A few weeks ago, Reddit held an AMA (Ask Me Anything: where any user can post any question) with a "booth babe" or promotional model who calls herself RoninMoro. I thought it was pretty interesting and tied into our on-going fascination with costumers, so here are some highlights. The caveat here is that she's not your typical "booth babe." She's actually a member of The D20 Girls Project, which brings together women who enjoy gaming in their personal life to do gaming events. Some editing (indicated by brackets) has been done to keep it SFW.

Q: What is a booth babe?
A: Attractive women they stick in booths at trade shows and events. The idea is to attract more people to your booth to hear your message. They work fairly well although there is a lot of controversy about it as it's pretty exclusive to women. CES had one at about every 4th booth it seemed and it was more of an annoyance because they had very limited experience/knowledge on the vendor.

Q: How is the pay?
A: Not bad, depending on the person and other comp we get. Example, certain comic con, I'm getting a custom costume that I can use again, and like $20 worth of food vouchers, and then $300 a day on top of it. Generous dude.

Q: Whats the nastiest thing that happened to you on the job?
A: I've had a kid I was posing with projectile vomit almost on me. Took some ninja evasion skills, but it was still really gross. I feel worse for mall Santas.

Q: What conventions do/have you work at?
A: A lot of Comic Cons around the west, smaller trade shows, promos for my agency, and a lot of smaller comic/game/anime conventions like Conichiwa and Matsuri Con.

Q: Is being a booth babe your main job or is it just a temporary position?
A: It's not my only job, I also wait tables and manage a comic book store, but it's my favorite by far. I've been working promo for about 5 years.

Q: How did you become a "booth babe"? Did it have anything to do with managing a comic book store or did that come after?
A: I started modeling when I was about 16, and I did promo work for my agency since the beginning. I've been a nerdypants and cosplayer for even longer, and eventually I got this job at the store, which isn't really related to the modeling. I think I was almost 18 when I was at Anime Expo in costume and booked my first job as a booth babe. It's really kind of self motivated in an industry like this.

Q: Ever get free merchandise from the company you're sponsoring?
A: Sometimes, I get comics and random merch a lot, but a few times I've received some nice stuff like costumes, software, and bigger gift cards.

Q: Are there any interactions with con-goers that stick out in your mind as particularly hilarious?
A: Last con I Worked at, I was in my Rogue costume, and some guy (who was mildly autistic or something) was IN SHOCK. Like, followed me around, asked for a photo and really thought I was Rogue, asked me if he touched my hair if I'd suck up his life, had me autograph a Rogue poster, and was totally serious about all of it. Hilarious and cute and flattering all at once.

Q: Do you talk with the other booth girls enough to know how many of them are as interested in comics (or whatever) as you are vs. how many are just there for the paycheck?
A: I actually am a part of a company that helps girls like me get promo and booth babe work, so that we can replace the ones that don't [care] and are just there for the money and give nerd girls a bad name. Still, it's about 75% [just there for the paycheck]. Alas.

Q: I hate to ask this, but it's something that I always think of booth babes: don't you feel exceptionally objectified as your main job is wear a costume and be pretty (+have endless guys undressing you in their minds)?
A: Don't even feel bad for asking, it's a legit question and something a lot of girls struggle with. Sometimes, it's bad, but the ones that just stare and don't bother to come and talk to me are just kind of jerks. When I call them out and they find out that I'm actually a fan, know the industry, and 75% the time know more about what I'm dressed up as than they do, they don't objectify me anymore!

Q: Have any famous/well known people come on to you?
A: Haha, not too much- Wil Weaton was super cool though. Hung out with him for a while last Phoenix Comic Con. He signed my boob and blessed my d20. Good times. A lot of times, the famous people stay out of the vendor halls (where we normally work) since they're so busy/so they don't get swarmed.

Q: How often are you groped at events? I would think it would be quite often depending on the type of event.
A: Not as often as you'd think. It's actually worse when I'm doing work outside of a convention- like running something at a game, car show, or even just at a mall. I think a lot of fans are more respectful (or something, but I'll go with respectful) than a lot of people think. Not only that, but I'm not in insanely slutty costumes often at all.

Q: What's the funniest thing you've seen happen at a convention?
A: Storm troopers. All of the time. Everywhere. The people that dress up as stormtroopers have the most fun out of anyone in the con. Examples just at my last con: stealing my candy, making children cry unintentionally, posing like bros with Jedi, skipping merrily everywhere, kidnapping people at random... most of them are had-to-be-there kinds of stories.

Q: Do you do lots of hours? Because i come home after 14 hours of work and think, [wow] am I meant to have energy to do washing now or maintain relationships, then I just play skyrim.
A: Usually I work for a full con day, so 8-12 hours, with a few hours worth of breaks and downtime depending on how busy it is.  Oh Skyrim, you suck up my life. And the dragons never stop flying backwards. Imperial or Stormcloak?

Q: Have you ever met a normal guy at a con that you ended up doing anything with after working hours?
A: Nope, I kind of consider that the line I draw. I can't really explain why, considering how many friends I've made.

Q: When someone takes a picture with you, is it alright for them to put their arm around you, or do you prefer the "hover hand?"
A: I really don't mind actual contact, unless they're legitimately dirty or reek- and honestly, that's more to protect the costume. Thankfully, that's not an issue 95% of the time.

Q: What's your favorite kitchen utensil?
A: I'm quite a fan of spatulas. I also have an affection for spaghetti scoop spoon things, because I was able to unlock my car from the outside with one.

You can read the whole, uncensored, chaotic exchange on Reddit. [Warning: Much of it really is NSFW]

Did she answer any of your questions about being a booth babe? What other questions would you have asked?

[Via Reddit]
[Image Source: legitreviews]

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Leah said...

Hi! I'm Leah, aka RoninMoro. Thanks for featuring me on here! 

Nigel Mitchell said...

No, thank *you.* Awesome AMA!

Leah said...

oh, you. It was my pleasure, if you ever need me for anything, let me know? facebook.com/leahroseaz is the best POC!


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