All good things: CSTS 2019 and beyond

First, I’d like to apologize for the long delay in news this year. I’ve been dealing with some issues that left some question, until recently, as to whether I’d be physically up to holding an event this season. We didn’t want to make any announcements until we were sure.

The answer is YES! I’m feeling much better, and our loyal crew is all aboard. We’re a bit late getting started, but we’re still flying for 2019! And we have a couple of announcements:

  • Tickets are on sale now! Please take note of the new location before buying. Patches and t-shirts will be available for pre-order as soon as we receive the art files.
  • For the first time, this year’s event will take place in Tarrant county. Alamo’s new North Richland Hills location is the most geographically central theater they’ve opened so far, and we couldn’t be more excited about the new venue! This year’s event is scheduled for:

Sunday, October 13th
Alamo Drafthouse
8380 Davis Blvd.
North Richland Hills, TX 76182

Doors open at noon

 

And now, the hard part. The part that makes me sad, and happy, and excited, and so, so proud of all of us, regardless of what happens next. This is the part where I say, “the time has come for us to move on,” and have to blink away tears. Myself and this amazing crew have been running our local CSTS chapter for nine years, but this will be our tenth event. Some of you may remember way back in 2010, when we leapt in without a clue how this worked and held a slightly shaky event less than two months later. That terrifying leap of faith was in response to a similar announcement from Tara, our previous Captain. She showed us the ropes, and we never would have gotten through that first event without her help.

We’d love to be able to pass the torch. If anyone would be interested in taking the helm for CSTS North Texas in 2020, please don’t hesitate to contact us at northtexasbrowncoats@gmail.com. We have a wealth of experience to offer, and would be happy to help you get started.

As for us, we’re leaving the CSTS umbrella in hopes of spreading our wings and going further. We’re finally pursuing our collective dream of founding our own non-profit, with the goal of doing more events, with more themes, and supporting more charities. We’ll never abandon the Firefly ‘verse, but we want to play in other worlds as well, and we have some amazing ideas. If everything goes as planned, it might be awhile before we revisit Serenity, but we will.

So for us, for now, this is the last dance. We want you to know how much we appreciate you all, how much these years have meant to us, how much we’ve learned, and how you showed us the best side of fandom, over and over again. Thank you all. It’s been a hell of a ride.

Something ends, something begins. And some things begin and end with a party.
Bring your costumes, your evil laughs, your happiness in doing good works, and all your love for this ‘Verse. Let’s make this last shindig one to remember.

We love you,
Your CSTS North Texas crew

 

 

CSTS is just over a month away!

It’s almost time for our 13th annual charity shindig! Here are some event details for those who’ve never been before, and reminders for those who have.

Patches are now available for pre-order! Patch orders are WILL CALL only, we don’t typically ship merchandise. If you need us to ship your order, we can do that, but please let us know via email at northtexasbrowncoats@gmail.com.

Online ticket sales will cease at 10:00 pm on Sept. 22nd. Tickets will be available at the door until sold out.

There will be a very limited number of t-shirts available for purchase at the event. If you miss your chance, shirts can still be ordered through Represent for the remainder of the season.

This is a live event with all the potential schedule fluidity. Please allow room for delays, as we can’t be sure how long certain activities will take to complete. The movies may start a few minutes late depending on how things go, but they will not start early.

Approximate schedule:

12:00:  Doors Open, check in begins
1:00:  Welcome, Trivia round 1, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along-Blog**
2:00:  Trivia round 2, Costume contest*, Evil Laugh competition*, Trivia round 3
2:45:  Break
3:00:  Serenity
5:00:  Prize winners announced
6:00:  Live auction

*Kids get their own contests!

A few other notes:

  • There are no physical tickets, and there’s no need to print your receipt. There will be a check-in table in the lobby when you arrive. All you need is the name on the reservation.
  • Unlike traditional Alamo Drafthouse screenings, there’s no assigned seating for CSTS events. However, we want you to be able to claim your seats and then roam around if you wish, so you’ll receive a little slip of paper to use as a seat saver. Once you’ve claimed your seats, it would be helpful to the Alamo staff if you’d go ahead and make contact with your server, but then you’re free to wander, leaving your seat saver to mark your spot – we’ll have a lot of shiny things to look at!
  • Late arrivals are fine, we’ll be in the lobby to check you in until Serenity starts. After that, we’ll have a check in station inside the theater for late arrivals.

That’s it folks, we’ll see you soon!

**Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” screened by permission from Time Science Blood Club, LLC. ©Time Science Blood Club, LLC. All rights reserved.

2018 CSTS is coming!

Mark your calendars, we’re gearing up for our 13th annual Can’t Stop the Serenity shindig, and tickets are now on sale! This year’s event will feature Serenity and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog* as well as our usual lineup of games and activities, including our annual costume contest, Evil Laugh competition, and pub style trivia rounds interspersed throughout the day. Anyone with donations to bring, please drop us a line at northtexasbrowncoats@gmail.com and let us know what you’ll be bringing – it helps us out tremendously to be able to plan ahead.

