DragonCon: An Evening at Bree

Tolkien track is one of our favorite tracks at DragonCon. They host a wealth of Tolkien based panels and parties. Our favorite is An Evening at Bree which attended Friday night convention weekend.

Emerald Rose provided lively music for guests to dance to as they waited for the super popular costume contest to begin. In addition to original music, they played Tolkien based classics and even a few tunes from the movie.

Just before the costume contest began, the special presenters arrived in the form of Jed Brophy (Nori), Adam Brown (Ori) and Craig Parker (Haldir). They had great chemistry and added a very comedic aspect to the night.

As you can see, they were a lot of fun and terrific presenters! They had there work cut out for them though as the costumes that presented themselves were nothing short of amazing.

Middle Earth’s finest (and not so fine…ie Smaug) were represented.

Dwarves

Elves

Hobbits!!

Wizards

Ent(wives)

Man

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Evil

I was pretty blown away by the talent within this group of people! But then again, we are all Tolkien fans ;)

While the esteemed judges discussed who would take home the top prize pack from WETA Workshop, we were serenaded by the convention formed Elf Choir who sang a beautiful rendition of Misty Mountain Song.

The winner was a brilliant, beautiful lady named Cressie who’s completely original wedding dress design was totally handmade. She stole the show (in my opinion). See more of her work here http://cressie.com/

Emerald Rose took the stage for one last round of jigs and sent everyone dancing into the remainder of the night.

This was my second time attending An Evening at Bree and it is one of the highlights of the convention. It is my hope that while no more movies will come out, the fans of Tolkien will remain a solid and passionate bunch and that the Tolkien Track lives a long/happy life.

May An Evening at Bree be a staple in DragonCon nightlife for years to come.

With handkerchief in hand,
~CC

Exclusive: Acting workshop with Richard Hatch

**WeGeekGirls has mentioned numerous times by now how much we love DragonCon (hey, it’s what inspired us to start this little site). This year we were fortunate enough to be given media access. This allowed us the focus and opportunity to share even MORE about the DragonCon experience**

Two weeks ago, I was pleasantly able to attend an acting workshop given by the super talent Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica, All My Children, etc). I shared the room with 24 other curious people in an afternoon that I won’t soon forget.

The workshop began with Richard giving a brief introduction of who he was, what he is famous for and what he does now. From the first word out of his mouth we were spellbound. He was warm, welcoming and energetic. I think I had written a great quote within the first five minutes.

His knowledge of the art of acting is vast but he was able to sum up in ways that we (in our various experience levels) could understand and get excited about. Richard urges the actor to get to know themselves first. Part of acting is feeling emotion (and expressing them). In order for one to portray them authentically, one needs to be in touch with them. Mr. Hatch is BIG on acting from the balance of heart, head and soul. I can’t tell you how many times the word intuition was used as he spoke.

One of the first visuals I had was of a zombie. No, I am not kidding. Richard brilliantly spoke about how most of the people in the world walk around like “living dead” aka zombies. They go through the motions of everyday life but don’t truly feel/interact with what is going on around them (to them). At this point he urged us to “step in and ENGAGE in our lives”. After an exercise (we didn’t realize it was vocal training at the time) where the room was filled with LOUD ANGRY YELLING, we were able to sit back down and begin introductions.

One by one each person shared their name, what brought them to the class and (by the time Mr. Hatch was done with them) shared a small glimpse of who they really where. As a society we are programmed with generic responses to regular series of questioning. Most of us started with our names and what we did for a living (like that defines us). With each person, Richard asked different questions, some where related to acting, some weren’t and through this process everyone in the room became free. He slowly added monologues and improve scenarios and before we knew it, we were all acting, and pretty comfortable with it (good or ok at it).

I believe his point was not to make us comfortable with what we were about to be doing BUT to make us acknowledge the fear and rather than let it paralyze us, let it motivate us.

