Do I really want to do this again?
Back when I was younger, I worked for Creation Conventions for a couple of years or so doing Trek conventions. Now, the pace of conventions for Creation (used to be) was you did at least one convention a month, depending on the location and distance from where you lived. I would crawl over to Monterey or as far north as Sacramento to work for two days and then go home. It was pretty grueling considering the turnout and after two years, despite the perqs, I quit. It was getting to be too much for me.
Fast forward to 2000, when I happened upon a man named Steven Peterson, who was the convention chairman for Fanime. Now, I had intended to simply offer some money to an event I wanted to sponsor. It turned into a job interview for the promotions and publications division. Despite the problems I had with the convention’s board, I accomplished everything I set out to do for Fanime, and then when Steven resigned, I did, too. Why? Because Steven was quite literally the only person I respected enough to run the convention. The current leadership is… half-lacking. I say this because they’ve gone with co-chairs, and one of them is awesome, while the other is the opposite. I heard they had a successful year last year, and of course, I wish them all the very best success and congratulated the awesome co-chair online when I saw them there.
The Japantown Anime Faire was an amazing success. Despite all the naysayers, we scored more attendees in our first year than any other convention. I realize the fan base has grown significantly since, but let’s give credit where credit was due. Thanks in whole to a tremendous staff and their support, I’m sure JTAF will continue on into the next year just as successful. I was happy to be a part of that and lend a small hand in getting it off the ground. However… I’m having some serious doubts as to whether or not I want to do it again next year. In the afterglow of the convention, I was on board, but as I’m going to school and trying to figure out what’s important to me, I’m finding that I want to concentrate on school as much as possible and get this thing done. Meanwhile, time’s a wasting for next year’s convention and I’m wondering if I have to sacrifice one or the other in order to get my life goal nailed down first. Everytime I think there’s going to be time enough for everything, I turn around and the time’s gone. That’s probably just a result of poor time management, but I’m not entirely certain that’s the case. It might just be because the first time around, I had less than two moinths to put it all together. And I won’t put on any false modesty here, I was the one walking the streets of San Francisco, taking meetings, doing lunches, gladhanding people, and making the connections to make the convention happen. Jon, Adrian, and Ray aside, there was only one day where I recall us all being active in Jtown at the same time. I honestly wonder what would have happened to JTAF had I not stepped up… but since the result was not disaster, I just shake my head and thank Trillian for it’s wackiness.
Right now, I feelt a sense of major fatigue. I have little energy to do anything for anyone, let alone think about a convention. Which is why I question my committment to JTAF at this time. Maybe this will pass and next week I’ll be a lot better and get through my little deal here and be a lot more energetic about the whole thing. Maybe also it’s the lack of communication I’ve had with Ray or anyone from con staff to keep me motivated. I’ve noticed that the motivation of a person is directly tied into the exposure with leadership. During Fanime, I had my little spells of being unmotivated, which went away whenever Steven would drop in and jazz me up big time. Then I felt like I could take on the world and kick some ass. But I could not have done that without Steven, and that’s what is the mark of an exceptional leader, to me. He led by example, but he could also rile up a crowd and get them moving.
Being at the level I’m at, I tend to try and think and rethink how I did this year. I often wonder if I went too far or if I didn’t push hard enough. Maintaining a certain balance between hands-on and hands-off is one of the more difficult parts of being in a leadership role. There are those who sit by the sidelines and mutter about being able to do better… at times I was one of those people. Now, I had a chance to put my money where my mouth was, and I’m wondering if I came up aces or if I fell flat on my face.