Improve Your Dating Odds By Not Dating

Hi, Atlanta. Katie O’Hara here.

I have some advice for all you who are looking to add someone special to your lives and have found it rather daunting in the dating world lately. Let’s face it: online dating is akin to a dumpster fire at times and no one does speed dating anymore. Finding your next date at a dance club? No. The nearest hookah bar that hires models as servers? Good luck with that. What about the people you work with? Better talk with HR first.

My advice? Don’t date. Just have fun and make more friends. I know, that doesn’t make sense. Not dating is the opposite of actually dating. Or IS it?

Surely there are some single people in this picture

The top two issues of trying to find a person to date are “Where do I meet such a person?” and “How do I meet them?”  The answer to both questions are found by asking yourself, “What do I like to do for fun?” (Surprisingly, that can be a deeply profound question for some of us, so take your time!) The surefire way to meet someone is to join a sports or social club geared towards your interests and happiness. But where are these mythical organizations and how do we join them?

An afternoon game of ultimate frisbee

Atlanta Sports and Social Club is the largest provider of adult recreational leagues, teams, social events, and adult sports tournaments in town. ASSC is a year-round operation, specializing in “traditional sports like soccer and softball, as well as fun social sports like kickball and cornhole.” Schedules of events and teams are easy to navigate and there activities beyond sports, such as wine and beer festivals or crawls.

Zog Sports is another intramural social sports community in the Atlanta area. Zog Sports offers traditional sports like softball, dodgeball, and basketball, but offers corporate team options–maybe that’s a good way to chat up Kevin from the accounting department. Zog has  easy-to-access drop down menus to find a team or league near you OR your job.

Not into the straight crowd? Don’t worry, LGBTQ fam. The National Flag Football Association is a gay-friendly league. There is also Hotlanta Volleyball Association, Front Runners Atlanta, Atlanta Bucks Rugby, and Hotlanta Softball League.

Atlanta Botanical Garden

If you are not an exercise enthusiast or a gamer and want to find a more sophisticated crowd, perhaps you should try out Lunchtime Culture at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Lunchtime Culture is a free, monthly event curated by the ABG and other organizations, like The Bremen Museum and the Center For Puppetry Arts, to highlight performances, conversations, and tours in various Midtown venues, giving attendants “a fresh perspective” of Atlanta. November’s meetup is at the Alliance Theater for “Puppetry & Acting: Bringing Characters to Life.”

Fernbank Museum of Natural Sciences

If you can’t make the midday event at ABG, take a look at Fernbank After Dark’s recurring monthly lineup of fabulous live music, tapas, full bars, live science demonstrations and hands-on activities. Each month, Fernbank rolls out a themed event night that highlights the science of the season and the beautiful Georgian landscape. November’s event is “Science of Our Senses.”

Hiking with the Atlanta Outdoor Club

Combine both nature, sports and exercise by checking out Atlanta Outdoor Club. This organization has DAILY meetups for hiking around the metro area’s parks and landscapes. Membership is FREE, too!

Plant some trees, meet some peeps

Besides sports and nature, where else could you go to meet your next date? Volunteerism is another way to meet people. Hands on Atlanta, Trees Atlanta, and PAWS Atlanta are always in need of help! Do you like classical music? The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has volunteers act as ushers, ticket handlers and answer general questions–the payoff is free entrance to the symphony! The High Museum of Art is now accepting volunteers to help with upcoming exhibits, as well.

My point is: Happiness and joy start with you! Find out what activities fulfill you with joy and start looking when you’re in that environment. It’s the perfect strategy for when you don’t want to waste your time and you can meet other people on a platonic level with your shared interests, as well.

Keep dating, Atlanta!

 

 

 

Opening Night at Nick’s Flamingo Grill

As you all know by now, the Queen of the Gnomes is a massive patron of the theatre. From One-Act Plays to Musicals and Improv, I will see it all no matter the type.

