Category Archives: w00tstock

from w00tstock 1.0

We’re doing a lot of organizing, here at Castle Wheaton, and I came across this document, which is going into an archive of work-related things that are important to me, cleverly called “Wil’s Presidential Library”.

This is the intro I wrote for one of the very first w00tstocks that we did here in Los Angeles:

w00tstock1introI did a version of this intro for a bunch of our early shows, before dropping it in favor of bullet points and amusing (to me) comments at our first comic-con show.

a recording of my set from w00tstock 5.0

At this year’s w00tstock, I stepped way out of my comfort zone and did about 30 minutes of story-based standup comedy. It was really, really fun and the audience seemed to like it. Luckily for me, it was recorded by Alpha Geek Radio, so if you want to listen to it, now you can.

Please note that this is profoundly NSFW, and if you’re planning to come to any of the Wil Wheaton vs. Paul and Storm shows this fall (and want to be surprised) you shouldn’t listen to it.

Today: New Tabletop! Tomorrow: W00tstock Founder’s Night at SF Sketchfest!

I’m really excited for everyone to see today’s new episode of Tabletop; it’s the Dragon Age RPG! I am in a party with with Chris Hardwick, Sam Witwer, and Kevin Sussman. Our GM is my friend and Dragon Age RPG designer, Chris Pramas.

BEHOLD:

Also, if you’re in San Francisco (or reasonably close to San Francisco) tomorrow night, you can come see me, Adam Savage, and Paul and Storm in W00tstock Founder’s Night at Sketchfest. At the moment, the show is nearly sold out, but if you hurry and clap loud enough, you may get lucky. There may be a song about pirates, and I will say at least one swear.

title of the blog post

When I was reading back through my archives in preparation for Wil Wheaton versus Paul and Storm last week, I thought, more than once, "I really need to write more." Each time, though, my calendar grabbed focus and shouted at me like Jules in Pulp Fiction until I begged it to stop.

I miss writing every day, even though I'm grateful for all the other work I have had and continue to have that gets in between me and filling my stupid blog with stories about life, the universe, and everything. The truth is, I've been working on projects that I won't be able to talk about for months, so the majority of my life at the moment is Off The Record. Whatever I can talk about, I sort of do in mostly real-time on the Twitters and the G Plusses and the Tumblrs, which leaves me with nothing much to write about on my blog except crap like this. 

But today, it is Sunday, and I have a bit of time to write. I don't know why, but I only needed to sleep for 5 hours last night, and I've been up since 6am. I have had a coffee, I'm eating some steel cut oats, and the rest of the house is asleep. I could read this stack of comics that's been piling up for two months, or I could settle into the couch with A Game Of Thrones (I'm 60% finished after reading until 1am)… but I feel that need to write that I hear real writers have, so here I am, writing about nothing so I can at least write about something.

Our trip to Portland and Seattle was amazing. Anne and I got to PDX a day early so we could go to Ground Kontrol and see some of our friends who live up there. Paul and Storm and Liz and Logan (and Ted and Carol and Alice) all came down a day early, as well, so we ended up having one hell of a goof off day before we had to work.

Our plan was to eat dinner at Deschutes before going to Ground Kontrol, but Deschutes was having their Abyss release party, and the wait for our large party was going to be a minimum of 90 minutes when we got there. I called Rogue, which is just a couple of blocks away, confirmed that they had room for us, and we went there instead. The food was pretty good, but the beers were just spectacular. I had the YSB, the Smoke (which won Gold at the Great American Beerfest for a very good reason) and samples of the Double Mocha Porter (ZOMG) and the Double Chocolate Stout (WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE).

Willsroom

Yep, this is real. We sat in a room with a red neon sign that said WILLS ROOM.

Storm drank all the things, and we all staggered (some of us *cough*Storm*cough* more wobbly than others) to Ground Kontrol, where we played video games for about two hours. 

This is the part where I'd try to write a narrative to recreate the awesome time we had, but the part of me that creatively needs to do that isn't responding at the moment, so here are a couple of pictures, instead:

Gksign
Ground Kontrol to Major Us

Robotronhero

I was a Robotron Hero, with Stars in my eyes.

