Year 3 of attending RTX is in the books. RTX Austin this year was by far my best experience so far! Getting to meet and see so many wonderful people & coming away with many memorable moments made it so. It really all kicked off on Day 0 (Thursday) of RTX.
While waiting to head to the convention center to pick up my badge, I bumped into & had a nice chat with Adam Baird. A little while after, I decided to head down to the convention center a bit early. Wheeling around the ACC I bumped into a couple awesome Guardian friends (Tasha & Johannah). After hugs were exchanged, it was time to get in line for badge pick up. While in line, Alex (3D Comp. artist), as well as Jackie, Jenn, & Mary all came up to say hi & exchange hugs. It's always so nice to see & chat with the Guardians who help with RTX. A little closer to badge pick up time, I was pulled aside & interviewed about RTX! Little did I know, it was supposedly on TV & a clip from it would be used in a Thank You recap video posted by Rooster Teeth! I finally picked up my badges & headed back to the hotel. About an hour later, I bumped into Barbara (Dunkelman) in the lobby of the hotel I was at. It can never be said enough, Barbara is one of the kindest, hilarious, talented, wonderful, & lovely human beings I've met & it's always so nice getting to see & have a chat with her. After we said our see you later's, & a few hours pass by, it was time for my first event of the weekend, #Day5 FIRST Night! While I can't say anything about it, if you loved season 1, you're gonna love season 2 even more. Also, it was so nice seeing the cast & crew behind it! So ends Day 0 of RTX Austin.
The morning of Day 1 had a surprise run in with Geoff Ramsey at the hotel elevators (what makes this is that I had to go back to my room to get something I had left). I was so caught off guard, that I only was able to ask for a picture. After that chance run in, I headed down to the convention center to get in line for the VIP Expo Hall early access. There were a few things I wanted to get, which I did get. Shout out & thank you again to Chelsea for helping me out with getting my RTXclusive RT Box! After I picked up my RT Box & a couple of things from the RT Store, I headed to my first Autograph signing (Barbara & Gus). Having Barbara "beatbox" my name & finally meeting Gus had me smiling. Also, a sort of surreal moment was being able to show Barbara & Gus my Million Dollars, But... Community pack card that made it into the Community Expansion pack for the game. Having Barbara go "Hey, that's YOU!" when realizing my RT site name was on the card topped it off! After the signing & pictures and saying our see you later's, I headed back into the Expo Hall until it was time for my next Autograph session (Adam Ellis & Joel). While wheeling around the Expo Hall I bumped into Adam Ellis & Grace (Zonbi) [They both are so kind & wonderful], Trevor Collins, & Ben & Justin from RT Broadcast, & Brian Reilly from RT Games! After wheeling around for a bit, it was time to head to my signing with Adam Ellis & Joel. It was so nice seeing & chatting with both Adam & Joel, and Adam thanking me for always hanging out/watching when he streams was nice! (his Twitch streams are always fun to watch! If you haven't, you should check one out!) After my final signing of the weekend, I headed back to the hotel. While waiting for the first panel I wanted to attend to start, I bumped into Texas (You may have seen him on Always Open & the RT Podcast). Both of us wanting to meet each other made it a memorable moment. It was so nice to finally meet Texas in person! After bumping into Texas, I bumped into Jesse, & Davi (again) from the Day 5 cast! All the Day 5 cast & crew are wonderful. After that, it was time for my first panel of the weekend, the (FIRST Only) Ladies of RT panel. It was awesome hearing from the badass ladies (Barbara Dunkelman (Marketing), Bethany Feinstein (Events), Ashley Jenkins (The Know), Mariel Salcedo (Broadcast), Jessica Vasami (Live Action), Maggie Tominey (2D Producer/Animation), & Megan Castro (Sales)) who run a majority of Rooster Teeth. After the panel, it was time to get ready for the VIP party. That VIP party was a highlight of my weekend. The bands that played were awesome & meeting everyone I did made it an unforgettable night. I got to meet Sophie (RT PR), Jack (I got a fist bump from Jack!) & Caiti, Jeremy Dooley, Stan Lewis & Michael Lindblad, Jon Risinger & Gray Haddock. I also met quite a few community members as well (like Pink Portrait)! The VIP party capped a(nother) solid day of my RTX Austin trip.
