[That's me, the morning Stage Manager for the Jim Henson Pavilion]
I volunteered at the Gaithersburg Book Festival yesterday, which was a wonderful introduction to working at a book festival.
My job was Stage Manager for one of the pavilions in the Children's Village. It sounds like a fancy job, but basically I worked with the sound engineer to make sure the mics worked and I held up the signs letting the authors know how much time they had left for their presentation. But, let me tell you, I milked the opportunity as much as I could and talked to the authors who were presenting in my tent. It was a pretty impressive lineup ... I was volunteering during the following authors' presentations:
After my shift ended, the following authors were presenting (although I didn't stay to see them since I was wandering around seeing other pavilions and authors):
- Geoff Rodkey
- Kathi Appelt
- Uma Krishnaswami
- Tom Angleberger (I did briefly speak to him and his wife, Cece Bell, earlier in the day when they came to see Chris Van Dusen speak)
Although it's great to help with the authors in your own tent, the one downside of volunteering is that you miss the presentations going on in other tents. I wasn't able to see Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman (they had a huge crowd, not surprisingly), but I did catch Dave and Ben Hatke's drawing presentation, and YA author Jon Skovron (he wrote Man Made Boy and seems to be an expert on Mary Shelley).
And I was super excited that I at least got the chance to say, "Hi" to Raina. We've met on several occasions and she has always, always been so gracious and friendly. It pleases me to no end that she actually remembers who I am! She has thousands and thousands of fans so it's really touching (and amazing) that she makes an effort to remember her readers. I've definitely become a fan of hers as a person, not just as an author/graphic novelist. If you ever get the chance to see her, please do. And if you haven't read any of her books, what are you waiting for?! Go read Smile, Drama, the Babysitters Club graphic novels, and the upcoming Sisters (publication date August 26, 2014).
I'm hoping my next volunteering opportunities will be the National Book Festival and Small Press Expo.