AuthorAlly Amador

“Mercy” looking for extras!

Hey everybody! Apparently Chrome and WordPress are friends again so I can do updates conveniently once more.

Anyway, the new Ellen Page movie, “Mercy” is looking for extras. If you’d like to be a part of this project please click the link for more information. http://bit.ly/2du2M0A

Best of luck. Unless something happens I’ll be there. For more information about what it is like being an extra please see the post What To Expect.

Long Overdue Update

Behinds the scenes of “But I’m and Actress”

Hello everyone!

I’m still not entirely sure what is causing my website to act weird but it does have something to do with Chrome. I use that as my default browser, and for some reason the log in pop up Word Press creates isn’t showing up properly in Chrome, so I can’t even get to the regular log in screen. It is weird. So now I’m updating from Internet Explorer.

So a lot has happened since I last posted in January. I got the pleasure of being in a few films, “Thanks, Bill” and “But I’m an Actress” to name two and I’ve had two kind of big surgeries on my feet. I’ve also be able to do some voice acting! When more information is available about that project I’ll post it.

Because of the surgeries I can’t walk very well. I have a cane and a pair of crutches to help me get around, but it means I’ve been on an acting break since about mid March. I also haven’t been able to exercise as much as I want.

What were the surgeries? They are a medical implant called Hyprocure that is used to treat severe flat feet and other issues like fallen arches. I was born with flat feet, and for quite a while it didn’t cause many issues with my body. However in high school I was in marching band. For those of you who don’t know marching band requires you to be on your feet for many hours at a time. Our summer practices started at 8 am, break at noon, and then ended at 5 pm. Aside from small, five minute breaks during the practice, we were on our feet the entire time. I began to notice an increase in pain in my feet, ankles, knees, hips, back, shoulders and neck.

As I got older the pain only increased. I could handle it well enough, but the shape of my feet were severe enough that I was basically standing on my ankle bones and this caused my knees to bend inward. This made running, even for short periods, very painful as it put a lot of stress on my knees.

When I became an actress I was required to stand for hours at a time. By the end of the day I was in so much pain that I just wanted to flop on the couch and not move until morning.

So I did some research. I found several different options for “fixing” flat feet but decided the Hyprocure implant was what made the most sense for me. In March I had my first foot done. The experience was quite nice. I went to St. Vincent in Indianapolis and my doctor, Dr. Lanie Huffman, was incredibly informative and knew how to help me relax. I didn’t have a cane or crutches for the recovery of my right foot, but I will say it was painful. I’m about 98% recovered on my right foot, but last month I had the left done.

My left foot hasn’t been as kind to me. I am in pain longer than with my right, but I think my daughter has something to do with that. Three times now she has accidentally hit my healing foot, and I did twist my ankle at a Walmart. If I can get a hold of my x-rays to show you the before and after I’ll post them. It is quite amazing how different my feet are now.

It’s a weird thing to get excited about, but I have very normal looking feet now and I can tell my knees are already starting to look normal too. I’m so happy with the results, and I can’t wait to be more active again. Considering how long I’ve been in pain, I think a few more months is a perfectly find trade off.

What to expect…

You may notice from time to time that I’ll post information about becoming an extra for some of the bigger movies in the Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus area.

Some of the extras from Marauders. I’m bottom center!

In the past few months I’ve been an extra for Marauders, Tiger and 478. Those are just three of the the many films that have used the southern Ohio area for filming and 2016 looks to have a lot more opportunities. I’ll try to make sure my website is updated with information about opportunities as I see them.

That having been said it’s important to know what it means to be an extra. There are a few things to expect, and things that only experience will teach you.

