The Anime Los Angeles Potluck Picnic (nicknamed the ALA Picnic by local cosplay circles) took place on August 23, 2009 at Yorba Regional Park (Anaheim, CA). This picnic was the perfect event to end the summer season before school starts up again. The Scarlet Rhapsody team (Jared, Stan, and I) attended the event just to hang out with our friends on staff and just to briefly talk about new happenings for Anime Los Angeles 2010.
Scotty the Corgi wanted to go, but he had to stay home for this one. Scotty is Scarlet Rhapsody's furry friendly mascot. After all, he was already cosplaying as Ein from Cowboy Bebop.
The nice part about this picnic was that fans attending the event could get an up close and personal glimpse of the Guests of Honor: Bekka the Alice, Jessica Gaona, Stephen Poon of the Spoony Bards (hailing from the Mid-West!), and Kyle Hebert. Fans could also enjoy sustenence on the grill - salmon burgers, hot dogs, and your standard hamburger.
Attendees also had their own name tags.
Jared and I (with our plus one - Thinny, Jared's sibling) arrived at Yorba Regional Park a little after 1PM. As Jared and Thinny wandered through the picnic area, I was able to talk to Pearl about setting up a few panels at Anime Los Angeles 2010. Such panels include Online Voice Acting (Victoria, Jared, and Deb), Fandom & College Applications (Victoria), Convention Horror Stories (Jared and Bekka the Alice), and Thriller Anime (Jared). It was very nice of Bekka the Alice to coordinate with Jared on the Convention Horror Stories panel. Keep an eye out on the programming guide. Many thanks to Pearl (Live Programming) for her patience.
Of course, the event was posted on Cosplay.com, so naturally, cosplayers and cosplay photographers showed up in their Sunday best. Series represented included Final Fantasy, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Bleach, and your typical fashionable Steampunk dude and Lolita lady.
The lakeside view was a popular place for cosplayers and cosplay photographers to coordinate photo shoots. Cosplay camera men present at this event included JC (Anime Photos), Fremen, Jim, and a handful more.
In addition, we also had Anton and his usual guitar playing some anime tunes for everyone's listening pleasure.
Interacting with the Anime Los Angeles Guests of Honor was a really nice treat. Meeting them before the actual 2010 event allowed fans to get to know them better and have some one on one conversations. I thought it was nice that things were casual and laid back. The guests were not far from reach, unlike other major events. Kyle Hebert and the Scarlet Rhapsody crew were talking about the joys of doing voice acting for amateur productions. He was very interested to know what Jared and I were auditioning for and what productions we were working on. Earlier, we spoke to Bekka the Alice about coordinating on the "Convention Horror Stories" panel with Jared. It was nice to talk to an anime convention veteran who has been doing this for the past 10 years! Jessica Gaona took lots of pictures with her new camera. Stephen Poon and I were reminiscing on Anime Central 2007 and Anime Central 2008.
And don't forget the loveable Toastmaster Tadao! He was rounding up all of the attendees at the park for a group photo by the playground with his El Kabong.
Many thanks to Tobias Night for taking photos with my camera of the mega group photo.
In addition to grilled sustenence, someone had brought a Gurren Lagann themed cake (strawberry flavored!).
For the most part, staff discussed what to do for the 2010 event and attendees shared what they liked about 2009 and what they anticipate for in 2010. It was really nice to talk to staff to get a clear idea what is going on for main events like masquerade, 24 hour karaoke, weapons policy, anime music video contest, and other little things that make up the whole show.
And if you were able to catch them, the con chair and his wife (Chaz and Lynn) were wearing matching Hawaiian shirts. Look carefully and you can see their decorative buttons!
Jared and I did cosplay to this event. Since I debuted Elle Woods at Anime Los Angeles 2009 and the fact that the two of us saw Legally Blonde: The Musical at the Pantages Theater the week before, we decided to cosplay as Emmett and Elle from the show. Many thanks to Stan for taking the photos and letting us borrow his tiny American flag. Hand me my dog, hand me my bag, hand me the American flag! (Proud to be American!)
Some people thought we were cosplaying from Pheonix Wright: Ace Attorney. Just for fun, I decided to mess with their telling them that we're from the new Pheonix Wright game that's coming out really soon. I explained to them that it's the one that takes place at Harvard Law school. Since we were dressed up as lawyers, we had to do the Objection pose. A few people thought us cosplaying from Legally Blonde was really cute and unexpected. Elle Woods never fails to impress the blonde inside all of us!
As the day dwindled down to the 5PM hour, the shenanigans were still about. People started to still sing songs, continue on with photo shoots, and climb trees.
The event came to a bittersweet end as we had to send off Julia as she was en route to New York where she will be going to college. We assured her that she will be missed. However, January 2010 is not that far off.
You have heard of shenanigans, but Stan got into his own Stan-nanigans! It started off with Adrian the Bartender's off handed comment to Stan about his "purty teeth." Let the pictures tell that story in a safe for work kind of way.
Overall, the Anime Los Angeles Potluck Picnic was a very nice and mellow event. No sight of screaming fangirls and fanboys starved for attention. It was just local Orange County folk (and their Los Angeles County cousins) simply having a lazy Sunday at the park. The location was very nice - plenty of trees and plenty of shade. The weather was very breezy and nothing too hot. Refreshments were well stocked and snacks were a plenty. Thank to everyone who brought food and drink to the event. Thank you to the Anime Los Angeles family for the lemonade. Extra vitamin C boosts are always appreciated. Most importantly, thank you to the Anime Los Angeles staff for once again bringing the convention back to the attendees. Here's to 2010!
Lastly, we apologize for the lack of cookies that Lynn loves so dearly.
For more information about Anime Los Angeles 2010, please visit their website.
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