Tempest

Avoid spikes!

Wilwinjoust

I beat Storm at Joust, even though I was feeling a little… blurry.

Digofdug
But Storm came back and OBLITERATED me in Dig Dug, even though he was playing from the bottom of about six beers at the time.

Punchout

I suck at Punch Out, but that's never stopped me from playing it.

Tngpinballsign

I signed their TNG pinball machine, then played the hell out of it. I never ranked higher than Ensign, though. It was like the machine knew, or something.

All pictures taken with Vignette and © 2011 Wil Wheaton

It was an incredibly fun night, and when I fell into bed around 1am, I slept the sleep of the mostly victorious.

The next day, we slept late and took our time getting going. We ate breakfast at Mother's, one of my favorite places to eat in PDX, before going back to our hotel to take a nap. Yes, that's exactly what happened, and it's how I know I'm getting older: I love to take naps. Normally, I wouldn't take a nap when I'm visiting a city I love, but I was tired and knew I had to perform that night, so I was responsible, which is another way I know I'm getting older.

The show at the Aladdin was fantastic. Local musical duo The Doubleclicks opened for us, and — just as Paul promised — they stole the show in 15 minutes. Here, listen for yourself and be amazed.

The Doubleclicks are my favorite. They're sisters, they play the ukulele and the cello, and they sing about nerd stuff like D&D, dinosaurs, WoW. They are just delightful people, too, and I can't wait to perform with them again.

The audience in Portland was, as always, great. I told stories about gaming and how much I love my wife before Paul and Storm joined me to provide music for my final two stories about playing T-ball when I was 6, and WILLIAM FUCKING SHATNER.

Anne and I took the train up to Seattle the next afternoon. It's a beautiful trip, and if you ever need to travel between the two cities, I highly recommend it.

Seattle was freezing cold (literally), raining and snowing when we got there. We dropped our stuff at our hotel and went to the Triple Door for soundcheck before the show. The Triple Door is fucking FANCY, man, and we sold that bitch out! Team Seattle turned out in force, and gave me many gifts of local craft beer to take home.

It was another great show, even though I think we went a little crazy with the Captain's Wife's Lament… but I blame John Roderick for bringing the Steamfunk groove back so many times. If you were there, I'm sure you understand (and I'm sorry.)

I told different stories than I told in Portland, including two things I've never done in public before (that was scary for me), but it seemed to go over better than I expected. After the show, we stayed out until 3am with everyone from the show. When I slept, I slept the horrible sleep of someone who is snoring because he's so tired so he keeps waking up his wife and she keeps waking him up so he'll stop snoring.

Our flight home on Friday was uneventful, exactly the way I like my flights to be. I finished reading Petrograd from Oni, (I highly recommend it), and then I fell back into A Game of Thrones until we landed.

Thank you to everyone who came to both our shows, and a very special thank you to The Doubleclicks, John Roderick, Molly Lewis, and Jason Finn for joining us.

being a geek is about having a great community

In a couple hours, I'm heading down to San Diego for the craziest, most exhausting, most awesome four days of the year: Comicon.

Earlier this morning, Felicia and I were Google Plussing about how to survive the con. I'm assuming some of you are not among the eleventy billion people who have the G+, so I thought I'd reprint it here, especially for you (yes, for  you):

Felicia said:

If you are at Comicon this weekend a few things:

1) Bring deodorant, it's hot
2) Here's an updated Guild signing/panel schedule: http://t.co/K2NtZG0
3) If you see me rush by, I'm not being rude, I'm probably just late for something. Feel free to tweet something about how pale/short I am, that's relatively common reaction.
4) Have fun with your friends, because being a geek is about having a great community most of all.