  1. As soon as you see the call for extras posted (will most likely be an email address) send your information in! Or plan on going to the open call if there is one. Most of the open calls will take a while, the one for Marauders took about 3 hours, and I got there a half an hour before start time.
  2. Wait. It may take a while for you to hear anything back, and when you do it could be as little as 24 hours notice. After you have confirmed you are available for whatever dates you are scheduled for you have to wait for specific information. For the most part they’ll tell you if you’re going to be a morning, day, evening or overnight shoot, but it is just for a general idea. The shoot schedule can change very quickly. The day before the shoot, usually in the wee early morning hours, you’ll get an email with the location, time, and wardrobe requirements. They don’t tell you until they absolutely have to in order to keep a bunch of information from leaking.
  3. Show up early. It is important if you want to be a professional actor to think of 15 minutes early as being on time. If you’re told to be there at 5:30, and you arrive at 5:30 consider yourself late. In order to keep a shoot moving smoothly and on schedule it’s important to do what you can to not delay anything.
  4. No spoilers. This is incredibly important. When you are on a set there are strict rules against having your cellphone on you, and if you are caught taking pictures you will be fired on the spot and never asked back. It is a very quick way to burn your bridges. The reason no pictures are allowed is because many productions rely on secrecy to interest people in seeing their movies, but if you spill the beans beforehand it reduces interest. Some productions (mostly the ones that pay) require you to sign a nondisclosure agreement that will leave you vulnerable to litigation if you post pictures of the set, etc.
  5. Don’t mob the actors! There are many different methods actors use to bring out the best in their performances and you don’t want to be the one responsible for breaking their concentration. This can lead to termination. If you are going to ask for an autograph (and I kind of don’t recommend this just to be on the safe side), be very polite and respectful. Sometimes the actors have had a very long day and just want to get to their hotel and rest, or need to move on to the next scene. Now I must stress that many sets actually have rules against approaching the actors, violation of these rules can lead to termination. No pointing and staring either. They know who they are.
  6. Bring something to do. Since most filming days will be a full day (12 hours) you will more than likely have large chunks of downtime. It’s okay to have a quiet conversation with the other extras, but pay attention and don’t get so caught up you miss instructions. So having a book, sketch pad or something non-electric on hand can help keep the boredom at bay. Also, bring your phone charger. You may need a charge during an especially long set.
  7. Mime. If you are asked to look like you’re making conversation in the background don’t make noise. Become a mime. This means if you’re supposed to be eating in the background, don’t actually scrape your knife or fork on the plate because the sound equipment will pick it up. Any small whispers will be picked up as well, so just move your lips, motion like you’re talking, but do not actually talk. Some sound equipment is so sensitive it could pick up a moth fart.
  8. It’s okay to network. Become Facebook friends with someone, follow them on Twitter or Instagram, whatever. You may find more acting opportunities through them, or be a source for them. In this area and business, the more you give the more you’re going to get back. Don’t be pushy though. A little bit of politeness goes a long way.
  9. Don’t steal. I think this goes without saying but don’t take anything from the set, be it a prop, wardrobe or the belongings of a fellow extra. Also, leave anything really valuable off set and at home.
  10. They’re probably going to feed you so if you have food allergies or diet restrictions don’t be shy about letting them know beforehand. They’ll ask in an email, or you can send the information to the person who contacted you. If you have to get makeup done on set and have makeup allergies it’s important to let them know too.
  11. They’ll ask you to bring several options for wardrobe. This means more than one extra shirt. They need to have options to sort through. I don’t mean to bring your whole closet, but have several different outfits that the wardrobe and makeup people can look at. 9/10 time they’ll ask you to do your own makeup. Unless noted otherwise assume they mean “modest/minimal”. You are part of the background and need to do your best not to draw attention from the main actors in the scene. I cannot stress this enough: You will most likely be on your feet for long periods of time. Make sure the shoe options you bring will be something that won’t make you want to saw your feet of at the end of the day.

Well that’s it for now. These are some of the tips I can think of so far, but if I think of more I’ll write another article.

Best of luck!

New Fun Activity

I forgot to mention this! I meant to post about it here when I posted to my YouTube channel but I’m going to be trying to do this weekly. Every Wednesday or so I’m going to do a “cold read” of a script I have in a book or that I find online. I haven’t read any of the ones from my books beforehand, otherwise they wouldn’t be “cold reads”.

What is a cold read? When you go to audition you’ll sometimes have to do one of these. They give you a script you’ve not seen before, you get a moment to look it over, and then you do the scene. It can be difficult to do since you don’t get a lot of time to prepare. So how can you get better at it? Practice!

Practicing cold reads is one of my favorite activities. I find it to be tremendously fun. I thought I’d do some video recordings of my cold read practice. If you want to do a video too feel free to send it to me! I’d love to see it. I’d also love new scripts so if you know of any send them my way too.

Merry Christmas!

Happy holidays. I know there are a lot of denominations that celebrate this time of year, and New Years is coming up too, so if you are celebrating anything have fun and be safe.

