|Burbank 2003 Staff Reports: SunKrux|
Cyn gives us a rundown of her convention adventure...
Yeah, yeah, I know it’s late, sue me. RL has decided that I need a beatin’ and that’s been keeping me busy. I was in such a hurry to complete this, please don’t’ flog me for any bad grammar or misspelling. Ok, on with the report.
Thursday, November 13
Got to leave work early, since I went in early. Love days like that, NOT! Once I was at the airport, I got the joy of having a nice security type person wave a magic wand around me. Why? I recently purchased a rather large, sterling silver, wide band bracelet. It’s a pain to take off so I usually leave it on. After finally making it through security without being detained for my ‘threatening’ bracelet (come on, it’s a Haida design of a two finned Orca, how threatening is that?) I make my way to the gate. On the way to the gate in Plateau Tormented Space (aka Seattle), I call Ryalin, my evil twin, in California.
Cyn – Hi, guess where I am?
Ry – Shit! You haven’t left yet?!
Cyn – No, I’m at the airport.
Ry – You’re stuck?!
Cyn – No, just thought I’d call.
Ry – Don’t scare me like that!
Cyn – Fine, see you in a few hours.
Or words to that effect
Finally get on the plane. I was in the middle of rehearsals for a Christmas show and had brought my script with me to memorize (the director threatened me with death or something similar. She’s a friend, so I thought I should at least attempt to please her. ) my lines. I tried, honestly but not having had a lot of sleep the night before, I kept falling asleep. Why was I sleep deprived more so than usual? Well being the Queen of Procrastination, I had put off (at least not till the last minute, like last year) putting the three con books I did this year and was up for a couple of nights printing and getting them put together. I couldn’t let Claudia, Fran and Raelee down.
Note to self: Quit volunteering to do so many books.
I finally make it to ‘beautiful downtown Burbank’ around 9 or 10 p.m. (I think – remember, sleep deprivation plays tricks on one’s mind). I was sharing a room with my evil twin, Dani and Mary. I called Ry to find the room, get the key and crash. She informs me that she and my ‘evil niece’ SunSpecOps (SSO) are in the bar. I was so exhausted that I did not want to hang in the bar, but Ry insisted I come to the bar so I could meet my ‘evil niece’ in person, finally. So I did. I was quickly hugglepounced by my wonderful evil twin.
I also got the pleasure of meeting my ‘evil niece’ SSO in person. We’re not really related; unless you count the fact that we’re all Scapers. It was wonderful to meet her, she’s a fabulous woman! I was finally able to convince my evil twin to let me go up to the room and try to get some sleep. Naturally she had to escort me to the room.
I was alone and for some reason even though I was exhausted, couldn’t sleep, so I sat on the air mattress that was my bed for the weekend to try and memorize lines, again. Little did I know that whilst I was getting ready for bed, Ry had run into Jean and a friend downstairs as she was finally heading to the room. Ry had promised Jean something and mentioned that she had brought it with her to the con. Ry asked Jean if she’d like to come get it. To Ry’s surprise, Jean said yes; then proceeded to ask if I was in the room asleep because she and her friend wanted to come jump on me while I was asleep. So there I was, in my jammy’s (and horror not sitting very lady like! Come on, it was close to 1 a.m. and I was exhausted!)) trying to memorize lines when in walks Jean, Ry and Jean’s friend. I look up from my bed with a look similar to that of exhausted disinterest, or as Ry put it “huh?”. Apparently this friend of Jean’s is someone special and at that moment I couldn’t care less if her friend had been the frellin’ actor who plays Crais. Anyway, Ry digs out her pressie for Jean. Then Jean and friend left.
Now once Jean and her friend left, it took me a few hours to peel Ry off the ceiling. Then, Dani & Mary eventually showed up. We caught up while showering Dani with “love and attention”. Once we had gotten the latest dirt on each other we managed to drift of to sleep, but not before a discussion of how the bedding on a certain bed would best serve it’s occupants. Remind me to never share a bed with a Britboy! :-p (Love you Dani!)
