Nerd HQ 2015: Conversations for a Cause

NERD_HQ_LOGO_050815-1024x806Returning to downtown San Diego during Comic-Con this year was The Nerd Machine‘s Nerd HQ, a free interactive experience for fans held this year at The New Children’s Museum. In addition to the free attractions, the event offers a less stressful and less crowded opportunity to interact with some of your favorite stars.

Conversations for a Cause, as they have been dubbed, were held in a small theatre room at the museum consisting of approximately 200 seats. Tickets for the panels ran a mere $22 and all proceeds went to Operation Smile, a charity near and dear to the founder of The Nerd Machine, actor Zachary Levi. The charity provides children with cleft lips and palates in underdeveloped countries the surgeries needed to correct these issues. Each sold out panel raised $4000, enough to provide 16 of these surgeries.


William Shatner

I personally attended five of these conversations over the course of the 4-day event: William Shatner, BBC’s Sherlock, Zachary Levi, Nathan Fillion, and The Thrilling Adventure Hour. Shatner was his usual amusing and flirtatious self, at one point asking if a fan would like to sit on his lap. He also discussed his new project, a cinematic graphic novel titled William Shatner’s Man O’ War. Sherlock creator/writer/producer Steven Moffat, producer Sue Vertue, and series’ actor Rupert Graves answered questions about fan theories and attempted to answer those about the next season, which hasn’t even been written yet! Levi spent much of his panel expressing his thanks to the fans who make NerdHQ happen. He is still one of the most charismatic and lovely presences on stage I have ever seen. Fillion asked longtime friend and collaborator Alan Tudyk to join him whilst they answered questions and auctioned off signed items they personally donated to the cause. The most impressive item was a Hovertrax scooter, which Tudyk joyfully demonstrated. And lastly, The Thrilling Adventure Hour included a panel of writers Ben Blacker and Ben Acker and voice actors Mark Gagliardi and Hal Lublin, among others. Many fans of the long-running show, including myself, were curious as to which direction the old-time-style radio show would be going since it ended its run at the Largo in Los Angeles this past April. Luckily for fans, there is much in the works for this beloved show and its segments.


Nathan Fillion

The panels were available as a live-feed thanks to Nerd HQ sponsor IGN and can now all be viewed here. Additional conversations included Supermansion, Battlebots, Stephen Amell, Con Man, Elijah Wood, Supernatural, and Heroes Reborn, among others.

More about my overall experience at Nerd HQ can be read about here.

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