Sunday, September 26, 2010

2010 Maker Faire: Report I


Tess checked in late Friday night, and then again yesterday, to share her progress setting up for yesterday, the first day of the Maker Faire.  She explained it was a VERY busy day, and apologized there weren't more photos.  She hopes to share more images from today.  In the meantime, she had this to share about the experience so far...
FRIDAY NIGHT:  I am a zombie! Here is my basic booth, and I will be bringing the toy theaters in early tomorrow thanks to a kindly cab driver who took me home and said he was still working and could come pick me up. SOLD! Oh my. I have had five hours of sleep in the last 48 but I will write again very early tomorrow morning. I just have to conk! You should see the looks I get - kids go crazy. I have a super spot on a landing  right by the major attraction: a lightining show by a guy in a metal suit! It's WICKED! I am making signs in the morning!

SATURDAY MORNING:  I fell asleep at 9PM and woke up at 5am. Drinking coffee, gathering together Rod puppets, and clamps to hold my velvet in place. Am making three signs and OH how I wish I could print 11 by 17! That's the next upgrade: both printer and scanner have to be larger format. I will be taking lots of pictures today. Am so psyched! Don't have to iron because I am wearing my crinkly gold shirt which was knotted up under my pillow--sounds weird but it's very pretty. It's humid so I have wild hair--fits with the strange woman inside the balloon house! Very many of the Makers are quite young Gizmodo types but they get a kick out of me as I am a sort of anomaly to them being a parental generation but not like a parent. Am gonna have fun. Keep your fingers crossed! Tess the balloon lady

SATURDAY NIGHT:  I have no pictures to show. I am getting there very early tomorrow to shoot my booth and the environs, and later that morning when my brother gets there will get to wander FINALLY to the outside booths. I have to come and go fast because today we got hammered with wall to wall people and my booth covered with balloons is a kid magnet...Tomorrow I will set up ALL of the toy theaters farther away from the front with signs asking not to touch anything. I may actually laminate a few of the characters but the kids really can't handle them because a child has a sense of ownership the minute they have something in their hands.  But they do love how the toy theaters look, and I have had maybe 100 of my business cards taken. Tomorrow, with temperatures down into the low 70's, I expect a massive crush! My coloring pages were also a big hit. I hung a lot of my drawings around on clothespins thanks to the gridwall panels I bought.

The staff there is mostly volunteer and extremely helpful. Make Magazine has organized many of these massive affairs, and while they started out expecting 300 exhibitors we reached 500 booths by the time we opened today! When you see the map I will get tomorrow, you won't believe how massive it is. And my booth is totally unique in that it is really about kids, and is a really old fashioned sort of style. But some of the more tech types have loved looking at the miniatures and how I created an atmosphere with my little LED lights. Am still tired and will hit the sack soon. I was up at 5 am and printed solid until I left to get up there at 8:30. It's a 45 minute cab ride, and even longer on the subway.
Sounds like Tess is having an amazing experience - lots of hard work, but lots of great exposure for toy theatre in a major venue, and that's a GOOD thing! I look forward to seeing more later today...