Kindness Matters

A SDCC story...

Kindness Matters

Hello there,

I’m writing this from sunny LA where George Mann and I are visiting George’s brother Scott for a couple of days before descending on San Diego Comic Con tomorrow.

It‘s our seventh SDCC, having been every year since 2015. A lot has changed since that first show where George and I were over to promote the Titan Comics Doctor Who special we’d written and where I signed the contract for my first Star Wars gig, Adventures in Wild Space.

A fantastic DPS by Rachael Stott from our SDCC 2015 Special. Rachael snuck me and George into a couple of the selfies with the Doctor!

But one thing has remained constant over the years — the wristbands we both wear.

We got them during that first SDCC. George and I were sitting in the bar of our hotel, having forgotten that our pro badges were still hanging around our necks. I looked up and suddenly realised that Greg Grunberg, who I best knew from Heroes, was sitting at the next table. I nudged George, trying to be as subtle as possible as I pointed out the actor. Famous face clocked we went back to our drinks.

“How‘s the show going?”

Five minutes had passed and, noticing our badges, Greg had called over. He’d just got into San Diego with his son and was looking forward to hitting the con later that day. We chatted a bit, Greg saying how he was excited to be part of Star Wars (this was before the release of The Force Awakens) and asking what we were doing at the show. We eventually said our goodbyes, but hadn’t made it out of the bar before Greg called us back over: ‘Hey, what are you doing tomorrow night? You should come see my band!’

Greg playing drums in Band From TV

It turned out that Greg played drums in Band From TV, a covers group made up of stars from various television shows. They were playing a charity gig for Kids For Peace, organised by documentary maker Morgan Spurlock. Greg asked for our emails and promised he’d send us invites.

We headed back to the con, chatting about how great he’d been and not expecting an email. After all, the guy was super-busy and, even in our limited experience, we’d already worked out how bonkers SDCC could be.

But lo and behold, two hours later, the invites were in our inboxes! The following night we jumped in a cab and headed for the gig, which turned out to be all kinds of awesome.

On the red carpet, fresh-faced little tikes!

We were given the wristbands on the door and have worn them whenever we see each other ever since. They’re a reminder of a random encounter and a fab night, but, more importantly, the words KINDNESS MATTERS remind us to be kind, both to ourselves and especially to others when we’re at a con.

Any convention – especially SDCC – can be exhausting. Fun, yes. Exciting, of course. But you can soon find yourself running on empty. A glance at our wrists reminds us to make sure we’re enjoying the moment, rather than charging from one appointment to another, as well as making sure that we’re taking regular breathers, pacing ourselves and drinking water!

And yes, it’s important to be kind to others too. Everyone is trying to have a good time and/or to do a good job, whether they’re on a booth, handling lines, sorting out panels or trying to wrangle talent. Hiccups happen, but snapping at harrased staff/vistors/stewards never helps. A thank you and a healthy slice of empathy, on the other hand, goes a looong way.

I hope everyone coming to San Diego enjoys the con and remembers that kindness always, always matters!

(And please don’t forget to drink plenty of water!)