Curious: I wanted to ask you about the name “Bitchin’ Party.” It’s such a brilliant name. The con name started out as Pacificon first?
Curious: So when did Bitchin’ Party happen?
Brynn: The first year. Were you here for the Dante’s Cove screening?
Curious: I was.
Brynn: Okay, so at some point–and I think it was fairly soon after I decided to do the con–SD Wolfpup is one of my really good friends, and she and Jarrow and a couple other people had participated in this thing where you would watch a vid from a fandom you didn’t know, and then you would try to describe the show/movie/whatever based on the vid. It was amazing, it was a really great idea.
One of the vids was from Dante’s Cove, and people in the comments were talking about it so gleefully that SD Wolfpup decided to hunt down the pilot. It was, as you’ve seen, an experience, and so she made a bunch of us fanpeople in Seattle watch it (and a bunch of people at Vividcon, as well, I’m pretty sure). And the “bitchin parties” thing was really perfect, so we just decided that was going to be our name. My whole thing from the beginning was like, I want this to be super low key. I want people to have low expectations of the classiness of this event, because basically I’ve always wanted it to be like a slumber party in a hotel. That was always the vibe that I was looking for, so we just felt like the Bitchin’ Party name was a good way to let people know what they were getting into.
Curious: Wow. So watching the pilot has been an annual tradition?
Brynn: Yeah, we watched it, I think, the first two years, and then the third year, we watched this amazingly terrible sci-fi movie from the 80s with George Peppard playing a space cowboy. It’s called Battle Beyond the Stars, and it was …
Curious: A mess?
Brynn: Yeah, and then the last time, we watched Sharknado, and then this time people suggested bringing back Dante’s Cove, because it had been awhile, so it felt right.
Curious: Yeah, that was just unbelievable. So many baffling moments…
Brynn: It ran for three seasons!
Curious: I can’t believe that.
Brynn: Yeah, it was on the Logo channel. SD Wolfpup has seen, I believe, all three seasons, and she said it actually gets a little less cracky and a little better later, but I’ve never felt like I needed to …
Curious: I was shocked that Stephen Amell was in it.
Brynn: I know. The last time any of us, to my knowledge, saw it was before he was famous, so when his name came up on the credits this time, I was like, “Oh my god.”
Curious: I’m sure he hopes no one ever brings this up…
Brynn: Exactly. I was like, “Hey, good for you. You made it out alive.”
Curious: Yeah, I didn’t recognize anyone.
Brynn: The guy who plays Ambrosius was in Dark Angel actually, which took me a while to realize because he was blonde in Dark Angel, but that was before Dante’s Cove, and I don’t know that any of them have done much since.
Curious: How do you feel the con has changed in, you’ve been running it for eight years now?
Brynn: Yeah. Well, there are more people coming now that I don’t know, which is really cool. It’s really fun to see people make connections, and to just have input from a broader range of people, and to meet new people, too. Every year I meet at least one new person that I’m really glad I met, and probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.
I think there have been more people doing their own thing within the con, which, as somebody who wants everybody to get together and talk about their feelings, initially I had a hard time with that. I was worried that people weren’t having a good time because it was more small groups of people than big groups of people doing stuff. That really started maybe the third time or so, and so, at first I was like, “I hope this is still going to work,” but then over time, I’ve really come to see that, oh, people are having a good time, they’re just having it differently.
It’s also felt harder to get people engaged leading up to it, to get people to suggest panels or vote. I think part of that is just because people are all over the place now. When everybody gets here, they’re here, but I think the community of fandom has really changed, and it is maybe more like small groups of people than like a big group of people too. Or maybe it’s just me! It’s hard to tell.
Curious: It’s interesting because this is my first Bitchin’ Party and when I got here, I sat at one table and all of us were first timers.
Brynn: Oh cool. That’s cool.
Curious: Both first and last timers, which kind of brings it full circle. I was surprised to hear that this might be, or this will be the last one.
Brynn: I’ve had several people approach me about taking it over, which would be awesome. (ed note: This is official now, there will be a BP 2018!) But it is the last one that I am running.
Curious: Can I ask you why?
Brynn: Part of it is just time for me–it’s a lot of work, and I feel like five is a good round number to end on.
Curious: It’s almost a decade of your life.
Brynn: Yeah! And part of it is my relationship to fandom; for a bunch of different reasons–work, health, fannish dispersal to various platforms–I haven’t been as engaged with the online community in the last couple of years. I have a really good group of fannish friends here, so I’m really lucky in that, and I certainly have online friends who are stuck with me forever, no matter what. But as far as the greater community goes, even though I love it and will always consider myself a part of it, I think there are other people who are more connected and who have a better sense of what people are looking for. I just feel like I’m not the best person to do it at this point.