10:00am - CelebritiesWith little going on in this early timeslot, I stole away to the autograph room once more, and since many were still sleeping off last night's fun, the crowd was thin enough for me to speak with some of the guests. Having seen Connor Trinneer bolt from the "Miss Spat-Cave" contest, I asked him what he thought of the event. He was polite about it, but I could tell he wasn't pleased about being suckered into judging it. Trying hard not to be rude myself, I politely informed him that he was just about the only thing I liked about Enterprise, and his strong performance as Trip was one of the few things that kept me sane while watching it. He was very appreciative and didn't seem at all offended by my implication about the quality of his show.
No one was in line at the Farscape tables, so I wandered over there and told Gigi and Raelee that I really enjoyed their panel the previous day. I couldn't get over how incredibly nice they were about everything. Gigi kept me waiting for about 30 seconds while she talked with someone else and felt so guilty about it that she ran around the table and gave me a huge hug ... or at least that's what they told me when I recovered from fainting. Raelee was also amazingly cool, taking time to look each fan in the eye and talk with them about whatever they wanted. She seemed genuinely interested in meeting everyone and fully experiencing the convention. It's unfair to judge an entire nation from the actions of a few performers, but those Aussies sure seem like they know how to live life to the fullest.
I made my way around the room further, observing what I could. Lorenzo Lamas seemed pretty irritated that absolutely no one wanted his autograph, Lisa Loring and Kenny Weatherwax from The Addams Family were very nice and friendly, and Dean Haglund was his typically manic but fun self. He even remembered me from the Friday night Shindig where I helped him find the "guest entrance" for quick access to the alcohol. We all stopped for an impromptu singing of "Happy Birthday" to horror icon Michael Berryman, and he was most appreciative. Most everyone was pretty cool, but Kevin Sorbo was surprisingly rude. I stood at his table for a few minutes patiently waiting to speak with him, and he just completely ignored me. There's no call for that. I had considered purchasing an autograph before then, so I thank him for making the decision such an easy one.
1:00pm - Connor TrinneerI praised TrekTrak for their organization earlier, but sometimes they're a bit too organized. With Connor anxiously waiting to go on stage, we were forced to sit through a long introduction that seemingly listed every movie, television show, and school play in which he had ever appeared. Fortunately, Connor sensed that people didn't care and rushed out on stage anyway. He spoke very thoughtfully and intelligently about his career and Enterprise, and it was a very good hour. I was most impressed by his openness in expressing the disappointment and hurt he and the cast felt about the overwhelmingly insulting slap in the face that was their series finale. He noted that, good or bad, they worked really hard on the show and deserved a chance to end it in a more respectful manner. It's hard to disagree with that. He also expressed his disappointment that he never got to work on Six Feet Under, in his opinion the best show on television.
2:00pm - Afternoon Costumes
The costumers were out in the afternoon once more, and it was here that I witnessed an epic streetfight between Chun Li and a photographer. The two exchanged blows, but in the end, the photographer's 20D was no match for Chun Li's kikouken fireball, and she claimed the spoils of her victory.
2:30pm - Tricia HelferBattlestar Galactica's Jamie Bamber was supposed to attend, but when he cancelled at the last minute Tricia Helfer showed up in his place. She was pleasant to be around and polite to the fans, but in all honesty, I remember almost nothing from her panel. I do remember, however, that she was the other guest, in addition to Adam Baldwin, to donate 100% of the money she received from autographs to the Katrina Relief Fund. She talked about her role as Number 6 on Galactica and had a lively personality, but there wasn't anything particularly memorable to share aside from some light humor at no-show Nathan Fillion's expense, whom she used to date.
4:00pm - "I think Kaylee smokes a lot of weeeeed." - Jewel StaiteYou mean another Serenity panel? Hell yeah! By this point in the convention, a lot of "in jokes" had developed, and this panel was less about the details of the film and more just a mutual lovefest between the fans and the guests. They shared a lot of stories about what it was like to work with Joss in general, how he was sparing with praise and often sarcastic with his criticism. Adam noted that when he did a really good take, Joss would calmly say, "That was good" and move on. But when he didn't like something, as quoted by Jewel, "That was great. Now let's shoot it again without you sucking." Morena then chimed in with her favorite Joss motivational technique: "Hey, how 'bout you try acting this time." Don't misunderstand the way I relay these details, though. While they gave Joss a hard time -- his fault for not showing at the event -- it was always in a playful manner with an undercurrent of deep respect. They expressed similar respect for Tim Minear, with whom they had all worked on Firefly, plus Adam on The Inside and Jewel on Wonderfalls. Contrasting his style with Joss's, they pointed out that he had a firm grasp of exactly what he wanted from each scene and asked for it pretty specifically. Then, after achieving that goal in a take or two, he'd allow the actors to do whatever they wanted with the scene.
