Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

NYCC 2022 Day 1 Report: Sights and Panels

NYCC 2022 Day 1 was great for exploring the Exhibitors and Artists’ Alley and, combined with attending two panels, was a long but successful day.

NYCC 2022 Day 1: The Stuff

A little background on my journey to the con. I took the Amtrak to Penn Station, New York City as it’s less hassle than driving. But that means getting up at 5:20 a.m. to catch the 6:10 a.m. train that will bring me into New York by 9:15 a.m. Amtrak was on time this day (it has not always been) and once we arrived at Penn Station, the eldest son and I grabbed bagels for breakfast, dropped our luggage at the hotel, and headed to the Con. We meandered in at about 11 a.m.

NYCC 2022 Day 1 had begun.

The good news is that it was immediately apparent that it wouldn’t be as crowded as I’d feared. The last Thursday I attended pre-pandemic was packed enough to exhaust even me, who loves cons. Today’s crowd left plenty of open spaces and made it an easy walk across the Exhibit Floor in most areas. (Lines that snaked around a few big booths were the exception.) It reminded me of the days that NYCC only allowed those who’d purchased 4-day tickets to attend on Thursday. Now, they sell Thursday-only tickets but given that my NYCC app kept notifying me that there were Thursday tickets available all day Wednesday, I’m guessing they did not sell out Thursday this year.

That meant NYCC 2022 Day 1 was a good day for shopping, gawking at the displays, and taking advantage of a few photo ops. We’ll see if the crowds increase in the next few days.

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The Panels: NYCC 2022 Day 1

Ghosts (CBS) Exclusive Screening and Panel

The pre-registration of the Ghosts panel on the Main Stage at New York Comic Con worked like a charm. I ended up in the third row from the front, though I only showed up 40 minutes early. That sounds like a long time but I’ve known lines to be two hours or more long at NYCC.

The Main Stage panels tend to have warm-up acts. In this case, a few volunteers from the audience were asked to compete in a step/dance contest. This could have been cringe-worthy but instead was charming, especially for the tween who won. (All three received prizes.) Next up were trailers, just like at the movies. Finally, the cast was introduced.

Rebecca Wisocky (Hetty), Utkarsh Ambudkar (Jay), Danielle Pinnock (Alberta), Asher Grodman (Trevor), Sheila Carrasco (Flower), Román Zaragoza (Sasappis) represented the show and did it well. (Grodman, who plays pantless Trevor, even wore pants.)

There were some teasers for the remainder of the season. Flower is going to have an episode that concerns her time with a cult. Pete and Alberta shippers may get their wish. Sasappis will have a spotlight and his father (played by Zaragoza’s real-life father), may return. Sadly, it does not seem like Jay will ever get to see any of the ghosts. The biggest news to me is that one of the original BBC Ghosts, cast, Matthew Baynton, will appear in an episode later this season.

But the highlight happened when the panel ended. Wisocky came to the edge of the stage to pose for selfies at the request of fans. The handlers looked appalled. Wisocky looked overjoyed. She’s earned it, after a long, busy career, she’s finally in the spotlight. This is a moment I would have missed had I not waited in line and scored a seat near the front row.

Rebecca Wisocky Ghosts
Rebecca Wisocky at NYCC. Photo copyright Corrina Lawson

#Broadway to Hollywood: 2nd Annual Look at the New Age of Musicals

The panel featured Charlie Rosen (A Strange Loop; Moulin Rouge; Be More Chill), hair and wig designer Mia Neal (Annie Live!; KPOP; West Side Story 2020 Revival), executive music producer Ian Eisendrath (Come From Away), composer and music supervisor Daniel Mertzlufft (Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical; TikTok’s For You, Paige), and Esin Aydingoz (Composer, Arranger, Pianist; DCappella). Moderated by actress Lorna Courtney (Juliet in & Juliet)!

I had no idea what to expect from this panel save that it would talk about Broadway musicals. Instead, it featured a far-ranging discussion of their diverse backgrounds, what goes into theater careers, and the need to make theater and musicals more accessible. Mertzlufft talked of finding a new way with TikTok to create new lovers of musical theater and to create new musicals as an alternative to the traditional route.

Rosen noted that those making the decisions about money, those at the top, are incredibly resistant to change. But it was Neal who spoke most eloquently about how those who don’t adapt go extinct. She spoke of her love of opera, how the Metropolitan Opera has the advantage of the most incredible acoustics and talent, and yet how it’s struggling to reach new audiences because it hasn’t adapted for the modern world.

It was thought-provoking, especially since this panel is itself an example of the outreach of Broadway theater into non-traditional spaces.

Thus ended NYCC 2022 Day 1.

Good night, all.

Midtown Manhattan
A view from my hotel near the Port Authority, Manhattan. photo copyright Corrina Lawson

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