June 20, 2022

Shields Up: This Event is Going to Be ‘Kicass”

by joeyphoenix

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Pinkieswear Productions invites you to their exclusive event for Lords, Ladies, and Warriors – Kicass (Kingdoms, Clans, and Swords ‘n Shields) ‘22 at The Holy Ghost Society in Peabody the weekend of July 8-10. 

Limited to 250 attendees, Kicass will give participants the opportunity to have an up close and personal encounter with talent from popular shows: Outlander and The Last Kingdom. In addition to the meet and greet, photo opportunities, and special encounters, there will be panels, delicious food inspired by the worlds of the shows, and a unique vendor market. 

Joey Phoenix sat down with the organizers of Kicass ‘22 – Founders Elaine Milo and Shawnette Boggs along with their marketing and PR manager Kira Burt – to hear more about what these three women have in store for attendees. 

Joey: What is this event? And why should people go to it?

Elaine: I can only speak from my own personal experience in events. And what I will tell you is that Kicass was created from passion and love by fans of the two shows that we are celebrating. And when we say celebrate, we mean celebrate, because we are taking a normal convention and taking it out of the box. We’re adding all kinds of bells and whistles to it so that it becomes more than just your typical convention experience. 

Kira: It’s not just a convention, it’s a unique event where it’s not just “get your autograph, get your picture, and you’re out the door.” There’s so much more to it. 

There will be ax throwing, pipers, drummers, and authentic 14th century fighting, armor and all, by the Steel Legion. It’s a convention on the inside of the hall and a festival on the outside!

Shawnette:  It’s almost like two events. Within the hall you’re going to have your panels, your autographs, your photos, meet and greets, things like that. And then outside the hall will be a festival. 

We’re really trying to bring that festival vibe to it. We’re taking the con model and kind of turning it inside out if you will. And we’re going to have an emcee: Kato Kaelin (Wizard World). 

Joey: So it’s Ren Faire meets Con meets celebrity meet and greet? 

Elaine: And we’re not just celebrating one show, we’re celebrating two: Outlander and The Last Kingdom

Joey: Why did you choose those shows to celebrate? 

Elaine: We’ve discovered there is a huge crossover with Outlander and The Last Kingdom. Part of our mission  is to bring the experience to people who would not normally get the opportunity because tickets to these things, particularly in the boutique stuff that we’re doing, are generally pretty pricey. Typically upwards of $1,000 or more. What we figured was that some people can only afford to go to one convention. Let’s bring them two shows and give them a two for one. Plus, we love both shows and we think other people will enjoy it.

Kira: First of all, these two, they have their own gravitational pull. It was last fall around Thanksgiving, and I wasn’t following Pinkie Swear Productions or anything. I didn’t know anything about them. Somehow, in my feed came this post about the author and the protagonist of The Last Kingdom: Bernard Cornwell and Alexander Dreymon doing a small panel in Salem.

I had only become a fan of The Last Kingdom during the pandemic, but Alexander Dreymon is really easy on the eyes and I was smitten. But he wasn’t known for doing any cons in the States. So when I saw Pinkie Swear’s post I immediately wrote to the organizers: Where are the tickets? How can I buy one? I was so excited. 

I got tickets. It was a small event: 40 people in Salem. I’d always wanted to go to Salem. I knew it was going to be a small encounter and I would be in a room with Alex and Bernard. Unfortunately, the event was canceled due to COVID. But through the process I met and connected with Elaine and Shawnette, and I realized how much I clicked with them. 

When they started looking for a film trailer editor for Kicass, which is what I do for a living, the stars really aligned for me to work with them. And for me it was an instant yes because, I mean, if these ladies can get Alexander Dreymon, what else can they do?

Joey: Oh that’s awesome! Tell me more about inspiration for this event, and what it’s like to plan an event that you also get to enjoy.

Elaine: It’s both exciting and scary for us. Because we care so much about the shows we also want to do this well. We’ve been to the big cons, we’ve been to the small cons, and we’ve picked and chosen what we liked and figured out what we can do better. For this one we rolled it all up in a ball and made it even better. 

These shows are built off the backs of these fandoms, and we really believe the people in these fandoms deserve a chance to participate and to meet their heroes or favorite characters. We’ve seen it at cons when the fan walks up to their hero or celebrity crush. They’re in tears, and it’s sometimes life changing for them. We just want to bring that to people.

Joey: ​​I feel like we watch things that will not just entertain us, but also give a sense of belonging. I’m part of many different fandoms. And I find that I didn’t have a community outside of them for a long time. And now that I’m an adult, I’ve kept up with those communities, because where I find my identity within those spaces, and like hearing you all talk about this one, it definitely feels like this community built out of this. 

Would you mind telling me some more details about what will happen during the weekend itself? 

Shawnette: Friday night is going to be an early registration event where attendees can come in. We’re going to have a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres and things like that. But they can come in and get registered, get their packets, and actually walk around the venue, get a feel for it, and meet other attendees!

The venue will open Saturday morning at 10. We’re going to have panels – we’re still working on the final schedule. But there’s going to be panels, autograph sessions, meet and greets, photo ops, and of course our emcee, Kato. You never know what Kato will do or say,  which is part of the fun! He made sure we gave him a wireless mic for the day! We did. Nuf said.

For the photo ops with talent and attendees we will have backdrops and 3-D “sets” to go along with the backdrops.  Standing stones anyone?

We’re providing lunch for everybody on Saturday and we’re going to have a common area where people can go sit and relax. And then of course there will be the market where all the vendors will be. 

During all this, we’re having Kato Kaelin bebop around to keep the energy up. We’re having ax throwing, we’re having drummers and pipers, and sword fighting in 14th century armor. There will also be a special event for VIPs on Saturday evening and another ticketed event on Sunday morning. 

On Sunday, the events will continue and we’ll also offer continental breakfast to the attendees. 

Joey: Wonderful. Well, thank you all for your time. Where can people go to learn more about this event and buy tickets?

Elaine: We’d like to remind folks that we have created additional ticket tiers as  some folks wanted to attend for just a day. We are trying  to make  this accessible to everyone! Please tell them to go to https://pinkieswear-events.myshopify.com and that can’t wait to see them all there! 

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