RTX 2014 is over, but it shall forever have a place in my heart along with the other amazing memories I have with the Rooster Teeth community. I am always saddened when I have to leave Austin and fly back home, back to normal life, but I am incredibly grateful to have been able to spend the weekend with these awesome people.
So how was RTX? If you are asking in regards to the panels, the events, and what was for sale and demo-ing out in the main hall, I couldn’t tell you. I can, however, tell you what it was like to work with the community, fellow volunteers, run around behind the scenes of the convention.
This year marks my second year being a Guardian for RTX, and I was chosen to be a part of the PA team again. Last year, I was the PA for Chris Demarais, and that experience really showed me how much the Rooster Teeth company loves their community. First, RT never asks people to pay for their signatures or for photos. Secondly, when they have a moment to spare they want to spend it with their fans. There are times when they have to rush through a crowd or they have to tell people they can’t hang out anymore, but these guys really do their best to meet as many community members as possible.
I’ve had quite a few people ask me what it’s like being a Guardian, specifically being a PA Guardian.
“That’s so cool that you get to hang out with the staff!”
“I should apply to be a Guardian next year!”
I will tell you now that being a Guardian is not a glamorous job; it’s work. It’s hard work. And I had a somewhat unique job this year as I was not a PA for a specific staff member. I was a freelancer, so I helped out wherever I could. Either I was helping escort someone to a panel or I was blocks away carrying 32 cans of Red Bull back to the convention center to save people from exhaustion. Sure, you get to bond with your teammates and even sometimes have a few minutes to sit and chat with someone from Rooster Teeth, but as a PA, you are on the go for a good majority of the convention.
And while you may be assigned to someone, you still have to work as a team. I cannot tell you how many times we relied on one another throughout the weekend. I am humbled by how times I asked for help and I immediately got an answer of “what do you need?” without a second thought. That’s what made the Guardians strong. All 300+ of us worked as one team even though we were split into different departments. I do have to give a shout out to Alex and his Security Guardian team. Thank you guys so much for always being there for us.
Being a Guardian doesn’t mean you get to do whatever you want. You have a team lead you have to report to, there are sometimes fire you have to help put out, and you have to understand that you have responsibilities. Sometimes, they’re boring, sometimes they’re overwhelming, and sometimes your duties will change on the fly, but that’s what it means to volunteer and be a part of this team. I managed to see one panel the entire weekend, and thank God it was the Master Pancake Theater panel because I needed to unwind and laugh. Let it be known that I adore John Erler (voice of North in RvB). Great guy and incredibly funny.
Now the lovely gents over at Sidequest outdid themselves again, and I was able to relax a bit throughout the weekend thanks to their community events. The charity auction was lovely and I got to see many familiar faces and meet new people. I missed out on Barlympics because I passed out as soon as I got back to my hotel, but the all access lounge event and the goodbye luncheon at Salt Lick were top. I always enjoy spending time with these people, and I encourage you to attend next year if you haven’t in the past. It’s a great way to meet people you’ve been interacting with on the site whether it’s through the forums or journal lurking.
My thoughts are a bit scattered, so I apologize for the random structure of this blog post. I probably should cover how Guardian applications work. If you want to apply, then apply. Before you hit that submit button, you must understand that you are committing your time to the convention. There is no maybe. After you hit that submit button, you are reserving vacation time/PTO unless you receive a rejection letter.
But what if I don’t have con experience?
I didn’t. Last year was the first time I was a Guardian, and I had no prior con experience. While I do not have the official reason why I was chosen, I speculate that I was chosen because of my active role in the community and my current skillset of assisting upper management roles. I believe it is safe to say that those who make the “hiring decisions” want to choose people who understand the RT culture and have skills that can be utilized in the position you apply for. But the bottom line is this: if you want to be a Guardian, you HAVE to apply. And you won’t know if you will ever be a Guardian unless you just go for it. Don’t doubt yourself. Even if you get the rejection letter, go for it again the next year. It’s just like applying for a real job. If you love it, you just have to go for it.
I cannot believe another RTX has gone by and I am back at home away from all my lovely RT friends. I really am part of the best community ever, and I will forever be thankful to have all of you in my life. If I haven’t met you yet, I cannot wait for next year. Thank you to Chris and Mary and Barbara and Gus… you all continue to work so hard to make sure we have such beautiful memories. I love you all so much, and I know that 2015 will be even better.