I'll break this down as much as possible but it's gonna be a long one.
Remember, this is just my view and no one elses. This was my first RTX and also first one as a Guardian so please take that into consideration! TL:DR of my experience at the bottom.
Thank you to Team Sigs!
To start out, I'd like to thank the Signatures team I was a part of for really being awesome. Without their experience and enthusiasm I doubt I could have done the entire weekend. They helped me learn so much about what it takes to be a guardian but also helped show me what a real team should look like so if any of them read this, thank you so much!
Can you be a Guardian?
Wanting to be guardian is something I think many people can say when applying to be one. Understanding what it takes to be a guardian is another story which a number of people fail to understand. It's hard work. You don't do just one thing, you have to do several things often at once. Also if you're not ready to do the following, it's not for you:
- Deal with stressful situations.
- Being prepared to talk to people.
- Being honest to attendees.
- Actively being the source of hype to get others excited.
- Prepared to deal with people with high anxiety and depression to make sure they have the best possible experience.
- To work as a team.
- Being professional, not a fan.
- Accepting you are working at the event for the community, not for yourself.
- Knowing this isn't how you get a job with Rooster Teeth (since it's not... at all).
- Remembering you lost your right to be at this event as an attendee when you have been selected to be a Guardian.
- Don't be a dick
- Enjoy being a Guardian knowing the above.
If you are ready to do all of the above (And then some) then you already have already done better then alot of past. You should then have a decent chance of being selected.
Going to link Eli's copied Guardian Application Summary here if you're interested to apply in the future: http://roosterteeth.com/post/51292271
What is it like being a 1st time Guardian?
It is hard but something you can grow into, especially if this is your first volunteering role at an event. If you really are ready to accept you will make mistakes and learn from them then you will be fine. I can not emphasis this enough but you need to make sure you ask questions to the vets of your team if you are unsure about anything. You don't want to be stuck on what to do when you have 100 people in a queue asking the same questions over and over, giving them the wrong or 30% sure answer. You can possibly ruin or harm the experience for the attendees! Always, always, always ask questions to Guardian Vets and if the vets don't know, find out that answer yourself! That to me is key.
My experience in a nutshell from RTXL (Highlights)
It was amazing. Honestly the experience I had has changed my mindset on how to approach certain things. I honestly can't recommend this enough, it's definitely something I will remember for a long time to come.
Day 0 (Friday)
It was awesome. Firstly, packing bags for the attendees was surprisingly fun. Chatting to the other guardians while doing this was great but then when people started to do the traditional sing along while packing bags, it made it so much better and I loved it. Later on in the day, met the team and learned who everyone was! We were then briefed on what the signatures team would be doing and the task at hand. After that, got something to eat with the team then that was it! Day 0 over.
Day 1 (Saturday)
This was when it all kicked off. Got in early and helped with the prep work (Setting up queue lines, tables etc.). After that, our line queue Alpha got into position and wait for the day to begin. Let me tell you, once that first queue came in for the first signings I realised what I was in for! Instantly letting people know what they were allowed, to make sure their ticket (Which we supplied, not the QR code ticket) was ready in their hand and also to have fun. We repeated this literally every 5 minutes. We did this for every signing session. To highlight the best moments from the 4 I helped with:
Gus/Geoff (Middle Ticket Check Man) - A girl with high anxiety was literally crying with joy that she was going to meet them! Our Alpha lead was noticed this and we quickly became her best friends for the duration of the queue along with a few attendees helping out! Seeing her hug Gus and Geoff literally made my day, that was beautiful to see and set a tone for the rest of the day
Adam / Bruce (Scanner Man) - Went A-Ok! Nothing really special for this one as I was scanning tickets but still, was a cool experience. After though, our Sig Team lead said I was never allowed to touch them scanners again due to my "Anti Technology" touch because of the really short battery life. I'd be lying if I wasn't agreeing with our Sig team lead since these scanners sure as hell ran out of battery fast! However I did found out later that day when trying to fix my Anti Technology mishap that the chargers for the scanners were very poor! We did manage to get some charged scanners later so I hopefully made it all ok for the next signing!
Michael / Lindsay (Guardian Bowl Man) - This one went over by quite a bit! Mostly due to late coming VIP's but it was really cool since I was at the front for this one so I was able to work with the awesome PA's. Seriously, the PA's for the talent were the best. I love them all. Also saw one of the most excited huggers in the world just constantly bouncing up and down excited to meet Michael. Thought she was the real MVP of that signing!