Then I said:

I can add a couple of things to this:

5) Wear comfortable shoes. It isn't uncommon to walk five miles a day.
6) Stay hydrated. It's hot, you're excited, you're walking five miles a day. You're going to need water. Soda and coffee dehydrate you, so they don't count. If you find yourself thinking, "Man, I am really drinking a ton of water," then you're doing it right.
7) Be patient with your fellow fans, and with the people you're there to see and meet. For some of the big movie and TV stars, this will be the first time they've ever been around a hundred thousand superfans like us, and it scares the hell out of them.
8) For the love of the FSM, don't stop in the middle of a walkway to look at your phone.
9) Come to w00tstock on Thursday!
10) Come to the Eureka panel on Friday!
11) Come to the Nerdist podcast on Saturday!
12) Support the indie artists!

Here are five rules I wrote Concerning Conventions in my Geek In Review column at Suicide Girls a few years ago (This page is SFW, but the site is deliciously NSFW) http://suicidegirls.com/news/geek/22107/Wil-Wheatons-Geek-in-Review-Concerning-Conventions/

And to reiterate what the short and pale +Felicia Day said: Have fun with your friends, because being a geek is about having a great community most of all.

We all talk about how Hollywood has pretty much taken over Comicon, and fundamentally changed it forever. That has its up and downsides, but regardless of how the final math on that shakes out, there is one scientific fact: We who attend conventions get to decide how awesome they are going to be. A promoter can set the tone, and volunteers can keep things running smoothly, but there are more of us than there are of them, and if we commit to being awesome to each other and to the guests, the con can't help but be awesome in return.

Oh, and don't forget: it is dangerous to go alone!

in which i am grateful

Los Angeles totally turned out for our show at Largo last night. I think the house was about 80% full, which is incredible for a show on a Tuesday, anywhere, but expecially in Hollywood.

We all had a great time, and the new material I did with Paul and Storm seemed to play as well as we hoped it would. Some of it will definitely make it into w00tstock 3.0.

A little earlier today, I was reflecting on the show, and I kept thinking about two things. One, how relieved I was when my set was finished. I didn't run too long, the audience seemed to enjoy all of it, and I had a lot of fun while I performed. The other thing, which is why I wanted to write this post in the first place, was how awesome the people are who come to see us perform. If you've ever come to a w00tstock, a Coulton show, or to a Paul and Storm show, I think you'll recognize what I'm talking about: the audience is always full of fun, relaxed, friendly, generally happy people, and the this atmosphere before, during, and after the show is incredibly positive and inclusive. I don't want to ever take for granted how lucky I am to have this kind of relationship with an audience, to work with friends I admire and adore, and I hope this never changes.

I'm so grateful to perform for audiences like these, and I'd like to believe that one of the reasons we get the same kind of people wherever we go is somehow related to the atmosphere we work hard to create and maintain. We work hard to give you a good show that respects the investment of time and money you've made, we want everyone to have a good time, and after tons of shows, I don't think we've ever attracted a statistically significant number of people who would qualify as not-awesome, let alone people who qualify as dicks. I'm really happy to be part of something that is so consistently positive. I also love seeing so many parents bring their teens and tweens to the show (and sorry about my foul mouth, guys; I am a little too in touch with my inner dirty pirate hooker.)

Though I am completely exhausted after every show, when we've signed the last poster and photobombed the last picture, I can't wait to do the next one. If our audiences weren't so awesome, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't feel that way, so thank you. 

tl;dr: Thank you for coming to our shows, and thank you for consistently being awesome audience members. Maybe it's silly to say it out loud, but I'm grateful for it, and it's important to me that you know that.

wil wheaton vs. paul and storm at Largo this Tuesday

REMINDER: Wil Wheaton vs. Paul and Storm is this coming Tuesday, March 29, at Largo.

As you might possibly guess (if you are incredibly perceptive), we are doing a show with our old w00tstock fellow-traveler Wil Wheaton. This time, we’ll meet on the battlefields of Los Angeles at one of our favorite venues everwhereplace: Largo at the Coronet. There will be music from us, stories from Wil, more special surprise guests, and pirates everywhere. This will be one for the ages, folks. (All ages, that is) (Get it?)

