ConnectiCon, Part 2
I spoke at length on Tuesday about how much ConnectiCon means to me. Today I’m going to speak about the event I host at ConnectiCon which has arguably become the main event of the weekend: THE DEATH MATCH.
Its proper name is the Cosplay Death Match, but that doesn’t sound as metal.
Years ago I was asked to host ConnectiCon’s Cosplay Chess Match as a last-minute replacement. I agreed, thinking it would be a one-time thing. I had a lot of fun and the crowd really seemed to like me. So they asked me to come back and do it again the next year. And the next year. And the next. It turns out I’m pretty good at keeping a crowd lively and entertained!
One year, after the Chess Match had completed, we had some leftover participants who didn’t get to compete in our nerdy human chess game and we had some time to kill. So, on the fly, I came up with the idea to put the leftover participants side-by-side and let the crowd choose who should win a fight between them by cheering as loud as they could for their favored cosplayer. It was an impromptu arrangement that was a thunderous “epilogue” to the Chess Match. It gave me an idea. ConnectiCon should have an entire event of just that. ConnectiCon’s convention chairman agreed to let me try out my idea.
THE DEATH MATCH was a tremendous success. Year after year the crowd grew and grew until it was moved into the “main event” spot of Saturday night’s convention programming.
I love hosting The Death Match. I get to work with amazing cosplayers and play with a lively, enthusiastic crowd. There’s something a little different about it every year, and that’s the kind of magic only live performance can cast. Will the crowd cheer for the best costume? Will they cheer for the cosplayer who’s most in-character? Will it be a combination of both? Will they boo or cheer my Dad jokes? I cannot even begin to anticipate what any given year will be like, and that thrills me. I make no plans going in to The Death Match. I leave myself open to the experience and go with the flow as much as possible, but it’s also my responsibility to keep the show on-track and guide it where it needs to go.
I can claim credit for the idea of The Death Match, but I cannot claim ownership of it. It’s not “my” show. The Death Match is the relationship between me, the participants, the crowd, and the crew. It’s an almost perfect collaboration that would be ruined if any one of those aspects tried to “take over.” The Death Match is a rare experience and if you can make it to ConnectiCon, I highly recommend sticking around for the main event of the weekend.