On Thursday of this past week, the Giant King and I attended the World-Premier of Nick’s Flamingo Grill over at the Alliance Theatre.

Written by the multi-talented and legendary Phillip DePoy, Nick’s Flamingo Grill is described as a “play with live-music” performed by an amazing cast of actors. Bouncing between post-WWII Paris to 1950s Atlanta, Nick’s Flamingo Grill tells the story of two ex-WWII GIs with a dream of opening their own “club du jazz” here in America. Along with a Cuban songbird and a “pretty” French Resistance fighter, the four decide to create a “Camelot” of lively music and good food.

The play focuses on various themes from racial segregation to fraternal brotherhood. A unique aspect of Nick’s Flamingo Grill is that it’s actually based on a real place.

“The club was real…my father was in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and would sit-in with his friends and sometimes play there,” explained DePoy.

Located near the old Armor Meat Packing Plant [now Castleberry Hill]; the club was “technically” illegal due to Segregation Laws at the time. While DePoy may not have been able to verify the existence of this mystical, mixed-race club, that didn’t stop him from writing one of the most humorous and heartfelt plays performed on the Hertz Stage.

Featuring ten original jazz songs by both DePoy and New Orleans’s jazz pianist: Tyrone Jackson, Nick’s Flamingo Grill had the audience snappin’ and tappin’ throughout the evening.

The Gnome Queen highly recommends seeing this fantastic *performance not only for the music, but for the message as well.

*The play is about an hour and a half with no intermission and does include some loud “explosions” for those with sensory-sensitivities.

ATL by Night Highlights for Oct 5th – 7th

I feel like you should start thinking ahead to October, because the spring and the fall is when this city goes INSANE with things to do at all times of the day and night.

The weekend of October 5th-7th kicks off a wonderful, event-filled month in Atlanta. First off is the A3C Festival, a hip hop music and culture event that is both a conference and a music festival. Most of the conference panels, meet and greets, and networking activities are scheduled October 3-5, leaving Saturday the 6th and Sunday the 7th dedicated to musical acts like Wu-Tang Clan, Lil Wayne, Talib Kweli and Young M.A.

Also happening but a separate event: the 8th annual Atlanta Hip Hop Day. This free, two-day music festival will be happening downtown at Woodruff Park. It will feature artists such as Skooly, Kwony Cash, and Lil Zane. Hosted by DJ Scream of 96.7 The Beat, this Saturday-Sunday outdoor get together will definitely make heads bounce, if not break some backs with sick beats.

Steve Aoki is playing at Ravine on Saturday, October 6th. Aoki hasn’t played in Atlanta for two years, and it feels like FOREVER since Midtown got that lit on a Saturday. This time, Aoki will be taking the EDM fire inside Ravine–no outside block party! It is going to be air conditioned for your sexy good times. Will there be cake thrown? Will this party be as crazy as I think it will be? I hope the answer to both questions is “YES!”  UPDATE: Beware Presents says there will definitely be cake thrown!

529 in EAV is throwing a great hip hop concert on Friday, October 5th titled We Are The Gard featuring Bumpy Knuckles, Breakbeat Lou and Opio. This is an official A3C Festival showcase, so you are guaranteed to hear something exquisite from the lineup. Free admission with A3C festival 5-day pass or tickets at the door

.

The Sweet Auburn Music Fest is happening over Irwin Street this weekend as well. The two-day, FREE and family friendly music, food and arts gathering has a lot to offer: “From upcoming hip hop acts, to timeless R&B & Gospel stars, to Rap veterans, to Alternative Greats, the Sweet Auburn Music Fest has it all.”

What about the games and watch parties?? Sidebar is hosting UFC viewing party on Saturday afternoon and a Falcons-Steelers watch party on Sunday.

Looks like the start of a jam-packed October in the A–keep having fun, Atlanta!

 

 

 

 

The Cheese Festival Atlanta

Do you enjoy munching on various cheeses and meats from around the world? Do you take pleasure in tasting deliciously crafted beer and wines? Do you feel sophisticated when you hear the word “charcuterie”?