Tuesday, March 29 – Wil Wheaton vs. Paul and Storm
Largo at the Coronet, Los Angeles, CA – 7:30 pm
Tickets: http://bit.ly/h2vuPk

At w00tstock, I only have time to do one story with musical accompaniment from Paul and Storm. At this show, I will have time to perform a couple of stories that were not part of w00tstock 1.x and 2.x. You could say it's ALL NEW ZIPPY WHOOO YEAH if you wanted to do that sort of thing, even. Paul and Storm will join me for some things, and I'll do some things on my own. Also, we're putting together something kind of rad for this show that you absolutely want to see.

Paul and Storm will play a set, we will all sing a song about pirates, and we have some secret (and awesome) special guests dropping by. Tell your friends, and come on down, because it's going to be a really fun show.

w00tstock presents: Wil Wheaton vs. Paul and Storm at Largo

Later this month — March 29, to be precise — I will be joining Paul and Storm for a show at Largo, here in Los Angeles. This show will be a sort of concentrated w00tstock, expanding my 20 minute set of one story to about 60 minutes of probably 3 stories, and doing approximately the same for Paul and Storm. There will also be as much Captain's Wife's Lament as the audience can stand.

Look:

Tuesday, March 29 – Wil Wheaton vs. Paul and Storm
Largo at the Coronet, Los Angeles, CA – 7:30 pm
Tickets: http://bit.ly/h2vuPk

I'm excited for this show, and if it's well-received, we'll know that we can take it on the road with a reasonable expectation of success.

See, w00tstock is awesome, but it's expensive and complicated to produce. The four of us who are in the core of the show have busy schedules that don't always compliment each other, so blocking out a few days where we can all go to the same place at the same time isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world. If we can produce shows with some of us, instead of all of us — a sort of w00tstock presents kind of thing — then it significantly increases the chances of a w00tstock-style show coming to your town.

Yes! Your town! Can you believe it!? It's just that easy! Act now!

Um.

So, to the point: I've loved performing the same two stories at the various w00tstocks we've already done, but it's time to retire them and do something new. This is where you come in: if you're familiar with my published work, it would be really helpful to me if you would tell me what story or stories you would like to see performed live, with musical madness provided by Paul and Storm.

Here are a couple of examples from w00tstocks past, to inspire and entertain you.

Rocky Horror Picture Show at Chicago (w00tstock 2.2)

 


The Trade at w00tstock San Francisco (1.0)


Wow, watching about 5 minutes of those clips made me simultaneously nostalgic for those shows, proud as hell of what we already did, and positively giddy with excitement for what we're going to do in the mysterious future.

If you're in or near Los Angeles on March 29, I hope you'll come out to see us. It's no secret that Los Angeles sucks balls for live shows, because people just won't come out to see shows unless you tell them things like, "Hey, San Francisco sold out two shows, and you can't even sell out one?" and "What happened to you, Los Angeles? You used to be cool." Or maybe just, "This is a new show, different from the last one you saw, and I promise you'll have fun."

So, tell me, potential-future-w00tstocker: what would you like to see me perform at a w00tstock near you?

random thoughts from vancouver

I have a late call today, so I have some time to write. Yaaaaay. Here's a few things that have been on my mind in the last, oh, 36 hours or so.

So that silly thing Paul and Storm and Adam and I did sort of took off, didn't it? I'm thrilled that so many people found it as entertaining and amusing as we did; it was a lot of fun to put it all together.

You know, it almost didn't happen. Storm suggested it on Thursday, and I was on my way to Vancouver on Friday, so I wouldn't be able to do my part until Saturday, and we were positive that someone else would beat us to the punch. It was pretty cool when Saturday morning rolled around and nobody had done our joke, yet, so we all soldiered on. Paul and Storm took their photos backstage at a show, Adam did his picture in his secret underground evil genius lair (it's not a secret that he has one of those, right? Because if it is, let's just forget that I said that, okay?) and I just figured that I'd bug Felicia to take my pictures … but she was working second unit all day Saturday, and I had to figure out a way to do it all on my own.

