I decided to go help Salek represent the Klingon culture. There were alot of people that knew of Klingons, and alot of people that gave us "wtf?!?" looks.
The stage events were most excellent. One of my favorites was the Scottish dancers. I am ashamed to admit that being 1/6th Scottish I know squat about the culture. Got to see the Scottish Sword Dance for the first time ever too (Which I had only read about before). Then there were the Polish dancers. Kinda reminded me vaguely of line dancing or square dancing, but was alot more stately and dignified looking. The Korean Drum demo was most excellent as well.
Now for the Klingons. It was very educational for me to hear Salek explain the similarities between Russian, German and Klingon. Then when he and one of the festival goers started speaking Russian it was my turn to go "wtf?" I especially enjoyed explaining the similarities between Klingon culture and, for example, medieval earth culture (At least that is the way I look at it because of the values of Honor, Duty, Loyalty, and Chivalry). Had many comments about outfits made to both Salek and myself as we strolled through the crowd, and we were both able to explain how the Melota lets you be your own Klingon (If ya know what I mean). There were even some festival goers that came straight there from the con, and mentioned seeing our fellow Klingons there as well.
Salek's and my stage presence was short, but great exposure. T.J., the lady that was mc and one of our liasons, set it all up. I was the hunter, and she "saw" me wondering through the crowd with my uniform on and wanted me to explain who and what I was, where I was from, etcetera. Then I told them I was looking for a Vulcan mercenary trying to pass himself off as human because he had botched a bounty. I had hired him to find a Captian Jonathan Archer and he botched it and let Archer get away (Betcha you know where I "aquired" that idea from). Then Salek gets called on stage for the same reasons I was called, but then I "found him" and the fight was on. Felt really weird basically choreographing a fight, but like Salek said it was our usual full contact stuff; just with a predetermined outcome. I thwocked him a good one in the gut, crowd goes ouch, and that was that. Was alot of fun.
Now for the final stage event. A local Tae Kwon Do school in Plano (PSA or something like that) put on a demo set to music bites and all that. Brought back alot of memories from my college days when I was able to study Tae kwon Do. The music was great (AC/DC, Motley Crew, Boston and the like). The kata and board breaking was neat, and those kids were pretty good.
All in all, was great and educational for all from both a mundane AND Klingon perspective.
Dragen the toasted