Well then, get ready because the Gnome Queen has the event for you!

It’s the 6th Annual: Cheese Festival Atlanta!

Started in 2012 by Gourmet Foods International, this amazing event brings an assortment of national and international artisan cheese makers’ right here to Atlanta. The event will take place from 5 P.M.-10 P.M. Friday, September 28th at the Historic Fourth Ward Park.

As of now, General Admission tickets include samplings of over 100 cheese and meat vendors, live music from Rachel Baiman, and access to the one and only: “Meltdown Competition”.  The Meltdown Competition features popular Atlanta chefs “grilling it out” for the highly honored People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice Awards.

Patrons can also partake in an education class detailing the history and fermentation process of olives hosted by Divina; a “Pig and Pint” of charcuterie and beer pairings from Spotted Trotter; and finally, the Cheesemaker Unplugged/Uncensored: Meet the Maker. This session will feature cheese maker: Cellars at Jasper Hill who were awarded the 2018 “Best in Show” at the American Cheese Society Conference.

Now, for those of you who want a little bit more cheese-time with a specific drink pairing, then the VIP tickets are just for you. These tickets will include a seat in one of three select VIP-only pairing sessions and a VIP-only item upon festival entry.  The pairing sessions comprise of a Beer, Wine or Champagne option and will have a variety of times offered throughout the evening.

For the Gnome Queen, an amazing aspect of this delicious event includes a portion of all proceeds going to the local nonprofit: Giving Kitchen.  Giving Kitchen was started in May of 2013 by local community Chef Ryan Hidinger and his wife Jen Hidinger in response to Ryan’s stage-four cancer diagnosis.

Giving Kitchen’s mission is to provide emergency financial assistance to restaurant workers and their families while in need. Through the Giving Kitchen Crisis Grants, over 1100 workers have been served not only in Atlanta, but in 47 counties across the state of Georgia.

So, if none of that sparked your interest in attending the wondrous Cheese Festival, then you are not only cold and heartless, but clearly you don’t appreciate the value of cheese, meats, and alcohol.

To Purchase Tickets: https://www.bigtickets.com/e/gfi/cheese-fest-atlanta

To Make a Donation to Giving Kitchen: https://connect.clickandpledge.com/w/Form/d11bff52-0cd0-44d8-9403-465614e4f342

 

Dragon Con Tales: Saturday Parade

Here are some awesome pictures from the Dragon Con Parade!

Infinity Stone Cast
The Mystery Machine
Scooby & the Gang
Dragon Cosplay
The Beloved Joystick Gamebar Staff
Magnificent Maleficent

Robot
Forest Gump Running Before the Parade
The Wicked Witch of the West
Aladdin’s Carpet
Cult of Marriott Carpet
Netherworld Creature
Netherworld Demon
Netherworld Wolf & Float
Ariel Ghostbuster
M’Baku & Killmonger
Wakanda Warriors
Block Storm
Wolverine Car
Deadpool Ballerina
The Deadpool Parade Squad
Pokemon
Captain America
Bumblebee
Zombie Girl
Immortal Joe
Handmadiens
Real Abs & Spartans
He-Man Squad
Pickle Rick
All Hail Bill Cipher
Aang & Appa
“Can I help you Peasant?”- Queen of Hearts
Pirate Float
Flying Spaghetti Monster Float  [I do believe]
Fabulous Rhodium
The Fan-Ship Who Lived
Sword Balancer
Hela Good Cosplay
Big Daddy & Little Sister
Blue BB-8
R2-D2
Run DMC Storm Troopers
Deadmau5 Tropper
A Great Rey
“Is that Mark Hamill?”
The Great Jawa Horde
Sandcrawler
Adorable
“Kill All Humans, Must Kill All Humans”
Darth Vader
I Want Pictures of Spiderman!

There you have it!

