Steampunk Road Trip – Gaslight Gathering

 

As long as we are still in California, let’s a make another quick stop just down the road, and talk with Debbie Hanon about the Gaslight Gathering: Carnival convention.

Hi Debbie! What is it that you do on the convention team?

Debbie: I am the Co-chair. My job is to book entertainment and run the con.

Where will everyone be gathering in the gaslight this year?

Debbie: It will be at the Handlery Hotel San Diego CA

The convention has been around quite some time, as conventions go. How did it get started and how has it changed over time?

Debbie: It was started 8 years ago by CAASM. They are the governing body over the con. With each chair there has been a different focus. Ours is Maker’s.

With a Maker focus this year, what will likely be in the convention programming?

Debbie: We will have lots of items that can be made with instructions. We want to have an immersive events so there will be performers all the time.

Performers are often quite memorable. Any people of note?

Debbie: Doc Phineas is always our host. Last year we had an Abraham Lincoln lookalike come and do the Gettysburg address.

When a steampunk attends for the first time this year, what can they expect to find?

Debbie: Lots of things to experience and learn.

Thanks Debbie!

If you are planning a road trip to San Diego, follow the convention on their Facebook page.

Until our next stop, follow the whole steampunk road trip on the Master Link List

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Published in: on February 21, 2018 at 8:30 pm  Comments (1)  

Steampunk Road Trip – Clockwork Alchemy

 

We’re back in sunny California for our next stop, chatting with Charlie, who is the head of Marketing for the Clockwork Alchemy convention.

 

Hello Charlie! When is the convention being held this year?

Charlie : This year it will be held March 23-25, 2018,at the Hyatt Regency SFO in Burlingame, California, USA.

 

I’ve been following the convention for years and sadly have never been able to attend when it was during the Memorial Day weekend. How did the convention get started?

Charlie : Clockwork Alchemy was started by the Bay Area steampunk community to fill a void for steampunk conventions. During the exploration phase, we found unexpected support to make it happen. The local community supplied talent, staff, and creativity, and the group ARG and its event FanimeCon provided resources and a location to hold the event. After six years with FanimeCon, Clockwork Alchemy outgrew our hotel, so we decided it was time to split off with a new date and location.

 

Growing larger is a good problem to have. What are some items in your programming schedule?

Charlie : We have many live shows and concerts throughout the weekend such as rock bands, belly dancing, comedy, and arts performances. We have workshops for crafting, making, and writing, as well as educational sessions on all things related to steampunk and the 19th  century. We have a gaming area, a steampunk tearoom, a war room where guests can sample lessons of martial arts from around the world, and classic steampunk activities such as teapot racing, and waltz classes.

Such a great variety! There’s something for everyone. What have been some notable people or activities over the years?

Charlie : We’ve had wonderful concert guests such as Steam Powered Giraffe and Professor Elemental, author Harry Turtledove as a Guest of Honor, and at least two proposals during the con’s big dance night. We’ve hosted airship racing and makers such as Jake Von Slatt, JW Kinsey, Tony Hicks, and Scott Brodeen. We’ve had a musical that was a collaboration between several of the bands who had previously played Clockwork Alchemy, and each year we have a full-blown fashion show. In our War Room, we had two famous naginata instructors, affectionately called “The Naginata Sisters” teach classes that caused a bit of a stir.

 

With that lineup in previous conventions, it sounds like there’s still much more to come. What can a first time attendee expect when they arrive?

Charlie : An open and loving crowd that would welcome them with earnest. I live 3000 miles from the con in Massachusetts, and my first year I got seven invites from con members saying I shouldn’t wait a year to see them again and that I should come back to California soon! I’ve been invited to parties and wedding celebrations as if I were just a town over. It’s a wonderful group.

 

Now, THAT is a road trip, and some serious commitment! For those in the community interested in attending, what are all the ways to follow convention news?

