Convention life hack: Less is more


courtesy of Olivia King

Laurel Kraus, Managing Editor

I recently attended the 2018 Wizard World Comic Convention in Chicago, my fifth comic con in total, and was once again hit with an interesting revelation that may serve as financial relief for us broke college students—meeting lesser known actors can be a far more rewarding experience than any interaction with big ticket names.

I have met a select few of who I would consider big ticket names, and have come away feeling just a bit cheated each and every time. For the most part, the main reason for this really has nothing to do with the celebrities themselves, but more to do with the fact that their level of stardom draws such a plethora of fans, they simply don’t have the time to be personable.

The most notable of these would be Chris Hemsworth, perhaps best known for his role as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. My best friend and I split quite a hefty fee to take a photo with the A-list star in 2016, only to receive barely an acknowledgement of our existence. We were moved along so fast, in fact, that I almost didn’t even make it in the photo because I was still walking to stand next to him when the photographer went to take it.

Ian Somerhalder in turn, known as the sex-symbol Damon Salvatore from “The Vampire Diaries,” practically put the audience at his speaker panel to sleep with his monotone voice and constant insistence that his new vampire show was actually about saving the environment, and then made everyone fear walking out or yawning after he called out people who did just that.

An honorable mention is Diana Gabaldon, author of “The Outlander” series, who was in such a rush due to the immense number of fans that she was not even allowed to address her autographs to anyone.

By contrast, actors with far less fans in line have the time to goof off, offer small favors and let you genuinely get to know them for a few minutes.

One such actor is Jon Heder, “Napoleon Dynamite,” who talked with my friend and I for a good five minutes before coming around the booth and fanning my friend, who was hyperventilating, with his hands and proceeding to take an adorable photo.

Another, Andrew McCarthy, known for “Pretty in Pink” and other ’80s classics, actually filmed a video of himself saying hello to my mother for free.

Michael Rooker, who is heading toward being a far more recognizable name due to his roles in “The Walking Dead” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” loves when fans simply stop by his booth for a casual conversation and hug.

Obviously there can be the occasional lesser known actor who is simply a jerk, but overall, I’ve found that the most enjoyable convention experiences are actually the ones that cost less.

In all fairness, if it came to paying my right leg to meet Tom Hiddleston for 10.8 seconds, I might choose to experience the innovation of today’s prosthetics, but all in all, for broke college students, less really can be more.