To see my Dragon Con Tales: Thursday post, clicker here: https://atlbyday.com/2018/09/02/gettin-schwifty-at-dragon-con-2018/

For Dragon Con Tales: Friday : https://atlbyday.com/2018/09/05/a-funtastic-friday/

For my Christopher Paolini interview : https://atlbyday.com/2018/09/03/a-great-interview-with-christopher-paolini/

I hope you had a great Dragon Con everyone!

Dragon Con Tales: Friday

Chances are this Labor Day weekend, you either spent the time lounging at Lake Lanier or stuck in Midtown traffic.
Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach
If you were the latter, then I know you got to see the assortment of cosplayers and visitors attending this year’s Dragon Con.
Drinker Bell & Tinker Bell
A variety of events and panels were scheduled for Friday which began for the Giant King and I with an amazing 1-on-1 interview with novelist Chris Paolini.
Rick & Summer Gone Give It to Ya!

We then got to relive our childhoods by attending the Spongebob Squarepants Panel with voice actor: Tom Kenny. As an avid Spongebob fan, it was a dream come true to hear Mr. Kenny physically jump between his normal voice and Spongebob’s.

Tom Kenny!!!!

Towards the end of the panel, a Q&A session took place where audience members of all ages were able to asked Mr. Kenny various questions on his career and comedic roots.

Answering Questions

I myself was able to ask him a question regarding ways in which aspiring voice actors and actresses can practice or even find ways to begin in the industry. (I gotchu ATL actors.)

His response was flawless: “Just hear everything and listen; you’re always one audition away from changing your life”. He also said to check out: http://iwanttobeavoiceactor.com so take his advice!

Dragon Con Friends

Later on, the Giant King entered into the “Lord & Ladies Coiffure Contest” hosted by the Alternate History Track. The contest focused on best types of hair which ranged from mustaches and beards, to amazingly styled “head-hair” designs.

Alternate History Track

The Giant King ended up winning 2nd place in the “Best-Styled” Head Hair category. The Gnome Queen was so proud.

Ariel Pinup

Towards the end of the evening, I entered Talloolah Love’s Pinups by the Pool Contest which featured a lovely group of pinups and cosplayers.

Wonder Woman Pinup

I actually made it into the “Stage” Round of the contest with my amazing “Drinker Bell” cosplay costume. For those of you who don’t know, Drinker Bell is Tinker Bell’s rave-loving cousin.

Drinker Bell with Unicorn Tears Martini

The entire day was a solid success and I knew that the remaining weekend would be even better.

For more Pinups By the Pool, scroll below!

To check out my interview with Chris Paolini, click here: https://atlbyday.com/2018/09/03/a-great-interview-with-christopher-paolini/

To see Dragon Con Tales: Thursday, click here: https://atlbyday.com/2018/09/02/gettin-schwifty-at-dragon-con-2018/

To see more upcoming Dragon Con Tales, subscribe to our newsletter and like us on social media!

An Intense Pool Ball Game
Talloolah Love
Space Pinup
A Fun Time
Chibiusa Pinup
Captain Claw

 

 

Dragon Con Tales: Christopher Paolini

On Friday of Dragon Con this weekend, I had an exclusive 1-on-1 interview with one of my favorite childhood novelists: Christopher Paolini.

Christopher Paolini & the Gnome Queen

Paolini is best-known for his Inheritance Cycle series, which he originally began writing at the age of 14.

Christopher Paolini Interview

“Reading and watching movies, and listening to music were all ways for me to experience the world outside of Montana,” said  Paolini

Christopher Paolini

The story of Eragon actually began as an experiment in order to see  if he could write a full-fledged novel.

“I was very methodical…I stopped writing and starting reading books on how to write.” explained Paolini.

Christopher Paolini Interview

Some of these books included Orson Scott Card’s How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, works from Joseph Campbell, and various writing essays by different authors.

“I said ‘I’m going to create a whole fantasy land, and all the characters, plot out a story, and I’m not going to write it’,” said Paolini.