Burnie / Matt (Guardian Bowl Man) - Only had 5 minutes to prepare for this one and also this went way over, like almost 1 hour over. I learned why the team warned me of Matt and Burnie doing what ever they want! Literally, they talk so damn long to attendees which is fantastic for the attendees who are near the front, not for the others at the back or us guardians who've been standing up all day! Still though, never going to forget the fact I was a guardian for their signing queue. It holds a special place in my RTX memories!
Day 2 (Sunday)
I was ready for Sunday. I knew what I had to do. Everything I learned from yesterday made me ready for what was to come. Based off my at the front of the queue work, I was asked again to work at the front for the last two! I'd be lying if I wasn't super proud of myself hearing that. Also heard from a team mate that the scanners had faulty batteries so that made me feel a bit better about the previous days mishap! Here were the best moments for the final days signings:
Joel (Middle Ticket Check Man) - Was my poorest performance of the weekend I'd though but I managed to recover during the signing. Being middle man and introverted sometimes isn't a problem but being tired definitely made it a problem. Rocky start but I recovered! Not to shabby of a performance!
Gus / Barb (Guardian Bowl Man) - Immediately just going to give a shout out to the incredible work of Sole (Our Sig Team leader) for her prompt intervention during one of the attendees fainting in our queue. She got help ASAP to the attendee. Very stressful situation but thankful was resolved with no one being hurt or injured. Before this, I was the front man again talking to people making sure they were excited and ready to meet Gus and Barb. When this happened and when I noticed it, instantly became my task to make sure the attendees experience was not hampered. Simply put, I just kept doing what I was doing while receiving additional instructions on what we had to tell the attendees and what we had to do (E.g. Alternative exit points). Our team absolutely owned it and that signing was by far the best of the weekend. Literally went perfectly considering what happened. Kudos to the PA's too, you guys were fun to work with!
Michael / Lindsay 2 (Guardian Bowl Man) - This one went absolutely fantastic. The PA's were on point with the Camera's and making sure everyone was ready with their items and camera's went perfectly. Got to say, when I apply to be guardian and if I get it again with the signature team, this is the type of thing I will be aiming to beat. We beat yesterdays signing by a good 30 minutes. Gave us a break which we really did need!
Burnie / Matt 2 (Guardian Bowl Man + Marcarena Dance Teacher) - This one was hilarious right from the start. Matt rolled up by himself with these sweets called "Camel Balls" which are these small sour chewing gums which honestly tasted like camel balls. Just started chucking them into the crowd. Along with this, Matt started to get everyone to do the Macarena so I joined in (Which was a bad idea from myself who didn't fully know how it went), and then Matt said "He's got it! Luke (Me) show them how it's done!". Ever have that instant regret feeling, that was it. Went in front of everyone, and started to do the botched version of the Macarena. Next time, if I happen to be the front man for one of their signings, I need to ace that! Oh yeah, the signing itself went ok although towards the end, we unfortunately had to get 20 people to only get one item and one photo along with a quick chat due to the time of prior interactions between attendees and the talent.
After that, it was over! I did! I freaking did it! I did a full RTX as a guardian! It felt amazing! Afterwards, I literally hugged everyone I could see. After that, got my bags and went over to the guardian de-briefing. It did feel awesome to see every other guardian there and it was hard to hold back the emotions I felt since what a journey RTX was. We freakin' killed it. On the way out of the de-briefing I literally didn't want to say bye to anyone from my team but I had to go. Literally, could have not asked for a better team. I love each and every one of them.
After RTXL thoughts about being a Guardian
I would do it again in a heartbeat. I haven't felt such an accomplishment in a long time. Being able to learn as much as I did from my team and then being able to apply that newly found knowledge to enhance the experience for others so I was, in a sense, able to give back to a community that has given me so much was just incredible, almost hard to really put into words. I honestly couldn't of had a smoother, more amazing experience as a Guardian. Please for the love of christ, bring back RTX to London. It's improved me as a character and has brought together so many people. I love the fact that for the 1st RTXL, I could help it become something special. Can't wait to become a guardian again in the future.
Final thank you to the following...
- My wonderful team mates in signatures!
- The PA's I worked with. You all were awesome.
- The RT Talent.
- Matt Hullum for making me realize I need to learn the Macarena properly.
- The RT Events team
- All the Guardians at RTXL
- My friends at RTX who helped me relax after RTX
- Finally to my wonderful Girlfriend Hannah. Thank you for being there for me. It means everything to me.
TL:DR = Guardian ain't easy, you better be ready. It was awesome for me, it was hard af though. 10/10 would do again.