There are no words I can find that can sum up the experience I had at them. I don’t think there is a word invented yet to encompass it all. It was a whirlwind trip and there was so many awesome moments that it totally blew my mind. I am still recovering from it! It was so amazing I probably won’t remember to jot the majority of it down, but I will give it a go!
Flew into Oakland and met up with the animator friends I was staying with. We stayed in SF and met up with friends for drinks the night before grad. Nice to start it off with just relaxing with friends. Then grad us upon us the next day. Oh my how awesome it was! We were all fancied up and brimming with excitement! Met a lot of people I was in class with and names I saw about the campus. Everyone was great to talk to and we had lots of fun during rehearsal. Then it was show time. The AM staff did an amazing job with everything and it really had a fantastic vibe to the whole thing. Never been to a grad like that before! Lots of laughs and inspirational speeches. Glen MacIntosh did a fantastic job as the guest speaker. Totally got me inspired to dive into my work more! The student choice awards were great. Most of my closest friends took home an award which made me super happy. I even won one myself! My friend Alexiss and I won Biggest Personality for Live Q&A for our classes! It was great to win something selected by my peers. I of course became a laughing mess and set off a lot of people. I am known for my laugh now. Suprisingly I was able to be somewhat coherent at the mic for my acceptance speech. It was awesome to have people cheering for me being myself!
We got to see the student showcase before they released it at Siggraph! So much awesome work in it! A couple of my friends got their work into it. I am so proud of them and the other students who were selected. A ton of work was put into their pieces and it’s fantastic to see them being rewarded in a way for their efforts. We then collected our diplomas and headed off to the grad party.
Lots of people to talk to! I literally walked 15 feet in the four hours I was there! Everyone kept coming up and talking, which was awesome. Got to meet some new people and just have a good time. I didn’t get to have anything to eat tho since the tables weren’t in the distance I covered lol. I gladly talked to people instead but it made people laugh. The lot of us then travelled to Boudin’s for supper. Big group of us and they were nice enough to stay open later for us to continue our good times. A few of us went to a bar to end the night. The place was packed and we had lots of fun. We even started doing the macarena to see if we could get the whole place doing it lol. Good times!
Then it was off to LA and Siggraph! Drove down with some friends and did a little sight seeing along the way. The three days of Siggraph were a blur! Sensory overload. Saw a ton of booths, caught some talks, met a load of people and walked miles. Immense fun. There was the AM party one night on the top floor of a business complex. Totally wicked! So many awesome people to talk to! Great night and good times! The AM staff did another fantastic job of planning awesome events that week. Their tribute to Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson was amazing. It was inspiring to hear people talk about them and their work. It got emotional at the end when we were watching a video of their work with clips of them talking. It’s amazing when you realize how much they affected animation as an art form and an industry. Truly amazing people.
Then to end the trip a dozen of us went to Disneyland! It was my first time there and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to go with! We had fun with shuttles getting there and then the magic happened. I revered to being a kid again and was in awe for the majority of the time. We rode pretty much everything we could fit in: the carousel, teacups, Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, Space Mountain twice, Big Thunder, haunted house and splash mountain. Totally wicked! I am becoming a coaster junky. I LOVED Space Mountain. I want to ride it for a day I swear. I laughed and cheered so hard the whole time. The fireworks and fantasmic were amazing. A friend of mine laughs cause he looked over at me and I was staring in awe with my mouth open. It was blowing my kiddy mind! It was the perfect way to end an amazing trip!
I am so glad I was able to go. The times were amazing and I really got to bond with some friends. I am honoured to know them and call them friends. I can’t wait to work with them one day and watch their careers prosper! Thanks so much Shawn, Carlos and Bobby for starting AM! Thanks to the staff for continuing to make it awesome! I LOVE ANIMATORS AND ANIMATION!!