Making Jokes
In doing so, he was able to flesh out the entirety of his series as well as the characters.
“I think one of the reasons it did succeed so well [Eragon] was the relationship between Eragon and Saphira …but also the fact that is an archetypal hero story,” described Paolini.
Christopher Paolini Interview

Paolini went on to explain that the character Brom was actually inspired by professional writer and artist Gerald Brom.  Gerald Brom or “Brom” is best-known for his dark, fantasy-based artistic style as well as his horror novels.

Asking Questions

A fun fact about this year’s convention was that Brom himself attended as the 2018 Dragon Con “Artist Guest of Honor”.

Strange how the world works like that.

Christopher Paolini
Paolini also informed me that an upcoming space opera is in the works, but a  release date has not be set as of yet.
You known the Gnome Queen be hitting the book store when its out.
Discussing Books
The interview concluded with Paolini discussing his favorite aspects of the Con which included the general vibe of the attendees and panels.
“Its kind of crazy, but it really is a fan convention…its not only a business event for me, but also like a vacation.”
I 100% agree. Its not everyday a Royal Gnome gets to meet one of her favorite authors, let alone one so cool and down to earth.
To see my first day at this year’s Dragon Con click here https://atlbyday.com/2018/09/02/gettin-schwifty-at-dragon-con-2018/
For more upcoming Dragon Con Tales, please subscribe to our newsletter and like us on social media!

Top Things To Do in Atlanta

Labor Day is a celebration of the American workforce and what better way to celebrate all of your hard work than to have one last hurrah for summer complete with good food, drink, and maybe even some music? Lucky for you, Atlanta has a lot of great options for you to enjoy your extended weekend. College football kicks off, Dragon Con is in town, and lots lots more. Read below for our top picks broken down by activity type:

Sports:

  • Chick-fil-a Kickoff game: Washington vs. Auburn- Saturday, Sept. 1st at 3:30pm at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • College Colors Kickoff Block Party: Celebrate the start to college football with the college colors bar crawl this Friday, August 31st. To find out more about tickets and participating bars and restaurants read our post.
  • Georgia Tech vs. Alcorn State: Georgia Tech football kicks off its 2018 season at Bobby Dodd Stadium this Saturday, September 1st at 12:30pm.
  • Atlanta Braves Games: The Braves will be hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates all weekend long at SunTrust Park. There will even be a Zedd concert after the game Friday night!
  • Soul Rise Classic 5K: Will take place Saturday, September 1st beginning across from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Registration is $30 and proceeds will benefit early childhood development at the YMCA and other local community non-profits.
  • Big Peach Sizzler 10K/5K: Will take place Monday September 3rd with the 10K starting at the Chamblee MARTA Station and the 5K beginning at the Brookhaven MARTA Station. Registration is $45 for the 5K and $55 for the 10K. All proceeds will support Miles for Cystic Fibrosis.
  • Hike and Hops at Stone Mountain: Explore Stone Mountain on a 5-6 mile hike ending with a German beer tasting at the Village Corner German Restaurant. Tickets include one beer and a giant pretzel. Hike takes place Sunday, September 2nd beginning at 10:45am. Click here for more info. P.S- Stone Mountain will be hosting extended light shows all Labor Day Weekend. Find out more here.

Music:

  • Zedd concert: At SunTrust Park after the Braves vs. Pirates game Friday, August 31st. Find tickets here.
  • Taste of Soul Atlanta- Food & Music Festival: A free festival taking place Saturday and Sunday, September 1st and 2nd across from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. To find out more about the music, food, and activities check out their site.
  • Lynard Skynard- Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour: Saturday, September 1st at the Lakewood Amphitheatre.
  • Michael Jackson vs. Prince Silent Disco: Saturday, September 1st at 830pm at the Buckhead Theatre. Tickets start at $13.
  • House in the Park at Grant Park: Sunday, September 2nd beginning at 12pm. Tickets are $10.
  • Local Brews Local Grooves at the Tabernacle: Come to the Tabernacle Sunday, September 4th beginning at 4pm for a craft beer and music festival. Free pizza from Outsiders pizza will be provided as well as a selection of local craft breweries and live music. To find out more info such as a list of breweries, bands, and ticket prices click here.

