In 2009, Twilight fans from all over heard talk of a Twilight Convention that would be occurring in the late summer. A friend of mine, Jackie Mercer, stumbled upon a website about a Twilight Convention and immediately contacted me about it. Jackie is one of my best friends. Standing side by side, Jackie’s head reaches my nose. Her hair is always perfectly straight and a beautiful shade of brown mixed with honey. The cell phone buzzed and I answered and heard Jackie,
“Samm!!! There’s a Convention in Dallas, Texas all about TWILIGHT!!!!! This is definitely something that we HAVE to do before summer is over. A road trip is just what we need to end the summer.”
“Oh My God! Are you kidding me!!!”
“Nope, look on the website. It’s twicon.org.”
“Cool. Now we have to start saving money for this. This is gonna be hard, especially for you with the Oscar’s coming up and me just in general. Ha-ha. Let’s do it!”
The website for the Twilight Convention was up and running. Jackie and I accessed the website for TwiCon, and found that there would be so much that could be done and it seemed impossible that all could be accomplished in only four days. There were vendors, actors and actresses to meet, different workshops, Q&As, YouTube Phenomenon, and so much more. The important information that was listed was that we had to register in good time before the space was filled up. The registration fee was $255. That only covered the weekend. We still had to figure out where we were going to sleep. There were two main options. Either, stay in the hotel where the convention was being held, or find another hotel or motel to stay at. The hotel where the convention was being held had a limited amount of rooms, so whatever we decided, we had to be quick about it. We decided that since this was the very first Twilight Convention that we had to go all out and stay in the hotel where the Convention was being held. That hotel was the Sheraton-Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas. The dates for the convention were from July 30-August 2, 2009.
In the summer, there was a contest for TwiCon. The prize was that the winner and one guest would be able to attend TwiCon for free. The task was to create a video and post it on YouTube. In the video you had to find a creative way to show why you deserve to win a free access to TwiCon. Thousands of entries were posted almost immediately. The voting was decided by how many votes each video had. Mine ended up getting more dislikes than likes. Jackie’s got a few likes, but not enough to win. The winner’s video was so creative; it looked as though it was created by a professional.
July was almost at its end and the hype for TwiCon was building up and over the max. Jackie and I had saved about $2,000, thinking that would be enough for the weekend. We had packed Jackie’s car with our suitcases, making sure there would be room for everything new that we would purchase during the weekend for the trip back.
The drive from Savannah, Georgia to Dallas, Texas would take 17 hours. On the way to Texas, we had to drop off Jackie’s little brother and sister in Alabama at their aunt’s house. It was a 6 hour drive from Savannah, Georgia to Mobile, Alabama. It was actually a 7 hour drive as we had forgotten that we drove over a time zone. After dropping off Jackie’s siblings, we were back on the road and didn’t stop until we reached a Days Inn in Jackson, Mississippi; 4 hours later. The next morning before the sun was shining; we packed up the car and were on the road again. Six hours later, we finally arrived in Dallas, Texas at the Sheraton-Dallas Hotel. We parked the car in the garage and grabbed all our suitcases and stuff and started walking to the entrance of the hotel.
The Hotel was completely decked out with Twilight. There were people from all over attending this convention. We actually had met a group of people who had flown in all the way from Canada. We actually had met some people who were also from Savannah, but they flew here instead of driving. The line to get the keys for our rooms weren’t as long as we had predicted. We actually arrived earlier than most people. We grabbed our keys and headed towards the elevators to ride up to our room which was on floor 15. The hotel itself was over 37 stories high. The elevators were packed with TwiHard fans from all over. By the end of the weekend Jackie and I knew that we would make new friends. Finally making it to our floor, we piled out of the elevator and walked to our room. We slid the card through the automatic lock on the door to get into our room. We walked inside and instantly our mouths were wide open and droopy. Our room was practically a suite, in our eyes. We dropped our stuff, made ourselves look like we hadn’t been in a car for 6 hours and decided to go back downstairs and get in line for registration for TwiCon.
As we walked to where registration was, we saw that the line had already started and it was already crazy long. They had split the lines into alphabetical order. So Jackie and I were split up since her last name started with an “M,” and mine started with an “R.” It was okay, because this way, we actually met other people and had conversations with new people and made new friends. We were stuck in the lines for over 2 hours and the lines didn’t even start moving until about an hour in the waiting. It was completely understandable with the wait, since there were over 3,000 people that were in line.
At the registration table, you told the volunteers that were in charge of the registration your name and they looked you up and checked you off and made sure that all your dues were paid and all your information was correct. Then you were given an itinerary for everything that was going to happen during the weekend. After all that was done, they directed you towards all the vendors in a different part of the hotel.
Vendors are booths that sell items that are Twilight based. There were so many vendors that I didn’t know where to start. So I decided to start at one end and just see them all. The first vendor was selling merchandise of Twilight theme. The main thing that I had to get was a mask for the Volturi Ball that was going to occur on Saturday night. After purchasing a mask, I moved to the next vendor. Each vendor had their own little theme, but were all based around the bigger theme of Twilight. Most of the people at this convention had read all of the books for Twilight and had seen the first movie. The next vendor was actually selling perfume based on scenes in the movie, like “The Meadow,” “Bella’s Blood,” “Renesme’s touch,” and many more.
