Wednesday, July 1, 2015


The Best 'con I have ever been to!

Archipelacon took place June 25.-28.6.2015 at Alandica Culture & Congress Centre – Mariehamn, Åland, Finland.

I bought a membership right away, because I knew I need and want to be present as a visitor at least. 
  But you know me, can't really keep myself away from the spotlight in a way or another. This time I ended up sending there all three of my alter-egos in one event, for the first time ever. And it felt good!

We've had this burlesque group doing The Game of thrones and we performed at Ropecon 2015.
  From this performance we had a video and decided to send it to Archipelacon and through them straight to their Guest of Honour George R.R. Martin himself. 
  He liked it, so the people behind Archipelacon ordered us to perform in their event and Mr. Martin agreed to come and see the show.

I was also invited into two panels as an author. The first one was about writing horror. I was joined by Anne Leinonen, Shimo Suntila and Matti Järvinen, who moderated the panel. I was invited in as the "beginner". I was more than fine with that title but scared as hell. What if the crowd thought I am nothing, that I should not be there?
  But in the end, they liked it. The crowd liked me. I did have a lot to say, even as a beginner. I was an example of my own generation of new writers. 
  I even had courage to talk about the problems a horror writer, especially a female one, faces when the society thinks "you just might be a bit sick, if you write this stuff". Well, newsflash! I'm actually totally normal. Well, just as normal as a person in my position should be.

 Me, Anne Leinonen, Shimo Suntila and Matti Järvinen. Photo by Henry Söderlund.

The other panel was about how to become an author instead of a writer. Well, that's a thin line. I actually still mostly prefer the word "writer" when talking about me, but then again many call me an author already. 
  Whatever the title, and whenever that does change officially, I had a lot to say in this panel. This time it was moderated by Johanna Sinisalo and I was joined by O.E. Lönnberg (my author-fiance) and Shimo Suntila. I felt safe under Johanna's and Shimo's wings. 
  Yet again, my and Olli's title was "the beginner" and our job was to tell how have we started the road to becoming an author and how has it been. It has been great! We both have published something, and write our novels in blogs. For two years we have worked with promoting our name out into the world as much as possible.
  Our newest "trick" was the official business cards we had ordered just for the Archipelacon. To promote our blogs and to give people our contact information. We had a personal game of "give out all 100 cards before the other does!". In the end we both won, because the numbers were too hard to follow and both were doing such a great job in it. I suggest you do the same!

 Me and O.E. Lönnberg.
Photo by Henry Söderlund

As a costume designer, my personal challenge were the outfits for Melisandre and Drogo for the burlesque. - There was no time nor money to create something I would usually do, so damn -
  Drogo had had these golden pants at Ropecon, so I just made some black, glittery lines to portray the lines in his cheast. Which actually worked amazingly, even though it was just a little add. I also re-made the hat for our Mr. Martin, so it will look even more real and closer to the hat he really wears. 
 But the costume of Melisandre was in loan from Lizzie Chili, who is our Catelyn. I needed my own, plus the feedback was asking for a costume that can be opened from the middle, as the character clearly does in the HBO serie.
  In the end I took two red dresses from my collection, ripped them in pieces, made some changes and put them together. It was fast, enough good-looking, and most importantly, close to the feeling Melisandre's dress has. 
  I also made a necklace out of leather and used my effect-liquids to make the stone in it. No it's not leather in the serie, but the crowd needed to see something black in Diane's neck portraying the same form.

Diane De Camerone as Melisandre. Photo by Tomi Junnila.

We didn't have much time to rehearse ourselves into the new stage we had, but in the end adrenaline took care of any worries. Our show went without big obstacles and even the hard change from Ygritte to Melisandre's new costume went perfectly. I did a double-role, because in the original versions of the show we had less performers. Because this was still possible, we felt we don't need a 12th person for Ygritte within the schedule we had.

Diane's double-role as Ygritte, twerking here. Photo by Tomi Junnila.

Here are some other shots of the show and the costumes others made for themselves! 
  My own personal favorite details were the wings and top of Dani, the amazing red shoes of Cersei, Arya's handmade vest (and her dobbelganger face of Williams)... and Jaime even had a golden hand! And this is only the beginning of a list, in which the performers had thought through their details.

 Lawrence Talbooty as Ned. Photo by Tomi Junnila.

 Jaime and Cersei. Photo by Tomi Junnila.

 Dani's amazing wings! Photo by Tomi Junnila.

 Melisandre, giving a lapdance to "Mr. Martin". Photo by Tomi Junnila.

"Mom, please..." Arya and Catelyn (Lizzie Chili). Photo by Tomi Junnila.
The Starks. Photo by Tomi Junnila.

Mr. Martin (Vili Von Nissinen) walking on the corpses. Photo by Tomi Junnila.

Did you notice the great background picture? It is by Neerachar Sophol

 The songs we used were

1. Ice and fire (creative commons)…
2. Dragon's daughter by Melodysheep (on its permission)
3. The rains of Castamere Metal by Eric Calderone (on his permission)
PLEASE BUY THESE AT iTUNES! THANKS to these amazing musicians!

The (boffer) throne was built by me, Lotta Laukkanen and Valtteri Blom, for Ropecon 2015.
  The show was based on the original idea by Mari Saario, which is based on the books by George R.R. Martin and the original show by HBO.

After the show we went straight to the showers with Dani, because the state we were after the "blood on stage". Our hand on the shower's handle, we got a call to come back "because Mr. Martin is there for a photo with us".
  We looked down on ourselves.
  We're in full ketchup and only wearing tassels.
  "We just have to live with this!" and ran back to the hallway where Martin was waiting.

Our crew and George R.R. Martin. Photo by Tomi Junnila.
 And we got a picture with him. Couldn't shake his hand or hug him, because of the ketchup, but what the hell, not everyone can say they've experienced that!
  And he had loved the show, and his companion McBride loved it so much she had cheered and screamed althrough the show! And so did the crowd love us, based on the screaming we heard.

Some have suggested performing again at the WORLDCON HELSINKI 2017. We'll see what happens! But firstly, you all need to vote for Helsinki so this becomes a reality.
   Also Johanna Sinisalo gave her support to us and to that idea and that meant a lot. Here is also some feedback taken from online:

" ‪#‎archipelacon‬ Game of Thrones burlesque show last night. So funny, so sexy, so very, very wrong. " /
" Oh lordy. Game Of Thrones burlesque. So. Much. Ketchup.
#Archipelacon ‪#‎soworththetrip‬ "
@GaieSebold Jun 27


We were honored to perform for you all! See you again! Perhaps we should do some Star Wars to meet next Mr. Lucas...

- N

The Game of Throne Burlesque. Photo by Tomi Junnila.


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