Food:

  • Taste of Soul Atlanta- Food & Music Festival: A free festival taking place Saturday and Sunday, September 1st and 2nd across from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. To find out more about the music, food, and activities check out their site.
  • Luau at Victory Sandwich Bar: Sunday, September 2nd beginning at 2pm Victory Sandwich Bar in Decatur will be hosting a luau complete with live music, a tiki bar, and an all you can eat buffet. And tickets are only $15!
  • 4th Annual Labor Day Pig Out at Avalon’s Oak Steakhouse: Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for kids. Tickets include delicious food, and activities such as face painting, a photo booth, and lawn games. Beer, wine, and batch cocktails will also be available for purchase.
  • 33rd Annual Labor Day Blues & BBQ: Park Tavern will be hosting WRFG 89.3 FM’s annual BBQ Monday, September 3rd beginning at 1pm. Tickets are $15, for more info click here.
  • Local Brews Local Grooves at the Tabernacle: Come to the Tabernacle Sunday, September 4th beginning at 4pm for a craft beer and music festival. Free pizza from Outsiders pizza will be provided as well as a selection of local craft breweries and live music. To find out more info such as a list of breweries, bands, and ticket prices click here.

Social:

  • Dragon Con: Takes place August 30-September 3rd. Check out our guides to Dragon Con 2018.
  • Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival: Head to Callaway gardens from August 31st-September 2nd to witness the beautiful hot air balloons illuminate the night! The weekend event will include tethered balloon rides, live music, food and drink specials, a kids zone, beach activities, a classic car show, disc dog demonstrations, and a photography class. To see the schedule of events click here. Adult ticket prices start at $24.95 and children’s prices begin at $14.95.
  • Pure Heat Community Festival: Celebrate Atlanta’s Black Pride this Sunday, September 2nd beginning at 12pm in Piedmont Park! The celebration will include market and food vendors, live music, and educational forums. The festival strives to bring awareness to the issues currently facing the LGBTQ community.

The Arts:

  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History: Is offering a Labor Day special of 15% off memberships! Use the code “LABOR 2018” at the checkout here.
  • Cirque du Soleil Corteo: Will be performing multiple shows over Labor Day weekend at the Infinite Energy Center. To find showtimes and tickets follow this link.
  • AJC Decatur Book Festival: Will take place August 31st-September 2nd in downtown Decatur. For more information and a schedule follow the link here.
Dragoncon Halo Cosplay

WHO TO SEE AT DRAGONCON 2018: PART FOUR

Hello and welcome to the final edition of “Who to See” Dragon Con 2018. For the finale, let’s take a look at “Attending Professionals”.

For my lover’s of puppetry and robotics, get ready for an all-star line up of some of the best puppeteers and puppet-makers in the world. Starting with Peter Abrahamson, Abrahamson has created countless robots and puppets for many Hollywood blockbusters such as I, Robot and Hellboy, as well as producing the hit T.V. series: BattleBots.

The world-renowned Kris Bluett-Woolen will also be in attendance. Bluett-Woolen has been working in the puppet business since 1988 and has performed in various countries such as Japan and South Korea. She also recently performed at the 2018 National Puppet Slam over at the Center for Puppetry Arts.

The current Education Director of the Center for Puppetry Arts, Aretta Baumgartner, is to make an appearance as well. Baumgartner specializes in performing while also teaching masks, movements, and puppetry.

Another star-studded puppeteer is Grant Baciocco from Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Baciacco is a comedic puppeteer and is a member of the Jim Henson Company’s Puppet Up! Uncensored troupe. His most recently work has been on the upcoming Happytime Murders film with Melissa McCarthy.