Friday, November 14 – Day One
Due to arriving so late the night before, I missed out on early registration for Gold Patrons. I woke up in time to shower and get a big breakfast – since I knew it would be dinner before I’d eat next. After breakfast I headed to registration. I received a lovely wristband along with the schedule for the weekend. Met up with Ry, Dani & Mary before taking our seats. I also met the rest of the British contingent of FarScape World admin/mods – BritAngie, LDGK & Ellie (honorary member). It was a blast to finally meet these ladies! They frellin’ ROCK!
A Boy and his stunt suit are easily parted -
The con started sometime around 1 p.m. I don’t recall which video was use to introduce the first guest, but after what he pulled, I don’t’ think anyone remembers. Froon was first up; he shocked the fans by coming out in a suit!! This is the man who ALWAYS has a different Mambo shirt for every day of the week! (Rumor has it that some over zealous fan yelled for Froon to take it off – referring to his tie!) Anyhoo, Froon looked rather dapper in his suit. He then informed the crowd that he had an announcement to make and pulled out a blue 3x5 card and read (versions vary – I think it was the shock of seeing him in a suit) “There’s a Blue Toyota with its lights on in the parking lot”. Tough crowd Froon! (You could have cut the tension in the room with a knife) I for one loved his announcement. I laughed my ass off. It was bloody brilliant! Froon, you DA MAN!!! (I later heard that a lot of fans were pissed –as in mad, not drunk- at Froon for this announcement. Come on people, you’ve been tortured by this man for years now and you still haven’t picked up on his twisted sense of humor?! Get over it! It was a damn funny stunt!) Froon then told the less than receptive audience that even as much as “they” wanted to make an announcement, “they” couldn’t at this time. He answered all the usual questions - you know the ones that fans ask all the time & promptly forget the answers – to get them out of the way before opening up to more questions. All too soon it was over and Froon had to leave to make room for the next guests, Paul Goddard and Virginia Hey.
It was nice to see Virginia again and even more of a pleasure to finally see Paul at the con! (Thank YOU, JEAN!!!) I know this was Paul’s first con but I really would have preferred seeing him alone. He and Virginia “play” well off each other. It was fun watching them. Just to annoy Dani, I asked Paul about his guest spot on The Lost World. Funny, I thought I heard a few fans groan when I asked it. :P It was nice to hear that like his fellow cast mates who’ve guested on TLW he had an enjoyable time working with the cast/crew of that show.
The fans invade –
Next on the schedule, our own Dani and BritAngie were on the stage, but unfortunately I had to leave the room for a few and missed a bit of the “Save FarScape” panel. I did make it back in time to ask a question. I’m still waiting for that autograph and spanking, Dani. Blame Virginia for what this con is lovingly referred to now, “SpankerCon”, while on stage with Paul, a fan asked for a spank and it snowballed from there.
A short intermission was given and then the “FS on the net” panel was up. Interesting discussion, led by Froon (more like taken over by Froon. That man is such a ham! I don’t know how Cheryl puts up with him! Better yet, WHY! )
Ry’s shining moment –
Then came the moment my wonderfully talented, evil twin had been waiting for. Before I start I should give a bit o’ back-story; Ryalin has been making music vids for about a year. She started with TLW and then branched out to FS. She’s damn talented at this and was inspired to make a music vid to show off Lani’s talent at bringing Bialar Crais to life. She entered said video and a second one to the annual Fan Vid contest that Creation does. She waited and waited for word, and nothing came. I finally told her to email them and find out what the deal was. Well she finally did what I told her and found out that they were more than likely going to use her vid to introduce Lani. Now I take you back to the con.
