Rebecca Parham: I went to VidCon and cool things happen and I'm terrible taking pictures, so I made an animation instead because I'm a workaholic anyway. So these are some of my favorite highlights from my trip to VidCon 2016. So, I arrived today before VidCon and much like last year, I was lurking around the Hilton lobby like a creeper. Only difference is, this year, I was supposed to be there because I was an actual guest of hotel, hahaha. Anyways, I was chilling in the lobby when suddenly I heard loud music coming from outside. I walked to the front doors and I heard a song that I recognized being sung by a voice that I recognized. A big stage had been set up outside and I just kind of meandered over there to find Tessa Violet doing a sound check with her crew I was like: "Oh cool, it's Tessa." and I walked over to the shade just to kind of casually watch and listen. Brief history: Tessa and I have met before on one of her tours and we sometimes say stuff to each other on Twitter and YouTube. But still, it was pretty cool when she scanned the audience area, saw me off in the shade and did a big old over-the-top point like:
Tessa Violet: "You!"
Rebecca Parham: We got to talk a little bit later that night after her killer performance and she's just as sweet and kind as ever. Love you, Tessa! At some point on the first day, I was with my two Annoying Orange guys: DaneBoe and Shannon. At the Hilton, we were at the elevators and also there standing with us was this young cute vlogger type guy. He might have been some big YouTuber. I don't know but we all got on the elevator and the door started closing but just as it nearly closed, like there's like half a foot left of door to go a woman in a hotel uniform, rushed the door and screamed:
Rebecca Parham: Which in turn scares the bejesus out of all of us it was like a horror movie jump scare, for goodness sake. That little vlogger boy nearly jumped into my arms that scared him so badly, the door closed on the woman and Dane and Shannon and I just start losing our minds, laughing. Though, I think the poor vlogger kid was still a little shell-shocked by the whole ordeal. Lightning-round! I finally met up with my longtime Twitter friend, Ami Yamato. We talked for a little bit in the expo hall but then she had to run off and we never met up again after that. Ami, we need to hang out more next year. I finally met Jaiden Animations and she brought her animation squad with her: TheOdd1sOut, ItsAlexClark, TonyVToons and CypherDen and they gave me one of their nifty animation squad bags. I went to the Adobe party and I found OnlyLeigh there and I gave her a keychain I'd made featuring her characters Belle and Tina from her latest pilot animation. I nearly made her cry. Yes! By the third day, I had been generously given an all-access pass, which pretty much opened up most of VidCon to me, but still, I'm paranoid and even though I was really not doing anything wrong, I still felt like I was getting away with something every single time I flashed it to security. So the third day was the day of the animation panel. My girls Leigh, Jaiden and Alisa were all gonna be on it and I wanted to go and support them. The panel was at the Marriot this year and I didn't want to get dropped kicked by security for going in the wrong door, so I went up to a garden and said: "Hey, where do I enter the Marriot?". To get to a panel he looked at me for a moment and said:
Security: "Go for those black curtains over there in the back.".
Rebecca Parham: A little unsure of the situation, I just kind of did as he said. And on the other side of those curtains was even more security who ushered me into a back door. I went inside and there was a girl sitting at a table with a sign-in book and a big sign behind her that said "WELCOME FEATURED CREATORS". It was then I realized: "Oh wait, I'm backstage. I just wanted to get to the panel the normal way." The girl asked me if I was on a panel and I said: "No, but my friends are on one and I just want to support them.". Thinking she would point me to the common area, nope, she said:
Lady: "Okay. Well, just go inside the greenroom and they'll call for the panel and you can just follow them in."
Rebecca Parham: Okay... I stepped into that green room and found a variable Wonderland. They had free coffee and five-star desserts, designer furniture, an open bar, a masseuse was giving out free back massages, they resurrected Frank Sinatra from the dead to sing live lounge music, it was all pretty swanky. Aishi bish me get myself a cup of coffee and sit down on the couch, but not a moment later, I hear:
Rebecca Parham: It was Lee.
OnlyLeigh: "You're back here?"
Rebecca Parham:' "Apparently.."
OnlyLeigh: "Well, come on over and meet everyone!"
Rebecca Parham: I walked over and sitting in a round of chairs was Jaiden, Alisa, Kate from Frederator. Becky and Joe from Don't Hug Me I'm Scared and Mr. Weebl and my heart lit up; I had found my people. The animation panel turned out to be a huge success, packed to the brim with people standing room only, and I gotta say guys, it really reinvigorated my confidence. Not only an animation on YouTube, but how much it means to so many people. Lightning round: My Annoying Orange guys and I ran into Steve Zaragoza and Bree Essrig and Steve looked around at all of us in his happily bubbly way and said:
Steve: "You guys are all like the ending of Wizard of Oz and you were there and you were there and you all just make me so happy.".
