Interview with Lessons in Lore

Chad and Megan, as Lessons in Lore, put together the informative and irreverent Warcraft Lore panels for us every year. They’ve written funny songs and are working on putting out an album, and they even impressed a Blizzard staffer so much that the two of them now exist in WoW for people to meet.

But right now, read their responses to “5 Questions”…

How did you first hear about Dragon Con?

Chad: When I was a young teenager in Atlanta it was always this mythical place that kids with cool parents got to go… Like Little five points. And we’d hound kids with questions about what it’s like. But as I got older, it became more of this club I couldn’t get into because I didn’t have money at the time. When I finally did manage to go, I think my mind was so loaded with possibilities that I wound up not doing anything in fear of dedicating too much (any at all) time to any one thing. It became rather disappointing.

Now, though, I’m much more useful with my time. I get to see panels, and people. And I’m glad that the mystique has fallen. Though, oddly enough, I now think it has even more possibilities than I thought it did then. Which I suppose says very little for my childhood imagination.

Megan: I was about 12 years old, playing in a DC Heroes tabletop campaign with my parents and their friends, and our characters actually took a trip to Dragon Con in the game.  My character, based off of Ranma from Ranma 1/2, challenged Apollo Smile to a duel to see who was the “REAL” anime girl, and our team of heroes had to fight real vampires that were hiding amongst the Cruxshadows fans.  About a year or so after that night, my parents took me to my first Dragon Con.  If I recall correctly, it was in July for my first time, and most things were in the America’s Mart.  I *did* get to meet Apollo Smile, but I didn’t challenge her. We only were able to go for a day that year.  I’ve attended every Dragon Con since; usually staying in the host hotels and enjoying the con for all 4-ish days. (I was the envy of my classmates in high school, as I got to start my Labor Day weekend early and miss school on Thursday before Con)

What do you look forward to the most at Dragon Con?

Chad: This will sound bad, but eating, actually. I’m a big fan of variety… and so the more I think about what’s there, when it’s nothing like the stuff around my house, the more excited I get. Of course I say the same thing about going to Disney World, so maybe I just have deep seated issues with food.

But I suppose a more “Dragon Con” centric answer would be learning things. I always make time for at least one class on something I don’t know well enough. Whether it’s photo-shop or Sewing, I like being crafty… if only I had time to use any of those skills I pick up every year, I’d be a very well costumed guy, with a photo that I shopped to make it look like I was doing something cool… like sitting in more interesting panels.
 
Megan: It’s hard to say, honestly.  The whole big thing. Dragon Con has always felt like coming home–there are people I consider to be very dear friends that I only see once a year, and that’s at Dragon Con. Just recognizing the carpet in the hotels gives me butterflies. Over the years, I’ve shifted from area to area in the con.  I used to live in the BritTrack, back in it the days of the Whose Line? competition.  I supplied my voice to the artistic productions of the Atlanta Radio Theater Company for a few years, and even graced the stage in the Mighty Rassilon Art Player’s production of Return of the King and I.  Now, my home is with the MMO Track, and they’re an amazing bunch of folks.  I look forward to working with all of them, spreading the love and passion I have for World of Warcraft through our events, and creating a fun and entertaining environment for others to learn of or share that love.  So yeah, the whole damn thing.

If you could meet any three people, living or otherwise, at Dragon Con, who would they be and why?

Chad: My Real Father… Just kidding. I don’t want to meet that guy. Let’s see. My three would probably be…

The Dalai Lama, There are very few people that I read about that simply everyone likes, and he’s probably the biggest one. But I wouldn’t get spiritual with him, I think that’d be a waste of time. I can read his facebook for that. Instead, I’d want to ask him about the desires he used to have, before he accepted that they were a hindrance. I think the history he could share might even be more enlightening than his enlightening speeches.

Stanly Kubric. I’m a huge film fan as well as a hidden theme fan, and I spend weeks on end studying his movies to find hidden themes and subtle currents that run rampant throughout his movies. If there was anyone who laid the framework for what a double narrative could be it was him. His death, is probably one of the more unfortunate realities for me when I think about movies I want to see and realize that I’ve already seen everything he will ever offer. Sad really.

And lastly, John Linnel of “They Might Be Giants”, but you probably know him better as one of the guys from “They Might be Giants”. I’ve studied music, and I believe that he’s probably the best song writer of our Generation. His work is interesting, it’s complicated, and it sounds great. It’s fun to listen to, it’s fun to play. It’s just the most fun music I think exists. But I wrote a paper on some of his song writing tropes, and I came to the conclusion that he’s a musical genius, but maybe also a super-villain. Every hit he produces shatters the norms of music. The basic do’s and don’t’s of music are pretty much the framework for how he writes, and he does exactly what you should never do when writing a hit song. And it never fails to work flawlessly. It’d be like a basketball player who studied basketball only to find what you should never do, and do the opposite, and then never missed a shot. John Linnel wrote “Birdhouse in Your Soul” and if you aren’t paying attention, you’d never notice that he changes keys twice during every chorus… a big no no. His song “She’s an angel” uses repeats of three measures to fill a song with four set measures to give it meter. And somehow, it simply works. It’s simply too brilliant for words. And he’s probably the only person, living or dead, that I’d ever gush about meeting.
 