When searching for amazing costume and prop-makers, look no further than “The Wicked Tailor”.  Known in the real world as Frank T. Puricelli, “The Wicked Tailor” has won countless awards for his costumes and cosplaying, which includes the 2016 Dragon Con Overall Best In Show.

Professional costume designer and cosplayer “Jinglebooboo” will also be making an appearance at this year’s Con. Her work has been featured in Cosplay Culture, and was a competitor on the popular SyFy series Cosplay Melee.

One of my personal picks is make-up artist: Corey Castellano. Castellano’s work has been seen in countless Hollywood blockbusters and shows which include: The Patriot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pirates of the Caribbean:On Stranger Tides, The Polar Express, Zombieland, and so many more.

Emily Schmidt of Go Big or Go Home Cosplay is a local cosplayer here in the Greater Atlanta Area. She is also a Cosplay Melee veteran and winner of the episode “Throne Off”.  She is known for creating her own armor, and specializes with thermoplastics and foam. Schmidt can be found at the Geekspace Gwinnet which is a non-profit makerspace in Suwanee.

For my Rupaul Drag Race fans, the self-proclaimed: “Queen of All Nerds” Dax ExclamationPoint will fabulously strolling through this year’s Con. Dax’s style is based predominately on comic book super-heroines. She has cosplayed some powerful supers, such as Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Black Canary.

Award-winning cosplay model Barr “JaBarr” Foxx will also be at Dragon Con. JaBarr’s cosplaying creativity has been featured in the cosplay-themed book: Cosplay in America Vol.2, as well as Marvel’s official website for his rendition of Bishop and Gambit.  His #CosplayYourWay campaign encourages all individuals to cosplay regardless of race, size, age, or gender, and describes his own style as “Cosplay Chic!”

Next we spotlight award-winning gaming speaker: Dr. Roger Altizer, Jr. Dr. Altizer has spoken on topics from medical games and designs to the ever-growing eSports Industry. He is also a former game journalist and has hosted countless parties at conventions and fan events.

Speaking of gaming, attendees can also catch Andrien Gbinigie who is a Product Marketing Manager at Ubisoft. Gninigie has worked as a Community Manager on the Assassin’s Creed franchise and is an avid cosplayer.

The Associate Chair of Interactive Design, Game Development, and Motion Media Design at SCAD Atlanta, Eric Allen, will also be around the Con. If you’re interested in learning how to create 3D character rigs, then you should definitely check out his best-selling book: Body Language: Advanced 3D Character Rigging.

Another game-related professor is Shareef K. Jackson of the University of Wisconsin. Jackson teaches a course on Video Games & Learning, and is a STEM Diversity Advocate. He is the founder of the tutoring service Math Looks Good LLC. as well as the co-host for the Spawn On Me podcast.

Now, while most college students who attend Dragon Con are there to ya know, avoid school, Dragon Con actually has an assortment of awesome professors and academics at this year’s Con.  These include: Dr. Matthew J. Brown who is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at The University of Texas at Dallas, and is also a professorial scholar of pop culture and comics. Since Dragon Con 2008, Dr. Brown has organized an academic conference  which I’ll definitely be attending.

I have to know how one becomes a pop-culture professional scholar.

Biology Professor Dr. Mohamed A. F. Noor of Duke University (Go Blue Devils!) has conducted countless studies on evolution and genetics. As avid Star Trek fan, Dr. Noor has given talks regarding the applied science in the Star Trek universe as well as many other science fiction universes.

Dr. Bethany Brookshire is an award-winning science writer for Science News for Students and Science News which are subsidiaries of the non-profit: Society for Science & the Public. Dr. Brookshire is also a blogger for Eureka! Lab and Scicurious, as well as a presenter for the podcast: Science for the People.

Another personal pick is Scott Harris of the Fernbank Science Center and Planetarium. Harris a Planetary Geologist who’s research includes meteorites and asteroid impact deposits around the world.