Rebecca Parham: I still don't know what that means entirely, but it was funny. I got to be in a video my friend Steven. Zurita was shooting and I did a scene with Strawburry17 while she was cosplaying as Link from Legend of Zelda. On the second night, I finally ran into TomSka during the YouTuber dinner. I gave him a keychain and thanked him for his support and he told me he named dropped me on a panel, so someone let me know the video of that services because I still don't know what he said about me. We tried to meet up again after that, but our schedules were just too hectic. Next year, Tom, we need to hang out for more than two minutes. Last day, when I finally had that all-access pass, DaneBoe and I went up to the Facebook lounge on the fourth floor of the Hilton to find some breakfast. He and I were just so dead tired and exhausted and we were just using that quiet time to talk about life, but then I heard some people come into the room and I looked over my shoulder to see Grace Helbig and three of her people sit at the table not six feet away from us. At this point, I was so exhausted and so drowsy that there was no room to be nervous, and really, I've come to an age where I just don't get starstruck over people anymore. But one I had drawn Grace into my book of YouTubers this year and I needed her signature. And two, my sister had given me her book to get signed and I knew she would have killed me if I passed up this opportunity. So I reached into my bag and I pulled out the two books and I hobbled over to her table and I said: "Hey, Grace." Not to interrupt, but as I'm talking, I put the book of YouTubers down open to her portrait and she interrupts me:
Grace: "Oh my God, I've seen this. I think I saw this on Twitter. Oh my God, this is so great! I wish I had a tangible talent like that.".
Rebecca Parham: But then suddenly, Dane apparated a thin hair next to me it was like:
DaneBoe: "Yeah, Rebecca, a great art. She's so cool! Look at what she made for me!".
Rebecca Parham: What a great friend / height man. Grace was just super impressed and after we talked a little bit more, she wrote in my sister's book, Rachel. "You have a cool sister, love Grace.". Which I thought was hilarious, one of her people even asked for my card, so all in all, not the worst thing to happen on a Saturday morning at VidCon. Okay, so you guys. No, seriously, you guys. Oh my gosh, I thought maybe one or two of you were gonna come up and say "Hello!" to me this year but as it turns out a lot of you guys were there and you were all so kind and so sweet and had fun intelligent things to say, and you all just make me burst with pride and joy. I know there may come a day where I'll see so many of you at VidCon that I can't put you all on a video so I'm just utilizing this time right here and right now to show you all. You mean so much to me and I love you all, my explainers and entertainers! Lightning round: The second night, some of my Annoying Orange guys and I headed over to the expo hall party and on our way a guy with an industry pastured following really close to us. Turns out he was trying to sneak in by hiding in our group, but God bounced by security on the way in. I'd made plans to have dinner with my college roommate Yoli and her husband on the third night and while I stood out in front of the restaurant, I heard a loud:
Rebecca Parham: And all I saw was a car fly by on the street with my roommate Yoli halfway out the passenger window, flailing her arms and yelling my name scared the ever-loving crap out of everyone around me and made me nearly die laughing on the sidewalk. And finally, I saw Markiplier at the expo party on the second night, and once again he was clearly leaving, so I didn't have the heart to stop him, again. I'm ending on my Annoying Orange guys DaneBoe, Aaron, Steven, Shannon, Mike, and Derrick. This year was great. I got to spend so much time with them and even though security was very tight, they still had this great attitude of:
DaneBoe: "Where we go, she goes.".
Rebecca Parham: And they tried so hard to work around the limitations of my dinky industry pass any time we went somewhere or wanted to hang somewhere with restricted access. I would stand there sweating as they tried to schmooze whoever was in charge and get me in as one of them. And one or two times, it didn't work. But when Aaron had to leave a day early, he was so thoughtful and gave me his full access pass so. Thank you, Aaron. It was very very kind of you and made things so much simpler. And I don't know if you guys saw this on Twitter or Instagram, but I drew custom portraits for each of them and made them into keychains, which they loved so much and wore on their badges the entire time. And anytime they introduced me to someone, they would talk about my art and proudly show off those keychains. So guys, you are great, you are wonderful, I love you, and we need to hang out sometime before next year's VidCon. Oh, how to wrap up this year's VidCon. Um... too much fun, so exhausting and incredibly empowering. I may not have been a featured creator this year, but it certainly felt like I was and who knows? Maybe next year's the year, it will be official. Alright, explainers and entertainers, this has been Rebecca Parham. Thank you so much for tuning in, but now, I got a tune out. Bye!