While I was at Anime Los Angeles this year, I managed to achieve a staff position in the Karaoke room. Despite what I was afraid would happen, there were no truly bad singers, aside from a few people who couldn't keep up with the lyrics on the screen. During this position, I learned such skills as how to run a switchboard, and more importantly what kind of music is popular in a karaoke lounge.
The most requested Albums for this year were:
- Rocky Horror Picture Show
- Avenue Q
While I am not surprised by the first two, I was a bit shocked by the last one. The most popular songs were:
- Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
- I'll Make a man out of you (Mulan)
- Sweet Transvestite (Rocky Horror Picture show)
Before this event, I had never heard the song “Sweet Transvestite,” but after the convention I had almost memorized it.
My duties involved managing the Karaoke machine, and announcing who was going to be singing next, along with the occasional munchie run. This managed to a lot more fun than my previous volunteer position held at Anime Expo, less because the job was easier, and more because of the nature of the work.
Being in staff allowed me to meet a lot of interesting people. I got to meet some fellow Pokemon trainers in the staff lounge, whom I managed to curb stomp. I also got to hear some of the con veterans tell me about the various conventions of old, and how things used to be run.
The people I REALLY got to know were the attendees and staff who spent most of their time in the Karaoke room. This managed to be one of the most popular locations for cosplayers to come goof off and show off their costumes. Notable people include Vash, the Organization XIII member with the lovely singing voice, the performer from the Rocky Horror Picture show who sang most of the soundtrack, that girl dressed as Jack Frost, a certain Haruhi cosplayer, and the infamous Hetalia cosplayers.
The infamous Hetalia cosplayers effectively took over the Karaoke room on Saturday night. While I understand that they made it nearly impossible to get on stage and sing due to the half-hour wait they caused, I found that they brought enough energy to the room to make my shift interesting.
Staffing at ALA proved to be about as difficult as volunteering at Anime Expo, which was quite refreshing. The management said they were trying to improve on some of Anime Expo's staffing issues. This was noticeable amoung the management on ALA, as while the manager in charge of Karaoke appeared stressed, the manager in charge of Anime Expo looked like she was about to collapse at any moment.
On a stranger note, actually hanging out the karaoke room managed to be the most interesting part of the convention for me, because it forced me to learn the most, meet the most people, and hey, it's where I met my date for the rave.
I will most likely wind up staffing Anime Los Angeles next year, although I have no idea what department I'll end up in. Hopefully it's one that manages to be as exiting.
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