I know it’s common to overindulge but if you do don’t drive drunk! It isn’t worth it. The price you’ll pay if you get into an accident or get caught is going to be far higher than if you just got a cab.

What You Can’t See

I’ve had a really rough time recently. I won’t go into the details, but I find more and more that I need something good to happen. I’m not talking about something grand and life changing, but something that I can be happy about for a while.

This has gotten me thinking about the nature of my mental health. It is incredibly important to acknowledge that staying mentally healthy is imperative, and there’s a lot of information out there about ways to improve your mood (etc).

Depression is something I’ve struggled with since I was a teenager. I was often overwhelmed and found the only way I could get any joy was to completely immerse myself in my art and music projects. This, in truth, is not the best way to treat the problem because I was not addressing the issues at hand. It’s a bit too late to do that now, but I still managed to “wait it out” until my life got better.

I had tried to talk to my mother once, but did it in the completely wrong way and ended up exacerbating things. For the longest time I thought I couldn’t talk to anyone as a result.

In college I had a roller coaster ride with my depression. There were plenty of times that I felt completely overwhelmed and unprepared. My husband, Joey, helped me though I never really spoke to him more than a handful of times about how I felt. After I graduated I had one life change after the other. I moved, had uncertainty, moved again, then had a kid.

I guess things haven’t really calmed down a great deal, but there are so many aspects of my life that I wouldn’t change. I love my daughter, I enjoy living in Cincinnati, and I am pursuing something that I could only ever hope for when I lived in Lafayette, Indiana.

Yet despite this I am still having issues with depression. Depression isn’t logical. It doesn’t care how great your life is. It doesn’t care that you got a new job, have a loving family, or seem to be having one amazing opportunity after another. It doesn’t care if you lost a loved one, had your car stolen or if you had a traumatic accident.  It doesn’t care if you’re male or female. It affects all races and social classes. Depression is an asshole.

And so depression has come at me hard again. I have to force myself to get out of bed. I have to force myself to type this. To do everything that I have to do. I lack the motivation to eat (unlike in the past where I would scarf down junk food like it was nothing).

Since help is so expensive I’ve always had to figure out my own way to get past the large down-swings of depression. I’m going to start taking my daughter to preschool as motivation to not sleep until 11 am. I’m going to make lists of little things I can accomplish each day and not let the setbacks be so devastating.

I’m going to try hard not to spend the morning crying and feeling like shit. Because this is what I can do. This is what I can afford to do. I wish I could seek professional help but it is just too damn expensive and most insurance won’t even cover it at all.

According to NAMI 16 million Americans had a severe depressive episode in the last year. 16 million. I will take comfort, and you can to if you’re feeling it, in the fact that there are so many people who know what it’s like to be hit hard with depression.

Even though so many people are affected with mental illness, we don’t seem to be capable of treating it seriously. I wish with everything I can muster that the prevailing attitude about mental illness would change. For now I will make do.

We are human. We aren’t perfect. We can do this.

New Opportunity for Cincinnati Actors

Hello everyone! Today I’m writing to tell you about an exciting opportunity to participate in something called “Meals 4 Monologues”.

This is a chance to show one of the biggest names in acting in Cincinnati your stuff! D. Lynn Meyers is often responsible for casting big projects that come to the area. She and her assistant Ben remember every name and face that auditions for them. It’s quite impressive, really.

All you have to do to participate in this amazing opportunity is to contact Ben Raanan, the assistant director, at auditions@ensemblecincinnati.org or (513) 421-3555 by November 30th to secure your time slot. Please include a current headshot, resume and telephone number.

Once you get your time slot for either December 7th or 8th, prepare your audition! You have 5 minutes to show your stuff. It can be either one monologue, a cappella song, both or two monologues.

On the day of your audition be sure to bring three non-perishable food items (pasta, rice, canned goods, etc.) or toiletry items (soap, toothpaste, etc.) and be prepared to do your best.

This event is appointment only so be sure to contact Ben Raanan by November 30th! And break a leg!

Gen Con 2015 Part 3

Saturday I had nothing until noon, so I actually got to sleep in. It was everything I had wanted and more. I was so tired and just wanting to rest for so long it was great to get those extra hours.

The noon event was a ShadowRun LARP, and it was fun. There are a few things I think they could do to tweak it. We had a lot of people who had never played before, which that in itself isn’t a bad thing, but they didn’t know it would be so physical. One of them had a heart issue and had to sit and rest several times because he had started to have heart pains. I think a quick disclaimer in the convention book would’ve been helpful.