Adam announces the video and calls Ry on stage, some of you may remember her, she was the woman who wouldn’t look at the audience. She was so jazzed that they choose her video, honest! She’s just shy when it comes to public appearances. The video ran and was loved by the fans and more importantly, by Lani. All her hard work paid off. I’m so proud of my evil twin! Well done and good on ya twinny! (What?! It’s my con report and I’ll plug my evil twinny all I want! Ang got to plug Ben all she wanted! :P)
Lani came out after Ry’s vid was finished and wanted to know who made it. Then he asked for a copy of it. He talked about his haircut and how his ponytail wound up being shipped to a certain friend of his because of a bet they had made. Soon it was time for questions and I wanted to ask him one, but couldn’t think of one, so as I was in line I asked Jean if I should ask Lani about the “Burger King” comment that was made while he was guesting on TLW. It was perfect, an embarrassing question for Lani, she said. So I asked. After he stopped laughing, he related how while they were filming a scene for an eps of TLW, Jennifer O’Dell (Veronica) laughed and then commented that he looked like the “Burger King” when he was given the crown he was to wear during the eps. It really was a funny story, Lani told it better.
The day Jeopardy died –
I have a feeling that I am one of the few who thought that FarScape Jeopardy lacked a lot. No offense to Lani and Virginia, they were wonderful, but honestly, I was bored after the first half hour of this and spent the rest of the evening chatting with my evil twin and Cheryl. That was fun. :D I still think Creation shot themselves in the foot by not getting Anthony and Wayne’s band.
After the end of Creation’s events Friday night, I hung out in the bar with the usual crowd of my favorite Scapers and watch a few of the more annoying fans mob various cast/crew that happened to be trying to EAT in the bar. Really some people have no respect or manners.
Saturday, November 15th – Day Two
Let’s see…again, running on lack of sleep this day (it’s a recurrent theme at FS cons). Dani and I were the first ones up and showered so we headed down to the bar/restaurant to get some brekkie. As we were being escorted to our table, I happened to notice a certain red-haired actress that Dani (aka BritBoy) has a HUGE frellin’ thing for. Being the nice person I am, I calmly pointed it out to him; to which he proceeded to turn into this raving “fan boy” who was too frellin’ chicken to go over to this red-haired woman and say a quick hello. To make him feel even better once we were seated I offered to let him take her con book (which I had done) over to her. I don’t know what his problem was, but most “fan boys” would have jumped, I say JUMPED at the chance to deliver it to her. Not our Dani. He was too frellin’ scared. He was also, too frellin’ POLITE! Anyway, I told him I was going to go give it to her. He suddenly turned all pale (even more so than normal) that I would even THINK of interrupting her brekkie. To my good fortune, she decided then to take a little breather outside. I followed shortly there after and begged her forgiveness for interrupting her, but I wanted to give her the con book and gifts I had for her before the insanity began. She (in case you geniuses haven’t figured it out…I’m referring to the wonderful and lovely Raelee Hill) proceeded to gush (man I hate it when they do that) all over about the con book and the hard work I put into it. I said thank you and left her alone. I’ve always found Raelee to be a wonderful person. She’s such a sweetheart! Thanks Raelee!
Now the good stuff… When I returned from presenting Raelee her con book, Dani (even a more lovely shade of white) was freakin’ out that I had the gumption to do that. So…I had no alternative, I called in Mary. (He was DESPERATE to talk to Raelee, but being the proper British boy he was, he wouldn’t dream of interrupting her.)
Paraphrased phone conversation with Mary (since it’s been several months):
Cyn (on cell phone): Mary, you up yet?
Mary (still in the room): Yeah, sort of.
Cyn: Raelee is down here and Dani’s too frellin’ chicken to approach.
Cyn: Yeah I know. What a pansy. Come down here and help me out, please.
Mary: Ok, on my way. Order me blah, blah blah (I forgot what else she requested – sorry Mary)
Soon Mary is with us and after getting her Coke, she quietly walks over to Raelee’s table (so as not to draw attention to the rest of the disrespectful fans who linger, no more like hover near the cast/crew hoping to become the cast/crew’s best friend) says hi to Raelee (and Jonathon at this time). Mary mentions that Dani is over there (points to our table) says that Dani is too shy and polite to interrupt her and would she please just smile and wave at Dani, as it would really make his day. Raelee is gracious and tells Mary to bring Dani over. Woooohoooooo, mission accomplished! Mary walks over and grabs Dani, who wants nothing more than to melt into the floor from embarrassment. But he goes anyway. For the rest of the day, the boy has this silly grin on his face. Thanks again Raelee! You are a sweetheart!
