Annual Rooster Teeth Convention returns to Austin with best in podcasting, gaming, animation

Darren Puccala, Life & Arts Reporter

Blaine Gibson stood at the 2019 RTX Austin event with his father, surrounded by the sea of people who just attended the premier of the UT alum’s recent creation, “Arizona Circle.” Taking in the grand Paramount Theater, Gibson wore a smile that stretched across his face and met the proud gaze of his father.

“I brought my dad to (the premiere) and he told me he …  was so proud that his son was showing off his work at the same (venue) he was going to when he was my age,” Gibson said. “That was a really big moment for me.”

Gibson can trace his beginnings with Rooster Teeth to 2013, when he volunteered at RTX Austin. Shortly after, he said he pursued an internship and job with Rooster Teeth and now acts as a director and writer for the platform. 

Like Gibson, UT students and Austinites looking for a potential career-advancing opportunity, creative outlet or an overall unique entertainment experience in the comfort of a chilled, indoor venue to escape Texas heat can attend RTX Austin. Rooster Teeth, an Austin-based entertainment company, established the annual convention in 2011. Starting July 1, RTX Austin will bring fans of podcasting, animation and gaming together to enjoy highly anticipated Rooster Teeth originals, panels, raves, comedy nights, cosplay events and more.

With countless alumni and opportunities for students of all majors, RTX offers not just a week of fun, but of opportunities too. RTX provides a space for students looking for careers in digital media to learn from some of the tech industry’s most notable voices, including UT alum and long-time Rooster Teeth entertainer Chris Demarais. 

“We wanted to (invite) people who share what we love, gaming and podcasting of course, and anyone in the digital media space,” Demarais said. “It’s been overwhelming to see people showing up and supporting it.”

Demarais, who has seen the growth of the convention and the continuing embrace by the community continually praises the comradery found at the event.

“I’ve made a lot of friends (in) the Rooster Teeth community,” Demarais said. “Talk to people — there’s no place on Earth where it’s so easy to make friends and strike up a conversation because everyone there’s excited about all the same things.” 

In preparing for RTX 2022, Demarais said he feels growing anticipation and excitement for Rooster Teeth’s projects to finally be showcased, including a live performance of the “Good Morning from Hell” panel, a story-based podcast taking place in Hell. 

“I’m super excited for the whole panel because (‘Good Morning from Hell’) was definitely a show that we had huge aspirations to do live events for,” Gibson said. “Now … that the show is done, we could just dump all of our great ideas into one big shebang.”

For UT students and Austin residents, RTX event offers a space and community to geek out over a shared love of tech entertainment, whether that’s through the numerous gaming panels, behind-the-scenes looks at composing brilliant stories or opportunities to network with industry professionals.  

“Beyond all the guests we’re having in terms of content creators, we have an exhibition hall with different companies who are also creating their own podcasts,” Rooster Teeth general manager Jordan Levin said. “If Moody students are interested in production, entertainment, media gaming, there’s a whole lot of folks there. It’s in our backyard (and) it’s relatively inexpensive, especially for the whole weekend or the day ticket — check it out, see if you like it.”