Imagine that you go to the absolute coolest high school in the world. Everyone there is amazing smart, talented and gifted. You love every single one of the people that you see there and love what they do. Now imagine that these people decide to have a talent show.
So these super cool people are doing the things that they LOVE to do, but may not necessarily be as awesome at as the other stuff you know them for. But they also have amazing friends who like to do things, and they have them be in the talent show as well.
Welcome to W00tstock.
To be clear, this is in no way a criticism of the show. It‘s just that the format is a bit like geeky vaudeville, or like those old Hollywood musicals where a group of people decide to put on a show. I imagine that when the first one of these was put together it was “I like to sing!”, “I like to tell stories!”, and “I know this cool guy that can do this thing…” If that doesn’t sound interesting to you, then no matter how much you like the people in the show, you may not like it.
The roster for this show was incredibly intriguing, and had I not been super interested from a theatrical perspective to see this show, just the people alone would have brought me to the theatre. Wil Wheaton, Paul & Storm, and Adam Savage are the founders and constants of the show, and then there are special guests that come in and perform as well. All told, the show started at 7pm and I got out of the theatre at 11:30pm, so they have a lot of talented friends.
The show included Internet videos – including the best 6 seconds on the Internet, the best 36 seconds on the Internet, Sexiest Pool Party Ever, and Nothing to Prove. There were songs from Garfunkel & Oates, Molly Lewis, a fairy tale from Patrick Rothfuss, a personal stories that ranged from pursuing your passion, even if that happens to be made of small interlocking bricks like Nathan Sawaya, how to rid your yard of skunks while accidentally creating a new prank beverage, parenting advice, to learning you should NEVER try to tell George R.R. Martin what to do – even in song form.
All in all W00tstock was an incredibly cool experience. Just thinking about the sheer amount of talent, geekery, and passion in that room is astounding, and I am including the audience in that statement. Before the show and during intermission they were posting tweets from the audience and they were clever, funny and covered a wide range of topics. It is awesome being a part of a crowd that is so damn happy to support the people and the ideas that are on the stage.
You don’t need to be a math nerd, or a gamer geek, or any type of nerd in particular. You just need to be a nerd who likes to be in a room with other passionate nerds. The coolest part of comic con, that W00tstock really manages to capture, is being around people that are all passionate about whatever they are passionate about without any pause or reservation. I am decidedly NOT a gamer, in any way shape or form, but I loved Aisha Tyler talking about being a gamer. I was captivated and entertained that she was so enthusiastic about something she loved and wanted to share that with a couple hundred of her closest friends.
This is not theatre in the traditional sense, but it is still an amazing night of theatre.