After a year of planning, it really feels wonderful to read so many posts from people who are traveling to Chicago. I smile with each new posting.
It is hard for me to believe we’ve been planning this convention for a year now, and it’s even harder to believe that as of tonight – I’ll be in a hotel room putting together packets and hopefully having a great time with friends. While yes, this is “work”, it is also time to have fun.
I’ve written about my own convention experience so many times, but the one thing I remember most is feeling accepted. I was part of a larger whole. A group. That was such a nice feeling. I remember the feeling of almost relief when I met everyone – open arms, happy to just be accepted. Excitement for spending time with people who love the same band, know the same sorts of stories, hope for many of the same things. Many times when we go to concerts or gigs, or we show up at events where the band is likely to be, the “air” is so different. I can feel the eyes staring at me, sizing me up, wondering where I fit in the Duranie “totem pole”. (Let me make this easy: I am at the bottom. Inconspicuous but a pillar of support. Happy to support the rest of you!) Conventions are different. Not one of us is any more or less than the other. Sure, stories are shared, tales of pure Durandemonium are told, but rather than listening with jealous ears, as often occurs after a show when the select, precious few triumphantly announce their luck at having seen the band at a bar or a hotel – this time there are excited eyes, bouncing with excitement as they flit over the scene.
This is the experience that I have worked for over a year to try and create. This is the heart and soul of the vision I had in my head, even during the moments when I didn’t think this event had a chance of actually coming through to fruition. I just want other fans to have the opportunity to make the same sort of lifelong friends and have the same freeing experience from that social hierarchy I see take place at shows. There doesn’t need to be any of that here. We don’t need to compete for the attention of four (five, because in my head there are five) band members…because none of them are here. This weekend my friends, is simply about US and what has brought us together.
In several hours, we will see if our blood, sweat and yes – tears really create the atmosphere we envision. Yes, this past year has been difficult. I’ve questioned my heart, my head, my mental health for even starting this crazy idea, and even my love for this band many, many times than I care to mention here. I just kept thinking, and continue to think, that the more we bring people together, the more enjoyable this whole experience has the potential to become. My goal wasn’t to become infamous in the Duran world as a result of this convention, it is just to create a vehicle to bring people together. The band does a great job of that when they tour, and this is merely an offshoot, a little something extra.
Am I nervous? A little. I’ve never done anything like this before, so there’s always a little bit of nerves going on under the surface. I’m mostly excited today though. This is going to be a great weekend for a little Durandemonium in Chicago.