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Guests of Honor - Sheila Lenkman and Scott Corwin

DemiCon 16: July 29-31, 2005

Guests Scott Corwin and Sheila Lenkman

Sheila Lenkman and Scott Corwin, both natives of St. Louis, are the current masquerade directors for Archon, one of the Midwest's oldest fan-run conventions. Archon has earned the reputation as being one of the finest venues in the country for costuming, attracting contestants from both coasts and Canada. Sheila and Scott took over the masquerade in 1996, when the current director unexpectedly dropped out. They had already been working backstage for two years at this point, Sheila working backstage and Scott working the light board. While the previous director had done much to improve the masquerade from its' humble beginning, Sheila felt that much more could still be done. Luckily, the Archon committee approved their plans, and they began recruiting a team of retired costumers and technicians. Their strategy was to improve the technical support, and with the help of Mike Evans on the soundboard, they did just that. Scott began writing a computer program that would give each technician vital information to run each department. Kevin Dulle and David Trammel were drafted to act as Backstage Manager and Crew Chief, and Sheryl Haven to be Assistant Stage Manager. Eileen Lenkman, Sheila's sister, took on the arduous task of data entry and Judge's Liaison. Sheila decided to adopt various theatrical techniques, bringing structure to what was once rather chaotic. Their first masquerade as a team was Archon 20, and all their hard work paid off. The new masquerade model was a success.

In the past nine years, the Archon Masquerade Team has run thirteen masquerades: nine Archons, three Gateway Media Cons, and the 2000 Worldcon in Chicago (under Nancy Mildebrandt). Sheila and Scott organize costume panels that actively promote the masquerade, both at Archon and other cons. Archon was the first con to bring in a Masquerade Guest of Honor, on the premise that it would encourage beginning costumers to learn new techniques, and prove inspirational. One of the things they are proudest of is their Masquerade technician training program, allowing them to share what they have learned with others. It takes a crew of roughly 40 people to run a masquerade as large as Archon, and there is never a shortage of volunteers!

When they are not running masquerades, Sheila and Scott work on renovating their 1920's Bungalow in Brentwood, a suburb of St. Louis. Scott is a Software Engineer working at Anheuser-Busch, and is an avid Paintball player. He is currently on the Board of Directors for Archon, and is half of the logistics crew, who delivers and sets up all of Archon’s equipment and supplies (and takes it away again after the con!).

Sheila’s primary job is being Mom to their two-year-old son Brendan. Her secondary job is with The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, where she maintains the costumes and their storage facility, and coordinates costume rentals. Before Brendan was born, she worked full time in the costume shop for ten seasons, as first hand (assistant) to their head draper. She has done costume work for nearly every other professional theatre in St. Louis, such as Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Stages St. Louis, The Muny, and The St. Louis Shakespeare Company.

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