I recently attended Intervention Con for the first time since 2014. (Last year I opted to attend the 60th anniversary of the Enchanted Forest celebration that was held at Clark’s Elioak Farm that was scheduled at the same weekend. I wanted to go because it was both the 60th anniversary and the fact that the last of the attractions were moved from its former location—now known as the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center—to the farm. Even though it was of those “chance of a lifetime” events, it was so hot and humid on that day—which is typical August weather in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area—that I found myself wishing that I had opted for Intervention Con instead because it was held in an air conditioned hotel. I vowed that in the future I would only go to Clark’s Elioak Farm in the spring and fall because the summer is usually too hot and humid to enjoy anything.) This year I really wanted to go because there were not only a few panels that I was interested in attending but there were also some interesting guests who were going to be there as well.
Even though Intervention was being held at the Hilton Hotel in Rockville, Maryland, I ended up commuting from my home to the hotel while bringing my own food and drinks to save money. I found out that the hotel is located near the Twinbrook Metro station so I parked there instead of paying the hotel’s $15 per day fee for using its parking lot. (Yes, this particular hotel actually charges a parking fee.) The first night I had to pay $8.50 because I didn’t ride Metro. (It’s normally around $5 for those who ride the Metro.) It was still cheaper than what the hotel was charging.
As I was walking from the Metro parking garage to the hotel, I noticed this building that’s right next to the parking garage that has these really cool trompe l’oeil paintings on its warehouse doors.
I arrived at the hotel and paid for a weekend pass. I began to relax once I got my badge as I remembered why I love Intervention Con so much. It’s small compared to something like Otakon or Awesome Con but it’s way more laid back and I don’t have to wait in a long line for at least a half-an-hour in order to ensure that I would get a seat for a certain panel. I spent some time just taking a bunch of photographs of the convention and the hotel in general.
The first panel I attended was this one that was given by Jason Cranford Teague on “Children of the (Digital) Revolution.” It was a fun retrospective on how the various technology has changed since the 1970’s, especially with the size of cell phones and computers. I chuckled when he showed a photo of a rotary phone because I grew up with one in my house. (That phone was hooked up to only one line that everyone in the household had to share. There were no such thing as Caller ID or voicemail. There were answering machines but they were so expensive when I was growing up that only businesses had them.)
I attended my first presentation that was given by one of the convention’s celebrity guests. Dwight Schultz (left) talked with Ben Taylor on his days as an actor on shows like The A-Team and the various Star Trek series (The Next Generation, Voyager, and First Contact). It was quite an entertaining talk.
After that presentation ended I had an hour to kill before my next event. I went to the hotel lobby where I sat at this table that actually had plugs and USB ports where guests could charge their phones and other mobile devices. I ate the dinner that I brought with me while I was recharging my phone. I glanced over at a group of people just a few feet away and I recognized one of them. It was René Auberjonois, who appeared in such TV shows as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Boston Legal. He started to wheel his suitcase in my direction so I grabbed my smartphone, zoomed in on him (he was at least 10 feet away from where I was ) and snapped this photo.
After I took that photo like a paparazzi I finished eating my dinner then walked over to the main event for that evening. Thomas Dolby of “She Blinded Me With Science” fame gave a multimedia presentation about his music and technology career on the first night of Intervention Con.
It was an amazing presentation where he started with singing his first major hit, “She Blinded Me With Science,” then he went on to talk about his days as a major pop star when he worked alongside people like Stevie Wonder and David Bowie. Then he talked about what he did since he left the music business, when he became the founder of a technology company that came out with the first ringtones for cell phones back in the 1990’s. He’s currently living in Baltimore where he’s a professor at Johns Hopkins University and the artistic director of Program in Sound on Film at the Station North Arts District. He gave such a fascinating presentation that even just trying to write about what he said wouldn’t do it justice. It’s just as well because Thomas Dolby said that his memoir will be coming out in a few months. I’d love to read it, especially if it’s as entertaining and interesting as his presentation at Intervention Con. He finished his presentation with a live performance of his other 1980’s hit, “Hyperactive.”
After the Dolby event I went to one more event before I called it a night. I went to this panel on “Horror: Folklore and Fairytale: How Tales of the Past Influence the Narratives of Today” that was given by Michelle Sonnier and Melissa Braus. It was a really interesting talk on how much of an effect that folklores and fairytales have on pop culture. (The most obvious example is Disney frequently using the stories written by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen for its animated feature films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Frozen.)
One of the presenters had her book on display. She was selling copies of that book at her booth in the Artists Alley throughout the convention.
After that last panel ended I drove back home for the evening.