The Bad Guys Track

Think you can run this ship? Well, if so, you better be ready to “Aim To Misbehave!” You’ll need more than just a cunning hat and a shiny Le Mat. You’ll need knife skills, fighting skills and a familiarity with all the weapons in the ‘Verse. And here at 2008’s Browncoat Ball, we have all the tools you’ll need to deal with everything you’ll run into out in the black!

Fight Choreography of the ‘Verse: Activity 1 or Activity 3

We’re not here to answer the age old question: are you a lover or a fighter. Out in the black, is there really any difference? What we really want to know is: are you a Browncoat or a Reaver? Not sure? Well, the guys from Cry Havok will help you figure out just where your loyalties lie. Keep your guard up, though. This isn’t the time to pull out your can of beans. Out in the black, it is more than just war. This is survival!

Knife Throwin’: Activity 1 or Activity 2 (Activity 2 is sold out!)

Sure, any bad guy worth his weight in platinum can shoot down a man if he thinks he’s gonna to start a fair fight, but what if you find yourself without your very own Vera? You’re gonna need to use your knife, son. Learn the tips and tricks of knife and tomahawk throwing at the one and only International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame Association. World Champion knife throwers will teach you the finer techniques of whipping that blade through the air and you’ll be sticking it in no time flat. Be prepared for a little dust and wind, you don’t want to wear your Sunday best- bad guy business is dirty business. And who knows, maybe if you get good enough, you’ll get you an ear.
(Please read Policies before signing up for this track)

Weapons of the 'Verse: Activity 2 or Activity 3 (Activity 3 is sold out!)

Your opportunity to learn how to build and finish resin prop replicas! Sign up early to get your choice of: Mal’s Pistol, Jayne’s 1911 Colt or River’s Maidenhead bar-fight pistol. Learn the basics and fine points of crafting an accurate replica from Bill Lenches, Sole Proprietor/Owner of WILCO! Models, foremost purveyor of Props From The ‘Verse. A great way to learn an essential skill for any Browncoat, AND to get one of the snazziest prop replicas around for well below cost!

The Signalers Track

You already know that you “Can’t Stop The Signal.” Well, have anything you want to send out into the broadwaves? Here at 2008’s Browncoat Ball, we might not have the best violence, but we do have the best teachers. We’ll teach you about Filk Singing, Podcasting and how to make the best Fan Video in the ‘Verse. It’s not all about brawn – River can kill you with her Brain, too!

Firefly Fan Videos with Karla Saldaña: Activity 1

Come watch amazing videos created by fans and learn the basics of how to make your own! Karla Saldaña has over 13 years of experience as a television producer, editor, and videographer, and as a producer of radio programming. She currently serves as the Training Director at Public Access Community Television where she is responsible for scheduling and evaluating all training, as well as providing training to new producers in Basic, Advanced, and HD Camera Operations, Mini and Main Studio, and Multi Camera Field Equipment.

Filk with the Bards: Activity 2

Like to sing? Beat on a drum? Play an instrument? or just tap your toes? Come to a filk circle The Bedlam Bards! Some instruments will be provided but feel free to bring your own (acoustic only)! The Bedlam Bards are renowned music group playing "RenFolk" and Filk at festivals and cons across the globe. They have written an entire album dedicated to Joss Whedon's Firefly called "On the Drift" and have been featured on the podcast The Signal and the Browncoat documentary film "Done the Impossible." For more information visit

Podcasting in the 'Verse: Activity 3

Come learn all about podcasting and how to create your own audio content. We will cover the equipment needed to get started and create a segment to be aired on The Signal podcast. Marc Gunn is folk singer and songwriter from Austin, Texas with a strange affinity for Celtic ballads, Irish drinking songs, American folk songs, acoustic Alternative Folk, podcasting, and cats. Gunn is one of those people who got carried away with podcasting when he started doing it in 2005. He currently publishes six podcasts on a regular basis including the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast, the Renaissance Festival Podcast, and the MarcSongs Podcast, which features a free song every week published under a Creative Commons license. The Irish & Celtic Music Podcast is, by far, his most-popular podcast. It' is published bi-monthly and features a variety of Irish and Celtic music from around the world. It is a regular feature on iTunes Music Podcast listings and receives over 30,000 downloads of each show.

The Companion Track

Who wouldn’t want to be the most respected person on the ship? That being said, do you have what it takes to be a Companion? It takes more than just a pretty face and a winning smile. You’ll need to learn how to coalesce mind, body and soul. Lucky for you, you’re coming to the right place! 2008’s Browncoat Ball will teach you some of the skills required to become a Registered Companion, including Tai Chi, Mahjong and Belly Dancing. A Companion needs to be ready for anything; thankfully, we’re here to help you!

Tai Chi with Marjorie Jackson: Activity 1

The perfect Companion is one in mind and body. What better way to start your training than to delve into the meditative depths of Tai Chi? Whether you are a novice or a master of this ancient Chinese art, you will enjoy this lesson taught by professional instructors from River City Tai Chi. Bring your yin and yang into harmony while developing the inner strength to take on anyone or anything. Come prepared to move in comfortable clothing.

Mahjong Training: Activity 2

A Companion can’t rely on physical appeal only, you know. It takes a keen knowledge of psychology and the subtle application of subterfuge to bend your clients to your will. Step into the arena and battle it out with the other Companion Trainees to be crowned the cleverest courtesan in the ‘verse. Don’t worry if you’ve never played before- our charming and crafty instructors will school you in the game before the tiles hit the table. The top three winners gain fame, fortune and fabulous prizes. Bring your best game face and your shrewdest strategy - this is where we separate the Companions from the whores.

Bellydancing with Nassma: Activity 3

No Companion’s training would be complete without a course in the art of silent seduction. Learn to move and to shimmy-shimmy-shake your way into your client’s heart with a belly dance lesson from the glamorous Nassma. Designed for all skill levels, this lesson will introduce you to the basics of Middle Eastern Dance and simple group choreography. This is a physical activity so make sure you come prepared to move in workout clothes (bike pants/shorts, low-slung full skirts, harem pants, sports bras, and tank tops are all acceptable; showing your midriff is preferred) and have your water handy. (But then again- a Companion is prepared for anything). If you want to show off what you’ve learned, there will be an optional group performance at the end of the class. Dazzle the gentry with your grace and distract your enemies with your hypnotic hips!

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