Day 2 of RTX Austin begun with the Always Open panel. After watching Always Open for the first 2 seasons & a RTX Sydney panel online, it was so awesome being in the audience of one of your favorite shows! Laughs were had & all round a fun panel, even got to witness the marriage between Bethany & Mariel (w/ Barbara being the ordained Minister). After the Always Open panel, I had some time to wheel around. I bumped into Shannon McCormick right before I had to get to my next panel. Up next on the panel schedule was the Ladies of Animation panel. Right before the panel started I saw & chatted with Chris Demarais. Again, hearing from the awesome ladies (Kim Newman, Yssa Badiola, Paula Decanini, Rachel Doda, Gio Coutinho, Laurin C. & a few others) of animation was, well awesome! After the panel I got to see & have nice chats with Melanie Stern & Kim Newman, both from 3D Animation. As I was heading back to my hotel, I bumped into Gaelfox, another awesome artist/cosplayer community member. At the hotel, Jessica Vasami saw me and ran up to me. She wanted to meet me & thanked me for all the kind words I've said. That was another unforgettable moment, having someone who inspires you want to meet you as much as you wanted to meet them. A bit after bumping into Jessica, I met Tyler Coe. Tyler was another awesome individual I met. Soon after meeting Tyler, I saw Kerry Shawcross & Yssa Badiola. It was so nice seeing & chatting with both Kerry & Yssa. After that I saw Chad James from Screw Attack. I told him I'd be rooting for him in the Mario Party game that night. At that point I'd made up my mind to go to the Game attack Mario Party (3) game panel that night. Like last years game, the Game Attack Mario Party game was crazy fun! The vibe in that room ramping up as the game progressed was amazing! It was a great way to end Day 2!
The morning of Day 3 had me in a panel room 3 hours before the panel started, but in the end it was so worth it. I bumped into Arnold/MurderofBirds) About an hour and a half to 2 hours before the panel started, the entire room of a few THOUSAND attendees broke out in a sing-along. By the end of it, Queens Bohemian Rhapsody started & that's when my most unforgettable moment happened. Singing along with a few thousand people with Gray Haddock joining in was just something so special. After that the (FIRST Only) RWBY panel begun. Hearing from Kerry Shawcross, Miles Luna, Gray Haddock, Vic Mignogna, Lindsay Jones, Kara Eberle, Arryn Zech & Barbara Dunkelman was pretty awesome, & getting to see some upcoming stuff was amazing as well! After the RWBY panel I wheeled around the 3 floor for a bit before my next (and last panel of the weekend). I bumped into Matt Peake, who recognized me from a previous RTX! Then, thanks to Texas Dela Rosa, I got to meet Mariel Salcedo! Mariel thanked me for being a supporter of Always Open (which is a helpful, hilarious, & wonderful show, check it out if you haven't!). It was so wonderful to finally meet Mariel & chat a bit. Again thank you Texas! After that I bumped into the Broadcast crew where I met Nick Schwartz! It was so nice meeting the awesome crew behind my favorite shows! Then it was time for the last panel I attended, the Animation Festival - Tips & Tricks with the 3D Animators of RT. That was a really great panel & I got a better understanding of 3D animation from Austin Hardwicke, Paula Decanini, Kim Newman, Asha Bishi, Ian Kedward, Melanie Stern, & Harley Dwortz, among others in the room. After the panel I saw & chatted with Melanie Stern one more time. It was so wonderful seeing & chatting with Melanie & seeing a little behind the scenes of her work. After the panel I headed back to the hotel. RTX may have ended, but there was still seeing people before I left to be had! When I got to the hotel, Jen Brown was doing a little meet up it seemed. I went over to say hi. It was so wonderful seeing Jen again & chatting a bit. After Jen had left, I bumped into Barbara (who was holding a big box)one final time. Again, it was so wonderful getting to see & chat with her outside the convention & at the signing. We snapped one more picture & had a brief chat then said our "see-you-later's". After chatting with Barbara, I saw Josh Flanagan. We talked briefly about Day 5 (again, looking forward to season 2!) & snapped a couple pics. After that I bumped into Hannah who does the RT Life videos. I thanked her for her work on them & she wanted to get a picture with me! That was yet another memorable moment. It was so nice to meet Hannah.
Thus ended my weekend. After I left the hotel, I ended up eating at Gus' World Famous Fried Chicken, on the recommendation of Adam Ellis. It. was. DELICIOUS! Some of the best fried chicken I've had. Then it was off to the airport where one last surprise was in store for me, bumping into Bruce Greene, Elyse Willems & James Willems, & Adam Kovic! It was a perfect way to end my RTX Austin trip.
I can not thank everyone I saw/met, the badass RTX Guardians, & Rooster Teeth (especially Events team) enough. This year marked my third RTX overall, & it won't be my last. From the second I got home, I've been thinking about next years event. I can not wait to back in Austin, TX, surrounded by awesome & wonderful people again. I definitely will try for VIP again as well!
Til next year. - Daniel "Wheelz08" Starrett