Aside from that we had a great team. Our team made a lot of money because we had at least one really deadly person with each section when we split up. We covered more ground that way. The NPCs did amazing staying in character and they were helpful when it was obvious you didn’t know what you were doing. These people cared enough to try to make it a great event, and they listened to you, for the most part, when you talked to them about your concerns. There was one group of NPCs that made me angry.

The gentleman I mentioned before, with the heart condition, was taking it easy. Several times they saw him lagging behind (he insisted we go on ahead) and attacked his character. Despite knowing this they continually went for him, instead of letting him have a freaking breather.

The Cosplay Parade happened during our event, right in the middle of our area of the convention, and he got separated by a long line of cosplayers. We had to try and get back to him before they killed him. Eventually we got so sick of it we just killed those NPCs.

One of the NPCs made my brother do a Russian dance in order to get an item from her, but I didn’t get to see it because I was doing another mission for my team. The event was only $10, and I really think I got my money’s worth out of that. I will do it again next year, only this time I’m going to take some of my acting supplies and dress up.

After that I walked around the Circle Center Mall for a bit. Joey and Allen had a big board Power Grid game to do so I thought I had some free time. As it turns out it was cancelled, but Joey and Allen got a refund and some swag for their trouble. We went to Loughmiller’s for lunch where I tried one of their “Gen Con drinks” and let me tell you it was delicious! If they ever have the “green fairy” on the drinks menu again, or even just see if they have it regularly, try it! It is delicious! They had other neat drinks that were very tasty and worth a try too, including an alcoholic Butterbeer (from Harry Potter). I don’t even like butterscotch but that was very tasty.

By the time our last event was eminent on Saturday I was feeling pretty sick. Joey was so sweet and went to the shop in the hotel to get me some medicine. They didn’t sell chewable pain meds, so he walked across the street to a gas station to get me some children’s Motrin! I have such a considerate husband.

A little while later and I was feeling better. Allen, Joey and I decided to get to True Dungeon really early so we could get the classes we liked. Well, I got screwed out of being the bard, like I had last year. I was the druid again, so that was okay. I was feeling a little crappy still, and Bryan and Steve were really late so Bryan and I got into a little argument right before the game. I was very disappointed in not being able to be the bard because I had remembered my ukulele this time. At least this year the person who took it seemed to know what he was doing and didn’t become flaky. He sang some pretty funny songs too so at least there was that.

Out team did a good job, but it was more difficult this time. This session was called Sable Gauntlet. One of the DMs was the main boss from the day before. There was a room that seemed last minute and rather unnecessary. When you come in you had either a spider or larva attach to you and deal damage until you could get it off. That’s it. That was the purpose of the room.

One notable room had a large, person controlled spider. It was huge and he could control the back end, and the legs. He even had one bump my butt. I made a joke about it because I imagine he was trying to touch my leg to startle me, but it was hard to control. I ended up killing the thing in almost one shot with a boosted fireball spell.

The main issue we had with the boss this time was time. We got some solid hits against it, but we just couldn’t do the right amount of damage per turn. If we had one more round we could’ve probably killed the thing. It was undead so I used some amplified healing to do some major damage.

After the game we went back to Loughmiller’s to eat a bunch of mini corn dogs and drink more green fairies. It was Bryan’s suggestion. If you go there and want some really good food you’ll have to visit them during the day. Their evening menu is really trimmed down. No pepper jack cheese stuffed pretzels. Those are incredible.

Sunday, as has become our tradition, was reserved for walking around the vendor’s hall. We bought a few games for Ilaria, but when we tried them out at home it seems she not quite old enough for them. I would like to find some games for her to play with us because it is so great developmentally and socially.

When the convention was over for us we headed to Shapiro’s for some amazing food. We drove to my parents’ to pick up my daughter and then back to Cincinnati. Next year we’re going to see about some events for her. I’d like to start bringing her, if only for a day.

Something notable happened that wasn’t really an event. My friend Allen made a Mii last year of Wil Wheaton to see if he could troll people. This year Wil Wheaton mentioned it on his twitter! So that was pretty cool. I will tell you Allen is not the type with ill intent, and he was just having a bit of fun. He would never do anything to defame a person.

