Saturday, January 19, 2013

Matthew's Editorial: The 64.2 Mile Journey

NOTE: The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the California Conventions Blog.

A lot of what I'm about to say in this piece I've probably said many times in previous years and may sound like the same song and dance, but it's only fitting that I write this as SacAnime moves to the Sacramento Convention Center.

[Appropiate music for this editorial goes here]

The "64.2 Mile Journey" is the overall distance (according to Google Maps) from Sunrise Mall where the first SacAnime was held in 2004 to the Scottish Rite Center, then back to Sunrise Mall, then back to the Scottish Rite Center, then to the Red Lion Inn Hotel for the first SacAnime held in a hotel in Summer 2007, then back to the Scottish Rite Center, then to the Radisson/Woodlake Hotel, then finally to the Sacramento Convention Center.

I don't remember attending in 2004 when SacAnime first became a reality, but I do remember attending in 2005 although I remember more about the return to Sunrise Mall more than the first run at the Scottish Rite Center. Then again, I have a bunch of otaku loudly singing The Cocount Song through the mall. I also do remember telling myself that I would see to it that SacAnime eventually reaches the Sacramento Convention Center before I graduated college on the drive over to the Sunrise Mall.

Eventually I got into staffing in early 2007 as a peace-bonder and my "coming out party" was to peace-bond at SacAnime's first run in a hotel. Regardless of opinions or the "reception" that I gave that weekend, things really weren't the same after that assignment until I had quit in early 2008. I still remember when people threatened me on an certain imageboard and even prank called me to convience me to "never come back," but I didn't budge one bit.

Around this time I had just gotten the CCB off its feet and that following SacAnime in Summer 2008 I had my first press badge and my first real taste of what it's like to evolve from a regular attendee to a press member that has a wider range of access but with a contract to report from SacAnime. However, I didn't have a press badge again until Anime Vegas 2010 but I still stuck to reporting from anime conventions with or without one.

When SacAnime made the move to the Radisson/Woodlake, it seemed that the "old era" of SacAnime was dying off. That Summer 2009 show saw the entire cosplay staff quit on stage at the Masquerade and a lot of the "veterans" that attended SacAnime where planning on attending other conventions like Anime Los Angeles & Anime Vegas that fell on the date of SacAnime, myself included. Eventually things settled down at the Radisson/Woodlake and by SacAnime Summer 2011 I was ready to resume attending and covering SacAnime after my "SoCal/Nevada Tour." To this day I still feel guilty in abandoning my hometown convention, but without that decision I wouldn't had found the staff that I formed in 2010 and the resume of attending different conventions.

By the time the Radisson/Woodlake reached critical mass in the 2012 convention season, a move to the Sacramento Convention Center made the most sense and at SacAnime Winter 2012 the news that the move was happening delighted many of us "veterans," those who have been attending since the Sunrise Mall and the early days of the Scottish Rite Center. What shocked me though was that initially it was supposed to be Summer 2013 but then the move happened for the Winter 2013 show.

I guess it's fitting that I come to this junction of SacAnime's legacy back on staff as a photographer and videographer for Cafe Hoshi. After that "failure" back in my early days I wanted to make things right as we move into this new era. Even Dan, the convention head, acknowledged this on Day Zero of the Winter 2013 show.

I'm supposed to graduate from Sacramento State in the Spring and who knows where my degree will take me, whether it's here in Sacramento or out of the city. But as long as I hold SacAnime closely in my heart I will continue to come here and either press or staff for the one convention that I truely love especially with the fact that I saw through my promise and reached the goal of attending a SacAnime at the convention center.

I leave you with a Facebook post that I made on Day Three, and it sums up everything that I've said here.

Thank you SacAnime. Thank you.

Matthew Miranda
Founder & Editor-in-Chief, California Conventions Blog

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