WATERVILLE — Lest you think a geek is someone who is bespectacled, nerdy and wears his pants too high on his waist, think again.
The geeks who gathered Friday night at Waterville Public Library for the first Cirque du Geek convention were colorful, animated and focused — on enjoying three days of free movies, a costume parade, plushie picnic, creature creation, masquerade, games and a dance, among other events.
“I’m a huge geek,” said Sakara Pullen, 12, of Waterville. “Some people think they’re people who are just really involved in school, but there are anime geeks. It’s people who love anime” — Japanese animated character movies and video.
Pullen likes the anime character Karin, a girl who attends a vampire high school.
She plans to dress up like Karin for today’s 2:30 p.m. costume parade, which will start at the library and continue to the Two Cent Bridge at Head of Falls, turn around and go back to the library.
Pullen said Karin “generates blood.”
“She increases her blood. She’s all bubbly and stuff. She wears her school uniform.”
The three-day geek convention, free and open to everyone, was the brainstorm of library assistant Sarah Taylor, 23, who spent about a year planning it, with help from other library employees, including Alex Raymond.
“It’s not just one thing that makes a person a geek,” Raymond said. “It’s about having a strong love for the things that you enjoy, and you’re not really afraid to express that.”
The dozen or so geeks who turned out for the opening ceremony Friday included Katherine Dall, 70, of Waterville.
Dall, wearing a pink headband with flowers and feathers, said a geek is a wonderful person.
“I think a geek is a purely imaginative creature who loves fantasy, art, nature and that other realm of creativity that lives within the soul of every human being,” Dall said.
She was in the geek art exhibit on the library’s third floor, introducing her piece, “Daphne the Darling Divine Dragon,” a multicolored work made with paper, feathers and flowers.
“I used some Martha Stewart paint chips and Martha Stewart paint and I mixed colors and then I moved in some white and I took a plastic fork to put grooves on her fins,” Dall said. “Daphne is a strong woman of society who stands up to people who try to overtake others.”
Geeks of all ages milled about in the fireplace room at the library, nibbling on cake with ornate blue and purple frosting and drinking pink punch.
Sam Doughty, 12, of Waterville, said he heard about the convention because he is at the library all the time.
“I’m a gamer,” he said. “I’m an anime geek … There’s this game called ‘Slender Man.’ He’s from a horror game. He doesn’t have a face and he dresses up in a tuxedo.”
Doughty said he will dress up like Slender Man for today’s parade and plans to take part in other convention events over the weekend.
“It’s a fun experience to get to know other people who are geeks, whether it’s on the inside or the outside,” he said.
He explained that a person who is a geek on the outside is openly a geek.
“If you are a geek on the inside, you kind of hide it and it’s your inner passion.”
After the opening ceremony Friday, the geeks planned to have dinner at Selah Tea on Main Street and then don their pajamas to watch the movies, “Thor” and Marvel’s “The Avengers,” in the library’s teen room. Popcorn was to be served.
Pullen’s friends, Laura Eldon, 13, and Jasmine Pease, 10, of Waterville, said they are looking forward to all the weekend’s activities.
“I’ve been watching this series called ‘Vampire Night’ and I’m going to dress up as a character, Yuki,’” Eldon said of the parade.
Pease said she plans to be Cinderella. The three girls explained that geeks are smart people who like their clothes and are creative.
“We never copy anybody,” Pullen said.
She said she wants to be an architect when she grows up.
“I sing, dance, draw, paint, sculpt and cook,” she said.
Eldon said she plans to be a veterinarian because she loves animals.
“I like to read. I love learning all about stuff. I love to fish. I’m definitely a tomboy. I am not afraid to get dirty and I love to cook.
Pease said she wants to be a singer.
Eldon’s mother, Laurie, said when she was a kid, it wasn’t cool to be a geek but the definition has changed.
“Kids are allowed to be individuals nowadays,” she said. “They don’t feel that they have to fit into the mold of what kids are supposed to be at this age.”
The geek convention, she said, is a good way for kids to learn that there are different types of people in the world.
“I think it will help them to get along with different people when they are adults,” she said.
Amy Calder — 861-9247