Within the con halls…
My first experience working with panels was while gofering for the big anime con in my city, where I checked in panelists in my assigned room, observed and evaluated their panels, and fixed technical issues. I joined their staff in Spring 2018 and became panels coordinator in Fall 2018, although for another reason beyond panels.
After the Summer 2019 con, it was time to leave the staff and make my next move: run my own panels!
Because of my past background, I can see panels from a staffer’s perspective. I understand how conventions pick panels including how they see specific types of panels, how panel moderators evaluate my performance, and how to make the most out of my panelist coordinator.
I also understand that informational panels shouldn’t resemble a college lecture, let alone regurgitating Wikipedia. I aim to be entertaining and engaging as possible using video clips, trivia, jokes, and personal anecdotes. That way, they’re enjoyable yet educational for those new to the subject matter, while the veterans gain a new perspective on concepts they’re familiar with.
"[Otaku’s Guide to] Donghua. Little did the presenter know, I was doing market research!!" - Mike Toole when prompted about some of the best Otakon 2022 fan panels he saw.
"A newcomer panel, an Otaku’s Guide to Donghua, was a pleasant surprise. While there were some technical difficulties [involving a missing script], the panelist was knowledgeable and entertaining." - an r/Otakon user when prompted about “exceptional or fun” panels at Otakon 2022.
"Anime in The Philippines - This was a well-researched panel that taught me lots about the Philippines in general. I’m very interested in the ways that different shows and movie gain popularity differently in different places, and this panel was thorough and informative while having some nice moments of absurdity and humor" - an Otakon Board user when prompted about the very best panels he saw at Otakon 2023.
"I do want to give a shout-out to Anime in the Philippines, as it definitely taught me new things, and gave a window into a culture and fandom that I was largely unfamiliar with." - Ogiue Maniax on the panels he saw in part during Otakon 2023.
Tools of the trade:
- Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
- Video presentation software - 4K Video Downloader, OBS
- Graphic design - Figma (title cards) and Waifu2x
- Research + Ideation - Notion (previously used OneNote)
- Panel-running device - Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (256 GB)
- I work as a (junior) full-stack software developer, with goals of both becoming an intermediate developer and specializing in back-end.
- I designed and developed this website. It uses Figma for website blueprints, Hugo (including Go templating) for generating web pages, your good ol’ CSS and Bootstrap for styling, Ionicons for the social media icons, and GitHub Actions to automatically deploy changes after submitting them to the codebase.
- I’m also interested in the local postsecondary student hackathon scene, where I mentor at such events.
Nothing’s more like trying a new recipe or checking out a place to grab food or snacks. I didn’t realize how much till my tenure at the big anime con I used to staff at; we sure like to eat around here!
I like to learn languages. Right now, I’m actively learning:
- 🥨 German (CEFR A2.1; schlager music and especially this guy)
- 🥐 French (CEFR A2.1; learned it in high school so might as well “use it or lose it”)
- 🍗 Tagalog (CEFR A0; I have family on my mom’s side who speaks the language)
I’m passively learning:
- 🍣 Japanese (pre-JLPT N5; because I enjoy the culture)
- 🥟 Mandarin (HSK1; so I can watch donghua without subtitles & communicate with older Chinese people)
- Favourite characters: Gawr Gura, Anya Forger, Kotori Minami
- Favourite tea: Murchie’s Assam Tippy (thanks Plantastic Cosplay!), sencha
- Currently watching: Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World for My Retirement, Golden Kamuy
- Favourite cuisines: Japanese and Italian