Apparently the last day of a con is practically non-existent. There are very few panels to speak of, and most of the people there seemed to have checked out that morning and were wandering about with their luggage in tow.
I took advantage of the slow morning to go to the hotel gift shop and buy some souvenirs for my parents. I had seen advertisements all around the hotel that mentioned the hotel had Dreamworks licensing, including giving you the option to have lunch with Shrek. For the season, they also had a gingerbread designing workshop with Gingy. As much as I love doing that kind of stuff in Disney World, I thought that was a really cute idea for people who might bring their kids to the hotel.
I decided against buying my parents anything that said "Gaylord" on it and instead went with a Washington DC mug for my dad and a "Behind every successful woman is a lot of chocolate" magnet for my stepmom. Once done there I headed upstairs where I was hoping to catch a panel about overcoming writer's block. However for whatever reason one of the presenters was running late and I started to doze off in my chair waiting, so I decided to head back to the room for caffeine. On the way I walked past the Channel Awesome Rock Band panel and noticed they were allowing people to line up and play.
Inspiration struck. After meeting my idol and doing awesome and making friends with strangers, I was going to make it a triple header and perform in front of a large crowd of people - something the me that existed before this trip would never have dreamed of doing.
I rushed back to the room and announced to everyone there my plan. Because they are all awesome, they immediately got up to join me. We got there and got in line, but unfortunately, it was not particularly well organized. They put us in seats in a zig zag pattern, but some idiot decided he wasn't giving up his seat that was in the middle of the line. That created confusion and some people didn't know where to go. We suggested to the MAGfest crew that they create separate lines for people who wanted to sing, play guitar or do drums. They ignored us at first, but after a couple rounds realized that was actually necessary, and when people got up they ignored the order of the line again. Add to that some people's insistence on doing really long songs like "Space Oddity" and "White Wedding" and I didn't get to go up before time ran out. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed. But despite my grumbling, it was actually really fun listening to and singing along with everyone else.
Before the trip, I pretty much knew that if karaoke or Rock Band was available, Dayna was going to ask me to do "Sabotage." Not without good reason, mind you. But I remember thinking that part of me wanted to sing if given the chance, to help conquer a fear I have of singing in front of people. But in that moment, when given the opportunity, I wanted to do "Sabotage" because I wanted to perform. As much as I love writing, I suddenly understood the draw to being on a stage like I never had before. With any luck, I'll get that actual chance sometime soon.
By the time we went back to the room and got food, the con was basically over. They had all been wanting to play D&D since the start, and their old DM Sean agreed to lead them. They invited me to play but I elected not to. I didn't want to slow them down when they were all pretty used to playing together. It turns out what he had planned for them was basically a no win situation, so I'm kind of glad I didn't take part. But it was really fun to listen to. By the time that was finished it was super late, and Lewis (Linkara) finally got in touch with Dayna so they could interview him for Made of Fail. He stopped by and they recorded and took a picture and then it was time to go to sleep as we had to leave early in the morning. Except for the part where we didn't really go to sleep at all.
You know when you were a kid at a slumber party, and someone would say it was time to go to bed, but then someone makes a joke and you all start giggling all over again? That's pretty much what we did for a few hours. That close to the end of our trip, I don't think any one of us wanted it to end. It made us pretty exhausted the next morning, but it was totally worth it.
So when I said that I changed as a person through this trip, what I basically mean is that I gained a ton of self confidence. There's nothing like being around a bunch of fellow geeks/nerds to make you realize that you're not alone with all those things going on through your head. We're all a little insecure sometimes, we all feel like outsiders, we all want to be liked. When you're surrounded by hundreds of other people, many of them wearing shirts with geeky sayings or full out dressing up as their favorite characters, it makes it hard to feel like a loser. So if you have any reservations about going to cons at all, I highly recommend dropping them and checking one out. Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can.