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10 Things To Do At #FarpointCon2020 – First Visit Edition

This is the fourth in a series of posts covering different things to do at #FarpointCon2020 for various attendee groups. If this is your first time attending Farpoint Convention, welcome! We’re glad you’re here and want you to enjoy yourself this weekend. Here are some suggestions for you on things to do during the convention. Places and times from there activities will be found on our convention schedule.

  1. Attend the Opening Ceremony on Friday evening. It starts with a Cocktail Party at 7:00 and there will be cash bars for drinks and food. The Food Bar wristband must be purchased before the program starts at our Registration desk. At 8:00, our hosts will introduce the 2020 Volker/McChesney Award for Service to Fandom winner, leading to a short live auction for our charities and ending with a performance by cabaret performer D’Manda Martini. Many of our guests and attendees will be there and it is a great chance to relax and make new friends.
  2. Attend the Saturday evening Masquerade Costume Contest, or better yet join in as a contestant! Entrants of all ages and costuming experience levels are welcome.
  3. Check out the schedule of panels on favorite movies and television shows and attend the panel focusing on your favorite.
  4. Attend the talk on NASA’s Artemis program to learn the latest plans for USA’s return to the Moon.
  5. Attend talks on Saturday or Sunday (or both) by our celebrity guests Penny Johnson Jerald, Anthony Montgomery and Mary Chieffo and visit them at their signing table for autographs.
  6. Grab a snack in our Marty’s Place Con Suite.
  7. Dance until you drop at our Ten Forward Party Saturday evening.
  8. Play a game or make a craft in Hal’s Place Gaming Oasis.
  9. Enjoy karaoke with the Pack Ratz on Friday evening.
  10. Visit the Art Show and Silent Auction, where you can pick up an original work or find that missing piece for your collection.

This is just a small selection of the many things to do at Farpoint Convention! Drop us a line after the convention and let us know what your favorite was. Maybe even suggest an activity for next year! Details on submitting a Programming Application for #FarpointCon2021 will be published in spring 2020.

Farpoint Convention 2020 Reminders!

Here is a list of upcoming deadlines to help you prepare for #FarpointCon2020, February 21-23, 2020 at the Delta Hotel by Marriott, Hunt Valley, MD.

1. The deadline for hotel room reservations at the convention rate is January 10, 2020. You can book your hotel rooms through our dedicated link.

2. The deadline for pre-registration for the convention is January 31, 2020. You can register online here.

3. We will once again be offering our member perk of 1 complimentary signature from the celebrity guest of your choice – 1 signature on Saturday and 1 on Sunday, meaning 3-day weekend members will receive 2 signatures over the weekend. Our author guests will be available at the Book Fair Friday evening, as well as at various times throughout the weekend with our performer guests at tables in the signing area. It’s a good idea to make a list of items you wish to bring with you to be signed. Right now, guests are taking cash only. We will update this information and the pricing very soon on our website.

4. Questions and suggestions are welcome and can be sent to us online via email or through our social media channels on Facebook (Farpoint Convention), Twitter (@FarpointCon), and Instagram (@FarpointCon). You can use our Farpoint27 Facebook event page to ask about particular events and/or to look for ride and room shares. We hope to see all of you this February. Thank you for your support!

Select a movie for #Farpointcon2020 Friday!

Here’s your chance to contribute to our #FarpointCon2020 #Friday programming! Our friends at Castwave Studios will be bringing us Alternative Commentary 2K20 and they want you to help choose the classic film for their live riff. Make your choice by December 31, 2019 and mark your convention schedule to make sure you’re in the audience! Click on this link to find the poll on our Facebook Events Farpoint Con 27 page!

Mary Chieffo from Star Trek Discovery at #FarpointCon2020!

Please join us in welcoming Mary Chieffo, the actor behind Star Trek Discovery‘s Klingon High Chancellor L’Rell, to our Farpoint family of legendary guests! Mary will be joining already announced guests Penny Johnson Jerald from The Orville and Anthony Montgomery from Star Trek Enterprise for all 3 days of the convention.

