Are You Out of Your Mind? Putting on a K/S Convention

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Title: Are You Out of Your Mind? Putting on a K/S Convention
Creator: Dovya Blacque, Liz W., Rosemary W. and Jenna Sinclair
Date(s): July 2007
Medium: print, CD
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Topic: K/S, conventions
External Links:
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Are You Out of Your Mind? Putting on a K/S Convention and was published in Legacy #4.

Part of a Series Called "The Legacy of K/S in Conventions"

Excerpts

[Why did you decide to host a convention]:

DOVYA: Because we were certifiably insane. All I remember is sitting around one night and the subject of doing a con coming up. Then the perfect name for the con was suggested and we just went forward with it. Alexis had run conventions in the early 1970s when she lived in Miami. Natasha had run local San Diego high school Trek club cons in the 1970s. I was an utter innocent. Really. Seriously, I’d never run a con before.

LIZ: I decided to do it because I wanted to go to a K/S con in the UK—totally selfish. If I wanted to go, then I had to run it myself, as no one else was doing so at the time. I also ran it because I wanted to know how much interest in K/S there was in the UK. I discussed it a lot with my two best UK K/S buddies and they were supportive. Even though we could count the K/S fans in the UK that we knew of on the fingers of one hand, we decided to see who would come out the woodwork. Besides which, I had seen the film of Wayne’s World and what is it he says? “If you build it, they will come” — well they did! I didn’t know I could do it — but I figured if other people could, so could I. I knew about the nitty gritty from helping with Red Rose Cons, and I had a good model for my ideal K/S con from visiting Jenna’s KiScon in the US.

ROSEMARY: In 1987 no one had run a K/S con before and from people we met at “official” cons, we knew there was a ‘market’ for a K/S con. K/S had been ‘going’ in the UK since the beginning and some of the earliest K/S was written in the UK. Janet H. had run a writers’ workshop in 1982, which was eagerly attended and was predominantly K/S. She decided for technical reasons not to run another and so that left a gap!

JENNA: I was flying home from Shore Leave, happy that I’d had such a good time, that it had worked so well, but sad that I wouldn’t be seeing these people again for a whole year. I was also a little frustrated that there hadn’t been even more interaction among the K/S crowd: I could never get enough conversation or enough company with such wonderful people I’d met through K/S fandom. So.... I distinctly remember the moment on the airplane, sitting there and asking myself: why couldn’t there be an all-K/S convention? And why couldn’t I be the one to make it happen? I knew there had been all-K/S cons in the past. I’d heard about the IDICons, the CaliCons. And most importantly.... I’d attended one Closet Con, was going to be flying to another one soon.

I think that was really the most important element: I’d seen what Rosemary did with her convention. I knew it was possible to put it together, and I had seen the nuts and bolts of it. She put on a great gathering! If I hadn’t actually attended Closet, I doubt very much that I would have had the courage to ever attempt a KiScon, but I had a very excellent example in front of me for encouragement.

DOVYA: I don’t remember specific panels we had. It’s been too long. We had a huge art show and the auction went well. I remember the hotel’s cleaning crew coming in and gawking at the art! The ladies all seemed to like it; the guys, not so much. The Friday night of CaliCon 1 — before the con officially started — we had a little get together about various kinds of magick (yes, with a “k,” that’s not a typo!). My part was about candle magick. I think Alexis did a bit on tarot. It seems people really enjoyed that. We had a party both years — can’t remember if they were Saturday night or Sunday night events. Parties on the beach, food supplied by us, gossip abounded and fun was had by all. We also had a “name that TV show theme music” contest which was a lot of fun and, of course, song videos. There were prizes for those. We also had a “caption contest”: people were invited to write a caption for various pictures we posted. Again, prizes for that.

LIZ: I don’t know that I did anything completely unique. I had a video room and a panel room — sometimes I used the panel room as a dealers room —and I also had a zine library. I did not have an art show — the interest is not so big in the UK, and after the first year I gave up having an auction because no one was interested and I was just giving stuff away! I did have a con zine and a con newsletter that was a kind of part of the whole build-up, with running jokes about Kirk and Spock trying to get to the convention, etc. I had a caption contest with wacky TOS stills — which was popular and very funny. And one year, 2005, we did a rolling story — set up on a laptop which anyone could add to at any time. We published it afterwards! Every idea was stolen from somewhere, though!

ROSEMARY: We had all the popular things at the Cons. There were talks, discussions, panels on as many topics as we could devise and we always ran at least two viewing rooms and parallel programming. Being quintessentially British we had “polite” afternoon tea with pink and green cakes. We also played silly games and had competitions. One memorable one centred on a large green spherical cake. Contestants had to guess its weight. The label proclaimed in a limerick that it was part of Spock’s anatomy (the left one)! The main aim of the Cons was and is to raise money for charity. The competitions charged a small entry fee. We held raffles to which people kindly donated prizes. We raised hundreds of pounds in a weekend.

JENNA: I packed the schedule for such a small event, and there was some gentle complaining after the first one that maybe I should schedule more down-time. So I tried to do that with #2 and #3. We had the typical panel discussions starting early Friday afternoon (when we convened) and running to Sunday afternoon late. I love art, so I really tried hard to get a good art show and art auction. We had a separate reading room and K/S Zine Library where anyone could go for some peace and quiet and a good zine. Oh, and we had a video room that ran Star Trek, K/S, or Shatner and Nimoy related videos all through the con. In 1999, that didn’t get so much attention, and when I went in to check the room, there was often no one there. But in 2001 and 2004, the video schedule was much more popular. On Friday evening we had a get-acquainted sort of party where we did goofy things and welcomed people who were con virgins. We played that game where everybody gets to open a gift (after introducing herself first), but then folks get to steal it. I spent a lot of time finding Trek stuff to wrap for that. On Saturday morning we had a sit-down breakfast in 1999 and 2001; in 2004 the prices for that had gotten way too expensive, so I improvised and hosted a breakfast in the con suite. I remember my big triumph was bringing my crockpot from home and cooking oatmeal in it! I’m not a very domestic person, so this was a big deal for me and I think made a lot of people laugh at my efforts, but that was sort of the point.... On Saturday night we had a Dress Uniform Dinner with wine and a K/S cake, with entertainment afterwards. Each con we did have a really ridiculous play to hopefully make people laugh: Lezlie S. wrote the first one, “Not Spock’s Brain,” that was truly hysterical and featured Sheila Clark, one of our Scottish guests, playing the role of Scotty as Kirk continued his search for, er, something of Spock’s that was rather essential to him. Folks were rolling in the aisles. Then in 2001 I wrote “CinderSpock” as a musical based on Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” where instead of a glass slipper being quite distinctive, it was something else of Spock’s that Kirk couldn’t forget. And in 2004 I wrote “The Sound of Confusion” based on “The Sound of Music,” where sheep figured prominently in the plotline. (I had no shame.) I guess there were a few things that developed about the KiScons that were a little bit different. Folks wanted to come in earlier than the Friday noon official start time, so we scheduled a Thursday evening dinner/get-together in a restaurant half a block from the hotel. That evolved into quite a big event, with 25 to 30 of the attendees there. I remember the conversation level was incredibly high: we were loud in our enthusiasm!

Then, we had an unofficial Monday morning breakfast in the hotel restaurant to say good- bye. People didn’t want to leave, I do know that.

References