It’s Friday noon and the vendor hall is a sea of bodies. It’s hard to know where to look when there are so many shiny things to catch your eye. I’m immediately drawn in by a row of beautifully hand drawn illustrations, until I see the exquisitely embroidered clothing and oh wait a pink sword! While I manage to escape an hour later with my wallet intact it’s a near thing. I know I’ll be back on Monday when the crowd is lighter and my willpower is low. I’ll tell myself I need a token to keep the memories alive after I’m forced to return to the reality of alarm clocks and deadlines.

Later in the day I’m lucky enough to score a good seat at the Farscape panel. Several members of the cast are there and they are delightful. There are moments of both laughter and tears as they share their memories and mourn lost friends. All of them count working on Farscape as one of the most significant events of their lives. The production’s relative isolation in Australia gave them the freedom to experiment and made working on the stories an exceptionally collaborative experience. They acknowledge the importance of taking risks in creating something great and encourage us all to “fail gloriously”. I leave the panel with a renewed resolve to devote more time to my own creative process.

Meeting up for dinner with friends proves to be a bit of a trial due to long wait times and mistakes made in orders. This is par for the course at Dragon Con as the hard-working wait and kitchen staffs are stretched to their maximum. A sense of patience and humor is all that’s needed though, and we have a great time relaxing and sharing the stories of our day. Dragon Con is so vast and offers so much that our experiences are wildly diverse and we gleefully catch up and share what we’ve learned.

Friday ends at the “Bean and Bear” variety show. “Bean and Bear” are reliably goofy and warm-hearted and the audience happily plays along. The crowd at the Marriott is loud and cheerful, and the cosplay is spectacular. My favorite is deceptively simple but hilarious, especially if you’re an artist / crafter. It’s a giant jar of walking Mod Podge and I instantly crack up and have to get a picture. It’s hard to believe there is still so much more to see and do after such a full day. The weekend is coming and I can’t wait to be a part of it.