First, I tried holding my cell phone camera, but that didn't work and left me with just one hand to gesture and stuff, so I thought that I could maybe use photobooth on my Mac. I knew it would look like I'd used photobooth, so I thought it would be fun to take advantage of that and embrace its limitations. That's how I ended up putting in all those fake backgrounds. (I have to say, the Paris one is my favorite.)

The app I used on my iPad is called Penultimate. Molly Lewis turned me on to it, and for what it does, it's totally worth a couple bucks.

I also wanted to make sure that The Chive was properly credited: we're just standing on their shoulders, riffing on their original idea, and this obviously wouldn't have happened on its own.

Speaking of w00tstock: I just heard that the San Francisco w00tstock shows are selling out, fast. Thursday has more tickets available than Friday, but I'm pretty sure both shows will be SRO, because SF seems to really like our show.

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Yesterday, Stan Lee had a cameo on Eureka. I can't divulge any details, but I can say that he's one of the nicest people I've ever met – certainly the nicest living legend – and he was just wonderful to everyone. It was adorable how excited and nerdy everyone in the cast and crew was, and how great Stan was to all of us. Also? The cameo they wrote for him was just fucking perfect. I just know it's going to kill when this episode airs.

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Facebook continues its all-out assault on its users' privacy with the new Places feature, which is (of course) on by default, with no warning. Lifehacker has the lowdown, including how to turn it off. As I've said before, if you dig Facebook, I'm not going to give you a hard time about it, but I strongly encourage you to turn this feature off. The world doesn't need to know where you live, and when you are (and aren't) home. Also: Fuck you, Facebook, for turning this on by default and not warning your users about it. You're one of the most profoundly immoral companies in the history of the Internet.

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When I was at Gencon, I got to play this storytelling RPG called Fiasco that is simply amazing. I will write an entire post about it in the near future, but until then, check out Gnome Stew and Critical Hits for posts about the greatest storytelling RPG this side of A Penny For My Thoughts. One of the great thing about Fiasco is how easy it is to write settings for the game, like this time traveler setting my friend Will is developing. (Warning: if you haven't played the game, this is not a good setting for your first time.)

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I keep running up against content and licensing restrictions, since I'm in Canada. It's making me show my rageface a lot, but that's a rant for a Techland column, I think. The short version: it's really fucking stupid to apply geographic restrictions to the Internet, which is sort of its own place that doesn't give a shit about geography. Media companies could go a long way toward combating piracy simply by acknowledging this reality and making it easier for honest people like me to watch the goddamn on-demand videos they bought from Amazon while they were in the United States, regardless of what country they're currently visiting.

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I've been taking pictures and Twittering like crazy from the set. If you are interested in that sort of thing, you can follow me on Twitter for more updates than you ever wanted to see.

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One last thing: Slacker Radio works just fine in Canada (go Slacker!) and I've been enjoying the hell out of my Camera Obscura and Catherine Wheel stations. The problems I used to have with the Android app have all been fixed, and it's been a real joy to walk around Vancouver, streaming music right into my head. (Right now, it's playing Maps by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, which is weird to hear outside of Rock Band.)

It's unlikely I'll have time to write again before the weekend, so let me take this moment to wish you all a great weekend. Take deep breaths, and be kind.

Thanks for spending this moment with me.

In which I am a HPOA

I'm working very long hours on Eureka, so I don't have a lot of time or energy to post more than silly things on Twitter, but I did this over the weekend, and I wanted to share:

The w00tstock organization wishes to post the following photo correspondence from “Wil”—which is most certainly not a hoax, and is not just a derivative attempt to cash in on some meme that was funny for 36 hours last week—without comment.

We will, however, attempt to rise above this hardship and continue somehow. The next w00tstock shows will occur September 16 & 17 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.

We’re working our contact for “Wil’s” last name.

Wil Wheaton "quits" w00tstock, whiteboard-style

This idea was entirely Storm's. He wrote most of it, and then we all brainstormed (brainSTORMed! HA! HA!) some of the other bits. I improvised the photo effects part, and it was Storm's idea to put me on a boat.

And no, I'm not really quitting w00tstock.