Charlie : News and announcements are published on  clockworkalchemy.com. We also have a facebok page, a facebook group where fans stay in touch with each other, Instagram, twitter, and google+.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClockworkAlchemy/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Clockworkalchemy/
Twitter: @ClockwrkAlchemy
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/clockworkalchemy/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFfOLld0HtNAl1QOcyMJT-A

 

Thanks, Charlie! The convention weekend is coming up fast, so everyone better make plans quickly!

Until our next stop, follow the whole steampunk road trip on the Master Link List

Published in: on February 20, 2018 at 9:06 pm  Comments (1)  

Steampunk Road Trip – Airship Ashanti

 

Wheels down, everyone, we’re landing in Cincinnati, Ohio to meet up with local social group, Her Royal Airship Ashanti.

Let’s meet Ofeibea Loveless, Airship Ashanti’s trusty mechanic.

 

Hello, Ofeibea! It’s wonderful to chat with you again! Your group and events are based here in Cincinnati, how did the group get started?

Ofeibea Loveless : In summer 2014, I ran into Mandisa Njeri (HRA Ashanti’s captain) and Quentin Osei Rosethorne (former HRA Ashanti Sergeant at Arms) just as they were putting the ship together. Part of the ship’s backstory is based on the Ashanti Empire (present-day Ghana, West Africa), and the story of Yaa Asantewaa and her fight for the Golden Stool. My character is a descendant of one of the Mino, the all-female military regiment of the Kingdom of Dahomey (present-day Benin, West Africa), which was pretty close to the seat of the Ashanti Empire so our stories fit. We hit it off and I joined the crew a few months later. Our core group is rounded out by our doctor (Mirabella von Dueling), baker/bard (Ginger von Fiddler) and master of spirits (Yasuke Wolverhampton).  Over the past three and a half years, we’ve grown closer as a crew and support each other through things happening inside and outside of the steampunk community.

 

Behold the Power of Steampunk! It’s really great to hear how all of you came together as collegues and as friends. What are some of the events and activities your group holds?

Ofeibea Loveless : Aside from multiculturalism in steampunk and hosting fun social events, we focus pretty heavily on philanthropy. We have our annual Fleet of Fleece event in which we make no-sew blankets for kids at the local children’s hospital. We participate in the local NAMI Walk each spring. We’ve also done the Relay for Life of the Soul Walk, which raises cancer awareness in the African-American community, for several years. Around the holidays, we typically do some kind of food and/or clothing drive to help local homeless shelters. And this fall, we’re hosting a jazz tribute concert to the music of Cowboy Bebop to benefit Melodic Connections, a nonprofit that offers music therapy lessons to individuals with special needs in Greater Cincinnati.

 

While I have met several of the Airship’s members at convention over the years, it really is your philanthropic work which stands out the most. What are some other highlights within your group and activities?

Ofeibea Loveless : Over the past three years, we’ve traveled to several conventions, including Motor City Steam Con in Michigan, Teslacon in Wisconsin and DragonCon in Atlanta, spreading the good word of HRA Ashanti. We also love to show coordinate group cosplays…the more participants the better! We’ve done steampunk Steven Universe (which included several of my family members), steampunk Pokemon, cyberpunk Rainbow Brite, dystopian Disney, rockabilly/pinup Naruto and much MUCH more.

 

Facebook has some really awesome pictures of the cosplay activities – all of you are so creative! How would you welcome a new steampunk into your group?

Ofeibea Loveless : Impromptu dance party! lol If there’s music, we’re good for an impromptu dance party.

 

We better break out the dancing shoes and get ready to jump in! For those in the community interested in following, joining, and participating, how would they get in touch with you?

Ofeibea Loveless : Anyone who’s interested in what Airship Ashanti gets up to can join our community page on Facebook (where we discuss local events and share articles that interest us), follow our FB cosplay page (where we post photos of all of the group cosplays we participate in) or visit our website!

 

Thanks so much, Ofeibea!

By the way, I think of you often when I listen to NPR

Travelers, start those dancing lessons!

Until our next stop, follow the whole steampunk road trip on the Master Link List

Published in: on February 19, 2018 at 9:48 pm  Comments (1)