As noon approaches today, I am still in our room. I’ve just finished putting on my command seals for the cosplay. I shoo my partner out the door to get coffee, and contemplate the mess I’ve made.

Normally I save any and all critique of the con until after the event, but  in this case, it was entirely my fault. Event Ops asked me a few months back how long we needed the space for each of the LARPs. And so I ball-parked it at 4 hours for “All the President’s Zombies” and 6 hours for “Dungeons and Delegates.” What I failed to specify however, was how long the events should be billed for on the program. I don’t actually need, in fact it would be easier to NOT have players around for the first hour of DnD while my Consort and I scramble to prep the space. Alas, there is no remedying the issue now, since the full time the space is booked for us is on the program.

On the surface, it is a solvable problem. I can find things to occupy players, the most important of which is of course “run around and recruit more because we are short players.” But there are more significant challenges lurking under the surface. The most obvious of which is that the LARPs are scheduled to start at 5 pm and run until 11 pm. Intimidating much? Especially for a 3 day con, that is a massive time commitment. It doesn’t help that the game is scheduled to run over dinner. So we lose potential players who don’t want to figure out how to have an early dinner. And there is no good way to fix this.

So I am worried about the game. As I sit in the corner of my room, and look out over the atrium, temporarily quiet in the calm before the lunch storm, I worry. I see smiling faces I recognize, either by name or by position, and I wish I could hitch a smile up on my own face and go mingle. But  I am consumed with worry over a problem I can’t fix.

Then, to top everything off, I think of the two programming events that I would dearly love to go to. One of which is this afternoon, in the slot just before DnD tonight. Which would not give me time to change out of the cosplay and into the outfit for tonight, and get the game stuff together and down to the room and do all the other prep that needs to happen. And so it seems I can’t go. The other programming pieces I’d really enjoy going to is scheduled against the LARP tomorrow morning. Oops. This is of course the risk (and frankly sort of expected outcome) of working Con. Even as a guest, which has fewer time constraints than staff, I rarely ever get to events I want to go to.

Still, it is at times like this that I touch up my cosplay make-up, smile anyway and go make appearances. If I don’t, the event tonight might not happen. And then future events are harder instead of easier. And so, we have a “fake it till you make it” situation. If I smile and laugh and pretend that mingling is easy and fun, eventually I’ll fool even myself, right? See you on the Con floor!