This past Saturday (July 5th, Happy LATE Independence Day to my USA readers!), at 12:15 to 1:15pm I had my very first panel EVER at Florida Supercon. If your interested or need help in doing your own panel, feel free to comment below or e-mail me 🙂
Deciding on Spirituality in Anime and Video Games was great for me, because I didn’t want to title it “God/Christ in Anime and Video Games” as many con goers when they see something “religious”, they may not be too happy with it or not interested. I don’t see a lot of interest in anything spiritual in conventions (at least to the ones I’ve been to or researched) so I thought it would be a great way to stick out since I have little competition 🙂 On top of that, there are at least two different tables (and over 3 panels) advertising pornography, sex, and hentai…so why would they say no to me?
So, to make a long story short as to what happened. I signed in to the room I needed to before my panel, got my laptop with my presentation and headed to my room which was right next to the original Power Rangers cast coming back together to do a panel. Great timing huh? I saw a HUGE line, and of course, I knew it wasn’t for my panel so when I walked in there was no one in the room except for three other young adults. I asked them if they were here for my panel, and they said no, that they were just doing a panel on Con Etiquette (being respectful to others and not taking illicit pictures or bad behavior during a con) and nobody showed up (they were just before me). I thought their panel was important, so I thought immediately, “wow, I wonder if anybody will show up to mine?”. I setup everything, and the two girls and guy said they would stay to hear mine since they were interested in it.
More people started coming in, saying they were there for my panel. Already starting to get nervous, I just kept setting up and organizing the projector. The screen wasn’t as big as I hoped, but I played it cool. More, and more, and more people kept walking through the doors. Even a guy dressed as Santa Claus came in! (Santa was interested too). I passed out raffle tickets for a raffle I did at the end of the panel, giving away Japanese Panda cookies and some anime keychains.
By the time I was going to start, I literally had 50 people staring me in the face (go here and see that it says 49 attendees). On top of that, I had to use the microphone (which I’ve only used a few times in my life) and now I had to really sound like I knew what I was doing. The presentation went great, people laughed here and there (hey, what can I say, I’m a funny guy) and they seemed to be enjoying it because only very few people left the room (maybe 4-5?). Did they stay for the raffle or for my panel, I don’t know. All I know is I poured my heart into it, and I did my best to mention Christ our Savior several times, and even show an anime based on His crucifixion and resurrection. Some audience members had some comments on different anime’s and games that I highlighted, and I handled the greatest fear (public speaking) pretty well to be honest. I wasn’t that nervous at all, since it’s a topic I have so much love and interest for.
Everyone left after the panel was over, but I honestly wanted to offer prayer for my audience. Whether they were going through depression, a sickness, or wanted to accept Christ in their life, I wanted to pray for them. Yet, everyone left so quickly and the next panel was starting I hesitated 😦 I will make my panel shorter next time to leave time for it, or at least do a better job including Christ and other aspects of the Christian faith into the presentation.
I am a believer in Christ who does believe that God has called His children (Christians) to cast out demons, heal the sick and raise the dead (Matthew 10:8). I don’t know if anyone has ever prayed for people in a panel from a con before, but I’m willing to give it a go! God bless, and let me know if you’ve ever seen or heard of any other Christian related panels or activities happening in conventions or a similar atmosphere!