“We need to break down walls, get out of our heads, be vulnerable, be intuitive”

Richard believes that “life is about mobilizing talents and abilities” and by cutting through the mental/emotional/physical blocks we put up, we enable our true selves. That translates in the acting field with authentic auditions. By being present and YOU, whomever may be needing your talent will be drawn to you and what you can do. This doesn’t mean that rejections will go away, it is acting after all, BUT you are better prepared to accept the rejections knowing that you put your best self out there.

However, this self realization doesn’t take away from what else is needed to land a desired role. Mr. Hatch urges actors to be proactive and prepared secondly. Make sure you know your desired business/art. Don’t be one of those people who lets someone else figure things out for them. This leads to being taken advantage of somewhere along the way, which would be a hard lesson to learn. Also, practice monologues every chance you get. Write you own and even better, try and read someone else’s as them. Being proactive and prepared in addition to your true self will best help you land the role that you dream of.

IF you are anything like me, all of this sounds just as much a motivational speech as it does an acting workshop and I couldn’t have been happier that I chose to attend it. I’d never considered that a persons “true self” had anything to do with acting (you are playing “a part” after all) but nothing could make more sense after this workshop.

Richard Hatch is an unbelievable speaker with a heart and passion desperately needed in his industry. When he isn’t acting, directing or writing, he is continuing to teach and inspire the actor in all of us.

For more information check out
http://www.richardhatch.com
or email
richardhatchworkshops@gmail.com

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Break a leg,
~CC

Thank you DragonCon and Richard Hatch for an unforgettable experience!

Presenting The Hungarian Wand Shop

Greeting wizards and witches!

If you thought that Ollivander’s was the only place you could get custom wands, let me make your day by telling you that if your travels aren’t taking you Diagon Alley, there is another option.

Presenting The Hungarian Wand Shop!

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This family owned and operated shop hand crafts each item into a unique, one of a kind treasure. They specialize in Wooden Magic Wands and speciality items like wand sleeves and holsters. Using various types of wood from all over the world they creat custom pieces to help each wand seeker get the item of their dreams. “If you can imagine it, we can make it”

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Each is wand is covered with multiple layers of protective finish and comes with a fabric bag and presentation box. Also included with the wand is a vial of “Magical Essence” to make your wand more “Powerful”.

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“My official title is founder and master wandmaker for the Hungarian wand shop. I have been a fan of Harry Potter since I started reading the first book to my children many years ago. The first wand I made was for my nephew, he had broken his plastic one, then his sisters both wanted one and then their friends, and it sort of took off from there. I have made wands for people all over the world and love to discuss woods and wandlore. It is a family shop, with both of my children helping.” ~Greg Laslo

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At DragonCon, you can find The Hungarian Wand shop in booth 429 on the 2nd floor of the vendors halls in AmericasMart.

Outside the convention you can find them here:

http://www.hungarianwandshop.com
https://www.facebook.com/TheHungarianWandShop

Please visit their website for a complete list of wand and wood options and feel free to email them a custom wand order!

Happy Spell Casting,
~CC

(All photos courtesy of The Hungarian Wand Shop)
Thank you Greg for sharing part of your world with us. We look forward to seeing you at DragonCon.

Presenting Middle Earth News

Fellow Tolkien fans, gather round as WeGeekGirls presents…

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“We believe, without a doubt, it was Tolkien’s passion he poured into his books, and the time he spent meticulously going over the tiniest of details, that we fans exist today. All his efforts came together to create those beloved books we fans now treasure. Without Tolkien we would have no Bilbo and Frodo, Arwen and Aragorn, or Thorin and his company of Dwarves, to endlessly entertain our imaginations and inspire us.” ~MiddleEarthNews

Fans first, this group of reporters work to bring the latest Tolkien based information to the masses. Be it film news, Tolkien-inspired art, artists/artisans or games, everything they cover is done with Tolkien fans in mind.