And while I know pretty much everyone who grew up in Georgia went to Fernbank Museum at some point for a class trip, I would I definitely recommend returning for one of their Fernbank After Dark events. Visitors can grab a drink while checking out the Dr. Ralph L. Buice, Jr. Observatory for some star gazing and maybe even a shooting star! [Cough, it’s actually a meteor burning up in the earth’s atmosphere, Cough.]

Unfortunately, some of you believe that since October is over a month away, I can’t bring out my spookey-dooky skeletons. Well, in that case let’s grab some ghost hunters: at this year’s Con we have Shawn Boettner and Jordan T. Duncan of Paranormal Georgia Investigations. Boettner is one of the team’s paranormal investigators and Duncan is one of the Co-Directors. Maybe they’ll find a spirit or two.

And finally, the blood-descendant of master horror writer Bram Stoker himself: Dacre Calder Stoker! Dacre Stoker is the great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker, and like his great grand-uncle, Dacre has taken a keen interest in the world of vampires. He is the co-author of Dracula the Un-Dead, a direct sequel to the original Dracula which he wrote to “reestablish creative control over” over the original copyright. I won’t lie, there have been some…interesting vampire stories written since Bram’s publication. In 2011, Dacre also created the documentary-film Dracula meets Stoker. 

So, there you have it. Thank you for reading Part 4 of “Who to See” Dragon Con 2018: “Attending Professionals”. Be sure to catch the Gnome Queen and my Giant King at this year’s Con. We’ll be cosplaying Afro-Samurai, “Drinker” Bell and many, many more.

See you then!

For the entire Attending Professionals “Who to See”, check out: http://www.dragoncon.org/?q=attending-professionals-view

To read Parts 1, 2, & 3 click here:

https://atlbyday.com/2018/07/19/who-to-see-at-dragon-con-2018-part-four/

https://atlbyday.com/2018/06/28/who-to-see-at-dragon-con-2018-part-two/

https://atlbyday.com/2018/06/21/dragon-con-2018-who-to-see/

Review: Tritonal and Gorgon City at Opera Nightclub

Tritonal stopped into Atlanta on Friday, August 3, to play a set at Opera Nightclub in Midtown. The American music duo from Austin, TX, played to a packed audience with a mix of house, trance and popular mixes from other DJs (Everyone enjoyed that Chris Lake mix, am I right?). Despite the guy who I caught surfing Reddit, everyone was having a great time.

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I walked all around that main floor. People were standing everywhere and it was crazy upfront near the end of the night. I saw shirtless guys in every direction! It was a mixture of “Ooooh!” and “Ewwww!” for half an hour.

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The next evening featured Gorgon City, an English EDM production duo from North London. Kye “Foamo” Gibbon and Matt “RackNRuin” Robinson-Scott played their house music set to a bunch of stoked ATL fans–enough to make it another packed, hot and sweaty night in Midtown.

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Thomas Demey, 27, of Atlanta, attended Saturday night’s event.  “‘Grooves On The Vinyl.’ This song brought me back to Gorgon City after the ‘Sirens’ album. They nearly disappeared off the house map but came back strong with this tech-house banger. I’m in this tech-house groove right now with melodies and lyrics–this hits the spot.”

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Demey had the pleasure of viewing Gorgon City from the VIP section. “VIP at Opera is always an interesting experience. The people up there are typically not there for the music being played but rather the VIP experience. That’s my not crowd. I’d much rather get down with the dancing crowd. People trying to get sweaty (by dancing) and into the music. Ultimately, I spent more time in VIP for this show but I do prefer the main floor.” He added, “The only downside is that Opera was exceptionally packed for both this weekend’s shows, so that made spending time on the floor difficult–especially if you wanted room to dance.”

 

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Space was a premium on both nights, so word to the wise: Go VIP if you like a lot of area around you and want to see these bigger acts. The main floor is not for claustrophobic!

Keep dancing, Atlanta!