Mary received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Juilliard in 2015, winning the Elizabeth Smith Voice and Speech Prize and the Saint-Denis Prize for “Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Drama.” In her fourth year, she took on the title character in Erica Schmidt’s all-female Macbeth, reprising the role with Schmidt in 2016 for Seattle Repertory Theatre’s The Other Season. After portraying Iago in October 2015 for Harlem Shakespeare Festival’s all-female Othello, Mary participated in workshops of Lover, Beloved: An Evening With Carson McCullers—a one-woman show written by Grammy Award-winning Suzanne Vega and Tony- and Grammy Award-winning Duncan Sheik. She performed the piece at the Sherry Theatre in LA and at the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX in March and August of 2016. Mary stars as Jane in the upcoming webseries Digital Detox—a futuristic rendering of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story The Yellow Wallpaper—opposite her fellow Juilliard classmate Justin Lawrence Barnes, directed by Amber Benson (Buffy The Vampire Slayer). Mary hopes to use her newfound Star Trek platform to bring about greater intersectional gender equality in front and behind the scenes in the entertainment industry and beyond. To that end, Mary is currently producing, writing, and starring in a feminist, gender, and color conscious Shakespeare adaptation alongside Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions. She is thrilled to reveal more details about the project soon!

Welcome Anthony Montgomery from Star Trek Enterprise!

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Anthony Montgomery received a B.S. in Performance Theatre and Drama from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Early in his career, he guest starred on such shows as J.A.G., Charmed, Frasier and the Showtime original series, Resurrection Blvd. Anthony got his “big break” with a recurring role as George Auston on the WB television series, Popular.

In 2001, Anthony landed a series-regular role on Star Trek: Enterprise as Ensign Travis Mayweather. For the next four years, Anthony piloted Enterprise’s NXO1 into many adventures and into the hearts of loyal Star Trek fans around the world. Star Trek: Enterprise ended in 2005.

After taking time away from entertainment to focus on family, Anthony returned to acting in 2007, landing the lead role of Jay Brooks in the critically acclaimed independent feature film, I’m Through with White Girls (The Inevitable Undoing of Jay Brooks).  The Romantic Comedy received 10 awards on the film festival circuit, including seven Audience Awards for Best Narrative Feature Film, before being acquired by Image Entertainment for national distribution.

Anthony pursued a different artistic interest and released his debut Hip Hop music album, A.T., in 2008. The album makes Anthony the first actor in the Star Trek franchise to release music in the Hip Hop genre. A.T. was distributed internationally through Universal Music Group, via Anthony’s German-based record label, AGR Television Records. Anthony continues to record and do live performances when his schedule permits.

In 2011, Anthony landed a role on the Daytime Television series, General Hospital, and was placed on contract with the show in 2015 as expert psychiatrist and government profiler Dr. Andre Maddox.

Anthony launched his own sci-fi franchise called Miles Away in April 2013, about a teenage boy who develops a superhuman ability, finds alien battle armor, partners with a shadowy organization to battle evil, allies with alien refugees and falls into an interstellar war as he explores his family’s dark past.

Learn more about Anthony Montgomery at his official site.

#FarpointCon2020 Dates Announced!

We are happy to announce that our contract for Farpoint Convention 27 has been signed with the Delta Hotel by Marriott Hunt Valley, MD and #FarpointCon2020 will be held February 21 – 23, 2020!

And for even more good news, our contract with the hotel allows us to offer sleeping room rates at the SAME price as 2018 and 2019 – $125/night before tax! The link to reserve your room will be posted shortly.

Pre-registration for #FarpointCon2020 will open in April 2019 after our budget is approved. We are already looking at potential guests for next year. If you have any thoughts, please send them to us at contact@farpointcon.com.

Make sure to bookmark this website, and follow us on Facebook (Farpoint Convention) and Twitter (@FarpointCon) to receive updates as they are published.

Farpoint Convention 2019 Celebrity Guests Announced!

If you were at ShoreLeave this year or on social media shortly thereafter you were among the first to get the word on our newly announced guests, who have been invited to Farpoint 2019 in response to members’ requests for guests and content from the fantastic worlds of animation.