Megan: Jim Henson – This man was one of my childhood heroes. The passion and creativity he had, and the sheer love that comes through everything he created…words fail me.

Fred Rogers – Yes, I know, another king of childhood television. Mr. Rogers was such an amazing man, and the lessons he taught stuck with me. I’m ecstatic that his legacy has been carried on as well as it has with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and that my son can share the love of the Land of Make-Believe with me. Every once in a while, I’ll go read the Wiki page, and by the end of it, I’m in tears that the world is now without such a golden soul.

Now purely because I feel I need at least one living person in this list–Chris Metzen, I suppose. Admittedly he’s a prime target for poking fun in our Lore shows, though that’s also a bit of satirizing the fact that anytime something is “off” or “disliked” in the story of the Warcraft games, virtually the entire internet blames Metzen whether it’s actually his fault or not. However, he’s helped create, and especially shape, an amazing world with a rich story that MILLIONS of people love to play in. If he and his story team hadn’t built such a wonderful, enthralling (pun intended) story, Lessons in Lore wouldn’t even be a thing. It’d be fun to see how well he did at WoW Trivia, though…

What is your proudest professional achievement?

Chad: This is a tough question. I’ve done so much in so many fields that it’s hard to narrow down. I suppose in my performing life, it’d be working for the Center for Puppetry arts. I love acting, and Puppeteering is like acting with someone else’s body. So it’s the hardest form, and the most prestigious place to do it, in my opinion… So that was really nice.

As a parent we always feel obligated to mention our kids whenever we mention being proud. But honestly, my son is four, and while he’s an awesome four year old… he hasn’t really hit the grand slam or become an eagle scout yet. But I’m sure he’ll take over this list one day.

Otherwise, I’d say it’s simply being able to use so many different skills in so many ways. It’s really true that there’s no such thing as bad experience. And I’ve held jobs doing so many things simply because I was interested in them and got experience. I’ve had careers as an actor, a musician, an audiobook narrator, an electrician, a laser tag enthusiast… and for me, what is there to be more proud of than saying… “I did it all”? And while I still have writer, talk-show host, and film director on my list of to-dos, at 30… I’m off to a good start.
 
Megan: It’s hard to choose honestly, because in many ways, I feel like I’m still finding myself and my niche. Getting immortalized in a game I love is pretty damn awesome.  I’m also pretty stoked at my ability to take skills that I acquire at work, and apply them to other projects I work on, like prep for Dragon Con and the Lessons in Lore stuff. In my current day job, I do everything from IT/Digital Recruiting to Graphic Design to Social Media Marketing to Videography to restocking the break room (ah, the joys of working for a startup ^_^) so I’m able to pick up a lot of skills and explore new things.  It’s also exciting when something clicks for me business-wise with Dragon Con or Lessons in Lore and I’m able to bring THAT into play with what I’m doing at the office.

If money (and time) were no object, what is the one costume you would wear at Dragon Con?

Chad: I really wish I had a cooler answer but… Booster Gold. I’m a huge DC Comics fan and Booster, to me, is one of the best characters because he walks several important lines. But the reason I’d do his costume is because I’ve always wanted to see my limits in putting electricity into a costume, and what better costume to try that in, than a futuristic technology based super hero. He’d be lit up all over and have cool gadgets worked into the, otherwise, costume based suit. It’s easy to work in gadgets into an Ironman suit… he’s Ironman, basically a robot to begin with. But to have to work it into a costume that needs to be flexible… well it seems like a fun challenge.

Though, to be more realistic. I’d say I’d use the money and time to get in great shape and be Freddy Mercury from the “I was born to love you” video. That song is very special to me and he was just a classy guy, and one of the few Tenors who got high enough to be really impressive when sung at Karaoke. His music was great, his personality was great, he even loved his momma. And I just think… damn… I’d love to be that awesome even for one day.
 
Megan: Oh, this is an impossible question!  I love costuming, but lack the time, funds, and skill. So I’d use the time to learn a whole bunch of stuff and to get in shape, and the money to build…hmm…I’ve got some unique concepts for Rapunzel from Tangled and Sylvanas Windrunner from WoW, though I don’t want to delve into details as so far, no one has had the same idea as me and I’d like to hang on to the uniqueness for a while yet.  I would like to learn to make armor and do a costume of Watcher Megana from WoW, I want to join the army of Elizabeths from Bioshock Infinite, Starfire (TeenTitans cartoon version, not the New52), a Rule 63 Nightwing (but only if the hubby does a Rule 63 Huntress), Katara from Avatar the Last Airbender, OOH! And to get just the right violin to dress up as Nichtel from an upcoming fantasy novel, “Atterwald” written by a friend of mine (I got to be a test reader)…there are just so many costumes I’d love to make and wear at Dragon Con.

Grim