If you couldn’t tell I am very aware of how much things cost. And I think if you’re going to visit the vendor’s hall you should know too. It isn’t uncommon for games to be $45 or more, and t-shirts average about $20 a piece. You can find some very unique items there, but they can be very pricey so please keep that in mind. A great bonus for the people who hand make things is they often have business cards you can take and look them up later.

They have non-gaming related events too, like yoga classes and jewelry making. There are events where you can make your own foam weapon, writing workshops and film panels too! They do offer daycare, but you have to pay for it and I don’t remember how much it is.

Every year they do a large balloon statue for charity. One person is chosen out of the donors (I don’t know what the criteria are) and they get to pop the whole thing. If you back is hurting they have massage seats set up.

Well that is my 2015 Gen Con experience for you all. If you like board games, geeky things, RPGs or card games then you should consider going. Check out their website for a list of events. I’m sure you’ll find something you like.

Gen Con 2015 Part 2

My group began Friday with an amazing Q & A event with Trace Beaulieu (he pronounces is like bowl-you) of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame. He was incredibly funny and we got to see one of the puppets for an upcoming web series called Vermin. It looks interesting and funny so I’ll have to check that out later. Mr. Beaulieu was handing out items to people who had really good questions. They were typically DVDs of old MST3K episodes, but one person got a collection of illustrated poems, and Steve and I got the first issue of a short lived comic he wrote. I liked it and wish he would do some more. Later, while we were walking on the vendor’s floor we saw him again and I got my comic signed. Crow (the puppet) was there! It was awesome seeing it in person. If he comes again I’ll have to go.

If you’re going to be visiting downtown Indianapolis (IN) then it is worth it to go to Fogo De Chao. This meat chain is filled with delicious steaks, lamb and other meat wonderfully prepared and served to you from long skewers. They have delicious fried plantains, polenta and garlic mashed potatoes for each table, as well as an impressive salad bar area filled with meats and vegetables you wouldn’t really find at many other salad bars. They had smoked salmon and prosciutto there, as well as some vegetables I couldn’t really identify. But don’t fill up on the salad, because the meat is so worth it!

If you go in the evening it can get very pricey if you’re not used to spending nearly $50 per person, but the lunch is an okay price for what you’re getting. It is still kind of expensive, but this is a special treat so splurge.  I’m also not one for lime, but their Brazilian limeade drink is fantastic! Soda comes in a cute little bottle, but that’s expensive and does not have free refills like the limeade. Have some meat, it’s delicious!

After that was True Dungeon: Into the Underdark. This was a pretty good experience. I was the bard again, like I almost always am, but this time I forgot my ukulele so I had to just sing. I treated everyone to some Feist. The team we had was solid, and we did great up until the last room. This is a trend we’ve been noticing as of late. True Dungeon used to be more balanced, but the last few years they have some easy rooms and then kill you with a totally over powered boss at the end. So while we did awesome, the boss wasn’t able to be hit, and did almost 20 points of damage to players in a single hit. It also did a group attack against us for I think 10 damage so it killed most of our group pretty quickly.

I’m honestly getting sick of that. It isn’t fun when you have the DM be a dick at the very last second and screw you over and I hope they learn how to get that balance back. The costumes were quite the plus, and the backgrounds were interesting and well thought out.

After that Joey and I went to something called the Concert Against Humanity at the Murat Theater. We had to speed walk, in the humid summer heat, against a large crowd of One Direction fans. There was a concert at the same time, and a baseball game so down town Indy was packed. We were going to rent a few bikes from their bike-sharing program but man is that expensive. So instead I made myself sick because of the heat and walking so far, so fast. Joey seemed fine.

The swag, oh my God the swag! We got some really good gear, a cute collectible Nintendo figure, a 2 sided die, a Flux booster, some Sentinels of the Multiverse cards, a few mini games and some other things I can’t think of off the top of my head. When the concert ended they had exit swag too! It is a poster for the event with two raccoons rummaging through trash. The raccoons are…well, kind of anatomically correct, for some reason. I didn’t even notice it at first, but it does make it difficult for me to display the poster in my home so that aspect of the design is a little annoying. But overall it was still a pretty cool poster.

The concert itself was amazing. There were comedians like Kumail Nanjiani, Cameron Esposito, and musicians like Molly Lewis, Paul and Storm and the Doubleclicks! All of them did fantastic and it was a wonderful evening, despite the fact that 1 Mountain Dew and 2 nachos cost me nearly $20. Dang inflated prices. During the concert Joey started to feel sick and ate the last of my chew able aspirin. We actually had another Here At The End event scheduled but we decided to stay at the concert. From what our friends told us we made the right choice.

