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The Wandering Minstrels of C4} ?> “To love and serve the nerd and geek community.” That was our small group’s mantra and with Central Canada Comic-Con (C4) less than half a year out, we were frantically brainstorming service ideas. We settled on a plan that used many of the talents present in our small group and formed the team who would eventually be called “The Wandering Minstrels.”
The idea came to me when my wife and I remembered attending one of the coveted pre-screenings of Serenity back in 2005. Full disclosure: we arrive at the movies remarkably early to ensure that we get the primest of seats. So there we are, fifth row from the top, dead centre, and ready to witness what we believed would be cinematic gold.
Even though we were surrounded by other Firefly flans, we felt alone. Sure, there was plenty of conversation happening around us, but it was all contained within small clusters of people. Perhaps it was out of boredom or from being punch-drunk on the anticipation of space cowboy drama, but after a quick whisper, my wife and I broke out into song.
“Jayne.. the man they call JAAAYNNNNNNE!”
What unfolded was truly a sight to behold (or something to earhold – is that a thing? Spell-check says no). The entire theatre joined us, erupting into song for our favourite loveable, untrained ape. The results were even more remarkable. Exhorbitantly priced snacks were being shared from the top row to the bottom, compliments of fandom t-shirts and cosplay were thrown from one side of the theatre to the other, and these former strangers suddenly found genuine community.
I cannot explain the science/psychology/sociology behind the response, but it got us thinking that we could attempt to recreate the same experience for Comic Con 2014. Thus began the preparation. For three months prior to C4, we hired a choir director, built a set a list of 28 songs, and rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed.
We had no idea how well this idea of “The Wandering Minstrels” would land, but the responses at C4 ended up being nothing short of amazing. From Dean O’Gorman (Fili from The Hobbit) insisting on an encore and singing with us to Ron Rubin (Artemis from Sailor Moon) requesting we attend his panel and sing to the Sailor Moon fans in attendance, it was so much fun.
But the best parts had nothing to do with celebrity endorsements. My favourite parts of the day were when someone was brave enough to request a song from us, or even more brave, to come up and sing with us.
Here are some of the highlights of the weekend, filmed by our friends at Refuge 31 Films. Their footage is set to be used for an upcoming documentary (which Geekdom House is in) called The Fantasy Makers. Our mission: to love and serve. We take this one as a win.