TeslaCon was assuredly not like any other convention that I have ever been to before; this was a “Full-Immersion Convention”. The entire weekend was spent in either character or persona in accordance with the convention’s theme: a weekend aboard an airship bound for England. Accompanying me were three of my friends and crewmates from the Airship Archon; Sally (Miss Salena Van Eycke), Sarah (Miss Melora Dashwood), and David (Professor Julius Watt). My crew and I spent a great deal of the convention in character as we interacted not only with each other, but with the staff and actors as well. It made for a very interesting experience and also gave us a look into the personalities of the people within the Steampunk community. The costuming was fantastic. It was very evident that the attendees put a lot of time, thought, and creativity into their outfits and props. Even attendees, who had never been to a convention, let alone a Steampunk gathering, displayed extraordinary costumes.
There was not a large representation of people of color, which is sad to say. Aside from myself, there were about four to five people of various ethnic backgrounds. The reason there are not more people of color in the Steampunk community eludes me. The genre is such a perfect showcase for costumers of color; there are no character boundaries or reference models that have to be followed. On the same note, there was not a huge showing of non-English or American fashion. I debuted a new Japanese inspired outfit and my crewmember, one Miss Melora Dashwood, wore an East Indian inspired “Rajpunk” outfit. The Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron was adorned in very bright European styles and there were also a select few who ventured into more non-traditional fashions. For the most part America and England dominated the fashions, which is to be expected, as it is the foundation of the subculture.
When I was not hosting my own panels I was in attendance at a variety of events such as the Lord Bobbins’ panel on the creation of and background behind the convention; the fantastic show put on by Eli August; and my favorite of the weekend, the “Murder Mystery”.
The Murder Mystery was great fun to watch, as all the players interacted with each other within the world they created. The yelling matches in the hallways and the way the crowds gathered after someone had been “killed” added depth and dimension to this experience. There was even chatter from non actors who were in character and making schemes and alliances of their own to go along with the story.
Other things of note would be the “Duty Free Room” commonly known as the dealers room and the Tea Room. The Duty Free Room was filled with remarkable vendors selling a diverse collection of wares from corsetry to ray guns. The Tea Room was exactly what is sounds like a room where one could and relax while enjoying a well brewed cup of tea and perhaps a pastry.
All in all, I had a fantastic time and was more than happy to accept Lord Bobbins’ offer to return again next year.
Captain Anthony LaGrange is the founder of the Airship Archon and started the group in 2008. He is a maker, modder, model and organizer who utilizes his jack of all trades experience to achieve his goals. With a fair amount of wit and charm he promotes not only his ship but the Steampunk community as a whole.