This year’s event is scheduled for:

Sunday, September 23rd at
Alamo Drafthouse 
100 South Central Expressway #14
Richardson, TX 75080

Tickets are available for pre-order on our Tickets and Merchandise page. T-shirts can be ordered through Represent at https://represent.com/cant-stop-the-serenity-2018

Anyone interested in volunteer opportunities, please give us a shout at northtexasbrowncoats@gmail.com, we’ll be having our first meeting soon.

Keep flyin’! We’ll see you in a few months!

*Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” screened by permission from Time Science Blood Club, LLC. ©Time Science Blood Club, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

Can’t Stop the Serenity: A Love Letter

The North Texas Browncoats are preparing to celebrate our 12th annual Can’t Stop the Serenity event! Since 2006, CSTS has raised over $1.2 million for Equality Now and a host of other charities. North Texas has raised over $71,000.00 of that total. That’s incredible!! And I wanted to take a moment to thank the folks who’ve made that possible…

All of the above is true. But this post, which started out as a standard promo spiel, turned into something more personal. I don’t post as often as I’d like to in the first place, and with everything else going on in my life, I almost never talk about why I’m here. Part of the reason, obviously, is the cause itself, but that’s a different post I’ll hopefully get to later this summer. Today, I want to talk about the other reason. That’s you. This might get a bit sentimental.

For anyone who’s not already aware, CSTS is entirely volunteer run. From the very top administrative levels to the newest local organizer, every hour involved in every event is donated out of love. That’s also incredible; for a fan run organization with no centralized funding to keep going for twelve years, and raise over $1,000,000 is a stunning achievement. It’s hard work though. It can be stressful and exhausting. Organizers worry about venue details, getting enough donations, sometimes getting enough attendance to even cover the rent. There are meetings to arrange, swag to designate, and complicated show schedules to figure out. Anything that goes wrong is your responsibility.* And for a non-stagey person like me, the pre-show jitters kick in about two weeks before the event. Every year during those final few weeks, I get cold feet and wonder what on Earth I’m doing, and why I keep putting myself in charge of things that scare me.

That’s where you come in. The cause is the primary reason for these events, of course, and every organizer is dedicated to it or we wouldn’t be here. But I also do it, this crew does it, for the people who show up. Those devoted attendees whose names I know so well, even if I don’t know the faces because I only see them in a whirlwind once a year. The new names that show up in the ticket spreadsheet for the first time. The ones who show up in costumes and geek shirts and great big smiles, to make the magic happen.

By the time the event actually rolls around, I don’t have time to be nervous anymore. I arrive in the morning with a clipboard full of notes and by the time everything is set up, it’s too late to be scared; Matt is already welcoming the first arrivals. And I realize there was never anything to worry about because this phenomenal crew knows their stuff so well. And I see all these people milling around, so excited and generous and happy to be there. And I know. It’s not just for the cause, although Equality Now is a tremendously important one. We do it because this incredible bunch of people comes back year after year, with hearts full of love and enthusiasm for Serenity and all she stands for. Your support, your trust, and your love are what have kept us in the air for twelve years, and give (some of) us the courage to keep flying.

To everyone planning to attend this year, and to all those who’ve attended in the past: thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your support.

*To everyone who attended the infamous Event Where Everything Went Wrong in 2012 and showed up again the next year: thank you. That’s what I’m talking about.

To every donor and sponsor, past or present: thank you for your incredible generosity.

To our current, remarkable and devoted Crew: thank you for your tireless commitment. None of these last several events would have been possible without your dedication.

To my predecessors and their crews: thank you for building this event in the first place. CSTS North Texas only exists because you started it.

To every Global Team member and Local Organizer who’s ever dedicated their time to making Can’t Stop the Serenity a worldwide force for equality: thank you for the boundless inspiration that CSTS has been to me.

And to Equality Now: thank you for doing the real work.

Can’t Stop the Serenity was my first experience with fan activism, and it’s taught me many things: all the lyrics to Dr. Horrible, still too soon for Wash jokes, you can’t stop that signal, and everybody loves a cunning hat! More importantly, it’s taught me a great deal about what I’m capable of, about what individuals can do when they come together, and about the overwhelming generosity and kindness of the geek community. Love keeps us in the air when we ought to fall down. All of us: crews, families, fandoms, and communities. Hell, maybe spaceships too. It’s certainly what keeps me going, and you are all of those things to me. Except the spaceship. You make it worth the work, worth facing down the jitters. Your happiness and support are what move my fingers in the spring when I fill out the registration form. Anyone can run a CSTS event. You’re the reason I’m still doing it. Thank you sincerely for the privilege. It’s truly an honor to be able bring those smiles to your faces.

Browncoats, I salute you. And I love you guys.