Dearest Scaredy Cats,

I’m a Negative Nancy. No for real, I am. I’m the type of person who just goes ahead and accepts the worst, I’m the person who carries around a dark cloud with them wherever they go and I’m definitely the one who doesn’t dream, as much fun as that would be, I’ve already accepted the fact that my reality is my reality and that’s the cards that have been dealt. I don’t take risks; I stay comfortable and make easy decisions because that would cause the least amount of anxiety. And as much shit as I like to talk about this little Florida town that I’m from, at least it’s reliable and semi-predictable. I mean sure, I have things that I hope for and would like to do, but I usually keep those at a minimum to avoid disappointment. But over the past few months, some opportunities showed their face to me (thank you, High Five: The Podcast) and I decided to jump on it. Yeah, I, of all people decided to listen to my gut and take just the smallest leap of faith, and that leap took me a thousand miles away from home to a little thing called Comic-Con in a little place called New York City… and it gave me an entirely new outlook on everything I’ve been doing.


I got the call from Q that my press pass had been accepted and, to be honest, I couldn’t believe it. First of all, I’m from a little country town and the closest thing I had ever seen to the thousands of people who were going to be in New York was the annual local fair. But for some reason deep down in my little Chihuahua-like soul, I knew I had to swallow my fear and just make this happen. So with a fair amount of hustling and a hell of a lot of praying, I got my shit and my wits together and made the flight from Florida to New York. Everything was… bigger. Faster. Somehow everyone knew exactly where they were going at exactly the right time and somehow managed to not get brutally run over by the bicyclists on the street (seriously, the only time I felt unsafe in NY, what kind of crack are y’all on). But as different as it was from home, I immediately loved it. The fashion, the food, it was everything that everyone says it is and then some. I instantly felt like this was where I needed to be in life, and I had never really given it much more thought than “Wow, I bet Comic-Con is cool, I’d like to go sometime.”

 Q and Haley NYCC19 Haley at NYCC 19

The Javits Center, where most of the comic-con events were held, was bigger than anything my small-town ass had ever seen. Thousands and thousands of cosplayers, artists, press, and visitors flooded the convention center at an unimaginable rate, turning a huge open building into a sardine can in a matter of minutes. The first day had me in complete shock. Rows and rows of vendors and artists took up the first floor, everything from a Comedy Central booth to a giant replica of Shenron floating high above the sea of people that were constantly flowing in and out of the center itself. Every comic-book company, media outlet, and anime source had set up shop in the showroom. Three whole days wasn’t even close to enough time to see everything, but the thought didn’t even cross my mind until after it was over. Everyone had a fantastic energy about them, and even though you were shoulder-to-shoulder with hundreds of people, not once did you mind the crowd. It seemed everyone next you had their creativity flowing, and the costumes were top tier. I felt out of place wearing my “normal” clothes (which were eventually traded for a Charmander onesie that was proudly worn around the streets of New York). Being surrounded by like-minded people, people who are coming together to enjoy cinema, comics, books, and art is seriously the most incredible feeling. Before anything had even started, just the set-up of the convention itself was enough to overwhelm you.

NYCC 19 Scares Haley                      Haley in NYC

The panels were the really interesting part. It seemed that every hour, every room in the Javits Center was full of eyes ready to learn about their favorite movie, or actor, or artist, or game, and there were so many interesting discussions it’s virtually impossible to hit every single thing you want to see. My first panel was surreal, honestly. I’m a huge Dragonball fan so, of course, I had to go see Christopher Sabbat and Sean Schimmel, the iconic voices of Goku and Vegeta. Getting to see the personalities behind these voices and what it takes to bring these iconic characters to life is unmatched, and that’s just scraping the surface. Within the first few hours of the first day, we get an alert that fucking Ryan Reynolds is in the building. We get the first behind the scenes information for his new movie, and at this point, I’m finally grasping the fact that this is real, like, I’m really out here in New York getting the first word on these new movies and TV shows, this is a dream that I’m pursuing now. We hit Big Mouth, Kings Man, Creepshow, Robot Chicken, and Are You Afraid of the Dark. I thought seeing these big names from Hollywood would freak me out, but it just made everything more… realistic, I guess. Instead of feeling so small and at the beginning of my career, I felt like I was a part of the hustle and bustle of the con. Being up close and personal with people that you see on the big screen makes everything seem so much more attainable. These people were doing things just like you, and just made their ideas and talents come to life, and now you’re there, listening to them and using your talents to move forward.

NYCC 19 Ryan Reynolds Panel

To anyone thinking about going next year, I have a few sage words of advice for you. If you think you have enough money, double it. The $5 bottles of water and $13 hand-sized Philly cheesesteaks add up very quickly. The “con crud” that they tell you about? It’s 100% true, hand sanitizer and loads of water is your best friend. I didn’t believe it until I got smacked with it myself when I eventually made it back home. I’d definitely suggest a large backpack, and some sort of woosah-method that is going to get you through the initial stress of being exposed to that many people at one time, because trust me it is a lot to handle. Taking out the time and effort to just go and have the time of your life is worth all of the troubles because you are going to leave with some of the most awesome stories, interactions, and movie merch. But if you’re anything like me, and you’re feeling negative, like you’re stuck somewhere where you can’t move forward and blossom in what you know you’re capable of doing, just take the risk and go, even if it seems big and scary and like something you could never picture yourself doing. Because to some, it could be your third, fourth, fifth comic-con and it is nothing to you. Or, it could be the opportunity that changes your outlook on life and sheds light on the fact that even the craziest dreams are tangible, and all it takes is a little effort. Thank you NYCC for turning this little Florida girl into a dreamer and a doer, I’ll see you next year!

Yours Ghouly,

About the Author (of Your Doom)

Haley Williamson Bio