Cast of Community

Cast of Community

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Barry Harris #CommuniCon Livestream First-Person Account


I, like millions of Community fans, was not fortunate enough to be able to travel down to LA last weekend for the first CommuniCon. This made me feel a bit sad, knowing so many like-minded Community fans were currently gathered in one big place, basking in all that is the awesome show that could. I had come to grips with the fact that I wouldn't be there, and would have to live vicariously through tweets and pictures coming out of there. Then, something awesome, something magical happened, everyone's favorite Community Super Fan stepped up and gave us all a window in. The person in question is none other than our very own Catherine Boyd, who selflessly decided she would use her laptop, setup a live stream, and allow all the fans from around the world to get a chance to experience CommuniCon, in all of its glory.

From the moment that link went live; I spent as much time as possible glued to it. It was great, in many ways. We got to see Catherine, peddling the great CommuniCon merchandise, as well as all the names and twitter handles that everyone has come to know, all popped their faces on the screen to say hi! Tours of the art exhibit, getting to see just how many fans of Community traveled from all over, just to celebrate our favorite show.

For me, the best parts were getting to watch the writers’ panel, and of course, listening to Dan Harmon with a microphone. Very rarely do we get a chance to listen to the writers talk about the show, in video form. Sure, we can see them on Twitter, take part in their AMA's on Reddit, but those only do so much to placate the appetite for listening to these people, to immerse ourselves in their knowledge and insights. And to top it off, we got to hear and see the audience reactions. I'm sure being there was even better, but getting to watch was something to remember. This team of writers are gifted, and they produce some of the most genius writing around.

I don't know what I could say about listening to Dan Harmon that I haven't said before. I could listen to that man speak for days at a time (and I have, Harmoncountry tour, I listened EVERY day it got released). I spent a lot of my time listening to some BIG talkers. Kevin Smith, Joe Rogan, you know, people that can put out a 3 or 4 2-hour podcasts a week and still be entertaining. And as much as it pains me to say this, being the huge Kevin Smith fan that I am, but nobody can engage an audience like Dan Harmon. He knows what the crowd wants, which is easy since all they want is him, and he gives it to them, open, honest, and without reservation. Then after he has finished entertaining everyone, he gives himself over to the crowd, and ensures all of his fans are satisfied and have a chance to interact with him. That's why I am very confident, that someday I will get to shake Dan Harmon's hand, more so than any other famous person out there. One day I will be at his live show, and that will get me a handshake. You don't get that from many other famous people (I know, there are some, back off, I'm praising Mr. Harmon here).

Seeing all the cast members showing up, even the actors/actresses who had secondary roles, or even just one-shots, still came out to do their fans proud and mingle. I've never seen a group of actors love their product so much, that they give themselves over so readily to the masses. It's inspiring to see, and helps to show, just why Community has the fan base it does, and why that fan base will so viciously defend it, and then in the next minute, be so filled with joy about the show.

Overall, getting to see so many Community fans, the actors/actresses, writes, friends of the show, Dan, Erin, and the whole CommuniCon, through the eyes of Catherine's live stream, was a very memorable experience, and made it seem like we were actually there at times! At one point, I saw 175ish people on the stream (I didn't watch the counter, it may have gone higher at some point), but whoever is out there counting the number of CommuniCon participants, I hope they account for the stream!

I'll end this tirade of words, by once again thanking the writers and cast of Community for bringing us such a great show that has brought a lot of people together. Dan Harmon, for creating such a show, and even though he no longer is an active participant in the actual show, has not let that falter him one bit from talking to the fans, and being a participant in things like CommuniCon. And finally, the biggest thanks of all, to Catherine Boyd, for, without her, none of us would have had a stream to watch, and CommuniCon would be just stories, tweet, and pictures. I know I speak for all fans who were not there, Catherine, you are both the hero Greendale wants, and the hero Greendale needs! Thanks, for letting us go on the wild journey with you.

Barry Harris
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"Monkey,  you can drive my car!"

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