LeakyCon Portland: Programming Reviews

It’s hard to believe that it’s been an entire month since I boarded a plane to Portland, Oregon for LeakyCon 2013.

While I was there, I attended several events, mostly at the main stage, and mostly because I was working during the events. However, despite my busyness, I can share some thoughts about the events that I attended, which I will give along with my full schedule below.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

05:00—06:30 Opening Ceremony

I wrote a bit about the opening ceremonies within my previous article about LeakyCon 2013. Check out the video in that article too!

08:00—11:50 Rock Concert 1

Tonks and the Aurors, Alex Carpenter, Lauren Fairweather, Kirstyn Hippe, and Ministry of Magic played tonight.

Friday, June 28, 2013

10:00—10:20 Not Literally, Literally Live

These girls were literally awesome. Basically they gave a live performance of their YouTube videos. But it still rocked.

11:00—11:50 Featured Actresses

The featured actresses included Jackie Emerson (who played Foxface in The Hunger Games), Scarlett Byrne (who played Pansy Parkinson in the last three Harry Potter movies), and Ellie Darcey-Alden (who played young Lily Evans in the last Harry Potter movie). It was interesting to hear them speak about their roles in their respective movies and what they learned and took away from them.

01:00—01:50 The Joe Moses One Man Showses

Let’s not kid ourselves. Joe Moses has a talent for sketches and especially improvisation. He would do really well on the reboot of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” YouTube’s Jon Cozart joined him, as well as the Warbler guys from Glee, Jackie Emerson, plus others from StarKid.

03:00—04:50 The Second Annual LeakyStars Competition

Among five other finalists, Sarah Wood won the second annual LeakyStars competition with her wizard-rock reinterpretation of Anna Kendrick’s “Cups”. Anthony Rapp (who played Mark Cohen in RENT—on Broadway and in the movie) and Pat Brady (who is StarKid’s absolutely incredible manager) were among the judges.

05:00—05:50 The Hogwarts Alumni Event

The Hogwarts (Harry Potter movie) alums at LeakyCon Portland included Scarlett Byrne, Ellie Darcey-Alden, and Devon Murray (Seamus Finnigan). I had the privilege of meeting and speaking with Devon the night before his panel. He is so down to earth, totally approachable, and generally awesome. He actually shared a story during this panel that he also shared to me and my friends the night before regarding how cool he thought it would be if Seamus Finnigan was actually an undercover Slytherin. He is much shorter in real life than I thought he’d be.

08:00—11:50 Rock Concert II

The Doubleclicks, Rae Sterling, Justin Finch-Fletchley and the Sugar Quills, Hank Green, Whomping Willows, and Harry and the Potters played tonight.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

09:00—10:50 Mina Lima: Making Magic Real

This may not be a perfect analogy, but I like to think that MinaLima did for Harry Potter what WETA Workshop did for Lord of the Rings. They made the magic real. Where MinaLima is primarily print design-based and WETA is more weapon design-based, both are credited for beautifully crafting essential props for their respective movies. This panel was two hours long, but it didn’t feel like it was that long. I was thoroughly fascinated by everything they had to share regarding working on the Harry Potter movies. It wasn’t as well attended as I would have liked to see, unfortunately. I definitely encourage you to check out a MinaLima panel at a future LeakyCon!

11:00—11:50 City of Bones Footage and Cassandra Clare Interview

During this panel led by Robin Wasserman and Maureen Johnson, those in attendance were able to see quite a lengthy exclusive clip from the movie. I haven’t read City of Bones, so I couldn’t put it in context, but it seemed as though many fans in the room were very excited to see this particular clip from the movie. It was preceded by a pre-recorded interview of author Cassandra Clare by Maureen Johnson.

01:00—01:50 Buffy the Vampire Alum Panel and Q&A

I’m not a Buffy fan, so I can’t express the tangible excitement in the room to see Tom Lenk and Amber Benson in the flesh. Just trust me, these guys were excited. Not often enough to we hear from actors who can speak in complete sentences, much less in the eloquent way that Amber Benson did, and not many could have made the audience laugh as much as Tom Lenk did. Both seemed to be genuinely great people.

03:00—03:50 Guinness World Record Attempt

We attempted to break (and eventually broke) the record for the largest group of people wearing false mustaches. Unfortunately, I don’t have the final number to report, but it certainly was a lot of fun. A lot of work, yes, but still a lot of fun!

04:00—05:50 A Very StarKid Event III

By far, this event drew the longest line to get in. Practically everyone at LeakyCon wanted to see StarKid perform songs from the three A Very Potter musicals. As blasphemous as this may sound, StarKid isn’t really my cup of tea. I think it’s probably only because, since they have such a huge fan base at LeakyCon, their events inherently become somewhat of a logistical nightmare—getting that many people lined up, inside, and eventually seated in an orderly fashion isn’t easy. But that’s the main stage manager in me talking. I felt as though this year’s event went much more smoothly than last year’s, but that’s only because they didn’t perform an entirely new show—only the songs from their previous shows. In the end, all the work is completely worth it. Their performances were practically flawless and just really amazing. All of these guys and girls can really sing. I so wish I sounded (and looked) as good as these guys do!

08:00—11:50 Esther Earl Rocking Charity Ball

I can’t express to you how special this night was to me. I finally had the opportunity to dance to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” with my best friends among the LeakyCon staff from the main stage, where we stayed to take the most epic staff picture ever.


I am the second from the right on the bottom. Founders Melissa Anelli and Stephanie Dornhelm are to the left of me.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

10:00—10:50 The Giant Team StarKid Panel

Unlike the performances the previous day, this was very low-key and unrehearsed. The entire panel was a (really fun and often funny) Q&A with the audience.

11:00—12:50 Apex Screening and Panel

Apex, a project that Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter) and Devin Lytle (from StarKid) are involved with, is an apocalyptic indie film-in-progress about five friends surviving in L.A. as a human evolution-changing virus spreads across the United States. After some severe technical difficulties (hard drive failure), attendees were finally able to see the film in its entirety, minus some effects, plus ask questions afterwards.

02:00—3:50 The Last PotterCast / Portland Closing

The last PotterCast! What a way to end it all! I still remember listening to PotterCast religiously back in college. I had a roommate at the time who was a bit of a sensory overload for me. He would watch TV, listen to his stereo, and play video games on his computer all at the same time. All while I was trying to do homework or study, which I eventually learned was better done in the study lounge in the basement, which I had to descend seven floors to reach. One day, though, I had the bright idea to suggest listening to PotterCast. We would turn everything else off and listen to the podcast together, sometimes pausing to comment on things. It certainly helped my sanity for a while, because it meant a break from everything-all-at-once. Eventually, I moved out after two or three months. At that point, I moved in with Jeff, who attended my first-ever LeakyCon with me, stopping back in the states after traveling the world for months just for the occasion. PotterCast and especially LeakyCon have both changed my life in many ways, though in all ways for the better. It’s sad to see PotterCast come to an end, but Melissa was right—it’s better to end with a bang (which it was) than to let it fizzle out, as PotterCast has been doing the past several months.

While I was in Portland, LeakyCon became a fast home. You don’t realize how short LeakyCon really is until you’re back in the place where you spend the other 360 days of the year—and during those days, you spend all your time wishing you were back “home”. However, I know it’s cliche and I know it’s been said time and time again, but its brevity is what makes it so special… “We’ve got these days of summer to remind us of each other.”