This was the last panel with Adam, and before he left, he made it a point to thank all the fans profusely for all the support and remind everyone how important their voices were in getting the film made. It was a classy move. As the panel closed, the crowd of a few thousand people sang "Happy Birthday" to Matty, Jewel's husband and fun-loving companion during her convention travels.
6:00pm - Wandering
Before everything closed down for the evening, and knowing I would be very busy on the final day, I took what time I could to browse through the Art Show and Dealers Room. In the Dealers Room, I met two nice young individuals promoting their game "Mad Scientist University". Perhaps I was just too tired to comprehend what was going on, or perhaps they were just nervous, or perhaps it was an elaborate joke that I was missing, because the game they described made absolutely no sense, and the "round" we "played" left me bewildered and at a loss for words. I felt bad for my hosts, as they seemed nice ... or perhaps they felt bad for me, because I was clueless. Either way, I took their picture and ran.
8:00pm - Flash of Mauve, Splash of Puce ...... fool and king, ghoul and goose. It's Masquerade time, and if this thing doesn't get any better it may be the last time your long-winded guide attends. Rivaling primetime award shows with regard to heel-dragging length, when you factor in the post-event photo op, this thing clocks in at about 4 hours! That's right ... 4 hours! Having been to this before, I should have known better, but I foolishly thought it would get better and was suckered into it by the promise that LeVar Burton and Marina Sirtis would be hosting. In reality, though, they just introduced the event, and it was hosted by Robin Curtis and Jeff Rector. Who's Jeff Rector, you ask? Look it up ... it's good for a laugh. Sadly, Rector himself was not good for a laugh, and he frequently made inappropriate and unfunny remarks during dead time. What's unfortunate about the Masquerade is that the costumes are pretty good. There's no reason for it to be as boring as it is, but per the rules, contestants have the opportunity to perform a skit along with presenting their costume. Think Napoleon Dynamite ... no, not the part where Napoleon dances ... the part where Summer does ... 50 times.
One completely unexpected bright spot, however, came from "The Great Luke Ski" between the children's contest and the adult's. Along with Carrie Dahlby as Princess Leia, Luke presented a tour de force musical encapsulation of Star Wars ... to the soundtrack of Grease. Carrie's voice bordered on shrill at times, and Luke certainly didn't have the greatest vocal range himself, but it didn't matter, because the style was so strong and lyrics so hilarious that it brought the house down and received and uproarious standing ovation. With tunes like "It's Obi-Wan That I Want", "Hopelessly Devoted To Artoo", "Jedi School Dropout", and "That's No Moon", it was the perfect mixed parody of both the popular 1970s musical and the inherent silliness of our favorite space adventure. The crowd went crazy for lyrics like "Greedo's the worst, I shot first" and "Ewan, Alec ... hey it's all the same to me"; and when he closed with "Time to make Indiana Jones ...", everyone erupted in approval, not to mention an implied "thank you" for breaking the monotony of the dragging contest.
12:00am - Not the MasqueradeSunday night is perhaps the craziest of them all. Everyone realizes that it's their final chance to do whatever crazy thing they want to do, and I photographed as much of it as I could (sadly, only some of it is fit for public consumption ;)). I spent some time in a room party and dropped by a Stargate celebration that appeared to be one of the last places to find large amounts of alcohol after midnight. Everyone was having a great time, but it was pretty crowded, so I didn't stay too long. I also dropped by a concert for Combichrist, a band who had been using pretty ladies to promote their show all weekend. Note to self: don't do that again.
3:00am - Dragon VomitRequiring sustenance, I stole away to the "Con Suite", a place where free snacks are provided for guests. There I sat for a few minutes enjoying the campy fun of The Dark Crystal and dining on what was described to me by the chef as "Dragon Vomit". Noodles, beans, nacho cheese, and Lord knows what else made for a surprisingly tasty snack and just what I needed to get me through the night.
4:30am - Science Fiction, Double FeaturePerennial visitors "Lips Down on Dixie" were back again, and as always, their show started well after it was scheduled at some arbitrary time. Fortunately, this year I didn't miss it, because they put on a great spectacle. Jevocas Green led the event as Frank, and he was fantastic, as was the rest of the cast. I don't know how many times I've seen "Rocky Horror" performed (which is probably good for my sanity), so it always interests me how a different cast or a new crowd can put a unique spin on the presentation. How this strange piece of '70s theater has evolved into what it's become is beyond me, but it sure is fun for everyone involved.
6:00am - No Mekhi PhiferWhen the alcohol starts flowing, the sanity starts going, and such was the case at this point of the
8:00am - Perchance to Dream ...
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