Interview with Con-Voluted’s Jay Wright

Dragon Con Purple

As a former bartender of five years at the drunken nerd haven known as Battle n Brew, I have been fortunate enough to meet all kinds of eccentric movers and shakers in the geek community. They come in many shapes and sizes, but always there is this strange and amazing sense of quirkiness and relatability that ties all of these amazing characters together. Jay Wright is one such character.
As one of the founders of Con-Voluted, Jay has put his quirkiness and relatability to good use, helping turn the party-centric idea of a small handful of people into a legendary organization with hundreds of participants/party minions that work together to capture the spirit of DragonCon year after alcohol-fueled year.

UnderCurrent Atlanta: How would you describe Con-Voluted to someone who’s never been to Dragon Con before?

Jay Wright: Con-Voluted is a fan based group that has attended DragonCon for the past thirteen years. The founders of the group (Jay Wright, Kristie Nelson and Adam Chamely) decided in 2009 to get more involved and share our love of unconventional costuming with others.

UCA: Tell me about the “ABC” party.

JW: “ABC” stands for “Anything but Clothes.” The idea is to make costumes and outfits from any material other than cloth. Creativity and ingenuity are highly encouraged. Costumes made from Twister games, playing cards, bubble wrap, lamp shades and everything else imaginable are the norm. The great thing about this event is that everyone can participate, from those that just grab a shower curtain or garbage bag at the last minute to the dedicated that spend months working on their intricate and beautiful creations. Over the past six years of hosting this event, we have heard from dozens of people that have told us the ABC party was their first introduction to costuming. They tell us that it is a great way to get started as there is not much pressure to “get it right” and there is no real expense (depending on the material they choose to use).

UCA: You are running as Ming for President. How did this campaign start, and how does Ming feel about his chances in 2016?

JW: “Ming for King 2016” actually started about four years ago. It is a commentary on how ridiculous our current political system is where we eventually end up trying to decide which of the two idiots that the [political] parties put up for election is the lesser of the two evils. The thought process was why not just vote for the real tyrant and be done. That and it is just an excuse to wear costumes all year long and throw parties, I mean campaign rallies. Ming’s chances are pretty good this election as he is the only one running for King and Supreme Ruler of the Universe.

UCA: Any big plans or special surprises you guys have planned this year that you’d be willing to share?

JW: We will be talking to a lot of people about the 1st Annual Con-Voluted CON Cruise coming up on February 4-8, 2016. What happens when you put hundreds of geeks on a ship and head to the Bahamas? A four-day nonstop party on a ship in a totally immersive environment with all your basic needs taken care of. Unlimited free food, shows and entertainment, but most of all, hundreds of other nerds, freaks and geeks just like us to get our geek on with. Quality time we all get to spend together celebrating who we are. We have over 200 friends already signed up and hope to add a couple hundred more between now and then.

UCA: What are some of your favorite Con-Voluted moments of the past?

JW: Having a packed room and over 100 people lined up outside waiting to get into the party was definitely a highlight for us. The party has grown every year and more and more people look forward to the ABC party as the unofficial kick off to DragonCon every year. Some other highlights are always the amazing costumes made from everything imaginable. One of our favorites was a girl that made a formal gown out of pages from various books.

UCA: Who is welcome to join Con-Voluted and its insane parties?

JW: Absolutely everyone that brings a positive attitude and wants to have a good time. Since the very beginning, Con-Voluted has been focused on inclusion whenever possible.

UCA: What would you tell someone to prepare them for Dragon Con?

JW: Sleep is just a cheap caffeine substitute. DragonCon never sleeps. It is four days and nights of nonstop excitement and parties. Get your geek on and go big.

You can follow Con-Voluted’s activities on Facebook or check out their Website.

DragonCon starts this Thursday!

See you there!