Legendary voice actors Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen will be joining us at Farpoint 2019 this February! Maurice and Rob are known for their team up as “Pinky and The Brain” in the beloved series of the same name. Maurice is also known for his work as “Yosemite Sam” in the new LOONEY TUNES series, “Aiwei” in THE LEGEND OF KORRA, “Doctor Doom” in ULTIMATE SPIDER MAN and as “Calculon” and “Morbo” in FUTURAMA. He has provided multiple supporting voices for THE SIMPSONS, ADVENTURE TIME, RICK AND MORTY and many other classic animated series. Rob is known as “Yakko Warner” in the classic ANIMANIACS (coming in 2019 to Netflix!) and “Donatello” in TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and has worked on series as diverse as SAMURAI JACK, THE POWERPUFF GIRLS, THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS, MILES FROM TOMORROWLAND, and BEN 10 OMNIVERSE. Both Rob and Maurice have spent time as themselves in front of the camera, too. Rob is the creator and host of the popular TALKIN’ TOONS web series where he talks with the most popular actors working in the animation industry today and both he and Maurice were featured in the documentary film I KNOW THAT VOICE, which continued as a series early in 2018 on most streaming services.

Maurice and Rob will join the iconic actor Wallace Shawn (STAR TREK DEEP SPACE NINE, THE PRINCESS BRIDE, TOY STORY, YOUNG SHELDON) in our 2019 celebrity guest lineup. All 3 have been invited to attend our Friday Cocktail Party/Opening Ceremony and will be meeting and signing for attendees on Saturday and Sunday. Convention members receive 1 complimentary signature from the celebrity guest of their choice on both Saturday and Sunday (weekend convention members thus receive 2 signatures total) on either the convention program book or an item the member brings from their personal collection to be signed.

Follow the links on our website Guests page to learn more about each of our celebrity guests. The guest lists for each program track are listed on the track’s page under Programming. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone this February!

Just Announced! – Wallace Shawn

Wallace Shawn, “Vizzini” from Princess Bride

We are thrilled to announce our first celebrity guest for 2019 – Wallace Shawn! You know his face and his voice from his diverse movie and television roles. Wallace Shawn is known as “Vizzini” from The Princess Bride, “Rex” in Disney’s Toy Story series, “Zek” in Star Trek Deep Space Nine,  “Mr. Hall” in Clueless, and his unmistakable voice can be heard in “Teacher’s Pet”, “The Incredibles”, “Family Guy”, “Kung Fu Panda” and many more roles. Wallace will be appearing at Farpoint all 3 days, attending the Friday evening cocktail party and opening ceremonies and speaking and signing on Saturday and Sunday. The links to purchase your membership tickets and reserve hotel rooms can be found here on our website. Join us for a rare opportunity to meet this movie and television legend!

Thank You For a Great 25th Year!

Our Silver Anniversary Was Solid Sterling!

Thank you to everyone who attending #FarpointCon2018.  We have received wonderful feedback from our attendees and guests with appreciation for the fun they had at our 25th anniversary convention and great ideas for the future.

We’re proud to share with you all that Matt Frewer, Nana Visitor, Nora McLelland and Timothy Zahn all had a fantastic time at Farpoint and would love to come back and join us again. The appreciation of our guests and their desire to return stems just as much from our work as organizers as it does from you, our attendees! Farpoint has a solid reputation in the convention community as a place where guests can meet and spend quality time with interested (and interesting) fans and where attendees can talk with our guests in a relaxed, unhurried atmosphere. Each of you helps make Farpoint the great weekend it is through your interest, generosity and participation and we couldn’t do it without you!

The Delta Hotel by Marriott was a wonderful home for us in 2018 and we will be returning there for our 26th Farpoint on February 8-10, 2019. Good news for us all – the 2018 room rate of $125.00 per night will stay in place for 2019! The room block will be available for reservations in the spring. Most of you are aware that the Delta Hotel by Marriott Hunt Valley went under auction this week. As far as we know it will continue to operate under the same branding with the same staff, although perhaps under different ownership. We will keep you informed as we learn anything new.

Please stay in touch with us here through our website (http://www.farpointcon.com/contact-us/), on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FarpointCon/) and on Twitter (@FarpointCon). We are interested in your ideas for our programs and guests. Thank you again for a great #FarpointCon2018 – here’s to #FarpointCon2019.

A Year in #ConLife, Part 2

Sharon, your friendly neighborhood convention co-chair here, with the next part in our blog series talking about our year in #ConLife as we get ready for #FarpointCon2018!

Our last entry covered venue selection. Now that we have our venue, the Delta Hotel by Marriott in Hunt Valley, MD (formerly the Hunt Valley Inn) it is time for guest selection. Farpoint is very lucky to have a wonderful group of supportive industry professionals – science fiction and comic writers, scientists and performers – who attend as guests on a regular basis. It is important, however, that we never assume that any of these in demand pros are coming. They are among our first outgoing invitations for the next year, informing them of the dates and venue with our hope that they will be able to join us again.