After brekkie, we all made our way to the Convention area. I hogged more time with Bianca as a fellow TLW fan and her daughter were at the con for the day. I took pics (to be posted later) of Bianca with my friend and her kid. Had a nice visit with all the fans and got into the con room just in time to hear…
Ben & Claudia Photo Ops…
These were held BEFORE the days events started. My evil twin and I sat in the designated area to wait. Then Gary asked if people had gifts to give Ben and Claudia, since neither were doing autographs (which is when most folks give gifts, or should). I raised my hand a long with a few others. Then surprise of all surprises, Gary actually asked the fans the best way to handle the gift giving. We got to vote on allowing people to do so during the photo ops. I only had a photo op with Claudia, since I’m not that into Ben. Yeah, he’s good looking and all that…but he just reminds me too much of my bro (no ladies, they look NOTHING alike, so don’t ask me to set you up with my bro, he’s married. :-p ) So I got in line to get my pic with Claudia. I had her con book, a small Elmo and a little something extra for her. As I sat down for my pic with her, I handed her the items and then, boom, pic taken and I was on my way. Before leaving I picked up the something extra and said, “This is just in case something special happens.” Claudia looked at the gift, then at me and said (dead pan) “I’m pregnant, not getting married.” Unfortunately since there are so many fans that would have taken that seriously, she quickly added, “I’m kidding” to it. :( I knew she was kidding but didn’t want to hold up the process. So I just left, laughing. Thanks Claudia!
The Creator has landed –
Rockne O’Bannon was the first batter. Oddly he came out with a big piece of red duct tape over his mouth. I’m not sure why everyone found that so funny? Honestly, it was funny, but Rockne my good man…Froon beat you! His stunt was BETTER! :-p Rockne reiterated what Froon had mentioned…there was nothing “they” could tell us at this time, but if there “was” anything to share, the con would be the perfect place to share it. To which the crowd cheered wildly. Then Rockne mentioned some secret project that Brian Henson and David Kemper were both working on in Sydney. He didn’t give us much detail…but then when have TPTB for FS given us what we want? LOL
After Rockne was another music vid (sorry didn’t write them all down…sue me)
So you think you can pull off playing Harvey do you?
Next up is the annual “Talent Contest” where Froon pulls willing victims from the audience to act out a “missing scene”. This year I passed on it as Claudia was on right after the talent pull and the “actors” usually go away to rehearse for a bit before their big break. I wasn’t about to miss Claudia for anything.
Junior Miss Tough Chick blows the crowd away…
That’s right, Claudia Black blew the crowd away, as usual with her charm, grace and humor. She talked about some secret project she might be working on in Sydney, but that she couldn’t tell. She then whined that she hates keeping secrets, but wouldn’t risk spilling the beans. She then shared with us that she was in love. It was so fabulous to see her shine as she talked about her “boy”. Claudia mentioned that she did voice over for a popular computer/video game that her “boy” liked to play and was tempted to toss in a “Turn the game off “dear” and go to bed”. LOL
Then she took a few questions. I can’t recall what I asked her as I was laughing at the response to her being badgered by another fan to sing for us. When will some fans learn that NO means NO? After that, she introduced Ben Browder. It was rather odd to see Ben carrying a guitar case. I didn’t think he played or sang. Little did any of us know, it was Claudia’s. Ben set it down next to Claudia and then they hugged.
As they continued to talk and banter, Claudia began to pull things out of the guitar case; then had a mic set up about guitar height as she began adjusting and tuning the guitar. While she was tuning she started telling us a story about a young girl back in Oz, who use to sing and one day in choir she was told by a couple of other girls that she sung too loud. So the young girl never sang again in public. That was 10 years ago. Once Claudia was satisfied with the tuning she stopped fiddling with the guitar and got real serious. She requested that no one record her performance, in any form (too bad some fans think they are above such a request, luckily they have NOT shared their ill-gotten gains. Other wise they’d hear from me). With that, most fans put down their cameras and just listened.