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“It is our hope you will find Middle-earth News a welcoming place, and one you’ll love to visit and enjoy for years to come.” ~MiddleEarthNews

And when I say fans first, I don’t say that lightly. If you are going to see anyone dressed a part or waiting in line for the latest Tolkien related releases, it will be the folks at Middle-Earth News. Not only are they covering DragonCon, they will be a part of some of the panels as well.

Staff reporter Amanda C. can be found:

Panelist – “Middle-earth vs. Westeros” panel on Friday at 2:30 p.m. in the Hyatt Regency V ballroom
Panelist – “The Hobbit: Book to Film” panel on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in the main Tolkien-track room (Marriott L401-403)
Adventurer – Dragon Con’s Night at the Aqaurium on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at the Georgia Aquarium
Reporter/Fan – My fellow staff reporter, Valdis Longbeard, and I will be walking the floor Friday-Monday in search of attendees to interview and cosplayers to feature on Middle-earth News. Please don’t be afraid to come say hello if you spot us!

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Amanda C. is a self-proclaimed nerd who, once introduced to Tolkien, quickly became deeply entrenched in the vast world of Middle-earth, swept away by the deep moral messages, intense battles and the handsome dwarf, Kili.
In addition to reporting the latest in Middle-earth news/events, Amanda is a full-time university student, passionate animal lover (Ozzy is her cat and Gimli her guinea pig), traveler, writer, watcher of TV/movies and attender of nerdy conventions.

You can find Middle-Earth News at:
http://www.middleearthnews.com
https://twitter.com/MiddleEarthNews
https://www.facebook.com/middleearthnews

and Amanda at:
https://twitter.com/TheZenPhoenix
https://www.facebook.com/TheZenPhoenix

Lastly, here is the link to the rest of the Tolkien Track:
http://middleearth.dragoncon.org/

Happy Adventuring!
~CC

Thank you Amanda for introducing yourself and letting us know where to find you during DragonCon. We look forward to seeing you there!

Presenting Warfire Forge

I have been so excited to tell you all about this DragonCon vendor! Here is a sneak peek from my collection…

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Presenting Warfire Forge

This father (Tim) and son (Brock) duo, together, create a wide array of metal work. Their particular interests are in prop making, specifically, creating weapons and amor (historical and/or fantasy) that may have traditionally been forged or fabricated. They also like to tinker, so steampunk items have become more frequent projects, especially for Tim.

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“I have been blacksmithing for 7 years and had the original vision for Warfire Forge. After gaining enough experience and confidence in my work, I convinced my dad to try it out with me, as this was the kind of work he was doing on the side essentially anyway and had over 30 years of metalworking experience. I really owe it to my parents for their vast creativity as I grew up. I was constantly exposed to artwork and my vivid imagination was able to roam freely with their support.” ~ Brock

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“We’re outgrowing our shop space and are at a pivotal point of expansion with Warfire. More of my work than anything, comes from custom commissions, so we are constantly approaching new projects and that sets us apart in many ways I think. We aren’t satisfied with cranking out the same dozen pieces because it’s easy. We don’t do so well with limitations and aren’t shy when it comes to tackling challenging projects. It is an opportunity often to learn (or have an excuse to experiment) from each new piece. We eat, drink, and breathe this stuff. We really love what we do.” ~Brock

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(All photos courtesy of Warfire Forge)

I have been a fan of Warfire Forge for many years and have had the opportunity to watch them work. They are some of the nicest guys you will meet, full of knowledge and very willing to share it. Anyone finding themselves in need of prop weaponry/armor/chainmail or jewelry should find these guys at the convention.

They will be located with the vendors in AmericasMart, Floor 2, Vendor 351

Outside DragonCon, you can find them at:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/WarFireForge
https://www.facebook.com/pages/WarFire-Forge/244510695595272

Happy Wielding :)
~CC

Thank you Brock for chatting with me and letting us share a little bit of your story! We will be stopping by the Warfire booth next week!!