Moving through each vendor, the one that caught my eye was the Reelz Channel vendor. They had a scavenger hunt that was completely Twilight based and encouraged creativity and uniqueness to the tasks. One of the tasks was to find something that had to do with Forks from the book. Jackie had taken a picture of her fork earrings and I had taken a picture of a poster that had the name Forks in the title. Another one of the tasks was to write a poem about one of the characters of Twilight and I ended up writing 2 poems; one for me and one for Jackie; about Edward and Jasper. The prize at the end of the scavenger hunt was a T-shirt of Reelz Channel. There was only a limited amount so the race was on. We finished in perfect time and both got a T-shirt. Reelz Channel was an actual channel on the internet that this weekend was based on Twilight, of course. In other occasions, Reelz Channel finds all the dirt and truth about actors and actresses.
That day I was actually wearing one of my creations and it was filmed and I was able to talk about it and explain it. It was a black long sleeve T-Shirt and on the back had all 4 books in a cool picture. In order the apple in the top left corner was Twilight, the flower in the top left corner was New Moon, the ribbon that covers the flows around everything was Eclipse, and the two chess pieces and the board was Breaking Dawn. After it got noticed by Reelz Channel, I seemed to get a lot of attention and was asked where I got it. After I told them that I made it, they actually asked if I would make them one. Sadly this was an only piece and no more would be made.
The next vendor that got a lot of attention was the booth that was turning ordinary people into glittering vampires and was also selling vampire teeth. Of course I had to buy some.
Around the corner, there were booths filled with YouTube phenomenon like The Hillywood show, KalebNation, TwiCurls, Twilight Music Girls, M Squared and much more. “The Hillywood show™ is the brainchild of internet celebrities, comedy sister duo Hilly and Hannah Hindi. Each parody features satire sketches, song and dance parodies of big box office films, TV Shows, Celebrities and more,” as stated on their facebook page. They started out making videos making fun of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow. In the Twilight spoof they star as the main characters of Twilight and with the song “Hot ‘N’ Cold” by Katy Perry. The video as of November 30, 2011, has over 5,590,000 views and has been up since February 11, 2009. The next few hours was the same, moving from vendor to vendor, meeting new people, spending money, and selling your lives to all the Twilight glamour. Jackie and I were quite lucky, because as we were in line to meet one of the bands, 100 Monkeys which had Jackson Rathbone (Jasper) in it, we were given the opportunity to go to a coffee chat with Jackson Rathbone on the last day of the Convention. Of course, it had to cost money, as almost nothing was free that weekend. There was no way we would ever pass this chance to meet Jackson Rathbone.
Then, it was the end of the day sadly.
The next day came as quickly as it ended and it was finally time to go into one of the main ballrooms and be a part of the Q&A with members of the cast of Twilight. The cast that was there included: Billy Burke (Charlie Swan), Jackson Rathbone (Jasper Hale), Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle Cullen), Michael Welch (Mike Newton), Christian Serratos (Angela), Kellan Lutz (Emmet Cullen), and a newcomer from the upcoming film New Moon Alex Meraz (Paul (one of the new werewolves)). During the Q&A the actors who weren’t talking were having fun using sheets of paper and creating their own paper airplanes and throwing them from where they were sitting. Peter Facinelli noticed what the other people were doing and wanted to join in with the fun. So he made his paper airplane, and started inching his way to let go of it. Maybe, maybe, nope, he wouldn’t let go of it. In the blink of an eye, Peter grabbed his airplane and starts running down the aisle with one hand protecting his face and the other flying his plane through the crowd. My arm instantly threw itself into the aisle and touched Peter’s chest. By the time he got back to the stage he was out of breath and grabbed the mic and said, “That was terrifying.”
That night was the night of the Volturi Ball. Everyone had dressed up in their glorious gowns and masks to provide the mystery. The Volturi Ball was in the main ballroom and featured bands such as The Mitch Hansen Band, Twilight Music Girls, and 100 Monkeys. The ballroom was filled with people in a Masquerade. There were ordure’s, music, live bands, dancing, and so much more. The weekend was almost over. Only half a day left. There was this one couple who I was able to talk to before the night was over.
“Hey, y’all look like y’all are having fun.”
“Yep, and to make everything so better, my boyfriend just proposed, and I said YES!” Sarah exclaimed.
“Oh, wow! Congratulations!” I told them both.
“Yep, I figured that this weekend would be perfect, since I knew that Sarah loves Twilight.” Matt said.
“That is so sweet. This is definitely going to be a moment to remember forever.” I told both of them.
And that was the end of a glorious night. The last day was the hardest. Saying goodbye to all the new friends that everyone had made.
Even though the weekend is over, doesn’t mean that Twilight is over. After this convention, more were in the making. Two years later, after the release of Breaking Dawn part 1, there are over six conventions in the making. And now that there is one more movie that still has to be released in the theaters in 2012. Conventions will more than likely be occurring in the next few years.