Along with our beloved “regulars” we begin looking at potential celebrity guests. Selecting a celebrity guest is quite complicated. It starts with looking at the budget. The appearance fee for a celebrity guest is paid in one of two ways: the convention pays the entire fee upfront allowing the guest to provide signatures and photo ops at no charge or the convention guarantees the guest will make an agreed upon amount from attendees paying for the guest’s signature and/or photo op. In the latter case, the convention agrees to pay the guest the difference if the sales do not reach the guaranteed amount. As such, it is important for the convention to understand their level of attendance and the potential for each guest to make their minimum sales guarantee and then ensure the convention has sufficient funds to cover any guarantee shortfalls in a worst case scenario. The convention will also be paying for the celebrity’s airfare, hotel and meals during the weekend, and possibly the same for an assistant sent along by the booking agent. Another potential expense is the cost of the photos the guest will be signing. Who pays for the photos is an item to be settled when negotiating the guest’s appearance agreement. Travel costs are part of the upfront expenses a convention needs to cover, along with supplies, equipment rentals, printing of programs, schedules and signs, and deposits to the venue. A convention must make sure that they have sufficient funds to pay for all of these costs.

Once we determine the amount of money we have available to pay the expenses for celebrity guests, we look at the input we have received from our attendees on who they would like to see and consider which TV shows, movies, comics and books people are interested in. This gives us a list of names for potential guests. We contact agents we know work with the potentials on our list to find out the appearance requirements for each. Our agent friends also provide suggestions on potential guests with their requirements.

The fee requirements data allows us to focus on potential guests who match the best with Farpoint. We then select guests to make offers to and submit the offers through the agent. Our normal process is to submit to one guest at a time as we do not want to over commit our available funds. Whether the guest accepts our offer is completely out of our control. That decision comes down to the guest’s anticipated availability for a convention appearance in February and their personal desire to do an appearance. Some celebrities also do not wish to book an appearance more than 3-4 months out to limit the possibility of their having to cancel because of a change in their work schedule. When all of the factors come together, we are able to sign an agreement and announce the guest’s appearance. We will be announcing our first #FarpointCon2018 guests at Balticon 51, being held on Memorial Day weekend (May 26-29, 2017) at the Renaissance Hotel Inner Harbor in Baltimore, MD.

Our table at Balticon 51 is the latest in our series of publicity displays at conventions throughout the year. Normally, Farpoint will do a table trade with other conventions where they provide us a table to set up our display at to meet people and we provide them the same at the next Farpoint. In a few instances, we will purchase a table in the convention’s dealer area as the organization does not offer table trades yet their event is in a geographic area and/or date range we wish to hit. We use our appearances at other conventions to hand out our latest Farpoint flier and introduce attendees to another opportunity for them to gather with fellow fans.

Between Part 1 of our #ConLife series and Part 2 (this entry), Farpoint has attended CreatorCon in Silver Spring, MD, FurTheMore in Tysons Corner, VA, and the Anne Arundel Public Library Comic Con in Odenton, MD. We highly recommend all 3 of these events as places fans can meet and have fun together. CreatorCon (http://www.creatorconfestival.com/) focuses on original art and technology to encourage fans to create on their own and to network with other creators. FurTheMore (http://www.furthemore.org/) initially began as an event focusing exclusively on the Furry community but over the years has expanded to cover costuming, cosplay, and pop culture, and welcomes furries and non-furries alike for a weekend of workshops, discussions and fun. The Anne Arundel Public Library Comic Con (http://www.aacpl.net/comic-con) is a free event spotlighting comics, literature and superheroes. Many public library systems are offering these fun one day community events and we encourage everyone to attend their local library event as it occurs.

Coming up on our publicity tour is:

AwesomeCon  June 16-18, 2017 in Washington DC,
ShoreLeave July 7-9, 2017 in Hunt Valley MD
StarQuest  in Frederick MD.
If you are attending any of these events, please stop by the Farpoint Convention display to say hello.

Our next #ConLife blog will continue to talk about more experiences from our publicity tour and follow our programming team as they begin to build the schedule for #FarpointCon2018. Thank you for supporting Farpoint Convention and please share our online presence with your friends.