Pop Culture Expo Founder Gary Sohmers took time out of his busy schedule finalizing touches for the Pop Culture Expo May 24-25 at the Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington, MA to answer a few question.
Talk a bit about the foundation of Pop culture, How do you define its origins?
In my opinion, Pop Culture began with Mark Twain and PT Barnum … both became incredibly popular with the public as entertainment … anything that is cultural and popular could qualify as Pop Culture … so many facets that it is now all-encompassing.
What prompted you to create an amazing event like Pop culture expo?
Having produced hundreds of events over the past 409 years, the time was right to merge all the fun aspects of Pop Culture into an event that fans and families would enjoy, where you could meet a diverse selection of celebrities and spend a day being totally entertained.
What are some of challenges you have faced along the way creating this event?
The Fan Convention marketplace has become dominated by corporate events like out of town traveling events that care little about the fan and the way too numerous overly crowded hotel shows, so the challenge has been creating something different that includes technology to ease long waits in lines and a large enough venue so that everyone is comfortable … we have succeeded with both of our goals.
How has the role of pop culture evolved over time in our society and the global society?
The Internet is a grandchild and evolutionary being of Pop Culture … everything on the Internet can become popular and the comedy and tragedy, the good, the bad and the ugly, all have a chance to make a permanent impact on the world and the future … creating pop culture appears to now be as important as appreciating it.
As a kid what are some of the first shows, books, films, music/radio, etc that really moved you?
I am from the first TV generation and have seen black and white merge into color, witnessed the acceptance of records, cassettes, 8 tracks, CDs, DVDs, downloads and streaming as a progression based on demand from the market I was a part of … and took the time during the past 5 decades to study, immerse and prosper from my love of Pop Culture … I am a Disney geek and a Dr. Seuss Nerd … I am a walking cartoon and know the values of 100,000 useless objects.
Working on the Antique roadshow must be an interesting experience could you talk a bit about how you got involved with it and some of the more interesting things you have found while doing the show?
I appeared for 13 seasons as an appraiser of Collectibles, Toys and Pop Culture on the program and had fun meeting people and sharing my knowledge with the viewing public … some of my favorite appearances are constantly in repeats including the Frank Zappa Oil Painting, Beatles Butcher Cover,, star Wars action figures, Hot Wheels, and the collection of original Peanuts art by Charles Schulz.
What are a few things you personally look forward to the most at the PCX?
I will be hosting the Voice Actors Script Read and hope that everyone comes out to see/hear the greatest voices in an amazing presentation. I also look forward to seeing the impact the NAO Robot has on solving problems for children with learning disabilities in the future .. this robot is very important to me, the show and to families with Autistic children.
The Pop Culture Expo May 24-25 at the Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington, MA
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