Behind the Scenes at Salt Lake Comic Con FanX 15

Karen Gillan

Karen Gillan and myself

Twice a year I turn my interviewing and stage skills to my geek side. It is a total blast to have the opportunity to help out with Salt Lake Comic Con. Just this past weekend was FanX – a smaller, more intimate version of the Con that focuses on celebrity interaction and artists.

This time I got to interview Karen Gillan, as well as spearhead a social media campaign. Both were fantastic experiences that showcase exactly why I love Comic Con.

With Karen Gillan, I got to meet and chat with a brilliant and delightful actor, while the social media fun enabled me to interact with the interesting and varied people attending the con. Since anyone who knows me knows that I love people, (which is a major reason why I host an interview show) both of these outcomes are a huge high for me.



I got to meet great people from Washington, Colorado, and Idaho as well as locals. From cosplayers to authors and artists, to “celebrity collectors,” (whatever that means – they’re the ones who said it, not me!) the people who come to Salt Lake Comic Con are among the best people anywhere.



So, what is it like backstage? Chaos, basically. Everyone coming and going, sound guys, video guys, tech guys…celebrities, their agents…fans, crazy fans, shy fans, uber-fans. Three days of exhausting and exhilarating fun.


Back Stage Control


There are always moments when everything looks like it’s falling apart, then miraculously comes back together – always thanks to how dedicated everyone behind the scenes is to providing the best possible experience for fans.

Richard Paul Evans


Luckily, I’ve never found myself getting star-struck or tongue-tied. I’ve had lots of people ask me about that – do I get stage fright? Am I intimidated by celebrities? The answer to both is no, not really –and the reason is the same. I am freakishly, childishly curious about everything. Every moment I’m so involved with the adventure, sucked into what’s going on, that I forget to be self-aware until it is over. THEN I often turn things over in my mind. I get more nervous ten minutes after an interview or an emcee moment in front of thousands of people, than during. And honestly, I feel very at home on a stage because it just feels like I’m hanging out with friends. Lots of friends.

As for my biggest interview this Con, here is a short clip of how it went. I only knew Karen Gillan as Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy, actually. But I did some quick research, courtesy of my wife who is a huge Dr. Who fan – who crammed me full of critical story lines and selected for me pivotal episodes to watch. (mental high-five when I was able to laugh at a joke Karen made about the Silence.) Karen is a fabulous interview because she’s such a good sport, has such a great attitude, and is a quick wit.



Angus-PhilWell, here we are, halfway through January. How are those New Year’s Resolutions looking? According to, right now is the time we’re all starting to hit a rough patch.  During the first week of the year, 75% of resolutions are being maintained.  But somewhere between the second week and the end of the month, an entire 10% go back to old habits.

By six months, just over half are still focused on their goals. And according to, “a Marist poll predicted that 44% of us would make a resolution for 2015, but research from the University of Scranton says only 8% of people actually achieve their goals.”

So now is the time to buoy up that sagging determination, and figure out how to make sure THIS year we end up in the successful column.

Last month I shared on Facebook an article that disputes the concept that sharing goals publicly increases the probability of success.  I found it fascinating. One of the central points is that when we share goals with others, personally or via social media, we get a positive, uplifting response that feels good – so good we don’t actually need to complete the goal because we’ve already achieved a fulfilling result.

While this, and the other concepts related in the study, makes sense on a personal basis, I think that if sharing goals and progress doesn’t prop up our own determination, it can inspire others.  Seeing other people succeed in their struggles and resolve creates a community of not being alone in facing challenges.  We re-commit to our own journey when we see others on the same path.

So the question then becomes, is there a way to do both?


The Art of Doing

artofdoing-reviewThe Art of Doing: How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It So Well, by Camille Sweeny and Josh Gosfield.

We all know, from years of hearing not to, the dangers of judging a book by the cover.  And yet, I’m still going to admit it was simply the bright yellow design and  bold graphic print that drew me to this delightfully different motivational  read.

Setting it apart from the typical preachy self-empowerment fare, The Art of Doing provides an entertaining compilation of interviews from real-life successful people from diverse backgrounds.  From the famous (Alec Baldwin, Laura Linney, Yogi Berra) to the more obscure (Jill Tarter – SETI Institute, Gary Noesner – FBI Agent, Erin Gruwell – Teacher), each story offers life lessons and poignant success tips. For a philomath like myself, I especially love the little section at the end of each interview where the authors include facts & stats about both the person and the topic/industry.

Throughout and overarching all the interviews is a mission;

“What is success?” and “Who gets it?” and “Why do people care about it?”…instead of theorizing on success Gladwellian-style or offering up some easily digestible quick-tip formulae, who not go straight to the source? Why not simply ask people how they do what they do?

…Our participants’ vocations, goals, philosophical perspectives and personalities could not have been more different, but as their responses to our questions accumulated, we began to see patterns.  We came to realize that these extraordinary people shared many core principles and practices that had led to their great success.

The book goes on to outline 10 success principles gleaned from the 36 interviews from fascinating success stories running the gamut from opera diva to dog groomer to bestselling author.

The Art of Doing is a great read – uplifting, light, fun and easily manageable in small time chunks due to its formatting. And we at the Go For It Show love it especially because we share its fundamental philosophy – that the best way to learn about success is by asking successful people.  Also, that success is defined not by fame, but by passion and fulfillment, so those stories come from vast and diverse voices.  What do YOU think superachievers have in common, and do you have what it takes?


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