Jeepers Creepers, have I been at this for a hot second or two. Way back in 2003, my boyfriend introduced me to a show I had not heard of… Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For him, it was honestly a way to keep me occupied before we went out dancing on Tuesday nights. I, on the other hand, found a rag tag family of characters that I completely related too. Wacky weird friends, check. Dead mom, check. Saves the world each week… well, I certainly was trying to.
Here’s the thing though: I knew no one else who watched the show. This whole fandom thing was totally foreign to me. (Still is a little.) So I went to the internet. I made some friends in web forums. Traveled to L.A. alone to see Ghost of the Robot. (Do nothing in fractions my friends.) In L.A, some non-Chicago folks had heard wind of Slay-a-Thon. They asked if I’d go check it out. Heh. I’m an introvert, at least that’s what I tell people. I tell them I am shy, too. I am, however, shameless in asking for donations. S.H.A.M.L.E.S.S. Or so I thought. I read up what I could, and thought I was prepared.
13 years later, chucking pennies over the audience at the screen while the show is playing still feels a little weird, but it’s also a hoot. What is this penny flinging I speak of? When members of the audience are moved by a scene, they let the powers that be know it. Love Dawn? Fling. Hate Dawn? Fling. Love Spike? Just walk up front and place a five spot on the stage. Do you need to do this? No. Will you eventually sorta want to? Yep. So if you don’t bring your spare change, have no fear: the powers that be will have pennies available for purchase.
Some other points of interest you newer potentials should be aware of: This is first and foremost a fundraising event. All those pennies… They go to sick kids with wishes. (No, not the cold hard coins.) Donations, sponsorship, you name your game- but the goal is to raise money to fund the wishes of sick kids. Don’t say “no” for potential donors before speaking with them. My most touching sponsorships came from those I knew could afford it the least. Those same donors also surprised me with how Make-A-Wish had touched their lives. Ask early. Ask often. Remember, they are not saying no to you, they are saying no to a sick child. They may also have other “stuff” going on, so just because they said no 2 years ago doesn’t mean it is not worth the 3-minute investment to ask again. Let’s review the list of supplies so far potentials: Money, whatever you can gather. Good attitude. Wait a minute who said I needed a good attitude?
For me as a first timer, I didn’t know anyone at Slay-a-thon. I figured I would find a quiet table and do my best to blend in and not be noticed. Then there was Buffy Buckets, and all bets were off. If you want to be on your own, you totes can, but if you want to be one of the social butterflies you can be that too. My first Slay-A-Thon buddy? I might have smack-talked him into befriending me. Back in 2003, I believe, I was hot on David’s heels as the #2 fundraiser for the event. While there have been others, 13 years later I still enjoy hanging out with my favorite “rival.”
So if you are in the market to make friends with Buffy in common, boom. If you have your own already, bring them! Look at the schedule, be realistic about your ability to lay on the floor or sit in a chair for hours. I can’t tell you how often I was all “just going for a little bit;” 10 hours later I’d be stumbling home. Also, don’t underestimate hokey games. They are fun. Fun to watch. Fun to play. If they really just are not your thing – potty break! Speaking of potty breaks, Dave and Busters is nice enough to let the event be held here annually. Guess what, D&B needs to turn a profit. So when you are allocating how much you have for penny chucking, don’t forget to budget for auctions and munchies.
This year there will be some swanky goodies up for grabs in the live and silent auctions. You never know what you will just die without. Empty Credit Cards make decisions so much easier. Seriously though, don’t forget to order a round or two from the establishment. Please tip the wait staff and bartender — not doing so is just not cool. Oh, and stretch a little: you potentials can’t just go jumping on top of a moving bus if you are all cramped up from sitting in rapt attention for 13 hours. I’m just saying.
So let’s review what you need to procure:
Money for you to spend,
Donations for the kids,
Friends if you’d like!
Ciao for now,