Make us your home page

For actors, convention brings personal connection with fans

Robert Axelrod says he knew at an early age that this was the life for him.

Robert Axelrod says he knew at an early age that this was the life for him.

LAMECon 2016, the free anime convention in Land O'Lakes, will offer fans the opportunity to meet and interact with artists and performers who — through their vocal and dramatic talents — bring their favorite fictional and fantasy worlds to life.

Robert Axelrod has appeared in more than 30 feature films, as well as television programs such as Star Trek Voyager. He is known to many fans of the sci fi/fantasy genre as the voices of Lord Zedd in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series, Movar from Transformers, and Wizardmon from Digimon.

"It touches me when a fan comes up to me and says something like, "'You made my childhood' ," said Axelrod.

This marks the second year that Axelrod has participated in LAMECon as a guest and panelist.

"LAMECon runs a great show," he said. "We do a panel each year that connects me with the fans and they set me up with a great autograph table, so I am available to meet every fan who wants to meet me personally."

Performing has always come naturally to Axelrod, who is set to appear in the upcoming films The Clapper and The Boonville Redemption.

"I've been in show business since age 5 when I first entertained my kindergarten audience with a hand puppet show I'd been working on," he said. "I knew in my little 5-year-old noodle, that this is what I wanted to do the rest of my life."

"Doing the convention two years in a row enables me to really establish career continuity with my fans," he said. "It's been a busy year since LAMECon 2015 and I can't wait to share it with my fans."

Cosplay performer and YouTube personality Kira Chi also is scheduled to appear at this year's LAMECon event. And she will be bringing with her the vivid coterie of characters that has made her a staple at this and other anime-themed conventions.

"As many people know Sailor Moon is my main Cosplay character appearance, which I have showcased at cons such as Metrocon, Megacon, Shadocon and a few others," said Chi of New Port Richey. "But at some of my latest cons I have been appearing as characters such as Harley Quinn, Asuna from Sword Art Online and Card Captor Sakura."

"My love of anime first started from my mom finding me a VHS of Sailor Moon at a local grocery store when I was a kid," she said. "I fell in love with the style and story then found myself watching all sorts of anime ranging from Gundam to .hack//Sign and famous movies such as My Neighbor Totoro. It became such a huge part of my life."

In addition to conventions, Chi also connects with fans via her new YouTube channel (

"My YouTube channel has been a lot of fun to brainstorm and create fun videos for people," she said. "So far I have done a few review videos, an in-character Sailor Moon video and some makeup tutorials."

Chi also enjoys meeting fans at conventions.

"Gosh I could go on for hours about all the amazing experiences I have had meeting fans at cons! One of my favorite moments is when I get to meet younger Cosplayers who I have inspired and or helped along their cosplay journeys. I love getting to meet them in person, taking silly photos and getting to know them," she said. "I want them to know I'm the same as them – silly and a super dork nerd!"

"LAMECon offers a lot of unique experiences that people can't really experience at other cons," she said. "Such as a fully open costume contest, free admission, unique guests, a variety of dealers and artists and activities for every age range."

For actors, convention brings personal connection with fans 07/27/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 3:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 18: Despite feeling ill, this pilgrim passes the midpoint in her 500-mile journey on foot


    Day 18: Lédigos to El Burgo Ranero: 34.3 km, 12.25 hours (Total for Days 1-18 = 428 km (266 miles)

    Today was a struggle.

  2. Actor John Heard dies at age 72


    John Heard, who played so many roles in the '80s but was probably best known as the dad in the Home Alone movies, has died, according to media reports. He was 72.

  3. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 17: Think 11 miles of nothing but straight trail and open, flat fields sounds easy? Think again.


    Day 17: Villarmentero de Campos to Lédigos: 33.5 km, 10.25 hours. Total for Days 1-17 = 394 km (245 miles)

  4. Tom Sawyer with a revolver? Twain house has live 'Clue' game


    HARTFORD, Conn. — Was it Tom Sawyer in Samuel Clemens' billiard room with a revolver?

    In this July 14 photo, actor Dan Russell, left, portraying the character Arkansas from Mark Twain's book Roughing it, responds to a question from 10-year-old Emma Connell, center, of Arizona during a "Clue" tour at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Conn. The tour allows visitors to interact with Twain characters while playing a live-action version of the board game. [AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb]
  5. Until this song, Alan Parsons Project stood on much higher ground


    Listening to yesterday's Keats song made me pine for more Alan Parsons Project music and today we dig deeper into their catalogue with Standing On Higher Ground.