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Long Island Geek festival features sci-fi actors

Graham McTavish will be appearing at the Long

Graham McTavish will be appearing at the Long Island Geek Convention. The convention features guest speakers, tabletop gaming, discussion panels and a costume pageant. Credit: New Line Cinema

It's time to get your geek on.

Long Island is home to a new inaugural science-fiction and fantasy convention, located fittingly in a futuristic-looking space at Long Island MacArthur Airport.

Much like Comic-Con, this event features some actors from the most popular shows in the genre, including "Game of Thrones" and "Outlander." But, unlike the Javits Center event, this affair will be more intimate, with only 600 tickets sold each day.

"It's very fan-centric, and very up-close and personal," says organizer Ken Deep.

Graham McTavish of "The Hobbit" films, one of the actors scheduled to appear, agrees.

"When I was growing up, there would have been no possibility to meet any actors, unless you quite literally bumped into them in the street," says McTavish, a Scottish actor who is currently in the popular sci-fi series, "Outlander."

Instead of calling the event a sci-fi convention, Deep and other board members chose the name Long Island Geek as a matter of pride. "The geek culture started with sci-fi," he says. "Everyone else is just borrowing it."

There's plenty going on at all times of the event, but here are five things you may not want to miss:





Sci-fi fans will recognize the actors who play some of the characters in the fantasy-sci-fi films and shows, from Finn Jones, who plays Ser Loras Tyrell in the HBO series "Game of Thrones" to Nina Toussaint-White, who played an incarnation of Mels in "Dr. Who."

Another guest actor is David Warner, who has appeared in films such as "Titanic," "Time Bandits" and "Star Trek V" and "VI." "David Warner has a resumé the size of the phone book," says Deep. "He's a living legend. No self-respecting sci-fi fan doesn't know David Warner."

Another guest is Spencer Wilding, a Welsh actor who played a guard in "Guardians of the Galaxy," among other sci-fi flicks.





The actors, along with a director and authors, will appear on panels throughout the two days, including the talks on " 'Star Trek' at 50 and Beyond," monsters and superheroes in films, and "X-Files" secrets. Get spooked out by a panel on "American Horror Story" as well.

Joshua Lou Friedman, who worked on such films as "Transformers" and "The Dark Knight Rises," will talk about his latest work, the Internet sensation "Power Rangers" mini-movie. A schedule online will indicate when stars will sign autographs.





One cannot expect a geek convention without some role-playing going on. Throughout the two days, games will be played and demonstrated, including Blind Battle Royale, Apples to Apples, King of Tokyo and X-Wing.

Zombie Dice, anyone?





Cosplay is a term sci-fi/fantasy lovers use to describe dressing up as characters in the genre, and the costumes can be pretty elaborate. An 8 p.m. parade Saturday will include skits and modeling of the outlandish and often hilarious costumes.

Sign-up at 2 p.m., when there's a pre-meeting. This aspect of the convention is geared toward ages 13 and older only, although the little ones have their own costume parade Sunday.





Expect dealers selling board games, comics, jewelry and food in the massive vendor hall, Deep says.

The tables at these shows are always geared toward fandom, says Bay Shore resident Faith Malave, 40, who, along with her son Christopher Craig, 20, also of Bay Shore, sells handmade items such as pendants made out of Scrabble tiles and "Outlander"-inspired jewelry.

She also plans to spend time on the floor attending the panel discussions and getting autographs.

"All the guest stars are very accessible," she says of previous conventions run by Deep. "It's a more meaningful experience."

Long Island Geek

WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-10 p.m. May 2 and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 3 at Islip MacArthur Airport, Ronkonkoma. Shuttle bus service from train station.


ADMISSION $40 ($25 ages 3-12) May 2; $30 ($10 kids) May 3. Weekend passes are $55 ($35 kids) Tickets -- if available -- will be sold at the door.

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