*Day 23* I'm blogging everyday till VidCon! What is VidCon? Check it out at www.VidCon2010.com
This blog is a response to 3 people all at once. My friend Blake asked me to tell the story of how I met/found the people that I am going to see at VidCon and why is the whole trip to VidCon worth it to me. Also, in the past few days my friend Mary Kate posted a vlog (watch it here) discussing this same topic and my friend Helen posted a blog in response to Mary Kate's video. (Helen's blog) Mary Kate, Helen, and I all met eachother in person for the first time last year at the Northwest Youtube Gathering in Portland, Oregon, so check out their posts if you want, their stories kind of tie into mine.
To tell the story of how I met/found the people that I will be seeing at VidCon, we have to go back to the summer of 2008. That was the summer I met Bill Martin, you might know him as Dr. Noise, but when I met him, I only knew him as Bill Martin: the lead singer of Hang 'Em High. I was a fan of his band and would go to nearly all of their shows. I always went alone because I didn't have any friends at the time. (2008 was a bad year for me and I had a falling out with all of my friends in February of that year.) Anyway, being alone wasn't so bad because Bill and his bandmates were always really friendly to me. Whenever I would go to their shows they would hang out with me and we became friends.
In October of 2008, John Green was on a book tour for Paper Towns. Bill had recently just finished "The Tetris Piece" video and was planning to go to see John Green in Santa Monica, CA with his bandmates, but none of his bandmates were able to go. Three days before the Santa Monica event, Bill asked me if I would go with him to a "gathering". At first, I couldn't go either (I was starting a second job that day), but I took a chance and asked my boss if I could possibly start at a later day and he said sure. So, the day before going to California Bill explained to me about the vlogbrothers, I didn't have much time to watch their videos, so I found a playlist of the "top 20 vlogbrothers videos". I watched those and that was all the knowledge I had of the vlogbrothers or of nerdfighteria when I went to meet John Green for the first time.
Anyway, I am really really glad that Bill took me with him that day. We met a lot of awesome people that day, at least some of them are still my friends today; Amber (theamberyone), Karissa (imgonnabeatree), Chris (ckwright), Gen (justGen), and Elayna (akalaynee) (and three of those are Classy Ladies! More about Classy Ladies in a bit.)
Me, Bill and Karissa! Candid photo taken by Elayna at the Paper Towns book signing
I think I sort of started watching the vlogbrothers regularly after that, but I still didn't really get into the whole youtube community until later. In March of 2009 Monica (shortMonica) from the shortsisters756 came out west. She, Bill and Todd (Toddly00) hosted a mini youtube/nerdfighter gathering at Huntington Beach. That was the day I really got to know Chris (ckwright), Gen (justGen) and Elayna (akalaynee) better and we met some new friends too; Amy (amyhirschman), Najela, Amanda, and Lauren are the ones I remember most. I finally joined Twitter after the March gathering and that's when I started subscribing to other nerdfighters on youtube.
the Huntington beach gathering
The last major event I have to talk about is the Northwest Youtube Gathering that was in June of last year. Bill had decided to go, but he wanted to drive there and he wanted a few people to go with him to help pay for gas. I said I would go. Bill's roommate, Andy, was supposed to go with us, and Bill's girlfriend was comeing too. As the time got closer though, Andy couldn't or didn't want to go and so Chris (ckwright) offered to join the ride at the last minute. Honestly, I really didn't know what to expect from this gathering at all. I didn't really know who was going to be there, I was just excited to be traveling with my friends. (I kind of love road trips).
Anyway, when we got there, we met up with all of the people from vlogtag [Helen (helenzebcharles), James (aslanenlisted), Bobby (themefund), Adam (adamthealien), Leslie (foundhergrail), and Mary Kate (timelord_mk)] plus a few other lovely people, a couple of whom I'd already met, like: Amber (theamberyone), Karissa (imgonnabeatree) and Trevor, and Molly (molly23). Collectively, these are the "classy ladies". These are the people that Bill, Sammi, Chris and I stayed with while we were in Portland and this is the group of people that I would consider to be my closest friends. These are the people that I am most excited to see again at VidCon. I have seen Molly, Chris and Amber many times since the NWYTG, and Adam came to visit me and Bill in Las Vegas last October, but the rest I have not seen since that weekend in Portland. This is why I am so excited for VidCon. (Not to mention, Bill has since moved away from Las Vegas and I haven't seen him in 4 months.)
the classy ladies at NWYTG 2009
There are so many other people that I met at the NWYTG and at subsequent events and even just online that I am excited to see at VidCon. Going to VidCon is not only worth it, it is absolutely important to me to go because of all of the people who will be there. To me, youtube and nerdfighteria is not a community of strangers, it is a community of friends and friends I haven't met yet. These gatherings are where I grow and strengthen my friendships and make new ones.
Hank Green's impromtu nerdfighter gathering in Las Vegas, NV - November 1, 2009
Hank Green's "This Machine Pwns Noobs" tour. Los Angelas, Ca -November 14, 2009
Nerdfighters at the Los Angelas Times Festival of Books/ Will Grayson, Will Grayson book tour with John Green and David Levithan. Los Angelas, CA - April 25, 2010
*Only 6 blogs left till VidCon! If you have any topics you want me to discuss or questions you want me to answer, leave a comment. Goodbye till tomorrow. :-)