Claudia’s voice is so beautiful; it brought tears to my eyes. To know that she was SO nervous, but kept a long standing promise, that WHEN she sang again, it would be for the fans. To think that one fan had almost ruined it for us by being so pushy. Thanks Claudia for singing for us. It was beautiful and I can’t wait to hear you sing again. Don’t listen to those two gits who told you, you sing too loud. I think they were just jealous of your gift. And that my friends is how Junior Miss Tough Chick blew the crowd away, she finally SANG!
The new Six Million Dollar Man takes over…
Ben chatted with us for a few. I can’t remember if this is when he gave us all the reasons why TPTB couldn’t tell us anything or if he did that when he spoke on Sunday. Either way, he was his usual exuberant self and had the crowd eating out of his hands.
John Quixote rides again…
We were then treated to a live commentary of the eps Ben wrote for Season 4 – John Quixote; Ben, Froon, Paul Goddard, Gigi Edgely, and Jonathon Hardy did commentary. It was nice to hear them talk about what happened behind the scenes of the eps and share their thoughts about how it turned out. Jonathon sure does talk a lot. Claudia was supposed to do the commentary but I believe prior commitments pulled her away. Too bad…it would have been nice to hear her talk about how she came up with that voice for the Pwincess.
Another music vid in honor of Crichton was up next then….
The Big Break…
Those poor suc…um I mean fans who volunteered to act out Froon’s “missing” scene were up next. As usual, it was funny to see how different people interpreted the scene. Odd that there were more female “Harveys” this year I think I started a trend last year. ;)
The big history lesson…
Next up was a panel with David Franklin, Raelee Hill and Jonathon Hardy. Quite honestly, I would have much rather preferred that again, David and Jonathon had been allowed on stage by themselves as should Raelee. But I guess in the interest of time Creation decided that it would be better to lump them all together. *sigh* Anyhoo…it was a funny and interesting panel. Jonathon gave us all a history lesson and David channeled “The King” for us. It was quite hilarious. Raelee added here and there, but it was clearly Jonathon’s show. What a ham! ;)
More Photo Ops…
I only had a photo op for Raelee in the evening. I couldn’t afford a photo op with ALL the cast, so I went for my favorites as they’ll mean more to me. Maybe next year. Raelee was wonderful, as usual. I handed her a gift, a glow in the dark Devil duck ornament. She was a bit baffled by the gift, and I just told her, as I was leaving, that everyone should have a little devil duck in their life.
The Dance & Ice Cream social…
That’s right, an Ice cream social and dance. It was rather interesting since as usual, Creation had the tables set too close together which made it difficult for the attending cast members and their “handlers” to make it through the crowd. At least this year most fans sat at their table and didn’t follow the cast et al around. Lani, Virginia, David, Paul, Bianca, Froon and Froon Cheryl attended. The ice cream was good…although, never enough toppings. I sat with my evil twin, evil niece, her friend and a few other Scapers I didn’t know. By now I was rather tired and wasn’t very talkative (scary thought I know…but it happens sometimes). Finally the cast/crew started making the rounds. When Lani, David, and Paul made it to our table, I wrestled Lani’s con book out from under Jean’s arm since I noticed it was rather hard for her to take pics and hold it. I didn’t want it to get lost so I offered to hold on to it for the night. (Little did I know it would turn out to be longer than that. No worries though con book creator, it made it back to Lani safe and sound) I got a couple shots with Lani and David. Got one of Lani, David, Virginia, Bianca and Paul, but it didn’t turn out on my camera. I hope Jean got a copy of it. Then Gigi and Raelee made it to our table, again, more pics and then…all too soon the cast was gone. I left shortly after that with my friends in tow and we hit the bar and hung out for a few more hours before walking bleary-eyed back to our rooms.