Now this part is hearsay, but this is what the second Here At The End was like. The people who were running it stopped caring. The teams were not evenly divided, among the four factions it ended up being roughly 18 versus 4. So the teams my friends were on were constantly being bombarded by the other larger teams, and their captain NPC, the cat girl and her boyfriend, refused to talk to anyone or do their jobs and just meowed at people. I don’t mind couples being a part of events, but take the damn thing seriously. People paid good money and you sit on your duff necking with your significant other the whole time? At least they didn’t hiss or anything. I would’ve said something if I were there. I have no problem registering my displeasure when people take my money and then give me sub par crap in return.

Steve figured out how to reset the weapons so at least they had that. The quality of the event had seriously deteriorated since we had been there the day before and given that experience and the one my friends had we will not be doing another Here At The End event.

The last Whose Line of the con was wonderful. We had so many people and they were very brave! Lots of new faces joined us and seemed to have a great time. I went up a few more times and it was a blast.

Gen Con 2015 Part 1

As a side note, as I uploading these I’m also struggling with a bad cold. I will make them prettier with images later.

 

I’ve been attending Gen Con every year for the past 5 or so years. Every year I do more and more activities and I can honestly say it is something that I really look forward to each summer. I consider this to be my family’s vacation too. My daughter is only 3, so far there is not a lot she can do. There are events for children but most of them start at age 6. We usually have her spend the four days with her grandparents. She has a lot of fun with them, and this year Joey’s dad got to play with her all Saturday. She has a blast so it works out great.

This year it was held a bit earlier than normal. It is typically in late August, and I’m not entirely sure why it was so early. I could look into it, but I’m not that interested. I don’t really care when it is held, as long as I get to go.

So our trip started in Cincinnati. We drove the long 3 hour trip to my parent’s house to drop off our daughter and spend the night there. Technically the Wednesday before Gen Con is “open” but there are no events and you can’t buy anything so it’s just a way to pick up your badge and tickets at the will call line.

On Thursday morning we headed down to Indy and started off with a game of laser tag called Here At The End. There are four factions vying for dominance in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Our team had a wonderful NPC that did a great job explaining all the rules, “repairing” our weapons and just troubleshooting things in general.

This event had the potential to be awesome. They were supposed to divide the teams evenly (more on that later) and the NPCs were to help their respective teams to either complete their goal, form alliances, or maintain the weapons.

Our team was the Old Guard. The Old Guard is the remainder of the industrial military complex from before civilization was forced underground. It was me, my friends Steve and Allen, my husband Joey and two more people whose names I can’t remember.  It really is unfortunate I can’t remember their names because they were excellent teammates. They were both enthusiastic and competent, which, let’s be honest, can be hard to find in an event like this.

There were three other teams. Elysium (super hippies), One that is made up of Dr. Who fans (essentially), and the mutated Animorphs. I didn’t see the NPCs for Elysium or Dr. Who Fans but I did see the Mutants and they were dressed as cat people. Apparently they are boyfriend and girlfriend in real life.

The goal was to find clues to help us figure out the combination to a safe in the center of the room, and/or find keys to unlock a bomb that was right above the safe on a pedestal. There were some cardboard walls and some boxes we could use for cover but other than that the environment was pretty sparse.

Everything at the center of the room, the bomb and the safe, were both not working properly so it was basically a game of Shoot ‘Em Up with little to no strategy. Overall the game had potential, but due to the lack of planning and only one NPC (our guy) who seemed like he cared the game suffered and was not worth the price of the ticket. But, hey, we got a pretty cool looking button from it so at least there’s that.

My second event was with Steve, but Joey and Allen spent time walking around the convention halls doing who knows what. I certainly don’t, I forgot to ask. It was an interesting event and quite honestly an amazing experience. Considering it was my first time playing at a convention it left a really good impression. I will definitely be doing it again next year.

As a quick note the only reason I did this in the first place is because my brother Bryan (who’ll show up later) got a new job and he couldn’t get the time off so I played instead.