Sunday, November 16th – the Final Day
Since I was too poor to afford the Charity breakfast this year I didn’t attend. I heard it was a blast. After the breakfast there was another meet and greet with Paul, Bianca, David and Jonathon, again…I hogged a little more time that I probably should. Sorry folks.
The Rocket Jockey lands, again…
Ben was up first and because he was due on set for a movie later that day, they had to push up his appearance time. I think, if memory serves me, this is when he gave us a few dozen reasons why TPTB couldn’t tell us what the secret project was. In his usual fashion, he tossed the responses out to the audience as he had them written on FS post cards. I didn’t get any, but that’s ok. He then opened up for questions. He was asked about his favorite music…its funk. He talked about the work he had been doing since the cancellation. Then he had to cut it short so he could catch a plane to the set. Before he left, he threatened to never attend another con if people were not nice to his wife, Francesca Buller.
It’s the HAT! lady…
That’s right, the woman I’ve been so anxious to meet since her first appearance on FS, Francesca Buller. She was fanfrellin’tastic!!! Fran is a woman after my own heart she was barefoot on stage! Woooohooooo!! She talked about having a thing for some guy named John Crichton, which garnered a lot of “awwwws and oooooos” from the female fans (at least). She talked about how she and Ben met and how she knew within days that he was “the one”. Fran is a wonderful roll model. The love she feels for Ben and their children was very evident when she spoke of them. She doesn’t seem to mind that her career is on hold, by her choice, while Ben pursues his. She seems very content in her life. Everyone was very nice to her Ben, so please, please won’t you BOTH come back? :D
Fans invade day two…
Again, more fan oriented/run panels, this time about fan fiction. I passed on this as I’ve lost all interest in FS fan fic. It’s not that I don’t think there are any good fics out there, I just don’t feel that FS is missing anything (well I did write and publish online, one FS fic as I didn’t like how Aeryn’s emotions over Zhaan’s gift and then death went virtually untouched by the show). The few fics I’ve read are good, but for me I’m fine with the FS universe that the cast/crew has (and will continue to) created for us. I also missed the costume contest.
The evil one, no not Grazya, was up next…
Bianca Chiminello was on stage next, you know…Jenavian Charto. You know…the PK that John boinked in “Look at the Princess”. You know…the one that rabid shippers swear doesn’t exist. Bianca was hilarious. She shared how she got started in the biz. She talked about her first day on set. She talked about the other shows she’s guested on, like TLW and BeastMaster. When Adam came out to tell her time was up, she didn’t want to leave. She acted like she couldn’t see or hear him. It was hilarious.
Chi Chi Chi Chiana twirls her way into the hearts…
Gigi Edgley followed Bianca and did her usual bouncing around on stage (man think of the millions we could make bottling her energy!) She mentioned her new album -can’t remember the title. How she got hooked on making music and then opened up for questions. Surf Widow again brought her “poi balls” and again, talked Gigi into showing off her talent. Needless to say, the crowd went wild.
The con finally winds down…
After Gig’s time on stage, it was time for the remaining photo ops and autographs. I can now say that with the exception of Rebecca “Graza” Riggs, I have most of the Cast’s autographs. A few I have a couple. LOL The final photo ops were with Francesca, Bianca and Gigi. I had photo ops with Francesca (how could I not, she’s so frellin’ cool) and wound up purchasing earlier in the day one with Bianca (she such a sweetie…I had to). I also paid for two autographs with Francesca and Bianca (one of Bianca’s I sent to a friend who is unable to attend cons and is a HUGE Bianca fan).
The con proper was over, but not the fun to be had with fellow fans. Again…much hanging out in the bar happened on Sunday night. Little sleep was to be had, again. All too soon though, it was time for me to head back to Plateau Tormented Space and return to the land of the working stiffs.
I’m so glad I made it to the con and can’t wait to attend next years…that is if the financial gods smile on me and I can afford it. I doubt I’ll go gold since I have just about everyone’s autograph and Creation has opened up the autograph option and photo ops to nonGold patrons. :D