I have been playing ShadowRun for a good number of years now with a group of friends. We do it primarily online through Ventrilo and Maptools because our group is either in Ohio, Indiana or California, so it’s not like I’ve never played before. I enjoy my group because we’re all pretty laid back and no one takes the game too seriously. I don’t like it when people are too serious. This is why I have always been so reluctant to play ShadowRun at Gen Con. I figured that the people who play have more…I don’t know but I was worried I would have horrible people to play with. That still may happen, but it didn’t this time. The people we played with, except Steve and one other, had not played before. Our GM was very easy to talk to and explained things very patiently.

Our game was a continuation of a campaign that’s been going for the past several cons. In fact I think it might be towards the end of it, and I think it would’ve been slightly more helpful to have that previous experience just for the karma and contacts earned alone. For this particular run I dusted off an old character of mine, Nurse Killshot, because Steve was being Dr. Roberts and we thought it would pair nicely. The GM loved the concept of our little duo too.

We got a call from a woman’s sprite, if you don’t play ShadowRun think of it like a more personalized Siri or Cortana, telling us that she’d gone missing. It hired us to retrieve information about her last known whereabouts from a man who worked for one of the big corporations, Shiawase I think. The man is already dead, so we just need to get the info from his gadgets. For clarification purposes we’ll call him John. He had an actual name but I don’t remember it.

So when we arrive at the dead man’s location there’s a big fire fight happening between three corporate Shiawase men and a group of elven gangers. We help the gangers by basically killing all the Shiawase men. After, Dr. Roberts removes the pertinent information from John’s body but there’s a slight problem and I accidentally cause the little bomb that was implanted in John’s head to explode. Thankfully we got everything in time, and managed to make a good impression on the gangers.

We find out that the gangers were there on orders to retrieve the same body, but didn’t have the detail of getting the information. They were hired by a child known as the “Altar Boy”. He gave them a terrible feeling but he paid well. After some leg work we found out where Altar Boy was staying and decided to pay him a visit. We figured he knew a little something about our missing woman.

The elf gangers all like to visit a bar called Toll House (haha) and we find out while there, buying drinks for everyone, that the Altar Boy works for a man called the Bishop. We get to his location and find two guards in front of the place. While Dr. Roberts distracts them two other members of our team sneak into our house and find a priest chained up in the basement. His name is Father Sarducci (yes, indeed), and he helps us figure out where to go. I stayed in the background with my sniper rifle ready.

We go to St. Hyacinth cathedral to find the Altar Boy, the Bishop, our missing woman and a group of the elf gangers all inside a mostly empty main room. The background count is high inside, less so out, so I stay by the front entrance to snipe from a distance while the rest of our group go inside to speak to the Bishop.

Dr. Roberts tricks him into monologue for a while as we wait for backup. Apparently, in a previous mission Dr. Roberts had made friends with an orc gang leader and she was coming to our aid.

A fight breaks out and we find out that our missing woman has been possessed by Shedim (think of a terrible, nasty bug thing controlling a person) and she is tough. She has stats far above ours and is an incredible fighter. She rolled 20+ dice for everything. Everything! The Altar Boy and the Bishop are both powerful Shedim as well, and they have a high force spirit that uses its fear power to disable one of our team members. Unfortunately the Bishop takes this opportunity to kill our team member. I was able to pull off two shots, one against the Altar Boy and one against the Bishop and almost killed both of them. Even with our team and back up we couldn’t rescue our target or kill the two horrible Shedim. We ran, and ran quickly. Our overall mission was a failure but we lived!  They were force 7 and 9 master Shedims. Holy crap it was a difficult fight!

Because of my awesome shots I got MVP and a cool magnet to signify that. If you don’t know, the Shedim were basically using the bodies of the actual altar boy and Bishop to gain power and work without being suspected. The two people they took over are unfortunately dead. Remember the bug guy from Men in Black? That’s pretty close. We were so close to ridding the ShadowRun Chicago of their presence, but without a powerful mage on our side there wasn’t much we could actually do. The orc leader was a mage, but it just wasn’t enough.

We stopped at Pearl Street Pizza for some delicious food. It was very crowded, but tasty. The food was rather filling and I would highly recommend their mini calzones.

Rounding out the evening was a nice game of Whose Line Is It Anyway? The room we were in this year was spacious, but had some support pillars in it that obstructed the view of some of the contestants. I don’t recall how many times I went up but it was at least once. The running joke for this particular session was “I’m a Republican Presidential nominee” or something like that. A few of those placed well were quite funny.

 

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